Nord Stream 2: Strategic Implications for the European Union

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The proposed “Nord Stream 2” natural gas pipeline is one of the most controversial projects of post-Cold War Europe. Since the start of the project’s study phase in 2011, it has divided the EU between north and south, and east and west. It reveals the tenuous position of the EU following the resurgence of Russian intransigence under President Vladimir Putin: a beacon of political liberalism forced by necessity to rely on energy from an illiberal, increasingly hostile, and authoritarian state.

The EU and NATO’s Southern Flanks: Five Years After the Arab Spring

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by Mark D. Ducasse From piracy to ungoverned spaces, to illicit networks and Islamic extremists, the situation in the Mediterranean littoral requires a smarter investment of existing resources, a shared and coordinated multilateral response capability, and increased cooperative security engagement between regional security stakeholders: states that border the Mediterranean littoral and interested regional organizations. The events that comprised the 2011 …

The Northern Question and the United States: Does Climate Change Herald a New Era for Arctic Security?

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While many in the American political establishment continue to publicly deny the reality of climate change, its effects are increasingly felt across the globe and pose unprecedented humanitarian and geopolitical challenges to states large and small. From rising sea levels that potentially forcing millions from their homes to droughts that drive conflict and instability, climate change adds an unpredictable and powerful variable to equations of global security. One region of the world – the Arctic – is experiencing more dramatic changes than any other, and it is an area of special importance for several NATO countries. According to a 2014 study by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Arctic is warming twice as fast as the rest of the world, and some predict that summers will see the Arctic ice-free by 2030.

NATO Expansion: Strategic Opportunities and Risks

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For NATO, the question of further enlargement should largely hinge on three considerations: The strategic value of admitting new members, Russia’s potential reaction, and whether systemic problems within the Alliance undermine the strategic value of expansion.

Keeping Cool: A Policy of Restraint in Syria

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Putin’s Syria gambit is best viewed as a short-term tactic given limited options, and one that does not leave Russia in an improved security situation vis-à-vis the West. Recognizing Russia’s weakness in this move is key to formulating an appropriate response. A policy of restraint, coordination, and a continued focus on Ukraine is the way forward that best defends NATO’s core security interests.

Can NATO Reassure its Eastern Members and Deter Putin?

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by John Gennace September 14th marked the start of Russia’s largest military exercise this year – Center 2015 – in which 95,000 Russian military personnel conducted war games designed to test the readiness of forces to “contain an international armed conflict.” The exercise, which took place in the immense region between the Urals and Siberia, came on the heels of …

Relieving Stress: The Security Case for Massive U.S. Intervention in Europe’s Refugee and Migrant Crisis

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Europe sits on a fulcrum with solidarity, unity and the benefits of open borders on one side, and nationalism, distrust and a lack of confidence in the European project on the other. Each stressor, from the Greek debt negotiations to disagreements over Russian sanctions to refugees and migrants, represents another weight on the latter side of the scale. In the interest of a Europe “whole and free,” and by extension U.S. security, the Obama Administration should work to lessen this stress and tip the scale.

From Mare Nostrum (Our Sea) to Mare Vestrum (Your Sea): Transatlantic Insecurity in the Mediterranean

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by Fabio Capano “The Mediterranean, by its profound influence over southern Europe, has contributed in no small measure to prevent the unity of that Europe, which it has attracted towards its shores and then divided to its own advantage.” With these words French historian Fernand Braudel highlighted the porosity of the Mediterranean’s borders as well as competition among multiple social, …

A Bloody Borderland: Insight into the Ukraine Crisis

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Today, Russia’s territorial ambition in Crimea represents the greatest challenge to the widely shared principles of national sovereignty, territorial integrity and peoples’ right to self-determination that emerged from the ashes of two world wars. More than a year after Russia’s annexation of Crimea, this specific feature of the conflict deserves the attention of the international community as it has major implications for the European order.

The Case for Arms: What is at Stake if Weapons are Sent to Ukraine

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by Arie Groenveld Since the Ukraine Crisis began, Western states have faced growing pressure to provide the Ukrainian government with lethal weapons to combat Russian and separatist forces in the east of the country. President Obama has so far been reluctant to provide arms, first wanting to give sanctions more time and exhaust all possible diplomatic efforts. The administration is …