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Abstract

The experience of the past decade shows a steadily increasing role of the armed forces in the implementation of Moscow’s strategic aspirations. The aim of this work is to present the geopolitical ambitions of Russia in competition with the West and the role of the armed forces in satisfying these ambitions, as well as to evaluate their modernisation. The article identifies the directions of Moscow’s strategic aspirations and presents a vision of Russia’s future war. The reforms carried out by the Russian national defence ministers Anatoliy Serdyukov and Sergey Shoygu are evaluated. The conclusions resulting from the involvement of Russian armed forces in the conflicts in Ukraine and Syria are explained. It indicates the changes that will take place in particular branches of the armed forces in the near and long terms.

Abstract

The article discusses the evolution of political and security cooperation between the Republic of Poland and the United States of America in the years 1999–2019. It argues that this relationship has been strengthened over the past several years to an unprecedented level, as reflected by the following: (a) permanent presence of US troops and facilities on the territory of the Republic of Poland; (b) significant reinforcement of energy cooperation that would contribute to the security of the Central and Eastern European (CEE) region; (c) development of a high-level strategic dialogue; and (d) successful widening of the mutual scope of soft security collaboration, including economic, digital and people-to-people aspects. In this article, I try to answer the following questions: what are the reasons of upgrading Poland–US political and security relations? What was the process shaping US– Poland relationship during 1999–2019? What are the priorities for both sides in this cooperation? I suggest that the past 20 years of Polish–American relationship can be divided into three stages: (a) between Poland’s accession to North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and Russian aggression towards Ukraine (1999–2014); (b) between the NATO Summit in Newport and the swearing in of Donald Trump as President of the United States (2014–2017); and (c) then onwards (2017/2018–).

Abstract

The current study discusses differences between Russia and the Baltic States in terms of their strategic narratives, as well as how they interpret key terms and concepts in the field of security. To frame the scope of the study, the strategic narrative of Russia for the Baltic countries and the Baltic strategic narrative(s) for Russia are compared and analysed. Both sides are also locked within the bigger framework of European Union’s economic sanctions against Russia and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) alliance’s deterrence concept. On the other hand, the Baltic States and Russia have a lot to gain from possible improvements in economic relations and reduction of regional security tensions.

Abstract

The article presents research on the international community’s engagement in the countries of the Western Balkans in the past and their possible approach in the future. The focus of our research is on the functioning of mechanisms through which the international community performs certain tasks in the region. These interventions are primarily political, in the form of conferences, political programmes, consultations, pressures and continuous persuasion. Economic initiatives follow afterwards. By using different reform approaches, international institutions try to improve cooperation with the European Union (EU) and countries such as the USA, Russia, Turkey and China. Our research attempts to identify possible methods and new solutions for individual cases of conflict in Western Balkans countries, especially where the international community is actively involved. On this basis, we created a more holistic approach. The application of these measures could make the necessary reforms of the future easier. Our approach emphasises all the elements of security that are essential to the stability of the region and for the prevention of conflicts in the future.

Abstract

In this paper, the author has analysed the perspectives of Macedonia’s new foreign policy concept regarding its neighbours since the second half of 2017. Therefore, he points to Macedonia’s numerous bilateral issues, primarily about its name with neighbouring Greece. The paper also includes a review of other open issues with Bulgaria and Albania, which jeopardize its path towards the EU and NATO membership. The signing of two crucial bilateral agreements with Bulgaria (2017) and Greece (2018) has significantly changed its foreign policy position and accelerated the realization of its Euro-Atlantic perspective. Additionally, Macedonia has improved relations with Albania and Kosovo. Although the relations with Serbia have oscillated, they cannot, in general, be labelled as bad.

The author concludes that the determination of the new Macedonian political elite to resolve the accumulated bilateral issues with its neighbours is very significant in the broader regional context. It also represents a stimulus for the rest of the Western Balkans.

Abstract

If integrative pluralism in international relations theorising is the way forward, how can we still maintain some type of demarcation between pre-existing paradigms in order to not throw the baby out with the bath water? The notions of themes and ontological primacy provide a useful intervention in this regard. They both link realism and constructivism yet at the same time differentiate between the two enough to allow for the original free-standing paradigm to maintain its veracity and usefulness as an explanatory tool to explain the international order. This article promotes the idea that realism and constructivism engage with many similar themes; it is their ontologies and methodologies that are the key points of departure and are worth being further explored. The article concludes that taking the notion of ontological primacy seriously allows for much needed theoretical pluralism, while effectively maintaining the foundational moorings of longstanding international relations theories.

Abstract

In the article, we explore the factors which brought about the transatlantic coordination of the policy of imposing sanctions on Iran. We will mainly focus on the events in the 21st century when the new incentives for cooperation appeared due to the growing concern over the development of Iran’s nuclear programme. Considering the capabilities of using the tools of economic statecraft and diplomacy, we claim that the EU-US cooperation can be termed a co-leadership. The assessment and the reasons for the transatlantic break-up on this matter during the presidency of Donald Trump was examined using the concept of relative gains. We evaluate to what extent the initial goals were achieved in practice, and we also try to predict the possible consequences of the US withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

As to whether the effectiveness of the sanctions through the cooperation has been enhanced, the answer is ambivalent. On the one hand, the cooperating transatlantic partners managed to coerce Iran through isolating the country from international economic contacts and negotiated the JCPOA. On the other hand, Trump’s renouncement of this agreement brought many negative consequences and undermined the earlier joint effort.

Abstract

This article first traces the origin of hybrid warfare and the label game surrounding the concept, asking whether it is merely old wine in a new bottle, and if so, whether it is still a useful concept. It is found that while being old wine in new bottles, it is still a good wine well worth drinking. While there is not much new in the concept itself, it is a useful tool to think about past wars, today’s wars and the wars of the future. Thereafter, this paper analyses how hybrid warfare and hybrid threats are to be understood in the context of peace, conflict and war. It is shown how hybrid warfare and threats fit into our traditional understanding of conflict dynamics.