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  • Author: Iryna Solonenko
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Arnold A. Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies
  • Abstract: This paper discusses Ukraine’s choice between maintain relations with the EU and Russia, a choice that is not merely a foreign policy choice or a choice between two integration models. Rather, it represents a choice between two normative orders or two different value systems. If Ukraine succeeds in pursuing the European model and breaking away from its tradition of a “captured state,” Russian leverage in Ukraine will also diminish. Therefore, undertaking this transformation is of crucial – if not existential – importance for Ukraine. The very survival of Ukraine’s statehood will depend on it.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Political stability
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Ukraine
  • Author: Józef Lang
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: European Union Institute for Security Studies
  • Abstract: Russia's current and foreseeable policy towards Afghanistan is multi-vectored, complex and shows, at times, signs of incoherence. Russia views developments in Afghanistan as a strategic challenge and is expressing growing concern over the country's prospects for stability after the withdrawal of ISAF forces by the end of 2014. Russian decision-makers fear that a security vacuum emerging after the withdrawal could destabilise Central Asia and have a negative impact on Russia itself. At the same time, Moscow is concerned with Western military presence in the region, which it regards as interference in its neighbourhood. At tactical level, Russia also sees the situation in Afghanistan as an opportunity to secure its interests both regionally (consolidating its influence in Central Asia) and more widely (in terms of its relations with NATO).
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Foreign Policy, Regional Cooperation, War, Insurgency
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Russia, Central Asia
  • Author: Judy Dempsey
  • Publication Date: 06-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is in search of a new narrative. While Russia's involvement in Eastern Ukraine and its annexation of Crimea will not give NATO a new sense of solidarity, these events have highlighted what the alliance and its members must urgently do. It is time for all NATO countries to engage in a real strategic debate about why defense matters and what members should do to uphold the transatlantic relationship.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, NATO, Diplomacy, Territorial Disputes, Reform
  • Political Geography: Russia, North Atlantic, Ukraine
  • Author: Alexey Malashenko
  • Publication Date: 10-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Russia has spent over a decade trying to recapture the influence the Soviet Union once enjoyed in the Middle East, but President Vladimir Putin's attempts to position Moscow as a key regional player have come up short. With revolutions across the Arab world overturning old orders and ushering in Islamist governments, Russia's chances for strengthening its position in the region look increasingly slim. The Kremlin must change course and ensure that its approach to the Middle East and Islamists reflects post–Arab Spring realities.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Islam, Post Colonialism, Regime Change
  • Political Geography: Russia, Middle East, Soviet Union, Arabia
  • Author: John W. Parker, Michael Kofman
  • Publication Date: 03-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for National Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: Russia's institution of a ban on American adoptions of Russian orphans, an appalling response by the Duma to U.S. sanctions against officials involved in the Sergei Magnitsky case,1 was a clear indicator that bilateral relations will assume a lower priority in the next 4 years for both capitals. Russian President Vladimir Putin signed the measure despite open misgivings by some of his own key aides and against the opposition of most of Russia's civil society. The Russian Internet response was scathing, producing an instant winner for best sick joke of 2012: “An educated American family has decided to adopt a developmentally disabled Duma deputy.”.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Arms Control and Proliferation, Islam, Nuclear Weapons, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe, Middle East
  • Author: Yury Fedorov
  • Publication Date: 10-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute of International Relations Prague
  • Abstract: The Obama administration recently suggested concluding a legally binding agreement on transparency that would confirm that American BMD does not pose a threat to Russia's deterrence forces, and also concluding a framework agreement on further cutting Russian and American nuclear arsenals. The USA may be interested in reducing the tensions with Russia over the missile defense with a view to break the deadlock on a wide complex of hard security and proliferation issues, including the hot problems of nonstrategic nuclear weapons in Europe and Iran and the North Korean nuclear programs, and also to ensure Russia's support in managing regional crises – these days, especially that in Syria.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Foreign Policy, Arms Control and Proliferation, Nuclear Weapons, Treaties and Agreements, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe, North Korea, Syria
  • Author: Habibe Özdal, M. Turgut Demirtepe, Kerim Has, Hasan Selim Özertem
  • Publication Date: 07-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Strategic Research Organization (USAK)
  • Abstract: Turkey and Russia have succeeded in developing a constructive dialogue since the Cold War era. The roots of this dialogue go back to the 1920s. Following the Bolshevik Revolution, throughout the Turkish War for Independence and the establishment of the Turkish Republic, and up until 1936 the two countries had cooperated in several areas. During the Cold War, Turkey and Russia (in the form of the USSR) were in opposite blocs, but being located in the same geography, both countries found various ways to keep dialogue channels open.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Cold War, International Trade and Finance, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Russia, Europe, Turkey, Asia
  • Author: Andrey S. Makarychev, Larisa Deriglazova, Oleg Reut
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: The rising generation of Russian foreign policy experts and commentators, especially outside Moscow, is increasingly sceptical about the key premises of Russian diplomacy and see more failures than achievements in Russia's relations with its closest partners, including the EU and neighbouring states. This is the conclusion that stems from a series of interviews and focus groups carried out with young Russian professionals about Russia's current foreign policies. The study reveals a strong cognitive dissonance between the official diplomatic discourse of the Kremlin and the perceptions of young experts who work in a variety of fields dealing with international cooperation either at a lower level of the state hierarchy or in different professional domains. This paper summarises the key findings of this project and discusses their practical implications.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Moscow
  • Author: Kristofer Bergh
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Stockholm International Peace Research Institute
  • Abstract: The Arctic ice is melting. If current trends continue, there will be dramatic changes in the region, with far-reaching implications. At the same time, the receding ice opens the region to economic development, including through the exploitation of previously inaccessible hydrocarbons and minerals. In September 2011, both the Northern Sea Route (along Russia's north coast, formerly known as the Northeast Passage) and the Northwest Passage (along the northern coasts of Alaska and Canada) were open for some time, potentially creating shorter shipping routes between Asia, Europe and North America. Increased human activity in the sparsely populated and in hospitable Arctic requires new initiatives to achieve safety and security for the region's environment and its inhabitants and visitors.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Climate Change, Diplomacy, Political Economy, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Canada, Asia, North America
  • Author: David Shim, Patrick Flamm
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: South Korea’s rising status in regional and global affairs has received much attention in recent years. But in academic, media and policy debates South Korea is usually regarded as a mere middle power that, due to its geopolitical situation, has only limited leeway in its foreign policy. Accordingly, it must constantly maneuver between its larger neighbors: China, Japan and Russia. However, this perspective neglects the fact that the same geopolitical constraint also applies to other states in the region. No country can easily project its power over others. We use the concept of “regional power” as a template to discuss South Korea’s rising stature in regional and global politics. We argue that Seoul seems quite capable of keeping up with other assumed regional powers. Hence, we not only provide a novel account of South Korea’s foreign policy options but also go beyond current approaches by asking about the (undetermined) possibilities for Seoul’s regional relations.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Economics, Power Politics
  • Political Geography: Russia, Japan, China, Israel, South Korea
  • Author: Camilla Committeri
  • Publication Date: 10-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The Syrian crisis is dividing the international community like no other Arab uprising has done so far. While the United States and the European Union stand squarely against the Syrian regime, Russia remains a staunch defender of state sovereignty and the Al-Assad regime. There are three main factors that explain this position: Moscow's historical relations with Damascus; Russia's traditional opposition to US presence in the Middle East; and the surge in domestic opposition in Russia itself. This last factor, and the recent evolution of Russian domestic politics, is crucial to grasp Moscow's foreign policy towards Syria and the Middle East, a s well as towards the United States and Europe.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Civil War, Bilateral Relations, Foreign Aid
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Middle East, Arabia, Moscow, Syria
  • Author: Joseph Holliday
  • Publication Date: 03-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for the Study of War
  • Abstract: The rebels will have to rely on external lines of supply to replenish their arms and ammunition if they are to continue eroding the regime's control. The emergence of al-Qaeda-linked terrorist cells working against the regime poses risks to the United States and a challenge to those calling for material support of the armed opposition. As the militias continue to face overwhelming regime firepower the likelihood of their radicalization may increase. Moreover, the indigenous rebels may turn to al-Qaeda for high-end weaponry and spectacular tactics as the regime's escalation leaves the rebels with no proportionate response, as occurred in Iraq in 2005-2006. Developing relations with armed opposition leaders and recognizing specific rebel organizations may help to deter this dangerous trend. It is imperative that the United States distinguish between the expatriate political opposition and the armed opposition against the Assad regime on the ground in Syria. American objectives in Syria are to hasten the fall of the Assad regime; to contain the regional spillover generated by the ongoing conflict; and to gain influence over the state and armed forces that emerge in Assad's wake. Therefore, the United States must consider developing relations with critical elements of Syria's armed opposition movement in order to achieve shared objectives, and to manage the consequences should the Assad regime fall or the conflict protract.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Terrorism, Armed Struggle
