NATO’s presence in the Baltic states

  2 September 2014

Author: Martin Hurt

In recent weeks, Estonia has seen an active discussion about NATO’s presence in the Baltic states. What type of presence do the Baltic states require? Is the current level enough, or should it increase? Should the deployed units be permanent or rotating? Do we need fully equipped units or are prepositioned stocks enough? Should the forces be deployed at significant or symbolic levels? Why should NATO continue to honour the 1997 Founding Act between NATO and Russia, if Russia itself no longer honours that agreement?

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posted by: RKK/ICDSComments

Putin’s Ukraine Plan Revealed. Need Trans-Atlantic – Ukraine Response

  2 September 2014

Author: Maksym Bugriy

As Russian regular troops joined insurgents over the weekend to push back Ukrainian forces in a counter-offensive near Mariupol, the Kremlin agreed to a negotiated retreat of entrenched pro-Kyiv volunteer battalions via agreed an corridor on August 30. Meanwhile, Kremlin apparently undertook an information campaign to explain what the Russian and the insurgents’ war means and clarify Vladimir Putin’s strategic ends and tactics. President Putin, his press officer, and several pro-Kremlin experts shed light on the strategic thinking that may be behind these moves.

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posted by: RKK/ICDSComments

A Playbook for Hybrid War in Cyberspace?

 29 August 2014

Author: Piret Pernik

With hybrid warfare, nation-states seem to prefer to outsource both kinetic and cyber attacks to non-state proxies in order to disclaim any responsibility. However, Russia’s ongoing military offensive in Ukraine shows that for more sophisticated kinetic operations, regular forces are apparently preferred to militias to avoid collateral damage, among other reasons. The same seems to be true in cyberspace – when stakes are higher, professionals are preferred over amateurs.

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posted by: RKK/ICDSComments

NATO kohalolekust Balti riikides

 29 August 2014

Autor: Martin Hurt

Viimastel nädalatel on Eestis aktiivselt arutletud NATO kohaloleku üle Balti riikides. Millist laadi kohalolekut Balti riigid vajavad? Kas praegune tase on rahuldav või peaks see suurenema? Kas siiratud üksused peaksid olema alalised või roteeruma? Kas vajame täiskomplekteeritud üksusi või piisab varustuse eelpositsioneerimisest? Kas väed peaksid olema märkimisväärsed või sümboolsed? Miks peaks NATO kinni pidama 1997. aastal sõlmitud NATO-Venemaa suhete aluslepingust kui Venemaa sellest ise enam kinni ei pea?

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posted by: RKK/ICDSComments

Increasing NATO’s Role in Cyber Defence

 28 August 2014

Author: Piret Pernik

Estonia is a perfect location for NATO’s cyber education and training. The location of Alliance’s cyber training field in Estonia sends a clear signal that NATO takes seriously its role in defending both against kinetic and cyber attacks alike.

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posted by: RKK/ICDSComments

Minsk Meetings and the Rising Costs of War

 27 August 2014

Author: Maksym Bugriy

On August 26, Presidents Vladimir Putin and Petro Poroshenko met twice in Minsk: both within the Customs Union-EU-Ukraine format, and more importantly, in a separate one-on-one session. While Minsk may now become a permanent location for Ukraine negotiations, and while the parties promised to continue trade talks, there were too few key results from these meetings. On the military conflict, the parties seem to have reached an agreement to resume talks within the “contact group” format, i.e., with separatist representatives but without either the EU or the US, notwithstanding the fact that prior talks in this format have already proven ineffective.

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posted by: RKK/ICDSComments

French politician and businessman to build historical theme parks in Russia and Crimea

 21 August 2014

Author: Kalev Stoicescu

Russia needs now more than ever supporters in the West. Or rather any well-known Europeans who would readily accept Russian money and Byzantine courtesy, and above all turn a blind eye to the Russian parallel reality and the serious threat posed by Muscovy to Ukraine and Europe as a whole. Putin seems willing to generously reward, and obviously let exploit by his propaganda machine, any new Schröders and Depardieus. To give to the Russians the false impression that he is still accepted and even praised by Western personalities and celebrities, and to seed as much discord as possible in European politics and public debate.

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posted by: RKK/ICDSComments

Russia seems to prepare the path for creating yet another frozen conflict area, in Eastern Ukraine

 21 August 2014

Author: Kalev Stoicescu

Looking at the map of the conflict, it seems that the Ukrainian forces are rather close to liberating what still remains out of its control in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, including the last uncontrolled segment of the Ukrainian-Russian border. Militarily, indeed, following the logic and the course of events so far, this is perfectly achievable in a month or so. By now, Ukrainian forces are engaged in street battles in Luhansk and attempting to encircle Donetsk. Ukraine has, indeed, no incentive or need to stop the ATO. However, Russia has undertaken a series of steps – military, political and “humanitarian” – to prevent Ukraine regaining sovereignty over the entirety of its territory, apart from Crimea. This may well be for Ukraine, and Europe, a new serious challenge, if not a political trap.

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posted by: RKK/ICDSComments

Iraq: Is the United States returning to the Middle East?

  9 July 2014

Author: Ilona Kuusi

After the hasty withdrawal of the US troops from Iraq in 2011, the Western-supported prime minister Nouri al-Maliki was left with the responsibility of furthering the democratization process in the country. Yet, instead of ensuring the equal representation of each demographic group, Maliki tried to minimize the internal threats for his regime by centralizing political and military power: the former by means of ensuring a monopoly on state institutions, and the latter by creating a chain of command guaranteeing his direct influence on the execution of operations. These policies left a large part of the population, most remarkably the Sunnis, without a voice. Further, the violent repressions of Sunni criticism towards Maliki’s policies brought led the country to an extremely volatile state. After the start of the Syrian civil war in 2012, the group later known as ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham) – began to gain influence. Bashar al-Assad had left areas in eastern Syria uncontrolled, which created fertile soil for ISIS to grow and flourish while the Kurds also started to extend their areas. Now the situation has escalated to a point where the Iraq that US forces left three years ago to develop as a legitimate democracy is falling to pieces, while ISIS has gained control over several areas, winning the Sunni population to their side.

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posted by: RKK/ICDSComments

The West Should Boost Cyber Security Assistance to Its Eastern Partners

 29 June 2014

Author: Piret Pernik

It might be a matter of time when more advanced cyber weapons will be used by states. Providing greater support to build-up the civilian and military cyber security/defence capabilities of the Eastern partners is therefore timely and advantageous for the West. Against this background the EU should now come up with a support package for these cyber security aspects that were uncovered by NATO’s package.

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posted by: RKK/ICDSComments