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  • Author: Sakari Ishetiar
  • Publication Date: 05-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Woodrow Wilson School Journal of Public and International Affairs
  • Institution: Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University
  • Abstract: Russia’s abstention from UNSCR 1973, which allowed a no-fly zone in Libya and ultimately led to the collapse of the Qadhafi regime, has resounded across both Russian foreign policy and the security environment of the Near East. Competing theories claim the abstention was either a carefully-planned strategy or a tactical miscalculation, but the result—Russian rejection of regime decapitation and Western distaste for further intervention—is easily observed. In addition to tangible military and political benefits, the chaotic and unsustainable Libyan status quo bolsters Russia’s political capital by discrediting that of the West. Although Russia is unlikely to intervene kinetically in Libya, it can passively destabilize the country at almost no cost, stymying Western efforts to end the crisis. Only by recognizing and accommodating Russia’s interests in Libya can the West negotiate a lasting settlement for Libya and secure vital U.S. interests in the region.
  • Topic: Civil War, Sovereignty, Military Affairs, Military Intervention, Conflict, UN Security Council
  • Political Geography: Russia, Eurasia, Libya, North Africa
  • Author: Sagatom Saha, Theresa Lou
  • Publication Date: 05-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Woodrow Wilson School Journal of Public and International Affairs
  • Institution: Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University
  • Abstract: Increasing military and economic cooperation between Russia and China has led some to believe that America's two primary adversaries are joining together in an anti-U.S. alliance. However, this emerging relationship amounts to little more than a convenient alignment rather than a steadfast alliance. This analysis delves into emerging Sino-Russian competition and cooperation in Central Asia and the Arctic to illustrate diverging strategic interests and also provides recommendations for U.S. policymakers to capitalize on divides between America's competitors.
  • Topic: Grand Strategy, Alliance, Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), Strategic Competition
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Eurasia, Asia, North America, Arctic, United States of America
  • Author: Elena V. Baraban
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Warsaw East European Review (WEER)
  • Institution: Centre for East European Studies, University of Warsaw
  • Abstract: In this paper I examine two popular Russian television series: the historical drama The Demon of the Revolution, or Parvus’s Memorandum (Demon revoliutsii, ili Memorandum Parvusa, dir. Vladimir Khotinenko, 2017) and the biopic Trotsky (Trotskii, dirs. Alexander Kott and Konstantin Statskii, 2017). These mini-series were released on Russia’s main television channels on the occasion of the centenary of the October Revolution. Given their salience amidst otherwise subdued commemoration of the Revolution’s centenary in Russia, it is important to analyze these films in the current ideological and political context. What do they tell us about present-day Russia? What is their cultural significance? In what way does the negative depiction of the Revolution and its leaders in The Demon and Trotsky relate to the Russian authorities’ ideology concerning national unity and the nation’s steady development? This discussion is especially pertinent for understanding how the creation and circulation of such narratives shape the public opinion in today’s Russia. This, in turn, helps to understand current trends in the relation between power and culture.
  • Topic: History, Ideology, Revolution, Lenin, Trotsky
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Author: Adrian Popa, Cristian Barna
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Warsaw East European Review (WEER)
  • Institution: Centre for East European Studies, University of Warsaw
  • Abstract: Russia’s recent buildup of A2/AD (anti-access/area denial) forces in Crimea and Kaliningrad, coupled with its increasingly confronting rhetoric in the Black and Baltic Seas, pose a serious challenge for the NATO’s Eastern flank countries. While the mare sui generis status of the Black Sea might be altered under the expected inauguration of Canal Istanbul in 2023 as it would probably require the revision of the Montreux Convention, the mare liberum status of the Baltic Sea might also be questioned as Russia contests NATO’s Enhanced Forward Presence in this region. Facing this challenging geostrategic context, Pilsudski’s ideas of Intermarium seem to have revived within the Central and Eastern European countries under modern interfaces such as the Bucharest Nine and the Three Seas Initiative. This paper proposes a comparative analysis between the Black Sea and the Baltic Sea in terms of their newly-emerged geostrategic context, discusses the feasibility of the recent endeavours to promote cooperation within the Central and Eastern European countries and not ultimately, highlights the utility of a regional military alliance in support of NATO.
  • Topic: NATO, Diplomacy, International Security, International Affairs, Geopolitics
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia, Crimea, Baltic Sea, Baltic States
  • Author: Thiago Gehre
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Conjuntura Austral: Journal of the Global South
  • Institution: Conjuntura Austral: Journal of the Global South
  • Abstract: The BRICS is a group of countries formed by Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa that began to operate formally in 2009 as a legitimate, efficient and durable agent of governance in the world order (ACHARYA 2016: 1-27). Scholars all over the world –many of them cited here in this article –have painted the image of the BRICS as an ‘economic colossus’, assuming an underdeveloped intra-bloc cooperation restricted to economic issues. Nonetheless, from an economic starting point, the BRICS has evolved in the last years expanding its cooperation capabilities to a huge array of issues that encapsulates innovation and sensitivity.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs, Geopolitics, Innovation
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, India, South Africa, Brazil
  • Author: Luiza Peruffo
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Conjuntura Austral: Journal of the Global South
  • Institution: Conjuntura Austral: Journal of the Global South
  • Abstract: The grouping of the BRICS countries is controversial in several ways. First, because its origins do not have a political foundation: Brazil, Russia, India and China were first put together as an acronym created in the financial market (O’NEILL, 2001) and this was eventually transposed onto the political world. The group’s advocates have argued that the geopolitical initiative that followed made sense because it brought together countries of continental proportions, large economies, with huge domestic markets –an argument that falls apart with the inclusion of South Africa in 2010. In addition, there is the issue of the disproportionate economic power between China and the other members of the bloc. Moreover, many argue that there are few common interests between the economies, which have such diverse productive structures, and therefore it would be unlikely that they could form a cohesive group (see STUENKEL, 2013, pp. 620-621 for a review of criticisms of the group).
  • Topic: Economics, International Political Economy, Global Financial Crisis, Economic Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, India, South Africa, Brazil
  • Author: Augusto Leal Rinaldi, Laerte Apolinário Júnior
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Conjuntura Austral: Journal of the Global South
  • Institution: Conjuntura Austral: Journal of the Global South
  • Abstract: The first decade of the 21st century gave way to a series of international political-economic dynamics with the potential to reorganize global power (IKENBERRY, 2018; KITCHEN; COX, 2019; MAHBUBANI, 2009; MEARSHEIMER, 2018, 2019). Among the changes, one common reference is the rise of the BRICS –Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa –and, consequently, their performance for demanding reforms of the global governance system (COOPER, 2016; HURRELL, 2018; ROBERTS; ARMIJO; KATADA, 2018; STUENKEL, 2017). The emerging economies have invested in consolidating their new status by acting in different branches of global governance, demanding changes and policies to see a reasonable parity between their economic weight and ability to participate as real decision-makers. In this context, international regimes are a crucial dimension to consider.
  • Topic: Development, International Cooperation, International Political Economy, Geopolitics, International Development, Economic Development , Economic Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, India, South Africa, Brazil
  • Author: Marcelo Milan, Leandro Teixeira Santos
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Conjuntura Austral: Journal of the Global South
  • Institution: Conjuntura Austral: Journal of the Global South
  • Abstract: This article examines the geoeconomic challenges brought to China by the effects of trade and foreign direct investment (FDI) flows, and consequently by the nature and composition of international economic alliances, mainlycooperation among underdeveloped nations(Glosny, 2010), of rebalancing3of its drivers of growth4. It evaluates likely impacts on other BRICS countries, given the economic linkages developed during the past couple of decades, as an example of what may happen to broader geoeconomic arrangements as the process of rebalancing deepens
  • Topic: International Political Economy, Foreign Direct Investment, Geopolitics, Economic Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, India, South Africa, Brazil
  • Author: Marcelo Corrêa, Luiz Michelo, Carlos Schonerwald
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Conjuntura Austral: Journal of the Global South
  • Institution: Conjuntura Austral: Journal of the Global South
  • Abstract: After two decades of intense debate about the determinants of economic development, with authors examining the variables that characterize geography, institutions and international trade, BRICS countries were left behind. Thus, in order to fill this gap, this paper uses econometrics of panel data to analyze the economic performance of these developing nations. Mainstream economists have run into serious problems to deal with these particular determinants within the traditional endogenous growth model, and they have not come up with an agreement, so they keep trying to figure out who is the “winner of this competition”. Empirical evidence shows that there is not a unique explanatorydeterminant, and recognizing which of them can provide the best understandingdepends on the particularities of each case (ROS, 2013).Examining BRICS as a group of countries demonstrates that these specific developing nations share some remarkable features. They are rapidly-growing nations with a vast amount of land and growing participation in international trade. So, empirical tests are feasible and desirable in order to understand their recent development. However, they are also different in many aspects, mostly in terms of institutional characteristics. Thus, our goal is to find out if the econometrics of panel data can shed some light on this ongoing debate.
  • Topic: International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance, Trade, Trade Policy, Economic Cooperation, Geography
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, India, South Africa, Brazil
  • Author: Cheng Jing
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Conjuntura Austral: Journal of the Global South
  • Institution: Conjuntura Austral: Journal of the Global South
  • Abstract: Attracting international students is an important way to promote the internationalization of one country’s higher education, and to enhance youth and education exchanges between countries. As the biggest developing country in world, China has attachedimportance to the international students education in China since 2010 so as to improve the quality of China’s higher education and promote its internationalization. What’s striking is that in September of 2010, for the first time, the Ministry of Education of the People’s Republic of Chinafrom the perspective of national strategymapped out a plan targeting the international students educationin China, and releasedStudy in China Program, which was designed to “promote the communication and cooperation between China and other countries in education, promptthe sustainable and healthy development of the international students education in China and improve the internationalization of Chineseeducation”. This program highlightedthat China would“accelerate the quota of scholarship step by step in accordance with the need of national strategy and development”, with the targets of attracting 500,000 international students by 2020 and “making China the top destination country in Asia for international students”(China’s Ministry of Education, 2010:647).
  • Topic: Education, International Political Economy, Geopolitics
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, India, South Africa, Brazil
  • Author: Elizabeth N. Saunders
  • Publication Date: 10-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Security
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: When and how do domestic politics influence a state's nuclear choices? Recent scholarship on nuclear security develops many domestic-political explanations for different nuclear decisions. These explanations are partly the result of two welcome trends: first, scholars have expanded the nuclear timeline, examining state behavior before and after nuclear proliferation; and second, scholars have moved beyond blunt distinctions between democracies and autocracies to more fine-grained understandings of domestic constraints. But without linkages between them, new domestic-political findings could be dismissed as a laundry list of factors that do not explain significant variation in nuclear decisions. This review essay assesses recent research on domestic politics and nuclear security, and develops a framework that illuminates when and how domestic-political mechanisms are likely to affect nuclear choices. In contrast to most previous domestic arguments, many of the newer domestic-political mechanisms posited in the literature are in some way top-down; that is, they show leaders deliberately maintaining or loosening control over nuclear choices. Two dimensions govern the extent and nature of domestic-political influence on nuclear choices: the degree of threat uncertainty and the costs and benefits to leaders of expanding the circle of domestic actors involved in a nuclear decision. The framework developed in this review essay helps make sense of several cases explored in the recent nuclear security literature. It also has implications for understanding when and how domestic-political arguments might diverge from the predictions of security-based analyses.
  • Topic: Security, Arms Control and Proliferation, Nuclear Weapons, Treaties and Agreements, International Security, Domestic politics, Nonproliferation
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, China, Iran, North Korea
  • Author: M.E. Sarotte
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Security
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Newly available sources show how the 1993–95 debate over the best means of expanding the North Atlantic Treaty Organization unfolded inside the Clinton administration. This evidence comes from documents recently declassified by the Clinton Presidential Library, the Defense Department, and the State Department because of appeals by the author. As President Bill Clinton repeatedly remarked, the two key questions about enlargement were when and how. The sources make apparent that, during a critical decisionmaking period twenty-five years ago, supporters of a relatively swift conferral of full membership to a narrow range of countries outmaneuvered proponents of a slower, phased conferral of limited membership to a wide range of states. Pleas from Central and Eastern European leaders, missteps by Russian President Boris Yeltsin, and victory by the pro-expansion Republican Party in the 1994 U.S. congressional election all helped advocates of full-membership enlargement to win. The documents also reveal the surprising impact of Ukrainian politics on this debate and the complex roles played by both Strobe Talbott, a U.S. ambassador and later deputy secretary of state, and Andrei Kozyrev, the Russian foreign minister. Finally, the sources suggest ways in which the debate's outcome remains significant for transatlantic and U.S.-Russian relations today.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, NATO, International Security, Clinton Administration
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States
  • Author: Eliza Gheorghe
  • Publication Date: 04-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Security
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: The evolution of the nuclear market explains why there are only nine members of the nuclear club, not twenty-five or more, as some analysts predicted. In the absence of a supplier cartel that can regulate nuclear transfers, the more suppliers there are, the more intense their competition will be, as they vie for market share. This commercial rivalry makes it easier for nuclear technology to spread, because buyers can play suppliers off against each other. The ensuing transfers help countries either acquire nuclear weapons or become hedgers. The great powers (China, Russia, and the United States) seek to thwart proliferation by limiting transfers and putting safeguards on potentially dangerous nuclear technologies. Their success depends on two structural factors: the global distribution of power and the intensity of the security rivalry among them. Thwarters are most likely to stem proliferation when the system is unipolar and least likely when it is multipolar. In bipolarity, their prospects fall somewhere in between. In addition, the more intense the rivalry among the great powers in bipolarity and multipolarity, the less effective they will be at curbing proliferation. Given the potential for intense security rivalry among today's great powers, the shift from unipolarity to multipolarity does not portend well for checking proliferation.
