This article analyzes the transatlantic relations and cooperation challenges between the U.S.A. and the EU. The first part of the article covers the conditions for the functioning of transatlantic relations, the main actors and their roles in contemporary world order, and also the international system and the placement of the EU and U.S.A. within it. Other factors which have an essential influence on a successful relationship between these 2 actors are discussed as well. The second part of the article is dedicated for the assessment of factors and presumptions about the U.S.-EU contest and cooperation. The article concludes with remarks highlighting the economical presumptions to developing transatlantic relations and turns the audiences attention to necessities in which to strengthen this political model, by making a review of the political and ideological relationship, evaluating requirements of the world order, image and also aspects for future visions. Changes in the role of international organizations, more clearly expressed EU member states sovereignty and U.S. unilateral politics, remain potential sources of challenges for the US-EU relations.
The "Global war on terrorism" has become a widely used expression in the lexicon of Western policymakers, analysts and academics. It causes many controversies and interpretations which are not always helpful in comprehending the essence and logic of this ongoing conflict. First of all, it is necessary to admit that it is indeed a war, where protagonists use violence for political purposes. Having in mind that one of the belligerents is a non-state actor, the most productive way to understand this struggle is to apply a well-established and developed theory of insurgency and counterinsurgency, which until now was mainly used to explain an intra-state armed conflict. The strategic logic of a "global war on terrorism" follows closely the principles of this theory. However, they have to be seen in the context unusual for the insurgency and counterinsurgency theory. Its application at the level of the international system is fraught with challenges and difficulties stemming from the conflict's global and trans-national dimensions.
Questions on the strategy of the EU development still are rare in the political discourse in Lithuania. This, of course, is a temporary phenomenon. Direct "physical" participation of our country in the European integration and consolidation processes shall lead to, inescapably, a larger involvement into debates about strategic issues of these developments. The financing of processes facilitating integration is one among them. The article deals with the debates on a new seven-year budgetary framework of the EU, the so-called financial perspective (FP), for the years 2007-2013. The article begins with description of several prominent and specific features of the EU budget formation and structure. Main attention is given to the discussion about the new FP during the period of 2004-2006. As a main financial document of the EU, the FP has provoked more exact definitions of national interests within the EU member states, brought their differences to the surface, forced them to specify their demands towards scale and structure of the budget, and pushed them one more time for the search of a compromise. The analysis of the discussion is summarized by general conclusions.
Lithuania's accession to the EU and NATO predetermined a new stage for Lithuanian-Russian relations. However these relations are still accompanied with a negative and suspicious attitude. Despite the number of contacts on various political levels and the functioning mechanisms of bilateral cooperation, and by content, featured by the implementation of mutually beneficial economic projects, are on a definitely high level. Therefore the author argues that in major issues of Russian-Lithuanian interaction, the balance between negative stereotypes of perception and interests of pragmatic cooperation are drifting in favour of the latter. In the long-term optimistic scenario, the factor of negative mutual perceptions is going to weaken, thus decreasing the opportunities for utilizing it in domestic politics. Relationships between Russia, the EU, and the U.S.A. alongside with keeping elements of competition are doomed for cooperation and probably partnership, reducing the demand for criticism towards Russia. So, the Baltic States will confront with necessity, the building of a cooperative model of relationships with their Eastern neighbour. The development of economic and humanitarian links, in particular on a regional level, serves as a precondition for overwhelming mutual negative images and fostering political dialogue between Russia and Lithuania.
The paper reviews the phenomena of the "party of power" and "administrative resource," which have become an integral part of the Russian electoral system. These said phenomena are considered anti-democratic and informal elements, preventing the consolidation of the democratic electoral system. Practices of federal election, those at the end of 2005 and also the regional of 2006, are coherently discussed. This with the goal to explore the extent and methods of the dispersion of the said phenomena of the electoral process and the impact of political conjuncture related thereto. Based on the comments established, possible preliminary scenarios of the oncoming election are discussed, in particular that of State Duma in 2007 and certain possible links to the Presidential election in 2008.
