Operation OPEN SPIRIT 2015 - LNS SKALVIS (1st plan) departing from Tallinn naval base. ORP MEWA (background) waiting for departure. 18 MAY 2015 photo by WO C.ARTIGUES (HQ MARCOM). Operation OPEN SPIRIT is an annual, combined and joint Explosive Remnants of War (ERW) clearance operation conducted in the spirit of Partnership for Peace and hosted on a rotational basis by one of three Baltic State NATO members: Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Operation OPEN SPIRIT 2015 is led by the Estonian Naval Flotilla (ENF) and is taking place in the territorial waters and exclusive economic zone of Estonia. This year’s operation will be based out of Simisti Harbour on the Estonian Island of Muhu from May 15-28, 2015.  The countries participating in Operation OPEN SPIRIT 2015 include: Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Sweden, and the United States of America.  The aims of Operation OPEN SPIRIT are to reduce the threat of unexploded ordnance (UXO) throughout the Baltic Sea region, foster goodwill, and to support an important relationship with our security and defence partners. The Baltic Sea region saw heavy fighting during the First and Second World Wars, which included air bombardment, naval gunfire support, mine-laying, and submarine warfare. As a result, UXO remains in some areas of the Baltic Sea.

Another military exercise in Estonia. Exercise Open Spirit 2015 will search for World War II mines in the Gulf of Tallinn and other waterways. The photo is of NATO ships taking part in the exercise. The steeple of St. Olaf’s Church can be seen in the distance at far right, and cruise ships in the far center.

In the negotiations with Iran, the P5+1 have different interests and goals.

The challenge of assessing Syria’s chemical weapons.

Norway overtakes Russia as western Europe’s top gas supplier.

Someday Los Alamos may produce plutonium pits for nuclear weapons.


Long reads:

Why the “Cold War” metaphor damages thinking about Russia today.

How to get to a stable balance of power with China.




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  1. The Blog Fodder says:

    “At the same time flows of money, political support and weapons have turned the conflict in Ukraine into a proxy war between Russia and the West”.
    I got that far and quit. Another pseudo-intellectual paper blaming the West for not understanding poor Russia and treating Ukraine like a piece of wood on a board game.

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