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  • Author: Ondrej Ditrych
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The crisis in Ukraine has turned the tables of the post-Cold War relationship between the United States and Russia. The ongoing transformation can result in a number of outcomes, which can be conceived in terms of scenarios of normalisation, escalation and 'cold peace' - the latter two scenarios being much more probable than the first. NATO ought to shore up its defences in Central and Eastern Europe while Washington and its allies engage in a comprehensive political strategy of 'new containment'. This means combining political and economic stabilisation of the transatlantic area with credible offers of benefits to partners in the East and pragmatic relations with Russia which are neither instrumentalised (as was the case with the 'reset') nor naïvely conceived as a 'partnership'.
  • Topic: International Relations, NATO, Cold War, Economics
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe, Washington, Ukraine
  • Author: Alena Vysotskaya Guedes Vieira
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Russia's actions towards Ukraine in 2013-14, which inaugurated a new Cold War in its relations with the West, presented a dilemma to Russia's allies: whether to align themselves with Russia's choices or pursue a more independent course of action. The leadership of Belarus, Russia's closest ally, chose the latter option both by establishing dialogue with the interim government and President of Ukraine, Oleksandr Turchinov, considered illegitimate in Russia and, later, by being present at the inauguration of Petro Poroshenko on 7 June 2014 and downplaying Russia's position on the 'federalisation' of Ukraine as the only way out of the country's instability. The perspective of the intra-alliance security dilemma helps explain the divergence of views between Russia and Belarus, while pointing to the changing position of the parties towards the Eurasian integration project.
  • Topic: Security, Cold War, Government
  • Political Geography: Russia, Eurasia, Ukraine
  • Author: Francesco N. Moro, Fabrizio Coticchia
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Italian armed forces have undergone important transformations since the end of the Cold War. Exogenous changes in the strategic and operational environment have driven a reshaping of armed forces in all NATO countries, but the differences between the national responses that have emerged has not always been thoroughly analysed. Deep restructuring in military doctrine, field experience linked to intense force deployment and budgetary constraints interact in shaping the direction of transformation, sometimes in ways that deviate from classic hypotheses on what drives change in the military. The picture that emerges is a complex one, where relevant innovations co-exist with the persistence of problems that call into question the sustainability of the Italian defence model.
  • Topic: NATO, Cold War
  • Political Geography: Italy
  • Author: Robert Springborg
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The dramatic thawing of the Cold War at the end of the 1980s accompanied by the rapid democratisation of Eastern Europe served as inspiration and model for political transitions in other settings. Now the Arab world, the securitisation of which has kept it frozen in what amounts to a regional cold war long after the global prototype ended, may be entering its springtime of political freedom. Tunisia's 'Jasmine' and Egypt's 'Midan al Tahrir' Revolutions chased established autocrats from power, thus making possible new domestic political orders and substantial reorientations of foreign policies. Imitative uprisings in Bahrain, Yemen, Libya and Syria have thus far resulted in widespread violence, regime retrenchments and even foreign interventions, although prospects do remain for more positive outcomes. Intermittent demonstrations in various other Arab countries, including Morocco, Algeria, Oman, Jordan and Iraq, have typically been met with limited political reforms and promises of more to come. So the region is definitely in political ferment, but whether that presages transitions to democracy à la Eastern Europe in 1989, or revanchist reconsolidations reminiscent of those that overwhelmed the 1848 liberal nationalist movements in Western Europe, remains to be seen.
  • Topic: Cold War
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Europe, Libya, Yemen, Arabia, Algeria, Syria, Jordan, Morocco, Bahrain, Oman
  • Author: Emiliano Alessandri
  • Publication Date: 09-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Turkey is not 'drifting' towards the east. It is in search of a new place and a new identity, given the many changes that have taken place in the domestic and international contexts, particularly since the end of the Cold War. This complex process of transformation does not in itself challenge Turkey's Western orientation, but it certainly puts it to the test. It is time for the debate on Turkey's drift to be replaced by a more serious and fruitful one on the reasons why Turkey is still important for the EU and the West and what Europe and the West mean for and can offer contemporary Turkey.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Cold War
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey
  • Author: Seongho Sheen
  • Publication Date: 06-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Since its division following independence from Japanese colonialism in 1945, the reunification of the Korean peninsula has been the ultimate national mission for the Republic of South Korea (ROK). Unification became the most important redemptive mission for Koreans to recover the national pride and unity lost during Japanese colonialism. Yet, it also became a practical imperative to address the most serious national security threat posed by North Korean military aggression. Memories are still vivid of the Korean War which North Korea's Communist leader, Kim Il-sung, started in 1950 in an effort to unify Korea by force, and which killed almost four million Koreans on both sides (since the 1953 armistice, the two Koreas have remained technically at war). Additionally, unification is understood as a way to enhance Korea's geostrategic leverage over its big neighbours, China and Japan, which seem to have taken advantage of the division. In fact, the Chinese and Japanese views on Korean unification can be likened to the way former French President Mitterrand spoke of the prospects of German unification: they like Korea so much that they prefer to have two of them as their neighbours rather than just one. Koreans had every reason to believe that reunification was their national mission and in Korea's interests. Indeed, as much as the South Koreans feared military aggression from the North, they also wanted to achieve unification badly enough to risk war, causing the United States to keep a close eye on each South Korean government throughout the Cold War for any intent to launch a pre-emptive attack on North Korea.
  • Topic: Cold War
  • Political Geography: Korea
  • Author: James Dobbins
  • Publication Date: 12-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Contrary to popular belief, the number of conflicts and the number of casualties, refugees and displaced persons resulting from them has fallen dramatically since the end of the Cold War. Previously, with neither superpower wanting a dispute to be settled to its disadvantage, conflicts dragged on indefinitely or were permanently frozen. After 1989, dynamics changed and international interventions began to pursue more far-reaching objectives: to disarm combatants, promote civil society, restore the economy, etc. Nation-building thus replaced inter-positional peacekeeping as the dominant form of international intervention with such missions becoming larger, longer and more frequent. The UN's success rate, as measured in enhanced security, economic growth, return of refugees and installation of representative governments meets or exceeds that of NATO- and EU-led missions in almost every category. It is time, therefore, for Western governments, militaries and populations to get over their disappointment at the UN's early failures and begin once again to do their fair share in these efforts.
  • Topic: NATO, Cold War, Government
  • Political Geography: America, Europe
  • Author: Ian Shapiro
  • Publication Date: 09-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The Bush administration has been too quick to dismiss containment as an obsolete hangover of the Cold War. Appropriately modified to operate through international institutions and regional alliances, containment provides the most viable available basis for responding to terrorist threats emanating from rogue regimes and weak states.
  • Topic: Cold War, Terrorism