This article is based on a theoretical assumption that while international economic order has become increasingly politicised and political competition strengthened, governments become more and more active in intruding into the sectors of trade, finances, and production. Russia is being used as an example to investigate the way the decisions of cartelisation, export restrictions or stimulations, and similar ones become the most important mechanisms in dividing the markets. The analysis also includes the ways that Russia's economic resources determine its strategic and diplomatic power, as well as how the modern Russian economic system and its developmental tendencies are influenced by a special factor that has emerged in the post-Soviet economies - the factor of the political leaders' striving towards changing the state's economic matters in one way or another for the sake of the stability guarantees for their own positions and financial backing, and for the sake of their own private wealth or that of their close associates.
This article explores the viewpoint prevailing among Russian researchers in respect to the transformation of geopolitics in the Information Age. It focuses on the changes in the concepts of power and space, which resulted in the emergence of information geopolitics as an important problem for scientific analysis. The article discusses information warfare, which is perceived in Russia as a tool for implementing modern geopolitical strategies. Traditional manipulation techniques and mediagenic crisis scenarios are analysed. The concept of a national information culture, which performs the function of protecting modern society from information attacks, is also introduced in this article. A tendency has recently emerged in information warfare studies and practical politics to deal with the problem of information security by imposing traditional bans and restrictions. Since such an approach does not suit open democratic societies, this article proposes alternative methods of addressing information security issues.
For more than ten years Belarus has be under authoritarian rule and it has been difficult to explain this phenomenon. The rhetoric of the Belarusian elites - governing and oppositional - is analyzed as the main tool of the struggle to mobilize society for collective action in the political fight. The rhetoric of the ruling elite, and also the opposition, is analyzed in three dimensions: how competing elites are talking about the glorious past; the degraded present; and the utopian future. Through collective action, the nation will reverse the conditions that have caused its present degradation and recover its original harmonious essence. The main aim of this study is to demonstrate that in short - and perhaps even in the medium-run - the Belarusian president Alexander Lukahenko will remain in power due to the successful employment of the trinomial rhetorical structure. The conclusions can be shocking meaning that the ruling elite has been able to persuade society that the glorious past has been realized in the times of Soviet Union and at the moment Belarus is living in the conditions of utopian future, i.e. future is a reality, nonetheless the short period of the opposition ruin rule in the nineties and negative actions of opposition in nowadays. While the utopian reality is based at least on the ideas of economical survival and believes that all the aims of society have been reached already, the opposition has no chance to mobilize a critical part of society to ensure the support to its own ideas and to get in to power.
This article presents an analysis of the developments in Lithuania's security and defence policy (LSDP) since 1990, and makes an attempt at clarifying its main tendencies and prospects. Lithuania's SDP has been mainly shaped by the concerns of re-establishing the country's statehood and state sovereignty. The re-emerging Lithuanian state had not only to guarantee the preservation of national sovereignty, but also to create conditions favourable to radical legal and economic change. When considering the ways in which to reach these formidable goals, Lithuania has treated membership in NATO and EU as the means for the state's security. The process of access negotiations and then living up to the criteria for membership in these organizations led to a significant transformation of the state and the society. In regards to the security policy it led to the efforts of overcoming negative attitudes towards neighbouring states and accepting the idea of a collective security. In turn, this led to changes in the defence policy, replacing the idea of territorial defence to that of a collective defence and accordingly reforming the armed forces. Now a member of the EU and NATO, Lithuania has developed ambitions at becoming the leader of a region in spreading her experience of political and economic reforms to neighbouring eastern countries. Lithuania has supported the strengthening of the military dimension of EU, while being critical of the duplication of EU and NATO functions and capacities, and has linked her own security with the preservation of the strong transatlantic alliance.
The concept of strategic culture shows how traditions, stereotypes, or prevailing patterns of behaviour shape major strategic decisions. The research provides a fresh perspective on how Lithuanian strategic culture influences the internal dynamics of decision-making procedures. The article gives the particular attention to key three debates in Lithuania: defence budget, participation in international operations, and military reform. This article shows that certain characteristics of Lithuanian strategic culture, such as elitism, a huge reliance on the state, and the militarization of security, exercise a huge impact upon defence policy decisions. The article provides concrete recommendations how to overcome existing deficiencies and improve the decision-making procedures in Lithuania.