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  • Publication Date: 09-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Kyrgyzstan, Central Asia’s only even nominal parliamentary democracy, faces growing internal and external security challenges. Deep ethnic tensions, increased radicalisation in the region, uncertainty in Afghanistan and the possibility of a chaotic political succession in Uzbekistan are all likely to have serious repercussions for its stability. The risks are exacerbated by leadership failure to address major economic and political problems, including corruption and excessive Kyrgyz nationalism. Poverty is high, social services are in decline, and the economy depends on remittances from labour migrants. Few expect the 4 October parliamentary elections to deliver a reformist government. If the violent upheavals to which the state is vulnerable come to pass, instability could spread to regional neighbours, each of which has its own serious internal problems. The broader international community – not just the European Union (EU) and the U.S., but also Russia and China, should recognise the danger and proactively press the government to address the country’s domestic issues with a sense of urgency.
  • Topic: Security, Politics, Governance, Reform
  • Political Geography: Asia, Kyrgyzstan
  • Author: Bart Gaens
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: China is challenging the regional balance of power in East Asia through a military buildup and an increasingly assertive foreign policy. The US is forced to find the right balance between cooperating with China while benefiting from its economic rise, and countering China's regional reach by carrying out its self-declared "pivot" to Asia in spite of domestic and budgetary constraints. With just over one year in office, Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has received wide domestic support for his ambitious plans to revive Japan's economy through his threefold policy of Abenomics. At the same time, however, he has implemented a number of significant policies in the defence and security sphere. In response to China's military rise, the Abe administration increased and recalibrated the defence budget. Furthermore, in order to reinforce the alliance with the US, the government approved the creation of a US-style National Security Council, passed a Secrecy Bill, and aims to reverse Japan's self-imposed ban on exercising the right to collective self-defence. Under the banner of "proactive pacifism", the Abe cabinet is seizing the momentum caused by the changing regional power dynamics in order to edge closer towards "breaking away from the postwar regime". A proposed revision of Japan's constitution, unchanged since 1947, symbolizes the ruling Liberal Democratic Party's (LDP) objective to bring about a more autonomous role for Japan both in the security alliance with the US and as an international actor.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Defense Policy, Arms Control and Proliferation, Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Japan, China, Asia
  • Author: Gerald Stang
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: European Union Institute for Security Studies
  • Abstract: Russia is often seen as a land of extremes – and the narratives for this month's Winter Olympics in Sochi reflect that view. From the record-length 65,000 km Olympic torch run (which included trips to outer space, the north pole and the bottom of the world's deepest lake) to the incredible $51 billion price tag and the Ian Flemingesque threat of attacks from black widow terrorists, the Sochi games have a distinctly Russian flavour. The Kremlin appears to have envisioned the games as a national triumph, not unlike the 2008 Beijing Olympics, with organisational, architectural and sporting successes that could unite the country. However, with global headlines dominated by stories of corruption, human rights abuses, anti-gay laws and the very real threat of terrorist attacks, one might be forgiven for wondering whether the Russian government regrets its decision to bid for the games.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Security, Political Violence, Islam, Insurgency
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Derek M. Scissors
  • Publication Date: 01-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: New data published in the American Enterprise Institute-Heritage Foundation China Global Investment Tracker show that China continues to invest heavily around the world. Outward investment excluding bonds stood at $85 billion in 2013 and is likely to reach $100 billion annually by 2015. Energy, metals, and real estate are the prime targets. The United States in particular received a record of more than $14 billion in Chinese investment in 2013. Although China has shown a pattern of focusing on one region for a time then moving on to the next, the United States could prove to be a viable long-term investment location. The economic benefits of this investment flow are notable, but US policymakers (and those in other countries) should consider national security, the treatment of state-owned enterprises, and reciprocity when deciding to encourage or limit future Chinese investment.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Development, Economics, Emerging Markets, International Trade and Finance, Foreign Direct Investment, Sovereign Wealth Funds
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Asia
  • Author: Peter A. Petri, Michael G. Plummer
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: ASEAN has become a focal point of the rapidly changing economic architecture of the Asia-Pacific region. ASEAN members are increasingly stable and politically confident, and constitute an emerging economic powerhouse. The region is dynamic, with 600 million citizens and a gross domestic product (GDP) that exceeds $2 trillion and is expected to grow 6 percent annually for the next two decades. (The Appendix at the end of this paper reports detailed output and trade projections to 2025.) Through deeper internal integration via the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) and external initiatives such as the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), ASEAN is becoming a driving force in regional cooperation and a much-courted economic partner. The AEC and the RCEP projects are globally significant: the AEC could generate powerful demonstration effects for other developing regions, and the RCEP could become an important building bloc of the multilateral trading system.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, International Trade and Finance, Markets
  • Political Geography: United States, East Asia, Asia, Asia-Pacific
  • Author: Bradley Anderson, Johan Jooste
  • Publication Date: 05-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Africa Center for Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: Spikes in the prices of ivory and rhino horn have propelled an escalation in killings of African elephants and rhinoceroses. Without urgent corrective measures, extinction of these populations is likely. This is not just a wildlife poaching problem but part of a global illicit trafficking network that is empowering violent groups and co-opting some elements of Africa's security sector. An immediate bolstering of Africa's wildlife ranger network is needed to slow the pace of elephant and rhino killings and buy time. Addressing this threat over the longer term will require dramatically reducing the demand for these animal parts, especially within Asian markets.
