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  • Author: Flavio Fusco
  • Publication Date: 01-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Building on emerging debates on the need to develop de-escalation mechanisms for the Middle East, the Istituto Affari Internazionali (IAI) and the Brussels-based Foundation for European Progressive Studies (FEPS), with support from the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, launched a one-year research and outreach project entitled “Fostering a New Security Architecture in the Middle East”. Connected to the research, an expert survey targeting European, US, Russian, Middle Eastern and Chinese experts and practitioners was conducted on key themes, principles and approaches associated with a potential new security architecture for the region. The results of the survey – first published in an edited book volume jointly published by IAI and FEPS in November 2020 – are analysed below, complete with tables and infographics on key themes associated with the research project and the search for new, inclusive mechanisms for dialogue and de-escalation in the Middle East.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Security, Foreign Policy, Politics
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Europe, Middle East, United States of America
  • Author: Cornelius Adebahr
  • Publication Date: 05-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: The rift between Europe and the United States over Iran is deepening. To regain leverage, the Europeans should engage all eight Gulf states in talks about regional security and nonproliferation. The rift between Europe and the United States over Iran is deepening. Two years of U.S. maximum pressure on Tehran have not yielded the results Washington had hoped for, while the Europeans have failed to put up enough resistance for their transatlantic partner to change course. Worse, the U.S. policy threatens to destabilize the broader Persian Gulf, with direct consequences for Europe. To get ahead of the curve and regain leverage, the European Union (EU), its member states, and the United Kingdom have to look beyond their relations with the Islamic Republic and address wider regional security challenges. The United States’ incipient retreat as a security guarantor and Russia’s increased interest in the region make it necessary for Europe to engage beyond its borders. Despite being barely alive, the 2015 international nuclear deal with Iran offers a good starting point. The Europeans should regionalize some of the agreement’s basic provisions to include the nuclear newcomers on the Arab side of the Gulf. Doing so would advance a nonproliferation agenda that is aimed not at a single country but at the region’s broader interests. Similarly, the Europeans should engage Iran, Iraq, and the six Arab nations of the Gulf Cooperation Council in talks about regional security. Rather than suggesting an all-encompassing security framework, for which the time is not yet ripe, they should pursue a step-by-step approach aimed at codifying internationally recognized principles at the regional level.
  • Topic: Security, Nuclear Weapons, Treaties and Agreements, Nonproliferation
  • Political Geography: Europe, Iran, Middle East, United States of America
  • Author: Eugene Rumer, Richard Sokolsky
  • Publication Date: 09-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Russia will remain a formidable adversary for the United States, yet they have a shared interest in avoiding outright war. Time and patience will be needed to rebuild the relationship. Russian strategic culture is a product of several key factors: a long history of wars and adversarial relations with other European powers; an open geographic landscape that puts a premium on strategic depth; and an elite given to embracing a narrative of implacable Western hostility toward Russia. Historically, Europe has been by far the most important geographic theater for Russia, and it remains so to the present day. The national narrative of Vladimir Putin’s Russia emphasizes the legacy of World War II in Europe and the critical role Russia played in the defeat of Germany. Both support the Kremlin’s claim to special rights in the affairs of the continent.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Culture, Transatlantic Relations
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe
  • Author: Kari M. Osland, Henriette U. Erstad
  • Publication Date: 10-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: On 23 September 2020, the EU launched its new Pact on Migration and Asylum. In a refreshingly blunt press-release accompanying the Pact one could read: “The current system no longer works. And for the past five years, the EU has not been able to fix it”. The stated aim of the Pact is a fairer sharing of responsibility and solidarity between member states while providing certainty for individual asylum applicants. This is intended to rebuild trust between EU members as well as improve the capacity to better manage migration. However, whether the Pact will be implemented and have an effect on EU external migration policy in the Sahel remains to be seen.
  • Topic: Security, Migration, European Union
  • Political Geography: Europe, North Africa, Sahel
  • Author: Matti Pesu
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: This Briefing Paper looks into the fundamentals of the Baltic Sea security landscape in the early 2020s. It argues that three interconnected security dynamics shape the present, ‘post-2014’ security environment in Northeastern Europe. That is to say, Russia’s assertive behaviour in the region and in Europe more broadly, NATO’s reassurance and deterrence measures in the area, and Finland’s and Sweden’s closer integration into the Western defence network all affect hard se- curity dynamics in the Baltic Sea region. These three dynamics underlie the tense regional stability that emerged after a period of alarmism and turbulence in the immediate aftermath of Russia’s ac- tions in Ukraine. Fundamentally, the stability is the product of the interplay between the three dynamics. In other words, NATO’s reassurance and deterrence measures accompanied by Finland’s and Sweden’s in- tegration into the Western security and defence system act as a counterweight to Russia’s actions in the region, creating a balance of power holding Russia’s ambitions in check. Investigating the sources of regional balance is rele- vant for multiple reasons. The region remains a poten- tial hotspot between Russia and the West and, thus, it merits close and continuous attention. Moreover, the word ‘stability’ frequently features in foreign policy parlance in Northern Europe, particularly in Finland and Sweden. Given this rhetorical proclivity, attention needs to be paid to the factors that actually constitute stability and the state of hard security in the Baltic Sea area. The paper consists of three analytical parts. First, it provides a brief historical overview of the twists and turns in the regional security landscape from the early post-Cold War era to today. The second part introduces the three dynamics in detail, followed by an analysis of how they are interconnected. The paper concludes by contemplating how regional stability could best be preserved in the 2020s.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, NATO, International Cooperation, Military Strategy
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Baltic Sea
  • Author: Matti Pesu, Tuomas Iso-Markku, Juha Jokela
  • Publication Date: 10-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: This FIIA Finnish Foreign Policy Paper looks at the evolution of Finnish foreign and security policy during the country’s 25 years as an EU member. The paper aims to trace how – and with what kind of consequences – Finnish foreign and security policy has interacted with EU foreign policy during the membership period. More specifically, the study examines the interlinkage between Finnish and EU foreign policy in relation to three different topics: the policy towards and relations with Russia, security and defence, and Finland’s broadening international agenda. The paper argues that the Finnish policy vis-à-vis the three domains is marked by different patterns of continuity and change. However, the rise of a protective agenda in the Finnish policy towards Russia, Finland’s increased boldness in advancing the EU’s security and defence dimension, and the recent emphasis on the Union’s role as a bulwark against geo-economic threats all indicate that the EU’s role in enhancing Finnish security has become a top priority. Indeed, Finland is currently endeavouring to unlock the EU’s potential as a security community.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Military Strategy, European Union
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Finland, Scandinavia
  • Author: Henri Vanhanen
  • Publication Date: 10-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The government reports on foreign and security policy have become a well-established and recognized practice in which the Government of Finland issues a report generally once during the parliamentary term. The reports can be regarded as comprehensive and strategic documents, whose purpose is to signal the strategic directions of Finland’s present and future policy for both domestic and foreign readers. Regardless of the government reports’ institutionalized role in Finnish foreign and security policy practices, they are not without problems. The main issue with the current report process is linked to the quickly changing operational environment. Thus, a more frequent process such as an annual announcement on foreign and security policy to support the government reports should be considered. It is relevant to ask whether the current tradition of producing reports is the most effective way to outline or signal Finland’s overall foreign and security policy. In order to address the issues of the reporting process, alternative methods to support and evaluate Finland’s foreign and security policy should be considered.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Defense Policy, Military Strategy
  • Political Geography: Europe, Finland, Scandinavia
  • Author: Teresa Val
  • Publication Date: 05-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: EastWest Institute
  • Abstract: Terrorism in Afghanistan: A Joint Threat Assessment is intended to serve as an analytical tool for policymakers and an impetus for joint U.S.-Russia action. The report provides an overview of the security situation and peace process in Afghanistan, taking into account U.S. and Russian policies, priorities and interests; surveys the militant terrorist groups in and connected to Afghanistan and explores the security interests of various regional stakeholders vis-à-vis Afghanistan. Challenges relating to border management, arms trafficking and terrorist financing in Afghanistan are also briefly addressed.
