The latest issue of the Finnish Journal of Foreign Affairs, published in late May, focuses on climate change and energy politics. The journal asks whether China, the world’s largest polluter, is in the position to effectively tackle the rise of global temperatures. In addition, the journal analyzes the political consequences of Europe’s dependency on Russian gas and nuclear technology.
The journal also explores the second wave of urbanization currently underway especially in Africa, and analyzes why both Nigeria in the west and Kenya in the east of Africa have so far been ineffective in fighting terrorism within their borders.
The next issue of the journal will be published in September. The journal is available both as a printed journal and as an e-paper at Lehtiluukku.fi.
András Rácz, Russia’s hybrid war in Ukraine: Breaking the Enemy’s Ability to Resist, http://www.fiia.fi/en/publication/514/russia_s_hybrid_war_in_ukraine/
Since the change of power in Ukraine in February 2014, Russia has been swift to occupy and annex the Crimean peninsula. In April 2014, separatist riots broke out in Eastern Ukraine, following a very similar pattern to those in Crimea. These actions were accompanied by a strong and intensive, well-coordinated diplomatic, economic and media campaign both in Ukraine and abroad, also supported by pressure exerted by the large Russian military units lined up along the border with Ukraine.
The form of warfare Russia employed in Ukraine in 2014, often called hybrid war, has been aimed at defeating the target country by breaking its ability to resist without actually launching a full-scale military attack. In line with contemporary Russian military thinking on ‘new generation warfare’, hybrid war is built on the combined use of military and non-military means, employing basically the whole spectrum of a state’s policy inventory, including diplomatic, economic, political, social, information and also military means.
This report aims to seek answers to two main research questions. First, what are the main features and characteristics of Russia’s hybrid warfare as conducted in Ukraine? Derived from the first, the second research question is focused on the operational prerequisites for the Russian hybrid war. In other words, is the Russian hybrid war a universal warfare method deployable anywhere, or is it more country or region-specific?
Katri Pynnöniemi & James Mashiri, Venäjän sotilasdoktriinit vertailussa: Nykyinen versio viritettiin kriisiajan taajuudelle, http://www.fiia.fi/en/publication/507/venajan_sotilasdoktriinit_vertailussa/
Russia approved an updated version of its military doctrine at the end of 2014. The new document replaces the doctrine adopted in February 2010 during Dmitry Medvedev’s presidency. The revision work was done quickly in Autumn 2014.
This report examines the main changes in the military doctrine, and their implications for Russia’s foreign and security policy. Studying these changes helps to understand the key premises and goals of Russian security policy.
The main conclusion of the analysis is that with the update, the military doctrine has been adjusted to meet the needs of a crisis period. The doctrine’s description of current world politics at large reflects the way Russia seeks to define global phenomena as a struggle between value systems and models of development. The new wordings emphasise the dynamics between external military threats and Russia’s internal stability.
FIIA Working Papers
Eoin Micheal McNamara, Magnus Nordenman & Charly Salonius-Pasterknak, Nordic-Baltic security and US foreign policy: A durable transatlantic link? http://www.fiia.fi/en/publication/515/nordic-baltic_security_and_us_foreign_policy/
Over the more than two decades that separate the end of the Cold War from the Ukraine crisis, a security link of considerable importance has developed between the United States and the Nordic-Baltic region. The dynamics of the partnerships maintained by the Nordic and Baltic states with the US as well as, more broadly, NATO, have attracted increased international scrutiny since 2014.
A number of factors could potentially place US-Nordic-Baltic security cooperation under stress.
Firstly, while the US is not abandoning Europe; the US “rebalance” to a rising Asia, disillusionment with European defence expenditure cuts and the effects of changing domestic demographic shifts on US foreign policy mean that Europe should not expect the same type of US security presence that it enjoyed during the Cold War. The transatlantic partnership will face a number of uncertainties should Europe not assume a greater share of the collective security burden.
