May 2012

The Russian Empire Is Gone For Good

By Dmitri Trenin

In the 20 years between the Soviet Union's collapse and the beginning of Vladimir Putin's third presidential term, there has been no serious attempt by Russia's leaders to reconstitute the Soviet empire. Instead, writes Dmitri Trenin in "Post-Imperium," where the Soviet Union used to look for opportunities to draw countries into its ideological orbit, today's Russia is on the lookout for opportunities to make money.

NATO and Afghanistan

In advance of the NATO summit meeting on Afghanistan, American officials are claiming real progress in the fight against the Taliban. “Every day we’re gaining traction,” Gen. John Allen, the top commander in Afghanistan, told reporters last week. There is improvement, but we are skeptical that the situation is that encouraging.

Why should the EU play a role in Turkey?

By Üven Sak

The EU was once the major driving force of Turkey’s transformation process. That was a good blueprint for structural change. The EU was both an agent of change and our role model at the same time. Few people in Turkey still see it that way. One look at the Eurobarometer polls shows just how much the old continent has lost its allure. The image of the EU as a whole has been declining steadily in the eyes of Turks. Of course, the Europeans’ lack of confidence lately has not been helping.

The Realists in Tehran

By Sergey Markedonov

The Iranian problem stands out on the international agenda. But it is much broader and more diverse than Iran’s desire to acquire a nuclear bomb. Iran is accused of being a source of both regional instability and far-reaching geopolitical ambitions. Although today's Iran demonstrates a desire to play in the international geopolitical game, it remains primarily a regional power with a significant presence in the Middle East, Central Asia and the South Caucasus.

More Europe in Lithuania or Lithuania in Europe?

By Eglė Urbonaitė

In autumn of 2008 Lithuanian Government approved the Strategic Guidelines of Lithuania’s EU Policy for 2008–2013. Since not too much time is left before Lithuania takes over the rotating EU presidency in the first half of 2013, the question arises: is Lithuania ready for presidency of the European Council? Does the country have enough human and financial resources for such a political challenge?