Romania’s fighter dilemma Răspunde

As part of an ambitious 15 billion euros modernization plan, conceived in 2005, Romania should have replaced by now its aging fighter force with a new modern multipurpose aircraft. However, political difficulties, internal wrangling and the economic crisis of September 2008 have delayed these plans and threaten Romania’s ability to protect its airspace and fulfill its obligations as a NATO member.

The mainstay of the Romanian Air Force for almost forty years has been the Soviet built MiG-21 Fishbed, which has now become hopelessly outdated and needs replacement. A series of upgrades and overhauls in the mid 90’s have allowed the MiG-21 fleet to stay airborne until 2012 and maintain a decent degree of interoperability with other NATO partners. However the life expectancy of these air crafts is now almost over and they offer little military capabilities. Consequently in 2006 the Romanian Ministry of Defense decided to allocate 4.5 billion dollars to buy 48 new multipurpose fighters for the Air Force. The decision to buy these fighters should have been taken in 2008, but for political and economic reasons it has now been deferred most likely until 2010.



Romania’s Black Sea Offensive Răspunde

Un nou articol al lui George Visan în publicaţia Central Europe Digest a institutului de cercetare Center for European Policy Analysis (CEPA) din Washington, despre reacţia diplomatică a preşedintelui României la conflictul dintre Rusia şi Georgia şi rolul pe care acesta ar vrea să şi-l asume în politica regiunii.

Cititi articolul complet în Central Europe Digest

Kosovo’s Independence and U.S.-Romanian Relations Răspunde

George Visan scrie în publicaţia Central Europe Digest a institutului de cercetare Center for European Policy Analysis (CEPA) din Washington despre declaraţia de independenţă a provinciei Kosovo, reacţiile pe care le-a provocat această declaraţie la Bucureşti şi impactul ei asupra relaţiilor bilaterale dintre România şi Statele Unite.

Cititi articolul complet în Central Europe Digest

What type of ally is Romania? 1

A recent article titled “A Tale of Two Allies” which was published in the American newspaper Christian Science Monitor has sparked furore in the Romanian media. In brief the article accompanied in the electronic edition of the Christian Science Monitor by an interview with A. Wess Mitchell, Director of Research at the Center for European Policy Analysis in Washington D.C. analyzes the way in which the United States of America deals with its allies in Europe. The article basically argues, using Poland and Romania as examples, that the United States of America classifies its allies in two categories: mature allies-partners which do not require coaxing, as the article argues and another category (which I call it allies of opportunity, since the article fails to give a proper category) with which the United States has a relation based on reciprocity.


When Internal Politics Affects Foreign Policy 4

Hans Morgenthau, one of the most remarkable thinkers in international relations, argued that the difference between internal politics and foreign policy is not a difference of kind, but of degree. Another great theorist of international relations, Raymond Aron, argued that a political unit, meaning a state defines itself partially by being capable of external action – foreign policy. Using these two theoretical benchmarks as starting points for this article I will argue that the current crisis in Romania’s internal politics have affected its foreign policy in a negative way. This article is the third instalment in the series of articles dedicated to Romania’s foreign policy.


Romania’s Draft Foreign Policy “Strategy”: Does it really provide a Coherent Action Plan for Romania’s Diplomacy? 1

This is the second instalment from the series of articles regarding Romanian foreign policy I promised I will publish on this blog. In this article I will discuss and comment the draft 10 year foreign policy strategy which has been recently published by the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Actually the word strategy does not properly describe the document – it is more a list of priorities and objectives for Romania’s diplomacy for the next ten years. In this respect the word strategy is a misnomer – but for practical purposes, I will refer to it as a strategy (the document is meant to ignite a public debate concerning Romania’s foreign policy in the next decade).


How much of a threat is Russia for Romania? Răspunde

As a result of the unilateral suspension of the CFE Treaty by Russia on July 14, 2007, the Romanian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Adrian Cioroianu, was summoned by Parliament to explain how this decision will affect Romania’s relations with Russia. During his testimony in front of the parliamentary commissions, Adrian Cioroianu stated that Russia does not represent a threat to Romania. This article will analyze the validity of this statement in the light of recent courses of action and policy statements made by Romanian and Russian state officials.


Romania and Russia: conflict and cooperation 1

This article will deal with the current status of relations between Romania and Russia. I will argue that although there are issues when cooperation can occur between the two states, the opportunities for conflict far outweigh them.

One thing that must be cleared from the beginning is that the relation between the two countries is and was asymmetrical. This relationship is and has been asymmetrical because it involves a great power or a medium power (depending on the timeline) and a small power. Today Russia can be catalogued as an aspiring great power while Romania remains a small power (with a good prospect of becoming a regional power).


Cementing the Alliance: Romania’s Parliament Allows the Deployment of U.S. Forces in the Country 16

Yesterday May 2, 2007, the Romanian Parliament adopted with a comfortable majority a resolution allowing for the stationing of US troops in the country. U.S. forces will use “Mihail Kogalniceanu” air base as well as several Romanian training ranges such as: Babadag, Smardan and Cincu. These troop redeployments are a part of the new basing strategy by the Pentagon which will put U.S. forces near to the theatres of operations of Afghanistan and Iraq, and will allow for far more flexible deployments for American troops around the world. The importance of these bases for U.S operations in the Middle East and Afghanistan is revealed by the forward operating bases status given to them by the Pentagon.


A tough Choice for Romania to Make : NATO or EU? 1

Apparently Romania is faced with a stark choice in terms of its foreign and security policies since it has joined the EU: should it continue with a foreign policy that emphasizes a strong atlanticist commitment or should it take a 180 degree turn towards a foreign policy oriented towards the EU?

I will argue that making such a choice now is senseless and that the Romanian government should develop a foreign policy that will emphasize both its strong NATO commitment (especially cultivating a strong relationship with the United States) as well as trying to better coordinate its foreign policy with EU member countries under the framework of the ESDP.