BELGRADE, Serbia — The election of a former ultranationalist as Serbia’s new president has been greeted with surprise in some quarters and alarm elsewhere. But despite Tomislav Nikolic’s far-right past and his penchant for nationalist rhetoric, a radical change in direction by Serbia seems unlikely. Indeed, Nikolic looks likely to find himself presiding over a government headed by the man he defeated, newly ex-President Boris Tadic. Nikolic narrowly defeated the Western-leaning and liberal Tadic on May 20, confounding the widespread assumption that Tadic, president from 2004 until his tactical resignation in April, was a shoo-in for re-election. The victory for […]

As if the economic situation in Europe had not been bad enough of late, an even scarier picture has developed over the past few weeks. Greece is mired in political chaos and seems to be hurtling toward a euro exit. Meanwhile, new questions are emerging about the solvency of some major Spanish banks, and it now appears that much of the eurozone is experiencing what is being called a “slow-motion bank run.” Coupled with the fact that nearly 20 European Union summits have yet to find a solution to the 2-year-old crisis, it is no surprise that uncertainty about the […]

At its recent Chicago summit, NATO declared that its new ballistic missile defense (BMD) architecture had achieved “Interim Capability.” Nonetheless, questions persist regarding potential contradictions between missile defense and other NATO goals such as nuclear deterrence, Russian unease regarding the entire BMD project and the alliance’s ability to sustain the necessary expenditures to construct a comprehensive BMD architecture. In 2010 at Lisbon, NATO committed to making missile defense a core mission within an alliance context. In particular, member governments agreed in principle to integrate their European missile defense programs with those of the United States, with the goal of providing […]

EU naval forces operating off the coast of Somali conducted their first raid on the Somali mainland earlier this month. In an email interview, Hans-Georg Ehrhart, the head of the Center for European Peace and Security Studies of the Institute for Peace Research and Security Studies at the University of Hamburg, discussed the EU’s anti-piracy operation. WPR: What is the makeup of the European Union’s Operation Atalanta, in terms of force commitments and contributing countries, and how has it evolved over time? Hans-Georg Ehrhart: Operation Atalanta was launched in 2008 and has seen its mandate extended several times, now running […]

The European Union’s sovereign debt crisis continues to threaten the eurozone with dissolution, even as austerity budgets and a lack of strategic vision have undermined the EU’s common foreign and defense policy. The two crises, one acute and structural, the other chronic and temperamental, have increasingly brought the European project into question. This World Politics Review special report examines Europe’s troubled horizon. Below are links to each article in this special report, which subscribers can read in full. Not a subscriber? Purchase this document for Kindle or as a PDF from Scribd. Or try our subscription service free for two […]

At its Chicago summit, NATO reaffirmed its commitment to its European-based arsenal of tactical nuclear weapons. In an email interview, Paul Schulte, a nonresident senior research fellow at Carnegie Europe and Carnegie Nuclear Policy and a visiting senior research fellow at the Center for Science and Security Studies at Kings College, discussed NATO’s nuclear weapons. WPR: What is the current size and scope of NATO’s nuclear weapons? Paul Schulte: Some 160-200 U.S. B61 gravity bombs are understood to be deployed in Europe and Turkey, the remains of the alliance’s Cold War arsenal of 7,000 nonstrategic nuclear weapons (NSNWs). They are […]

The noncommittal closing statement of this weekend’s G-8 Summit cannot hide the fact that German Chancellor Angela Merkel found herself completely isolated at Camp David. U.S. President Barack Obama closed ranks with newly elected French President Francois Hollande in stressing “an imperative to create growth and jobs” in opposition to Merkel’s rigid austerity programs. In Europe, after losing her two main allies earlier this month, Merkel stands alone, increasingly blamed for turning Greece’s June elections into a make-or-break moment for the future of the euro. Last weekend, she also suffered a grievous political setback when her Christian Democratic Union (CDU) […]

