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  • Author: Heather Conley, Jamie Kraut
  • Publication Date: 04-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: During the height of the Cold War, the Arctic region was considered a geostrategic and geopolitical playground for the United States and the Soviet Union, as strategic bombers and nuclear submarines crossed over and raced below the polar cap. Following the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the Arctic region significantly diminished in strategic importance to the United States. Twenty years later, senior U.S. military and diplomatic officials have turned their attention once again to the Arctic region but in a far different way than during the Cold War.
  • Topic: Cold War
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe, Asia, Soviet Union
  • Author: Keith C. Smith
  • Publication Date: 12-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Following the breakup of the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact, the leaders of Russia, including then-President Boris Yeltsin, searched for new methods of continuing to exert influence over the former Soviet-controlled region. The Kremlin at first used an energy blockade to the Baltic States in 1990 in an attempt to prevent their breakaway from the Soviet Union. After that failed, it then focused on the growing opposition in the former republics of the Soviet Union and in East Central Europe to its foreign and economic policies, and in particular on demands that Russian military forces withdraw from the newly independent states. The Kremlin leadership quickly recognized that short of military action, its major foreign policy tool was the denial or threat of denial of access to Russia's vast oil and gas resources. The economies of East European and Central Asian countries, and especially their rail and pipeline infrastructures, had been hardwired by Soviet leaders to assure total dependency on Moscow for their raw materials, including oil, gas, coal, and nuclear fuel.
  • Topic: Cold War, Economics, Emerging Markets, Energy Policy, Oil
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Central Asia, Soviet Union
  • Author: Ritske Bloemendaal(ed.), Kars de Bruijne(ed.)
  • Publication Date: 07-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Security Studies
  • Abstract: The global security situation has changed fundamentally since the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact. A global war between superpowers has become less likely and new security concerns have appeared on the agenda. Smaller high- and low-intensity conflicts have erupted, largely with ethnic and religious origins, and occurring overwhelmingly within, rather than between, countries. Intrastate conflict accounts for 95% of current conflicts worldwide. As a result, mechanisms to cope with these new challenges have emerged. Methods of conflict prevention, conflict management and post-conflict programmes like Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration (DDR) and Security System Reform (SSR) have gained importance.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Cold War, Peace Studies, United Nations, War
  • Political Geography: Soviet Union
  • Author: Michael Levi
  • Publication Date: 09-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: The basis of nuclear doctrine during the Cold War was deterrence. Nuclear powers were deterred from attacking each other by the fear of retaliation. Today, much of the concern over possible nuclear attack comes in the context of rogue states and terrorism. And since only states are known to possess nuclear weapons, an important question is how to deter them from letting terrorists acquire a device, whether through an authorized transfer or a security breach. Michael A. Levi analyzes this aspect of deterrence in the post–Cold War world, as well as what to do if deterrence breaks down. He suggests how to discourage states from giving weapons or nuclear materials to terrorists and how to encourage states to bolster security against any accidental transfer. The report also discusses the role of nuclear attribution—the science of identifying the origin of nuclear materials—in deterring transfers, an essential link in assigning responsibility to governments for transfers of nuclear materials.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Security, Cold War, Nuclear Weapons, Nuclear Power
  • Political Geography: United States, Soviet Union
  • Author: Garry Johnson
  • Publication Date: 02-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Austrian National Defence Academy
  • Abstract: The dissolution of the Soviet Union left its former nations and those of the Warsaw Pact with a mammoth task of reform and restructuring to be carried out in all the political, social and economic spheres of national life. The fundamental challenge facing these countries was simple: could they modernise all the relevant aspects of their society well enough, and quickly enough, to claim a space in the successful community of the Western nations which had emerged strengthened from the Cold War while the window of integration opportunity remained open?
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Cold War
  • Political Geography: United States, Central Asia, Soviet Union
  • Author: Fiona Hill
  • Publication Date: 08-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: Before 1991, the states of Central Asia were marginal backwaters, republics of the Soviet Union that played no major role in the Cold War relationship between the USSR and the United States, or in the Soviet Union's relationship with the principal regional powers of Turkey, Iran, and China. But, in the 1990s, the dissolution of the Soviet Union coincided with the re-discovery of the energy resources of the Caspian Sea, attracting a range of international oil companies including American majors to the region. Eventually, the Caspian Basin became a point of tension in U.S.-Russian relations. In addition, Central Asia emerged as a zone of conflict. Violent clashes erupted between ethnic groups in the region's Ferghana Valley. Civil war in Tajikistan, in 1992-1997, became entangled with war in Afghanistan. Faltering political and economic reforms, and mounting social problems provided a fertile ground for the germination of radical groups, the infiltration of foreign Islamic networks, and the spawning of militant organizations like the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU). The IMU first sought to overthrow the government of President Islam Karimov in Uzbekistan, later espoused greater ambitions for the creation of an Islamic caliphate (state) across Central Asia, and eventually joined forces with the Taliban in Afghanistan. With the events of September 11, 2001 and their roots in the terrorist groups operating in Afghanistan, Central Asia came to the forefront of U.S. attention.