  • Topic: International Relations, Arms Control and Proliferation, Nuclear Weapons, Nuclear Power, Nonproliferation, International Relations Theory
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, China
  • Author: Deborah Jordan Brooks, Stephen G. Brooks, Brian D. Greenhill, Mark L. Haas
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Security
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: The world is experiencing a period of unprecedented demographic change. For the first time in human history, marked disparities in age structures exist across the globe. Around 40 percent of the world's population lives in countries with significant numbers of elderly citizens. In contrast, the majority of the world's people live in developing countries with very large numbers of young people as a proportion of the total population. Yet, demographically, most of the world's states with young populations are aging, and many are doing so quickly. This first-of-its kind systematic theoretical and empirical examination of how these demographic transitions influence the likelihood of interstate conflict shows that countries with a large number of young people as a proportion of the total population are the most prone to international conflict, whereas states with the oldest populations are the most peaceful. Although societal aging is likely to serve as a force for enhanced stability in most, and perhaps all, regions of the world over the long term, the road to a “demographic peace” is likely to be bumpy in many parts of the world in the short to medium term.
  • Topic: Demographics, War, International Security, Democracy, International Relations Theory
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Japan, China, Germany, Global Focus
  • Author: Steven Pifer
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Ambassador's Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: For nearly five decades, Washington and Moscow have engaged in negotiations to manage their nuclear competition. Those negotiations produced a string of acronyms—SALT, INF, START—for arms control agreements that strengthened strategic stability, reduced bloated nuclear arsenals and had a positive impact on the broader bilateral relationship. That is changing. The Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty is headed for demise. The New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) has less than two years to run, and the administration of Donald Trump has yet to engage on Russian suggestions to extend it. Bilateral strategic stability talks have not been held in 18 months. On its current path, the U.S.-Russia nuclear arms control regime likely will come to an end in 2021. That will make for a strategic relationship that is less stable, less secure and less predictable and will further complicate an already troubled bilateral relationship.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Military Strategy, Nuclear Power, Deterrence, Denuclearization
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe, North America
  • Author: Julius Tsal
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Ambassador's Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: In 2018, the U.S. Embassy in Tbilisi initiated people-to-people (P2P) exchanges to the United States for agricultural scientists and university leaders from the Russian-occupied Georgian territory of Abkhazia. An initial study tour in the spring of 2018 focused on mitigating the devastating agricultural damage from the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB), and a second tour in the fall of 2018 focused on higher education leadership. Despite political sensitivities and logistical hurdles, such people-to-people programs increase participants’ understanding of the United States and give them an unbiased, first-hand experience of American civil society, its culture of innovation and democratic values. For otherwise isolated Abkhaz thought leaders, these experiences directly counter Russian anti-Western propaganda and demonstrate the benefits of Georgia’s pro-Western choice.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Civil Society, Imperialism, Propaganda
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe, Eastern Europe, Georgia, North America
  • Author: Samuel Bendett
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Fletcher Security Review
  • Institution: The Fletcher School, Tufts University
  • Abstract: Following the end of the Cold War, the Russian Federation lagged behind the United States in terms of advanced technology in warfighting. However, after substantial spending on modernization starting in 2008, the Russian military and the nation’s defense sector have been making great strides at developing remotely operated and autonomous technologies and integrating them in their tactics and combat operations. Russia is also starting to invest in Artificial Intelligence (AI) development with specific military applications. These developments affect the ability of the United States to meet the goals in its new National Security Strategy; in order to meet its stated December 2017 objective of renewing American competitive advantage in key military areas, the United States should be aware of key adversarial developments such as Russia’s emerging unmanned, autonomous, and AI capabilities, and prepare itself in terms of appropriate capabilities, tactics, and plans...
  • Topic: Security, Science and Technology, Military Affairs, Military Spending, Artificial Intelligence
  • Political Geography: Russia, Eurasia, United States of America
  • Author: Heather Williams
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Fletcher Security Review
  • Institution: The Fletcher School, Tufts University
  • Abstract: Dr. Heather Williams is a lecturer in the Defence Studies Department and Centre for Science and Security Studies at King’s College London. She also does research for the Institute for Defense Analyses on Strategy, Forces, and Resources, and previously was a Research Fellow at Chatham House. Williams received her doctorate from King’s College London for her dissertation on U.S.-Russia arms control from 1968-2010.
  • Topic: Security, Arms Control and Proliferation, Science and Technology, Weapons , Interview
  • Political Geography: Russia, Eurasia, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Nina Jankowicz
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Fletcher Security Review
  • Institution: The Fletcher School, Tufts University
  • Abstract: Nina Jankowicz is writing a book on the evolution of Russian influence campaigns in Eastern Europe. She has previously worked advising the Ukranian government on communication and managed democracy assistance programs for Russia and Belarus. She is currently a Global Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars’ Kennan Institute and has previously served as a Fulbright-Clinton Public Policy Fellow.
  • Topic: Security, Territorial Disputes, Geopolitics
  • Political Geography: Russia, Ukraine, Eastern Europe
  • Author: Syed Fazl-e Haider
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: China Brief
  • Institution: The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), the central component of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) in South Asia, has been a source of significant attention and controversy (China Brief, January 12, 2018; China Brief, February 15). Parts of South Asia, the Middle East, Central Asia, and Europe, however, are also host to another ambitious infrastructure program: the “International North-South Transport Corridor” (INSTC), a transportation development plan first established in 2000 by Iran, Russia and India. The INSTC envisions a network to connect Indian Ocean and Persian Gulf ports and rail centers to the Caspian Sea, and then onwards through the Russian Federation to St. Petersburg and northern Europe.
  • Topic: Development, International Trade and Finance, Infrastructure, Economy
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Iran, Middle East, India, Asia
  • Author: Anne Marie Brady
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: China Brief
  • Institution: The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: China’s military ambitions in the Arctic, and its growing strategic partnership with Russia, have rung alarm bells in many governments. In May 2019, for the first time, the U.S. Department of Defense annual report on China’s military capabilities had a section on China’s military interests in the Arctic and the possibility of Chinese submarines operating in the Arctic basin (Department of Defense, May 2019). In August 2019, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg raised concerns about what he diplomatically referred to as “China’s increased presence in the Arctic” (Reuters, August 7). From a nuclear security point of view, the Arctic is China’s vulnerable northern flank. The flight path of U.S. and Russian intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) targeted at China transit the Arctic. Key components of the U.S. missile defense system are also located in the Arctic. Chinese submarine-based ballistic missile submarines (SSBNs) operating in the Arctic could restore China’s nuclear deterrence capability (Huanqiu Ribao, October 28, 2013). China currently operates six nuclear-powered attack submarines, four nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines, and fifty diesel attack submarines, with more under construction. If Chinese nuclear-armed submarines were able to access the Arctic basin undetected, this would be a game-changer for the United States, the NATO states and their partners, and the wider Asia-Pacific (Huanqiu Ribao, April 11, 2012). China would be able to target missiles at the United States and Europe with ease; such ability would strengthen China’s military dominance in Asia and bolster China’s emerging position as a global military power.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Nuclear Weapons, Territorial Disputes, Military Affairs
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Asia, Arctic, United States of America
  • Author: Leo Lin
  • Publication Date: 11-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: China Brief
  • Institution: The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Kazakhstan President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev’s recent visit to the People’s Republic of China (PRC) on September 10-12 was not merely a state visit, but also signaled a new era in bilateral relations between Kazakhstan and China. During his visit, Tokayev met top officials of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), including CCP General Secretary Xi Jinping, Premier Li Keqiang, and Li Zhanshu, the Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress. Tokayev also stopped in Hangzhou, where he visited the headquarters of the Alibaba Group and spoke with founder Jack Ma, as well as the new chairman and CEO Daniel Zhang (Sina Tech, September 12). The September visit has symbolic meaning for both Xi and Tokayev as they prepare for a new stage of their partnership—in the same year as the 70th anniversary of the founding of the PRC, and the 30th anniversary of Kazakhstan’s independence.
  • Topic: Security, International Trade and Finance, Science and Technology, Treaties and Agreements, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Central Asia, Kazakhstan
  • Author: Adam Frost, Colin Robertson, Randolph Mank, Robert Hage, Claudia Marín Suárez, David J. Bercuson, Julian Lindley-French, David Perry
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Global Exchange
  • Institution: Canadian Global Affairs Institute (CGAI)
  • Abstract: The international arena is as dynamic as ever. The rate of technological development continues to accelerate beyond the pace society is capable of adapting to it. Climate change indicators are approaching and surpassing key thresholds, fragile and failed states are proliferating, and great power competition has returned. Given the magnitude of these challenges, the cultivation of friends, partners and allies is paramount to furthering Canada’s national interests beyond its borders. The lead package of this issue examines some of the global challenges facing Canadian policy-makers and offers recommendations for how best to navigate this unruly world. Colin Robertson outlines today’s messy international arena and emphasizes the importance of Canada’s active engagement. He explains why Canadian leadership must carefully manage the Canada-U.S. relationship and the necessity of supporting multilateral co-operation to stand up against disruptive revisionist powers. He also says Canada should enthusiastically support the implementation of recent trade agreements and address the causes of social upheaval in the Western world. Considering the release of the Trudeau government’s extensive defence policy review, Randolph Mank questions why a similarly extensive foreign policy review was not first conducted. He argues that Canadian foreign policy is misaligned with Canada’s national interests, and therefore, a comprehensive strategic realignment is warranted. Canada’s interests are not best served by ad hoc prescriptions. Robert Hage turns to Canada’s energy policies. He criticizes Bill C-48 for limiting transportation options for Canada’s most valuable hydrocarbon resources. He argues that building infrastructure to the West Coast to facilitate the export of Canada’s oil and gas resources should be handled as a nationbuilding project, vital to Canada’s economic well-being. Francisco Suárez Dávila’s article provides an overview of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s first 100 days in office. Mexico’s new leader is a key figure for Canadian policymakers to understand as they manage the trilateral North American relationship, and work to ratify and implement CUSMA. David Bercuson, Julian Lindley-French and David Perry turn to Canada’s defence and security. Bercuson argues NATO is alive, well, and not going anywhere soon, as the Russian threat to Europe remains ever-present. Lindley-French outlines the tactics of Russia’s coercion, the extensive modernization of its military forces and the ambitions that threaten its European neighbours. Finally, Perry returns to Canada’s Strong, Secure, Engaged defence policy two years after its release to provide an assessment of how closely the Trudeau government has followed its spending targets. The 21st century has the potential to be the most violent and chaotic century in human history – or the most prosperous, providing more people with a higher quality of life than any previous era. If Canada’s policy-makers are to successfully manage the challenges of this unruly, messy world, they will have to vigilantly align Canada’s means with its desired ends, including working with other states, like-minded or otherwise, to advance common interests.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, NATO, Climate Change, Oil, Trade
  • Political Geography: Russia, Canada, North America, Mexico
  • Author: Nazir Hussain, Amna Javed
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: South Asian Studies
  • Institution: Department of Political Science, University of the Punjab
  • Abstract: South Asia is an important but complex region. Its manifold complexity is largely ascribed through historical, economic, political and strategic manifestations. The region has witnessed instability in all the given premises and interactions. The entirety happens to be the fact that the structure of alignments is motivated by security complexes which involve cohesion of foreign powers and regional states. The US, Russia, Iran and China now make out to be contemporary stakeholders in South Asian security equation. Their involvement has been seen as a major reorientation in the regional dynamics in terms of political, economic and security characteristics. The manifold possibilities of re-alignments are what the future of the region will look like. The chance of full-fledged strategic alliance in the face of US-India on the basis of similar political, economic and security interests is on the horizon. As a corollary to this alliance pattern, there is China-Russia-Pakistan alliance which is similar in force but opposite in direction. These two systems are one set of opposition forces to each other, which are also natural in form. Another structure which occurs out of the regional dynamics happens to be of India-Iran-Afghanistan which is a trifecta aiming at Pakistan. On the other hand, Russia-China-Pakistan which could turn into a politically motivated and economically driven alliance and can also cover certain aspects of security. Therefore, due to various changes in order there will stem out various patterns of relationships, which could set the order of the region as one marked by various fluctuating alignment patterns.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Power Politics, Geopolitics, Realignment
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Afghanistan, Russia, China, South Asia, North America, Punjab, United States of America
  • Author: Hafeez Ullah Khan
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: South Asian Studies
  • Institution: Department of Political Science, University of the Punjab
  • Abstract: This paper is an attempt to examine how is soft power and public diplomacy imperative conditions for Pakistan‟s international stature by examining the effective utilization of public diplomacy of the states like USA, Russia, China and India, public diplomacy of which have got a very significant position at the international stage. Based on an understanding of their Public diplomacy, the author seeks to explore what lessons and strategies should Pakistan take into consideration for the promotion of Pakistan‟s good image at the international front, and how Pakistan can be successful in achieving the positive results. The author has highlighted some serious recommendations as well.