Questions surrounding the defence of various Baltic Sea islands and orchestrated destabilization using Russian-speaking minorities have the potential to impact regional and transatlantic security relations, including bilateral and multilateral security assistance, for example, in the form of NATO’s article five.
Jan Hanska, The role of the Baltic region for the United States: An analysis of U.S. presidential rhetoric from the Reagan years to today, http://www.fiia.fi/en/publication/506/the_role_of_the_baltic_region_for_the_united_states/
The Baltic Sea and the states that surround it comprise an interesting geopolitical area. For the entire post-World War II period the area has been a no-man’s zone where East and West meet and interact. After the end of the Cold War, the area around the Baltic Sea became a relative haven of stability. But the Russian annexation of the Crimean peninsula in 2014, and the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, have brought about a new era of perceived insecurity.
This working paper illustrates the role that the Baltic region has played in the foreign policy and strategy rhetoric of the United States in the past thirty years. To accomplish this, the Public Papers of the presidents from the Reagan era to the first years of the Obama administration were searched for references to the region itself, the Baltic Sea and the states in the area and their issues. Within the timeline chosen for the analysis, significant policy changes have occurred in US strategy, but are they reflected in the role the Baltic region has been allocated in US foreign policy and, if so, then how?
In times of stability, the Baltic region seems to be almost inconsequential to the US. But a tense security situation – like the one we are experiencing at the time of writing – elevates the region from obscurity and puts it in the spotlight, but only temporarily. The same process occurred briefly when the Baltic states joined NATO.
More than anything, the re-entry of the Baltic region into both US strategy and presidential rhetoric alike during 2014 and 2015 illustrates the fact that the region has become a crisis area within which the US clearly sees a threat to its international interests and its allies.
FIIA Breifing Papers
Marie Neuvonen, Fear of Migration: Is the EU’s Southern Neighbourhood Policy fading away?
The conflicts in Syria, Libya and Iraq have spread instability and insecurity in the EU’s southern neighbourhood, and increased the number of migrants attempting to make their way to Europe with dramatic consequences at sea.
As a consequence, the EU has responded to the increasing migration pressures by attempting to control migration by increasing sea patrols and also by reviewing its neighbourhood policy.
The EU’s neighbourhood policy (ENP) is dominated by an agenda aimed at controlling migration towards Europe, which was not the original purpose of the policy. Europe’s Southern Mediterranean partners, unwilling to police the migration efforts, have requested the EU to increase the means for legal migration.
Currently, the EU is preoccupied with plans to launch military operations targeting traffickers, to further increase patrols and to share the burden originating from the southern migration more equally among the member states.
Relatedly, the ENP seems to be fading away, much like the general policy framework for the EU response to the developments in its southern neighbourhood, as the envisaged EU action is largely taking place outside of it.
Whether within or outside the ENP, the EU needs to improve its response to its Southern Mediterranean partners’ interests and priorities in order to maintain the special relationship with them.
Toni Alaranta, Turkey’s Islamic-Conservative State Project at a Crossroads: President Erdoğan did not get his “super presidency”, but Turkey will probably soon head to new elections, http://www.fiia.fi/en/publication/512/turkey_s_islamic-conservative_state_project_at_a_crossroads/The parliamentary elections held at the beginning of June turned out to be a major defence of Turkish democracy and its parliamentary system. Further, the elections witnessed the rise of the pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP), which was able to exceed the ten per cent threshold and thus gain 80 seats in parliament.
Arkady Mashes, The Eastern Partnership after the Riga summit: Avoiding the path of least resistance, http://www.fiia.fi/en/publication/508/the_eastern_partnership_after_the_riga_summit/
The EU should be warned against curtailing its ambitions in the Eastern Neighbourhood. Half-hearted policies will not lead to the systemic transformation of the region. Only a more robust, more demanding and more rewarding policy can bring about such change.