  • Political Geography: Africa, Russia, United States, Iran, Turkey, Middle East, Germany, Syria
  • Author: Dmitri V. Trenin
  • Publication Date: 02-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: This report compares Russian and Chinese security perceptions and explains how they shape the two countries' policies towards each other. It argues that the modern relationship between the two countries, formed in the late 19th and 20th centuries, was turned on its head at the start of the 21st century. China has now become a powerful factor affecting a whole range of Russian policies, both domestic and foreign. The paper also argues that, while Russia is not central to China's foreign relations, and non-existent in China's domestic politics, good relations with Moscow are an important supporting element in Beijing's overall strategy of reclaiming China's 'rightful place in the world'. It concludes that while both countries need each other and would benefit from a stable political relationship and close economic ties, both Moscow and Beijing lack the long-term strategies to create such a bond.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Asia
  • Author: Theodore P. Gerber, Heather A. Conley
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: This study examines the current state of relations among Russia, Estonia, and ethnic Russians living in Estonia. The report pays special attention to the Russian Compatriot Policy, which seeks to codify the relationship of the Russian diaspora to its homeland, and to evaluate its effectiveness as a soft power foreign policy tool in Estonia. Analysis of this policy, as well as an understanding of Estonian domestic policies toward and relationships with the Russian minority within the country, has been conducted based on the results of a comprehensive survey conducted by CSIS in 2009 and 2010. The survey data were generated through interviews with over 3,000 individuals between the ages of 16 and 29, including equal numbers of Russians living in Russia, native Estonians living in Estonia, and ethnic Russians living in Estonia. This research not only helps shed light on the current state of affairs for the Russian minority in Estonia, but also gives clues as to where the situation is heading.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diaspora, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: Russia, Estonia
  • Author: James J. Przystup, Ferial Ara Saeed
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for National Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: There is no shortage of plausible scenarios describing North Korean regime collapse or how the United States and North Korea's neighbors might respond to such a challenge. Yet comparatively little attention has been paid to the strategic considerations that may shape the responses of the United States, the Republic of Korea (ROK), Japan, China, and Russia to a North Korean crisis. These states are most likely to take action of some kind in the event the North Korean regime collapses. For the ROK (South Korea), North Korean regime collapse presents the opportunity for Korean reunification. For the other states, the outcome in North Korea will affect their influence on the peninsula and their relative weight in Asia. This study identifies the interests and objectives of these principal state actors with respect to the Korean Peninsula. Applying their interests and objectives to a generic scenario of North Korean regime collapse, the study considers possible policies that the principal state actors might use to cope with such a crisis.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Communism, Diplomacy, Regime Change
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Israel, South Korea, North Korea
  • Author: Richard J. Krickus
  • Publication Date: 10-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: U.S. Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates has said that the ability of the United States and Russia to cooperate in Afghanistan will be a solid test of their reset in relations. That proposition is the thesis of this monograph. Many analysts in both countries would agree with this assessment, but a significant number of them believe a fruitful reset is implausible.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Foreign Policy, Cold War, Diplomacy, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Russia, United States
  • Author: James M. Acton
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: U.S. policy seeks to create the conditions that would allow for deep reductions in nuclear arsenals. This report offers a practical approach to reducing the U.S. and Russian stockpiles to 500 nuclear warheads each and those of other nuclear armed states to no more than about half that number. This target would require Washington and Moscow to reduce their arsenals by a factor of ten.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Arms Control and Proliferation, Nuclear Weapons, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Washington, Moscow
  • Author: Marlène Laruelle
  • Publication Date: 11-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: NATO Defense College
  • Abstract: In July 2011, the first U.S. troops started to leave Afghanistan - a powerful symbol of Western determination to let the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) gradually take over responsibility for national security. This is also an important element in the strategy of Hamid Karzai's government, which seeks to appear not as a pawn of Washington but as an autonomous actor in negotiations with the so-called moderate Taliban. With withdrawal to be completed by 2014, the regionalization of the "Afghan issue" will grow. The regional powers will gain autonomy in their relationship with Kabul, and will implement strategies of both competition and collaboration. In the context of this regionalization, Russia occupies an important position.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Regional Cooperation, Military Strategy
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Russia, United States
  • Author: Jeffrey Mankoff
  • Publication Date: 04-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Like much of the world, Russia has been in the midst of a serious economic crisis since the late summer of 2008. Although the worst appears to be over, Russia will continue to feel its effects longer than many other industrialized countries, largely because of a rigid economy burdened with an overweening state role. The recognition that Russia faces serious long-term challenges has emboldened President Dmitry Medvedev and others to call for far-reaching economic restructuring. If successful, their economic policies could undermine the semi-authoritarian, state-capitalist model developed under Prime Minister and former president Vladimir Putin. Although concrete reforms have so far been limited, Medvedev's demands for change (seconded in some cases by Putin) have acquired increasing momentum in recent months. The speed of Russia's recovery and obstacles along the way will play a major role in determining both the success of Medvedev's call for modernization and the course of Russia's foreign policy since a quicker recovery would diminish the pressure for fundamental reform and lessen the need for caution internationally.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Economics, International Affairs, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Author: Kingshuk Chatterjee
  • Publication Date: 08-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute of Foreign Policy Studies, University of Calcutta
  • Abstract: By all reckoning, the latest round of UN sanctions on Iran (Resolution 1929, 9th June 2010), backed up by further extension and expansion of the scope of US sanctions (June 2010) and imposition of EU sanctions on 26th July 2010, should make life very difficult for the Islamic Republic. The continued tightening of the sanctions regime indicates the serious concerns that Tehran have aroused over the development of its nuclear programme. Iran professes its commitment to only a civilian nuclear programme in conformity with its obligations under the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT); a large number of states of the international community suspect Iran of developing a military programme behind the cover of its legitimate civilian one. Tehran's protestations of innocence of the charge have regularly been dismissed by most of its neighbours, and even the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has not been fully satisfied on this point by Tehran. The issue has generated a set of proposed responses from various members of the international community, ranging from extreme options of surgical strikes against Iran's nuclear facilities (favoured by Israel, and under consideration in some segments of the US administration), through moderate options of international sanctions regime (favoured by most of the states, including USA and the EU) to the softer options of persuasion by continued and growing diplomatic engagement (China and Russia). Over the past two years, international opinion has steadily drifted towards a tight sanctions regime, reflected in the UN Resolution in June 2010 and that of the EU in July. Valid questions are, however, being raised about the efficacy of the international sanctions regime.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, United Nations, Sanctions
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, China, Iran, Israel, Tehran
  • Author: Mikael Mattlin
  • Publication Date: 09-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: A vigorous debate is raging on the EU's normative roles in the global context. The EU actively promotes its political values outside of the Union, especially with regard to prospective accession countries. Yet, a normative foreign policy approach encounters considerable challenges when confronted with major powers, such as China and Russia that do not always share the political values promoted by the EU. Attempts at pursuing a normative policy towards these countries often come across as unserious or half-hearted. This paper discusses EU normative policy towards China, identifying loss of the moral high ground, conflicting interests of EU members and lack of leverage towards China as the three main factors hampering it. The paper argues that instead of a half-hearted offensive normative approach towards China, the EU may be better off with a more determined policy of defensive normativity. More broadly, the EU faces a stark choice between its desire to be a Normative Power and its wish to be a Great Power.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Europe
  • Author: Micah Zenko