  • Topic: Security, International Trade and Finance, Regional Cooperation, Law Enforcement
  • Political Geography: Africa, Asia
  • Author: Varun Sahni
  • Publication Date: 06-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Norwegian Peacebuilding Resource Centre
  • Abstract: The statement by India's national security adviser on March 6th 2014 referring to "legitimate" Russian interest in Ukraine was unsurprisingly criticised in the West, but appreciated in Russia. Most observers missed other important elements in the statement: reference to Ukraine's internal issues; recognition that both Russian and other interests were involved; and emphasis on a peaceful settlement, reconciliation and negotiation. Debate on the Ukrainian crisis has been largely absent in India due to preoccupation with national elections, widespread consensus that Russia is a dependable "friend of India", and sneaking admiration of President Putin for his "decisiveness" in promoting Russia's interests and open defiance of the West. While China and Pakistan have deployed historical/ethno-cultural arguments to dispute Indian sovereignty over territories that India considers its own, India has consistently rejected claims to alter the territorial status quo on grounds of kinship across sovereign borders.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Sovereignty, Territorial Disputes
  • Political Geography: Russia, Ukraine, India, Asia
  • Author: Pinar Dost-Niyego, Orhan Taner
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: The recent events in Ukraine have revived the question of European dependence on Russian natural gas. The security of Europe's natural gas supply has been a consistently important issue in Russian-European Union (EU) relations. Russia provided 34 percent of EU gas in 2012, and Russian policies can have a direct impact on EU supplies. After the West-Russian confrontation over Ukraine, a lot has been said about the 'US shale gas revolution' and the possibilities of the United States becoming an energy exporter for future European energy needs. Although US energy independence seems to promise new perspectives for future European energy security, as well as for the balance of power in the Middle East, this is not for this decade. We cannot expect that the European Union would be able to cut off all of its energy relations with Russia, but we can foresee–or at least agree–that the European Union should diversify its natural gas supplies.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Economics, Energy Policy
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe, Ukraine, Middle East, Asia
  • Author: Patrick Nopens
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: EGMONT - The Royal Institute for International Relations
  • Abstract: ISAF's withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2014 will directly impact the wider region. Not only is there a risk of instability spilling over to Central Asia, but the drawdown will also accelerate the ongoing shift in the balance of power in Central Asia towards China. Should a spillover occur, the burden will mainly fall on Russia and China. Russia will, however, only continue playing the dominant role in the security of the former Soviet Central Asia (FSCA) until China takes on responsibility for the security of its direct sphere of influence or "dingwei". Russia's Near Abroad, however, overlaps both with the EU's Eastern Neighbourhood in Europe and China's dingwei in Central Asia and the Far East. It is, therefore, necessary to approach Russian reactions to these encroachments on its historical spheres of influence in a single context, taking into account the interrelationship between these three.
  • Topic: Security, Politics, Hegemony
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, China, Europe, Central Asia, Asia
  • Author: Sam Perlo-Freeman, Carina Solmirano
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Stockholm International Peace Research Institute
  • Abstract: Global military expenditure fell in 2013, by 1.9 per cent in real terms, to reach $1747 billion. This was the second consecutive year in which spending fell, and the rate of decrease was higher than the 0.4 per cent fall in 2012.
  • Topic: Security, Military Strategy
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Daniel Fitzpatrick, Caroline Compton
  • Publication Date: 08-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Following the devastation caused by Typhoon Haiyan in November 2013, the Philippines authorities pledged to 'build back better' – a vision designed to ensure that affected communities were stronger and more resilient in the face of future storms. Significant efforts and some important steps have been taken by various authorities to begin fulfilling that vision.
  • Topic: Security, Environment
  • Political Geography: Asia, Philippines
  • Author: Mr Alain Guidetti
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Geneva Centre for Security Policy
  • Abstract: President Xi Jinping's July 2014 visit to Seoul indicates that the strategic partnership between China and the Republic of Korea is moving forward against a backdrop of growing power competition and instability in the region. Both Seoul and Beijing have strong interest in close cooperation: Beijing wants to prevent a full-fledged trilateral alliance between the US, Japan and South Korea aimed at containing China's rising power Seoul needs Chinese support in its efforts to reach out to Pyongyang and work towards future reunification.
