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  • Author: David Blagden
  • Publication Date: 04-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: The international system is returning to multipolarity—a situation of multiple Great Powers—drawing the post-Cold War 'unipolar moment' of comprehensive US political, economic and military dominance to an end. The rise of new Great Powers, namely the 'BRICs'—Brazil, Russia, India, and most importantly, China—and the return of multipolarity at the global level in turn carries security implications for western Europe. While peaceful political relations within the European Union have attained a remarkable level of strategic, institutional and normative embeddedness, there are five factors associated with a return of Great Power competition in the wider world that may negatively impact on the western European strategic environment: the resurgence of an increasingly belligerent Russia; the erosion of the US military commitment to Europe; the risk of international military crises with the potential to embroil European states; the elevated incentive for states to acquire nuclear weapons; and the vulnerability of economically vital European sea lines and supply chains. These five factors must, in turn, be reflected in European states' strategic behaviour. In particular, for the United Kingdom—one of western Europe's two principal military powers, and its only insular (offshore) power—the return of Great Power competition at the global level suggests that a return to offshore balancing would be a more appropriate choice than an ongoing commitment to direct military interventions of the kind that have characterized post-2001 British strategy.
  • Topic: Security, Cold War
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Europe, Brazil
  • Author: Oliver Geden, Severin Fischer
  • Publication Date: 04-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: For many years, the EU pursued the strategy of 'leading by example' in international climate negotiations. Climate policy has generally been seen as one of the few policy fields in which the EU is able to develop coherent positions and speak with a single voice. Since the Copenhagen climate summit, however, frictions inside the EU and a paradigm shift have become increasingly evident. With the October 2014 compromise in the European Council on a new framework for 2030, the international climate negotiations have become less important and a more incremental domestic approach has prevailed.
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Tomas Wyns
  • Publication Date: 04-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Intended nationally determined contributions (INDCs) for mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions are expected to be an important part of a post-2020 climate agreement under the UNFCCC. However, it is not certain yet what these INDCs will contain and how they will be assessed. The EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) faced similar challenges in its first years (2005-12). Thus, the mechanisms and lessons learned under the EU ETS could be applied to the INDCs to create a governance and assessment system that increases transparency and builds trust among parties to the UNFCCC.
  • Topic: Climate Change
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Zhang Xiaotong
  • Publication Date: 04-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The Chinese policy and academic communities have mixed views about the US-led TPP, either viewing it as a strategic attempt at encircling China, or as a positive spur for domestic reform and opening-up. Although the Chinese government adopted an open and flexible attitude towards the TPP, it has moved strategically by accelerating the negotiations of the RCEP and China-Korea FTA, as well as updating its FTA with ASEAN. A more interesting development is China's new initiatives for building two grand silk roads, one to Central Asia, leading on to Europe, and the other to Southeast Asia, leading on to the Indian Ocean. Both represent China's renewed confidence in finding its role in Asia.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: China, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Jakub Kufčák
  • Publication Date: 04-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Obrana a strategie (Defence Strategy)
  • Institution: University of Defence
  • Abstract: This article analyses the impacts of the austerity cuts on the defence spending and armed forces of the V4 countries. This is achieved through combination of three analytical approaches - firstly by looking at defence expenditure in constant $ from SIPRI data, secondly by comparing the respective structures of these defence budgets from the NATO data, and thirdly by analysing how these developments and economic realities translated into the level of the respective national armies and if/how were the political ambitions for foreign deployments for these armies modified, if/how was the force structure reformed, if/which capabilities were slashed and if/which modernisation plans were postponed. This research design yielded several results even though the utility of the V4 analytical framework proved to be, thanks to vast discrepancies between the sample countries, limited. The conditions of small states armies did not allow the V4 countries to make significant cuts in the number of military personnel as bigger countries in Europe were able to execute in order to protect their equipment expenditures that are vital for modernisation. Consequently, the V4 countries were left with soaring personnel expenditures and gradually diminishing funds for investments. Curiously, Slovakia proved to be the only country where the decline in defence expenditure can be at least partially tied to austerity cuts and the economic crisis.
