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  • Author: Adrian Popa, Cristian Barna
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Warsaw East European Review (WEER)
  • Institution: Centre for East European Studies, University of Warsaw
  • Abstract: Russia’s recent buildup of A2/AD (anti-access/area denial) forces in Crimea and Kaliningrad, coupled with its increasingly confronting rhetoric in the Black and Baltic Seas, pose a serious challenge for the NATO’s Eastern flank countries. While the mare sui generis status of the Black Sea might be altered under the expected inauguration of Canal Istanbul in 2023 as it would probably require the revision of the Montreux Convention, the mare liberum status of the Baltic Sea might also be questioned as Russia contests NATO’s Enhanced Forward Presence in this region. Facing this challenging geostrategic context, Pilsudski’s ideas of Intermarium seem to have revived within the Central and Eastern European countries under modern interfaces such as the Bucharest Nine and the Three Seas Initiative. This paper proposes a comparative analysis between the Black Sea and the Baltic Sea in terms of their newly-emerged geostrategic context, discusses the feasibility of the recent endeavours to promote cooperation within the Central and Eastern European countries and not ultimately, highlights the utility of a regional military alliance in support of NATO.
  • Topic: NATO, Diplomacy, International Security, International Affairs, Geopolitics
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia, Crimea, Baltic Sea, Baltic States
  • Author: Plamen Pantev
  • Publication Date: 02-2020
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Institute for Security and International Studies (ISIS)
  • Abstract: The first reflection about the geopolitical environment that Bulgaria faced after the tectonic systemic shifts in the end of the 80s and the beginning of the 90s of the 20th century thirty years later is that the efforts of the country to influence the transformation of the Balkans into a regional security community were successful. The second reflection is that Bulgaria was not able to influence effectively a similar development in the Black Sea area. Both the Balkans and the Caspian Sea-Caucasus- Black Sea area were conflictual knots of relations inherited from the Cold War divide. While the traditional European great powers that polarized the Balkan system of international relations pushing the small countries one against the other and the United States had the strategic interest of pacifying the South Eastern region of Europe, the dominating great power in the Black Sea area – Russia, aimed at preserving the opportunities of coming back to the territories that the Soviet Union lost after its collapse by preserving various degrees of conflictness in the neighbouring countries. Depending on the general condition of the Russian economy and state as well as its domestic political status different opportunities were either designed or just used to preserve the profile of Russia of the empire that sooner or later will be back. What are, in this regard, the perceptions in Bulgaria of the annexation of Crimea?
  • Topic: Security, International Security, Geopolitics, Conflict, Empire
  • Political Geography: Russia, Caucasus, Soviet Union, Bulgaria, Caspian Sea
  • Author: Filippo Cutrera
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: BRICS Policy Center
  • Abstract: The present paper has three main objectives: first, to show that, over the first decade of existence of the group, between 2009 and 2018, the BRICS have manifested an increasing interest in expanding their cooperation beyond the traditional areas of economy and development to the field of global security; second, to present the content of their common security agenda and how it has developed throughout this period; third, to identify the main factors influencing the agenda-setting process of the group as well as the main challenges to further advancement. The research will conclude that the high levels of informality in the group’s cooperation and heterogeneity in the interests of its members have enabled BRICS to formulate common positions and to establish cooperation mechanisms on a broad range of issues of international security.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, National Security, Regional Cooperation, International Security
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, India, South Africa, Brazil
  • Author: Elizabeth N. Saunders
  • Publication Date: 10-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Security
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: When and how do domestic politics influence a state's nuclear choices? Recent scholarship on nuclear security develops many domestic-political explanations for different nuclear decisions. These explanations are partly the result of two welcome trends: first, scholars have expanded the nuclear timeline, examining state behavior before and after nuclear proliferation; and second, scholars have moved beyond blunt distinctions between democracies and autocracies to more fine-grained understandings of domestic constraints. But without linkages between them, new domestic-political findings could be dismissed as a laundry list of factors that do not explain significant variation in nuclear decisions. This review essay assesses recent research on domestic politics and nuclear security, and develops a framework that illuminates when and how domestic-political mechanisms are likely to affect nuclear choices. In contrast to most previous domestic arguments, many of the newer domestic-political mechanisms posited in the literature are in some way top-down; that is, they show leaders deliberately maintaining or loosening control over nuclear choices. Two dimensions govern the extent and nature of domestic-political influence on nuclear choices: the degree of threat uncertainty and the costs and benefits to leaders of expanding the circle of domestic actors involved in a nuclear decision. The framework developed in this review essay helps make sense of several cases explored in the recent nuclear security literature. It also has implications for understanding when and how domestic-political arguments might diverge from the predictions of security-based analyses.