  • Topic: Security, International Cooperation, International Affairs, Bilateral Relations, Governance
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, China, Beijing, Asia, South Korea
  • Author: Jesse MacLean, Andrew McCauley, Emily Newcombe
  • Publication Date: 10-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Canada has demonstrated a strong interest in strengthening economic partnerships across the Asia-Pacific, having recently expanded its diplomatic presence in the region through the establishment of a mission to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), and reaffirmed its desire to join such forums as the East Asia Summit. While Canadian officials routinely find themselves simply passing through Asian capitals, Canada's market share in the Asia-Pacific is below potential and Canada lags behind in comprehensive trade agreements signed with the region's states (Dobson 2012). As Canada seeks to expand trade ties in the Asia-Pacific, its active engagement must come not only through sustained presence in economic forums, but also through tangible investment in the region's security architecture.
  • Topic: Security, Disaster Relief, Humanitarian Aid
  • Political Geography: Canada, Asia
  • Author: Takako Ueta
  • Publication Date: 10-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: EGMONT - The Royal Institute for International Relations
  • Abstract: Asia is a prominent export market for Europe while in the East and South China Seas, tensions continue. Europe has searched for its political role in Asia. This policy brief presents an analysis and argues the role of Europe in enhancing cooperative security in Asia and the Pacific, which would promote stability and peace there.
  • Topic: Security, Emerging Markets, International Cooperation, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Japan, Europe, Israel, Asia
  • Author: Mieke Eoyang, Aki Peritz
  • Publication Date: 03-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Third Way
  • Abstract: The U.S. is currently leading the effort to halt North Korea's nuclear weapons program and protect our allies in the Asia-Pacific region. Here is how to discuss this important issue: North Korea's missile and nuclear programs threaten our interests and our allies. We will defend our friends—and ourselves—starting with our planned deployment of more missile interceptors in Alaska. The U.S. has been making progress toward convincing the international community to crack down on Pyongyang even further. Given the threat, we must maintain a robust military presence in Asia to maintain the peace in the Asia-Pacific region. We must work with China—North Korea's only ally—to achieve a lasting end to Pyongyang's continuing nuclear intransigence.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Nuclear Weapons
  • Political Geography: China, Asia, North Korea
  • Author: Michael Beckley
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Despite the hype about the rise of China, current power trends favor continued U.S. dominance. National power has three main material components: wealth, innovation, and military power. Over the last twenty years, China has fallen further behind the United States in all of these areas.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Economics, International Trade and Finance, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Asia
  • Author: Alan Dupont
  • Publication Date: 03-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Lowy Institute for International Policy
  • Abstract: In every era there are inflection points which require long - established institutions to re - evaluate their goals, strategy, structure and resource allocations to ensure their future health and relevance. As a major organ of state, the Australian Defence Force (ADF) is no exception.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Security, Defense Policy
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Asia, Australia, Australia/Pacific
  • Author: Nick Bisley
  • Publication Date: 04-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: US Assistant Secretary of State Kurt Campbell has just completed a lightning visit to Australia for formal discussions with newly installed Foreign Minister Bob Carr. In spite of the political turmoil that brought Carr to office, the Australia-US alliance is in the best shape of its 60-year history. Having begun as a Cold War convenience, about which the United States was not enthusiastic, it has become a key part of Washington's regional role and a cornerstone not only of Australia's defense and security policy, but of its broader engagement with the world. The arrival in early April of the US Marine Corps to begin six-month training rotations in Darwin is emblematic of the alliance's standing and its evolution.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Arms Control and Proliferation, Cold War, Diplomacy, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: United States, Washington, Asia, Australia/Pacific
  • Author: Sumathy Permal
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Maritime Institute of Malaysia
  • Abstract: The Indian Ocean (IO) is the world’s third largest ocean with an area of 73.5 million sq. km or 28.5 million sq. miles. It is strategically located adjacent to Asia in the North, Australia to the East, Antarctica to the South, and Africa to the West. IO forms two large indentations in South Asia, the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal. The ocean can be accessed through several chokepoints i.e., from the West via Cape of Good Hope and the Straits of Madagascar, from the North via the Bab el-Mandeb at the end of the Red Sea; the Sunda and Lombok-Straits and the Ombai-Wetar-Straits and the Straits of Hormuz at the exit of the Persian Gulf, from the East via the Straits of Malacca and, by way of geographical extension, to the South China Sea.