  • Political Geography: Europe, Slovakia
  • Author: Antonín Novotný, Dalibor Procházka
  • Publication Date: 04-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Obrana a strategie (Defence Strategy)
  • Institution: University of Defence
  • Abstract: The article describes the application of system dynamics in the process military capabilities sharing of the Czech Republic with Alliance allies. The aim is not to capture the problem in all its aspects, but is focused on the process of multinational capabilities sharing with accent for the Army of the Czech Republic, which has been suffer in the last few years the reduction in the defence spending. Czech Republic gradually came with its defence budget into the group of countries that profit from its membership in NATO, but without its own contribution for developing of its military capabilities. The basic precondition for the capability and readiness of the Alliance to face current and new security challenges, is the necessity to have adequate capabilities. For achieving this goal is essential higher and more responsible involvement the European countries of the Alliance for collective defence, including the Czech Republic. Ongoing Ukrainian crisis and the behavior of the Russian Federation represent a fundamental change in the security environment in Europe and therefore changing the assumptions on which the Alliance is preparing to fulfil tasks. Solving problems in capabilities can be achieve by properly-designed investments in upgrading, by improving NATO defence planning process and accordance with national defence planning process, by consistent execution capability targets that this process generates, but also by use of multinational capabilities sharing. Pooling and sharing capability among individual member states can have a significant impact on the way, how to replace the missing defence sources or how to effectively use increasing of defence budgets, which the Alliance, including the Czech Republic, declared at the summit in Wales.
  • Political Geography: Europe, Ukraine
37. Editorial
  • Publication Date: 04-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Obrana a strategie (Defence Strategy)
  • Institution: University of Defence
  • Abstract: Dear readers, Please, let me introduce another issue of the Obrana a strategie journal, bringing an above-average number of attractive texts, which attests to the growing interest of authors and readers in our journal. Before briefly introducing its contents, I would like to point out some of the currently implemented or prepared changes, which will affect the Obrana a strategie journal in 2015. In order to increase the attractiveness of our periodical, we are preparing modernisation of its visual style for the following year. Similarly, the Guidelines for Authors have been also updated. The most important change which will affect all prospective contributors consists in updating the templates for contributions, which have been completely revised, adjusted and simplified. The second important change is the discontinuation of the Forum, mainly due to the low interest of authors in this feature, allowing for maximum share of the peer-reviewed content of the journal and better accessibility for foreign databases. The contents of this issue start with two articles related to Africa.
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Douglas Lute
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ambassadors Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: At the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Summit in Wales on September 4-5, 2014, NATO leaders were clear about the security challenges on the Alliance's borders. In the East, Russia's actions threaten our vision of a Europe that is whole, free, and at peace. On the Alliance's southeastern border, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant's campaign of terror poses a threat to the stability of the Middle East and beyond. To the south, across the Mediterranean, Libya is becoming increasingly unstable.
  • Topic: NATO
  • Political Geography: Europe, Middle East, Libya
  • Author: Daniel H. Levine
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: The election of Argentine Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio as Pope Francis aroused enthusiasm—and expectations—in Latin America. As the first pope of non-European origin in nearly 1,300 years, and the first ever from Latin America, he embodies both hopes and concerns for the future of the Catholic Church in this part of the world.
  • Political Geography: Europe, Argentina, Latin America
  • Author: Wilda Escarfuller
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: Our hemisphere produces some of the best (and best paid) athletes in the world. Unfortunately, many of our soccer (futbol) players go on to play in Europe, where the contracts and endorsements are better. For the same reason, two of those who top the list of baseball player salaries from Venezuela—Cabrera and Santana—playing in U.S. instead of their home country.
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Venezuela