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THE LETTER OF THE US SECRETARY OF STATE SUPPORTS EFFORTS OF THE GOVERNMENT OF LITHUANIA

The United States strongly supports efforts of the Government of Lithuanian to advance energy diversification and energy security in the Baltic region, reads the letter of the U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to Lithuanian Foreign Minister Audronius Ažubalis. READ MORE

Immaculate Intervention: The Wars of Humanitarianism

By George Friedman

There are wars in pursuit of interest. In these wars, nations pursue economic or strategic ends to protect the nation or expand its power. There are also wars of ideology, designed to spread some idea of “the good,” whether this good is religious or secular. The two obviously can be intertwined, such that a war designed to spread an ideology also strengthens the interests of the nation spreading the ideology. READ MORE

What's Behind Kyrgyzstan's U.S. and Russian Counterterror Training Centers?

By Joshua Kucera

A couple of weeks ago, Kyrgyzstan's president, Roza Otunbayeva, announced that the country was planning to construct two counterterror training centers in the southern part of the country, and that one would be built by Russia and the other by the U.S. Her announcement raised a lot of questions, which I posed to Alisher Khamidov, a EurasiaNet contributor and expert on southern Kyrgyzstan. He said that fears of Islamist militants from Tajikistan as well as the military of Uzbekistan are motivating Kyrgyzstan to develop the centers, and that Otunbayeva puts a higher priority on the U.S. center than on the Russian one. READ MORE

Biden urges democratic reforms on visit to Moldova

By Corneliu Rusnac

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden urged Moldova to fight corruption and implement pro-Western democratic reforms, saying Friday that Washington would offer support to Europe's poorest country as it seeks to move closer to the EU. READ MORE

China, Russia Lead UN Initiative to Stabilize Somalia, Fight Piracy Threat

By Bill Varner

China and Russia are leading a new effort at the United Nations to curb the threat of piracy off the coast of Somalia and defeat al-Qaeda-linked terrorists fighting to seize control of the Horn of Africa nation. READ MORE

NATO allies warn US on too much defense scrimping

By Spencer Kimball

While the Pentagon tightens its financial belt, Defense Secretary Robert Gates has hinted at reducing American troop levels in Europe. However, Washington must reconcile a smaller force with traditional NATO obligations. READ MORE

Clinton confirms plans for missile base in Poland

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has confirmed Washington's plans to deploy missile defenses and Air Force units in Poland. READ MORE

Seven Guidelines for U.S. Central Asia Policy

By Evan A. Feigenbaum

As noted in my last post, a new report from the bipartisan Central Asia Study Group, chaired by former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage and issued by the Project 2049 Institute, offers an action agenda aimed at creating a more effective and enduring partnership between the United States and the nations of Central Asia. I was the principal author of the report. But the paper is a consensus document that reflects discussion, debate, and, ultimately, broad agreement among a distinguished group of former senior U.S. diplomatic and defense officials with responsibility for, or interest in, Central Asia. READ MORE

Central Asia, Caucasus: Washington Seeks Cut in Foreign Assistance Budget

By Joshua Kucera

The United States intends to cut funding for assistance programs in most countries in the Caucasus and Central Asia, under the new budget proposed by the Obama administration on February 14. READ MORE

Afghan leader says U.S. bases depend on neighbors

By Hamid Shalizi

The possibility of the United States retaining long-term bases in Afghanistan could only be addressed once peace has been achieved and must take into account the country's neighbors, the Afghan president said on Saturday. READ MORE