The sixth The sixth U.S.-Central Europe Strategy Forum takes place amid the most momentous European security crisis in decades. Russia’s attack on Ukraine has placed heavy strains on the Atlantic alliance. The Kremlin has adopted an outspoken and vehemently anti-Western and revisionist policy, putting the whole European security order under threat. To this end, Russia has used a startlingly successful mixture of military power, propaganda, economic pressure, diplomacy and subversion. The West, by contrast, looks unprepared for the new era of geopolitical competition. Some traditionally Atlanticist countries have distanced themselves from sanctions against Russia. Others are hesitant to oppose Russia's consolidation of energy supplies and infrastructure. Under-investment in defense by some allies has sharpened U.S. worries about security burden-sharing. Meanwhile, frontline states worry that Western Europe is unwilling to confront Russia on their behalf. Finally, the rhetorical commitment of the United States to European defense, underlined by President Obama’s speeches in Warsaw and Tallinn, has not quenched worries that America is too distracted to play its traditional role as security guarantor. Faced with these pressures, the 2014 U.S.-Central Europe Strategy Forum will consider the perils of current trends—the end of Atlanticism and a restored Russian hegemony in Europe’s East—and ways of averting that fate.
Apart from PISM, Partners for the 2014 Strategy Forum include the International Visegrád Fund, Chevron, Bell Helicopter/Textron, the Hungary Initiatives Foundation, Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Sikorsky Aircraft, LNG Allies, Friends of Slovakia, and the East Tennessee Foundation.