  • Publication Date: 11-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: President Barack Obama has made reductions in the United States' nuclear arsenal and a decreased reliance on nuclear weapons major foreign policy priorities for his administration. The New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START), signed in April 2010 by President Obama and Russia's president, Dmitry Medvedev, represents concrete movement toward these goals—goals that both presidents share. This follow-on accord to the 1991 START Treaty limits the United States and Russia to 1,550 deployed strategic nuclear and conventional war - heads, 800 strategic launchers, and 700 deployed strategic missiles and bombers. Yet while the New START Treaty represents a substantial decrease from Cold War levels, the United States will retain around 2,000 deployed strategic and tactical nuclear weapons and Russia will maintain approximately 3,500 deployed strategic and tactical nuclear weapons—which together will constitute over 90 percent of the world's nuclear weapons.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Nuclear Weapons, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States
  • Author: Dmitri V. Trenin
  • Publication Date: 03-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: This report is one in a series commissioned by The Century Foundation to explore issues of interest to American policymakers regarding Russia, aimed at identifying a framework for U.S.-Russian relations and policy options for a new administration and Congress that could help right the two countries' troubled relationship at a crucial juncture. The papers in the series explore significant aspects of U.S.-Russian relations, outlining a broad range of reasons why Russia matters for American foreign policy and framing bilateral and multilateral approaches to Russia for U.S. consideration. A high-level working group, co-chaired by Gary Hart, former U.S. senator from Colorado, and Jack F. Matlock, Jr., former U.S. ambassador to the Soviet Union, has provided direction to the project and offered recommendations for action that the United States might take.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, America, Middle East, Asia
  • Author: Ashley J. Tellis, Martha Brill Olcott, Dmitri V. Trenin, Frédéric Grare, Jessica Tuchman Mathews, Christopher Boucek, Gilles Dorronsoro, Karim Sadjadpour, Michael D. Swaine, Aroop Mukharji, Haroun Mir, Gautam Mukhopadhaya, Tiffany Ng
  • Publication Date: 05-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: The Obama administration has made some decisive changes to the Afghan policy it inherited. Most significantly, in its first year it committed to a 250 percent increase in the American force on the ground (adding 51,000 troops to the 34,000 in Afghanistan when Mr. Obama took office) and lobbied hard to secure increases in non–U.S. coalition forces. It matched this large increase in force with a major reduction in the goal: from raising a democratic state in Afghanistan to the creation of a state strong enough to prevent a takeover by the Taliban, al–Qaeda, or any other radical Islamic group; and to “disrupt, dismantle, and defeat” al–Qaeda (which, of course, is not achievable in Afghanistan or Afghanistan and Pakistan alone). The third pillar of the policy was and is a greater emphasis on the need for a regional approach, a belief the Bush administration moved toward in its closing days.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Religion, Terrorism, Reform
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Afghanistan, Russia, Iran, India
  • Author: Dmitri V. Trenin, Pavel K. Baev
  • Publication Date: 09-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: The Arctic is emerging as the world's next hot spot for oil and gas development. The U.S. Geological Survey has estimated that the Arctic seabed could contain 20 percent of the world's oil and gas resources and Russia's Ministry of Natural Resources says the Arctic territory claimed by Russia could be home to twice the volume of Saudi Arabia's oil reserves. While accessing those reserves once seemed impossible, the melting ice cap now makes it more feasible and opens new shipping lanes for international trade. Countries around the world—particularly Russia—have noticed.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Economics, Bilateral Relations, Natural Resources
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Moscow, Saudi Arabia
  • Author: Dmitri V. Trenin, Alexey Malashenko
  • Publication Date: 10-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Iran's emergence as a rising power is straining its relations with Russia. While many outside observers assume the two countries enjoy a close relationship, in reality it is highly complex. Although Iran and Russia have strong economic and military ties, Moscow is increasingly wary of Tehran's growing ambitions.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Nuclear Weapons, Bilateral Relations, Nuclear Power
  • Political Geography: Russia, Iran, Tehran, Moscow
  • Author: Matthew Rojansky
  • Publication Date: 11-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Having fallen to a historic low after the 2008 Russia-Georgia war, U.S.-Russia cooperation is again on the rise, thanks to last year's “reset” of the relationship. The U.S.-Russia Bilateral Presidential Commission, launched at the July 2009 Moscow summit, aims to enhance cooperation between the two countries on a broad range of shared interests. Although the Commission appears promising so far, significant challenges lie ahead and the two sides must work closely to monitor both the structure and the substance of this new institution to ensure it continues to produce results.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Moscow
  • Author: Steven Pifer
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Ukraine faces a year of challenge in 2009. In the aftermath of the August 2008 Russia-Georgia conflict, Kiev must cope with an increasingly assertive Russian foreign policy. The Kremlin regards Ukraine as part of its sphere of privileged interests, has made clear its unhappiness with Kiev's desire to integrate into the European and Euro-Atlantic communities, and will attempt to disrupt that course. The possibility exists, more real following the August conflict, of a serious confrontation between Kiev and Moscow over issues such as Ukraine's geopolitical orientation and the Black Sea Fleet.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, NATO
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Ukraine
  • Author: Stanislav Secrieru
  • Publication Date: 02-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: The war in the South Caucasus sent shockwaves throughout the post-Soviet world, European capitals and across the Atlantic, making more urgent the demand for a re-evaluation of policies towards Russia. The projection of hard power in Georgia generated a number of unintended consequences for the Russian state. The crisis and war unveiled many of Russia's weaknesses and vulnerabilities across four crucial dimensions: the military, the 'power vertical' and federalism, the economy and Russia's international position. This paper aims at reassessing Russia's military, political, economic and diplomatic might after the battle in the South Caucasus. The research concludes with proposals for a new Western strategy on Russia and the EU's Eastern Neighbourhood which would ensure an undivided and sustainable European order.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe
  • Author: Andrey S. Makarychev
  • Publication Date: 02-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: The paper first summarises Russia's present critique of the international security architecture and its aspiration to build something new and better. The author then presents a matrix of four models of international society as a framework within which to try and discern what Russia may be seeking. While it is clear that Russia objects to one of these models, that of a unipolar US-led world, its current foreign policy discourse and actions offer no clear guidance as to what its aims are in this regard, as there are confusions and contradictions in the different elements of official Russian discourse.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, International Security
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe
  • Author: Thomas Carothers
  • Publication Date: 02-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Pessimism about the progress of democracy in the developing and postcommunist worlds has risen sharply in recent years. Negative developments in a variety of countries, such as military coups, failed elections, and the emergence of antidemocratic populist leaders, have caused some observers to argue that democracy is in retreat and authoritarianism on the march. A broad look at the state of democracy around the world reveals however that although the condition of democracy is certainly troubled in many places, when viewed relative to where it was at the start of this decade, democracy has not lost ground in the world overall. The former Soviet Union is the one region where democracy has clearly slipped backward in this decade, primarily as a result of Russia's authoritarian slide. The Middle East has also been a source of significant disappointment on democracy but mostly in comparison with unrealistic expectations that were raised by the Bush administration. In most of the rest of the world good news with respect to democratization is found in roughly equal proportion to bad news and considerable continuity has prevailed as well.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Cold War, Communism, Democratization, Development, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Middle East
  • Author: Ted Galen Carpenter
  • Publication Date: 03-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: As the North Atlantic Treaty Organization celebrates its 60th birthday, there are mounting signs of trouble within the alliance and reasons to doubt the organization's relevance regarding the foreign policy challenges of the 21st century. Several developments contribute to those doubts. Although NATO has added numerous new members during the past decade, most of them possess minuscule military capabilities. Some of them also have murky political systems and contentious relations with neighboring states, including (and most troubling) a nuclear-armed Russia. Thus, NATO's new members are weak, vulnerable, and provocative—an especially dangerous combination for the United States in its role as NATO's leader.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, NATO, International Cooperation, International Security
  • Political Geography: Russia, North Atlantic
  • Author: Jon Strandquist
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Geneva Centre for Security Policy
  • Abstract: At the 2008 Gstaad Process conference, the discussion of securityrelated issues central to West-Russia relations focused on four broadly defined areas: global security, energy security, missile defence, and nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Foreign Policy, Cold War
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Mathias Roth
  • Publication Date: 08-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: Over the past years, a series of bilateral disputes between EU member states and Moscow have significantly affected EU–Russian relations and exposed sharp internal divisions over the EU's approach towards Russia. Despite their potential for having a highly disruptive impact on EU foreign policy, the EU still lacks a consensus on how to handle bilateral disputes. This paper employs a case-study approach to provide an in-depth analysis of selected disputes and reviews several questions of importance for the coherence of EU policy towards Russia: What kinds of issues are at the centre of bilateral disputes? What strategies do member states adopt to resolve them? Under what circumstances are disputes raised to the EU level? The paper concludes that the scope of 'EU solidarity' in bilateral disputes remains deeply contested and draws on insights from the case studies to propose a set of guidelines for the EU's approach to bilateral disputes.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Moscow
  • Author: Marlène Laruelle
