Regardless the final composition of the next Iraqi coalition government, NATO will have to interact with an executive part interested in maintaining the militias, their base of power. As a matter of fact, Security Sector Reform (SSR) in Iraq may appear as a national issue, but in reality the structure of Iraq's armed forces has implications for the whole region, including the Mediterranean, which is the "Southern", and in some cases also the "Eastern" flank of NATO.
Looking at political debates and perceived priorities, it seems that the coming NATO Summit will focus on the Eastern flank.
At the same time, the 11-12 July Summit will give the operative kick-start to the NATO Strategic Direction South (NSD-S) Hub, based in Naples and opened in September 2017.
National security is in the hand of Member States, not of the European Union, under Article 4, par. 2, TEU. But cybersecurity is not only an issue involving national security, as it has much to do with trust with the digital economy, the freedom of speech, the free trade, the respect of citizens’ rights, their data protection and privacy; in a few words, it is a basic element of the European Single Market.
In June 2017, the Council of the European Union agreed to develop the cyber diplomatic toolbox, a joint EU diplomatic response to deter malicious cyber operations. The cyber diplomatic toolbox is a potential game changer for EU cybersecurity as it signals the potential consequences aggressors might face when they target EU member states’ information systems. However, there is more to that than meets the eyes.
Information communications technologies (ICTs) are the backbone of Europe's economy. They fuel new opportunities for citizens to connect, for governments to provide increased access to public services, for utilities to deliver critical services, and for businesses to serve as an engine of economic growth. The remarkable opportunities associated with being connected and participating in the Internet economy are enticing countries and corporations to further expand their digital footprint.
The deadlocked conflict between Russia and Ukraine remains, as of Spring 2017, the most direct challenge to security in Europe and the most powerful driver of the confrontation between Russia and the West. This confrontation is significantly different from the essentially static posture of the Cold War, from the late 1940s to the late 1970s, and it is the unique nature of the Russia-Ukraine conflict that determines many of the differences.
This brief text addresses the question of how Russia’s recent actions in Ukraine – and elsewhere – have influenced debates and policies in the Nordic countries. The ambition here is to shed light on how these questions are addressed in Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland, the countries that for various reasons have had to redefine their policies towards Russia in the aftermath of the Ukraine crisis in 2014.
Over the last ten years, the mantra of experts and scholars highlighted the uncertain future of Afghanistan. The situation on the ground shows an ambiguous mix of instability and tentative signs of progress. To this very day, any future scenario bears the mark of uncertainty. The dynamics of the last two years, after the massive international withdrawal due to the end of the NATO-ISAF mission, are bound to recur not just in the next months but also in the next few years.
For many years now, successive American administrations have made no secret of their frustration with how little most NATO allies spend on their militaries, leaving the United States with a disproportionately large share of the bill for the joint defense. James Mattis, the new Secretary of Defense, recently expressed much the same frustration in remarks delivered in Brussels. Recently, President Donald Trump went even further warning that unless the allies paid up, America might reduce its commitment.
There is no doubt that the pro-Kremlin disinformation campaign is an orchestrated strategy, delivering the same disinformation stories in as many languages as possible, through as many channels as possible, and as often as possible.