  • Topic: Cold War, Religion
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Afghanistan, Russia, United States, China, Europe, Iran, Central Asia, Turkey, Asia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Taliban, Soviet Union
  • Author: Thomas Sherlock
  • Publication Date: 08-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: U.S. Military Academy, Department of Social Science
  • Abstract: This paper is a modest effort to sketch the transformation of public memory in conditions of political transition. Specifically, it examines the recovery and interpretation of the Baltic past in Soviet and post-Soviet discourse. The paper is divided into two parts. The first part examines the desacralization of the central myths that legitimated the Soviet empire and its rule over the Baltic nationalities. The debate on Baltic history during perestroika was part of a larger - and increasingly destructive -- examination of Soviet history that shocked society with a flood of negative revelations about the past, forcing political and academic authorities to cancel secondary school exams and discard existing textbooks as virtually useless. This struggle over how to interpret the Soviet past eventually weakened the normative supports of the Soviet state, contributing to its collapse in 1991.
  • Topic: Cold War, Diplomacy
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia, Soviet Union
  • Author: Steven E. Meyer
  • Publication Date: 08-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars
  • Abstract: As long as the Cold War framed the international arena, relations between the United States and Yugoslavia were—for the most part—fairly clear and predictable. Both sides played their assigned roles well in the larger East-West drama. For the U.S., Yugoslavia—after Tito and Stalin split in 1948—was the useful, even reliable, strategically-placed, communist antagonist to the Soviet Union. Certainly, Washington complained at times about Yugoslavia's preference for nonalignment and lamented the fact that it was not part of the Western alliance. The fact that Yugoslavia was indeed a communist state that Moscow could not control, however, more than compensated for these “short comings.” As a reward, the U.S. courted Tito, provided economic aid, and paid virtually no attention to how he ran the country—even his brutal rise to power after World War II was of little consequence.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Cold War, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Washington, Soviet Union, Yugoslavia
  • Author: Vendulka Kubalkova
  • Publication Date: 01-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Peace and Security Studies
  • Abstract: Constructivism as an approach to IR and Soviet “new thinking” as a phenomenon of the final years of the cold war barely crossed paths since constructivism was coming into existence as an approach just as the other, “new thinking”, together with its main author, Mikhail Gorbachev, were about to exit international relations. Soviet “new thinking” is associated with Gorbachev's tenure of office as the General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU). This ran from the mid 1980s till the disintegration of the Soviet Union in 1991. Nicholas Onuf introduced constructivism in his book World of Our Making in 1989 and it was only in 1992, a year after the formal dissolution of the USSR, that Alexander Wendt referred to “new thinking” in his article “Anarchy is What States Make of it” as “one of the most important phenomena in [recent] world politics” (Wendt 1992, 450). It is in this same article that he also used the term constructivism, a term he borrowed from Onuf. Other, freshly convert- ed constructivists followed in Wendt's footsteps and, as evidence of the strength of their new approach, they often used “the DNA of the deceased”: Soviet “new thinking” and other artifacts and stories related to the cold war, which—with its main protagonist gone—was over. “New thinking” figures prominently again in Wendt's theoretical book on constructivism, where it is probably the empirical case that he handles in a more sustained manner and devotes to it more time than to any other cases or examples (Wendt, 1999).
  • Topic: Cold War, Politics
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Soviet Union
  • Author: Barry D. Watts
  • Publication Date: 10-1996
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for National Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: Since the end of the U.S.-Soviet Cold War, there has been growing discussion of the possibility that technological advances in the means of combat would produce ftmdamental changes in how future wars will be fought. A number of observers have suggested that the nature of war itself would be transformed. Some proponents of this view have gone so far as to predict that these changes would include great reductions in, if not the outright elimination of, the various impediments to timely and effective action in war for which the Prussian theorist and soldier Carl von Clausewitz (1780-1831) introduced the term "friction." Friction in war, of course, has a long historical lineage. It predates Clausewitz by centuries and has remained a stubbornly recurring factor in combat outcomes right down to the 1991 Gulf War. In looking to the future, a seminal question is whether Clausewitzian friction would succumb to the changes in leading-edge warfare that may lie ahead, or whether such impediments reflect more enduring aspects of war that technology can but marginally affect. It is this question that the present essay will examine.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Cold War, Government, International Law
  • Political Geography: United States, Soviet Union, Southeast Asia