The terrorist attacks of 9/11 resulted in the Bush Administration (that of the forty third president of the United States) shifting U.S. foreign policy in a direction long urged by a group of intellectuals and policy advocates known as the Neoconservatives. Six years later, it is clear that the U.S. foreign policy community has rejected the Neoconservative argument without coming to consensus on an alternative paradigm. Hence, U.S. foreign policy is likely to be ad hoc in the near to mid-term, dealing with each newly emerging crisis and issue in isolation from others. Given this non-holistic approach, the United States will be forced to attempt to manage global affairs in reactive fashion, ceding the initiative to those states with clearer ideas of their national goals and interests. Among them will be China, Iran, and a newly re-assertive Russia.
The main objective of this article is an analysis of the American way of war concept, its specifics and also its basic elements. The first part of the article concentrates on the discussion of how this conception originated and evolved due the course of time, how it effects present the USA defense and foreign policy and also how it has influenced it in the past. In the second part of the article the author attempts to analyze what possible impact to the process of NATO transformation this American way of war may have. Finally, in the last part of this article, the author attempts to find out the possible effects of the American way of war on Lithuania's defense policy.
Efforts at democratization in the Middle East resemble a wavy sea, where a short-term wave of reforms leading toward democratization is immediately followed by a period of reform-crippling or even destructive "low tide". Seeking to revive, enhance and speed up the stumbling democratization in the region the Bush lead U.S. Administration practically unilaterally undertook an unprecedented wide range of direct activities in the region. Revulsion at nation-building expressed by G. W. Bush during the election campaign in 2000 later during the occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq put the U.S. into a precarious situation - the state whose leader publicly denounced nation-building by will of the very same leader is now forced to lead two grandiose nation-building operations. In both cases the USA chose the perceived quicker path - through the creation of central structures of governance needed for institutional democracy. The biggest paradox of the democratization in the Middle East is that since the USA started actively implementing democracy in the region (through democratization from the outside, sometimes called "democratization by force") the demand for democracy (and perspectives for democratization from inside) has shrunk, while artificially created institutional democracy by Americans in the pilot projects of Afghanistan and Iraq has been used to their advantage by not necessarily democratically inclined forces.
This article provides theoretical assumptions of crises management operations and gives a short overview of all EU civilian and military missions conducted at the end of 2007. Reasons regarding why the EU has chosen to develop their mostly civilian crises management capabilities and cooperates so closely with other international organizations in this regard, are also presented in the article. The conclusion is that the EU in its external relations tends to use similar instruments such as strengthening EU internal integration. That is why the development of civilian crises management capabilities most likely will remain faster comparing to development of military ones. Besides that, due to obvious shortages in capabilities generation process, the EU in crises management will commit itself, most often only complimenting the activities of other international organisations.
The article presents the results of the research which, in a defined sense, aimed at estimating and characterizing Lithuania's impact on EU Council decisions. Two tasks were tackled during the research. First, it was intended to identify the position of Lithuania and preferences of its representatives within the informal EU decision-making network. Second, it was sought, if possible, to evaluate the capability of Lithuania "to make an impact" on the EU Council decisions at least in two aspects (political-teleological and administrative-organizational).
In the course of the research it was established that the Lithuanian representatives in the EU Council most often informally communicate with their neighbours, i. e. the Baltic and Scandinavian countries and especially with Poland; therefore, they remain at the periphery of the informal EU Council decision-making network. Lithuania's interests have a rather narrow specialization and, consequently, it remains only slightly "interesting" for the core decision-makers. This, however, does not give grounds to claim that Lithuania's influence is null and void.
This situation is also partially affected by the problems associated with the capabilities of Lithuania "to make an impact," which were recorded in the respondents' questionnaires. However, alongside certain teleological and administrative problems, it should also be stated that after in-depth interviews and opinion polls, the research data revealed quite a few positive aspects and tendencies. That is why the problems that were noticed and identified during the research do not seem to be fatal or irresolvable.
Finally, apart from all the relativeness of the results obtained, the present research was important not only in terms of its content, but also in the methodological sense. The formulated methodology and approbated methods that are efficient for the research of informal communication as well as its manifestations and can be related to the degree of the impact of the member state might serve as the basis and the starting point for further studies of similar character.
In May 2006, the European Commission and European Central Bank assessed, at the request of Lithuania, the convergence progress of the Republic of Lithuania and stated that the country fails to meet the convergence criterion for price stability. Thus, the country had to abandon the plans to join the euro area membership from early 2007. The reason for the negative assessment was that the annual average inflation rate in Lithuania measured as the Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices (HICP) was just slightly above the reference value of criterion for price stability defined in the Maastricht Treaty. Such a decision revealed some problems and new features of the euro area enlargement, which were not observed while creating the euro zone. This drew the attention of many economists and political experts of the European Union, which led to in-depth discussions on various issues of the euro area enlargement.
