Smart defence is becoming an increasingly dominant topic on NATO’s agenda. Politicians, the academic community and other security experts quickly latched on to the term “smart defense”. It became a catch phrase even in popular literature and the mass media. The aim of this article is to look at the smart defense initiative from small states’ perspective. This article should fill a gap that exists between the theoretical model of smart defense and the behavior (response) of small nations to the challenges posted by this initiative. The article is divided into two parts. The first part discusses factors that influence decisions of small states. The second part examines national responses and practical initiatives that nations undertake in response to this challenge.
This study will discuss briefly the history of missile defense, the concept of its design, created by a pioneer of the system—the USA—, as well as differences and similarities of three different and more or less functional missile defense systems existing today. The indirect influence and impact of a missile defense system to defense policies and international relations will be presented in brief as well. Additionally, the following points of popular discussion will be addressed: the potential of missile defense to substitute nuclear weapons and nuclear deterrence and its role as an instrument of propaganda and pretext to justify actions will be discussed in more detail. At the end of the study, based on all the prior-named features of the missile defense system organization design and known differences of existing US, NATO and Russian missile defense systems, the feasibility of the creation of a single missile defense system, proposed by Russia, will be explored.
The present article deals with the problem, often discussed in the public sphere, of the decreased attention that the USA gives to Lithuania and to the region of Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) on the whole, discusses the changing international environment, USA’s “pivot to Asia” and possible changes in the US foreign policy during the time of President Obama’s second term of office. The article states that Lithuania, being interested in the vitality of transatlantic relations, should consider the issue of “winning back” the USA’s attention to the region and to Europe as a whole, by assessing the issues of security to be solved. The research shows that even with a decade of its membership in Euro-Atlantic structures, Lithuania has not been fully integrated into the transatlantic security community. On the basis of a theoretical perspective of a small state and neoclassical realism, the article deals with the external and internal factors explaining the state’s foreign policy, analyzes Lithuania’s possible behavior in an international space, including the North Atlantic Alliance. In recent years NATO has been confronted not only with the global threats of the 21st century but also with a “burden share” problem that is becoming ever more acute. The situation of Lithuania’s security as to the guarantees of collective defense provided by the Alliance is assessed as the best one since the restoration of Independence; however, this does not release it from the necessity to widely develop its own defense capacities. Even though Europe constantly underlines the importance of transatlantic relations and intensive economic-trade relations with the USA, it has not developed a common attitude to its relations with the USA. Taking into consideration the present-day challenges, Europe needs a more global, more strategic attitude.
The strengthening of relations with the Nordic countries has already for some time been among the priorities of Lithuania‘s foreign policy. As opinion polls suggest, the people of Lithuania believe that Lithuania should be associated with the region of Northern Europe. But the Baltic States are members of the EU, NATO as well as other global organizations and belong to all conceivable regional organizations – the CBSS, the Northern Dimension, etc. Why then is some other regional format at all necessary? When a discussion of the cooperation in the security and defense area gets started, still more fundamental questions arise. Will it not be a substitute for NATO? What has changed that after more than two decades since the end of the Cold War, and after nearly eight years since the membership of the Baltic States in the EU and NATO, the Nordic and Baltic countries have actively entered into the discussion on the cooperation of eight countries in the area of security and defense? What are the changes that can lead to the Nordic-Baltic cooperation in the area of security and defense (that just a short time ago was nearly verging on taboo)? Why would the Nordic countries choose the Baltic States as partners and not, for instance, Germany or Poland? This article, primarily focusing on the presentation, analysis and generalization of the current processes (but not on the theoretical discourse), explores the transformation of the Nordic-Baltic region, security and defense challenges and threats. This study, largely through the prism of Lithuania’s interests, attempts to analyze the advantages and disadvantages of regional cooperation formats. The arguments here supply a basis for stating that the time is ripe for starting to speak in earnest about the Nordic-Baltic “security community”, the establishment of which requires not only practical efforts but also further serious academic study.