  • Publication Date: 09-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: Russia is a power unlike others in Central Asia, given its role as the region's former coloniser, which started in the 19th century and even in the 18th for some of the northern parts of Kazakhstan. This legacy has its positive and negative aspects: it has been positive insofar as it has involved a long period of Russo–Central Asian cohabitation that has given rise to a common feeling of belonging to the same 'civilisation'; it has been negative insofar as it has accrued all the political resentment and cultural misinterpretations of the coloniser–colonised relationship. Russian–Central Asian relations are therefore complex, with each of the actors having a highly emotional perception of its relation to the other.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Post Colonialism
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Central Asia, Kazakhstan, Asia
  • Author: Andrey Makarychev
  • Publication Date: 02-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: This working paper argues that Russia is in the process of re-branding itself internationally, with a variety of normative arguments increasingly creeping into its wider international discourse. By appealing to norms, Russia tries to reformulate the key messages it sends to the world and implant the concept of its power worldwide. Yet given that Russia's normative messages are often met with scarce enthusiasm in Europe, it is of utmost importance to uncover how the normative segment in Russian foreign policy is perceived, evaluated and debated both inside Russia and elsewhere. Within this framework, this paper focuses on a set of case studies highlighting the normative and non-normative dimensions of Russian foreign policy. These include Russia-EU transborder cooperation, Moscow's policies towards Estonia, Poland, Ukraine/Georgia and the UK, Russian strategies in the 'war on terror' and energy issues.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Russia, United Kingdom, Europe, Ukraine, Asia, Poland, Moscow, Estonia, Georgia
  • Author: Nathalie Tocci
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: This is the second in a series of papers from a new project entitled “Who is a normative foreign policy actor? The European Union and its Global Partners”. The first paper – entitled Profiling Normative Foreign Policy: The European Union and its Global Partners, by Nathalie Tocci, CEPS Working Document No. 279, December 2007 – set out the conceptual framework for exploring this question. The present paper constitutes one of several case studies applying this framework to the behaviour of the European Union, whereas the others to follow concern China, India, Russia and the United States. A normative foreign policy is rigorously defined as one that is normative according to the goals set, the means employed and the results obtained. Each of these studies explores eight actual case examples of foreign policy behaviour, selected in order to illustrate four alternative paradigms of foreign policy behaviour – the normative, the realpolitik, the imperialistic and the status quo. For each of these four paradigms, there are two examples of EU foreign policy, one demonstrating intended consequences and the other, unintended effects. The fact that examples can be found that fit all of these different types shows the importance of 'conditioning factors', which relate to the internal interests and capabilities of the EU as a foreign policy actor as well as the external context in which other major actors may be at work.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, China, Europe, India
  • Author: Kitty Lam
  • Publication Date: 01-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The Soviet Union's collapse brought to surface a complex ethno-political situation in the territory it formerly spanned. Changes in interstate boundaries separated various ethnic populations from their perceived homelands. This post-Soviet landscape has created policy dilemmas for the Russian government, as some 25 million Russians found themselves living outside the borders of the Russian Federation. How Russian leaders have dealt with issues pertaining to its 'compatriots' in the non-Russian Soviet successor states has become a subject of interest to Western observers. In particular, Western analysts have been observing the expression of 'ethnic diaspora' issues in Russian foreign policy.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Civil Society, Development, Population
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Eastern Europe, Asia
  • Author: Nermeen Shaikh
  • Publication Date: 06-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Asia Society
  • Abstract: Leslie Gelb is currently President Emeritus of the Council on Foreign Relations. He was previously a correspondent and editor at the New York Times. In this extensive interview with Nermeen Shaikh at Asia Society, covering Iraq, Iran, the rise of China, and the new constraints on US power, Dr Gelb explains why he was initially in favor of a three-state partition of Iraq, and his advocacy now of a decentralized, federal state structure. He elaborates on his subsequent work with Senator Joe Biden on a plan for Iraq. In responding to a question about Russia, Dr Gelb says that the proposed US missile defense system is "nonsense", and on the issue of Iran's nuclear program, Dr Gelb insists that talks are essential and that the military option cannot be ruled out.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, China, Iraq, New York, Iran, Middle East, North Korea, Latin America
  • Author: Nermeen Shaikh
  • Publication Date: 06-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Asia Society
  • Abstract: Ariel Cohen is Senior Research Fellow in Russian and Eurasian Studies and International Energy Security at the Sarah and Douglas Allison Center of the Davis Institute for International Studies at the Heritage Foundation. He is a member of the Council of Foreign Relations, the International Institute of Strategic Studies in London, and the Association for the Study of Nationalities. Dr Cohen spoke to Nermeen Shaikh on April 22nd in Almaty, Kazakhstan, at the Eurasian Media Forum. In the interview, Dr Cohen speaks about the war in Iraq, the privatization of oil and gas development, Eurasian regional politics, and the role of the US in the area.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Iraq, Central Asia, Eurasia, Middle East, Kazakhstan, London
  • Author: Alexander Vorontsov
  • Publication Date: 02-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: Policy toward North Korea is an important component of Russia's general strategy toward the Asia-Pacific region, which is now regarded by Moscow as a crucially import ant area. This growing emphasis on Asia is evidenced by President Vladimir Putin's increased participation in APEC summits including the November 2005 meeting in Pusan, South Korea, and Russia's development of a dialogue partnership with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). During the first Russia-ASEAN summit, held in Malaysia just before the East Asian Summit in December 2005, President Putin gave a speech to the participants of the nascent East Asian Community (EAC), a new multidimensional integration association in the region.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Malaysia, East Asia, Asia, South Korea, North Korea, Asia-Pacific
  • Author: Stephen Blank
  • Publication Date: 09-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: Sapirmurat Niyazov ruled Turkmenistan, a small Central Asian country with enormous natural gas holdings, like a sultan or latter-day Stalin. Therefore his sudden death on December 21, 2006, opened the way not just to a domestic power struggle, but also to fears of instability in Turkmenistan and Central Asia, and to a major international struggle among the great powers—Russia, China, Iran, and the United States—for influence over the new leadership.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Islam
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, China, Iran, Central Asia, Asia, Turkmenistan
  • Author: Robert F. Miller
  • Publication Date: 05-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Australian National University Department of International Relations
  • Abstract: Following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, Moscow's weight in international relations underwent a tremendous decline. To appreciate the extent of change in the Russian Federation's (RF) foreign policy since the end of Soviet communism it is worth taking a brief look at the international relations of its predecessor, the USSR. An essential feature of Soviet foreign policy was that it was ideologically driven. Western commentators tended to play down this feature or treat it as mere window dressing for what was really just imperialism 'with a socialist face'. But it was more than that. It gave Soviet policy-makers a sure sense of identity and a guide, however faulty, to national ('international proletarian') interest.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Development, Nationalism
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Rensselaer Lee
  • Publication Date: 06-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: The danger posed by Russia's inadequately secured stocks of nuclear weapons and fissile material is a major national security concern for the United States. Various cooperative U.S.-Russian programs aimed at securing nuclear material, weapons, and design intelligence have been mounted since the 1990s, but clever and determined adversaries may be able to circumvent or defeat the defenses that the United States and its partners are attempting to put in place. U.S. programs are by their nature reactive: they have long time horizons; they focus preeminently on the supply side of the problem; and they face serious technological limitations. Russia's imperfect commitment to nonproliferation also undermines the effectiveness of U.S. nonproliferation efforts.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Foreign Policy, Nuclear Weapons
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Geir Flikke, Jakub M. Godzimirski
  • Publication Date: 12-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Norwegian Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The goal of this report is to examine Russia's policy towards secessionist conflicts in the post-Soviet space. In order to better understand Russia's policy choices in that sphere, the report addresses three key issues: the internal Russian debate on separatism as a security challenge in the post-Soviet space; Moscow's policies with regard to international institutions, regimes and frameworks; and the rising security agenda of international terrorism.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, International Relations, Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Russia, Soviet Union, Moscow
  • Author: Andrzej Szeptycki
  • Publication Date: 03-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Ukraine and the Republic of Belarus are two important neighbours of Poland and the European Union, naturally separating them from Russia. After gaining independence in 1991, they faced the choice between re-integration with Russia or strengthening their own statehood and position in the international arena. In the mid-1990s, Belarus decided to choose the first option, whereas Ukraine, though it did not resign from cooperation with Russia, strove to develop an independent foreign policy and tighten its contacts with the Euro-Atlantic structures. Over the last 14 years, the two states have not attached excessive importance to bilateral relations, also researchers have not shown much interest in the issue.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: Russia, Ukraine
  • Author: Hiski Haukkala
