Tag Archives: NATO
All things considered, Turkey may never become an EU member. At the same time, however, the partnership between the two is no less important. That Turkey should be incompatible with the requirements of the Union does not mean the two … Continue reading
Many Western Europeans ask: Why antagonize Moscow, thereby sacrificing comfort and relatively cheap natural gas, by defending second-class Europeans? But the answer is that, together, the V4 countries have 64 million inhabitants, which puts them in the same ranks as … Continue reading
Will President-elect Trump confront the Russian psychological operations in Europe and Moscow’s meddling in the Middle East? Will the new administration be capable of strengthening the NATO alliance, thus keeping the Germans in and the Russians out? By Nicholas Dima … Continue reading
May this complex situation in Europe, geographically so much closer to Russia, be a case in point? Russian modus operandi is radically different from the Western ideals of transparency and fair play. Open sources of influence alternate with semi-official or clandestine channels, just like in the case of email leaks during the presidential campaign in the U.S. Therefore, when a new American foreign policy is shaped and decisions are taken in 2017, one thing needs to be remembered: A gift needn’t be a token of friendship. Continue reading
I would say that American Poles are painfully realistic because they have been through much more than the average American having been invaded from the East by the Soviet Union and from the West by Nazi Germany. Under Soviet occupation during the Cold War, many have seen much harder times. Accordingly, they decide to support the candidate who seems to be more down to earth with his rhetoric and – for all his faults – more patriotic. Because people of Polish descent know that when it comes to survival, only those who believe in America and American values stand the chance to protect them, also in the international arena Continue reading
Alert and ready to act, Vladimir Putin is courting Erdoğan, while outmaneuvered the Obama administration appears paralized and in denial. The question is: Will the next U.S. administration regain its sense of mission? Continue reading
With Germany economically dependent on the natural gas provisions from Russia, it is hard to expect any strong German support for NATO activities on the eastern flank. This is proven by the German reaction to the joint NATO war games, Anaconda 16, that are taking place in Eastern Europe. A NATO member, as it is, Germany denied the right of passage to the allied troops on their way to the games referring to them as “saber-rattling and warmongering.” The centers of power in Europe are shifting and Washington needs to choose its allies carefully. When we look at the map of Europe, it is quite clear that the new rampart of NATO is no longer Germany but Poland and the Baltic States. Continue reading
Will the spirit of decentralization descend onto central and eastern Europe? That probably won’t happen right away because the denizens of the post-Soviet zone are too scared of the Russians to leave the imaginary security blanket of the EU behind. They keep forgetting that it is not the EU, but NATO that defends them. And there is no NATO without American leadership. Continue reading
Moscow’s disinformation campaign is a form of psychological warfare intended to influence Romanian public opinion and ultimately government policy. Such PSYOPS are targeted squarely at Romania’s membership in NATO and the European Union, intertwining the factual with the fabricated, hoping to cause great anxiety among the populace. The narrative goes something like this: The West won the Cold War with the sacrifices of the East European patriots and nationalists. The God-fearing nationalists, however, were excluded from sharing in the fruits of the victory. Instead, the Godless internationalists are preferred by America and the West. In this way, Russia is trying now to turn the tables and attract those who perceive themselves abandoned by the West. Continue reading
It is essential for the American public to understand that post-Soviet countries still struggle with their past. Their new military or civilian structures may be filled with people whose allegiance is unclear. Those dubious connections may pose a serious security threat to the entire NATO structure. This existential threat needs to be properly understood and taken into account when evaluating the actions of the newly elected Polish government and the radical changes it introduces. Those changes have justification that can be easily investigated. However, they require thorough and fair media reporting, including a better understanding of the reality in post-Soviet countries. Otherwise, we run the risk of NATO infiltration by foreign intelligence services. Continue reading
Entrusted with NATO secrets and called upon to help, if the situation should warrant, Turkey’s current trajectory might, in fact, transform its trusted ally status into something completely different, something which might necessitate a rethinking of NATO’s strategy altogether, something which, in the end, might not even be called an ally. Continue reading
The Hungarians and others argue that for economic and cultural reasons they simply cannot accommodate the new comers. The Magyars refuse to succumb to the social engineering schemes of Brussels and prefer their country just the way it is. We should watch the European debate very carefully because it also concerns our own problems on America’s southern border. It is not Nazism to wish to protect the nation’s frontier and to uphold its cultural essence. Patriots defend their countries from all enemies: foreign and domestic. Continue reading
Meanwhile, Putin has been rubbing his hands in glee at Europe’s misfortune. The Greek crisis offers a golden opportunity to subvert the West from within. It is also a welcome distraction diverting European (and even American) attention away from Moscow’s aggression against Ukraine and Putin’s plans to rebuild the Soviet empire. Continue reading
Today’s Russia is still looking over its western borders and is luring some European countries. Greece, for example, is strongly dissatisfied with the European Union and went to Moscow for assistance. Serbia has just been visited by Russia’s foreign minister and is inclined toward Russia. Macedonia is following suit. Hungary is upset with the EU policies and is now befriending Moscow. Slovakia is tilting toward Russia, while the Czech Republic is caught between East and West. Only Poland, Romania, and the Baltic states are standing fast by NATO and America. Continue reading
Ukraine is a struggling country caught between Russia and the European Union. Historically, the country has been associated for a long time with Moscow and its culture is split between the Russian-dominated East and the European-dominated West.
Moldova is a small republic located in southeast Europe between Romania and Ukraine and is the poorest country on the continent. Historically, it is a former Romanian province annexed by the USSR in 1940 following the Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact and transformed into a Soviet Republic. It became independent in 1991 shortly after Ukraine declared its independence. Except for good agricultural land, Moldova lacks any other important resources. For Russia, however, Moldova and Georgia in the Caucasus region are the “gates of the empire” and thus geopolitically very important.
