This article presents a theoretical approach of analysis and estimate of the influence of military change on international relations, as well as the interpretations of the impact of military change on international systems during various historical periods. The first part of the paper defines the term of the fundamental military change and the cycle of the fundamental military change in the international system; it also presents some insights of the offense-defence balance theory with the estimate of the impact of military change on international relations. The second part of the article describes various cases of the influence of fundamental military changes on the international system until the invention of the nuclear weapon (the revolutions of artillery, firearms and naval warfare from the 15th until the 17th c.). The chapter on the nuclear era provides an analysis about the role of military changes during and after the Cold War, i.e., in the contemporary international system. This article explains that until the invention of the nuclear weapon, fundamental military changes could determine the survival of a state and could provide it with exceptional opportunities to establish its power over other states. Meanwhile, during the nuclear era the impact of military transformations became much more subtle. It is claimed that during the Cold War military changes played the role of balancing the bipolar international system, whereas, after the Cold War the influence of such changes became destabilizing.
This article discusses NATO's evolution and prospects of its future developments. The article addresses internal tensions and dilemmas the Alliance's members may have to confront and overcome. The author contends that the process of preparation of the new strategic concept may have signaled a certain ideational crisis of NATO and its search for a new identity. NATO's "transformation" increasingly resembles an aimless process rather than a clear and to all allies unanimously acceptable raison d'etre. Robert Cooper's thesis of the international system consisting of pre-modern, modern and post-modern states is applied to explain NATO's problem of the strategic dissonance. Postmodern societies of the allies are increasingly less inclined to support military adventures beyond NATO's territory. NATO's operations often take place in pre-modern, anarchical environment of failed or failing states. Such missions require advanced technologies and a comprehensive, integrated civil-military approach. Many countries outside Europe and North America are 20th century-type modern nation-states, often undemocratic, like China and Russia. The latter country remains an important factor defining Alliance's identity within and in the international system. NATO, which seeks to become a progressive, forward looking Alliance of the 21st century, struggles to develop a dialogue with Russia on the most pertinent security problems in the post-sovereign and post-national European space. The new strategic concept will have to encompass all these apparently irreconcilable, "dissonant" elements. NATO no longer is a solely regional military block nor is it becoming a global political forum, which would be addressing all the most important international security problems. NATO is preparing to undertake both "most likely" operations, such as in Afghanistan and the most demanding, article 5 operations. It is possible that by focusing on light, expeditionary forces to be used in wars against asymmetrical, weak enemies the ability of the allies to wage conventional wars against near-peers will degrade. Russian war on Georgia has recently reminded that such wars in Europe are still likely. Lithuania's experience of NATO membership is mixed: some expectations were fulfilled, and some - not, but Lithuania has come a long way in seeking to become a more mature ally.
The method of scenario building is used in this article to identify and examine the eventual directions of NATO transformation. This article analyzes the main driving forces of the Alliance, as well as the parameters which define the transformation of NATO. On the basis of the theoretical scenario building model, which is designed in this article, four alternative scenarios of NATO are constructed: (a) NATO as a global mechanism for crisis management; (b) NATO as a fortress of collective defence; (c) NATO as a paralyzed political forum; (d) NATO as a multifunctional security structure. The article also aims at answering the question, under which scenario the transformation of the Alliance is currently proceeding. Finally, the practical applicability of the scenario building method in the field of Lithuanian foreign policy is evaluated.
This article analyses the sanctions policy conducted by the European Union and names it one of the most frequently used instruments of its foreign policy. It also shortly encompasses the sanctions imposed to the third countries by the EU, putting a special emphasis on the restrictions to the states not subject to the United Nations sanctions. The article concludes that, despite the active usage of the sanctions instrument by the EU, they can be assessed as a political signal to a target country but without any concrete impact on its internal or external policies. A long list of sanctioned country over time corresponds to this conclusion. The article describes the Lithuanian policy in implementing the sanctions as well as states that there is no national legislation in Lithuania in order to impose unilateral sanctions.
A theory-ridden case study analysis and institutionalisation of regional cooperation, empirically evaluates the existing mechanisms for regional cooperation by specifying functions and limits of the action of the European Commission's Directorate General for Regional Policy, the Committee of Regions the European Free Trade Association, and the European Economic Area. Later on, the investigation looks for opportunities for the development of regional cooperation between the EU and EF^A Member States. In essence, modus operandi of the Directorate general for Regional Policy, the Committee of Regions, on the one hand, and the European Free Trade Association and the European Economic Area, on the other, are quite incompatible. The former entities are preoccupied with cohesion and regional cooperation mostly among the countries and sub-national units of the European Union, whereas the latter two are primarily driven by the participation in the common internal market. Nevertheless, these crossing each other functional trajectories can make their ends meet only given the existent political willpower to develop cooperation since the existing institutional frameworks provide certain tangents for enhanced cooperation.
This article examines how the global financial crisis has affected Russia's foreign economic policy. An assessment of the crisis on Russia's economy is given, as well as Moscow's undertakings to strengthen its position in the global economic system: aspirations to an take active part in the new global financial order making process, plans to create an international financial centre in Russia, and strengthening of economic integration between CIS countries.
Just after declaring its independence in 1991, Moldova encountered several challenges to its national security, the most serious of which were the conflict with the breakaway Transnistria1 region and the deployment of Russia's armed forces in the territory of Moldova. Under these circumstances Moldova chose permanent neutrality as a security strategy, ignoring the fact that country didn't meet even minimal requirements for a neutral country. The strategy of neutrality, adopted precipitately, has not added to the minimization of threats to Moldova's national security. Moreover, neutrality has been an obstacle for the state to choose a more suitable and well-balanced security strategy. In addition, declared permanent neutrality could even appear as an obstacle for Moldova in the way towards its strategic goal - EU membership. In this article the peculiarities of Moldova's neutrality and the key problems of state's security strategy are discussed. The factors of Moldova's neutrality, looking from the perspectives of several different approaches of international relations, and Moldova's security dilemmas after the Russian-Georgian war, are analyzed.
The article is first of all aimed at demonstrating how in the case of Lithuania's participation in the NATO mission in Afghanistan the discourse that has spread by idealistic rhetoric figures, as a tool for creating a certain image of Lithuania (as an actor in international relations), is employed by the Lithuanian government to pursue pragmatic goals of the Lithuanian foreign policy, oriented toward a totally different geographic and mental space (in Lithuania, commonly referred to as 'transatlantic space') than the region, the Central Asia, in which the physical action takes place and in which Lithuania has no vested interests whatsoever. At the same time, making use of the concepts 'construction of social reality' and 'social construction of knowledge' formulated by Stefan Guzzini, the relationship between the image broadcast through discourse and the reality are analyzed. The article also seeks to tackle the question of whether, taking into account the worsening worldwide economic situation, specifically in Lithuania, as well as the security situation in Afghanistan, the chosen tactics of pursuing foreign policy goals will pay off in the long term perspective and what could be scenarios for further development. To answer the latter question, the new government-endorsed "Strategy of the participation of the Republic of Lithuania in the activities of the international community in the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan for the years 2009-2013" is analyzed in the last part of the article.