  • Publication Date: 01-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: For the European Union, the link between norms, values and foreign policy seems to be an obvious one. For example, the new constitutional treaty spells out the set of values on which the Union's external action is based on: democracy, the rule of law, the universality and indivisibility of human rights and fundamental freedoms, respect for human dignity, the principles of equality and solidarity, and respect for the principles of the United Nations Charter and international law. In the treaty, the development of relations with third parties is made conditional upon sharing and upholding them.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Human Rights, International Political Economy, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Anthony Bubalo, Dr. Michael Fullilove
  • Publication Date: 12-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Lowy Institute for International Policy
  • Abstract: The international impasse over Iran\'s nuclear program is entering a critical phase. The compromise being offered by the international community, whereby Iran would carry out sensitive uranium enrichment work in Russia, is unlikely to be accepted in full by Tehran. The hardline rhetoric of new President Ahmedinejad is further limiting the prospects of a diplomatic solution being found. As a result, the issue is likely to come before the Security Council. Once in New York there are a number of ways it could play out. But at this stage it is not clear what the Council would be able to do to force a change of behaviour from Tehran. Faced with poor options all round, Washington may feel at some point that it has to risk the uncertain results of limited air strikes against Iranian nuclear facilities to delay what it regards as the unthinkable - a nuclear armed Iran.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Nuclear Weapons
  • Political Geography: Russia, Iran, Washington, Middle East
  • Author: Henrikki Heikka
  • Publication Date: 12-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: In recent months, several prominent Finnish politicians have criticized the Finnish government for lack of vision in its foreign policy. Liisa Jaakonsaari, Chairman of the Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee and a prominent social democrat), has argued that the government “lacks one thing, and with it, everything: a vision”. Member of the European Parliament Alexander Stubb (the Conservative party's vote puller in the last EP elections) has publicly called contemporary Finnish foreign policy as “pitiful tinkering” (säälittävää näpertelyä). Editorial writers have begun to recycle the old the term “driwftwood” (ajopuu), a term originally coined to describe Finland's flip-flopping during World War II, in their attempts to find an appropriate label for the present government's foreign policy.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Democratization, Diplomacy, International Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe, Finland, Asia
  • Author: Didier Bigo, Jeremy Shapiro, Andrei Fedorov
  • Publication Date: 10-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: In the oral presentation of their papers, Didier Bigo, Jeremy Shapiro and Andrei Fedorov generally highlighted their respective region's specificities rather than dwelling on the elements of commonality. Although this was in part a consequence of the European Security Forum's modus operandi – with its differentiated European, American and Russian perspectives, rarely in our meetings has the contrast been so clearly highlighted.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Guillaume Colin
  • Publication Date: 12-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre d'Etudes et de Recherches Internationales
  • Abstract: The Kosovo crisis gave rise to a domestic political crisis in Russia. The NATO bombings called into question the efficiency of Russian foreign policy, which was against them, challenging the worldview that the government conveyed, thereby reinforcing the communist anti-establishment vision. The present article, by analysing the press conferences given by both the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Communist Party, argues that each of the two narratives aimed to construct and impose (or defend) its own worldview and dividing principles of the world. In both narratives, this struggle was backed up using very strong political identity myths—namely Russia's relation to the West and the memory of the Second World War—that are referred to in opposite ways. The Kosovo example allows us to highlight the stakes and themes that work their way into Russian foreign policy discourse and contribute to exploiting foreign policy issues in Russian domestic political debate, and also cast light on the distorting effects caused by this instrumentalization.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, NATO
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Eastern Europe, Asia, Kosovo
  • Author: Andrey Makarychev, Sergei Prozorov
  • Publication Date: 12-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: This paper addresses the impact of innovative developments in Russian policy-making discourse during the Putin presidency on the transformation of conflict issues in EU-Russian relations. The increasing recourse of Russian policy-makers in the border regions to the so-called 'projectoriented approach', which has an affinity to the modality of policy-making espoused by the EU programmes in Russia, has important consequences for conflictual dispositions in EU-Russian trans-border relations.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Development
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Katri Pynnöniemi
  • Publication Date: 01-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: This report provides a general picture of research institutes working in the areas of foreign and security policy in Moscow and St. Petersburg. In the following, I will briefly discuss changes in research financing and the consequent reorganisation of the research community. After this, major changes in the study of international relations in Russia are also discussed. A list of the most important research institutes in Moscow and St. Petersburg is appended to the report. In addition, information is provided on the forums and publications of most importance in the foreign-policy debate.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Non-Governmental Organization, Politics
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia, Moscow
  • Author: Vadim Kononenko
  • Publication Date: 06-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The aim of this study is to analyze the evolution and political implications of Russia's doctrine of multipolarity. Multipolarity emerged as one of the earliest doctrinal solutions to the post-Soviet Russian foreign policy dilemma, and has remained essential for Russia's strategic behavior since the early 1990s. The multipolarity doctrine describes the post-Cold War world and Russia's place in it. As I argue in this study, Russian “multipolarity” – (the idea of the multipolar world; the vision of Russia as one of its 'poles'; and the understanding of the principles of international politics in the strict terms of realpolitik) is not an ideological resource for Russia's foreign policy but rather, a result of learning how to secure the country' s international status given the scarcity of foreign policy resources available, and the drastic change in the international institutional position of Russia. To sum up the central argument of this study: the multipolarity of Russian foreign policy – both a doctrinal strategy and foreign policy practice – has evolved as a template-like foreign policy approach to solve Russia's strategic dilemma since the demise of the Soviet Union: how to secure its place in the new international structure and compensate for the loss of the international arrangements that disappeared with Soviet might and the bipolar international system as a whole.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Russia, Iraq, Europe, Middle East, Asia, Soviet Union, Balkans
  • Author: Viatcheslav Morozov
  • Publication Date: 06-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Most people writing on the subject recognise that within the Russian discourse, the concept of human rights is used somewhat differently compared to Western Europe or the United States. However, the nature of these differences is yet to be properly studied. It is not enough just to say that 'the Western notions of human rights undergo certain transformations when transplanted to the Russian soil. At a superficial glance, the post-Soviet notions of human rights are identical [to the Western ones], but upon a more curious consideration their content turns out to be somewhat different' (Chugrov 2001:3). The essentialist concept of 'the Russian soil' as different from the Western one is of little help since it takes cultural differences as given, and thus all the researcher has to do is to register the differences in political practice, while the explanations are known in advance. More sophisticated essentialist approaches do no more than provide labels for the cultural features (e.g. 'nominalism' of the Western culture and 'collectivism' of the East –see Panarin 1999), but are unable to account for the interaction of these two fundamental principles in the Russian political process. As far as foreign policy studies are concerned, there is also the handy realist option of reducing the differences to an assumed national interest, which, of course, in itself is a social construct that is to be studied, and not a conceptual tool for research of other matters.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Human Rights, Nationalism
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Eugene B. Rumer, Richard D. Sokolsky
  • Publication Date: 05-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for National Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: In 2001, President Vladimir Putin made a strategic choice for Russia's integration with the West. Indicators of this decision include Putin's quest for better relations with the United States and Europe, his stated commitment to Russian membership in the World Trade Organization (WTO), his pursuit of a new relationship with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), and his almost casual dismissal of the potential major irritants in the relationship with the United States and its allies—U.S. withdrawal from the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty, the likelihood of Baltic membership in NATO, sizeable U.S. military deployments to Central Asia, and a growing U.S. military presence in Georgia. Putin has unequivocally crossed these once-insurmountable red lines despite opposition from his closest advisers and the unease of the Russian public over the American presence in Russia's backyard.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe, Georgia
  • Author: Naoko Munakata
  • Publication Date: 12-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: On October 22, 2000, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori and Singapore Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong agreed to formal negotiations for the Japan-Singapore Economic Agreement for a New Age Partnership (JSEPA) in January 2001, in light of the September 2000 report from the Japan-Singapore Free Trade Agreement (JSFTA) Joint Study Group. It was the first time Japan entered into negotiations concerning regional economic integration. With a strong emphasis on the need to address the new challenges globalization and technological progress pose; the Joint Study Group explored a possible .New Age FTA. between the two countries, which Prime Minister Goh proposed in December 1999. Thus, for Japan the JSEPA marked a major turning point in promoting regional economic integration.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Japan, China, Europe, Israel, Asia
