January 2012

Minister of Foreign Affairs Guido Westerwelle in Washington: "Euro and the Future of Europe"

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I am honoured to be the guest of the Brookings Institution today. And I am especially pleased to see so many friends of Europe in the audience.

The famous line from Mark Twain's memoirs about Wagner is also true for Europe: "The music is better than it sounds". And I say that as a great fan of both Richard Wagner and of European integration.

National Review's Latest Attack On Obama's Russia Policy: Grasping at Straws

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By Mark Adomanis

Writing in National Review, Daniel Vajdic of the American Enterprise Institute mounts a confused and almost incoherent attack on the Obama administration’s Russia policy. Having read Vajdic’s piece several times, I am genuinely unsure of what his actual substantive criticism is. He seems not to be presenting a structured critique of either the formulation or execution of the administration’s policy. Rather, he lays a number of inconvenient and undesirable Russian policies at the feet of “the reset” despite the fact that many of the policies in question actually predate the Obama administration (or even dear Barack’s election to the US senate).

The European Crisis in 2012

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For much of the fourth quarter of 2011, it appeared the eurozone was doomed. Debt was piling up for several key states, and those with the ability to assist lacked the political will to do so. But the European Central Bank (ECB) stepped in in December with measures that have postponed -- not solved -- the European crisis.

CSTO Agreement on Foreign Bases Frustrates Tajikistan’s Ambitions

By Alexander Sodiqov

On December 20, 2011, members of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) reached an agreement that makes it impossible for any individual country in the group to host a foreign military base on its territory without the full consent of all other members of the organization. The initiative empowers Russia to veto any foreign basing plans in Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. Hence, the move serves as a continuation of Russia’s efforts to counteract the influence of the US military and reassert its own role in its immediate neighborhood (Interfax, December 21).

Armed UAV Operations 10 Years On

One of the most iconic images of the American-led wars in Iraq and Afghanistan -- as well as global U.S. counterterrorism efforts -- has been the armed unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), specifically the MQ-1 "Predator" and the MQ-9 "Reaper." Unarmed RQ-1 Predators (which first flew in 1994) were flying over Afghanistan well before the 9/11 attacks. Less than a month after the attacks, an armed variant already in development was deployed for the first time.

Traditional Meeting Of Security Experts In Trakai Discussed The Ways Of Strengthening The Integration Of Nordic-Baltic Region

Nordic-Baltic cooperation was the focus of this year’s traditional informal Snow Meeting of experts in international and security politics from Europe and North America in Trakai on June 11-12. The discussions were opened by Lithuanian Minister of Foreign Affairs Audronius Ažubalis, who highlighted the strengthening of economic ties and shared cultural identity regionally.