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.
This article analyses the concept of the “new wars”, especially the claim of its authors that conventional interstate war is no longer viable, as the nature of organized violence has changed completely. The article questions the validity of such a statement by showing that the “new wars” idea lacks historical precision and is based on a misperception of the theoretical model developed by Carl von Clausewitz; moreover, the conception includes unclarified theoretical assumptions. The article examines the most popular and influential “new wars” theorists: Herfried Munkler, Mary Kaldor, Martin Van Creveld, as well as scholars whose ideas are tightly related with the “new wars” discourse - Amalendu Misra, Rupert Smith, Thomas X. Hammes. It also refers to the recent Clausewitzian studies (Hew Strachan, Antulio J. Echevarria, Christopher Bassford) and to a very original concept of the Western dis-enchantment of war, coined by Christopher Coker. The article ends up with the suggestion to evaluate the “new wars” discourse as a reflection of changing Western attitudes towards war.
This article presents an interpretation of the US capacity to force North Korea to abandon the development of nuclear weapons, based on the analysis of the conventional balance between the U.S. and North Korea. It is also an attempt to evaluate the impact of the US military transformation on defence policy decisions of the potential opponents of the US. The first (theoretical) part of the article presents the assumptions of theoretical interpretation as well as the fundamentals of evaluating the conventional balance between the US and North Korea. The second part of the article highlights the key moments of the US and the international community’s so far unsuccessful attempts to force North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons and explains the reasons for such unsuccessful policy. The third part of this paper analyzes the conventional balance between the US and North Korea, taking into account the conventional forces of those countries, their longrange conventional strike programmes as well as the missile defence programmes – this analysis presupposes the failure of the US to prevent North Korea from nuclear weapon development.
The article analyses institutional reforms of the common foreign and security policy initiated by the Lisbon Treaty. Particular attention is paid to new institutions – the office of the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and the European External Actions Service. Due to the fact that these institutions have already been labeled as the “EU Diplomatic Service”, the functioning of the national diplomatic service, which is considered an ideal model of the contemporary international affairs actor for the implementation of foreign policy, has been taken as a reference point for this analysis. The author seeks to find out whether the amendment of the fundamental ES existence-period document in essence means the institutionalization of the EU foreign policy that the use of the term “diplomatic service” presupposes, and whether legal and institutional changes will guarantee the consistency and harmony of the EU common foreign and security policy. The article highlights many contradictions and undeveloped decisions of the reform. It is complicated to speak about the birth of the EU diplomatic service because, in spite of all innovations, EU foreign policy has essentially remained a national prerogative.
The article attempts to look at the foreign and security policy (FSP) of the Baltic States through the prism of the Europeanization concept. By associating Europeanization with loyalty to EU norms and construction of European identity, it analyzes the impact of the EU on the FSP of the Baltic States while seeking membership and after having become EU members. On the way to the EU, the Europeanization of the foreign and security policy of the Baltic States was essentially conducted in one direction – from top to bottom (from the center to national states). On the one hand, it was an instrumental rather than value-related rapprochement of the objectives between the FSP of the Baltic States and CFSP. On the other hand, during this period the national Europeanization projection also came to light – the requirements of the EU were used as a protective shield to justify unpopular decisions of both domestic and foreign policy. When the Baltic States became EU members, the instrumental interpretation of the EU remained, yet the efforts of the states to impact the common foreign and security policy of the EU by shifting national interests to the EU level strengthened. The foreign and security policy of the Baltic States, as in a distorting mirror, reflects the EU CFSP inconsistency related to the indetermination of the EU as a specific political object. In a sense, the foreign and security policy of the Baltic States is more consistent than that of the European Union. In the policy of EU neighborhood and Eastern partnership, they emphasize not the instrumental, but the normative aspect, urging that the values-related fundamentals of Europe be treated seriously.
This article surveys a strategic document regulating the military policy of Russia – the military doctrine of 2010 and its practical realization. The main characteristics of the doctrine are analyzed; the doctrine is compared with previous doctrines. Attempts are made to explain how the doctrine’s provisions regarding the threat of NATO to the national security of Russia are related to practical actions of security and foreign policy under realization; at the same time, the article raises the problem of the instrumentality of this document in Russia’s diplomatic policy, the goal of which is to considerably increase its influence on processes taking place in the international system. The author discusses how the main directions of the new military policy – a radical transformation of the military and its initial results – are constructed in the doctrine. The article emphasizes that the optimization and modernization of the armed forces that is going on enhances the military power of Russia, yet the political regime is not oriented towards democratic changes. Both in military policy and in other national security matters, the power of decision-making in essence largely depends on the unilateral decision of the president. This, without any doubt, gives a serious basis for talking about increased threats to the national security of Lithuania.