  • Author: Kazuo Sato
  • Publication Date: 01-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: The November 1998 state visit to Japan by Chinese President Jiang Zemin was historically significant in that it was the first visit to Japan by a Chinese head of state. However, many people, including policymakers in Japan, had the impression that the visit not only failed to promote Japan-China relations, but actually strengthened anti-Chinese sentiments among the Japanese public. Nevertheless, both governments treated the Japan-China Joint Declaration On Building a Partnership of Friendship and Cooperation for Peace and Development—issued by the two governments on the occasion of visit—as a third important bilateral document, following the 1972 Joint Communiqué and the 1978 Treaty of Peace and Friendship. The two sides repeatedly have stressed that all problems should be handled in line with these three documents. There is a belief, especially among policymakers, that the 1998 Joint Declaration will be the bilateral framework upon which a strong partnership will be built for at least the first decade of the 21st century.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Japan, China, Europe, Israel, East Asia, Asia
  • Author: Chungsoo Kim
  • Publication Date: 09-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: This paper analyzes the Korean public mindset on the country's external economic relations in general, and its efforts of market opening in particular, with the Japan-Korea Free Trade Area (JKFTA) as the case in point.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, China, Europe, Israel, East Asia, Asia
  • Author: Li Xiaoping
  • Publication Date: 08-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: The television services of China have undergone dramatic changes since the policy of open door economic reform was introduced in the late 1970s. Few research studies, however, have been conducted in the United States and other Western countries on what, specifically, these changes are, and how they affect the lives of Chinese people and shape the media's role in Chinese society. This paper will outline the significant structural changes in the Chinese television industry, particularly at China Central Television (CCTV); it will also analyse the phenomenon of a highly popular program, 'Focus', (Jiao Dian Fang Tan) and its impact on Chinese politics and society. Based on this analysis, this paper will discuss relevant issues surrounding mainland Chinese media, including its editorial freedom and independence, expanding impact on policymaking, and, finally, its future role in the continued liberalization and democratization of China.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, China, Europe, Israel, East Asia, Asia
  • Author: Chris Yeung
  • Publication Date: 06-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: The return of Hong Kong to Chinese rule captured the attention of the entire world. While most people conceded that the untried formula of “one country, two systems” was the best possible option for the people of Hong Kong, there were persistent doubts and anxiety about its viability and the sincerity of Beijing in honoring its promises. Whether or not the policy would work was definitely in the eye of beholder.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, China, Europe, Israel, East Asia, Asia
  • Author: Alexander Lukin
  • Publication Date: 06-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: Discussion and debate about Russian-Chinese relations is on the rise and attracts the attention of experts and policy-makers around the world. From the Russian perspective, the importance of developing relations with its neighbor is determined by several considerations: shared interests and concerns about the international situation, the need to secure a peaceful international environment for economic development, worries about the future of the Russian Far East, and advantages from trade and economic cooperation with the fastest growing Asian economy. Russian approaches to China differ among various groups, political trends and individual experts; moreover, they exist not in vacuum, but within the framework of more general perceptions of the international situation and Russia's position therein. Based on these perceptions, it can be expected that Russia will develop closer relations with China for the foreseeable future. However, since the official Russian attitude toward China strongly depends on Russia's relations with the West, especially with the United States, US policy towards Russia and China will significantly influence the future Russian-Chinese partnership.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, China, Europe, Israel, East Asia, Asia
  • Author: Paul S. Boyer
  • Publication Date: 03-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Clarke Center at Dickinson College
  • Abstract: In 1967, Louis Halle published a book called The Cold War as History. If that title seemed jarring and premature in 1967, it would simply appear obvious and conventional today. The Cold War is receding from our collective consciousness with breathtaking rapidity. Cold War encyclopedias are appearing; an Oxford Companion to the Cold War will doubtless arrive at any moment. To the college freshmen of 2000 — seven years old when Ronald Reagan left the White House — the Cold War is merely a chapter in a textbook, an hour on the History Channel, not lived experience.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Cold War, Communism
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States
  • Publication Date: 06-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: U.S. Government
  • Abstract: Russia's Foreign Policy Russian foreign policy in the coming years will be characterized by weakness; frustration--primarily with the United States as the world's preeminent power--over Russia's diminished status; generally cautious international behavior; and a drive to resubjugate, though not reintegrate, the other former Soviet states. The international situation affords Russia time to concentrate on domestic reforms because, for the first time in its history, it does not face significant external threats. But rather than use the breathing space for domestic reforms, Putin is as much--if not more--focused on restoring Russia's self-defined rightful role abroad and seeking to mold the CIS into a counterweight to NATO and the European Union. The Outside World's Views of Russia Russia does not have any genuine allies. Some countries are interested in good relations with Russia, but only as a means to another end. For example, China sees Russia as a counterweight to the United States but values more highly its ties with the United States. Some countries see Russia as a vital arms supplier but resent Russia also selling arms to their rivals (China-India, Iran-Iraq). Pro-Russia business lobbies exist in Germany, Italy, Turkey, and Israel (one-fifth of whose population now consists of Soviet émigres), but they do not single-handedly determine national policies. Europe is the only region that would like to integrate Russia into a security system, but it is divided over national priorities and institutional arrangements as well as put off by some Russian behavior. Most CIS governments do not trust their colossal neighbor, which continues to show an unsettling readiness to intervene in their internal affairs, though they know Russia well and are to a considerable degree comfortable in dealing with it. Turkey has developed an improved dialogue and an unprecedented number of economic ties with Russia during the post-Cold War period, but this more positive pattern of relations has not fully taken root, and Ankara remains suspicious of Moscow's intentions. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, Moscow's role in the Middle East has been reduced, but Israel, Syria, Egypt, Libya, and Iraq all favor good relations with Russia. Mutual interests also override disagreements in Russian-Iranian relations, but Tehran is wary of Russian behavior, particularly toward Saddam Hussein. India still trusts Russia--a sentiment that is perhaps a residue of the genuine friendship of Cold War days--but clearly not in the same way it once did, and New Delhi fears that weakness will propel Russia into doing things that could drive India further away. In East Asia, the most substantial breakthrough has been the resurrected relationship between Russia and China, one that entails significant longer-term risk for Russia. Other countries in the region value their links with Moscow as a means to balance a more powerful China, or as a useful component of their larger political and economic strategies, but Russia's role in East Asia--as elsewhere--remains constrained by the decline in its political, military, and economic power over the last decade. Russia's Weakness Russia's weakness stems from long-term secular trends and from its domestic structure. In essence, the old nomenklatura and a few newcomers have transformed power into property on the basis of personal networks and created an equilibrium resting on insider dealings. These insiders may jockey for position but have a vested interest in preserving the system. The public does not like the system but is resigned to it and gives priority to the preservation of order. As for the economy, it is divided into a profitable, internationally integrated sector run by oligarchs and a much larger, insulated, low-productivity, old-style paternalistic sector that locks Russia into low growth. No solace will be forthcoming from the international business and energy worlds. They do not expect the poor commercial climate to improve greatly and will not increase investments much beyond current levels until it does. Militarily, Russia will also remain weak. Its nuclear arsenal is of little utility, and Moscow has neither the will nor the means to reform and strengthen its conventional forces. Hope for the Future? The best hope for change in Russia lies with the younger generation. Several participants reported that under-25 Russians have much more in common with their US counterparts, including use of the Internet, than with older Soviet generations. But there was some question over whether the new generation would change the system or adapt to it. Others placed some hope in international institutions, for instance the World Trade Organization, eventually forcing Russia to adapt to the modern world. Dissenting Views Some participants dissented from the overall forecast of depressing continuity. The keynote speaker, James Billington, stated that Russia would not be forever weak and that the current confusion would end in a few years either through the adoption of authoritarian nationalism or federated democracy. One scholar felt the Chechen war was feeding ethnic discord in other areas of the Federation to which Moscow would respond with increased authoritarianism, not necessarily successfully. Finally, a historian observed that the patience of Russians is legendary but not infinite, meaning that we should not be overly deterministic.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Development
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, China, Middle East, Israel
  • Author: Eugene B. Rumer, Richard D. Sokolsky
