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Tag Archives: NATO

Energy Security in Europe: A Need for Diversification in the Natural Gas Sector

Energy Security in Europe: A Need for Diversification in the Natural Gas Sector

As the geopolitics and technology of natural gas continue to change rapidly—with such developments as shale gas production and Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) transport—the European community would do well to consider the strategic value of supply diversification. Crises in 2006 and 2009, both the result of intentional supply decreases from Russia, highlight the risks of overdependence on any one source for this vital commodity. But overreliance on Russia is not the only possible source of distress for the European market: from environmental concerns to instability in other potential supplier nations, every natural gas supply comes with its own set of challenges and risks. For this reason, an “all sources” strategy for natural gas production (one that spreads the risk and minimizes the impact of a reduction in any one source of supply) should characterize the European approach in years to come.

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The NATO Summit in Chicago: A Central European Perspective

The NATO Summit in Chicago: A Central European Perspective

NATO summits have always been exceptional events. In fact, some of the most recent ones went down in history for both positive and negative reasons. The one to be held in Chicago will be no exception, especially as it will be the first NATO summit in the United States in 13 years. Central Europe, with the Baltic States included, is one of those regions in the transatlantic sphere that in particular awaits summit’s outcome. Indeed, being a hingepoint on the Euro-Atlantic fringe – with deep uncertainties about America’s long-term regional commitment in the face of politically unpredictable or military muscular neighbors – makes you long for clear declarations. Will the NATO summit in Chicago bring any security affirmations to the Central European states?

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Karzai Hat, No Takers

Karzai Hat, No Takers

Right after U.S. forces went into Afghanistan in 2001 — in those heady “Paris 1944” days of liberating Kabul and most of the country — one of my best friends put to me an urgent request. Knowing I was en route to Kabul he asked me to please bring him a “Karzai hat” upon my […]

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Setting a Path for Justice – UN Human Rights Report on Libya

Setting a Path for Justice – UN Human Rights Report on Libya

On 2 March, the UN Human Rights Council released an extensive report (over 200 pages) covering extra-judicial killings, arbitrary detention, disappearances, torture, sexual violence, and attacks on civilians by armed parties in Libya. The report details activity undertaken by pro and anti-Gaddafi forces, as well as NATO’s air campaign. As most would agree, the Human Rights Council […]

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U.S. Role in Europe: Then and Now

U.S. Role in Europe: Then and Now

I recently came across this report from BBC News about a U.S. casualty in World War II. The report provides the back-story on the first American casualty in Europe on the eve of the war, made all the more tragic because it was a case of friendly fire. The report is interesting on its own […]

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Don’t Pull NATO Advisors

Don’t Pull NATO Advisors

The shooting of two American officers in the Ministry of the Interior in Kabul this last Saturday was a shocking and disturbing event. If however NATO pulls its advisors out of ministries, while understandable, it would be a disappointing precedent and undermine progress and modernization in an evolving Afghanistan. As stability in this country largely […]

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The NATO Moment of Truth Faces the Arab League

The NATO Moment of Truth Faces the Arab League

It took NATO 46 years and eight months before it intervened with military force to protect innocent civilians from harm and manage a conflict on its periphery. Can we truly expect the Arab League to move any quicker in dealing with problems in its neighborhood? Probably not. When NATO finally heeded the call from those […]

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Sarkozy in Perspective

Sarkozy in Perspective

S&P finally downgraded France’s credit rating several weeks ago, along with a few other EU Member States. The decision could undeniably cost Sarkozy the reelection in May 2012; many believe Sarkozy is solely responsible for the downgrade. But May 2012 is still far away from a political standpoint. Since his election in 2007, Sarkozy has […]

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Great Decision 2012 – Assessing Cyberthreats in the Digital Age

Great Decision 2012 – Assessing Cyberthreats in the Digital Age

“Is the US at risk?” is the extremely relevant question raised by this outstanding discussion, part of the 2012 Great Decision eight mini-episodes, on the threat of cybersecurity. Cyberthreats have been at the heart of a new body of literature in International Relations and Security Studies, an inspiration for movie makers, an obsession for policy-makers, […]

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From Movies to Reality: Is Britain still a Great Power?

From Movies to Reality: Is Britain still a Great Power?

These last couple weeks I have been watching numerous movies on British politics. Coincidence or calculations? Yesterday night, it was Tinker, Tailor, Sailor, Spy, the night before Page Eight (which by the way is one of my favorite spy movies), tonight most likely the Iron Lady. Prior to this triple hat, I saw the Queen, […]

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What Does a “Leaner” US Defense Mean for Europe?

What Does a “Leaner” US Defense Mean for Europe?

In an era of austerity, US defense is facing cutbacks, or to stick with the administration’s euphemism, the US military will become “leaner”. This much is clear following the release of the latest US defense review, Sustaining US Global Leadership: Priorities for 21st Century Defense. Most would agree that defense spending cuts are only natural, […]

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Tensions in Europe: Is France Starting Fires all around Europe?

Tensions in Europe: Is France Starting Fires all around Europe?

This end of year has been quite tumultuous in Europe: European citizens are in the street, rating agencies threaten to downgrade the rating of some members of the Eurozone, the race to elections is going full speed in several EU countries, all this taking place in a dire economic and political climax. The political debate […]

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‘Smart Defense’ or the Rise of Atlantilateralism

‘Smart Defense’ or the Rise of Atlantilateralism

On September 30th, Mr. Rasmussen, NATO Secretary General, gave a talk underlining the themes that will be addressed in the Chicago Summit in May 2012. Mr. Rasmussen is facing a considerable challenge on top of the Afghan mission, namely the financial crisis. The crisis is lasting longer than initially thought and forcing members of the […]

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Western Intervention and the Lessons from Libya.

Western Intervention and the Lessons from Libya.

As we observe the 10th anniversary of 9/11, and we contemplate what went wrong with the past decade, we should look at Libya for lessons on western intervention!  In the aftermath of 9/11, American neoconservatives tried to ‘liberate’ the Arab world, and bring ‘democracy’ in the Middle East.  It was argued that failed states like […]

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Strategic Innovation And Contemporary Warfare: Where Have All The Mansteins Gone?

Strategic Innovation And Contemporary Warfare: Where Have All The Mansteins Gone?

Wired recently published this article entitled ” How Special Ops Copied al-Qaida to Kill it”. It outlines the work of General Stanley McChrystal and his efforts to defeat a Al Quaida, based on the realization that, “to defeat a networked enemy we had to become a network ourselves.”  The general set up a highly efficient […]

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