Unlike previous downsizings of the military forces which were called reforms, the present military reform is designed to essentially change all the forces. Its preparation took a long time. Although officially it was launched at the end of 2008, the first ideas that the Russian Military would have to be effective, used at peacetime and in war and be maintainable by the country emerged as early as 2005. This reform is going to take a long time and will be carried out in stages. Though it is planned to be completed by 2020, it has reached the point today that makes it impossible to go back to the pre-reform state. With the Russian political authorities showing their strong will to complete it, in 2012-2015 nearly all structural reorganizations will be finished and the remaining years will be devoted to rearmament. After successful implementation of the reform, the Russian Armed Forces may become one of the best militaries in the world. This study is intended to discuss the objectives of the reform, peculiarities of its stages, the foreseeable result as well as the ways which the Russian political authorities plan to use to achieve this result.
By deploying a combination of foreign policy analysis tools at the system, state and, to a certain extent, individual level this article is undertaking to trace the trajectory and some critical junctions of Belarus’ foreign policy strategy in the 21st century. Special focus is given to the implications of president Alexander Lukashenko’s recent crackdown on domestic opposition for the mechanism of geopolitical balancing between Russia and the West that has been in place for more than a decade.
The world financial and economic crisis has sharpened contradictions between Belarus and Russia and forced Minsk to seek ways for cooperation with Western partners. After the beginning of the normalization of relations with the European Union the Belarusian authorities have intensified its policy of balancing between the East and the West. For Minsk the EU’s role in this arrangement has grown beyond its previous rhetorical importance. Belarus has actively tried to equalize its Eastern and Western policy poles and also to complement them with a new “Southern arc” by boosting relationships with Asian, Latin American, and the Arab states.
Under the conditions of globalization Minsk started to use networking geopolitical technologies to promote cooperation with China, Iran, Venezuela, Cuba, Libya, Syria and other states, which are geographically distant, but whose political and economic interests are in various degrees compatible with those of Belarus. In this way Minsk has attempted to become a political and economic player outside its traditional geopolitical zone and to compensate for the costs of problematic dealings with its neighbors Russia and the EU.
Meanwhile, because of a reluctant and forced adaptation to the external environment Belarus’ foreign policy remains extremely contradictory and despite some correctives it retains many inadequate tenets.
A brutal dispersal by the Belarusian authorities of a peaceful action of pro-democratic forces on the day of presidential elections (December 19, 2010) and the following massive political repressions became a watershed that marked the failure of the regime’s preceding domestic and foreign policies, exposed its obsession with power and destroyed the balancing mechanism for its geopolitical ‘avatars’ designed individually for the East, West and South’.
The paper emphasizes that higher education1 is becoming a factor of national security by producing conditions for development of society and the state; countries that have developed higher education the most are highly developed and secure. The relationship of the middle class as the most important national security agent to higher education and the status of the public good of the latter are emphasized separately. The primary problem lies in the fact that it is the disproportions in the development of higher education that determine the increasing gap between developed and developing countries. Backwardness is a factor in the loss of national security. Critical assessment is given to the inconsistently prepared higher education reform which from the instrument of the projected strategic breakthrough turned into a crawling-out-of-difficulties process. Causes of such a situation can be discerned not only in the indefiniteness of the national interests of a small and far from strong state in the European space of research and studies under formation as well as in the globalization-induced uncertainty, but also in the lack of corresponding competences, disregard of experts, and short-term party interests. The article summary states that contradictory and inadequate political decisions in terms of the needs of national security in the area of research and studies are pernicious not only to higher education itself, but become a cause of the backwardness and insecurity of society and the state. A strategy for consecutive and gradual reforms is presented as an alternative to radical and, therefore, ineffective reforms.
The article provides a theoretical analysis of the interaction between the state national security policy and civil society in order to find out the causes arising from the contradictions of this interaction. Grounded on the survey of the development of the conception of civil society and civil consciousness, the controversial nature and complexity of the problem are disclosed. Causes of the contradictions between civil society and the national security system are analyzed in the context of a civil identity conception on the basis of the analysis of value-related priorities. The historic integrity of civil society and the state, as the subject of national security, is surveyed in the discourse of both traditional and contemporary theories. The article presents the insights of the authors on further interaction of civil society and the state in the area of the defense of national security interests.