U.S. Foreign Policy

Rediscovering Debates on Nuclear Strategy, for the 21st Century

If we are re-entering an era of “great power competition,” then there is an unavoidable question: what role do nuclear weapons play in that competition? China is set to double its nuclear capacity while it pursues its own nuclear...

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Malta, Italy, and Mediterranean Migration: A Long History and an Ongoing Issue

In July 2013, the Sunday Telegraph issued a report on the escalating refugee crisis in Malta. In the previous decade, Malta had seen thousands of Africans make their way to the tiny island nation, which lies just over a...

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The Problem with Soft Power

International relations is going soft, with countries from India to Qatar to Turkey opting for soft power persuasion over hard power pressure. Soft power collectively refers to the tools in a nation-state’s arsenal that do not punish, reward, or...

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Estonia’s Security Options Eroded by Far-Right Governing Party

Estonia’s relations with neighboring Finland have been unsettled by late July’s announcement that the country’s ambassador in Helsinki, Harri Tiido, resigned. Tiido cited difficulties in maintaining strong cooperation between Estonia and Finland due to a string of controversial statements...

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U.S.-Latvia Defense Cooperation in Light of Trump’s Troop Withdrawals

Defense cooperation rarely enters the public eye. Although sometimes highlighted by politicians, generals, or major headline-making military exercises, much of it takes place under the radar as fairly mundane military financing and contact. However, it recently has entered the...

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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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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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Still The One: Great Power Competition and Special Operations Forces

With the unveiling of the 2018 National Defense Strategy, then-Secretary of Defense James Mattis announced that great power competition was now the “primary focus of U.S. national security.” After nearly 20 years of muddling through counterinsurgencies in Iraq...

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Finding Off Ramps to the Ongoing S-400 Crisis with Turkey

As the United States prepares for the July 4 holiday, Senate Majority Whip John Thune, a Republican from South Dakota, proposed a curious amendment for the Fiscal Year 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), the omnibus spending bill that...

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(Re)Discovering the National Interest, Again

Implications of the Argument: It’s been a tough few decades for national security analysts with no shortage of how to fix what is wrong with U.S. foreign policy. The 1990s were largely characterized by redefining grand strategy in a...

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