  • Publication Date: 04-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for National Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: Ten years after the end of the Cold War, mutual hopes that a comprehensive partnership would replace containment as the major organizing theme in U.S.-Russian relations have not been realized. The record of the 1990s has left both Russia and the United States unsatisfied. Russia looks back at the decade with bitterness and a feeling of being marginalized and slighted by the world's sole remaining superpower. It is also disappointed by its experience with Western-style reforms and mistrustful of American intentions. The United States is equally disappointed with Russia's lack of focus, inability to engage effectively abroad, and failure to implement major reforms at home. A comprehensive partnership is out of the question. Renewed competition or active containment are also not credible as organizing principles. Russia's economic, military and political/ideological weakness makes it an unlikely target of either U.S. competition or containment. Not only is Russia no longer a superpower, but its status as a regional power is in doubt.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States
  • Author: Henrikki Heikka
  • Publication Date: 01-2000
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: A study about Russian grand strategy is certain to raise more than a few eyebrows among observers of Russian foreign policy. How can one possibly assume that in a country with constantly changing prime ministers and an economy on the verge of bankruptcy there could be a commonly accepted Grand Plan about anything? Moreover, the record of post-cold war Russian foreign policy is so full of reckless moves and unpredictable u-turns, that it seems rather far-fetched to suggest that there could be, even in theory, a common logic behind it. Judging by the steady flow of publications on the role of self-interested politicians, parties, business elites, and organizational and bureaucratic actors in the formation of Russian foreign policy, it does indeed seem that most scholars see Russia's external policy driven by the day-to-day power struggles of various groups within the Russian political elite rather than by a common national strategy.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Robert A. Manning, Ronald Montaperto, Brad Roberts
  • Publication Date: 04-2000
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Historically, U.S. nuclear strategists and arms control experts have paid little attention to the People's Republic of China (PRC). China has not been a major factor in the U.S. nuclear calculus, which has remained centered on U.S.-Russian nuclear arsenals as the principal framework for arms control and arms reductions. Yet today China is the only one of the five de jure nuclear weapons states qualitatively and quantitatively expanding its nuclear arsenal.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Defense Policy, Arms Control and Proliferation, Nuclear Weapons
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, China, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Mette Skak
  • Publication Date: 07-2000
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: The gap between the structural reality surrounding Russia and the cognitive level of Russian foreign policy making is highlighted. The literature on Russian foreign policy is reviewed, distinguishing between 'optimists' and 'pessimists'. The analysis differentiates between 'milieu goals' and 'possession goals' and traces the pursuit of these goals in Czarist Russian, Soviet and postcommunist Russian foreign policy. The conclusion is that possession goals – hard-core realism, as it were – remain the dominant feature of Russian foreign policy (as in the Soviet era). This challenges the theory of democratic peace. This finding is then subjected to a policy-oriented criticism of Russian foreign policy. Three examples of dysfunctional Russian foreign policy are addressed: the misguided pursuit of multipolarity, myth and reality about regional priorities, and Russian self-destructive partisanship in ex-Yugoslavia. The final section raises the eternal Russian questions of Kto vinovat? and Shto delat'?On the causal factors behind the observed traits of irrationality, the analysis emphasises the volatile, 'praetorian' decision-making environment. Concerning policy implications, the dialogue with Russia must address features of realism, for instance by marketing the virtue of internal balancing, and as for concessions, formally dismiss foreign policy doctrines of spheres-of-influence like the Monroe doctrine as anachronistic in an era of globalization.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Politics
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Author: Roberto Aliboni
  • Publication Date: 12-2000
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Unlike what has happened with Central-eastern Europe and the Eastern Balkans, policies conducted by the West towards Western Balkans after the end of the Cold War have had a largely reactive character. By and large, although the fragmentation of Yugoslavia had been widely feared and anticipated, developments in Western Balkans took the West aback because of their violent and uncompromising character. For this reason, with respect to this area the European countries and the United States have shown continuous hesitations and oscillations on how their interests in the area had to be understood, how much they had to feel involved and what they had to do.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe, Yugoslavia, Balkans
  • Publication Date: 05-2000
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: U.S. Government
  • Abstract: In a recent conference, trade experts identified three primary reasons the World Trade Organization (WTO) failed to launch a new trade Round at its December 1999 Ministerial. First, leading members were unable to resolve differences on critical issues prior to the gathering. In addition, many developing countries and nongovernmental organizations were more assertive than they had been at previous conferences. Finally, in recent years, the WTO has expanded the range of issues it addresses, which has made efforts to reach a consensus on any point more difficult. According to the speakers, as a result of the acrimonious Ministerial, the WTO has suffered a substantial loss of credibility, which will impair efforts to launch a new Round in the near term. There is no immediate alternative to strong US leadership, and WTO negotiations will be more complicated because developing countries and nongovernmental organizations will be more inclined to resist trade liberalization efforts that they believe do not advance their interests. Experts at the conference offered a variety of assessments regarding the course the WTO might choose to follow this year. The majority argued that if the trade body is seeking to rebuild confidence, it could continue with scheduled meetings on agriculture and services and use the time to rebuild confidence. A minority, however, held that the forum is too fractured to make progress, thus talks would only undermine the already declining prestige of the trade body. The experts identified several long-run challenges that the WTO will probably need to address to be an effective decisionmaking institution, including: Bridging the developed-developing country gap Costa Rica, Mexico, and South Africa generally support trade liberalization and have credibility among developed and developing states; thus they are in a position to meld the interests of the two sides. Enacting institutional reforms The organization's expansive agenda and large membership require that it adopt policies that facilitate decisionmaking, especially before new members such as China and Russia join. The trade body may try to increase transparency to promote greater trust in its procedures. Also, to avoid protracted and bitter selections such as the forum suffered last year, the WTO could review its procedures for electing a new director general. Managing the backlash against globalization Supporters of freer trade could launch a massive educational program to highlight the gains for all countries from expanded trade and to counter the dire assertions made by nongovernmental organizations (NGOs).
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Development, Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Russia, China
  • Author: Christopher Layne
  • Publication Date: 05-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: The Clinton administration has made one miscalculation after another in dealing with the Kosovo crisis. U.S. officials and their NATO colleagues never understood the historical and emotional importance of Kosovo to the Serbia n people, believing instead that Belgrade's harsh repression of the ethnic Albanian secessionist movement in Kosovo merely reflected the will of President Slobodan Milosevic of Yugoslavia. The administration's foreign policy team mistakenly concluded that, under a threat of air strikes, the Yugoslav government would sign a dictate d peace accord (the Rambouillet agreement) to be implemented by a NATO peacekeeping force in Kosovo. Even if Milosevic initially refused to sign the Rambouillet agreement, administration leaders believed that Belgrade would relent after a brief “demonstration” bombing campaign. Those calculations proved to be disastrously wrong.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, International Relations, Foreign Policy, NATO, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, China, Europe, Eastern Europe, Asia, Kosovo, Yugoslavia, Serbia, Balkans, Albania
  • Author: Barnett Rubin
  • Publication Date: 10-1998
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: On August 8, 1998, the Taliban (Islamic student) movement of Afghanistan took control of Mazar-i Sharif, the last city remaining outside their control. 2 In their campaign in northern Afghanistan, the Taliban succeeded in gaining control of nearly all the parts of the country's territory that had remained outside their power since they marched into Kabul on September 26, 1996. Just as the Taliban prepared to campaign for international diplomatic recognition, however, the United States on August 20, 1998, launched a cruise missile attack against camps in Afghanistan that it charged contained the terrorist infrastructure of a movement led by Osama bin Laden, the wealthy Saudi exile. The United States claimed to have strong evidence implicating bin Laden and his network of exiled Islamists in the bombing of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania on August 7. The United States also raided a pharmaceutical factory in Khartoum, Sudan, said to be manufacturing precursors of chemical weapons substances. The Taliban's continued defense of bin Laden and their denunciation of the U.S. raid ruled out any dialogue between the Taliban and the United States that perhaps would lead to U.S. diplomatic recognition and construction of oil and gas pipelines from Central Asia through Afghanistan. The Taliban's behavior complicated their relations with regional states as well. Saudi Arabia, one of only three states that recognized the Taliban's government, expelled their diplomatic representative on September 22 in reprisal for the Taliban's continued harboring of Osama bin Laden. Most dramatically, the Taliban's killing of nine Iranian diplomats during their takeover of Mazar-i Sharif has led to an extended confrontation with Tehran. War, or at least military action, cannot be ruled out. During the more than 20 years since the “Sawr Revolution” of April 27, 1978, brought a communist party to power, Afghanistan had moved from one stage to another of civil war and political disintegration, without seeming to get any closer toward peace, political order, or sustainable development. The combination of an inimical regional environment, characterized by unstable strategic and economic competition, with the destruction of much of the country's elites, institutions, and infrastructure, has assured the continuation of war among forces based in different regions of the divided country. The victory of the Taliban may put an end to open warfare, but it is likely to result in continued guerrilla or commando activities. The emergence of an assertive Islamic traditionalism in the form of the Taliban has also placed new obstacles in the way of international humanitarian and peacemaking programs. 