  • Topic: Security, International Law, International Trade and Finance, Maritime Commerce
  • Political Geography: Africa, China, Malaysia, Asia, Arabia, Kobani
  • Author: William Byrd
  • Publication Date: 08-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: At the Tokyo conference on July 8, donors committed to provide massive civilian aid to Afghanistan and improve aid effectiveness, while the Afghan government committed to a number of governance and political benchmarks. The outcome at Tokyo exceeded expectations, but a review of Afghan and international experience suggests that implementing the Tokyo mutual accountability framework will be a major challenge. The multiplicity of donors could weaken coherence around targets and enforcing benchmarks, and undermine the accountability of the international community for overall funding levels. Uncertain political and security prospects raise doubts about the government's ability to meet its commitments, and political will for needed reforms understandably may decline as security transition proceeds and the next election cycle approaches. It is doubtful whether major political issues can be handled through an articulated mutual accountability framework with benchmarks and associated financial incentives. The civilian aid figure agreed upon at Tokyo ($16 billion over four years) is ambitious and exceeded expectations; if the international community falls short, this could be used to justify the Afghan government failing to achieve its benchmarks. Finally, given past experience there are doubts about how well the Joint Coordination and Monitoring Board (JCMB) process (mandated to oversee implementation), and the series of further high-level meetings agreed at Tokyo, will work.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Development, Economics, Governance, Law Enforcement
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Asia
  • Author: Scott Thomas Bruce
  • Publication Date: 10-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: With North Korea's tightly controlled and isolated population, the rise of information technology—specifically cell phones and an intranet—is an unprecedented development. In the last decade, a domestic intranet was launched and a cell phone network was created. Both of these form a closed, domestic system, which the regime hopes will allow for productivity gains from increased coordination and the sharing of state-approved information, while keeping out foreign influences. North Korea is now confronted with the challenge of how to reap the economic benefits of an IT system, while avoiding the social instability that may accompany it. The country has made a fundamental shift from a state that limits access to information technology to ensure the security of the regime, to one that is willing to use it as a tool, at least among a certain privileged class, to support the development of the nation. Although North Korea is stable for now, over the next decade, information technology has the potential to transform the state and it also creates a strong incentive to integrate North Korea into the dynamic economies of Northeast Asia.
  • Topic: Security, Human Rights, Communications, Governance
  • Political Geography: Israel, Asia, North Korea
  • Author: Brian Rose
  • Publication Date: 01-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: The 2011 Conference on Disarmament (CD) began contentiously when Ambassador Zamir Akram, Pakistan\'s permanent representative to the United Nations, criticized United States\' support of India\'s membership in export organizations that would allow it to engage in nuclear trade. Pakistan believes such membership would further favor India and accentuate the asymmetry in fissile materials stockpiles of the two states. Strategic and security concerns drive Pakistan\'s commitment to block negotiation of a fissile material cutoff treaty. Progress during the CD seems unlikely if the United States and Pakistan remain entrenched in their respective positions.
  • Topic: Security, Arms Control and Proliferation, Nuclear Weapons, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, United States, India, Asia
  • Author: Malcolm Cook, Thomas S. Wilkins
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: The post-Cold War era in the Asia-Pacific has not witnessed the triumph of low over high politics. Rather, it has seen the simultaneous intensification of both economic integration and security cooperation and competition. This is true both at the level of the region, and for China and most other countries in the region.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Cold War, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, China, Asia, Australia
  • Author: Alistair D.B. Cook
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for Non-Traditional Security (NTS) Studies
  • Abstract: Indonesia's position as a regional champion of democracy and human rights has become prominent in international forums since the resignation of President Suharto in 1998 and the subsequent period of internal democratic reform. Its proactive foreign policy culminated in the establishment of the Bali Democracy Forum in 2008 to promote and strengthen democracy and the rule of law in Asia through a process of learning and sharing. While Indonesia's proactive foreign policy continues, significant internal challenges remain. This policy brief offers an insight into one of Indonesia's longest running internal challenges, Papua, and suggests the use of the human security lens as an alternative to the dominant traditional security lens used by many policymakers, in an effort to promote conflict resolution and match developments at home with its proactive strategies abroad.
  • Topic: Security, Democratization, Human Rights
  • Political Geography: Indonesia, Asia, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Nazery Khalid
  • Publication Date: 01-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Maritime Institute of Malaysia
  • Abstract: The announcement by Minister of Transport, Dato' Seri Chong Kong Ha on 11 January 2011 that Malaysian p orts handled a total of 18. 4 mil. TEU in 2010 should bring a smile to port operators in the country.
