November 2017

Germany’s Coalition that Couldn’t, and the Mess It Leaves

By Thomas Kleine-Brockhoff

Sunday a political earthquake hit Germany.  The Liberals — one of four parties in talks to form the new government following September’s election – withdrew from the talks, removing Merkel’s only remaining coalition option. Thus for the first time since 1949, there is no majority grouping willing to form a government. The stable colossus in the middle of Europe is suddenly unstable. This will have severe consequences. Some of the ripple effects are unknowable at this point, put even the likely consequences are remarkable.

NATO successfully finishes clearing unexploded ordnance at site in Georgia

NATO has successfully completed a three-year project to clear unexploded ordnance from an ammunition depot in central Georgia. A closing ceremony for the Georgia IV NATO Trust Fund project was held on 7 November 2017 in Tbilisi,   attended by more than 70 guests including NATO and partner nations’ Ambassadors and Defence Attaches, as well as senior NATO and Georgian Government representatives.

Moldova’s Future: East, West, or Somewhere in the Middle?

By Leslie Gibson & Dinu Toderascu

Moldova, located — although often described as “sandwiched” — between Romania and Ukraine, faces a crossroads. It aspires both to be a part of Europe within the EU’s Eastern Partnership, yet feels pressure from Russia and instability due to the Russia-backed separatist area of Transnistria on Moldova’s border with Ukraine.

Europe Should Pay Close Attention to Trump’s Asia Trip

By Janka Oertel

President Donald Trump just embarked on his longest overseas travel so far. On his first journey to the region while in office he will stop in Japan, Korea, China, Vietnam, and the Philippines. The trip is scheduled shortly after Chinese President Xi Jinping reinforced his grip on power and heralded the beginning of a new era of China’s global role at the 19th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party. Almost a year after his elections, the region is waiting for a clear message – and Europe should listen closely.

NATO’s Eastern Flank and Its Future Relationship With Russia

By JUDY DEMPSEY

Russia’s annexation of Crimea and its invasion of eastern Ukraine unified the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and prompted the allies to beef up defenses. But the process of strengthening the alliance’s Eastern flank is far from over. To complete it, NATO needs to develop a comprehensive, long-term strategy toward Russia based on unity, deterrence, and resilience. That effort is long overdue.