3 The division of control over the country had remained relatively stable since the summer of 1997. The Taliban movement, originally based in the southern city of Qandahar, the heartland of Pashtun traditionalism and the homeland of Afghanistan's old royal clan, had conquered the Persian-speaking city of Herat, near the Iranian border, in September 1995. A year later, in September 1996, the Taliban swept into the eastern Pashtun city of Jalalabad and Afghanistan's capital city, Kabul, driving out the Tajik-dominated government of the “Islamic State of Afghanistan” that was led by President Burhanuddin Rabbani and Defense Minister Ahmad Shah Massoud. At the end of May 1997, the Taliban took advantage of divisions within the mainly Uzbek National Islamic Movement of Afghanistan (NIMA) to take temporary control of Mazar-i Sharif. This northern city on the border of Uzbekistan was the only major urban center still not controlled by them. The Shia in the city, however, mostly from the Hazara ethnic group, resisted the Taliban attempt to disarm them and drove the conquerors out in bloody battles that killed thousands and may also have led to the subsequent massacre of prisoners. A Taliban attempt to recapture Mazar-i Sharif in September 1997 also failed, largely because of a major resupply effort mounted by Iran. While the Taliban failed in their first two attempts to control the entire North from this urban center, they managed to establish a long-term presence in the area. They gained the support of many of the ethnic Pashtuns who had been settled in the North by the Afghan monarchy and established a political and military base in Kunduz, which was supplied by air from Kabul and, according to some reports, Pakistan. Despite intermittent activity on several front lines (north of Kabul, around Kunduz, northeast of Herat, on the borders of Hazarajat), the lines of control remained relatively stable until the Taliban's new offensive in July 1998. 4 The Taliban have constituted a governmental structure that they call the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (Da Afghanistano Islami Amarat). Before the summer 1998 offensive, they controlled the entire Pashtun belt, from Jalalabad in the East, through Qandahar in the South, and on through the Southwest. They also controlled the ethnically mixed, primarily Persian-speaking cities of Herat and Kabul, which border on the Pashtun areas. Finally, they controlled a pocket of territory in the North centered around Kunduz. They thus controlled the highways connecting Afghanistan to Pakistan, Iran, and Turkmenistan, nearly all the Pakistani border, the entire Iranian border, and about half of the border with Turkmenistan. They also appeared to control part of the border with Tajikistan, including the port of Sher Khan Bandar. These areas included all the country's major customs posts except for Hairatan, north of Mazar-i Sharif, which the Taliban briefly held in May 1997. They also controlled the areas estimated to produce 90 percent of Afghanistan's opium poppies, the country's most profitable crop. Taxes on this crop are an important source of revenue for the Taliban, though they strictly prohibit its consumption. The United Nations estimates that Afghanistan and the surrounding region produce slightly more than half the world's supply of this drug. 5 The opposition to the Taliban, known generically as the “United Front,” consisted of several groups controlling different portions of the remaining parts of the country, which are largely inhabited by Tajiks, Uzbeks, and Hazaras. After the main Taliban offensive, elements of these groups controlled only a few mountainous areas home to ethnic minorities: Badakhshan and the Panjsher Valley, inhabited by Tajiks, and the Hazarajat, home to the Shia Muslim Hazara ethnic group. Before the Taliban's July-August offensive, the opposition groups had controlled most of the northern tier of provinces from Faryab to Badakhshan (except for Kunduz) as well as the Hazarajat. They controlled the main highway leading to Uzbekistan and the railhead at Hairatan that connects to the former Soviet rail system with links to Asia and Europe. Hairatan is the only major customs post in their region. These territories included about half of Afghanistan's border with Turkmenistan, the short but logistically and economically important border with Uzbekistan, nearly the entire border with Tajikistan, and a remote, mountainous, and largely inaccessible part of the border with Pakistan (including Pakistan-controlled Kashmir). Even before the offensive, the Taliban appeared to control at least two-thirds of Afghanistan's territory; their own estimates ranged as high as 85 percent. Much of that territory, however, was uninhabited desert, especially in the Southwest. The areas under Taliban control at that time included probably slightly more than half the country's population, which is currently estimated at nearly 24 million. 6 The two largest population centers then under Taliban rule, Herat and Kabul, were largely hostile to them, and the requirements of controlling these areas probably make them more of a drain on Taliban personnel than a source of recruits. These market centers provided significant income, however. The Taliban's main advantage was that they controlled the territory and population in the regions they ruled through a unitary structure, while the opposition remained split and riven by feuds. The opposition was divided into several groups, and each group was further divided into feuding factions. Furthermore, both sides depended to a great extent (though precise data are lacking) on foreign military, technical, and financial assistance. The Taliban are supported and were to some extent organized by Pakistan, with financial support from both official and unofficial sources in Saudi Arabia and other Gulf Arab states, while the northern groups have received aid from Iran, Russia, and, to a lesser extent, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. The Taliban thus controlled the borders and highways leading not only to their own main supporter, Pakistan, but also to the opposition's main supporter, Iran. Supplying the Taliban was thus easier and less expensive than supplying the northern groups. By late August, the Taliban had control of virtually all the country's airfields except for two in Hazarajat. This effectively stopped aid to any other region. The regional competition results from the reconfiguration of the region after the break-up of the Soviet Union. Iran, Pakistan, and Russia are competing for control over the routes by which Central Asia's oil and gas resources will reach outside markets, which in turn will largely determine what power becomes predominant in the area. 7 The decision by India, followed by Pakistan, to test nuclear weapons has raised the stakes in the region and complicated peacemaking efforts. The independence of ethno-national states in Central Asia has given new prominence to ethnic identities, affecting co-ethnics across borders. And the increasing politicization of Islamic identity has increased the salience of Sunni/Shia sectarian differences. Perhaps the best-known fact about the Taliban is the restrictions they have imposed on women. These restrictions require that women be fully veiled, forbid them most education and employment, and impose strict limitations on their access to public services, including health care. The Taliban have also required men to grow full, untrimmed beards, cut their hair short, and attend mosque. They forbid any social mingling or communication among men and women outside the family. These rules (and others) have led to a series of confrontations with the representatives of the international community, largely the U.N. agencies and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) present in Afghanistan. 8 Despite these rules, until the summer of 1998 these international organizations continued to work in Taliban areas; they did not work in most areas controlled by the northern groups. All agencies withdrew from Mazar-i Sharif after their offices, property, and storehouses (including food intended for destitute or famine-stricken areas) were thoroughly looted for the second time in September 1997 (they had been looted previously in May). The United Nations continued to work in Hazarajat, however. Western NGOs left Kabul in July 1998 when the Taliban refused to withdraw a requirement that all the NGOs move to the Polytechnic, a ruined Soviet-built campus in northern Kabul. More Westerners left in response to U.S. warnings about dangers to non-Muslim foreigners during the preparation for the August 20 raids. The Taliban resent the fact that although they have provided security for U.N. and NGO staff and property, the opposition, which has failed to do so, continues to be recognized as the government of Afghanistan by most countries and to occupy Afghanistan's U.N. seat. Only Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates recognize the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. Opposition to the Taliban's gender policies accounts for much of the resistance to either recognizing them or vacating Afghanistan's U.N. seat. Indeed, a significant movement has developed in Europe and North America in opposition to the Taliban's gender policies, and this movement, as much as the interest in gas and oil pipelines, has placed Afghanistan back on the international radar screen. The Taliban's harboring of bin Laden and his network provides yet another even more prominent reason.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Afghanistan, Russia, United States, Iran, Middle East, Taliban, Saudi Arabia
  • Author: Rodney W. Jones, Michael Nacht, Sergei Rogov, Kenneth Sr. Meyers, Steve Pifer, Nikolai Sokov, Alexei Arbatov
  • Publication Date: 06-1997
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: In his introductory remarks, Jones pointed out that key Russian interests in the terms of START II, which the United States shared and helped address in the early 1990s -- the denuclearization of Ukraine and the decoupling of Russian strategic forces from dependence on missile production plants in Ukraine -- faded into the background after START I entered into force and Ukraine acceded to the NPT as a non-nuclear-weapon state in December 1994. Russian criticism of START II thereafter focused on U.S. missile defense developments that could affect the ABM Treaty, on the heavy costs to Russia of implementing reductions, and on the unequal U.S. and Russian reconstitution potential under START II ceilings. By 1996, reactions to NATO expansion had become a further obstacle to START II ratification in Moscow.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Arms Control and Proliferation
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Ukraine
  • Author: Alexander A. Sergounin
  • Publication Date: 07-1996
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: The end of the Cold War, the collapse of the USSR and its Marxist ideology, and the re-emergence of the Russian Federation as a separate, independent entity have compelled Russia to redefine its national interests and make major adjustments in the spheres of both foreign policy and international relations theory (IRT). These enormous tasks, together with an attendant polarisation of opinion on how to deal with them, have pitted Russia's policy makers and experts against one another in a fierce battle of world views. This debate is far from at an end. Neither a new security identity nor a coherent foreign policy strategy have yet been found.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Environment, Government, Politics, Religion
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia