Commentary

Good and Bad Neighbors: Perceptions in Latvian Society

Enmity and amity between countries is primarily defined by state institutions. Perceptions of societies in this regard are more obscure. They are influenced by a range of factors and actors. State institutions have influence on public opinion and vice...

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Why Japan Needs to Talk to Taiwan

With China’s 20th National Congress approaching, Xi Jinping is expected to extend his tenure by another five years, making him the country’s most powerful leader since Mao Zedong. Xi has stated that he will pursue reunification by 2049 as...

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War Crimes in Ukraine: In Search of a Response

In the spring of 2022, the horrors of Russian war crimes in Bucha shook the world, revealing systematic rape, torture, and executions. As the war in Ukraine continues, there is little doubt that such practices are commonplace, although they...

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Food Insecurity and Terrorism: What Famine Means for Somalia

In Somalia, 26 million people are expected to experience extreme hunger by February 2023, threatening hundreds of thousands of lives. Nearly half of Somalia’s population of 7.1 million people already face acute food insecurity. In the first six months...

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Baltic Defense After Madrid

A confluence of factors raising its significance, expectations were high for NATO’s 2022 summit in Madrid held June 28-30. A new strategic concept was to be adopted. Russia’s assault on Ukraine had transformed the geopolitical situation; even German Chancellor...

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From the Migrant Crisis to Aggression in Ukraine: Belarus is Still on the Baltic Agenda

As Russia’s second invasion of Ukraine enters its fifth month, a significant date has recently passed in another country — Belarus. May 23 marked one year since Belarusian authorities hijacked a commercial Ryanair flight transporting passengers, including Belarusian opposition figure Roman...

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Two Less Obvious Lessons for Baltic Defense from Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has reaffirmed NATO’s purpose and the importance of collective defense. It has also pushed defense of the Baltic states back into the alliance’s limelight. The key lesson so far has been that more military power...

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The Baltic Road to Energy Independence from Russia Is Nearing Completion

Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania regained their independence from the Soviet Union in 1991. Reaching energy independence—i.e., disentanglement from Russia’s energy infrastructure and market—will have taken more than three additional decades. Even after all three countries joined the European Union...

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China’s Belt and Road Initiative in Kenya

Through trade, investment, and strategic diplomacy, China is re-shaping sub-Saharan Africa. Beijing has growing economic ties with Africa’s largest economies and Chinese firms dominate infrastructure construction projects. In 2020, nearly one-third of infrastructure projects in Africa worth at least...

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Educational and Health Issues Affecting Women and Girls in Africa

On March 15th, the Africa Program at the Foreign Policy Research Institute (FPRI) hosted a presentation “Educational and Health Issues Affecting Today’s African Women and Girls.” Moderated by Africa Program chair and retired ambassador Charles A. Ray, it featured...

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