In a thought-provoking forecast, CEPA Senior Fellow Edward Lucas anticipates Russia’s palpable decline by 2020, having fallen behind Brazil, India and China. Meanwhile, Central Europe will be on the ascent, with the three Baltic States “overtaking the sluggish, debt-ridden economies of Southern Europe.”
In its decade-long slog to secure Afghanistan, the United States has juggled contradictory foreign policies in Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan, the fragile Central Asian states with key supporting roles in the war. There’s the policy of engaging the two post-Soviet states for their own sake, promoting good governance, human rights, and business ties – the usual grab-bag of US diplomacy. Then there’s the policy of using them as logistical hubs in the Afghanistan war.
Britain and France last week announced that they would begin a new era of defense cooperation intended to conserve their military power at a time of shrinking military budgets. The plan involves sharing nuclear weapons research and other expensive weapons development programs, pooling aircraft carriers in times of crisis and jointly training rapid-reaction brigades that can fight side by side under a single commander.
U.S. and NATO officials said Thursday they expect that the military alliance will formally participate in the Obama administration's plan for a missile defense shield over Europe, scheduled to be activated next year.
Dean Acheson, US President Harry Truman’s Secretary of State, liked to quote a friend who said that being in government made him scared, but that being out of it made him worried. To those of us not privy to the hidden complexities of NATO’s military intervention in Afghanistan, the situation there – and across Central Asia -- is extremely worrisome.
At the heart of President Obama’s new nuclear strategy lies a central gamble: that an aging, oversize, increasingly outmoded nuclear arsenal can be turned to the new purpose of adding leverage to the faltering effort to force Iran and North Korea to rethink the value of their nuclear programs.