December 2008 - In December 2008, a friend in Bucharest sent me a message quoting a recent statement by an influential political commentator from the Romanian media. This columnist reminds me of the former spokesman for the Polish military junta in the 1980s, who has since become a very successful capitalist: Jerzy Urban. Urban is the editor of the weekly magazine Nie, which irreverently makes fun of everybody. In my mind, Urban is no hero, but is a former Communist Party lackey who turned into the transition's profiteering buffoon. So, I am referring here to somebody who is the equivalent of Urban in Romania, and his name is Ion Cristoiu.
Jan./Feb. 2001 - As the two most strategically important Balkan countries, Greece and Turkey have important roles to play in promoting security, reconstruction, and international integration throughout Southeastern Europe. While Athens and Ankara maintain serious, long-term disputes over Cyprus and the Aegean, the "Central Balkan" region provides a valuable opportunity for cooperation and complementarity that can increase the influence and prestige of both states while enhancing their bilateral relations.
These four papers analyze evolving patterns in the Baltics with regard to ethnic relations. The authors examine considerations for Baltic unity, as well as issues specific to the three countries. In Estonia, the author considers the effect of the country's declaration of independence on ethnic and economic stability. Another author discusses issues of nationhood in Latvia in 1993, while the final author examines the role of Russians in Lithuania.
Read Martin Sletzinger's testimony before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs on "Central and Eastern Europe: Assessing the Democratic Transition"
To read his and other witness testimony at the July 25, 2007 Committee meeting click here
Critics of American involvement in Kosovo generally charge that the United States has no business entering yet another bloody Balkan quarrel and that, if we did, we would never get out. Such fears are hardly groundless. An intervention undertaken without at least some agreement among the parties about long-term political objectives and without sufficient force to meet likely challenges on the ground could well end up the worst of all outcomes. It might well fail to stop the bloodshed among the parties. It could also produce significant casualties among the intervention troops. Unlike Bosnia in 1995, both sides in Kosovo still have the will to attempt to prevail by force.