In one of the last interviews he gave to the press, the late Ronald Asmus reiterated the importance of strategically reassuring NATO’s vulnerable allies against threats coming from inside and outside Europe. The security guarantee provided by Article 5 of the Washington Treaty needs to be strengthened in order to maintain the cohesiveness and the credibility of the Alliance in a new security environment. Ronald Asmus argued that the strategic reassurance of NATO’s Central and Eastern European allies should have been a precondition of reset policy with Russia. More…
In my opinion, one of the most interesting developments in the international politics scenario will be a massive change in the role, the identity and the purposes of NATO. Moreover, as the need for a new strategic plan becomes clearer, I suggest that this development will be both welcomed and inevitable, especially for the reasons I outlined below.
At the behest of my good friend and colleague, Octavian Manea, I am very pleased to re-publish on this blog his posting from Politică Externă. I hope you will find this post as useful and insightful as I did.
On October 8th, the Center for European Policy Analysis (a DC think tank dedicated to the study of geopolitical trends in Central Europe) launched a timely sensitive report on the topic of the Hingepoint Allies: Bolstering U.S. Alliances with Exposed States in Central Europe, East Asia and the Middle East. The authors – A. Wess Mitchell, Jakub Grygiel and Robert Kron – highlighted the strategic commonalities and the linkages facing small and mid-sized U.S. allies at global faultlines in Central Europe, East Asia and Middle East. The ongoing shifts in the regional power balances and the strategic choices made by local actors in these new settings point out to a possible medium term trend: ”the subtle but steady unraveling of U.S.-centered security orders at three of the world’s historically most strategically-vital regions”.
I continue the presentation and analysis of the experts’ report on the future NATO strategic concept, an endeavor which I have began in May, with the section dedicated to the future missions and military affairs. The final section of the experts’ report deals with NATO’s future missions and the development of future military capabilities required to fulfill them. Section five of the report provides an analysis of the current needs and capabilities and makes recommendations on what missions and capabilities should be provided in the future strategic concept of the Alliance.
A group of Central and Eastern European intellectuals and former chiefs of state have published on July 16 an open letter to the President of the United States of America, voicing their concerns regarding the current state of relations between the countries of this region and the United States. The letter comes after the US-Russia summit and is signed by Vaclav Havel, Lech Walesa, Emil Constantinescu, Valdas Adamkus, Martin Butora, Matyas Eorsi, Alexandr Vondra and other important figures who have played a part in the recent history of Central and Eastern Europe. In the letter they emphasize the role played by the United States in Central Europe’s (CEE) transition from authoritarianism to democracy, remind Washington of the contribution made by the countries of this region to the American war effort in Iraq and Afghanistan, while deploring the fact that the CEE is no longer a priority for US foreign policy. The letter criticizes the new “realist” foreign policy of the Obama Administration concerning Europe and Russia, with the shadow of Yalta looming large in the minds of the signatories.
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.
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.
This article is the first in a series of articles that I will publish on this blog dealing with Romania’s foreign policy. In this article I will outline the major international issues Romania’s foreign policy has to deal with in the international system. I will provide a brief description of these major issues and I will comment them according to their relevance. The other articles in the series will deal with the new draft ten year foreign policy strategy which has just been published by the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and with the cohesiveness and coherence of Romania’s foreign policy – with a major emphasis on the relations between the branches of the executive and internal political conflicts. The issues are divided according to their importance, relevance and urgency.
In its basic sense the doctrine of integration argues for a global consensus or a global compact that will define the threats and the challenges of the new era and, very important, will define new rules for the management of the international system.
First the new rules regulating the post 9/11 international system should be developed around new core concepts-conditional sovereignty, responsibility to protect, responsibility to prevent, that should become the pillars of a new doctrine of international community responsibility (along the directions developed in the so-called Blair Doctrine articulated in the 22nd April 1999 speech).
The announced deployment of parts of the American missile shield in Poland and the Czech Republic soured relations with Russia’s, many annalists arguing that bilateral relations between the former rivals have reached their lowest point since the end of the Cold War. Besides the spat over the deployment ABM shield in Central Europe there are many other issues that have lead to the increase in tensions between Russia and the United States: American deployment of forward bases in Romania and Bulgaria, US involvement in the former Soviet space (Ukraine, Georgia, the Caucasus and Central Asia) as well as public criticism regarding Russia’s internal politics and finally the gross imbalance of power between the United States and the rest of the members of the international system. All in all Russia has many reasons to feel threatened by the United States and from its point of view the recent strategic developments in Europe are worrying.
One particular bit of news, which may very well pass unnoticed sheds some light on a possible future course of United States’ future foreign policy. The news is that the US Congress has reached an agreement with the White House over new free trade policy guidelines. This agreement could ease the ratification of trade deals with several Latin American countries. Under the new policy, countries with free trade deals with the US will be committed to adopting and enforcing laws that abide by basic international labour standards as well as internationally-agreed environmental standards of business practice. US deputy secretary of state, John Negroponte, said that the Latin American states are ”strategic elements not only to our economic relations but also to our political relations”.
A new divisive issue between Russia and NATO has come to the fore: the deployment and development of ballistic missile defenses in Europe by the United States in Central Europe.
The debate regarding missile defense is not new. It dates back to the Cold War when the United States used the Strategic Defense Initiative, colloquially known as Star Wars to bankrupt the Soviet Union. Today however ballistic defenses have returned as an issue of international politics when the United States decided to retreat from ABM treaty signed in 1972 and develop this type of strategic defense in order to protect itself from countries like Iran and North Korea – the infamous “rogue states” from the “axis of evil”.