  • Topic: Security, Diplomacy, Military Strategy, Counter-terrorism, Peace
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Russia, United States, Europe, Middle East, North America
  • Author: Susan Ariel Aaronson
  • Publication Date: 04-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: From posting photos and videos to tracking physical activity, apps can do almost anything, but while they may seem like harmless fun, they may also pose a threat to personal data and national security. This paper compares the different responses of the United States, Canada and Germany to data risks posed by popular apps such as FaceApp, Facebook, Strava, TikTok and ToTok. These apps and many others store troves of personal data that can be hacked and misused, putting users (and the countries in which they live) at risk.
  • Topic: Security, Digital Economy, Social Media, Data
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Canada, Germany, North America
  • Author: Eoin Micheál McNamara
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute of International Relations Prague
  • Abstract: Eoin Micheál McNamara in his Policy Paper called The Visegrád Four and the Security of NATO’s “Eastern Flank” expresses the argument that there is considerable scope for the V4 states to improve their contribution to NATO’s collective defence posture. Based on this fact, he argues the different strategic positions of each V4 member within the NATO membership related to Russian influence.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, NATO
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe
  • Author: Lukasz Kulesa
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Stockholm International Peace Research Institute
  • Abstract: The collapse of the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty in August 2019 was the most recent chapter in the process of the erosion of the cold war-originated system of nuclear arms control. This paper argues that the European Union (EU) member states and the EU itself have already been negatively affected. Thus far, however, European states have remained observers rather than active players. Instead of focusing only on praising the past achievements of nuclear arms control and lamenting its demise, a new European approach is needed—one that identifies how best to address the major nuclear security threats and challenges facing Europe through arms control instruments. This paper examines the legacy of nuclear arms control, recent developments and the causes of the current crisis; and analyses the impact on European security. Finally, it presents options on how the EU and its member states might become better engaged in rethinking the nuclear arms control architecture.
  • Topic: Security, Nuclear Weapons, European Union, Disarmament, Nonproliferation
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Ian Anthony, Jiayi Zhou, Fei Su
  • Publication Date: 02-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Stockholm International Peace Research Institute
  • Abstract: This SIPRI Insights Paper assesses EU security perspectives on connectivity, alongside and in relation to its evolving relationship with China. The EU’s relations with China have undergone an important shift in recent years, with a strengthened emphasis by the EU on the challenges to bilateral cooperation. In addition, since 2014, EU and EU member states’ security perspectives have undergone a wider reassessment, one that has increased the prominence of the military dimensions of connectivity, including military mobility, in EU security planning. The EU and China are currently pursuing synergies between their separate connectivity initiatives, namely the Belt and Road Initiative and the Connecting Europe programme. However, there remain barriers to sustainable cooperation that will need to be addressed between them moving forward. This Insights Paper outlines a number of those security concerns from the EU perspective, within the transport and digital sectors specifically.
  • Topic: Security, International Cooperation, Bilateral Relations, European Union, Belt and Road Initiative (BRI)
  • Political Geography: China, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Tytti Erästö
  • Publication Date: 04-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Stockholm International Peace Research Institute
  • Abstract: The erosion of the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement poses a risk for both Middle East regional security and the global nuclear non-proliferation regime. At the same time, it highlights the need to build a more sustainable regional foundation for conflict resolution and arms control in the Middle East. This paper argues that the arms control– regional security nexus should be better reflected in European policy. While maintaining the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and preventing further US–Iranian escalation should be the European Union’s (EU) first priority, the paper urges the EU to develop a more comprehensive approach in support of regional security, arms control and disarmament in the Middle East. In addition to resolving inconsistencies in current EU policies on regional security, arms control and arms exports to the Middle East, the EU should consider throwing its political weight behind two emerging processes that could provide a much-needed opening for regional cooperation: security dialogue in the Gulf and the annual Middle East weapons of mass destruction (WMD)-free zone conferences at the United Nations. If it involved regional non-proliferation cooperation, the former process could also help manage the negative consequences of the potential collapse of the Iran nuclear agreement.
  • Topic: Security, Arms Control and Proliferation, Nuclear Weapons, European Union, Disarmament
  • Political Geography: Europe, Iran, Middle East
  • Author: Timo Smit
  • Publication Date: 11-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Stockholm International Peace Research Institute
  • Abstract: European Union (EU) member states established the Civilian Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) Compact in 2018 to strengthen civilian CSDP missions. Among other things, they committed to increasing the number and share of seconded personnel in these missions. Both had been decreasing in previous years. The number of seconded personnel started to increase in 2019, driven by the expansion of several missions. It increased from 712 in August 2019 to 773 in April 2020. The increase discontinued thereafter, most likely as a consequence of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Meanwhile, the share of seconded personnel continued to decrease both overall—from 66 per cent when the compact was established to 62 per cent in August 2020—and in most missions. In order to ensure the delivery of the CDSP Compact, EU member states should, among other things, continue expanding their capacity to second more personnel to missions in the medium term and increase their contributions in the short term to prevent missions becoming more dependent on contracted personnel, especially those in sub-Saharan Africa. The European External Action Service should, for example, introduce indicators based on the retention and recruitment of seconded and contracted mission personnel and analyse the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on these two issues.