  • Topic: International Relations, Diplomacy, Power Politics, Geopolitics, Soft Power, State
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Russia, China, South Asia, India, Asia, North America, Punjab, United States of America
  • Author: Evren Balta
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Uluslararasi Iliskiler
  • Institution: International Relations Council of Turkey (UİK-IRCT)
  • Abstract: This article examines different analytical perspectives on Turkish-Russian relations and provides a conceptual history of developing connections between Turkey and Russia since the end of the Cold War. It first reviews evolving political relations, including military cooperation, and then focuses on economic relations, including energy cooperation. Finally, it discusses the socio-cultural aspects of bilateral relations, focusing on the movement of people. It shows how conflicting geopolitical interests have overshadowed the increasing economic cooperation and cultural exchange that had marked the previous two decades of bilateral relations. Although Turkey and Russia have competing regional interests, their dissatisfaction with and resentment of Western policies is one of the major reasons for their reluctant geopolitical cooperation. This article emphasizes the need for a multi-causal and analytically eclectic approach to analyzing Turkish-Russian relations that selectively recombines analytic components of causal mechanisms in competing research traditions.
  • Topic: Cold War, Bilateral Relations, Military Affairs, Partnerships, Economic Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Russia, Eurasia, Turkey, Middle East, Mediterranean
  • Author: Lerna K. Yanik
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Uluslararasi Iliskiler
  • Institution: International Relations Council of Turkey (UİK-IRCT)
  • Abstract: This article reviews the ways in which various actors in Turkey have used the terms ‘Eurasia’ and ‘Eurasianism’ since the end of the Cold War. It presents two arguments. First, compared to Russian Eurasianism, it is difficult to talk about the existence of a ‘Turkish Eurasianism’. Yet, the article employs the term Turkish Eurasianism as a shorthand to describe the ways in which Eurasia and Eurasianism are employed in Turkey. Second, Turkish Eurasianism is nothing but the use or instrumentalization of Eurasia to create a geopolitical identity for Turkey that legitimizes its political, economic, and strategic interests primarily in the post-Soviet space, but, from time to time, also in the Balkans and Africa. Various Turkish state and non-state actors have used Eurasia to mean different things and justify different goals: reaching out to Turkic Republics, being pro-Russian, creating a sphere of influence in former Ottoman lands, or, recently, cloaking anti-Western currents.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Geopolitics, Economy
  • Political Geography: Russia, Eurasia, Turkey, Middle East, Mediterranean
  • Author: Inan Rüma, Mitat Çelikpala
  • Publication Date: 08-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Uluslararasi Iliskiler
  • Institution: International Relations Council of Turkey (UİK-IRCT)
  • Abstract: Russia and Turkey have been involved in remarkable redefinitions of their foreign policies while navigating through turbulent times in the Post-Cold War era. This has manifested in a search of being recognized as a great power. The tragic civil war in Syria has been the theatre of these ambitions of these two states in highly controversial ways. They have been on the opposite sides until recently on the essential question of the regime change in that country. The risk of a direct fight has even been observed when Turkish air force got a Russian jet down. However, a rapid rapprochement started due to Turkish priority shift from the regime change to the prevention of Kurdish autonomy and the alienation from US; and Russian enthusiasm to get the cooperation of an ardent anti-regime NATO member like Turkey. It can be said that Russia and Turkey have been more process-oriented than result-oriented because they have been compelled to see the limits of their power and influence. As a result, they seem to prefer to focus on the process since they seem to reach their primary objective of showing their salience. All in all, one can only hope for a peaceful and democratic life for Syrians whom tremendously suffered also as a result of an imbroglio of all these global and regional powers’ policies.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Bilateral Relations, Political Activism, Kurds
  • Political Geography: Russia, Eurasia, Turkey, Middle East, Syria
  • Author: Didem Ekinci
  • Publication Date: 08-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Uluslararasi Iliskiler
  • Institution: International Relations Council of Turkey (UİK-IRCT)
  • Abstract: This paper discusses through a Constructivist perspective that the aim of maintaining influence via great power identity in the Near Abroad which preserved its significance in the post-1991 Russian foreign policy under the statist/pragmatist and civilizationist schools’ influence, is reinforced through citizenship policies due to established collective identities with certain actors. The fact that Russia’s conferral of citizenship to certain peoples through old collective identities via long-time great power identity is not a newly invented and ephemeral policy but that its roots reflect influence-driven subjecthood/citizenship policies since the Tsarist times, strengthens the assumption that the Near Abroad is an irreplaceable region for Russia which may practice similar policies towards other actors in the Near Abroad in the future.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Territorial Disputes, Citizenship
  • Political Geography: Russia, Eurasia, South Ossetia, Abkhazia
  • Author: Christopher Datta
  • Publication Date: 11-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: American Diplomacy
  • Abstract: To win the Cold War, President Ronald Reagan did something for which he is never credited: he dramatically increased the budget of the United States Information Agency, the public diplomacy arm of our struggle against communism. Senegal, in September of 1999, was about to hold a presidential election. Because of USIA's long history of promoting journalism in Senegal, the embassy decided to work in partnership with the local Print, Radio and Television Journalists Federation to hold a series of workshops on the role of journalists in covering elections. USIA was uniquely organized to promote democratic development through the long term support of human rights organizations, journalism, programs that helped build the rule of law, educational programs that encouraged the acceptance of diversity in society and, perhaps most importantly, through partnering with and supporting local opinion leaders to help them promote democratic values that stand in opposition to ideologies hostile to the West.
  • Topic: Cold War, Diplomacy, Human Rights, Elections, Democracy, Rule of Law, Ideology, Networks, Journalism
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Russia, United States, Europe, Iran, Soviet Union, West Africa, Syria, Senegal
  • Author: Olga Krasnyak
  • Publication Date: 11-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: American Diplomacy
  • Abstract: Given the ambiguity of the rapidly changing world order, scholars and practitioners are paying more attention to the Cold War period, with its growing relevance for contemporary world politics. Issues such as the NATO alliance, human rights, arms control, and environment impact international relations at large and U.S.-Russia relations in particular. The need to re-emphasize the value of scientists as a channel of communication between governments and their research communities is urgent.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Arms Control and Proliferation, Diplomacy, Science and Technology
  • Political Geography: Russia, Canada, Soviet Union, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Peter Sufrin
  • Publication Date: 11-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: American Diplomacy
  • Abstract: According to a recent State Department report, the United States is Brazil's second largest trading partner, and Brazil is the U.S.'s ninth largest trading partner. Not until the 1990s did the Brazilian government address trade liberalization, privatization, competition, and productivity as a way to increase commodities exports, and promote growth in imports of manufactured products. The possibility for further cooperation exists, particularly in the realm of Foreign Direct Investment, patent law, and a double taxation treaty, and with initiatives such as a U.S.-Brazil Commission on Economic and Trade Relations, a Defense Cooperation Dialogue, an Infrastructure Development Working Group, and an Economic and Financial Dialogue.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Cooperation, International Trade and Finance, Treaties and Agreements, Alliance, Trade Liberalization, Free Trade, Exports
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, India, South Africa, Brazil, Latin America, United States of America
  • Author: Keith C. Smith
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: American Diplomacy
  • Institution: American Diplomacy
  • Abstract: President Boris Yeltsin’s imperial views on the “near abroad,” and President Vladimir Putin’s regarding Russia’s alleged “sphere of influence” has left Russia considerably weaker than it would have been otherwise, and the world much more endangered.
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, Cold War, Diplomacy, Economics, Politics, Armed Forces, Reform, Gas
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Ukraine, Soviet Union, Germany, Estonia, Latvia, United States of America, Baltic States
  • Author: Ofer Israeli
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: American Diplomacy
  • Institution: American Diplomacy
  • Abstract: After a century of an American world order established by U.S. President Woodrow Wilson at the end of the First World War, we are facing a shift in Washington’s global attitude. President Trump’s approach to world affairs is different. Although Obama, and to some extent Bush before the September 11, 2001 terror attacks, was starting to withdraw from the U.S. historical position of key global superpower, President Trump’s approach to world affairs is a much more drastic acceleration of this move. Continuing in this direction means we may soon face a collapse of America’s century-long preeminence, and the creation of a new world order in which the U.S. is no longer leading the global power, but only first among sovereigns, if at all.
  • Topic: International Relations, Cold War, Government, World War I, World War II, Institutionalism
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Iran, Middle East, Israel, Soviet Union, United States of America
  • Author: Mark L. Asquino
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: American Diplomacy
  • Institution: American Diplomacy
  • Abstract: Almost fifty years have passed since the terrible day in 1971 when one State Department officer brutally killed another in the tiny, African country of Equatorial Guinea. What took place there is a lurid story of sex, madness and murder that almost every foreign service officer has heard about at one time or another. In many ways it’s the State Department’s version of the 1984 classic film, “Nightmare on Elm Street.” However, the murder in Equatorial Guinea is a real-life tale of horror that continues to intrigue foreign service officers. Here are the basic facts of what happened.
  • Topic: Cold War, Crime, Diplomacy, Memoir
  • Political Geography: Africa, Russia, North America, United States of America, Equatorial Guinea
  • Author: Nicholas Norberg
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Harvard Journal of Middle Eastern Politics and Policy
  • Institution: The John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University
  • Abstract: In the backdrop of negotiations over drafting Syria’s new constitution and a transition in UN representation on Syria, the conflict in Idlib continues to simmer. Unrest in Idlib and dissatisfaction there with the internationally-recognized opposition, the High Negotiations Committee (HNC), leaves residents of Syria’s northwest excluded from constitutional committee. This is significant because the constitutional convention is increasingly viewed as a precondition for advancing the larger peace process. The constitutional committee is no place to hammer out granular differences between warring factions in Idlib, but the course of events there hold significant implications for the future of the broader peace process.
  • Topic: Peace Studies, Conflict, Syrian War, Negotiation
  • Political Geography: Russia, Turkey, Middle East, United Nations, Syria, Idlib
  • Author: Igor Istomin, Akshobh Giridharadas
  • Publication Date: 07-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Fletcher Security Review
  • Institution: The Fletcher School, Tufts University
  • Abstract: Igor A. Istomin is a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Applied Analysis of International Issues at MGIMO University. He holds Ph.D. and M.A. degrees from MGIMO University as well as an undergraduate degree from Saint Petersburg State University. Istomin teaches undergraduate and graduate classes in methods of applied analysis of international affairs. He is an executive editor at International Trends, a leading Russian academic journal. He is also a visiting fellow at the School of International and Public Affairs at Jilin University in China. Istomin is the author of more than 50 publications on U.S. foreign policy, relations in the Euro-Atlantic space, and international security. His most recent book is The Logic of State Behavior in International Politics (2017). He has also prepared policy reports and papers for the Russian International Affairs Council, the Valdai Discussion Club, the Center for Strategic Research in Moscow, and the European Leadership Network.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Cold War, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: Russia, Eurasia, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Tatiana Shakleina, Ryan Rogers
  • Publication Date: 07-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Fletcher Security Review
  • Institution: The Fletcher School, Tufts University
  • Abstract: Professor Tatiana Shakleina sat down with the Fletcher Security Review in November 2017 in conjunction with the Conference on U.S.-Russia Relations between The Fletcher School and Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO). In a detailed and engaging conversation that spanned over 25 years of history, Professor Shakleina traced the post-Cold War origins of the current tension between the United States and Russia. While personnel within the Trump Administration have moved on to new positions or left government altogether since the interview, Professor Shakleina’s rich historical overview of post-Cold War U.S.-Russia relations remains extremely relevant in understanding the recent trajectory and current state of the bilateral relationship. ​
  • Topic: Security, Cold War, Government, History, Bilateral Relations, Trump
  • Political Geography: Russia, Eurasia, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Ursula Kazarian
  • Publication Date: 07-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Fletcher Security Review
  • Institution: The Fletcher School, Tufts University
  • Abstract: The independent development of renewable energy resources — and especially solar energy production, in the short term — may present the best opportunity for both intrastate and interstate autonomy in the South Caucasus, and may particularly benefit the Republic of Armenia, whose current energy portfolio is almost entirely supplied, owned, and, until recently, operated by Russia.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Climate Change, Energy Policy, Natural Resources
  • Political Geography: Russia, Armenia, South Caucasus
  • Author: Ishan Khokar, Celeste Wallander
  • Publication Date: 07-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Fletcher Security Review
  • Institution: The Fletcher School, Tufts University
  • Abstract: Celeste Wallander is President and CEO of the U.S.-Russia Foundation. She served as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Russia/Eurasia on the National Security Council (2013-2017), as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Russia/Ukraine/Eurasia (2009 to July 2012), professor at American University (2009-2013), visiting professor at Georgetown University (2006-2008), Director for Russia/Eurasia at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (2001-2006), Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations (2000- 2001), and professor of Government at Harvard (1989-2000). She is the author of over 80 publications on European and Eurasian security issues, focused on Russian foreign and defense strategy. She received her Ph.D. (1990), M.Phil. (1986) and M.A. (1985) degrees from Yale University. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Atlantic Council of the United States, and the International Institute for Strategic Studies.
