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  • Author: Dima Adamsky
  • Publication Date: 07-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Institut français des relations internationales (IFRI)
  • Abstract: This monograph argues that the Syrian experience may leave a major imprint on Russian strategic thought and operational art. It explores Moscow’s Syrian campaign and seeks to answer the following questions: How did the Russian art of strategy manifest itself? How did Moscow design the campaign and then estimate its operational performance, judged against its own ends? Which lessons has the Russian strategic community learned? How might these insights project on Moscow’s future strategic behavior? Which strategic trends are more likely than others?
  • Topic: War, Military Strategy, Syrian War
  • Political Geography: Russia, Middle East, Syria
  • Author: Siemon T. Wezeman, Pieter D. Wezeman
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Stockholm International Peace Research Institute
  • Abstract: The volume of international transfers of major weapons in 2009–13 was 14 per cent higher than in 2004–2008 (see figure 1). The five biggest exporters in 2009–13 were the United States, Russia, Germany, China and France and the five biggest importers were India, China, Pakistan, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Saudi Arabia
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, War, Military Strategy
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Russia, United States, China, India, Paris, France, Germany, Saudi Arabia
  • Publication Date: 12-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Two and a half years after the war with Russia, Georgia's political life is increasingly turning towards preparations for the 2012-2013 elections and debates around divisions of power after a recent overhaul of the constitution. The substantial amendments, which come into force in 2013 at the same time as President Mikheil Saakashvili steps down due to a term limit, will give much greater power to the prime minister. The next two years will go a long way in determining whether the country progresses toward a truly stable, modern democracy, or deteriorates into a fragile, pseudo-pluralistic and stagnating system. The government and political opposition movement need to use that crucial period to create public trust in democratic institutions. The best way to achieve this is by engaging in meaningful dialogue to ensure a fair election cycle, strengthened rule of law, economic stability and the legitimacy of the future government.
  • Topic: Democratization, Politics, War
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Author: Yalım Eralp
  • Publication Date: 12-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Global Research in International Affairs Center, Interdisciplinary Center
  • Abstract: The Lisbon Summit was important for two reasons. Firstly, the acceptance of a new strategic concept, the seventh since NATO was founded. The new concept comes after the Al Kaide attacks, the Afghan and Iraq wars and a greater threat of proliferation of nuclear weapons. In addition, relations with Russia were reset, making them of strategic importance. The second important aspect is the acceptance of a missile defence system whereby all populations, territory and forces will be protected.
  • Topic: Security, NATO, Terrorism, War
  • Political Geography: Russia, Iraq
  • Publication Date: 06-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Ten months after the “August war” between Georgia and Russia, violent incidents and the lack of an effective security regime in and around the conflict zones of South Ossetia and Abkhazia create a dangerous atmosphere in which extensive fighting could again erupt. Russia has not complied with key aspects of the cease-fire agreements that President Medvedev reached in August/September 2008 with French President Sarkozy in his then EU presidency role. Its 15 June Security Council veto of an extension of the sixteen-year-old UN observer mission mandate in Georgia and Abkhazia and its apparent intention to require the removal of the mission of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) by the end of the month are blows to regional security that will further fuel tensions. Most of the on-the-ground conflict resolution machinery is thus being dismantled. Moscow should review its counterproductive position and work for a reasonable compromise allowing the UN and OSCE monitors to continue their important work.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, War
  • Political Geography: Russia, Eastern Europe, Moscow, Georgia, South Ossetia, Abkhazia
  • Author: Michael Emerson
  • Publication Date: 08-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: The small war between Georgia and Russia from 8 to 22 August 2008 has shattered any remaining illusions over the frontiers of the normative map of Europe. All the primary parties have to be criticised: Russia for setting a trap for Saakashvili to fall into, the Georgian leadership for its astounding military and political blunder in falling into it, and the United States for having failed to restrain its protégé. The first consequence is that Georgia has paid the price of Saakashvili's folly, with the definitive loss of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. The second consequence is triggered by Russia's continued occupation of strategic points in Georgia-proper, which means not peacekeeping but threatened strangulation of the Georgian economy and its role in the transit of oil and gas from the Caspian to the West. It also means that business as usual has become impossible, as already announced between NATO and Russia, and with more important decisions pending in both the EU and US. The third consequence is that the EU should immediately step up its policies to integrate Ukraine, with real perspectives of membership subject to the standard criteria. The fourth unknown consequence is how far this deteriorating process between Russia and the West will go. Russia may pretend, with its petro-power and wealth, to be immune from any actions by the West, but beyond the short-term it is vulnerable. Whatever these unknowns, already Russia has crossed a red line with its strategic occupation of Georgia-proper, rather than the option just to push Georgia out of South Ossetia. This latter option would have met with widespread understanding internationally. But with its chosen option Russia has placed itself in another category, which is a throwback to earlier times, and totally incompatible with the political and moral principles of modern Europe.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, NATO, War, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Eastern Europe, Georgia