  • Topic: Security, European Union, Conflict, Peace
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Jo Coelmont
  • Publication Date: 03-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: EGMONT - The Royal Institute for International Relations
  • Abstract: Europe is looking to be a global player rather than just a global playground. To achieve this, it needs a security council. This is essential for gaining strategic relevance. Europe needs to have recourse not only to international fora but also to a series of instruments of hard and soft power. Swift decision making at the appropriate level is of paramount importance. Such a security council should meet a number of requirements: it must be representative, be able to both achieve unity of vision and undertake action smoothly, and keep going until the desired end-state has been achieved. Several proposals have been made as to the composition of such a body. I will look into the four most discussed options. Are we spoilt for choice?
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, NATO, Regional Cooperation, Military Strategy
  • Political Geography: Europe, North Atlantic, North America
  • Author: Tobias Gehrke
  • Publication Date: 04-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: EGMONT - The Royal Institute for International Relations
  • Abstract: The corona crisis, the US-China great power competition and lacklustre international rules vividly demonstrate the vulnerability of economic interdependence. Interdependence is a power struggle, not a mutual aid society. For the vast benefits of a globalised economy to continue to outweigh its risks, policies to build greater resilience are necessary. For the EU, the unprecedented events also offer an opportunity to forge a new economic security approach to better manage its dependencies in strategic sectors.
  • Topic: Security, International Cooperation, Europe , Public Health, Pandemic, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Europe, Asia, North America
  • Author: Michalis Mathioulakis
  • Publication Date: 09-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy (ELIAMEP)
  • Abstract: Russia and the EU have been entangled in the harsh effects of asymmetrical interdependence and the security threats it generates. Russia’s economy is linked directly to the form and volume of trade directed from the EU towards the Russian economy, while the EU economy is linked to the flow of Russian gas and oil directed towards European businesses and households. Growing concerns on EU’s dependency on energy imports led the European Commission to release its Energy Security Strategy (2014), aiming to secure stability and abundancy of energy supply while simultaneously examining the effects of discrepancies from Russian gas imports to the European energy systems. In contrast, Russia’s primary concern is to secure the necessary energy revenues that could enable Moscow to project and exercise its hard power to areas with strategic interest by striving to gain greater leverage within the European energy markets. Russia’s security objectives in relation to its energy export capacity are expressed primarily through materialisation of two major natural gas pipeline systems, namely the Nord Stream 2 and the TurkStream pipelines. This paper by Michalis Mathioulakis, Research Associate of ELIAMEP; Energy Strategy Analyst and Academic Director of the Greek Energy Forum, examines the strive between the two international actors in redetermining their future relations and the role of Russian gas pipelines and the EU’s regulatory framework in shaping the two actors’ common future.
  • Topic: Security, Energy Policy, European Union, Regulation
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Eurasia
  • Author: Mariana Liakopoulou
  • Publication Date: 11-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy (ELIAMEP)
  • Abstract: Hydrogen is positioned as a strong candidate for fulfilling the carbon-neutrality objective set out in the European Green Deal, provided that it is able to compete on a level-playing field with other technologies favoring sector coupling. Pushing the envisioned hydrogen economy past its tipping point necessitates a conducive EU regulation, repurposing of existing large-scale EU networks, along with additional investments, as well as strategic partnerships with the EU’s third-country suppliers. This paper aims to outline the role of hydrogen as a component of the decarbonization of the European natural gas sector, in the context of an integrated energy system.
  • Topic: Security, Climate Change, Energy Policy, European Union, Economy, Hydrogen
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: George Tzogopoulos
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy (ELIAMEP)
  • Abstract: With President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis scheduled to meet early this January, Dr. George Tzogopoulos, Research Fellow at ELIAMEP, outlines the course of Greek-American relations from 2015 onwards. Dr. Tzogopoulos argues that Athens and Washington DC have entered a period of strong cooperation that can be further consolidated in 2020. Defense, energy and trade are the main focal points. The agenda includes the need to create a new security environment in the Mediterranean – with Greece playing a key role. The excellent status of Greek-American relations creates new opportunities for closer bilateral cooperation on defense, energy and trade. The region of Northern Greece becomes of gradually higher significance for the US. US foreign policy towards Greece reflects its interest in restraining Russian influence. While anti-Americanism in Greece is declining, there is widespread concern in the domestic public sphere on whether the US will support Greece in the case of a crisis with Turkey in the Eastern Mediterranean. US support to the trilateral cooperation of Greece-Israel-Cyprus will be reinforced through the Eastern Mediterranean Security and Energy Partnership Act. The US-Greece Strategic Dialogue and NATO Mediterranean Dialogue are useful instruments for strengthening Greece’s role in the South, contributing towards a new security landscape.
  • Topic: Security, Energy Policy, Bilateral Relations, Trade
  • Political Geography: Europe, Greece, North America, United States of America
  • Author: George Tzogopoulos
  • Publication Date: 10-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy (ELIAMEP)
  • Abstract: The relationship between Greece and Russia requires a careful management following the diplomatic crisis of the 2018 summer. The visit of Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov to Athens offers an opportunity for a sincere dialogue between the two countries. Greece and Russia can either agree on their disagreements or search for a new way forward based on realism and common interests. A sincere dialogue should leave illusions aside and concentrate on joint interests.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Bilateral Relations, Strategic Interests
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Greece
  • Author: Lennart Kaplan
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Development Institute (DIE)
  • Abstract: In the framework of the Agenda 2030 for sustainable development, France and Germany face common challenges, ranging from security to global health. Against this background, this paper discusses opportunities and barriers for a French-German leadership in international donor coordination.
  • Topic: Security, Climate Change, International Cooperation, Trade, Donors
  • Political Geography: Europe, France, Germany
  • Author: Sarah Holzapfel, Cornelia Römling
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Development Institute (DIE)
  • Abstract: Monitoring and evaluation to increase evidence and thus aid effectiveness remains a challenge in the development community. This analysis of German bilateral development cooperation projects highlights quality challenges in German reporting and recommends adjustments for a more effective M&E system.
  • Topic: Security, Agriculture, Development, International Cooperation, Rural
  • Political Geography: Europe, Germany
  • Author: Helena Legarda
  • Publication Date: 02-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Institute for Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: China hits back after NATO calls it a security challenge, dormant Chinese hacking group resumes attacks, and more.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, NATO, Diplomacy
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Europe, North Atlantic, Beijing, Asia, Vietnam, Sri Lanka
  • Author: Meia Nouwens, Helena Legarda
  • Publication Date: 12-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Institute for Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: In December 2019, for the first time, NATO leaders recognised China as a new strategic point of focus for the Alliance. This reflects growing concern among NATO members surrounding China’s geopolitical rise and its growing power-projection capabilities, as well as the impact that these may have on the global balance of power. Today, China is not only taking a central role in Indo-Pacific security affairs but is also becoming an increasingly visible security actor in Europe’s periphery. As such, the question of how to deal with an increasingly global China has been an important part of Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg’s NATO 2030 reflection process. China poses a wide range of challenges to NATO. Beijing sees the Alliance as a United States-centric outfit that may be used by Washington to contain China, and has therefore tried to influence individual NATO members’ decisions in order to weaken the Alliance’s unity. Close ties between China and Russia, especially in the security and military spheres, have also been a source of concern for NATO allies. Besides the Chinese and Russian navies’ joint exercises in the Baltic and Mediterranean seas, there is also the potential for the two sides to further coordinate – or at least align their behaviour – on issues of relevance to the Alliance, including hybrid warfare and cyber espionage, arms-control issues, and their approach to Arctic governance, among others. China’s defence spending and military-modernisation process, along with the growing strength of its defence industry, have led to the proliferation of more advanced military platforms around the world. Beijing is also expanding its stockpile of missiles, some of which have the range to reach NATO countries. China’s military-power-projection capabilities have likewise edged towards Europe as the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has expanded its international presence over the last few years. While NATO allies may have agreed that China presents a number of challenges to the Alliance’s security, they have yet to achieve consensus on how to address them. Some of these issues lie beyond NATO’s traditional areas of competence and will require expertise best provided by partners of the Alliance rather than the Alliance itself. NATO allies will need to prioritise how, when, where and with which partners to use their combined resources to deal with them. At the same time, the Alliance acknowledges that China is not its adversary. NATO thus must find areas of common interest where it can continue to cooperate with China, albeit with a more clear-eyed approach than it has done in the past. Addressing the opportunities and problems posed by China as a cohesive alliance will be more important than ever.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Defense Policy, NATO, Diplomacy, Regional Cooperation, Hegemony
  • Political Geography: China, Europe, North Atlantic, Asia, North America
  • Author: Adela M. Alija
  • Publication Date: 05-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Security Studies Group (GESI) at the University of Granada
  • Abstract: Although the most serious period of the refugee crisis in Europe was undoubtedly the year 2015, this persistent conflict remains unresolved, as the causes and factors that condition it remain unresolved. At this time, it has been demonstrated that the governance structures of the international system do not have the capacity to respond adequately to the new challenges. The phenomenon of forced migration is a clear expression of the complexity of today’s international scenarios. The refugee crisis, or migration crisis as it is also called, has tested, and continues to test, the foundations of the European Union, which is also going through a real existential crisis. This article analyzes, on the one hand, the situation, context and conditions of forced migrants and more particularly of refugees, and, on the other, the role that the European Union is developing in the face of this crisis, when it is going through serious difficulties. The legal and management instruments available to the European Union to face these crises are also analyzed.
  • Topic: Security, Governance, European Union, Refugees, Refugee Crisis
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Erik Brattberg, Tomáš Valášek
  • Publication Date: 11-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: European defense cooperation has made unprecedented strides since 2014 and further progress is expected under the new European Commission. Driving these developments are a combination of internal and external factors. Among them is a more challenging security environment in Europe, the disruptive impact of the Brexit negotiations and the election of U.S. President Donald Trump, demands for deeper European Union (EU) integration in the wake of the 2009 eurozone debt crisis, and defense industrial rationales. As the 2016 European Global Strategy makes clear, the EU’s ambition is to become a more strategically autonomous security player capable of taking more independent action, especially in its own neighborhood. But this will require the decisionmaking structures that can act swiftly and autonomously in crises, the necessary civilian and operational capabilities to carry out these decisions, and the means to produce the necessary capabilities through a competitive high-tech European defense industrial base. The evolving EU defense cooperation goes far beyond crisis management operations. At its core, it has the goal of leveraging EU tools to strengthen European security. In particular, new EU defense initiatives such as Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) and the European Defense Fund (EDF), though still nascent, are potential game changers in this regard. PESCO operates as a platform for groups of member states to cooperate on defense capability projects. The EDF, as an internal market instrument backed up by European Commission co-funding, has the potential to spur and incentivize collaboration on the development and acquisition of new capabilities between member states. These initiatives lay a framework upon which stronger cooperation can gradually be structured. Nevertheless, these new European defense schemes will have to have the right level of ambition, be successfully implemented, and contribute to strengthening both European and transatlantic security.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Transatlantic Relations
  • Political Geography: Europe, European Union
  • Author: Erik Brattberg, Philippe Le Corre
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: The evolving strategic dynamics in the Indo-Pacific are of paramount importance for the future of the rules-based international order. While the United States is redirecting strategic focus to the region as part of its Free and Open Indo-Pacific strategy, Europe is also stepping up its role—leveraging a strong economic profile, long-standing bilateral ties, and active engagement in various regional multilateral forums. The European Union (EU) and its member states can make distinct contributions to an open, transparent, inclusive, and rules-based regional order, though not necessarily always in lockstep with Washington. Though few European countries have formally acknowledged the new U.S. strategy, the concept’s emphasis on rules-based order and multilateralism bears many similarities to the EU’s own outlook. The EU and many of its member states are becoming more ambivalent about Chinese power and are seeking to counter certain problematic Chinese economic behaviors, and the Indo-Pacific offers opportunities for transatlantic cooperation, though U.S.-EU diplomatic relations under U.S. President Donald Trump are significantly strained. However, the U.S. administration’s fixation on short-term transactional diplomacy, lack of commitment to multilateralism, and strong emphasis on Chinese containment are putting a damper on such collaboration with EU members. Admittedly, Europe does not aspire to be a traditional hard power in Asia, lacks significant military capabilities in the region, and is reluctant to pick sides in the escalating U.S.-China competition. Only two European middle powers—France and the United Kingdom (UK)—can project serious military force in the region, as Europe has long underinvested in defense spending and needs to prioritize more immediate security threats. But Europe can amplify its political and security role in the Indo-Pacific by leveraging the growing Franco-British presence and better utilizing the EU’s collective role. Key European countries have already expanded their security footprint in the Indo-Pacific through a more regular naval presence, bilateral and multilateral joint exercises, arms sales, and various other forms of defense cooperation. Europe’s economic role is already considerable too, as the EU is a top trade and investment partner of most regional states. Washington should welcome greater European involvement in the Indo-Pacific. A greater European presence in the region advances the U.S. objective of promoting a tighter regional security architecture with vital partners like Japan and India. Similarly, the EU’s support for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) can help foster a more multilateral, cooperative Asian security architecture. As for economic and trade policy, U.S. and EU interests in the region largely overlap but do diverge in significant ways. While both Europe and the United States are keen on increasing trade flows and addressing unfair Chinese economic practices, the EU’s emphasis on free trade has allowed it to either complete trade agreements or launch new negotiations with regional partners like Australia, Japan, and Singapore. Despite the limitations constraining the transatlantic diplomatic agenda, meaningful joint and/or complementary European and U.S. action in the Indo-Pacific remains achievable, particularly between France, the UK, and the United States, though other European countries and the EU could get involved too. While the EU is not likely to formally endorse the U.S. slogan of a Free and Open Indo-Pacific, Europeans can still meaningfully advance its objectives, which are overwhelmingly consistent with the EU’s own interests and values. Washington should encourage this trend and simultaneously seek to do more to incorporate European players as key partners on the implementation of its own Free and Open Indo-Pacific strategy.