  • Topic: Security, International Trade and Finance, Maritime Commerce
  • Political Geography: Asia, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Elizabeth Hervey Stephen
  • Publication Date: 11-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: The South Korean military currently is the sixth-largest in the world. But years of low birth rates have resulted in declining numbers of young men available for military service, and the country now faces the pressing question of how to ensure national security in the face of inevitable troop reductions. Some options for offsetting this shrinking recruit pool (such as increasing fertility, increasing immigration, and increasing the number of women in the military) might seem obvious, but the complex economic, social, and cultural reality of South Korea make them unlikely to be embraced. The best focus for immediate action is to stabilize or increase service terms and to encourage development and implementation of high-tech security systems. While the recruit pool appears nearly adequate at present, South Korea must act quickly to develop the leaner, more diverse, and more technologically based military necessary for the country to maintain a viable military force.
  • Topic: Security
  • Political Geography: Israel, Asia, South Korea
  • Author: Ryszarda Formuszewicz, Marcin Terlikowski.
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: On 18 May, after two and a half months in office, defence Minister Thomas de Maizière presented updated cornerstones of the ongoing Bundeswehr reform, which has been rebranded as a “reorientation” (Neujustierung). On the same day, new Defence Policy Guidelines (DPG) were published, replacing the previous document of 2003. The core message directed to internal public opinion and to international partners both disappointed and displeased with Germany's troubled record in the security policy domain is laid out in the title of the DPG: “Safeguarding National Interests – Assuming International Responsibility – Shaping Security Together.” The DPG delivered a conceptual foundation for the armed forces' transformation process, which will now be based on defined security policy assumptions—a feature lacking in the original reform announced in 2010 under the pressure of a financial consolidation plan. The document is both an outcome of the deteriorating German stance on the international security stage and an opportunity to push Berlin on the road towards assuming a new, more visible role, as a security actor.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, NATO
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Europe, Asia
  • Publication Date: 06-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: India and Pakistan have consistently subjected Kashmiri interests to their own national security agendas and silenced calls for greater autonomy. With the start of their composite dialogue – comprehensive negotiations to resolve all contentious bilateral issues, including Kashmir, launched in February 2004 – both appeared willing to allow more interaction across the Line of Control (LOC) but failed to engage Kashmiris in the process. As a result, they did not take full advantage of opportunities to enhance cross-LOC cooperation by identifying the most appropriate Kashmir-specific confidence-building measures (CBMs), and bureaucratic resistance in both capitals resulted in uneven implementation of even those that had been agreed. India has suspended the composite dialogue since the November 2008 Mumbai attacks by Pakistan based militants, but neither New Delhi nor Islamabad has backtracked on these CBMs. Nevertheless, the CBM process will only achieve major results if the two sides devolve authority to Kashmir's elected representatives and take other vital steps to win over its alienated public.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Islam, Territorial Disputes
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, India, Asia
  • Author: Ashley Jackson
  • Publication Date: 07-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: The Kabul Conference marks the ninth international conference on Afghanistan in nearly as many years. The conference aims to present a new set of development programs and shore up international support for civilian efforts. It will also follow up on commitments made on anticorruption and reconciliation during the London Conference in January 2010. Yet much of the hope and optimism that marked the earlier conferences such as the Bonn Conference in 2001, which set out the parameters for the interim government, and the Paris Conference in 2006, which outlined a strategy for reconstruction and development, is now gone.
  • Topic: Security, Development, War, Fragile/Failed State
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Asia
  • Author: Walter Kemp
  • Publication Date: 09-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: On December 1 and 2, 2010, Kazakhstan will host the heads of state or government of fifty-six countries for the first summit of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) since 1999. This is a major achievement for a country that was considered by some to be an inappropriate choice to lead the OSCE. Yet the Astana summit is not a test of Kazakhstan's leadership. It is about the future of Euro-Atlantic and Eurasian security, and the viability of the OSCE. At a time when the European Union, Russia, and the United States are redefining their relationships and looking for common ground, the Astana summit provides an opportunity to focus on issues that unite all stakeholders—finding a sense of common purpose to deal with common threats and challenges on the basis of common principles. This brief looks at what it will take to reach the “summit” at Astana, examines the main issues at stake, and considers the relevance and future direction of the OSCE.