The Black Sea is located at a geo-strategic intersection between Europe and the oil-rich Middle East and between NATO and the Russian Federation. The annexation of Crimea by Russia and the ongoing conflict in eastern Ukraine add new significance to this disputed body of water. The issue of the Black Sea and the current Russo-Ukrainian conflict were discussed amply by the NATO leaders at their recent meetings.
The Kurds are one of the most ancient peoples of the Middle East. They are of Indo-European origin and occupy a huge land area currently divided among Turkey, Iran, Iraq and Syria. Numbering close to 30 million people, they represent one of the largest Middle Eastern nationalities. Yet, they do not have their own country.
John J. Mearsheimer’s geopolitical game theory tells him that the West has provoked Russia into invading Ukraine. Moscow behaves rationally, you see, and Washington should have understood that before it expanded NATO eastward and stepped on the Kremlin’s toes. It is logical and legitimate to defend one’s sphere of interest. Why provoke Moscow?
Viewed through the prism of Putin’s ultimate goal of collapsing NATO, the Kremlin had pursued the strategic goal of disintegrating NATO ever since its inception in 1949. Putin’s aggression against Ukraine is not only an attempt to re-subjugate a major ex-Soviet republic but is, simultaneously, also an experiment to test the West’s mettle.
Western insistence that Kyiv choose between the EU and Russia, claims Putin, is responsible for breaking up the country. Yet despite all odds, on June 27, Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia signed association agreements with the EU.
The White House’s erratic, confused, and rudderless foreign policy endangers America’s Polish friend, and, indeed, other NATO members, putting Warsaw and the rest, in particular in Central and Eastern Europe, also known as the Intermarium, lands between the Black and Baltic seas, on a collision course vis-à-vis Berlin and Moscow. This is plainly obvious in the context of the Ukrainian crisis.
Both the French National Front and the UK Independence Party were big winners with 26% (25 seats) and 29% (24 seats) respectively. “The people have spoken loud and clear,” exclaimed Marine Le Pen. “They no longer want to be led by those outside our borders, by EU commissioners and technocrats who are unelected. They want to be protected from globalization and take back the reins of their destiny,”… Continue reading
To further intimidate Kyiv, Vladimir Jirinovsky, chief of Russia’s communist party and a member of parliament, reminded Ukraine that it has inherited lands belonging to its neighbors, including Romanian lands. And he alluded to the possible further dismemberment of Ukraine. While annexing Crimea, President Putin assured Kyiv that Moscow would react severely if Romania dares to make a territorial claim.
After the Smolensk plane crash, the speed with which the disaster became – not unlike Benghazi – relegated to “yesterday’s news” was stunning. An uninformed observer might conclude that what happened at Smolensk was but a minor incident…
Given the unpopularity of the Hollande government, the disarray of France’s center-right opposition, the rise of the National Front, and the European parliamentary elections in May, there are clearly going to be developments coming from the votes cast on March 23rd and the run-off…
Ukraine is the biggest East European country; it represents the real core of Eastern Europe; and it is currently a bone of contention between Moscow and the West. With an area almost as big as France, a population of 46 million people, with good agricultural land and huge industrial complexes, Ukraine is a country of utmost importance.
2014 opens with gathering storm clouds and the U.S. ship of state under the command of an administration pursuing increasingly dubious foreign policies and facing declining public approval. The chickens stirred up by the “Leading from behind” approach are coming home to roost, particularly in the Middle East with the White House tilt to Iran.
Ukraine’s decision to forego the signing of a “free trade” agreement with the European Union in favor of the Russian-dominated Eurasian Customs Union came as a shock, but only to those who haven’t been paying attention to the larger geopolitical trends in Central and Eastern Europe. Not surprisingly, supporters of European “integration” are irked and disappointed by this admittedly significant setback to the EU’s…
A much anticipated summit was held in Vilnius, Lithuania (Nov. 28-29), to prepare the eastern expansion of the European Union. The big prize was to bring Ukraine closer to Europe. At the same time, three other smaller countries, Moldova, Georgia and Armenia, were expected to sign association agreements with the EU.
Even before Ivanishvili assumed political power, parliament voted to shift many powers from the presidency itself and, in effect, gave Georgia a parliamentary form of government instead of a strong presidential system. More than a few Georgia-watchers speculate that this change was part of a master plan by Saakashvili to call the political shots as prime minister in the manner of Russia’s Putin between presidential stints. Continue reading
Politicians and pundits from Berlin to Washington are still reeling over the landslide win of German Chancellor Angela Merkel a week ago Sunday. Observers wonder what a third term and a new cast in her ruling coalition in the Bundestag (parliament) means for the strong-willed lady known as “Iron Angie,” “Mother Europe.”
On November 27 and 28 representatives of the European Union will meet in Vilnius, Lithuania, to discuss the prospects of expanding its borders eastward. The enlargement will also bring with it the expansion of NATO, which makes Russia jittery and compels the United States to take a stand.
When the American public learned the identities of the Boston Marathon terrorists, a nation which had relegated Caucasus issues to obscurity was forced to turn to maps and remind itself of the location and significance of this large and turbulent region.
Post-Soviet Russia is becoming increasingly brazen and provocative. In late April, the Russians and their Belarussian allies conducted war games right on the frontier of Poland (i.e. NATO) and rehearsed a potential war with that country.
STRATFOR is a professional electronic publication that deals with geopolitical issues and global intelligence. Its founder and chairman, George Friedman, is well-informed and aware of contemporary Eastern European affairs.