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Time of Uncertainty: How the EU and Germany See Today’s Russia

Perception of Russia in the EU and German foreign policy concepts

The architecture of the EU’s foreign policy relations and domestic agenda of its member states have been undergoing some serious changes. The European system of checks and balances has become unbalanced and no longer functions properly. Seventy years after the end of World War II, Europe is once again a continent on which military conflicts occur, borders are redrawn, and the number of people seeking refuge and safety is greater than in the decades during and after World War II.

Putin and Erdogan’s Marriage of Convenience

It has been a remarkable turnabout. In November 2015, then-Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan proudly took credit for ordering the shooting down of a Russian warplane that had violated Turkish airspace for a grand total of 17 seconds. Russian retaliation in the form of stinging economic sanctions swiftly followed.

Be Careful What You Wish For, Mr. Putin

The stormy debate over the Russian computer hacks, the complicity of the Kremlin, and whether they threw the election for Trump will continue for some time. Less debatable is that Trump has signaled warmer relations with Moscow.

U.S. Relations with Central Europe: Love and Reason

17th Annual Czech and Slovak Freedom Lecture 

Keynote:

Ambassador Rastislav Káčer
Slovak Ambassador to Hungary

Ambassador Káčer is superbly qualified to comment on U.S. relations with Central Europe given his key role in negotiating Slovakia’s entry into NATO, his expertise on Transatlantic defense and security issues and his experience as Slovak Ambassador to Hungary.

War Fever

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Recently, I grabbed a taxi in Moscow. When the driver asked me where I was from, I told him the United States.  “I went there once,” he said, “to Chicago. I really liked it.”

“But tell me something,” he added. “When are we going to war?”

The question, put so starkly, so honestly, shocked me. “Well, I hope never,” I replied. “No one wants war.”

Making Peace with the West, One Country at a Time

Russia has taken a number of cautious steps aimed at normalizing its relationship with the West; both Moscow and Washington seem to be ready for  military cooperation in Syria; Moscow and Ankara are busy patching up their relationship; and Moscow and Helsinki have just discussed mutual security. One important feature of these recent hints at normalization in Russia-West relations is that Russia is emphasizing its dialogue with specific countries, not with blocs like the European Union or NATO.

NATO Deterrence and the Russian Specter in the Baltics

Since 2015, NATO has steadily become consumed with the issue of deterrence, a seemingly ancient word that dominated Cold War discourse, which, along with other classical military terms of art, was recently reawakened in light of the Russian threat.  After the 2014 Wales Summit, the Alliance sought to reassure nervous Baltic allies, increase the visibility of its presence, and jump-start a regiment of training and exercises.  However, the further defense researchers and other analysts dug into the Baltic security issue, the more obvious it became that NATO indeed had a serious problem.  The

NATO Deterrence and the Russian Specter in the Baltics

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The Real Risk of Unintended U.S.-Russia Conflict

A war between Russia and the United States is more likely today than at any time since the worst years of the Cold War. This may sound implausible or exaggerated to policymakers, journalists and the wider public. Yet the fact remains that increasing deployments by both sides, coupled with severely constrained direct dialogue, mean that dangerous incidents will become far more likely and will be far harder to defuse and de-escalate. 

The Gang That Couldn’t Shoot Straight

The failure of the attempted Turkish coup portends both good and bad news for the future of Turkish democracy. The good news is that the coup failed and the Turkish body politic stood its ground. But that’s about it. The bad news is that the government will try to overcompensate by accelerating the pace of constitutional changes that may make Turkey’s less democratic.

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