  • Topic: Security, International Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe, Central Asia, Kazakhstan, Asia
  • Author: Chung-in Moon, Jae-Ok Paek
  • Publication Date: 09-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation, University of California
  • Abstract: South Korea's defense industrial transformation has been impressive by any standard. It was able to satisfy most of its basic weapons needs within a decade after launching its defense industry. Since the late 1990s, South Korea has been elevated from a third-tier arms producer to the second tier by moving from the stage of imitation and assembly to that of creative imitation and indigenization. It now competes with major arms-supplying countries. In addition, the South Korean defense industry has made remarkable progress in RMA-related areas mostly involving command, control, communication, intelligence, reconnaissance, and surveillance. In this policy brief, we first assess South Korea's defense industrial performance by examining the patterns of defense acquisition, rate of localization of defense materiel, and defense exports. We then briefly analyze the evolutionary dynamics of defense industrial upgrades in selected sectors by tracing the stages of innovation. We also delineate a set of institutional and policy arrangements that have contributed to this impressive transformation.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Arms Control and Proliferation, Economics
  • Political Geography: Asia, South Korea
  • Author: Valeriy Dzutsev
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: IN THIS ISSUE: Website: Few Improvements in the North Caucasus in 2008 Violence Haunts a New Year in Ingushetia and Dagestan Chechens Protest Parole for Budanov Spain Extradites Chechen Terror Suspect A Look Back at Insurgent Activities in the North Caucasus in 2008By Mairbek Vatchagaev Ingushetia's New Leader Hints at a Merger with ChechnyaBy Valeriy Dzutsev.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: In this issue: Chechen Who Accused Kadyrov of Torture Murdered in Vienna Kadyrov Denounces Parole for Budanov Human Rights Watch's Annual Report Details North Caucasus Abuses Explosion Destroys Building in Nazran; Cause Uncertain North Caucasus Insurgency Attracting Mainly Young and Committed Members By Mairbek Vatchagaev Is Krymshamkhalov's Murder a Political Assassination?
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: In this issue: Lawyer for Family of Budanov's Victim and Journalist Murdered in Moscow Human Rights Groups Press Austria to Investigate Murder of Chechen Ruslan Yamadaev's Brother: He was Murdered by Kadyrov's Associate Deteriorating Security Situation in Ingushetia Sparks First Ever Visit to Region by MedvedevBy Valery Dzutsev Markelov Assassination Tied to Release of Budanov?By Fatima Tlisova.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: In this issue: Seven Chechens Arrested in Austria in Connection with Murder of Ex-Kadyrov Bodyguard FSB Accuses Zakaev of Organizing Armed Attacks in Chechnya Medvedev and Yevkurov Meet Again, This Time in Moscow The War on Dagestan's Police Continues Chechnya Starts the New Year on a Tense NoteBy Mairbek Vatchagaev Ingushetia's New President Faces an Uphill BattleBy Mairbek Vatchagaev.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Publication Date: 02-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: IN THIS ISSUE: Austrian Prosecutors Were Investigating Israilov's Charges against Kadyrov Zakaev Rejects Kadyrov's Invitation Rebels and Pro-Moscow Forces in Shoot-Out near Chechen Village Ingush President Accuses U.S. of Seeking to "Undermine the Caucasus" Briefs Dagestan's Sharia Jamaat Suffers Series of SetbacksBy Mairbek Vatchagaev Ethnic-Based Governing System is Increasing Tensions in DagestanBy Valery Dzutsev.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Publication Date: 02-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: In this issue: Ingushetia's Violence Continues as Yevkurov Calls for Blood Feuds to End Chechen Rebel Representative Reportedly Switches Sides Briefs Ingush Authorities Blame Insurgency on Arabs and U.S. IntelligenceBy Mairbek Vatchagaev The Changing Landscape of Islam in North OssetiaBy Mikhail Roshchin.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Publication Date: 02-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: A year after the near-fatal shooting of President José Ramos-Horta, security in Timor-Leste is strikingly improved. Armed rebels are no longer at large. The atmosphere on the streets of Dili is far less tense. The government does not seem to be facing any serious political threat to its survival. It has, at least temporarily, been able to address several of the most pressing security threats, in large part by buying off those it sees as potential troublemakers. Nevertheless, the current period of calm is not cause for complacency. Security sector reform is lagging, the justice system is weak, the government shows signs of intolerance towards dissenting voices, and it has not got a grip on corruption. These problems, which have been at the root of the instability facing Timor-Leste since independence, must be tackled if the country is to escape the cycle of conflict.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Political Violence
  • Political Geography: South Asia, Asia, Vienna
  • Author: Katrine Barnekow Rasmussen
  • Publication Date: 03-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: This is a brief English version of a Danish DIIS Report on the foreign policy of Iran. In the Report, Iran's foreign policy is investigated both ideologically and in respect of its pragmatic motivations.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Foreign Policy, Islam, Oil, Weapons of Mass Destruction
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran, Asia
  • Publication Date: 03-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Tensions in Aceh are high as elections approach, although they have receded somewhat from a peak in mid-February. The murders of three former combatants of the Free Aceh Movement (Gerakan Aceh Merdeka, GAM), other shootings and numerous grenade attacks over the last two months – all with unidentified perpetrators – have set the province on edge, and there remains a risk of sporadic, low-level violence before and after general elections on 9 April. Disputes over the results, with 44 parties competing for seats in district, provincial and national legislatures using a new and complicated system of voting, are also likely. There is little danger in the short term of violence escalating out of control, let alone a return to armed conflict, but the underlying causes of the tensions are not just election-related and need to be addressed if peace is to be preserved in the long term.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Political Violence, Democratization
