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Analysis and Comment (26)

Humanitarians no more? Humanitarians no more? EPA/Andy Rain

Standing up to Russia sinks any humanitarian role for NATO

After the NATO-led interventions in Kosovo and Libya, many commentators argued that the Responsibility to Protect, the fashionable name for humanitarian military intervention, had finally become an established…
People just aren’t that bothered. People just aren’t that bothered. EPA/Olivier Hoslet

What does the public really think about NATO?

World leaders are congregating in Wales this week for the 2014 NATO summit, where some of the most pressing political issues of the day will be on the agenda. Despite the high stakes, a survey of the general…
NATO forces board a suspected pirate vessel. NATO forces board a suspected pirate vessel. UK Ministry of Defence

NATO at sea: deeper role for alliance in maritime security

As NATO meets in Wales, the public’s attention is bound to be on how the organisation will handle the conflict in Ukraine. But the meeting is also an important window of opportunity to develop a long term…
The changing face of security threats. The changing face of security threats. Vincent Diamante

NATO to unveil cyber-defence strategy fit for changing times

Late one Saturday evening in March, NATO’s Headquarters experienced a large-scale cyber-attack at the hands of a group calling itself Anonymous Bierkut from Ukraine. Non-classified networks were targeted…
NATO Baltic air policing mission highlights rising tensions north of Ukraine. NATO Baltic air policing mission highlights rising tensions north of Ukraine. EPA

Russia’s borders: minorities and military manoeuvres rattle nerves in the Baltics

Anxiety over the crisis in eastern Ukraine has ratcheted in recent days amid claims of an effective Russian invasion, and warnings of NATO making a 4000-troop reaction force available to the region. As…
David Cameron and Anders Fogh Rasmussen have a plan. David Cameron and Anders Fogh Rasmussen have a plan. Luke MacGregor/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Explainer: what’s on the agenda at the NATO summit?

NATO member states are meeting this week in Wales at what could prove a milestone summit. Since the 2012 Chicago meeting, the security landscape has changed dramatically and important questions about NATO’s…
Celtic Manor welcomes careful drivers and diplomatic debaters. Celtic Manor welcomes careful drivers and diplomatic debaters. Joe Giddens/PA Wire/Press Association Images

An old threat calls for a radical new approach from NATO

World leaders are beginning to converge on Newport in Wales for two days to reflect on NATO’s aims and objectives, ahead of the organisation’s main summit on Thursday and Friday. While in Wales, they’ll…
Built in France for Russia – the Mistral class warship. Built in France for Russia – the Mistral class warship. EPA/Franck Dubray/Ouest France

Who wants to buy a couple of warships from France to stop Russia getting them?

When it comes to politics, there is a generally held belief that when it is working, it is boring. Europe’s foreign policy politics routinely breaks this axiom because while it can rarely said to be working…
Shake? Please? NATO Secretary General Rasmussen (l) visits Romania. Shake? Please? NATO Secretary General Rasmussen (l) visits Romania. EPA/Robert Ghement

Ukraine gives NATO a reason to exist – but big players demur

The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), once again saved from potential irrelevance, has come to the fore in the West’s reaction to the Ukraine crisis. In the aftermath of its withdrawal from Afghanistan…
Wheels in motion. EU seeks out sanctions in response to Ukraine crisis. Wheels in motion. EU seeks out sanctions in response to Ukraine crisis. Robert Ghement

Soak the oligarchs – a robust alternative for EU sanctions against Russia

The current stand-off between Russia and Ukraine has left the European Union looking perhaps flatfooted and ineffectual. It is an unfair reflection of reality. The EU is not a military alliance and so…
Too close for comfort? Narva Bridge on Estonia’s Russian border Too close for comfort? Narva Bridge on Estonia’s Russian border Hannu

The tiny Estonian town that could spell the end of NATO

The Russian invasion and rapid absorption of the Crimean peninsula might seem like the spark ready to ignite a new Cold War. In fact, given the feeble Western response so far, the more likely outcome is…
The gains made over the past 13 years may be squandered if the troop withdrawal also marks an end to any serious engagement with the country. The gains made over the past 13 years may be squandered if the troop withdrawal also marks an end to any serious engagement with the country. United Nations Photo

With troops set to withdraw, what’s in store for Afghanistan?

Afghanistan has a special place in the history of international relations, having tested and endorsed many international power equations over the years. But given the imminent troop withdrawal, serious…
Syrian government forces during an operation in Aleppo. Syrian government forces during an operation in Aleppo. SANA

Bombs across the border: will Turkey intervene in the Syrian war?

The exchange of artillery fire between Turkish and Syrian forces over the past few days has seen a renewed focus on the possibility of an escalating war between Damascus and Ankara. It seems that not since…
Pakistani citizens showed their opposition to the reopening of supply routes at a protest in Karachi this week. Pakistani citizens showed their opposition to the reopening of supply routes at a protest in Karachi this week. EPA/Rehan Khan

Pakistan blockade: US convoys are not going anywhere soon

For the past six weeks a high-level US team has been in Pakistan trying to negotiate a resumption of the convoys which travel through the country and provide Coalition forces in Afghanistan with about…
Libyan civilians in the wake of a NATO airstrike last year. Will the Libya operation be NATO’s swansong? Libyan civilians in the wake of a NATO airstrike last year. Will the Libya operation be NATO’s swansong? EPA/Mohamed Messara

After Chicago: what next for NATO?

Last year – for the first time in modern history – Asia outspent Europe on their militaries. The true significance of this milestone lies in how easily the Asian countries were able to achieve it. There…
Australian troops work with Afghan National Army forces in Uruzgan province in August 2011. Australian troops work with Afghan National Army forces in Uruzgan province in August 2011.

Mission accomplished? Australia withdraws from Afghanistan early

Prime minister Julia Gillard today announced the revised timetable for the withdrawal of Australian troops from Afghanistan. Within 12 to 18 months the majority of Australian military forces will leave…
Some groups in Karachi have demanded the army takes to the streets to restore law and order. Some groups in Karachi have demanded the army takes to the streets to restore law and order. EPA/Rehan Khan

Karachi violence putting NATO troops in Afghanistan at risk

There is a threat to Nato forces in Afghanistan which the world is ignoring. Violent gangs have been killing indiscriminately in Karachi, the Pakistani city vital to the supply chain which sustains ISAF…
A rebel fighter mans a makeshift checkpoint in Tripoli. A rebel fighter mans a makeshift checkpoint in Tripoli. AAP

Libya: a win for NATO

Despite confusion in recent hours about exactly who the Libyan rebels have captured, it is clear that the Gaddafi regime has been severely weakened by the weekend advance into central Tripoli. This advance…
Jubiliant Libyans celebrate the arrival of rebel forces in central Tripoli. Jubiliant Libyans celebrate the arrival of rebel forces in central Tripoli. AAP

Libya: the death throes of the Gaddafi regime

The situation in Libya remains fluid but with armed rebel fighters now in Green Square in central Tripoli, it appears the regime of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi is in its final hours. Two of the dictator’s…
Tracer fire lights up the sky during the attack on Kabul’s Intercontinental Hotel. Tracer fire lights up the sky during the attack on Kabul’s Intercontinental Hotel. AAP

Afghanistan: what the Hotel Intercontinental attack means

The overnight attack by Taliban forces on Kabul’s Intercontinental Hotel demonstrates the ability of the Islamist group to attack Afghan and Western targets in all areas of the country. At least six Taliban…

Research and News (1)

Expert reactions to Gaddafi’s killing

Muammar Gaddafi’s 42-year-rule of Libya has come to an violent end in a manner reminiscent of the dispatch of Fascist Italy’s…