  • Topic: Security, Arms Control and Proliferation, Nuclear Weapons, Treaties and Agreements, International Security, Domestic politics, Nonproliferation
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, China, Iran, North Korea
  • Author: M.E. Sarotte
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Security
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Newly available sources show how the 1993–95 debate over the best means of expanding the North Atlantic Treaty Organization unfolded inside the Clinton administration. This evidence comes from documents recently declassified by the Clinton Presidential Library, the Defense Department, and the State Department because of appeals by the author. As President Bill Clinton repeatedly remarked, the two key questions about enlargement were when and how. The sources make apparent that, during a critical decisionmaking period twenty-five years ago, supporters of a relatively swift conferral of full membership to a narrow range of countries outmaneuvered proponents of a slower, phased conferral of limited membership to a wide range of states. Pleas from Central and Eastern European leaders, missteps by Russian President Boris Yeltsin, and victory by the pro-expansion Republican Party in the 1994 U.S. congressional election all helped advocates of full-membership enlargement to win. The documents also reveal the surprising impact of Ukrainian politics on this debate and the complex roles played by both Strobe Talbott, a U.S. ambassador and later deputy secretary of state, and Andrei Kozyrev, the Russian foreign minister. Finally, the sources suggest ways in which the debate's outcome remains significant for transatlantic and U.S.-Russian relations today.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, NATO, International Security, Clinton Administration
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States
  • Author: Deborah Jordan Brooks, Stephen G. Brooks, Brian D. Greenhill, Mark L. Haas
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Security
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: The world is experiencing a period of unprecedented demographic change. For the first time in human history, marked disparities in age structures exist across the globe. Around 40 percent of the world's population lives in countries with significant numbers of elderly citizens. In contrast, the majority of the world's people live in developing countries with very large numbers of young people as a proportion of the total population. Yet, demographically, most of the world's states with young populations are aging, and many are doing so quickly. This first-of-its kind systematic theoretical and empirical examination of how these demographic transitions influence the likelihood of interstate conflict shows that countries with a large number of young people as a proportion of the total population are the most prone to international conflict, whereas states with the oldest populations are the most peaceful. Although societal aging is likely to serve as a force for enhanced stability in most, and perhaps all, regions of the world over the long term, the road to a “demographic peace” is likely to be bumpy in many parts of the world in the short to medium term.
  • Topic: Demographics, War, International Security, Democracy, International Relations Theory
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Japan, China, Germany, Global Focus
  • Author: Anne De Tinguy, Annie Daubenton, Olivier Ferrando, Sophie Hohmann, Jacques Lévesque, Nicolas Mazzuchi, Gaïdz Minassian, Thierry Pasquet, Tania Sollogoub, Julien Thorez
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Centre d'Etudes et de Recherches Internationales
  • Abstract: Regards sur l’Eurasie. L’année politique est une publication annuelle du Centre de recherches internationales de Sciences Po (CERI) dirigée par Anne de Tinguy. Elle propose des clefs de compréhension des événements et des phénomènes qui marquent de leur empreinte les évolutions d’une région, l’espace postsoviétique, en profonde mutation depuis l’effondrement de l’Union soviétique en 1991. Forte d’une approche transversale qui ne prétend nullement à l’exhaustivité, elle vise à identifier les grands facteurs explicatifs, les dynamiques régionales et les enjeux sous-jacents.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Corruption, Democratization, Economics, Health, International Security, Natural Resources, Conflict, Multilateralism, Europeanization, Political Science, Regional Integration
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Ukraine, Caucasus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan
  • Author: Paula J. Dobriansky
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for a New American Security
  • Abstract: U.S. foreign policy officials have embraced economic sanctions as a tool of choice for American foreign policy. Decisionmakers have deployed sanctions against strategic adversaries and national security threats ranging from Russia to non-state actors such as terrorist groups, drug cartels, and businesspeople who engage in corrupt activities. The appeal to both policy leaders and key constituent groups of the potent economic impacts of sanctions in several recent high-profile cases, particularly those of Iran, Russia, North Korea, and Venezuela, combined with broad bipartisan support for aggressive use of U.S. sanctions, suggests that the United States will favor this policy tool and be an active practitioner in the years ahead
  • Topic: International Security, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Author: P. Whitney Lackenbauer, Suzanne Lalonde, Viatcheslav Gavrilov, P. Whitney Lackenbauer, Alexander Sergunin, Troy Bouffard, Andrea Charron, Jim Fergusson, Robert Huebert, Suzanne Lalonde
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Canadian Global Affairs Institute (CGAI)
  • Abstract: Canada and Russia are the geographical giants, spanning most of the circumpolar world. Accordingly, the Arctic is a natural area of focus for the two countries. The region plays strongly into their identity politics, with leaders often invoking sovereignty and security frames to drum up support for investments in this “frontier of destiny.”1 The purported need to protect sovereign territory and resources from foreign encroachment or outright theft, backed by explicit appeals to nationalism, can produce a siege mentality that encourages a narrow, inward-looking view. Although the end of the Cold War seemed to portend a new era of deep cooperation between these two Arctic countries, lingering wariness about geopolitical motives and a mutual lack of knowledge about the other’s slice of the circumpolar world are conspiring to pit Canada and the Russian Federation as Arctic adversaries. Are Russian and Canadian Arctic policies moving in confrontational direction? Can efforts at circumpolar cooperation survive the current crisis in Russian-Western relations, or does an era of growing global competition point inherently to heightened Arctic conflict?
