The authors present the geopolitical analysis of global, regional and local (in the Eastern Baltics) situation for the 2001-2003 period. It is asserted that during this period the United States, Israel and Russia (in some areas) have received the biggest gains, at least in geostrategic terms. In the course of the counter-terrorist global campaign, EU countries have been divided on the issue of the war against Iraq and that, which has prevented consolidation of the common EU foreign, security and defence policies.
China has vigorously sought to entrench itself in the East Asia and the regions that attain less attention from the West by conducting a very rational strategy of co-operation with the USA as the only superpower. China has tried to secure its peaceful external setting, influx of foreign investments, and the arrival of innovative technologies that are necessary for the growth of its economy.
While seeking to take hold of the borders of the continental geostrategic zone (heartland), Russia has only partially restored its influence in the CIS countries. Russia still can’t do that in the Baltic States, though it attempts to weaken their structural power.
The information revolution is changing the international system and the security environment in which we live. The state is loosing its monopoly of power in a global information space where, with the help of new technologies, people create their wellbeing and where, by means of the same modern technologies, military conflicts of a new type are occurring. The Western civilisation conception of a military conflict, based on the Clausewitz model where leaders set political goals and control soldiers; soldiers fight directly and become lawful targets of violence; and civilians do not participate in the conflict, but support their leaders by paying taxes and backing their political goals, is falling apart. A conflict of the information age is, in a sense, a “pre-Westphalian” conflict where crimes against civilians and the internal order of the state were the norm.
The question arises of how the state may ensure the security of its citizens. The great powers try to find an answer in the strategies and programs of information operations. A great amount of attention is given to the public information of the state during a conflict, as well as to information security. In the latter sphere, Lithuania has already made its first steps; however, Lithuania needs to learn the principles of public information not only during conflict, but also during peacetime.
The controversial war in Iraq has revitalized the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) of the European Union (EU), which has been stagnant since Maastricht Treaty and the failure in the Balkans. The development of the CFSP is accumulating acceleration: the EU will soon have not only a common market, common institutions and a single currency, but also a common constitution, minister of foreign affairs and even a common army. The leaders of the larger states are especially enthusiastic about a stronger CFSP as a counterweight to the US dominance in the international security affairs. The authors of this article contend that clearly articulated and globally projected CFSP will not be possible unless common European interests stemming from as common European identity and implemented by common supranational institutions will emerge.
The impact of the CFSP on Lithuanian foreign and security policy will depend on the pace of European integration in this area and the strength of European identity within the political elite of Lithuania and the society itself.
Will this impact be of a positive nature? It will depend on the way Europe will choose: creation of an independent defence structure as an alternative to NATO or development of a cohesive strategic partnership with the US and NATO. In any case, Lithuania will have to constantly seek for a subtle balance between her commitments to NATO, implications of the EU membership and the strategic partnership with the US. In this process Lithuania will need not only impressive indicators of a rapid economic growth or modern military capabilities but especially excellent diplomatic skills to maneuver among the riffs of transatlantic relations in order to safeguard national interests of Lithuania.
A need for multi-dimensional effective institutional structure possessing various security instruments, have become obvious already by the end of the Cold war and is manifested itself even stronger at the beginning of the XXI century. Moreover globalization of the security concept makes it clear that security cannot be complete if it is not tackled globally. Aiming to react to changing security environment international security institutions during the last decade are undergoing essential changes, related to their missions, tasks, structures and instruments. Demand for small special forces, which possess the most advanced technologies, modern air force and efficient intelligence capabilities emerged. That stipulated changes in armed forces and armory.
NATO and the EU in the beginning of the XXI century have committed themselves for a new mission - to guarantee security and stability in the World. The main purpose of this article is to overview major steps of NATO and the EU transformation aiming to respond to the contemporary security challenges, to present an analysis of possible evolution of their new instruments NATO Response Force (NRF) and European Rapio Reaction Force (ERRP), to elucidate possible roles and interdependency of NRF and ERRF in the contemporary security architecture, and, finally to contemplate on the possible effects of both forces on international security.
The article addresses several issues linked to the enhanced cooperation and its potential impact on new member states. Firstly, the development of the concept of differentiated integration and enhanced cooperation in particular is discussed. Actually, it should be noted that the desire to combine divergent preferences and capacities for deeper integration have been present in Europe during the entire period after the Second World War. The main circumstances and motives to formalize enhanced cooperation in the Treaty of the EU during the last decade are then discussed. Different motives and expectations linked to the concept of enhanced cooperation in the EU and the significant attention given to this issue in the debates on the future of Europe provide a strong ground to argue that developing formal and informal initiatives of enhanced cooperation will be among the main issues which will determine further development of the EU after the enlargement and the benefits of membership to the new member states. Therefore, perspectives for the use of enhanced cooperation after the enlargement of the EU and implications for Lithuania are addressed, focusing on particular issues around which future intergovernmental coalitions might be formed and the stability of such coalitions.