Earlier this month, the Brazilian navy successfully tested an indigenously designed and manufactured anti-ship missile. In an email interview, Dinshaw Mistry, an associate professor of political science at the University of Cincinnati, reviewed the state of the global missile industry. WPR: Which countries currently have an indigenous missile capability, and in what ranges, and which countries are currently seeking to develop this capability? Dinshaw Mistry: About a dozen countries currently build ballistic missiles with varying ranges. The United States, Russia, France and China have built long-range missiles that serve as nuclear weapon delivery systems. China, Israel, India and Pakistan have […]

This week’s NATO Summit in Chicago, attended by the heads of state and government of alliance member states as well as senior representatives of various NATO partner countries and organizations, was less ambitious than some recent summits. With regard to the alliance itself, the summit announced no new members, or even a timetable for the four aspirant countries, and raised no funds for collective missions, as in Afghanistan. That said, the summit did perform the important function of reaffirming that despite their economic problems, member countries have been fulfilling all the vague commitments they made at the November 2010 Lisbon […]

With NATO leaders meeting in Chicago for the alliance’s biannual summit of heads of state and government, attention will be focused on the gathering’s high-profile agenda items. In some ways, it’s a lineup of the usual suspects, with the summit’s declaration likely to resemble a collection of increasingly implausible platitudes worthy of a Mad Libs satire: Whether regarding Afghanistan, the alliance’s European-based missile defense system or the move toward “Smart Defense” to maintain military capabilities in the face of budgetary constraints, few observers will be convinced by the declarations of progress, confidence and resolve, respectively. As is customary for a […]

The narrative that U.S.-Russian relations are set on a downward path with the return of Russian President Vladimir Putin to the Kremlin has received a major shot in the arm with this week’s “summit-gate” saga. Aware that the inability to reach any accord between Russia and the United States over the contentious issue of missile defense would overshadow the NATO summit in Chicago, the Obama administration deliberately changed the location and timing of the G-8 summit, originally scheduled in Chicago immediately after the gathering of the Atlantic alliance, to the presidential retreat at Camp David the weekend before. This change […]

Advocates of the G-8, what few are left of them, might be forgiven for having a case of the “told ya so’s” this year. The importance many observers have attached to tomorrow’s gathering of G-8 leaders at Camp David in Maryland seems to vindicate those who defended the summit format against charges of irrelevance over the past few years. Certainly, the G-8 is no longer the control room of the global economy that it once was. The shift of the global economy’s dynamic center of gravity to Asia, unlocked by globalization and accentuated by the global financial crisis, has made […]

An important challenge for U.S. diplomacy during the upcoming NATO summit is to ensure that the lack of a decision to enlarge NATO does not become a defining outcome of the gathering. Most NATO summits do not invite new members. Indeed, there have been only three enlargement summits since 1989. But even at summits where new members were not invited to join, NATO leaders have emphasized that the alliance maintains an “open door” to new members, and the Chicago summit should be no exception in this regard. Perhaps nowhere is this more relevant than in the case of Georgia, which […]

While the prospect of a country withdrawing from the eurozone was once considered unthinkable, the possibility of a Greek exit from the economic monetary union has now become a focus of the European Union debt crisis. The success in recent parliamentary elections of parties opposed to the austerity measures that Greece must enact to receive EU bailout payments has left Athens in a political impasse. As a result, some observers have begun to take seriously a scenario whereby Greece will be forced to exit from the single currency and default on its debts. And as no country has ever left […]

There has been a flurry of decidedly unpublicized diplomatic activity ahead of the next round of Iran nuclear talks in Baghdad on May 23, much of it taking place in the shadows. The European Union’s Helga Schmid and Iran’s Ali Bagheri — the no. 2 nuclear negotiators for the P5+1 and Iran, respectively — met quietly this past week to begin preparing the agenda for the Baghdad meeting. In keeping with the conviction that progress can be more easily achieved outside the glare of the spotlights, European diplomatic sources who confirmed the meeting would only say that it did not […]

Showing 1 - 17 of 281 2 Last