This paper addresses the probable modifications of the economic strategy of Lithuania after the 2008-2009 crisis (the Great Recession) and the changes in macroeconomic environment in the European Union (EU). In Lithuania’s case, like that of the other two Baltic states, a certain specificity of a small open economy was revealed and the need for some adjustment of strategy was displayed. Both the rapid economic progress of the Baltic States as well as their extreme economic depression during the crisis in the largest part was the result of the integration of those national economies into the European and world markets. The crisis has not only halted the economic progress of the EU and other countries of the world for a few years, not only induced attempts to review some weakened postulates of economic theory, but also asked for major adjustments in the economic policy of the EU and member states. Based on the texts drafted by the European Commission it has already agreed on tougher requirements in the Stability and Growth Pact, signed and ratified the Treaty on stability, coordination and governance in the economic and monetary union, and the European semester began operating procedures. EU Member States’ economic policies have become inserted into a rigid frame, and the process of content aggregation of national economic policies will continue. Based on theoretical conclusions of single currency area and the practical requirements of the common monetary policy in the euro area integration processes are underway and will proceed rather fast. By the decisions of European Council the euro area should become a nucleus of economic integration of the EU member states, leading to full economic union. EU’s political leaders, in conformity with the theory of European integration, raise already an issue of political union into the agenda. The article provides an analysis of the changes and draws a couple of conclusions. First, the process of economic integration should be separated stricter than ever before from process of political integration. Second, economic integration modifies the sovereignty of the states (increasingly moving to the principles of unified economic policy and economic decision-aggregation), which is not to be equated with the loss of sovereignty, but requires a new approach in the assessment of factors and motives of a national economic policy and its role in securing country’s sovereignty. Third, the economic strategy of small states has to continue to rely on the active involvement of European economic integration, giving priority to real economic convergence (reduction of development gap) and real participation in decision making concerning the issues of the integrated economy of the EU. The conclusion is made that on the basis of these provisions it would be possible to distinguish inexorable, rationality-based process of the EU economic integration from the alleged imperative of political union of European countries.
The origins and the challenges of the newly elected Fidesz-government in 2010 were basically the same: the social and economic crisis, which demanded an adequate response. However, Viktor Orbán also had a long-standing, mildly radical ambition: to set a new political stage, where his conservative camp has the institutional advantage, and where the political landscape favors rather them rather than others. He has launched an unprecedented—since 1990 in Central-Eastern Europe—constitutional transformation and the new system was mainly set up by the end of 2011. However, the government has only partly met the expectations of the population on the political front, while it obviously failed on the economic one. Thus apathy has reached unprecedented levels in the country and the Fideszgovernment failed to set its new order on a wide social fundament.
Despite the high expectations associated with the 2003 Rose Revolution in Georgia and the 2004 Orange Revolution in Ukraine, the persistence of the two democratic regimes remains far from certain. It is hypothesized in this article that U.S.-funded democracy assistance programs implemented in Georgia and Ukraine in the post-revolution period have been burdened by U.S. security interests in the region and partly accounted for disappointing outcomes of the color revolutions. To test the hypothesis, four types of democracy assistance programs – electoral aid, political party development, NGO development and independent media strengthening – are analyzed in a comparative manner. The findings confirm the retarding impact of some U.S.-funded programs but they reveal reasons other than U.S. security interests.
This article presents an analysis of the evolution and intensity of Polish-Ukrainian and Lithuanian-Ukrainian strategic partnerships. The secondary purpose of this article is to expand the theoretical understanding of strategic partnerships, by presenting an evolutionary analytical model and scale of cooperation intensity. The application of this model shows Polish-Ukrainian and Lithuanian-Ukrainian strategic partnerships’ similarities and dissimilarities, intensity, strategic goals and common benefit. Qualitative analysis of these two cases shows that despite different partners’ strategic fit and cooperation, neither partnership can be considered real strategic cooperation.
This article analyses the implementation of NATO`s comprehensive approach in the Lithuanian-led Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) in the Ghor province in Afghanistan. The ambiguity of this approach – its meaning varies greatly accordingly to the specific organization or country implementing it – encourages discovery of the “Lithuanian” model of comprehensive approach. In order to achieve this goal, the network-society theory of sociologist Manuel Castells is chosen as the theoretical background of the analysis. By expanding this theory to the military domain and by conducting a quantitative, expert-interviews based analysis of the Lithuanian-led PRT, the level of “comprehensiveness” entrenched in the activities of the Lithuanian civil-military team is revealed.
The purpose of this article is to discuss and analyze the efforts being made to reduce corruption in Lithuania in the framework of a social constructionism tradition. Under examination are the European Union’s anti-corruption interests, the emergence of corruption in Lithuania, corruption objectivisation elements and anti-corruption practices in Lithuania. It is claimed that Lithuania’s efforts to reduce corruption can be likened to an anti-corruption industry. The article’s findings state that expressions of this anti-corruption industry serve to increase the visibility of corruption in Lithuanian society; international corruption research in Lithuania is afforded undeserved prominence, and the “reality” it purports to describe as well as the resulting anti-corruption initiatives are created ignoring national particularities; assessment of the effectiveness of anti-corruption initiatives requires more time; the negative information concerning efforts to reduce corruption strongly overwhelms the positive information released. All these listed factors determine that any progress in the field of corruption reduction in Lithuania often goes by unnoticed.