The article discusses Russia’s European policy in the wake of September II, 2001 and in the context of dual enlargement of NATO and the EU. Although under Putin some significant changes occurred in Russia’s foreign policy, it is not free of inconsistency and ambiguity. There are tensions in Russia’s vision of the Euro-Atlantic community between a focus on the United States as a super-power and Europe as a growing power. Despite this, Putin’s policy course seems to be set: to seek the closest possible alignment with the Euro- Atlantic community without merging into it. The EU is one stand in Putin’s strategy of alignment. This article provides analysis of Russia’s current dialogue with the EU, including the security area, outlines the impediments to their engagement and looks at the prospects for Russia’s further alignment with the Euro-Atlantic community.
This is the summary of results from a full-scale research project, which has been carried out by the Strategic Research Center during the year 2003. The main objective of this project was to provide the general public with a deep analysis of the different aspects of Belarus realities and policies in the context of Baltic regional and European security. The research project was implemented by an international research team. Analysis of the Belarus political system was done by Virgilijus Pugaciauskas (Lithuania). The security sector of the Republic of Belarus was covered by Vyachalau Paznyak (Belarus). Analysis of the economic situation was done by Valery Dashkevich (Belarus). Ecological threats originating from Belarus were precisely explored by Eleonora Gvozdeva (Belarus). Sander Huis- man (the Netherlands) analysed Belarus realities in the context of the EU’s new security and neighbourhood policies. And finally, the general assessment of Belarus as a regional security factor was completed by Gediminas Vitkus (Lithuania). The project came to an end at the beginning of 2004 with the follow-up publication in Lithuanian"". In order to make the results of this project more known to the wider public, we are reprinting the comprehensive English summary of that publication.
In solving the problem of preserving its sovereignty and assurances of connection with Kaliningrad, Moscow turned that Oblast into a geopolitical hostage - a territory that it received as the spoils of war in the process of cession whereby it is sought not only to maintain (the internal aspect) but also to force other countries or international institutions to carry out or abstain from carrying out any act as direct or indirect liberation of the hostage (the external aspect). Due to the specific situation of the Kaliningrad Oblast (the Potsdam train, geographical position, social-economic factors) it is the interior aspect that might be of more significance to Moscow, which is officially “covered” by the exterior one. Formally Moscow does not oppose, and even encourages that the Kaliningrad Oblast should be treated as a specific, unique region of Russia. However, in practice it does not allow this peculiarity to manifest itself. In this way it seeks to stimulate and maintain the Stockholm syndrome in the Oblast - the residents of Kaliningrad themselves must put up with the status of an ordinary Russian region.
In the article are presented concrete cases revealing how this mechanism of a Russian hostage functions in political practice: by involving the Kaliningrad exclave into the “high politics” to create the air of its peculiarity, and at the level of the “low politics, though keeping alive hopes of peculiarity in the exclave, by preventing them from being realised in practice, to tightly tie the Oblast to Russia. It is necessary to have in mind that there is no opposition between the “high” and “low” politics there.
Lithuania is one of the few states in the world whose security and defence strategy assigns an important role to civilian resistance (civilian defence) in addition to the usual military defence. This paper explores the historical circumstances and theoretical presuppositions that have influenced the focussing of Lithuania’s political elite on this non- traditional form of defence. First, there is a short survey of the development of the theory of civilian defence and an overview of the way some of its elements have been applied in Lithuania’s movement for liberation in 1990-91. Next, there is an analysis of the way civilian resistance and civilian defence are conceived in the documents defining Lithuania’s security and defence policies.
Finally, an attempt is made at identifying the role and the prospects of civilian resistance within contemporary security and defence system of Lithuania; the conclusion made is that under conditions of Euro-Atlantic integration and globalization, civilian resistance, as a way of defending civil rights, remains a viable option of response to any kind of threat.
The article analyses the attitudes of the population towards Lithuanian banking and public confidence in the sector regarded as an integral part of economic security. The statement that historically erroneous policies and practices are key to the present-day low public confidence in the banking sector is illustrated by factual samples of Lithuania’s banking experience. The author’s views are based on her previous work experience heading the Vilniaus Bankas Market Research and Marketing divisions, and are explicated on the opportunities exploited by this bank in the context of developing the banking sector. Based on a number of publications, as well as legal and statistical information, the article argues that individual opinions about financial institutions are important to the cognition of national security as a whole.