  • Author: David L. Phillips
  • Publication Date: 07-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: This report evaluates the international community's response to the conflict in Abkhazia. It recommends a package of immediate measures to the Georgian and Abkhaz sides to prevent the escalation of violence. As part of a multi-year strategy, it also suggests steps that Georgians, Abkhaz, and international stakeholders can take to lay the ground for future negotiations. In addition, the report proposes a diplomatic initiative by the United States and the European Union (EU) that would restore Georgia's sovereignty, while preserving the interests of Abkhaz.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, International Cooperation, Sovereignty, War
  • Political Geography: Russia, Eastern Europe, Georgia, Abkhazia
  • Author: Daniel Serwer
  • Publication Date: 09-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: Kosovo was left at the end of the NATO/Yugoslavia war in 1999 in limbo. It is still there, despite Security Council Resolution 1244, which foresaw a process for deciding its status. That process has occurred, but because of a threatened Russian veto, the Security Council failed to approve the plan prepared under the leadership of former Finnish President Marti Ahtisaari, which provides for Kosovo's independence under international supervision with extensive protection for its Serb population. The UN Secretary General invited the Contact Group—France, Germany, Italy, Russia, the UK and the U.S.—to pursue further, direct negotiations between Pristina and Belgrade, but with little prospect of movement on either side. Belgrade continues to insist on maintenance of its sovereignty over Kosovo, and Pristina continues to insist on independence. On December 10, the Contact Group will report to the UN Secretary General, who in turn will report to the Security Council (UNSC). A small group of experts with long Balkans experience met at USIP September 5 to discuss the situation and suggest ways forward. Others (consulted electronically) join in associating their names with this paper. Listed at the end, all believe that Kosovo's independence must happen without further delay, in order to prevent regional instability. This USIPeace Briefing does not reflect the views of the United States Institute of Peace, which does not take positions on policy issues.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Political Economy, War
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe, France, Kosovo, Germany, Balkans
  • Publication Date: 08-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Chechen State Council Chairman Taus Dzhabrailov raised eyebrows on August 15, when he told journalists that the two wars in Chechnya have killed about 160,000 combatants and civilians, 30,000-40,000 of them Chechen fighters and civilians. He said that the remaining victims were "representatives of various ethnic groups," but that the vast majority of these were Russians, Novye izvestia reported on August 16. Agence France-Presse noted that a large portion of the 400,000-450,000 people who lived in Grozny before the first war were ethnic Russian and that the city was devastated by Russian air and artillery bombardments in 1995 that caused massive civilian casualties. "They never thought they would have bombs dropped on their heads or be shot at by heavy weapons," the news agency quoted Dzhabrailov as saying. Izvestia, meanwhile, reported him as saying that "the figures I have quoted are compiled by collecting together information about all the losses in the republic in the last fifteen years. We obtained information from all those involved: the military, the Interior Ministry, and the districts. Our data for the Ichkeria period are based on official documents that I obtained from the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria Ministry of Internal Affairs when I was an employee of the republican mufti's press service. The losses at that time were no smaller than they are now or were during the counter-terrorist operation."
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict, War
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia, France, Chechnya
  • Author: Leon Aron
  • Publication Date: 07-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: On December 29, 2004, Russia's minister of defense, Sergei Ivanov, announced plans to eliminate draft deferments for college students. Predictably, the popular reaction was so uniformly negative and furious that the abolition of deferments has been postponed—but not eliminated from the Kremlin's agenda.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Government, War
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Dore Gold
  • Publication Date: 03-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: Three basic conditions prevailed when the Arab-Israeli peace process began in 1991 in Madrid and accelerated in 1993 at Oslo. First, the Soviet Union crumbled and eventually collapsed, removing what had since 1955 been the strategic backbone of the Arab military option against the State of Israel. Second, Iraq was militarily crushed and under both UN sanctions and monitoring, and was therefore removed from the political and military calculus of relations between Israel and the Arab world. Third, Iran was still recovering from its eight-year war with Iraq and was far from ready to have an impact in the Middle East. Together, these three conditions created a unique moment of Pax Americana, maintained not just by virtue of American power, but by the consent of its potential rivals.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Arms Control and Proliferation, United Nations, War, Sanctions
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Iran, Middle East, Israel, Soviet Union