Home / Articles / Reconceptualizing Lithuania’s Importance for U.S. Foreign Policy
This report is part of FPRI’s collaboration with Eastern Europe Studies Centre in Vilnius, Lithuania and can also be viewed here
During the immediate post-Cold War period, the importance of Lithuania, along with other Central-Eastern European countries, to U.S. foreign policy increased. Lithuania became one of the jumping-off points for further “democratic enlargement” in Europe, Eurasia, and the Greater Middle East.
Today, U.S. policy is focused on retrenchment and consolidation—defined by a shift in attention and resources away from the Euro-Atlantic region and the Greater Middle East towards the Indo-Pacific region—as well as the growing priority of climate change and the environment as central organizing principles.
U.S. foreign policy is also increasingly subordinated to domestic political considerations about the costs and benefits of overseas action for constituencies within the United States.
In the 2020s, Lithuania’s importance will rest less on the Russia dimension and further Euro-Atlantic enlargement into the post-Soviet space, and more on its ability to play a greater role in European affairs, to assist in the rebalance to Asian affairs more generally, and to contribute to energy, supply chain, and environmental security.