Barack Obama and Security In the East Baltic Sea Region
Volume 9, Issue 1 (2011), pp. 9–23
Pub. online: 1 December 2011 Type: Article Open Access
1 December 2011
1 December 2011
This paper addresses a number of fears that prevail in the East Baltic Sea Region about Washington’s commitment to their security under the administration of Barack Obama. While indicating that the Obama White House may have been cavalier about such concerns, they are unjustified. For example, the new anti-ballistic system that the U.S. intends to deploy in Europe is superior to the one favoured by the Bush Administration. Obama’s campaign to reset relations with Russia is good for Europe. And Obama has demonstrated that while he seeks to enhance the image of the U.S. in the world through a display of soft power, he has been resolute in applying hard power in Afghanistan where Russia has been a helpful partner. In conclusion, the Central and East European nations should join the U.S. in its quest to reset relations with Russia although there is no guarantee that it will be a success. Russia in turn must reconcile its differences with the countries in the East Baltic Sea region if it hopes to achieve fruitful relations with the West. At the same time, the EU must develop an energy security program that meets both the needs of the energy producing and energy consuming nations. As yet, this has not happened. Hopefully, it will as the EU takes the measures necessary to respond to the various economic and political challenges that threaten the European Project. The CEE states can rely upon the support of the U.S. but to deny any hostile foreign power the opportunity to compromise their security, they must address problems of corruption within their societies and reconcile points of discord with their neighbours.