The authors suggest the hypothesis that the asymmetry in the actual convergence level and political power of the states, which is much higher than that while creating the euro area, results in uncertainty as to the enlargement with respect to some countries. This article aims to discuss the major problems in relation to the current euro area enlargement process and their consequences. At the outset, the authors analyze the features of the asymmetry of the euro area enlargement and political economy highlighting their essential differences at the time of the creation of the euro area and now. Then, they present the analysis of the institutional framework of the euro area enlargement, which was formed after the largest ever number of new states altogether entered the European Union in 2004, and considers the efficiency of the Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM) II. Furthermore, the article deals with various aspects of the Lithuanian request to assess the convergence progress in anticipation of the positive result and analyses the reasons for and consequences of postponing the expectations for the euro adoption. Finally, it presents general conclusions and proposals as to how the asymmetry matters should be tackled with in pursuit of seamless enlargement of the euro area.
The article is focused on military integration and its influence on the post-soviet space. The main object of the research is the Collective Security Treaty Organization, which connects a part of the territory of the former Soviet Union. The organization in itself, its functions and military activities have not been discussed and analyzed. This is one of a few organizations that forms military forces and tries to respond to security challenges at a regional level. The article is divided in two main parts. The first part explains the phenomenon of military integration and its influence on the political military cooperation between national states. Military integration is a new element in political science therefore the research attempts to give details on the subject and to divide it into stages. This might serve well for future research or studies on military alliances. The second part places an heavy emphasis on the Collective Security Treaty Organization, its formation, legal basis and military structure. By using the model of military integration stages, the article comes to the conclusion that the organization has entered the last stage of military integration, which it identifies as functional dependency. Military forces have become inter-operable and a joint command system ensures further credible integration.
After more than a decade when a 'third wave of democratization' struck Central Eastern Europe and post-soviet space, the question is being raised regarding whether the transitional paradigm, shaped two decades ago, did not loose its theoretical and methodological capability? Does it manage to explain the political development of countries in a post communist state and especially in post soviet space?
The classical paradigm of transitology is characterized as having the following traits: (1) an aim to create a universal theory of democratization and the ability to explain processes of democratization in different social contexts; (2) the conviction that democratization is a one-way and gradual process of several phases; (3) an emphasis that the single crucial factor for democratic transition is a decision by the political elite, and not structural features; and (4) the normative belief of neoliberal nature, that the consolidation of the institute of democratic elections and other reforms of its own accord establish effectively functioning states.
This article analyses problems that appeared applying the perspective of transitology for post soviet regime change analysis and critics, shaped on these grounds. The aim is to evaluate the contemporary models of post soviet transitology that emphasize questions of state autonomy and power, examine the interaction of formal and informal institutions, use the concept of 'path dependence', and explain the different results of democratization in post soviet countries. This article will be using an example of Russia to formulate general statements that would contribute to the building of the theory of post soviet change, as well as the practical findings.
When it comes to a description of the political process in Ukraine, scientific literature often employs the concept of political instability or better still, that of the instability of a political regime. To quote the scientific community, there are two key factors underlying the political stability/instability of the country, these include: features of 'political competition' among key political forces and the nature of functioning of the top level executive branch in the political system. This paper relies on criteria suggested by Jack Golsdtone and Jay Ulfelder, both American investigators, and discusses the dynamic character of the political regime in Ukraine in the aftermath of the Orange revolution. The analysis is based on the following key assumption, i.e. that political instability will for long be inherent to a democratic regime in Ukraine.
In 2006, when the Polish company PKN Orlen acquired the controlling stake in the oil refinery Mazeikiu Nafta, Lithuanian and Polish politicians started elaborating on a new phase in the bilateral strategic partnership. Enthusiasm about the future of energy cooperation naturally raises the question: how strongly founded it is? More than ten years ago, a strategic partnership with Poland was nothing more than declaration, why did it happen to become the main tool of energy security? This article analyzes the cooperation between Lithuania and Poland in different energy sectors; evaluates its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats; and predicts its outcomes to Lithuania's energy security. The model of interaction between geo-energetic actors, which describes their interests and relations, was applied to this research. It is concluded that the strategic energy partnership is hardly feasible due to different geo-energetic functions of Poland and those of Lithuania. Therefore it is suggested to avoid overvaluation of bilateral cooperation and reconsider reliance of Lithuania's energy security upon energy relations with Poland.