Commentary

Sino-Russian Narratives of Cooperation and What It Means for the Baltics

When the topic of possible Sino-Russian convergence comes up, analytical opinions can differ dramatically. Some say the two countries are growing closer — others point to the historical issues sticking out from the carpets under which leaders Vladimir Putin...

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How Putin is Rehabilitating the Nazi-Soviet Pact

During a press conference in 2005, Russian President Vladimir Putin argued that there is no need to talk "every day" about such "realities of the past" as the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, European colonialism or slavery in the US. At the...

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Maritime Security Issues in the Baltic Sea Region

In June, NATO conducted a scaled down version of its annual BALTOPS naval drills in the Baltic Sea. But with a heavy emphasis on land-based deterrence since re-independence, the Baltic States and NATO alike have been largely plagued by...

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Fake News, Real Censorship: A New Bill Threatens Freedom of Speech in Kyrgyzstan

Wearing face masks stamped with a bright red X, demonstrators marched down Bishkek’s Freedom Boulevard on June 29 in protest of a bill regulating disinformation in Kyrgyzstan. The legislation, widely viewed as an attempt to curb freedom of speech,...

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Latvia’s New State Defense Concept

In early June, Latvia published the 2020 iteration of its State Defense Concept (Valsts Aizsardzības Koncepcija) to replace the 2016 version. The Concept is a political planning document which will guide the details of defense policy and planning for...

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Cyberwarfare in Latvia: A Call for New Cyberwarfare Terminology

Two recent Russian malicious cyber operations in Latvia targeted the government and a social media platform. But, legally, those instances do not rise to the level of a “cyberattack” as defined by the Tallinn Manual 2.0. Despite not satisfying...

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Populism in American Elections: Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump

When a political movement becomes interwoven into an individual’s self-identity, said individual is unable to criticize that political movement without implicitly criticizing themselves. Conversely, to maintain the belief that individuals and the political movement that they are ingrained within...

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Baltic Security: The Same Challenges Remain, Even During a Pandemic

The implications of the COVID-19 pandemic go far beyond health issues and economy. It is a much broader challenge for the security of Western countries, not least for those at NATO’s Eastern frontier, like the Baltic states....

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Great Power Competition and the Scramble for Africa

From November 1884 to February 1885, German Chancellor Otto von Bismarck convened 13 European powers and the United States to coordinate “commercial activity” in Africa and emerged with the General Act. Never explicitly stating colonialism, but connotating colonial principles,...

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Russia’s Arctic Development Poses Risks for Combating Climate Change in the Baltics

While this year's snowless winter may have changed things, Lithuanians haven't seemed particularly concerned with climate change in their country. According to Standard Eurobarometer 90, only 3% of Lithuanians in November 2018 believed climate change and energy issues to...

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