Will renewed tension between NATO and Russia prevent key U.S. allies and partners in Europe from being able to contribute to U.S. regional defense objectives? What can the U.S. do to strengthen its European partnerships?
U.S. defense engagement priorities in Europe are shifting in the face of Russian aggression. By engaging strategically on NATO's northeastern flank, the United States can strengthen deterrence while minimizing inadvertent escalation.
Vice President Joseph Biden's trip to eastern Europe this week provides an important opportunity to reassure Poland, the Czech Republic, and Romania that the U.S. is committed to their security. This reassurance is needed, especially in the wake of the decision to cancel the deployment of missile defense installations in the region, write F. Stephen Larrabee and Christopher S. Chivvis.
Obama's decision to alter course on missile defense was the right choice. Those who call it a capitulation to Russia are wrong, and it plays into Russia's hands to portray the decision in that manner. But the change of course will have to be complemented with more appropriate initiatives, writes Christopher S. Chivvis.
Critics of the Bush administration missile defense plans for Central Europe have charged that the U.S. would be deploying defenses that did not work against a threat that did not exist. It would also defend countries not threatened by Iran, while leaving Iran's more likely victims entirely uncovered, writes James Dobbins.
In the Czech Republic, the former "nomenklatura cadres" are able to maintain their advantageous positions in the income hierarchy, mainly because they possess "human capital" and can effectively convert "social capital," accumulated during the communist regime, into economic capital.