Contemporary global power competition has turned the world into a hybrid battlefield. In modern battlefield, authoritarian regimes have the strategic advantage of being irresponsible, reckless and aggressive. This advantage is combined with the ability of the authoritarian regimes to find cheap and effective - short of war - solutions for achieving geopolitical objectives. In past decades authoritarian regimes such as Russia and China have been actively applying hybrid strategies against the Western dominated rules based international system. Those strategies are being constructed based on identification and utilization of the vulnerabilities of the democratic political systems, institutions and societies. Pandemic crisis caused by unpredictable and unprecedented spread of the mutated new Corona virus, have underlined vulnerabilities and opened up new possibilities for the hybrid warfare. The pandemic influences every power on the global stage, but will COVID-19 be a turning point for the Euro-Atlantic Security environment?
The enlargement of NATO and the defence of its borders have occupied an important place in the security debate in the last few years. This study discusses the situation of the NATO members and candidate states which are most directly exposed to Russian military power. After analysing the cases of the three Baltic republics, Norway, Georgia, and Ukraine, I conclude with a paradox; although NATO is on the aggregate level stronger, it cannot hope to guarantee the security of its eastern borderlands. This reality could push these states to bandwagon with Russia.
Interpreting Russian actions in the Near Abroad relies on the perception of Russian intent, but all too often states fail to analyse how Moscow interprets Western objectives. While defensive realist theorists argue that states tend to seek only enough power to survive within the system, the U.S. 2017 National Security Strategy argues Moscow is a revisionist state, seeking a return to great power status. Increasing tensions among the actors in the region gives rise to potential misperception of intent. This article analyses state motivations under a defensive realist paradigm and addresses how Russian actions may emerge from a defensive perspective. Using a defensive realist framework, this article elevates Russian insecurities and fear of Western influence in the Near Abroad as the primary motivator of state action.
This article examines Russian military and defence intellectuals’ reflection on Russia's military involvement in Syria. The research is based on a mix of open-source Russian military writings, mainly analytical texts in prominent Russian military journals. The aim of the study is to analyse Russian narrative of its military campaign in Syria. The first part begins by providing Russia's internal discussions about probable military coalitions-building variants, risks, and operational-level decisions and objectives. The second part deals with Russian Armed Forces’ network-centric warfare capabilities and limitations. The article concludes by showing that in Syria Russia introduced a modified network-centric warfare as its main feature of new method of operations is the combination of advanced intelligence-command assets and old-fashioned munitions.
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.
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–).
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.
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.
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.