The CSS Blog Network

Reflecting on the Baltics

Estonian and American troops during an exercise, Photo: Wikimedia

This article was originally published by Stratfor on 15 June 2014.

About two and a half years ago, while spending a few months in Ukraine, I left Kiev to take a trip through the Baltic states. On a cold winter day in the middle of October, I flew into Tallinn, the capital of Estonia. From there I would travel exclusively by bus from Tallinn on the Baltic Sea to Tartu in southern Estonia, then on to Riga, Latvia, and finally to Vilnius in southern Lithuania. » More

The Flawed German Debate on Armed Drone Acquisition: “What Does This Have to Do with Our Procurement Plans, for God’s Sake?”

Image: Flickr/UK Ministry of Defense

In Germany, defence and military policy is rarely a subject of great interest to the general public. The pacifist mainstream view and the “friendly disinterest” in the Bundeswehr means that military matters are seldom discussed in detail by the general media.

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Africa Needs More than Just the Silencing of Guns

Africa Out of Bullets, courtesy of Control Arms /flickr

This article was originally published June 17 2014 by the Institute for Security Studies (ISS).

Over the past five decades, Africa has experienced significant change and positive transition. However, violent conflict continues to compromise prospects for sustained human development and economic progress. As part of its 50th Anniversary Declaration in May 2013, the African Union (AU) set itself the goal of ending all wars in Africa by 2020 and is now working on a roadmap towards a conflict-free continent (‘silencing guns in Africa’, as the slogan goes).

Is this goal in fact attainable? Ending wars is imperative, as violent conflict is the biggest impediment to a more prosperous Africa. But what would the concrete benefits look like over time; and would the absence of war by 2020 really boost Africa’s economic and human development and yield immediate dividends? By generating momentum for this kind of discussion in the context of the post-2015 development agenda, the AU’s aggressive target is noteworthy. » More

Friends Forever? The U.S. and the Future of Japanese Military Power

Photo: Flickr

This article was originally published by War on the Rocks on 5 June 2014

Ever since the conclusion of World War II and the drafting of the new Japanese constitution, Article IX has prohibited Japan from becoming a party to any conflict building a traditional military force. This has become the foundation for Japan’s outlook on regional engagement and its role in the international community.

However, ever since U.S. President George H.W. Bush requested Japanese foreign aid during Operation Desert Shield / Storm, the Japanese Self-Defense Force (JDSF) has cautiously expanded its expeditionary capabilities.

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NATO: Anchors and Road-Signs

Photo: Wikimedia

This article was originally published by Security and Defence Agenda (SDA) on 5 June 2014

The Russian aggression in Ukraine, while clearly reconfirming NATO’ utility, has led many Poles to question the Alliance’s ability to guarantee our security or to effectively respond to crises in its neighbourhood.

When Poland joined NATO in 1999, our dream of re-joining the “alliance of the free world” came true. Both fifteen years ago and today, what matters most to us is the guarantee of Article 5 of the Washington Treaty (“one for all, all for one”). This political commitment is for us declined in three “anchors”.

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