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Sovereignty, International Security, Territorial Disputes, Military Affairs
  • Political Geography: Russia, Canada, North America, Arctic
  • Author: Kingston Reif, Alicia Sanders-Zakre
  • Publication Date: 04-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Arms Control Association
  • Abstract: In a little-noticed comment before his controversial July 2018 summit meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, U.S. President Donald Trump characterized his government’s multi-hundred billion dollar plans to replace the aging U.S. nuclear arsenal as “a very, very bad policy.” He seemed to express some hope that Russia and the United States, which together possess over 90 percent of the planet’s nuclear warheads, could chart a different path and avert renewed military and nuclear competition. The Helsinki meeting, however, did not produce any agreement on nuclear weapons and Trump has so far shown little interest in a different nuclear spending path. Quite the opposite, in fact.“We have far more money than anybody else by far,” Trump said last October. “We’ll build [the U.S. nuclear arsenal] up until” other nuclear-armed states such as Russia and China “come to their senses.” Citing a deteriorating international security environment, the Trump administration is pursuing a significant expansion of the role and capability of the U.S. nuclear arsenal. In addition to continuing full speed ahead with its predecessor’s plans to replace the nuclear triad and its associated warheads on largely a like-for-like basis, the administration is proposing to broaden the circumstances under which the United States would consider the first use of nuclear weapons, develop two new sea-based, lowyield nuclear options, and lay the groundwork to grow the size of the arsenal. At the same time, key U.S.-Russian nuclear arms control agreements, which serve to regulate the nuclear balance and prevent unconstrained nuclear competition, are now in serious doubt. The Trump administration has announced the United States will leave the landmark 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty in August 2019 unless Russia returns to compliance with the pact, and expressed hostility towards extending the 2010 New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START). New START expires in 2021 but can be extended by up to five years subject to the agreement of Washington and Moscow. In short, the Trump administration is preparing to compete in a new nuclear arms race while simultaneously increasing the likelihood of such a contest. The projected cost of the proposed nuclear spending spree is staggering and it is growing. The United States currently plans to spend nearly $500 billion, after including the effects of inflation, to maintain and replace its nuclear arsenal over the next decade, according to a January 2019 Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report. This is an increase of nearly $100 billion, or about 23 percent, above the already enormous projected cost as of the end of the Obama administration. Over the next 30 years, the price tag is likely to top $1.5 trillion and could even approach $2 trillion. These big nuclear bills are coming due as the Defense Department is seeking to replace large portions of its conventional forces and internal and external fiscal pressures are likely to limit the growth of—and perhaps reduce—military spending. “We’re going to have enormous pressure on reducing the debt which means that defense spending—I’d like to tell you it’s going to keep going up—[but] I’m not terribly optimistic,” Alan Shaffer, deputy under secretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment, said in February 2019. This report outlines the ways in which the Trump administration’s nuclear strategy is unnecessary, unsustainable, and unsafe. It describes three realistic options to reduce spending on nuclear weapons while still maintaining a devastating nuclear deterrent. Scores of billions of dollars could be saved or redirected to higher priorities by eliminating, delaying, or scaling back the administration’s proposals for new delivery systems, warheads, and infrastructure.
  • Topic: Nuclear Weapons, Treaties and Agreements, International Security, Nonproliferation, Denuclearization, Arms Race
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States