  • Topic: Security, Energy Policy, Bilateral Relations, Interview
  • Political Geography: Russia, Eurasia, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Andrew C. Hess, Agnia Grigas
  • Publication Date: 07-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Fletcher Security Review
  • Institution: The Fletcher School, Tufts University
  • Abstract: It is encouraging to find a highly competent scholar willing to take on the complexities of a global energy revolution. Agnia Grigas’ book is not just about the political control of oil and gas reservoirs. Rather, it addresses the consequences of a new era in natural gas production that is capable of transforming structural relations in the energy world. Grigas’ geographical and historical context for examining the new politics of natural gas are appropriate: the geography being the northern and eastern parts of Eurasia, while the historical dimension is the emergence of a large pipeline structure connecting the Soviet Union to Europe after 1960, and the challenges it posed after the collapse of Soviet Union in 1991. ​ Long before Nikita Khushchev (d. 1971), Soviet geologists had discovered large reserves of oil and gas in Central Eurasia. After the end of World War II, the Soviet State proceeded to construct a huge pipeline network to distribute energy within the Soviet Union as well as to Europe. This created an energy management system that favored long pipelines, long-term contracts, fixed prices, and a decision-making environment in which political power often determined the outcome of disputes over prices and costs. Post 1991, with the Russian Union trying to protect its market for gas in Europe on one hand, and emergence of new nation states on the other, severe disputes arose over the price of gas...
  • Topic: Energy Policy, Natural Resources, Geopolitics, Gas, Book Review
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe
  • Author: Julie Wilhelmsen, Maia Brown-Jackson
  • Publication Date: 07-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Fletcher Security Review
  • Institution: The Fletcher School, Tufts University
  • Abstract: Julie Wilhelmsen is a senior research fellow at the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs. She conducts research in the fields of critical security studies, Russian foreign and security policies and the radicalization of Islam in Eurasia. Wilhelmsen has also written about convergence in Russian and Chinese interests in Central Asia and about Russian approaches to the fight against terrorism. She holds a master’s degree in post-Soviet and Russian studies from the London School of Economics and holds a PhD in Political Science at the University of Oslo.
  • Topic: Security, Terrorism, History, Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Eurasia, Soviet Union, Chechnya
  • Author: Evelyn Farkas, Ryan Rogers
  • Publication Date: 07-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Fletcher Security Review
  • Institution: The Fletcher School, Tufts University
  • Abstract: Dr. Evelyn N. Farkas is a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, and a national security analyst for NBC/MSNBC. She served from 2012 to 2015 as deputy assistant secretary of defense for Russia/Ukraine/ Eurasia, responsible for policy toward Russia, the Black Sea, Balkans, and Caucasus regions and conventional arms control. From 2010 to 2012 she served as senior adviser to the supreme allied commander Europe and special adviser to the secretary of defense for the NATO Summit. Prior to that, she was a senior fellow at the American Security Project, and executive director of the Commission on the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferation and Terrorism. From April 2001 to April 2008, she served as a professional staff member of the Senate Armed Services Committee on Asia Pacific, Western Hemisphere, Special Operations Command, peace and stability operations, combatting terrorism, counternarcotics, homeland defense, and export control policy. Dr. Farkas obtained her MA and PhD from The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. She is a member of the board of trustees of Franklin & Marshall College and Aspen Institute Socrates Seminar, and Harold Rosenthal Fellowship advisory boards. She has received several Department of Defense and foreign awards and an honorary doctorate from Franklin & Marshall College. In January 2018, Dr. Farkas discussed a range of issues concerning Russia and the post-Soviet space with the Fletcher Security Review. The conversation took place in the run-up to the March 2018 presidential elections in Moscow and before President Putin’s highly publicized Presidential Address to the Federal Assembly, in which he unveiled a number of new nuclear weapon systems currently under development by the Russian Federation.
  • Topic: Security, Bilateral Relations, Geopolitics, Grand Strategy
  • Political Geography: Russia, Eurasia, Ukraine, Syria, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Danny Anderson
  • Publication Date: 08-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: China Brief
  • Institution: The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: China’s “New Silk Road” or “Belt and Road Initiative” (BRI) has reached Central Asia in resounding fashion. As a result, the republics of Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan have seen large increases in Chinese presence and investment. Although both countries have overlapping needs, the degree and character of PRC involvement in each has differed. PRC investment in Tajikistan is characterized by expensive loans on infrastructure investment and energy projects that the country may be unable to repay (Avesta.tj, December 25, 2017). Kyrgyzstan, while having hosted similar projects, is also attempting to move the country into the twenty-first century by improving its transportation and digital infrastructure (Tazakoom.kg). Development experts classify both countries as “high-risk” for debt distress given public debt projections (Cgdev.org). However, despite the risk of such an outcome, both countries appear inclined to welcome PRC investment with open arms, as a way of funding needed investment like power generation and logistical links with the outside world.
  • Topic: Development, Infrastructure, Economic growth, Soft Power
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Central Asia, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan
  • Author: Montana Hunter
  • Publication Date: 04-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Military and Strategic Studies
  • Institution: Centre for Military, Security and Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: This article explores the use of crowdsourced volunteer battalions by the Ukrainian government in response to Russian aggression in the Donbas region. It examines the weakness of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, contributions of civil-society, and the creation, development, and combat operations of volunteer battalions. The use of crowdsourcing provided the emergency military force that the Ukrainian Government needed to stabilise the Donbas region in the face of the 2014 Russian-backed separatist offensive. The article concludes by raising concerns that the negative consequences of crowdsourcing war, while mitigated by actions taken by the Ukrainian Government, have the potential to return if the situation in Ukraine deteriorates.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Military Strategy, Military Affairs, Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Ukraine, Eastern Europe
  • Author: Ziad Al Achkar
  • Publication Date: 09-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Whitehead Journal of Diplomacy and International Relations
  • Institution: School of Diplomacy and International Relations, Seton Hall University
  • Abstract: The Arctic region has not traditionally been the focus of international politics and world economics; however, recently environmental scientists have flooded the news with the effects of global warming in the region concerning the significant melting ice caps, dramatic ecological degradation, and potential irreversible loss of many species. Climate change is manifesting around the world through floods, ecological degradation, and potentially driving violence and conflict; in the Arctic, all these risks are compounded. The nature of the Arctic pole means that what will happen in the region is guaranteed to have an impact elsewhere. While environmentalists have sounded the alarm about the risks to the environment in the region, there is an ever-growing security danger that faces the Arctic. With ice caps melting and retreating to unprecedented levels, the arctic seabed is now open for nations to explore its reported vast amount of natural resources. This article will identify issues that will shape the twenty-first century of the Arctic. The scope of the article is not meant to be exhaustive of the problems and challenges but offer a thematic overview of the problems. There are three broad categories covered in this article. First, an overview of the changing climate, its ecological and environmental impact, and the challenges of operating in the Arctic. Second, an overview of the economics and international law implications that are a result of climate change and of increased activity in the region. Third, the geopolitics of the Arctic region.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Environment, International Law, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: Russia, Canada, Norway, Denmark, Greenland, Arctic, United States of America
  • Author: Dennis T. Meaney, Julia Buxton, Michael M. Gunter, Roger E Kanet, Ramon Pacheco Pardo, Charles E Ziegler, George Vassiliou
  • Publication Date: 06-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Whitehead Journal of Diplomacy and International Relations
  • Institution: School of Diplomacy and International Relations, Seton Hall University
  • Abstract: In this, our 19th volume, we attempt to shed light on these flashpoints. Rodger Kanet and Charles Zielger explore Russian revanchism in Eastern Europe. Julia Buxton covers the preeminent flashpoint in Latin America, Venezuela. Dr. Buxton discusses and provides a framework on how the confrontation between Venezuela, its neighbors, and the West can be managed. Michael Gunter shifts our focus to transnational issues by discussing the paradoxical struggle for an independent Kurdistan with the continued disunity of different Kurdish factions. Finally, Ramon Pacheco Pardo tackles perhaps the most pressing flashpoint for conflict in the world today, the crisis on the Korean Peninsula. Dr. Pardo discusses a series of policy proposals he believes would be conducive to deescalating tensions. The Journal of Diplomacy is also proud to publish an interview with Former Cypriot President George Vasiliou. Mr. Vasiliou, who guided Cyprus towards integration with the European Union, discusses with the Journal the origins and future of the “Cyprus Problem” bringing into focus for our readers the frozen conflicts that exist around the world.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, History, Conflict, Kurds
  • Political Geography: Russia, Eastern Europe, South America, Venezuela, Cyprus, European Union
  • Author: Charles E Ziegler
  • Publication Date: 06-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Whitehead Journal of Diplomacy and International Relations
  • Institution: School of Diplomacy and International Relations, Seton Hall University
  • Abstract: According to classical realism, diplomacy is the means by which states defend their interests and achieve their objectives short of war, using a mixture of persuasion, compromise, and the threat of force. In the quartercentury since the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russian diplomacy has evolved from a passive, Western-orientation toward a muscular, multilateral and assertive posture. In the immediate post-perestroika years Russian diplomacy reflected the nascent democratic character of the new Russia, and the search for a new post-Soviet identity. Since Vladimir Putin ascended to the presidency, Russian diplomacy has become highly effective at several diplomatic issues. These include: Promoting and representing Russian national interests; defending key principles of sovereignty; non-interference in internal affairs; and respect for Russia as a great power; consolidating the former Soviet space as a privileged sphere of Russian influence; and addressing Russia’s vital security concerns in the Eurasian region, including concerns with The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the European Union (EU) expansion eastward.
  • Topic: Security, Diplomacy, Politics, History, Military Affairs
  • Political Geography: Russia, Eurasia, Soviet Union
  • Author: Roger E Kanet
  • Publication Date: 06-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Whitehead Journal of Diplomacy and International Relations
  • Institution: School of Diplomacy and International Relations, Seton Hall University
  • Abstract: In the following pages we intend to trace the factors that explain the shifts in Russian policy from the early to mid-1990s, when Russian leaders were committed to joining the international system dominated by the European Union and the United States, to the present confrontation between Russia and the West.2 Why has the relationship deteriorated as it has? I will first discuss briefly the essentially unsatisfactory nature of relations between the Russian Federation and the West; from the Russian perspective, in the 1990s, and their role in determining the central goals that have driven Russia’s evolving sense of identity and policy since Vladimir Putin came to power at the turn of the century. I will note the aspects of Western policy that seemingly led to the decision in Moscow, around 2005, that cooperation with the West on terms of equality was impossible and that Russia should forge ahead to achieve its own objectives, even if that resulted in confrontation with the West. This decision resulted in the so-called “gas wars” with Ukraine in 2006 and 2009, the Russo-Georgian war of August 2008, and more recently the intervention in Ukraine since 2013, including the absorption of Crimea into the Russian Federation and the ongoing military support for the government of President Bashar Hafez al-Assad of Syria, an assessment of which will comprise the final substantive section of the article. All these Russian policies contributed to the growing confrontation in relations between Russia and the European Union, as did EU efforts to tie East European states more closely to the EU itself.
  • Topic: International Relations, Cold War, Vladimir Putin
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Ukraine, United States of America, European Union
  • Author: Alexander Libman, Anastassia V. Obydenkova
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Democracy
  • Institution: National Endowment for Democracy
  • Abstract: This article examines the goals, methods, and implications of regional organizations founded and dominated by autocracies—including the Commonwealth of Independent States (spearheaded by Russia), Shanghai Cooperation Organization (China), Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (Venezuela), and Gulf Cooperation Council (Saudi Arabia). It shows the role that these organizations play in preserving and promoting autocracy and the different tools they use for this purpose: rhetorical endorsement; the redistribution of resources to support weaker authoritarian states; and even military interventions to suppress revolution. The existence of authoritarian regionalism poses an important challenge for Western states and institutions in democracy promotion around the world.
  • Topic: Regional Cooperation, Military Strategy, Authoritarianism, Democracy
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Europe, Middle East, Asia, South America, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela
  • Author: Vladimir Shubin
  • Publication Date: 06-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: AUSTRAL: Brazilian Journal of Strategy International Relations
  • Institution: Postgraduate Program in International Strategic Studies, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul
  • Abstract: In May 2014 I suddenly received a telephone call from the South African Embassy in Moscow, then an official invitation signed by Jacob Zuma followed: he wanted me to be present at his second inauguration. Unfortunately I failed to do it, I was still recovering from a surgical operation, but the very fact was significant, not because I had been involved, but because it symbolized friendly relations that existed between the South African president and those in Russia who took part in supporting the long struggle against the apartheid regime.
  • Topic: Apartheid, Diplomacy, International Cooperation, Race
  • Political Geography: Africa, Russia, Europe, South Africa
  • Author: Ricardo Borges Gama Neto
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: AUSTRAL: Brazilian Journal of Strategy International Relations
  • Institution: Postgraduate Program in International Strategic Studies, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul
  • Abstract: The article tries to discuss if the impact of the political changes, which occurred in South America from the first decade of the century, influenced the purchase of military equipment by some countries of the region. The emergence of new governments, with a strong left leaning, occurred concurrently with a clear change in the classic pattern of buying defense equipment. European countries and the US have come to be preferred, as opposed to Russia and China, as suppliers of arms to the various South American armed forces.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Armed Forces, Military Spending, Defense Industry
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, South America
  • Author: Burak Özçetin, Banu Baybars-Hawks
  • Publication Date: 06-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Uluslararasi Iliskiler
  • Institution: International Relations Council of Turkey (UİK-IRCT)
  • Abstract: This article analyzes the way in which the downing of a Russian aircraft by a Turkish F-16 jet on 24 November 2015 was framed by pro-government (Türkiye, Yeni Akit, Yeni Şafak) and anti-government (Cumhuriyet) newspapers. Framing means selecting some aspects of a perceived reality and making them more salient in a communicating text. News frames give us definitions and identify those responsible for an event; make moral judgements; and propose solutions to problems. The analysis of the news frames utilized by four newspapers underlines the fact that in a polarized media environment news frames are highly politicized and the distinction between news frames and official discourse is frequently blurred.
  • Topic: Media, Syrian War, Crisis Management, Polarization
  • Political Geography: Russia, Eurasia, Turkey, Mediterranean
  • Author: M. Volkan Atuk
  • Publication Date: 06-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Uluslararasi Iliskiler
  • Institution: International Relations Council of Turkey (UİK-IRCT)
  • Abstract: The British-Russian Convention of 1907 was seen as a joint effort by Britain and Russia to reconcile their areas of influence in Asia but apart from this purpose, it represented the last ring of the emerging tripartite blog that included France against Germany and its allies. The agreement, which mainly came into agenda for partitioning Iran, was handled by the Ottoman Foreign Affairs as a text about Asian affairs. The Ottoman statesmen, who considered only the part of this agreement concerning Afghanistan, Tibet and Iran, couldn’t realize that this was an important part of the polarization politics that pushed world to a general war.
  • Topic: Politics, Treaties and Agreements, History , Ottoman Empire, Polarization
  • Political Geography: Britain, Afghanistan, Russia, Europe, Iran, Eurasia, Tibet
  • Author: Mike Anderson
  • Publication Date: 11-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: American Diplomacy
  • Institution: American Diplomacy
  • Abstract: American foreign policy is complex, and its application by diplomats and military practitioners is challenging in the diverse nature of the current environment. Military and diplomatic advisors during the post-9/11 period have concentrated on non-state threats, conditioning them to resort quickly to military options. In the face of emerging state competitors such as the Russian Federation and People’s Republic of China, a broader range of options beyond only military force is required. This generation of policy advisors must unlearn some of what they have learned over the course of the last fifteen years of conflict, as they shift from dealing with non-state actors to addressing the resurgence of near-peer statecraft based on national security threats. These threats have been long ignored during the war on terror. The diplomatic craft represented during the Cold War must be embraced by both the military and diplomatic personnel in practice, and emphasized by the uniformed armed forces and professional diplomatic advisors to policy and decision makers.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Military Affairs, Counter-terrorism
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Nicolai N. Petro
  • Publication Date: 04-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: American Diplomacy
  • Institution: American Diplomacy
  • Abstract: The six Russian national security documents issued since Putin first became president in 2000 display a remarkable conceptual consistency. A careful reading of these documents, the most authoritative statements of Russia’s worldview publicly available, challenges several common Western assumptions.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, National Security, Territorial Disputes, Ideology, Soft Power
  • Political Geography: Russia, Ukraine, North America, United States of America
  • Author: W. Robert Pearson
  • Publication Date: 03-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: American Diplomacy
  • Institution: American Diplomacy
  • Abstract: Russia and Turkey are dancing a complicated pas de deux—for separate and common reasons. The happy couple has captivated global attention. There are reasons today to anticipate greater collaboration between Turkey and Russia in Syria and against Europe and the United States. However, there are also significant contradictions that could weaken the prospects of cooperation between the two countries. For gains against Syrian Kurds and to fan nationalist flames domestically, Turkey may be ignoring longer term needs. Russia is the major partner in the arrangement and sees little reason to sacrifice its interests to please Turkey. One day this unequal relationship may cause Turkey to question its value.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, History, Bilateral Relations, Military Intervention
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Turkey, Middle East, Syria
  • Author: Peter Bridges
  • Publication Date: 04-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: American Diplomacy
  • Institution: American Diplomacy
  • Abstract: Putin’s recent expulsion of hundreds of our colleagues serving at our embassy and consulates in Russia reminded me of my own service in Moscow in the 1960s. You may call this ancient history, though it doesn’t seem so ancient to me. Stalin had been in his grave for a decade, and dear Nikita Khrushchev was now in charge. Under Stalin, two and a half million people had been prisoners in the deadly Gulag camps. Thousands of poor haggard people had been released, and some of the system’s more notable deceased victims were even “posthumously rehabilitated.” The Gulag had officially been closed down in 1960—but an estimated three-quarters of a million inhabitants of the USSR were still in the horrid camps. And nothing had been done to lessen the role of the KGB, at least so far as we could see.
  • Topic: Cold War, Diplomacy, Economy, Memoir
  • Political Geography: Russia, Soviet Union, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Flemming Splidsboel Hansen
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Connections
  • Institution: Partnership for Peace Consortium of Defense Academies and Security Studies Institutes
  • Abstract: While Russia’s military involvement in the war in Syria has received great attention, less focus has been directed at the foreign fighters from Russia and other post-Soviet states who have joined the Islamic State and other Jihadist groups. The emergence of these Jihadists has been a gradual process, which began in the 1990s, and it has now led to a situation where an estimated 7,000 Russians and 3,000 Central Asians are fighting in Syria. These figures present a challenge for the various states fighting the Jihadist groups, but they pose a much greater problem for the Russian and other national authorities, who will have to handle the fighters, when they return home.
  • Topic: Terrorism, Violent Extremism, Islamic State, Jihad
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Middle East, Syria
  • Author: Steven Pifer
  • Publication Date: 09-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Ambassador's Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: Following the Soviet Union’s collapse, Ukraine and Russia maintained relations that at times were testy, but their differences largely appeared manageable. That changed in 2014, when the Kremlin used military force to seize Crimea and then supported armed separatism in the eastern Ukrainian region of Donbas. As a result, attitudes within Ukraine toward Russia have hardened to a consider­able degree, and the appeal of Western institutions such as the European Union and NATO has grown.
  • Topic: NATO, Imperialism, European Union, Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe, Ukraine, Eastern Europe
  • Author: Erzhan Kazykhanov
  • Publication Date: 09-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Ambassador's Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: As the 72nd session of the United Nations General Assembly convened on September 19, 2017, in New York to address issues with worldwide implications, significant attention was paid to nuclear nonproliferation and the threat that possession of nuclear weapons presents to the security of the entire interna­tional community. Addressing the Security Council, U.S. Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson con­veyed a comprehensive vision of reducing the threats emanating from weapons of mass destruction. First and foremost, Secretary Tillerson outlined the importance of highlighting the positive trajectories of nations that have voluntarily renounced their nuclear weapons. In this context, he said, “Kazakhstan is a particularly illustrative example of the wisdom of relinquishing nuclear weapons. In partnership with the United States, and aided by the Cooperative Threat Reduction Act spearheaded by U.S. Senators Sam Nunn and Richard Lugar, Kazakhstan opted to remove from its territory former Soviet weapons and related nuclear technologies, and [it] joined the Non-Proliferation Treaty as a non-weapons state.” This courageous decision by the leaders of Kazakhstan greatly reduced the prospect of nuclear weapons, components of nuclear weapons or nuclear materials and dual-use technologies from falling into the wrong hands. Nuclear weapons introduced complexity into relations with other countries, and they introduced the risk of miscalculation, accident or escalation. Kazakhstan’s actions represented a key step in that country’s becoming part of the community of nations. As a result of Kazakhstan’s letting go of nuclear weapons, the world does not look on Kazakhstan as a potential nuclear aggressor or a rogue state. It did not make enemies of its nuclear neighbors, Russia or China. Today Kazakhstan has overwhelmingly been at peace with its neighbors, and its trade relations are robust. This year, it hosted World Expo 2017, an event in Astana that showcased the sources of future energy and investment opportunities in Kazakhstan to attendees from around the world. This demonstrates that Kazakhstan is a modern nation making a substantial contribution to regional and international peace and prosperity. Kazakhstan has only benefitted from its early decision. In my previous career, I met President Nursultan Nazarbayev, the founding president of Kazakhstan, on many occasions and had the opportunity to ask him about this decision. He is more at peace with his choice than ever. He once remarked to me, “It was the best thing I ever did for our young country.” Indeed, the international community is well aware of the fact that one of the legacies of the former Soviet Union’s policy strategy in the aftermath of World War II and as a result of the Cold War arms race was building the new nuclear-weapons complex on Kazakhstan soil. The USSR leadership sought to use the country’s central geographical location to deploy Soviet nuclear missiles in a way that would reach even the most remote parts of the world and lead to the most devastating outcomes in affected areas.
  • Topic: Military Strategy, Nuclear Power, Deterrence, Denuclearization
  • Political Geography: Russia, Kazakhstan, Eastern Europe
  • Author: Robert Pulwer, Hans Binnendijk
  • Publication Date: 07-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Fletcher Security Review
  • Institution: The Fletcher School, Tufts University
  • Abstract: Dr. Hans Binnendijk is Vice Chairman of the Fletcher School Board. He has served in senior positions at the National Security Council, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the State Department. He has directed think tanks at Georgetown University, the National Defense University, and in Europe. He writes frequently on national security policy.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Government, Politics, Partnerships, Trump
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Monica M. Ruiz
  • Publication Date: 07-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Fletcher Security Review
  • Institution: The Fletcher School, Tufts University
  • Abstract: There are often misunderstandings among member states in international organizations (IO) regarding the legal nature of certain acts. Issues of privileges and immunities based on the principle of functional necessity, both inherent and implied powers, and the principle of good faith under common law are continuously criticized and debated by both member states and IOs alike. For this reason, international legal order can be a process of continuous transition and constant evolution. This essay analyzes the development and changes of legal norms in the European Union’s (EU) Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP). On that basis, it will unfold by looking at the EU’s legal structure to create a solid framework for understanding the current challenges for common European defense policy in relation to Russia’s involvement in Ukraine. Although there have been substantial legal improvements introduced by the Treaty of Amsterdam (effective 1999) and by the Treaty of Nice (effective 2003) to help clarify the ambiguous nature of the CFSP, its objectives remain wide and abstract. This further precludes the EU from formulating a joint and coherent stance on issues related to defense...
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, International Law, International Organization, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: Russia, Ukraine, European Union
  • Author: Seth G. Jones, Polina Beliakova
  • Publication Date: 07-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Fletcher Security Review
  • Institution: The Fletcher School, Tufts University
  • Abstract: Insurgencies are often thought of as domestic conflicts between state and non-state actors seeking to challenge governmental legitimacy, overthrow the government, or take territorial control from the state. However, thinking about insurgency merely in terms of domestic affairs substantially limits our perspective, and might be misleading both in terms of theory and policy. In addition, the tendency of policymakers and scholars to focus their attention on counterinsurgency bears the risk of considering the solution before understanding all nuances of the problem. Seth G. Jones’ Waging Insurgent Warfare is truly a book about insurgency. Using both qualitative and quantitative methods, Jones analyzes how insurgencies start, strategies and tactics used by insurgent groups, their organizational structures, and their informational campaigns. The author devotes particular attention to the role of outside support for insurgencies from various types of actors including great power states. Finally, he addresses the issue of how insurgencies end. Only in the concluding chapter does Jones discuss the implications of the key findings of the book for counterinsurgency.
  • Topic: International Relations, History, Counterinsurgency, Non State Actors, Military Affairs, Islamic State
  • Political Geography: Russia, Ukraine, Middle East, Asia, Syria, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Rohan Gunaratna, Remy Mahzam, Iftekharul Bashar, Mohammed Sinan Siyech, Abdul Basit, Sara Mahmood, Nodirbek Soliev, Syed Huzaifah Bin Othman Alkaff, Vikram Rajakumar, Shahzeb Ali Rathore
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Counter Terrorist Trends and Analysis
  • Institution: S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
  • Abstract: 2016 saw the so-called Islamic State (IS) in retreat following sustained bombardment and military attacks and airstrikes by the US-led coalition as well as Russian and Syrian forces. It has conceded large swathes of territory, towns and cities, and lost some of its top commanders and strategists and more than 25,000 fighters. The group‘s revenue has declined and so has the flow of new fighters. It has to contend with desertions, in-fighting and scarce resources. Its fall-back wilayats (provinces) in Libya have been lost and many in the liberated areas of Iraq and Syria are jubilant at its ouster after holding sway for more than 20 months. Its declaration of the caliphate is rejected by the Muslim world, which has denounced its acts of violence and misreading of religious texts. Since its formation, IS remains the object of condemnation and denunciation by the whole world. Even so, the terrorist threat posed by IS and its decentralised networks in 2016 shows no sign of abatement. Throughout the year, IS‘ active worldwide networks demonstrated the ability to plan, direct, train, recruit and radicalise from abroad, operating with impunity and surpassing the threat from Al Qaeda‘s old guard. The year saw a number of IS-directed or IS-inspired attacks by terror cells or ‘lone wolves‘ in major cities like Brussels, Nice, Orlando, Istanbul, Dhaka, Jakarta and Berlin resulting in thousands of casualties. Its propaganda machinery and online presence remain formidable, exploiting technology for communications, recruitment, finance, training and terrorist operations. IS has caused the displacement of millions and triggered a humanitarian crisis among refugees and in the battle zones. The group‘s extremism and violence have contributed to inter-religious tensions and discord, and strengthened anti-Islamist movements in the West. The stage is therefore set for 2017 to be a portentous and decisive year for IS and countries afflicted by the threat of terrorism. As IS loses control of Mosul and Raqqa in coming months, it will change strategy, focus and priorities. How it will change and what the impact will be are issues addressed by Rohan Gunaratna in his article on Global Threat Forecast, as well as in accompanying articles on the terrorism situation in selected countries and regions. As IS continues to lose ground in Iraq and Syria, it will transform itself from a caliphate-building entity to a terrorist organisation. It will seek refuge in its many wilayats and enclaves, and consolidate, expand and use them as launching pads to mount terrorist attacks. The group will continue with its strategy of expanding the ‘battlefield‘ to the West and elsewhere, and hit ‘soft‘ and easy targets. Overall, the terrorist threat will endure in the New Year and will continue to require effective counter-insurgency, counter-terrorism and counter-violent extremism measures.
  • Topic: Terrorism, Counter-terrorism, Al Qaeda, Islamic State, Political stability, Conflict
  • Political Geography: Africa, Russia, Iraq, South Asia, Central Asia, East Asia, South America, Syria, Asia-Pacific, North America
  • Author: Noam Hartoch, Alon Levkowitz
  • Publication Date: 10-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Journal of Korean Studies
  • Institution: International Council on Korean Studies
  • Abstract: North Korea's nuclear weapons and ballistic missile tests during the Kim Jong-un era have strengthened the country’s military power, deterring South Korea, Japan and, in particular, the United States. While North Korea's nuclear and missile capabilities are rapidly improving, parallel developments aren’t occurring in the traditionally technical air and air defense forces. Plagued with aging airframes, technical problems, parts shortages and budget shortfalls, the North Korean Air Force no longer challenges the South Korean and American air forces. This paper examines the North Korean Air Force, analyzing its organization and deployment, air defense and early warning capabilities, aircraft acquisition, and aircraft production. Shortfalls in each of these areas caused Pyongyang to develop, test, and operate an increasingly sophisticated drone fleet. While North Korea won’t be able to build a state-of-the-art aircraft industry, it will nonetheless find creative ways to strengthen its air force capabilities.
  • Topic: Nuclear Power, Weapons , Drones, Missile Defense, Air Force
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, South Korea, North Korea, Poland, Soviet Union, New Zealand, United States of America
  • Author: Takenori Horimoto
  • Publication Date: 09-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
  • Institution: Japan Association of International Relations
  • Abstract: A power transformation appears to be taking place in Asia, brought about by the rapid emergence of China and the relative decline of US influence. India has sought a way to cope with this new situation. India itself has been rising to prominence since the 1990s, particularly its nuclear weapon tests in 1998 onward. Since the start of the twenty-first century, India has been perceived as the next country to follow China in seeking a major power status. Although India has previously tended to conceal its power aspirations, in 2015 it declared its intention to be a leading power. This article elucidates this transformation through India's policy orientation on a local, regional, and global level and its key partnerships with Russia and Japan. India’s metamorphosis holds great implications for the transformation of power in Asia.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Power Politics
  • Political Geography: Russia, Japan, India, Asia, Asia-Pacific
  • Author: Dmitry V. Shlapentokh
  • Publication Date: 04-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Whitehead Journal of Diplomacy and International Relations
  • Institution: School of Diplomacy and International Relations, Seton Hall University
  • Abstract: Moralization is an essential part of any geo-political game, and that is especially the case with countries such as the United States and Russia. Presently, Washington has become especially prone to playing the morality card. At least, that is the case with Hillary Clinton supporters who stated that the ugliness of Donald Trump is clearly manifested by his desire to overlook the noble principles on which American foreign policy has rested since the founding fathers designed it. Consequently, Trump’s desire to befriend Vladimir Putin, the authoritarian Russian President, is a clear departure from his basic principles. Moscow also likes to assure that Russia always follows high moral principles in its foreign policy design. Still, Kremlin residents mostly limited moralizing to an internal audience, whereas people in Washington made the moralization publicly known to an international audience, urbis and orbis, so to speak. A closer look at the Soviet/Russia and the U.S. relationship could reveal that it is not high principles, whatever they might be in the context of the prevailing ideological shibboleth, but rather it is pragmatism that defines their relationship. The image of both countries has followed the pragmatic model. This implies that the U.S. and Russia could well cooperate in the future despite hostile rhetoric that dominated discourse in Moscow and Washington – a rhetoric that might not disappear completely in the future.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Bilateral Relations, History
  • Political Geography: Russia, Eurasia, Soviet Union, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Vladimir V. Kara-Murza
  • Publication Date: 10-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Democracy
  • Institution: National Endowment for Democracy
  • Abstract: This essay chronicles Vladimir Putin’s successful efforts to transform Russia from the flawed democracy of the 1990s to the fully fledged authoritarian regime it is today, with falsified elections; censorship of the major media outlets; and repression of the opposition. Yet there are growing numbers of Russians—especially among the young generation—who are prepared to stand up against autocracy and corruption, as demonstrated by the nationwide protests that began in 2017. In the author’s view, the trends (and the demographics) are not in the Kremlin’s favor, and this emerging movement will eventually succeed in bringing the rule of law and democracy to Russia. It is important for Western leaders to maintain dialogue with Russian society and to avoid equating Russia with the current regime.
  • Topic: Authoritarianism, Democracy, Repression, Dictatorship, Censorship
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Eastern Europe
  • Author: M. Steven Fish
  • Publication Date: 10-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Democracy
  • Institution: National Endowment for Democracy
  • Abstract: Under Vladimir Putin, Russia’s ruling class again claims to represent a superior alternative to liberal democracy. How can we theorize this regime? Putinism is a form of autocracy that is conservative, populist, and personalistic. Its conservatism means that Putinism prioritizes maintaining the status quo and avoiding instability. Conservatism also overlaps with Putinism’s populism in crowd-pleasing broadsides against gay rights and feminism, but gives that populism a distinct cast when it comes to questions of social spending and interethnic or interconfessional relations. Finally, as a personalist autocracy, Putinism rests on one-man rule. Yet the identification of the regime with a single person may fatally undermine Putinism’s effectiveness in its self-appointed role as a bulwark against upheaval.
  • Topic: Authoritarianism, Democracy, Liberal Order, Conservatism
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Eastern Europe
  • Author: David J. Bercuson, Randolph Mank, Sarah Goldfeder, Mike Day, David Perry, Peter Jones, David Carment, Milana V. Nikolko, Brett Boudreau, Rolf Holmboe, Darren Schemmer, Andrew Griffith, Robert Vineberg
  • Publication Date: 03-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Global Exchange
  • Institution: Canadian Global Affairs Institute (CGAI)
  • Abstract: The Global Exchange is the Canadian Global Affairs Institute’s quarterly magazine featuring topical articles written by our fellows and other contributing experts. Each issue contains approximately a dozen articles exploring political and strategic challenges in international affairs and Canadian foreign and defence policy. This Spring 2017 issue includes articles on trade, defense policy, elections and more.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, War, Bilateral Relations, Budget, Elections, Democracy, Negotiation, Peace, Trade
  • Political Geography: Russia, Ukraine, Canada, Syria, North America, United States of America, Gambia
  • Author: Abdallah Al Dardari
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: American Diplomacy
  • Institution: American Diplomacy
  • Abstract: Aleppo is a landmark in the Syrian conflict and has become the strongest signal of the failure of the western approach to diplomacy and other means of influence to end the conflict. This failure calls for a dramatic change in the approach if we want to preserve Syria as one country, safeguard its diversity, and ensure the rebuilding of the nation. The moment fighting in Aleppo ends and the current government, along with the Russians and the Iranians, feel they have the upper hand in this conflict, the immediate goal and challenge is to rebuild. Yet, how do we deliver services and create jobs? How do we support reconstruction? How do we ensure stability after “military achievement”?
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Economy, Political stability, Conflict, Syrian War, Peace
  • Political Geography: Russia, Iran, Middle East, Syria, United States of America
  • Author: Norma Brown
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: American Diplomacy
  • Institution: American Diplomacy
  • Abstract: It was early-1980s Leningrad, as St. Petersburg was known under communism, practically on the doorstep of the collapse of the Soviet Union, but so deep in the slough of communism that nobody would have considered it possible that a monumental change was in the offing. Bustling Moscow, where my then-future husband was serving at the same time, had a reasonable KGB to foreigner ratio. In the backwater of the one-time capital of the Russian Empire, the ratio was out of sight, more than 10-1. Still, it didn’t matter if you had five KGB thugs in black leather jackets dogging your footsteps or fifty. They always got what they wanted in the Soviet Union.
  • Topic: Communism, Diplomacy, Courts, Surveillance, Memoir
  • Political Geography: Russia, Soviet Union
  • Author: June Kunsman
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: American Diplomacy
  • Institution: American Diplomacy
  • Abstract: Consular officers at posts abroad face a range of difficult duties including informing relatives of a death abroad, counseling and helping victims of crime (do NOT go into Moscow’s underground street crossings late at night), visiting citizens arrested and jailed, refusing visas and dealing with the angry losing parent in a child custody fight. Still, we get a generous share of delightful duties like issuing passports and certificates of birth abroad, issuing adoption visas that give a child a route out of an orphanage to a family in the United States and informing an individual of an unknown claim to American citizenship.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Immigration, Citizenship, Memoir
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States of America
  • Author: Steve Abrams
  • Publication Date: 01-2016
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Connections
  • Institution: Partnership for Peace Consortium of Defense Academies and Security Studies Institutes
  • Abstract: This paper investigates the role of Soviet-style “active measures” as an element of modern Russian “political warfare.” These techniques were commonly used during the Soviet-era, encompassing a broad range of influence activities, including: covert media placement, forgery, agents of influence, “friendship” societies, front organizations, and more. Today, in Putin’s Russia, these active measures are once again in use, updated for digitally interconnected “global information space.” The paper begins with an introduction to active measures, then discusses their role in Soviet foreign policy and the attempts by the American “Active Measures Working Group” to counter them. The paper then describes how the Soviet active measures playbook has been updated for the modern era, using three case studies as examples. The paper concludes with a discussion on strategy, reproducing a number of recommendations from key publications.
  • Topic: Media, Information Age, Propaganda, political warfare
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Eastern Europe
  • Author: Oleksil Izhak
  • Publication Date: 01-2016
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Connections
  • Institution: Partnership for Peace Consortium of Defense Academies and Security Studies Institutes
  • Abstract: As the post-cold-war unipolar system transforms into a polycentric one, it becomes more complex and less predictable. The new system may be crushed with less effort than needed to keep it on track. The polycentric international system, as it emerges, suffers from hybrid threats. They are difficult to identify and predict. Russia pioneered exploiting the new vulnerabilities to gain unilateral advantages. Russia's hybrid war against Ukraine was just a starting episode of her wider attempt to crush the whole world order. Responsible world powers have either to fix the vulnerabilities of the polycentric world, or to block malicious attempts to exploit it.
  • Topic: Imperialism, Military Strategy, Post Cold War, Armed Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Ukraine, Eastern Europe
  • Author: Iryna Klymenko
  • Publication Date: 01-2016
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Connections
  • Institution: Partnership for Peace Consortium of Defense Academies and Security Studies Institutes
  • Abstract: Russia’s non-standard intervention in Ukraine was accomplished in four major areas—the economic system as a whole, the energy and security sectors, and information policy. The deliberate policy of the Kremlin has transformed Ukraine into economically fragile and institutionally weak nation. Due to efforts of former regime and Russian intelligence agencies, main Ukrainian government institutions were involved in semi-legal, semi-criminal transnational business scheme. Macro-financial vulnerability of Ukraine, in conjunction with a strained economic structure, proved to be the necessary and sufficient conditions for preparing and implementing hybrid aggression. The Ukrainian precedent might be replicated as a special operation to destroy statehood, whereby disruption is achieved through the escalation of internal political and economic challenges. One universal means of undermining statehood in an era of hybrid wars is to encourage corruption among holders of the highest office.
  • Topic: Security, Territorial Disputes, Conflict, Foreign Interference
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Ukraine, Eastern Europe
  • Author: Michael Komin, Alexander Vileykis
  • Publication Date: 01-2016
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Connections
  • Institution: Partnership for Peace Consortium of Defense Academies and Security Studies Institutes
  • Abstract: The military conflict in Southeastern Ukraine provides vast research opportunities in most diverse areas and in a zone of ongoing combat with all its attendant social ramifications. This article provides a review of some key questions of this war: why volunteer battalions conduct some harmful and inhumane acts and what may be done next to prevent violence after the war. Because war creates big areas without any control, there are huge non-transferable investments, incidents like torturing civil people, etc. The authors try to explain what conditions may impact the behavior of battalions and what should the governments do after the war ends.
  • Topic: Imperialism, Military Strategy, Territorial Disputes, Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Ukraine, Eastern Europe
  • Author: Bastain Giegerich
  • Publication Date: 03-2016
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Connections
  • Institution: Partnership for Peace Consortium of Defense Academies and Security Studies Institutes
  • Abstract: The idea that international conflict might be seeing more hybrid warfare and hybrid threats has animated debate among security and defense establishments in the run-up to NATO’s 2016 Warsaw Summit. While the Alliance has located the issue of hybrid war in the specific context of the Russia/Ukraine crisis and in 2014 triggered efforts to prepare NATO to effectively meet hybrid warfare threats, the scope of the challenge is much wider and the core dynamics are often located outside of the military realm. The article reviews the recent conceptual debates about hybrid warfare, suggesting that hybrid conflicts defy our attempts to press them into known categories and locate them clearly on a spectrum of war and peace. NATO Member States will have to invest in resilience and conventional deterrence to counter hybrid threats.
  • Topic: NATO, Imperialism, Military Strategy, Deterrence, Hybrid Warfare
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, North Atlantic, Ukraine, North America
  • Author: James K. Wither
  • Publication Date: 03-2016
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Connections
  • Institution: Partnership for Peace Consortium of Defense Academies and Security Studies Institutes
  • Abstract: The term hybrid warfare has been widely analyzed by scholars, policymakers and commentators since Russia occupied Crimea in March 2014. The topic has ceased to be a subject only studied by military strate-gists, but has entered the wider policy domain as a significant security challenge for the West. This article seeks to place the debate about hybrid warfare in a broader analytical and historical context and summarizes discussion to date on this and related strategic concepts. The Russian approach to hybrid warfare as demonstrated by operations in Ukraine is a particular focus for discussion.
  • Topic: NATO, Military Strategy, Territorial Disputes, Collective Defense, Hybrid Warfare
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, North Atlantic, Ukraine, North America, Crimea
  • Author: Joshua P. Mulford
  • Publication Date: 03-2016
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Connections
  • Institution: Partnership for Peace Consortium of Defense Academies and Security Studies Institutes
  • Abstract: The current war in Ukraine has highlighted the fact that in this new age of warfare non-state actors play a larger role than ever before. The influence of the media, think tanks and academia, religious groups, organized crime, war militias, NGOs and GONGOs, and the Ukrainian diaspora is pervasive. Kremlin-controlled media coverage of the war in Eastern Ukraine, including the downing of the MH-17 jet, is offset by the newer grassroots pro-Ukrainian media outlets such as Ukraine Today. Think tanks and academia focused on Ukraine and Russia are also battling for visibility in the government and among the populous. The impact of religious groups on the Ukrainian conflict is best featured in the Russian Orthodox Church’s rationalizing the invasion of Crimea as Russia’s divine right. The Ukrainian church, a subset of the ROC, has broken off and played a proactive role in assisting the war effort by pro-Ukrainian militias. The almost concurrent rise of militias and organized crime in Ukraine pose as a precarious issue for the future of the country. As the government is incapable of regaining sovereignty of its territory, stand-alone militias have risen to fight the Russian invasion in Eastern Ukraine. Organized crime has capitalized on the instability of the region, and with the annexation of Crimea, a new system of black market activities has been opened. The outside world is taking an interest in the Ukrainian plight, as well as in the form of NGO support, and in the case of Russia, GONGOs to promote policies in line with their agendas. The Ukrainian diaspora has also fought to influence policy making towards Ukraine, forming committees and sending supplies to the front line. It is unclear how much influence these non-state actors will have in the future of Ukraine, but it is quite certain that they each play a significant role in the way the conflict is perceived.
  • Topic: Military Strategy, Territorial Disputes, Non State Actors, Media
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Ukraine, Eastern Europe
  • Author: Oliver Fitton
  • Publication Date: 03-2016
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Connections
  • Institution: Partnership for Peace Consortium of Defense Academies and Security Studies Institutes
  • Abstract: The Gray Zone represents a space between peaceful state rivalries and war. Within this space actors have developed hybrid strategies to extend their influence. This concept of conflict is best illustrated by Russia’s actions in Eastern Ukraine in 2014. Gray Zone doctrine leverages ambiguity to create an environment in which adversaries are unable to make strategic decisions in a timely and confident manner. Cyber Operations, because of the attribution problem, lend themselves to this kind of conflict. This article explores the interactions between the Gray Zone and cyber operations and considers questions which NATO must address in order to adapt.
  • Topic: NATO, Diplomacy, Territorial Disputes, Hybrid Warfare
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, North Atlantic, Ukraine, North America
  • Author: Miroslaw Banasik
  • Publication Date: 09-2016
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Connections
  • Institution: Partnership for Peace Consortium of Defense Academies and Security Studies Institutes
  • Abstract: The success of the Russian Federation in Ukraine and the annexation of Crimea attest to the fact that the hybrid warfare constitutes an effective tool for achieving political objectives. This article evaluates the nature of hybrid warfare based on theoretical publications on the art of war and doctrinal documents of the Russian Federation, and characterizes the practical dimensions of hybrid warfare. It can be concluded on that basis that hybrid warfare and organized crime constitute real threats to European safety and security. International organizations such as NATO and the European Union so far have not drawn up neither the strategy nor effective tools for countering these phenomena.
  • Topic: Security, NATO, Military Strategy, European Union, Hybrid Warfare
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, North Atlantic, North America
  • Author: David J. Bercuson, Jean-Christophe Boucher, J. L. Granatstein, David Carment, Teddy Samy, Paul Dewar, Roy Rempel, Eric Miller, Anthony Cary, Chris Westdal, Rolf Holmboe, Randolf Mank, Marius Grinius, P. Whitney Lackenbauer, Adam Lajeunesse
  • Publication Date: 03-2016
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Global Exchange
  • Institution: Canadian Global Affairs Institute (CGAI)
  • Abstract: The Dispatch (later called The Global Exchange) is the Canadian Global Affairs Institute’s quarterly magazine featuring topical articles written by our fellows and other contributing experts. Each issue contains approximately a dozen articles exploring political and strategic challenges in international affairs and Canadian foreign and defence policy. This Spring 2016 issue includes articles on Canada's international reputation, foreign relations, defense policy and more.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Defense Policy, Peacekeeping, Cybersecurity, Weapons , Brexit, Nonproliferation, Syrian War, Trans-Pacific Partnership, Peace
  • Political Geography: Britain, Russia, China, Canada, Israel, Asia, North Korea, Syria, North America, Arctic
  • Author: David J. Bercuson, Frédérick Gagnon, Randolph Mank, Colin Robertson, Robert Huebert, Hugh Stephens, Gary Soroka, Hugh Segal, Daryl Copeland, David Perry, Robert Muggah
  • Publication Date: 12-2016
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Global Exchange
  • Institution: Canadian Global Affairs Institute (CGAI)
  • Abstract: The Dispatch (later called The Global Exchange) is the Canadian Global Affairs Institute’s quarterly magazine featuring topical articles written by our fellows and other contributing experts. Each issue contains approximately a dozen articles exploring political and strategic challenges in international affairs and Canadian foreign and defence policy. This Winter 2016 issue includes articles on the election of Donald Trump, energy policy, Canadian defense capability, and more.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, NATO, Energy Policy, Elections, Trans-Pacific Partnership, Trade, Donald Trump
  • Political Geography: Russia, Japan, Europe, Canada, North America, Arctic, United States of America
  • Author: Peter Bridges
  • Publication Date: 01-2016
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: American Diplomacy
  • Institution: American Diplomacy
  • Abstract: Back in the late 1950s, when Stalin was not long gone and the Soviet state remained our militarily powerful and dangerous adversary, the State Department’s basic office for dealing with the Russians was a Soviet desk composed of just four members of the Foreign Service and four from the Civil Service, the latter including an archivist and two stenographers. There were of course other Washington offices that had to do with the USSR, in State as well as in CIA, Commerce, the FBI, the Pentagon, and USIA; but we were the primary interface wth the two embassies, the Soviet in Washington and ours in Moscow. Shortly before Christmas in 1957 I became the junior Foreign Service officer on the Soviet desk, after completing the then three-month orientation course for new FSOs at the Department’s Foreign Service Institute.
  • Topic: Cold War, Diplomacy, Memoir
  • Political Geography: Russia, Soviet Union, United States of America
  • Author: David Blagden
  • Publication Date: 04-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: The international system is returning to multipolarity—a situation of multiple Great Powers—drawing the post-Cold War 'unipolar moment' of comprehensive US political, economic and military dominance to an end. The rise of new Great Powers, namely the 'BRICs'—Brazil, Russia, India, and most importantly, China—and the return of multipolarity at the global level in turn carries security implications for western Europe. While peaceful political relations within the European Union have attained a remarkable level of strategic, institutional and normative embeddedness, there are five factors associated with a return of Great Power competition in the wider world that may negatively impact on the western European strategic environment: the resurgence of an increasingly belligerent Russia; the erosion of the US military commitment to Europe; the risk of international military crises with the potential to embroil European states; the elevated incentive for states to acquire nuclear weapons; and the vulnerability of economically vital European sea lines and supply chains. These five factors must, in turn, be reflected in European states' strategic behaviour. In particular, for the United Kingdom—one of western Europe's two principal military powers, and its only insular (offshore) power—the return of Great Power competition at the global level suggests that a return to offshore balancing would be a more appropriate choice than an ongoing commitment to direct military interventions of the kind that have characterized post-2001 British strategy.
  • Topic: Security, Cold War
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Europe, Brazil
  • Author: Bernard El Ghoul
  • Publication Date: 06-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Turkish Policy Quarterly
  • Institution: ARI Movement
  • Abstract: The intensification of Russia’s diplomacy in the Middle East is combined with a clearly defined objective: positioning itself as the new protector of persecuted Christians in the region. The author highlights both the ambitions of the Kremlin in the Mediterranean and the ever-growing influence of the Russian Orthodox Church, which has become a major political actor. Moscow sees Shiite Islam as its ally in the Middle East and is increasingly aligning itself with a Shiite axis composed of Iran, Syria, and the Lebanese Hezbollah. The author examines this burgeoning Russian-Shiite alliance in light of Russia’s strategic interests in the region.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Religion, Violent Extremism, Hezbollah
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Middle East, Lebanon, Syria
  • Author: Joanna Hecht, Sam duPont, Cynthia Barmore, Natasha Geber, Abby McCartney, Emily A. Wiseman, Jordan Dantas, Stephanie Leutert, Lauren Dunn
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Woodrow Wilson School Journal of Public and International Affairs
  • Institution: Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University
  • Abstract: Cynthia Barmore builds on primary survey research conducted in Bosnia and Herzegovina to offer new explanations of the constraints placed on farmers by an unreformed land system. Natasha Geber addresses an underexplored policy area, looking at Russia’s geopolitical ambitions in the Arctic and offering a perspective on the chances of international cooperation on Arctic issues. Abby McCartney pulls together two seemingly disparate policies, seeing an opportunity for New Jersey to expand its successful drug court program using provisions of the Affordable Care Act. Emily Wiseman looks at how women and girls still tend to be excluded from post-disaster relief efforts, even though almost all implementers understand that this exclusion exacerbates gender inequality and retards reconstruction. Jordan Dantas analyzes the drop in piracy off the Somali coast, and finds private sector success where military solutions failed. Stephanie Leutert offers a clear-eyed perspective on the divergent narratives about the Obama Administration’s deportation policies, and analyzes how those policies have impacted immigrant communities. Lauren Dunn looks at two programs for using mobile phones to provide basic banking services—a success and a failure—and offers lessons for how the regulatory environment and existing institutions must shape program design.
  • Topic: Security, Gender Issues, Government, Immigration, Piracy, Women, Conflict, Rural, Drugs, Land Rights, Barack Obama, Medicaid
  • Political Geography: Russia, India, Haiti, North America, Somalia, Arctic, United States of America, Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Author: Emil Souleimanov, Huseyn Aliyev
  • Publication Date: 11-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Security
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Despite a considerable amount of ethnographic research into the phenomena of blood revenge and blood feud, little is known about the role of blood revenge in political violence, armed conflict, and irregular war. Yet blood revenge—widespread among many conflict-affected societies of the Middle East, North Africa, and beyond—is not confined to the realm of communal infighting, as previous research has presumed. An empirical analysis of Russia's two counterinsurgency campaigns in Chechnya suggests that the practice of blood revenge has functioned as an important mechanism in encouraging violent mobilization in the local population against the Russian troops and their Chechen proxies. The need to exact blood revenge has taken precedence over an individual's political views, or lack thereof. Triggered by the loss of a relative or humiliation, many apolitical Chechens who initially sought to avoid involvement in the hostilities or who had been skeptical of the insurgency mobilized to exact blood revenge to restore their individual and clan honor. Blood revenge functions as an effective, yet heavily underexplored, grievance-based mechanism encouraging violent mobilization in irregular wars.
  • Topic: Political Violence, Civil War, War, Sectarian violence
  • Political Geography: Russia, Asia, Chechnya, Yemen, Colombia, Georgia, Albania
  • Author: Ivan Babin, Elizaveta Egorova
  • Publication Date: 03-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Connections
  • Institution: Partnership for Peace Consortium of Defense Academies and Security Studies Institutes
  • Abstract: The Ukrainian crisis of 2013, followed by the annexation of Crimea, has redistributed the balance of power among the political players of the world arena. Moreover, since Putin’s return to the presidency in 2012, the concept of a shared neighborhood between the Russian Federation and the European Union (EU) becomes a strategic challenge not only for both but foremost for those post-Soviet republics struggling between two strategic decisions: to accept Russian protection or to choose Western development. The aim of this paper is to shed light on the forthcoming 2015 Eurasian Economic Union’s (EEU) economic and political perspectives, on South Ossetia and Abkhazia’s economic attractiveness, the sentiment inside those breakaway regions of Georgia and the Russian Federation standpoint in resolving or maintaining the situation in the disputed territories.
  • Topic: Security, Imperialism, European Union, Annexation
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Ukraine, Crimea
  • Author: David Matsaberidze
  • Publication Date: 03-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Connections
  • Institution: Partnership for Peace Consortium of Defense Academies and Security Studies Institutes
  • Abstract: This paper aims to analyze the construction and transformation of the post-Soviet security perspectives of Georgia and Ukraine in the context of the post-Soviet Russian foreign policy in the “near abroad,” quite often termed the “legitimate sphere” of Russian influence by high-ranking Russian officials. This inquiry covers the panorama of the foreign policy in post-Soviet Russia across the FSU, from the early 1990s through to the present, where Georgia and Ukraine’s independent and pro-Western orientation are the main issues securitized for the Russian Federation. Accordingly, the maintenance of territorial integrity has become a security priority for Georgia since the early 1990s and will most likely be Ukraine’s top concern after the Crimean occupation by the Russian Federation in March 2014 and the subsequent developments in Eastern Ukraine. Therefore, it could be claimed that post-Soviet Russian and Georgian/Ukrainian security strategy (following peaceful revolutions) represent a zero-sum game.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Imperialism, Military Strategy, European Union
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe, Ukraine, Eastern Europe, Georgia
  • Author: Emilbek Dzhuraev
  • Publication Date: 09-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Connections
  • Institution: Partnership for Peace Consortium of Defense Academies and Security Studies Institutes
  • Abstract: For over a year now, the crisis in and over Ukraine has been a stable fixture among the top issues of concern and deliberation internationally. The subject has become a point of polarized debate, with most contributions favoring one side or the other between the collective “West” and Russia. Similar to most trending debates, especially those as divided as this, the discussion has tended to simplify the issue by lumping everything into singular categories, be they “Russian imperialism,” “American conspiracy,” “Ukrainian fascism,” or “the new Cold War.” However, the matter is far more complex. This essay offers a mostly non-aligned analytical overview of the positions of five Central Asian countries on the subject. What these countries’ stances elicit is the complexity of the problem and the many-sided effects and challenges the involved and surrounding parties need to face, where it is far from obvious why a country takes this or that stance, or—even more tellingly—why it appears to vacillate. From such an overview, a number of more general conceptual rewards can be derived.
  • Topic: Imperialism, Regional Cooperation, Military Strategy, Armed Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Central Asia, Ukraine, Eastern Europe, Asia
  • Author: Zofia Studzinska
  • Publication Date: 09-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Connections
  • Institution: Partnership for Peace Consortium of Defense Academies and Security Studies Institutes
  • Abstract: Russia has been an empire for centuries. After the fall of communism and the disintegration of the Soviet Union, many countries saw a chance to build a new world order and a new international and European security system. But for Moscow, the last 15 years were simply an aberration to be rectified rather than the new reality. Currently, we are witnessing the Russian Federation attempt to rebuild its sphere of influence and restore its borders to what they were during the time of the Cold War. The first sign of Russia testing this plan was the Russo-Georgian war in August 2008. After a poor reaction from the West, Moscow decided to pursue another confrontation, this time going much further, challenging the limits of the possible – the annexation of Crimea in March 2014 and the conflict in Eastern Ukraine, ongoing from April 2014. With the lack of a strong response from the Western countries, one can assume that Russia is on its way to rebuilding its imperial position and will continue to grasp for control of other territories.
  • Topic: Imperialism, Military Strategy, Empire, Foreign Interference
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Ukraine, Eastern Europe
  • Author: Ralph R. Steinke
  • Publication Date: 09-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Connections
  • Institution: Partnership for Peace Consortium of Defense Academies and Security Studies Institutes
  • Abstract: It was the last European war in a bloody century of European wars. Less than ten years after the collapse of the Berlin Wall, the 1999 Kosovo War—Operation Allied Force, as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) referred to it—was unique in many respects. From the perspectives of both international law and the law of armed conflict, it significantly challenged the limits of jus ad bellum, the international laws of war governing the circumstances under which nations are permitted to use force, as well as jus in bello, the laws of war relating to proper conduct in war.[1] After decades of a NATO-Warsaw Pact standoff in Europe and proxy wars elsewhere it was not self-defense, but rather humanitarian considerations, that drew the NATO Alliance, with the United States in the forefront, into this conflict. While the seventy-eight-day NATO bombing campaign captured the world’s attention, not long after its conclusion this military operation began to fade from the public memory. Beyond the Balkans, a little more than two years after the Kosovo War’s conclusion, the traumatic events of September 11, 2001, would virtually remove global examination and recollections of the Kosovo conflict from the agenda. The United States and much of the world embarked on an entirely new, 21st century ideological and combative struggle: fighting the scourge of terrorism. Nevertheless, the Kosovo War has alternatively been referred to as a reference point by Americans who have sought a response to the Syrian conflict as well as by Vladimir Putin as justification for his claims to Crimea and the “protection” of Russian nationals. Some sixteen years after the Kosovo conflict and Operation Allied Force, it is worth asking: are there any insights to be recalled and gained from this conflict? What has been the war’s effect on the law of international armed conflict to date? Is Mr. Putin right to refer to the Kosovo campaign as his justification for the use of force, either implied or explicit, in Crimea or greater Ukraine? It will be argued here that in spite of significant concern and warnings then that the Kosovo campaign would provide a dangerous precedent for international law and even global stability,[2] it has had a nominal if not negligible effect on the body of international law as informed by jus ad bellum. In spite of Mr. Putin’s attempts to try to identify it as a precedent, the Kosovo campaign was indeed an exception. While it was characterized as a messy and “ugly” affair,[3] it did accomplish what it intended to do: stop the killing of potentially tens of thousands of Kosovar Albanians and the expulsion of hundreds of thousands more from Kosovo, ultimately providing them with a better and more secure life than was possible in the pre-Kosovo campaign period.
  • Topic: NATO, War, Conflict, Collective Defense
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Kosovo, Syria
  • Author: Pál Dunay
  • Publication Date: 09-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Connections
  • Institution: Partnership for Peace Consortium of Defense Academies and Security Studies Institutes
  • Abstract: Since the so-called Kosovo conflict of 1999 the views of states, including those of major players, have been divided as to whether it was a humanitarian intervention or the collective aggression of NATO member states. In 2014 the Russian Federation annexed Crimea and Sevastopol (formally separate entities) to its territory. Since then the argument has shifted and the current disagreement centers around how we should assess these two changes of territorial status quo (Kosovo and Crimea) in Europe. The situation is further complicated as states wish to present their actions as moral and legal (the general expectation is that they do so). This results in a situation where the dominant discourse is supposed to support the aspirations of states both in the east and in the west. The main effort of each party goes in countering the other’s position. It is difficult to get hold of a reliable set of facts, as these are presented selectively by the different parties. A further challenge arises in that different fields are not kept distinct from one another, and hence the legal and political analyses are often used interchangeably and with insufficient differentiation. This is aggravated by the fact that the so-called normative approach to international (and domestic) politics prevails in the analysis. Every state feels compelled to prove that it acts in full accordance with international norms, including legal rules and moral predicaments. However, any attempt to correctly analyze the change of the territorial status quo in the two cases mentioned above requires the contrary: keeping the different aspects strictly separate and only synthesizing the results in the conclusions. In this article I endeavor to keep the legal analysis separate from the political and moral assessment and wish to state in advance that they do not necessarily manifest in the same direction. Moreover, when the topic of analysis is as politically heavy-loaded as the change of territorial status quo in Europe, the international legal assessment must be disaggregated further. Namely, there is the positive international law as it exists, de lege lata, as adopted by the states or as it appears as jus cogens. There is also international law that does not exist, yet about which we speak as de lege ferenda with a view to its future evolution. Such differentiation will be particularly relevant in this case due to the swift evolution of norms in the area of humanitarian intervention relevant as point of reference in the case of Kosovo and the ambiguous content of the right to self-determination in the case of Crimea. International law has a further characteristic feature. Namely, its development cannot flexibly follow historical changes. This is particularly noticeable when major historical changes occur at a rapid pace. This was the case before and during World War II and more recently as the Cold War came to an end. The international system changed and international law in some areas did not follow. The gap between the international system and international law, where the latter forms part and parcel of the former, has widened. Furthermore, universal international law most often requires the consent of states in various regions of the world. This presents a challenge as states often profess different values and their value judgment serves different interests. It is the purpose of this article to present the legal situation that underlies the two cases, the position of the main actors, and attempt to draw separate conclusions as regards the assessment de lege lata and de lege ferenda.
  • Topic: NATO, Imperialism, Conflict, Armed Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Ukraine, Kosovo, Crimea
  • Author: Joshua Sinai
  • Publication Date: 09-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Connections
  • Institution: Partnership for Peace Consortium of Defense Academies and Security Studies Institutes
  • Abstract: As of mid-2015, the primarily Islamist-based terrorist threats against Russia and its counterterrorism response measures continued to be in the spotlight. These Islamist terrorist threats, it must be pointed out, were unrelated to Russia’s other national security problems emanating from its intervention in Ukraine, which will not be discussed in this article. As with other Western countries, the latest phase of the terrorist threats against Russia has become even more complicated than before, with large-scale involvement by a reported 1,700 “homegrown violent extremists” (HVE),[1] primarily North Caucasus-based, many of whom have travelled to Syria and Iraq to join the Islamic State’s insurgents and to fight the Moscow-supported Bashar al-Assad government as well as the Shi’ite government in Baghdad (which is also backed by Tehran – Russia’s close ally), with their violent extremism also directed against the Russian state. As part of this phase, although unrelated to the involvement of the aforementioned Russian Islamists in Syria, Russian airpower was deployed in Syria in September 2015 to support the besieged al-Assad regime against the Islamic State. The earlier phase of the terrorist threats against Russia was highlighted by the April 15, 2013 Boston Marathon bombings, which were perpetrated by two brothers of ethnic Chechen origin (one of whom was reportedly monitored by Russia’s security services during his stay in Dagestan), as well several significant terrorist attacks in late 2013 during the lead-up to the Sochi Winter Olympics, which were held in February 2014 without a terrorist incident. Overall, the primary terrorist threats against the Russian Federation are presented by the Islamist insurgents in the North Caucasus, who are organized into several groups that are loosely allied with al-Qaeda’s global Jihad. Fortunately for Russia, in their most significant threat over the past several years, these Islamist militants were thwarted in their intent to exploit the worldwide media attention associated with the February 2014 Olympic sporting events, which were located close to the North Caucasus, several hundred miles from the Republic of Dagestan, where they were mounting an insurgency to establish an Islamic state in that region. In response, Russia greatly boosted its counterterrorism measures in the North Caucasus republics as well as in other parts of the country, thereby preventing these insurgents from succeeding in their terrorist plots. Nevertheless, the attraction of jihadi groups such as the Iraq- and Syria-based Islamic State in radicalizing hundreds of Russian Islamists into joining their insurgency expanded the geographical scope of the terrorist threats against Russia, particularly upon the return of some of them to Russia to carry out attacks in light of Moscow’s support of the Syrian and Iraqi regimes and their call to establish an Islamist caliphate in the North Caucasus.
  • Topic: Security, Terrorism, Counter-terrorism, War on Terror
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Eastern Europe
  • Author: Şener Aktürk
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This article analyzes Turkish-Russian relations since the end of the Cold War (1992-2014) from a neorealist perspective, while highlighting relevant analogies and major turning points. Georgia (2008), Syria (2011--), and Ukraine (2014--) crises have has been detrimental for the two countries, mutual economic interests with strategic significance, such as the increasing importance of Turkey as a potential reseller of Russian natural gas, have sustained a high level of cooperation between the two countries.
  • Political Geography: Russia, Turkey, Ukraine, Georgia, Syria
  • Author: E. Murat Özgür, Ayla Deniz, Derya Hasta, M. Murat Yüceşahin, Sutay Yavuz
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Turkey in the recent years has become a destination for individuals from various regions, migration histories and experiences, with an explicit increase observed in the number of those coming from the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). Migrant groups coming to Turkey gather geographically in certain cities such as Antalya, a touristic city that has become an important migration destination, particularly for Russians and Azerbaijanis. The study aims to be acquainted with these migrants, who have been the subject of very few analyses, and to understand why they have immigrated to Antalya, substantially within framework of “Who are They?” and “Why are they Here?” It is based on data obtained from a comprehensive questionnaire applied to 418 Russian and Azerbaijani respondents. Moreover, the data is supported by observations, in-depth interviews and media analysis.
  • Political Geography: Russia, Azerbaijan
  • Author: Geoffrey Pridham
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The European Union has a unique opportunity to develop a positive strategy towards Ukraine. A pro-EU government is now in power in Kyiv, there is a revived civil society pressing for democratic reforms and the actions by Russia have both reinforced Ukraine's pro-West line and led to the priority given Moscow being questioned by some member states. It is therefore essential to grant Ukraine a membership perspective to strengthen this trend and encourage Kyiv to confront and overcome the basic problems that face the country.
  • Topic: International Relations, Government, Reform
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Ukraine, Moscow