The January-February issue of Diplomaatia focuses on the security crisis in Mali, the Baltic Sea security environment in 2030 and the options available to small nations in the UN and the European Union.
In the opening essay, Richard Weitz, a policy analyst at the Hudson Institute, introduces a December 2012 study published by the US National Intelligence Council under the title of Global Trends 2030: Alternative Worlds. Weitz also discusses various analyses of the future security environment in the Baltic Sea region and claims that all these studies underscore the interlinking fates of Europe, Russia and the United States. For this reason, the Atlantic Council report, Envisioning 2030: US Strategy for a Post-Western World, calls on the Obama administration to cooperate with Europeans “to create an environment conducive for Russia to move in a direction of modernisation, greater integration with the EU and NATO, and cooperation on global issues.”
Estonian Ambassador to the UN Margus Kolga considers the options available to a small nation in the UN. According to Kolga, Estonia’s image in the global organisation rests on four pillars: our smallness; our historic background; a conviction that Estonia is doing well; and our innovation efforts and practical mentality. Kolga is positive that a small nation in the UN has value in itself.
An analyst at the Estonian Foreign Policy Institute Ahto Lobjakas investigates the operating mechanisms of the European Union and the peculiarities which benefit small nations and also limit their options. Lobjakas perceives the European Union as an entity that has successfully and with only a few Realpolitik-style compromises levelled the playing field for its member states, even though they were essentially not born equal. The author adds that anyone who wants to discuss Europe’s fate and future must be in any case thoroughly familiar with the history of great nations, especially if you represent small nations.
A research fellow at the International Centre for Defence Studies (ICDS) Emmet Tuohy, a Master’s student at the University of Tartu Toomas Korka and a security consultant Rene Toomse outline the context for the international crisis in Mali. Treating the conflict as part of the fight between radical and moderate Islamism, Tuohy finds that it is “mission accomplished” for the French in the first stage of their military intervention in Mali. Korka concentrates on the Tuaregs and their independence struggle. Toomse, a captain (in the reserve) of the Estonian Defence Forces, analyses the situation in Northern Mali from a military perspective.
In relation to the opening up of the Estonian electricity market at the beginning of 2013, an ICDS intern Kaisa Alliksaar describes the operation and functions of the Nordic power market Nord Pool.
In the book review section, Andres Vosman reviews Thomas Ricks’ new book, The Generals: American Military Command from World War II to Today.