  • Political Geography: Indonesia, Asia, Australia/Pacific, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Christine Lynch, Devon Tucker, Michael Harvey, Jacqueline McLaren Miller
  • Publication Date: 02-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: EastWest Institute
  • Abstract: Drawing on a diverse array of opinions from Africa, Asia, Europe, and North America, the EastWest Institute's Fifth Worldwide Security Conference brought together specialists from the spheres of policy, academia, and civil society. Participants addressed a variety of issues on the contemporary global security landscape. These ranged from specific security threats (whether illicit trade, the targeting of critical infrastructure or cyber crime) to the role of interested actors (such as business, NGOs, and media), as well as a focus on potential strategies to counter terrorism and extremism (either in terms of constructing global cooperative architectures or, more controversially, the possibility of opening dialogue with the terrorists). A variety of policy recommendations emerged from each session—detailed in the main body of the report—but there were several recurring themes binding the debate together and animating the core arguments of proceedings as a whole. These policy recommendations were not necessarily consensus recommendations but reflected a wide range of debated policy prescriptions.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Economics, Education, Globalization, Human Rights, International Security, Political Theory
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe, Asia, North America
  • Publication Date: 03-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: North Korea says it is preparing to launch an experimental communications satellite using a rocket that is part of its ballistic missile program. This would be in the face of an international outcry, and of what is a strong though not definitive argument that it violates two UN Security Council resolutions. Japan has been most vocally opposed, saying it will shoot down the rocket if it threatens to fall on its territory. But even if the test is successful, it would only slightly increase security risks, while an overblown response would likely jeopardise the Six-Party Talks to end North Korea's nuclear program. What is needed is a calm, coordinated response from the key actors to raise pressure on Pyongyang to return to the talks rather than a divided reaction that only fulfils the North's desire to widen splits among its neighbours.
  • Topic: Security, Weapons of Mass Destruction, International Security
  • Political Geography: Israel, Asia, North Korea
  • Author: Yury E. Fedorov
  • Publication Date: 11-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: In November 2009, the 'Law on Amendments to the “Law on Defence”' proposed by President Medvedev entered into force. It allows the Kremlin to dispatch troops outside Russia for four purposes: to counter armed attacks against Russian armed forces, other troops and bodies deployed beyond its borders; to counter or prevent an armed attack against another country if this country has requested Russia to do so; to protect Russian citizens abroad from an armed attack; and to combat piracy and guarantee the safety of shipping. The law is an attempt to close the gap between Moscow's strategic goals, primarily the establishment of its geopolitical dominance over the former Soviet republics, and Russia's legislation, which restricted its ability to deploy armed forces beyond national borders. In effect, the amended legislation enables the Kremlin to deploy its armed forces abroad in a wide range of situations, precisely because of a lack of clear criteria. The wording of 'Medvedev's amendments' sheds light on some plans and scenarios that may be taking shape in Moscow. It is not beyond the realms of possibility that Russia may plan to ignite large-scale disturbances and ethnic clashes in Sevastopol or in Latvia and Estonia, which may be used as a pretext for Russian military intervention. A Russo-Ukrainian conflict in Crimea would pose not so much a military as a political challenge for Europe and the West. Even though Ukraine does not belong to these organizations, if NATO and the EU failed to respond to Russian intervention in Crimea with strong political and economic measures, their strategic relevance would be seriously undermined. If NATO did not defend its member states in the Baltic, the strategic role of the Alliance would be reduced to zero. The aforementioned scenarios fall into the worst-case category, yet there are numerous precedents in Russia's history which demonstrate that worst-case scenarios can become reality. European dependence on Russian energy supplies and interest in Russia's support in resolving the Iranian nuclear problem and the conflict in Afghanistan, as well as the Obama administration's interest in Russia's partnership in nuclear issues, constrain Western ability to respond. However, the West could and should make it quite clear that new Russia's military interventions will result in the country's political ostracization. Furthermore, the West could propose and develop an internationally recognised mechanism regulating the most important aspects of humanitarian intervention. In particular, it should minimise the ability of individual states to make unilateral decisions to intervene militarily if the UN Security Council were unable to make firm decisions. Such mechanisms could be discussed and developed in the frameworks of the UN, the OSCE, the so-called Corfu process and similar international forums.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Law
