NATO and Russia in the Black Sea: A New Confrontation?

NATO and Russia in the Black Sea: A New Confrontation? Center for Strategic & International Studies. Boris Toucas. March 6, 2017

With the recent completion of the NATO Sea Shield exercise and NATO defense ministers’ approval of an enhanced force presence in the Black Sea, as Russian aircraft fly close to U.S. vessels operating there, this commentary focuses on the strategic implications of NATO’s military presence in the Black Sea. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

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Reducing Tensions Between Russia and NATO

Reducing Tensions Between Russia and NATO. Council on Foreign Relations. Kimberly Marten. March 2017.

“[Vladimir] Putin’s aggression makes the possibility of a war in Europe between nuclear-armed adversaries frighteningly real,” writes Kimberly Marten in a new Council Special Report on tensions between Russia and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). She outlines how U.S. policymakers can deter Russian aggression with robust support for NATO, while reassuring Russia of NATO’s defensive intentions through clear words and actions based in international law.

Marten, a professor of political science at Barnard College, Columbia University, and director of the Program on U.S.-Russia Relations at Columbia’s Harriman Institute, lays out several scenarios that could lead to a dangerous confrontation, ranging from an inadvertent encounter between NATO and Russian military aircraft or ships to an intentional Russian land grab in Europe. The report, produced by the Center for Preventive Action at the Council on Foreign Relations, offers a plan for how the Donald J. Trump administration could work with Congress and NATO allies to lessen the chances of crisis escalation. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 67 pages, 2.04 MB].

NATO, Climate Change, and International Security: A Risk Governance Approach

NATO, Climate Change, and International Security: A Risk Governance Approach. RAND Corporation. Tyler H. Lippert. December 2016.

This dissertation offers a prospective analysis of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the anticipated security consequences of climate change. Using climate and security literature to complement recent foresight and scenario analysis developed by NATO, the author applies the International Risk Governance Council’s (IRGC) Risk Governance Framework to identify the considerations and actions that could assist NATO in a context where climate and environmental factors more intensively shape security.
Climate-driven environmental change is anticipated to influence some, if not all, of the factors that threaten security; undermining livelihoods, increasing migration, creating political instability or other forms of insecurity, and weakening the resilience and capabilities of states to respond appropriately. Climate change has the potential to increase the need for humanitarian assistance and disaster response, to create tension over shared resources, to renew and enhance geo-political interest in the Arctic, and to deepen concern with respect to the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 176 pages, 1 MB].

Reinforcing Deterrence on NATO’s Eastern Flank

Reinforcing Deterrence on NATO’s Eastern Flank. RAND Corporation. David A. Shlapak, Michael Johnson. November 2016.

Russia’s recent aggression against Ukraine has disrupted nearly a generation of relative peace and stability between Moscow and its Western neighbors and raised concerns about its larger intentions. From the perspective of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the threat to the three Baltic Republics of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania—former Soviet republics, now member states that border Russian territory—may be the most problematic. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 14 pages, 1.49 MB].

Understanding the Current International Order

Understanding the Current International Order. RAND Corporation. Michael J. Mazarr at al. October 19, 2016.

Since 1945, the United States has pursued its global interests by building and maintaining various alliances, economic institutions, security organizations, political and liberal norms, and other tools — often collectively referred to as the international order. In this first report of a series on the emerging international order, RAND researchers offer several lenses to understand the character of the existing post–World War II liberal order. In addition to outlining the broad scope of the issue and the tools through which the order affects state behavior, the report categorizes and outlines the causal mechanisms that lead states to strengthen and work within the order. The report then reviews how U.S. policymakers have consistently viewed the international order as a key means of achieving U.S. interests in the world. Finally, the report concludes with potential questions for a research agenda that explores what type of international order — and, thus, what type of world — the United States should seek over the coming decade. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 81 pages, 0.7 MB].

The East Mediterranean Triangle at Crossroads

The East Mediterranean Triangle at Crossroads. Strategic Studies Institute. Jean-Loup Samaan. March 31, 2016.

The evolving dynamics in the East Mediterranean Triangle, composed of Israel, Turkey and Greece, reveal key security and economic trends that have direct implications for the United States and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

[HTML format with a link to the full text PDF file].

Russian Compliance with the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty: Background and Issues for Congress

Russian Compliance with the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty: Background and Issues for Congress. Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress. Amy F. Woolf. October 13, 2015.

The United States and Soviet Union signed the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty in December 1987. Negotiations on this treaty were the result of a “dual-track” decision taken by NATO in 1979. The United States has raised its concerns about Russian compliance with the INF Treaty in a number of meetings during the past few years. These meetings have made little progress because Russia continues to deny that it has violated the treaty. The United States could pursue a number of options that might move the diplomatic process forward and possibly lead to a resolution of the issue.

[PDF format, 35 pages, 726.4 KB].