  • Topic: Security, Power Politics, Bilateral Relations, Transatlantic Relations
  • Political Geography: China, Europe, United States of America, Indo-Pacific
  • Author: Seth G. Jones, Nicholas Harrington, Joseph S. Bermudez Jr.
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: As tensions escalate between the United States and Iran in the Middle East, Russia is engaged in covert and overt cooperation with Iran in ways that undermine U.S. national security interests. This analysis of commercial satellite imagery at Tiyas Airbase in Syria indicates the scope and proximity of Russian and Iranian military ties. If Washington wants to contain Tehran and prevent further Iranian expansion, U.S. policymakers will need to increase pressure on Moscow to curb Tehran’s activities in countries like Syria.
  • Topic: Security, Diplomacy, Intelligence, International Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Iran, Middle East, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Marc Ozawa
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: NATO Defense College
  • Abstract: NATO addresses energy security concerns in three ways, through strategic awareness, infrastructure protection and energy efficiency measures. However, what may be a concern for NATO is potentially a problem for member states with conflicting views on the issue, the politics of which impact their interactions within the Alliance. Nord Stream 2, the trans-Baltic pipeline connecting Ust-Luga (Russia) to Greifswald (Germany), is one such example because it is so divisive. This Policy Brief advocates a role for NATO as a constructive partner with the European Union (EU), the governing body for energy security issues in tandem with national governments, while avoiding the divisive politics of direct involvement. NATO and the EU have complementary perspectives on energy security. The Alliance’s view is directed at broad security implications and the EU’s Director- General for Energy (DG Energy) is more focused on market matters. In this complementarity of perspectives NATO could indirectly assist DG Energy in making better energy policies and help to avoid the politicization of projects that create friction within the EU, the type that can spill over into NATO. The strife around Nord Stream 2, for example, works against both EU unity and cohesion within NATO such that, what may not have originally been perceived as a problem for NATO, becomes one.
  • Topic: Security, NATO, Energy Policy, Regional Cooperation, European Union
  • Political Geography: Europe, North Atlantic, North America
  • Author: Karl-Heinz Kamp
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: NATO Defense College
  • Abstract: Seven decades after it was established, the North Atlantic Alliance is doing fairly well and fully de- serves being described as the most successful secu- rity organization in modern history. By constantly evolving and adapting, NATO managed to main- tain its relevance on both sides of the Atlantic in fundamentally different security environments. It preserved the territorial integrity of its members during the Cold War and was crucial for bringing down the Iron Curtain. It helped to bring peace to the Balkans and prevented Afghanistan from once again becoming a breeding ground for jihadist ter- rorism. Since Russia’s return to revanchist policies in 2014, NATO again guarantees the freedom and security of its members in the East. In the long term though, NATO faces an almost existential problem, as it will be difficult to main- tain its relevance for the United States as the dom- inant power within the Alliance. This will be less a result of the current president’s erratic policy than of the geostrategic reorientation of the US away from Russia and towards China. NATO will also have to fundamentally alter its geographic orienta- tion to avoid falling into oblivion.
  • Topic: Security, NATO, Diplomacy, Regional Cooperation, Military Strategy
  • Political Geography: Europe, North Atlantic, North America
  • Author: Jean-loup Samaan
  • Publication Date: 10-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: NATO Defense College
  • Abstract: On 3rd April, 2019 in Washington, DC, US Vice Pres- ident Mike Pence addressed an audience of Western current and former statesmen gathered to celebrate the 70th anniversary of NATO. After taking stock of the Alliance’s accomplishments over the previous decades, Pence ventured on the emerging challenges and touched on an unexpected subject, the Indo-Pa- cific region: “By working together, we can maintain a free and open Indo-Pacific where independent na- tions boldly pursue their own interests”.1 Although the Indo-Pacific has by now become a central feature of policy discussions in the US, it has been relatively absent from talks within NATO circles, as the issue is perceived as a matter lying outside the organization’s mandate. But security de- velopments in this region do matter for its member countries. Moreover, there are ways the organization could play a significant role in the Indo-Pacific with- out compromising its pre-existing priorities. Against that backdrop, this Policy Brief aims to contribute to the emerging discussion on NATO’s engagement in the Indo-Pacific by first providing an appraisal of the policy implications of the US strategy towards the region, and then identifying realistic expectations for a NATO engagement in the Indo-Pacific.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, NATO, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Europe, North Atlantic, North America, Indo-Pacific
  • Author: Matti Pesu, Ville Sinkkonen
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The transatlantic relationship is undergoing a period of turmoil. President Trump’s unorthodox policies have exacerbated historical sources of mistrust between the U.S. and its European allies. This working paper approaches the transatlantic bond from the perspective of asymmetric trust, a perennial factor in transatlantic security and defence affairs. For Europe, the U.S. remains the ultimate guarantor of security, rendering allies dependent upon Washington’s decisions and goodwill. From the American perspective, the European allies are not crucial in ensuring U.S. national security, but remain a pool of reliable partners, whom Washington can periodically draw upon to pursue its global ambitions. This paper evaluates how mistrust has featured within the asymmetric alliance setting, and places the current friction between the U.S. and Europe within this broader context. Acknowledging the sources of mistrust and managing mutual suspicions are crucial for the sustainability of the alliance in an increasingly competitive international arena.
  • Topic: Security, Diplomacy, Regional Cooperation, Military Strategy, Transatlantic Relations
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, North America, Atlantic Ocean
  • Author: Harri Mikkola
  • Publication Date: 04-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The end of the Cold War meant that the Arctic region lost most of its geostrategic relevance. However, due to growing great power competition, the Arctic is back on the geopolitical map. Hard security dynamics in the region are defined by two key elements: the importance of conventional long-range missiles and nuclear weapons for Russia, and the importance of the North Atlantic sea line of communication for European defence. Russia has revitalized its Cold War-era bastion strategy, which aims to ensure the survival of its strategic ballistic missile submarines. In a crisis scenario, this strategy could pose serious challenges to the Nordic countries as well. Five Arctic states are members of NATO and the Alliance’s collective defence is operational in the Arctic. Even if the Arctic is still not a focus area for NATO, the North Atlantic maritime domain is increasingly back on the agenda. Given the divergent strategic interests and lack of common ground between Russia and other Arctic states on grand strategic issues, the Arctic will not be losing its geostrategic importance anytime soon.
  • Topic: Security, NATO, Regional Cooperation, Military Strategy, Maritime
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe, Canada, Finland, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Iceland, Arctic
  • Author: Matti Pesu, Tuomas Iso-Markku
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The EU’s ability to contribute to the security of its citizens forms a key part of a new emerging narrative for the Union. Finland is one of the advocates of increased EU activity in security and defence, frequently referring to the EU as a security community. Existing data on public opinion suggest that citizens’ views provide building blocks for more potent EU action in security and defence matters and support for the idea of the EU security community. EU citizens broadly share concerns related to terrorism and migration. The fear of armed conflict is low, however. In general, EU citizens are disposed towards collective action by the EU in questions of foreign, security and defence policy. Support for the CFSP and CSDP has remained high and strikingly stable. Moreover, there seems to be a nascent sense of solidarity and unity among Europeans, which may facilitate the EU’s agency in these areas. However, the EU should survey public attitudes on security-related questions in a more detailed fashion in order to gain a better grasp of the prevailing sentiments among EU citizens.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Regional Cooperation, Military Strategy, European Union
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Mikael Wigell
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: For all the rhetorical rage surrounding ‘hybrid warfare’, Western democracy is being threatened more acutely by hybrid interference. Using liberal democratic values and infrastructure for cover, authoritarian actors use a panoply of covert, non-military means to subtly drive wedges between democratic societies and undermine their internal cohesion. This paper outlines the strategic logic of hybrid interference and shows how it puts Western democratic governability in jeopardy. It argues that deterrence policies need to be revamped in the face of this new challenge and suggests a new strategic concept – democratic deterrence – as a framework for dissuading hybrid interference. The concept of democratic deterrence shows how liberal democratic values need not be security vulnerabilities, as often presented in the current debate, but how they can be turned into strengths and tools for a credible deterrence response against hybrid aggressors, all the while making our Western democracies more robust and resilient.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Military Strategy, Democracy, Deterrence
  • Political Geography: Europe, North America
  • Author: Agne Cepinsktye
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Britain’s Arctic security policy has been shifting from abandoning the region after the Cold War to developing a non-military security approach, to reintroducing the military defence dimension, most notably by the announcement of the UK Defence Arctic Strategy (DAS). These changes are both reactive to regional factors, namely the increasing geostrategic importance of the Arctic and Russia’s military expansion in the North, and reflective of the UK’s redefined post-Brexit identity as Global Britain. The focus on expanding the naval presence in the Arctic is consistent with the Global Britain vision, which underlies the UK’s broader foreign and security policy direction and emphasises the reassertion of naval strength and global maritime influence. While Britain’s ambition to restore the naval power in the Arctic and the North Atlantic is currently constrained by a lack of resources in the defence budget, it indicates an aspiration to strengthen historically rooted naval defence relations with the Arctic states.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Military Strategy, Navy, Maritime
  • Political Geography: Russia, United Kingdom, Europe, Arctic
  • Author: Deborah A. McCarthy
  • Publication Date: 10-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Russia, China, Iran and ISIS use information operations to undermine the national security objectives of the United States and its allies. However, the US’s international response has been weak. Internal constraints have limited more effective counter-measures. In particular, the lack of a coordinated White House-level strategy, dispersed authorities and little cooperation with private social media companies can be identified as causal factors. Additional steps by the Trump Administration to counter foreign disinformation will aim to protect the 2020 presidential elections rather than to push back on efforts to undermine US leadership abroad.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Science and Technology, ISIS, Social Media, Disinformation
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, China, Europe, Iran, Middle East, Asia, North America
  • Author: Sven Biscop
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: EGMONT - The Royal Institute for International Relations
  • Abstract: Strategic autonomy: yes! But to do what exactly? To protect ourselves, or to protect others, outside Europe, as well? To protect ourselves by defeating the enemy on his own ground, in Europe’s neighbourhood or further afield? Or only by making sure he doesn’t breach the walls of Europe? To protect us from all enemies, or only from some? Who is the “enemy” anyway? The June 2016 European Union Global Strategy (EUGS) for the first time explicitly mentions strategic autonomy as an objective for the Union, and that raises a lot of questions. Sven Biscop argues that the EU’s priorities should be: (1) In the short term, to further strengthen its strategic autonomy in protecting our domestic security, and to achieve full strategic autonomy in crisis response, across the whole spectrum of operations, in our broad neighbourhood. (2) In the medium term, to achieve a significant degree of autonomy in securing Europe’s “connectivity” with the world, in space, air space and cyberspace and on the seas. (3) In the long term, to achieve a significant degree of autonomy for the European Allies and partners of NATO (who, pace Cyprus, happen to constitute the EU), to deter and defend against threats against our territory, in case the attention of our main non-EU allies is pulled away by contingencies outside the North Atlantic area.
  • Topic: Security, NATO, Regional Cooperation, Military Strategy, European Union, Autonomy
  • Political Geography: Europe, North Atlantic, North America
  • Author: Tomas Ries
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: EGMONT - The Royal Institute for International Relations
  • Abstract: Published in October 2018, the European Commission’s joint communication Connecting Europe and Asia – Building Blocks for an EU Strategy offers a good outline of the principles underlying the European Union’s (EU) connectivity interests. However, the document does not address the security implications of connectivity: it merely notes that “’flow security’ matters”. This Policy Brief attempts to cover that gap and expand on the notion of flow security. Security challenges should not be seen as an intrinsic obstacle to connectivity itself, or to its development. What we call “connectivity” today is part of a deeper trend whereby societies and economies are increasingly tied to each other, and most developed economies now bid on a further deepening of this trend, as is apparent in discussions over the “internet of things” (IoT) or “Industry 4.0”. Still, connectivity entails specific and dynamic challenges that require dedicated attention
  • Topic: Security, Regional Cooperation, Science and Technology, European Union
  • Political Geography: Europe, Asia
  • Author: A. Bassou, A. Chielewska, X. Ruiz-Campillo
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: IEMed/EuroMeSCo
  • Abstract: The Mediterranean connects Europe to Africa. The Mediterranean basin is thus an area of ​​interaction between the two continents. However, there is a perception that limits the Mediterranean basin to its strictest geographical sense, that is to say the countries of southern Europe and those of North Africa, which border the Mediterranean. This traditional conception ignores the geopolitical context, which broadens the vision of the Mediterranean basin by including all the spaces that impact it. Some human phenomena, such as migration, show that Mediterranean relations do not only concern the states bordering this sea, but a much larger area including the whole European Union, on the one hand, and North African, Sahelian and Sub-Saharan countries, on the other hand. The present study takes into account the broader conception of the Mediterranean. In this sense, it not only deals with the effects of climate change on the countries bordering the Mediterranean, but extends its analysis to the whole European Union (EU), to the Maghreb and especially to the Sahel. Due to its geography, climate, demography, proliferation of conflicts or its precarious level of industrialization, the Sahel region is the most threatened in the world by climate change. Any deterioration of the situation in the Sahel countries undoubtedly has repercussions on Europe and its relations with Africa. The four authors of the study examine the impact of climate change on the stability of the Sahel and the effects that the instability of this region could have on the Mediterranean space. The authors question the potential links between climate change and security. They outline the positions and frameworks of European actions as well as the different initiatives taken by EU institutions. Finally, they put forward some recommendations on how to effectively address this phenomenon.
  • Topic: Security, Climate Change, Political stability, Industrialization
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe, Sahel, Mediterranean
  • Author: Roee Kibrik, Nimrod Goren
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Mitvim: The Israeli Institute for Regional Foreign Policies
  • Abstract: This document outlines major trends in Israel’s regional foreign policies over the past six months. It is based on the Mitvim Institute’s monthly reports that cover ongoing developments in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process/conflict, Israel’s relations with the Middle East, Europe and the Mediterranean, and the conduct of Israel’s Foreign Service.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Peace, Hamas
  • Political Geography: Europe, Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Mediterranean, West Bank
  • Author: Muriel Asseburg, Nimrod Goren, Nicolai von Ondarza, Eyal Ronen, Muriel Asseburg
  • Publication Date: 05-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Mitvim: The Israeli Institute for Regional Foreign Policies
  • Abstract: Over the last 40 years, since the 1979 Israel-Egypt peace treaty (that alluded to but did not solve the Palestinian question) and the European Community’s 1980 Venice Declaration, Europe has been seeking ways to help advance Israeli-Palestinian peace. The task was not an easy one, mostly due to United States of America (US) dominance of peace negotiations and negative Israeli attitudes towards Europe as a mediator. Thus, while Europeans were key in shaping international language on the conflict, they have remained in the back seat when it comes to shaping dynamics on the ground. Since the collapse in 2014 of the John Kerry initiative to advance the peace process, the task has become even more difficult for the Europeans. Realities on the ground, such as a right-wing government in Israel lacking interest in advancing a peace process, expanded settlement construction, as well as the internal Palestinian split and governance deficiencies in the Palestinian Authority, make the two-state solution ever more difficult to achieve. In addition, Israel’s leadership has worked to weaken and divide the EU in order to limit its role on the issue. In this endeavor, it has profited from different interests and priorities among EU Member States as reflected in discussions and decision-making processes regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. These trends have increasingly intensified in recent years, and it is the goal of this publication to analyze them, assess their impact on European capacities and policies, and devise recommendations to tackle and perhaps even reverse them. The publication includes three analytical chapters focusing on internal European dynamics, on Israel’s foreign policy towards the EU, and on EU policy-making regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict/peace process.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, International Relations, Security, Foreign Policy, Peace
  • Political Geography: Europe, Middle East, Israel, Palestine
  • Author: Dlawer Ala'Aldeen
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Middle East Research Institute (MERI)
  • Abstract: Turkey is in every way ideally placed to bridge the EU with its southern neighbours and together tackle their common challenges and myriad business opportunities. The question is, can they align priorities and policies to make the most of the opportunities? The answer is: not easily. Given the complexity of and uncertainty in Turkey and Iraq, as well as Syria’s security dynamics, sustained EU-Turkey convergence in all areas of common interest is unlikely in the foreseeable future. Although both Turkey and the EU have adopted multifaceted foreign policies vis-a-vis the Middle Eastern countries, yet they have converged only on specific issues, such as dealing with the Iran nuclear deal. Both sides consider the US withdrawal from the deal as a “matter of concern”, believing that maintaining the deal and keeping Iran engaged through diplomatic and economic means instead of sanctions or military threats is crucial even after the US withdrawal. Otherwise, Turkey and the EU diverge on the overall approach to the most troubled neighbours, namely Iraq and Syria, which have been sources of grave concern to all. Iraq continues to be a fragile country, struggling to keep its integrity. The country was at the brink of failure between 2014-2017 after the emergence of the so called Islamic State (IS), and further threatened by the Kurdish referendum for independence in 2017. Iraq was pulled back to survival, mainly by international assistance. Interestingly, in 2018 Iraq saw two transformative general elections, one for the Federal and the other for the Kurdistan Region’s Parliament. The outcome of these elections brought about a degree of change in the political landscape, a sense of optimism for future recovery and a clear promise for creating new business opportunities for international partners. However, in keeping with the past, the formation of government in both Baghdad and Erbil became protracted and problematic. These features indicate that the Iraqi leaders remain ill focused on the country’s priorities in terms of state-building and provision of services or addressing the root causes of its fragility. Turkey and the EU share the objectives of accessing Iraq’s market and energy supply, and prevent onward migration of the displaced populations. Of course, the EU is to a large extent dependent on Turkey to achieve its goals. Therefore, it would make sense for the two sides to converge and cooperate on these issues. However, Turkey’s foreign policies in the southern neighbourhood are driven primarily by its own domestic and border security considerations and – importantly – Turkey sees the economic, political and security issues as inextricable. While Iraq has lost its state monopoly over legitimate violence and is incapable of securing its borders, Turkey often takes matters into its own hands by invading or intervening in Iraq, both directly and indirectly (through proxies). Of course, the Iraqi government considers Turkey’s interventions as acts of aggression and violations of its borders, but is unwilling to take measures against them. For Iraq, Turkey is a regional power and an indispensable neighbour. It has control over part of Iraq’s oil exports, water supply and trade routes. The EU, on the other hand, considers Turkey’s interventions as acts of self-defence but frowns upon them as destabilising factors, adding to the fragility of Iraq. In Syria, the political landscape and security dynamics are very different from Iraq, but the EU-Turkish policies follow similar patterns. Syria remains a failed state with its regime struggling to secure survival and regain control over its territories. Meanwhile, Turkey has become increasingly interventionist in Syria via direct military invasion and through proxies, culminating in the occupation of a significant area west of Euphrates, and threatening to occupy the Eastern side too. Turkey has put extreme pressure on the USA for permission to remove the Syrian Democratic Front (SDF) and its lead organisation (Democratic Union Party, PYD) from governing North East Syria (also referred to as Rojava). However, the EU and USA consider the SDF and PYD indispensable in the fight against IS and fear the Turkish interventions may have grave consequences. Federica Mogherini, the EU High Representative and Vice-President of the European Commission recently emphasised that “Turkey is a key partner of the EU”, and that the EU expect the “Turkish authorities to refrain from any unilateral action likely to undermine the efforts of the Counter-IS Coalition”. Therefore, EU-Turkey divergence or even conflict with some EU Member States is possible over Syria.
  • Topic: Security, Regional Cooperation, Military Strategy, European Union, Islamic State, Political stability
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Europe, Turkey, Middle East, Asia, Syria
  • Author: Taylor Valley
  • Publication Date: 05-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on International Policy (CIP)
  • Abstract: What is Russia’s geopolitical game in Latin America? Since the early-2000s, we have witnessed bilateral trade spike by 44 percent, around 40 diplomatic visits by high-ranking Russian officials, and budding military cooperation through joint-naval exercises in Latin American ports. Some explain this growth as Russian efforts to create multipolarity in the western hemisphere and undermine U.S. influence in the region. This narrative of bilateral relations disregards a key element that may be driving Russia’s engagement— the role of Latin American leadership.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Imperialism
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Latin America, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Triandafyllos Karatrantos
  • Publication Date: 04-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy (ELIAMEP)
  • Abstract: The rise and evolution of Daesh (al-Dawlah al-Islamīyah fī l-ʻIrāq wa-sh-Shām) marked a new and very interesting debate about the labeling of violent groups that are not traditional terrorist organizations and they are also acting with different roles and using alternate tactics and modus operandi, such as insurgency, within civil and regional conflicts. Furthermore, the establishment of the so called “Caliphate” includes a new parameter in the scientific debate, the quasi state dimension. Daesh is a modern archetype of this vivid scientific debate, but the difficulties in labeling, especially in cases were terrorist groups are taking part in civil conflicts, is not new. Labeling is not only a matter of “name and blame”, is important in order to design an effective and holistic counter terrorism strategy. The aim of this chapter is to discuss the different approaches about labeling nontraditional terrorist groups and to present the terrorist activity of Daesh.
  • Topic: Security, Terrorism, Non State Actors, Islamic State
  • Political Geography: Europe, Middle East
  • Author: Helena Legarda
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Institute for Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: Europe has become a major target of China’s push to acquire advanced key technologies. These technologies support the development of dual-use products with civilian as well as military applications, a development that is in line with China’s efforts towards civil-military integration. The EU has been slow to wake up to this trend. Despite recent efforts, including those to set up a tighter investment screening mechanism, it still lacks strong coordinated regulations to protect its research and technologies. Even more importantly, the author of our newest China Global Security Tracker, MERICS researcher Helena Legarda, warns that Europe lacks a clear policy or strategy to keep up with China’s ambitions in this area. Joint European initiatives providing strategic guidance and adequate funding for innovation in dual-use technologies will be needed to not only preserve but to advance the EU’s scientific and engineering expertise. The China Global Security Tracker is a bi-annual publication as part of the China Security Project in cooperation between Mercator Institute for China Studies (MERICS) and the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS). This issue also features the Trump administration’s tightened export controls in response to China’s civil-military integration efforts, and it tracks other security developments in China in the second half of 2018, from the launch of a number of new defense systems to an increase in China’s military diplomacy activities around the world.
  • Topic: Security, Diplomacy, Regional Cooperation, Science and Technology, Military Strategy, European Union
  • Political Geography: China, Europe, Beijing, Asia
  • Author: Helena Legarda
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Institute for Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: Presenting China as a 'responsible power' – Beijing releases first major defense white paper in four years
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Science and Technology, Military Spending
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, China, Europe, Canada, Taiwan, France, North America
  • Author: Fernando Jiménez Sánchez
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Security Studies Group (GESI) at the University of Granada
  • Abstract: This article seeks to identify the challenges that metropolis faces in the security field based on the analysis of three attacks of the "new" terrorism carried out in the European Union in 2016 and 2017. In order to contribute to the analysis of the challenges faced by the security agencies of the States in order to accomplish with their role in areas undergoing expansion and of growing importance.
  • Topic: Security, Terrorism, European Union, Cities
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom, Europe, France, Belgium
  • Author: Micky Aharonson
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Jerusalem Institute for Strategy and Security (JISS)
  • Abstract: Russia seeks to be more involved in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict by presenting it as critical to the stability of the whole Middle East. But the legitimacy that it accords to Hamas rules out deeper Russian involvement from Israel’s point of view.
  • Topic: Security, Terrorism, Military Strategy, Hegemony, Conflict, Foreign Interference
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Middle East, Israel, Palestine
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Jerusalem Institute for Strategy and Security (JISS)
  • Abstract: The EU’s insistence on preserving the nuclear agreement with Iran and its persistent efforts to establish a mechanism for evading American trade sanctions are encouraging Iran to escalate its subversion throughout Europe.
  • Topic: Security, Diplomacy, International Cooperation, Military Strategy, European Union, Appeasement
  • Political Geography: Europe, Iran, Middle East