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Publication Date: 02-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Bomb disposal experts with the Interior Ministry for the Southern Federal District's counterterrorist Center 'T' defused a large bomb in a wooded area three kilometers outside the village of Babugent in the Cherkesk district of the Kabardino-Balkaria Republic (KBR), Kavkazky Uzel reported on February 28. "The explosive device was located in a hiding place," a source in the KBR Interior Ministry told the website. "It consisted of a gas-cylinder with a capacity of 27 liters, four bags with a mixture of ammonium nitrate and aluminum powder, a five-liter plastic canister of kerosene and a demolition cord." KBR Interior Minister Yury Tomchak told a meeting of the ministry's public council on February 26 that 53 members of "illegal armed formations" are wanted by the republican authorities, Interfax reported. "Until recently the law-enforcement bodies were searching for 42 NFV [illegal armed formation] members, 14 of whom are on the federal wanted list and 10 who are on the international wanted list," Tomchak said. He added that the republic's Interior Ministry, with the assistance of the republican branch of the Federal Security Service (FSB) and the Investigative Committee of the Prosecutor General's Office, have put another 11 members of "illegal armed formations" on the republic's wanted list over the last two weeks.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Development
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Publication Date: 03-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Ingushetia's election commission reported on March 4 that 92.3 percent of the republic's eligible voters voted in the Russian presidential and republican legislative elections, both of which were held on March 2, Kavkazky Uzel reported. According to the commission, 91.6 percent of those in Ingushetia who voted in the presidential election cast their ballots for Dmitry Medvedev, while 6.1 percent voted for Liberal Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR) leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky, 1.5 percent voted for Communist Party leader Gennady Zyuganov and 0.1 percent voted for Democratic Party leader Andrei Bogdanov. In the election for Ingushetia's People's Assembly held the same day, the pro-Kremlin United Russia party received 74.09 percent of the vote, the LDPR won 11.06 percent, the pro-Kremlin A Just Russia party received 7.39 percent of the vote and the Communist Party won 7.34 percent.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Development
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Publication Date: 03-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Ingushetian President Murat Zyazikov on March 12 dismissed his cabinet, which is chaired by Ibragim Malsagov, as well as the republic's local administration heads. Newsru.com reported that the dismissed cabinet will remain in place until a new one is formed and that First Vice-Premier Khov Yevloev will serve as the republican government's acting chairman, replacing Malsagov.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Development
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Publication Date: 03-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Chechen rebel, pro-Moscow government and independent sources alike reported on March 19-20 that a large-scale battle had taken place in the village of Alkhazurovo in Chechnya's Urus-Martan district. Kavkazky Uzel reported on March 20 that the battle had taken place the previous evening and that rebels had burned down the village administration building and killed five law-enforcement officers along with two civilians. At least six other people, including two women and a teenager, were wounded in the fighting, the website reported. "To all appearances, up to 15 militants took part in yesterday's armed clash in the village of Alkhazurovo," a Chechen police officer told Kavkazky Uzel. "At the moment, actions to find and neutralize this gang are continuing. The militants burned the local administration building, and five employees of power structures (four policemen and an employee of the military prosecutor's office) and two local residents were killed."
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Development
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Publication Date: 03-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Gadzhi Abashilov, the head of GTRK Dagestan, the Dagestani affiliate of Russia's state television and radio company, was killed in a drive-by shooting as he traveled home from work in Dagestan's capital, Makhachkala, on March 21. His driver was seriously injured in the attack. Just hours earlier, Ilyas Shurpaev, a Dagestan-born journalist who covered the North Caucasus for state television's Channel One, was found stabbed and strangled in his Moscow apartment after a neighbor reported a fire in the apartment. Russian news reports quoted investigators as saying that the perpetrators had set fire to the apartment in an attempt to conceal the crime.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Development
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia, North Caucasus
  • Publication Date: 04-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Kavkazky Uzel, citing the press service of the Chechen president and government, reported on April 2 that President-elect Dmitry Medvedev and Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov met and discussed issues related to the socio-economic development of the Chechen Republic. Forum.msk.ru reported that the meeting took place in the Kremlin and that during a portion of the meeting that was open to the press, they discussed changes that have taken place in Chechnya over the past year. "Let's talk about the whole complex of issues: how work to develop the republic's socio-economic potential is going; what achievements [and] what problems there are," the website quoted Medvedev as saying in opening the meeting.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Development
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Publication Date: 04-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Kavkazky Uzel reported on April 8 that Chechnya's rebels have stepped up their activities and even taken control of villages on at least two occasions during the last month. With the arrival of spring and the appearance of foliage, which works to the advantage of guerrilla fighters, rebel units have noticeably stepped up their actions in the republic's foothills and mountainous regions, the website reported. While last month's incident in the village of Alkhazurovo, in which a large contingent of rebel fighters took over the village and held it for several hours, killing five policemen and burning down the local administration building before leaving (Chechnya Weekly, March 20 and April 3), received significant press coverage, a similar rebel operation in the village of Yandi-Kotar in Chechnya's Achkhoi-Martan district received none.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Development
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia