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  • Publication Date: 09-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Kyrgyzstan, Central Asia’s only even nominal parliamentary democracy, faces growing internal and external security challenges. Deep ethnic tensions, increased radicalisation in the region, uncertainty in Afghanistan and the possibility of a chaotic political succession in Uzbekistan are all likely to have serious repercussions for its stability. The risks are exacerbated by leadership failure to address major economic and political problems, including corruption and excessive Kyrgyz nationalism. Poverty is high, social services are in decline, and the economy depends on remittances from labour migrants. Few expect the 4 October parliamentary elections to deliver a reformist government. If the violent upheavals to which the state is vulnerable come to pass, instability could spread to regional neighbours, each of which has its own serious internal problems. The broader international community – not just the European Union (EU) and the U.S., but also Russia and China, should recognise the danger and proactively press the government to address the country’s domestic issues with a sense of urgency.
  • Topic: Security, Politics, Governance, Reform
  • Political Geography: Asia, Kyrgyzstan
  • Author: Bart Gaens
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: China is challenging the regional balance of power in East Asia through a military buildup and an increasingly assertive foreign policy. The US is forced to find the right balance between cooperating with China while benefiting from its economic rise, and countering China's regional reach by carrying out its self-declared "pivot" to Asia in spite of domestic and budgetary constraints. With just over one year in office, Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has received wide domestic support for his ambitious plans to revive Japan's economy through his threefold policy of Abenomics. At the same time, however, he has implemented a number of significant policies in the defence and security sphere. In response to China's military rise, the Abe administration increased and recalibrated the defence budget. Furthermore, in order to reinforce the alliance with the US, the government approved the creation of a US-style National Security Council, passed a Secrecy Bill, and aims to reverse Japan's self-imposed ban on exercising the right to collective self-defence. Under the banner of "proactive pacifism", the Abe cabinet is seizing the momentum caused by the changing regional power dynamics in order to edge closer towards "breaking away from the postwar regime". A proposed revision of Japan's constitution, unchanged since 1947, symbolizes the ruling Liberal Democratic Party's (LDP) objective to bring about a more autonomous role for Japan both in the security alliance with the US and as an international actor.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Defense Policy, Arms Control and Proliferation, Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Japan, China, Asia
  • Author: Gerald Stang
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: European Union Institute for Security Studies
  • Abstract: Russia is often seen as a land of extremes – and the narratives for this month's Winter Olympics in Sochi reflect that view. From the record-length 65,000 km Olympic torch run (which included trips to outer space, the north pole and the bottom of the world's deepest lake) to the incredible $51 billion price tag and the Ian Flemingesque threat of attacks from black widow terrorists, the Sochi games have a distinctly Russian flavour. The Kremlin appears to have envisioned the games as a national triumph, not unlike the 2008 Beijing Olympics, with organisational, architectural and sporting successes that could unite the country. However, with global headlines dominated by stories of corruption, human rights abuses, anti-gay laws and the very real threat of terrorist attacks, one might be forgiven for wondering whether the Russian government regrets its decision to bid for the games.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Security, Political Violence, Islam, Insurgency
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Derek M. Scissors
  • Publication Date: 01-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: New data published in the American Enterprise Institute-Heritage Foundation China Global Investment Tracker show that China continues to invest heavily around the world. Outward investment excluding bonds stood at $85 billion in 2013 and is likely to reach $100 billion annually by 2015. Energy, metals, and real estate are the prime targets. The United States in particular received a record of more than $14 billion in Chinese investment in 2013. Although China has shown a pattern of focusing on one region for a time then moving on to the next, the United States could prove to be a viable long-term investment location. The economic benefits of this investment flow are notable, but US policymakers (and those in other countries) should consider national security, the treatment of state-owned enterprises, and reciprocity when deciding to encourage or limit future Chinese investment.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Development, Economics, Emerging Markets, International Trade and Finance, Foreign Direct Investment, Sovereign Wealth Funds
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Asia
  • Author: Peter A. Petri, Michael G. Plummer
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: ASEAN has become a focal point of the rapidly changing economic architecture of the Asia-Pacific region. ASEAN members are increasingly stable and politically confident, and constitute an emerging economic powerhouse. The region is dynamic, with 600 million citizens and a gross domestic product (GDP) that exceeds $2 trillion and is expected to grow 6 percent annually for the next two decades. (The Appendix at the end of this paper reports detailed output and trade projections to 2025.) Through deeper internal integration via the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) and external initiatives such as the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), ASEAN is becoming a driving force in regional cooperation and a much-courted economic partner. The AEC and the RCEP projects are globally significant: the AEC could generate powerful demonstration effects for other developing regions, and the RCEP could become an important building bloc of the multilateral trading system.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, International Trade and Finance, Markets
  • Political Geography: United States, East Asia, Asia, Asia-Pacific
  • Author: Bradley Anderson, Johan Jooste
  • Publication Date: 05-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Africa Center for Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: Spikes in the prices of ivory and rhino horn have propelled an escalation in killings of African elephants and rhinoceroses. Without urgent corrective measures, extinction of these populations is likely. This is not just a wildlife poaching problem but part of a global illicit trafficking network that is empowering violent groups and co-opting some elements of Africa's security sector. An immediate bolstering of Africa's wildlife ranger network is needed to slow the pace of elephant and rhino killings and buy time. Addressing this threat over the longer term will require dramatically reducing the demand for these animal parts, especially within Asian markets.
  • Topic: Security, International Trade and Finance, Regional Cooperation, Law Enforcement
  • Political Geography: Africa, Asia
  • Author: Varun Sahni
  • Publication Date: 06-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Norwegian Peacebuilding Resource Centre
  • Abstract: The statement by India's national security adviser on March 6th 2014 referring to "legitimate" Russian interest in Ukraine was unsurprisingly criticised in the West, but appreciated in Russia. Most observers missed other important elements in the statement: reference to Ukraine's internal issues; recognition that both Russian and other interests were involved; and emphasis on a peaceful settlement, reconciliation and negotiation. Debate on the Ukrainian crisis has been largely absent in India due to preoccupation with national elections, widespread consensus that Russia is a dependable "friend of India", and sneaking admiration of President Putin for his "decisiveness" in promoting Russia's interests and open defiance of the West. While China and Pakistan have deployed historical/ethno-cultural arguments to dispute Indian sovereignty over territories that India considers its own, India has consistently rejected claims to alter the territorial status quo on grounds of kinship across sovereign borders.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Sovereignty, Territorial Disputes
  • Political Geography: Russia, Ukraine, India, Asia
  • Author: Pinar Dost-Niyego, Orhan Taner
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: The recent events in Ukraine have revived the question of European dependence on Russian natural gas. The security of Europe's natural gas supply has been a consistently important issue in Russian-European Union (EU) relations. Russia provided 34 percent of EU gas in 2012, and Russian policies can have a direct impact on EU supplies. After the West-Russian confrontation over Ukraine, a lot has been said about the 'US shale gas revolution' and the possibilities of the United States becoming an energy exporter for future European energy needs. Although US energy independence seems to promise new perspectives for future European energy security, as well as for the balance of power in the Middle East, this is not for this decade. We cannot expect that the European Union would be able to cut off all of its energy relations with Russia, but we can foresee–or at least agree–that the European Union should diversify its natural gas supplies.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Economics, Energy Policy
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe, Ukraine, Middle East, Asia
  • Author: Patrick Nopens
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: EGMONT - The Royal Institute for International Relations
  • Abstract: ISAF's withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2014 will directly impact the wider region. Not only is there a risk of instability spilling over to Central Asia, but the drawdown will also accelerate the ongoing shift in the balance of power in Central Asia towards China. Should a spillover occur, the burden will mainly fall on Russia and China. Russia will, however, only continue playing the dominant role in the security of the former Soviet Central Asia (FSCA) until China takes on responsibility for the security of its direct sphere of influence or "dingwei". Russia's Near Abroad, however, overlaps both with the EU's Eastern Neighbourhood in Europe and China's dingwei in Central Asia and the Far East. It is, therefore, necessary to approach Russian reactions to these encroachments on its historical spheres of influence in a single context, taking into account the interrelationship between these three.
  • Topic: Security, Politics, Hegemony
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, China, Europe, Central Asia, Asia
  • Author: Sam Perlo-Freeman, Carina Solmirano
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Stockholm International Peace Research Institute
  • Abstract: Global military expenditure fell in 2013, by 1.9 per cent in real terms, to reach $1747 billion. This was the second consecutive year in which spending fell, and the rate of decrease was higher than the 0.4 per cent fall in 2012.
  • Topic: Security, Military Strategy
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Daniel Fitzpatrick, Caroline Compton
  • Publication Date: 08-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Following the devastation caused by Typhoon Haiyan in November 2013, the Philippines authorities pledged to 'build back better' – a vision designed to ensure that affected communities were stronger and more resilient in the face of future storms. Significant efforts and some important steps have been taken by various authorities to begin fulfilling that vision.
  • Topic: Security, Environment
  • Political Geography: Asia, Philippines
  • Author: Mr Alain Guidetti
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Geneva Centre for Security Policy
  • Abstract: President Xi Jinping's July 2014 visit to Seoul indicates that the strategic partnership between China and the Republic of Korea is moving forward against a backdrop of growing power competition and instability in the region. Both Seoul and Beijing have strong interest in close cooperation: Beijing wants to prevent a full-fledged trilateral alliance between the US, Japan and South Korea aimed at containing China's rising power Seoul needs Chinese support in its efforts to reach out to Pyongyang and work towards future reunification.
  • Topic: Security, International Cooperation, International Affairs, Bilateral Relations, Governance
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, China, Beijing, Asia, South Korea
  • Author: Jesse MacLean, Andrew McCauley, Emily Newcombe
  • Publication Date: 10-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Canada has demonstrated a strong interest in strengthening economic partnerships across the Asia-Pacific, having recently expanded its diplomatic presence in the region through the establishment of a mission to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), and reaffirmed its desire to join such forums as the East Asia Summit. While Canadian officials routinely find themselves simply passing through Asian capitals, Canada's market share in the Asia-Pacific is below potential and Canada lags behind in comprehensive trade agreements signed with the region's states (Dobson 2012). As Canada seeks to expand trade ties in the Asia-Pacific, its active engagement must come not only through sustained presence in economic forums, but also through tangible investment in the region's security architecture.
  • Topic: Security, Disaster Relief, Humanitarian Aid
  • Political Geography: Canada, Asia
  • Author: Takako Ueta
  • Publication Date: 10-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: EGMONT - The Royal Institute for International Relations
  • Abstract: Asia is a prominent export market for Europe while in the East and South China Seas, tensions continue. Europe has searched for its political role in Asia. This policy brief presents an analysis and argues the role of Europe in enhancing cooperative security in Asia and the Pacific, which would promote stability and peace there.
  • Topic: Security, Emerging Markets, International Cooperation, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Japan, Europe, Israel, Asia
  • Author: Mieke Eoyang, Aki Peritz
  • Publication Date: 03-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Third Way
  • Abstract: The U.S. is currently leading the effort to halt North Korea's nuclear weapons program and protect our allies in the Asia-Pacific region. Here is how to discuss this important issue: North Korea's missile and nuclear programs threaten our interests and our allies. We will defend our friends—and ourselves—starting with our planned deployment of more missile interceptors in Alaska. The U.S. has been making progress toward convincing the international community to crack down on Pyongyang even further. Given the threat, we must maintain a robust military presence in Asia to maintain the peace in the Asia-Pacific region. We must work with China—North Korea's only ally—to achieve a lasting end to Pyongyang's continuing nuclear intransigence.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Nuclear Weapons
  • Political Geography: China, Asia, North Korea
  • Author: Michael Beckley
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Despite the hype about the rise of China, current power trends favor continued U.S. dominance. National power has three main material components: wealth, innovation, and military power. Over the last twenty years, China has fallen further behind the United States in all of these areas.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Economics, International Trade and Finance, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Asia
  • Author: Alan Dupont
  • Publication Date: 03-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Lowy Institute for International Policy
  • Abstract: In every era there are inflection points which require long - established institutions to re - evaluate their goals, strategy, structure and resource allocations to ensure their future health and relevance. As a major organ of state, the Australian Defence Force (ADF) is no exception.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Security, Defense Policy
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Asia, Australia, Australia/Pacific
  • Author: Nick Bisley
  • Publication Date: 04-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: US Assistant Secretary of State Kurt Campbell has just completed a lightning visit to Australia for formal discussions with newly installed Foreign Minister Bob Carr. In spite of the political turmoil that brought Carr to office, the Australia-US alliance is in the best shape of its 60-year history. Having begun as a Cold War convenience, about which the United States was not enthusiastic, it has become a key part of Washington's regional role and a cornerstone not only of Australia's defense and security policy, but of its broader engagement with the world. The arrival in early April of the US Marine Corps to begin six-month training rotations in Darwin is emblematic of the alliance's standing and its evolution.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Arms Control and Proliferation, Cold War, Diplomacy, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: United States, Washington, Asia, Australia/Pacific
  • Author: Sumathy Permal
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Maritime Institute of Malaysia
  • Abstract: The Indian Ocean (IO) is the world’s third largest ocean with an area of 73.5 million sq. km or 28.5 million sq. miles. It is strategically located adjacent to Asia in the North, Australia to the East, Antarctica to the South, and Africa to the West. IO forms two large indentations in South Asia, the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal. The ocean can be accessed through several chokepoints i.e., from the West via Cape of Good Hope and the Straits of Madagascar, from the North via the Bab el-Mandeb at the end of the Red Sea; the Sunda and Lombok-Straits and the Ombai-Wetar-Straits and the Straits of Hormuz at the exit of the Persian Gulf, from the East via the Straits of Malacca and, by way of geographical extension, to the South China Sea.
  • Topic: Security, International Law, International Trade and Finance, Maritime Commerce
  • Political Geography: Africa, China, Malaysia, Asia, Arabia, Kobani
  • Author: William Byrd
  • Publication Date: 08-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: At the Tokyo conference on July 8, donors committed to provide massive civilian aid to Afghanistan and improve aid effectiveness, while the Afghan government committed to a number of governance and political benchmarks. The outcome at Tokyo exceeded expectations, but a review of Afghan and international experience suggests that implementing the Tokyo mutual accountability framework will be a major challenge. The multiplicity of donors could weaken coherence around targets and enforcing benchmarks, and undermine the accountability of the international community for overall funding levels. Uncertain political and security prospects raise doubts about the government's ability to meet its commitments, and political will for needed reforms understandably may decline as security transition proceeds and the next election cycle approaches. It is doubtful whether major political issues can be handled through an articulated mutual accountability framework with benchmarks and associated financial incentives. The civilian aid figure agreed upon at Tokyo ($16 billion over four years) is ambitious and exceeded expectations; if the international community falls short, this could be used to justify the Afghan government failing to achieve its benchmarks. Finally, given past experience there are doubts about how well the Joint Coordination and Monitoring Board (JCMB) process (mandated to oversee implementation), and the series of further high-level meetings agreed at Tokyo, will work.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Development, Economics, Governance, Law Enforcement
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Asia
  • Author: Scott Thomas Bruce
  • Publication Date: 10-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: With North Korea's tightly controlled and isolated population, the rise of information technology—specifically cell phones and an intranet—is an unprecedented development. In the last decade, a domestic intranet was launched and a cell phone network was created. Both of these form a closed, domestic system, which the regime hopes will allow for productivity gains from increased coordination and the sharing of state-approved information, while keeping out foreign influences. North Korea is now confronted with the challenge of how to reap the economic benefits of an IT system, while avoiding the social instability that may accompany it. The country has made a fundamental shift from a state that limits access to information technology to ensure the security of the regime, to one that is willing to use it as a tool, at least among a certain privileged class, to support the development of the nation. Although North Korea is stable for now, over the next decade, information technology has the potential to transform the state and it also creates a strong incentive to integrate North Korea into the dynamic economies of Northeast Asia.
  • Topic: Security, Human Rights, Communications, Governance
  • Political Geography: Israel, Asia, North Korea
  • Author: Brian Rose
  • Publication Date: 01-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: The 2011 Conference on Disarmament (CD) began contentiously when Ambassador Zamir Akram, Pakistan\'s permanent representative to the United Nations, criticized United States\' support of India\'s membership in export organizations that would allow it to engage in nuclear trade. Pakistan believes such membership would further favor India and accentuate the asymmetry in fissile materials stockpiles of the two states. Strategic and security concerns drive Pakistan\'s commitment to block negotiation of a fissile material cutoff treaty. Progress during the CD seems unlikely if the United States and Pakistan remain entrenched in their respective positions.
  • Topic: Security, Arms Control and Proliferation, Nuclear Weapons, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, United States, India, Asia
  • Author: Malcolm Cook, Thomas S. Wilkins
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: The post-Cold War era in the Asia-Pacific has not witnessed the triumph of low over high politics. Rather, it has seen the simultaneous intensification of both economic integration and security cooperation and competition. This is true both at the level of the region, and for China and most other countries in the region.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Cold War, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, China, Asia, Australia
  • Author: Alistair D.B. Cook
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for Non-Traditional Security (NTS) Studies
  • Abstract: Indonesia's position as a regional champion of democracy and human rights has become prominent in international forums since the resignation of President Suharto in 1998 and the subsequent period of internal democratic reform. Its proactive foreign policy culminated in the establishment of the Bali Democracy Forum in 2008 to promote and strengthen democracy and the rule of law in Asia through a process of learning and sharing. While Indonesia's proactive foreign policy continues, significant internal challenges remain. This policy brief offers an insight into one of Indonesia's longest running internal challenges, Papua, and suggests the use of the human security lens as an alternative to the dominant traditional security lens used by many policymakers, in an effort to promote conflict resolution and match developments at home with its proactive strategies abroad.
  • Topic: Security, Democratization, Human Rights
  • Political Geography: Indonesia, Asia, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Nazery Khalid
  • Publication Date: 01-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Maritime Institute of Malaysia
  • Abstract: The announcement by Minister of Transport, Dato' Seri Chong Kong Ha on 11 January 2011 that Malaysian p orts handled a total of 18. 4 mil. TEU in 2010 should bring a smile to port operators in the country.
  • Topic: Security, International Trade and Finance, Maritime Commerce
  • Political Geography: Asia, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Elizabeth Hervey Stephen
  • Publication Date: 11-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: The South Korean military currently is the sixth-largest in the world. But years of low birth rates have resulted in declining numbers of young men available for military service, and the country now faces the pressing question of how to ensure national security in the face of inevitable troop reductions. Some options for offsetting this shrinking recruit pool (such as increasing fertility, increasing immigration, and increasing the number of women in the military) might seem obvious, but the complex economic, social, and cultural reality of South Korea make them unlikely to be embraced. The best focus for immediate action is to stabilize or increase service terms and to encourage development and implementation of high-tech security systems. While the recruit pool appears nearly adequate at present, South Korea must act quickly to develop the leaner, more diverse, and more technologically based military necessary for the country to maintain a viable military force.
  • Topic: Security
  • Political Geography: Israel, Asia, South Korea
  • Author: Ryszarda Formuszewicz, Marcin Terlikowski.
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: On 18 May, after two and a half months in office, defence Minister Thomas de Maizière presented updated cornerstones of the ongoing Bundeswehr reform, which has been rebranded as a “reorientation” (Neujustierung). On the same day, new Defence Policy Guidelines (DPG) were published, replacing the previous document of 2003. The core message directed to internal public opinion and to international partners both disappointed and displeased with Germany's troubled record in the security policy domain is laid out in the title of the DPG: “Safeguarding National Interests – Assuming International Responsibility – Shaping Security Together.” The DPG delivered a conceptual foundation for the armed forces' transformation process, which will now be based on defined security policy assumptions—a feature lacking in the original reform announced in 2010 under the pressure of a financial consolidation plan. The document is both an outcome of the deteriorating German stance on the international security stage and an opportunity to push Berlin on the road towards assuming a new, more visible role, as a security actor.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, NATO
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Europe, Asia
  • Publication Date: 06-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: India and Pakistan have consistently subjected Kashmiri interests to their own national security agendas and silenced calls for greater autonomy. With the start of their composite dialogue – comprehensive negotiations to resolve all contentious bilateral issues, including Kashmir, launched in February 2004 – both appeared willing to allow more interaction across the Line of Control (LOC) but failed to engage Kashmiris in the process. As a result, they did not take full advantage of opportunities to enhance cross-LOC cooperation by identifying the most appropriate Kashmir-specific confidence-building measures (CBMs), and bureaucratic resistance in both capitals resulted in uneven implementation of even those that had been agreed. India has suspended the composite dialogue since the November 2008 Mumbai attacks by Pakistan based militants, but neither New Delhi nor Islamabad has backtracked on these CBMs. Nevertheless, the CBM process will only achieve major results if the two sides devolve authority to Kashmir's elected representatives and take other vital steps to win over its alienated public.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Islam, Territorial Disputes
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, India, Asia
  • Author: Ashley Jackson
  • Publication Date: 07-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: The Kabul Conference marks the ninth international conference on Afghanistan in nearly as many years. The conference aims to present a new set of development programs and shore up international support for civilian efforts. It will also follow up on commitments made on anticorruption and reconciliation during the London Conference in January 2010. Yet much of the hope and optimism that marked the earlier conferences such as the Bonn Conference in 2001, which set out the parameters for the interim government, and the Paris Conference in 2006, which outlined a strategy for reconstruction and development, is now gone.
  • Topic: Security, Development, War, Fragile/Failed State
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Asia
  • Author: Walter Kemp
  • Publication Date: 09-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: On December 1 and 2, 2010, Kazakhstan will host the heads of state or government of fifty-six countries for the first summit of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) since 1999. This is a major achievement for a country that was considered by some to be an inappropriate choice to lead the OSCE. Yet the Astana summit is not a test of Kazakhstan's leadership. It is about the future of Euro-Atlantic and Eurasian security, and the viability of the OSCE. At a time when the European Union, Russia, and the United States are redefining their relationships and looking for common ground, the Astana summit provides an opportunity to focus on issues that unite all stakeholders—finding a sense of common purpose to deal with common threats and challenges on the basis of common principles. This brief looks at what it will take to reach the “summit” at Astana, examines the main issues at stake, and considers the relevance and future direction of the OSCE.
  • Topic: Security, International Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe, Central Asia, Kazakhstan, Asia
  • Author: Chung-in Moon, Jae-Ok Paek
  • Publication Date: 09-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation, University of California
  • Abstract: South Korea's defense industrial transformation has been impressive by any standard. It was able to satisfy most of its basic weapons needs within a decade after launching its defense industry. Since the late 1990s, South Korea has been elevated from a third-tier arms producer to the second tier by moving from the stage of imitation and assembly to that of creative imitation and indigenization. It now competes with major arms-supplying countries. In addition, the South Korean defense industry has made remarkable progress in RMA-related areas mostly involving command, control, communication, intelligence, reconnaissance, and surveillance. In this policy brief, we first assess South Korea's defense industrial performance by examining the patterns of defense acquisition, rate of localization of defense materiel, and defense exports. We then briefly analyze the evolutionary dynamics of defense industrial upgrades in selected sectors by tracing the stages of innovation. We also delineate a set of institutional and policy arrangements that have contributed to this impressive transformation.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Arms Control and Proliferation, Economics
  • Political Geography: Asia, South Korea
  • Author: Valeriy Dzutsev
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: IN THIS ISSUE: Website: Few Improvements in the North Caucasus in 2008 Violence Haunts a New Year in Ingushetia and Dagestan Chechens Protest Parole for Budanov Spain Extradites Chechen Terror Suspect A Look Back at Insurgent Activities in the North Caucasus in 2008By Mairbek Vatchagaev Ingushetia's New Leader Hints at a Merger with ChechnyaBy Valeriy Dzutsev.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: In this issue: Chechen Who Accused Kadyrov of Torture Murdered in Vienna Kadyrov Denounces Parole for Budanov Human Rights Watch's Annual Report Details North Caucasus Abuses Explosion Destroys Building in Nazran; Cause Uncertain North Caucasus Insurgency Attracting Mainly Young and Committed Members By Mairbek Vatchagaev Is Krymshamkhalov's Murder a Political Assassination?
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: In this issue: Lawyer for Family of Budanov's Victim and Journalist Murdered in Moscow Human Rights Groups Press Austria to Investigate Murder of Chechen Ruslan Yamadaev's Brother: He was Murdered by Kadyrov's Associate Deteriorating Security Situation in Ingushetia Sparks First Ever Visit to Region by MedvedevBy Valery Dzutsev Markelov Assassination Tied to Release of Budanov?By Fatima Tlisova.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: In this issue: Seven Chechens Arrested in Austria in Connection with Murder of Ex-Kadyrov Bodyguard FSB Accuses Zakaev of Organizing Armed Attacks in Chechnya Medvedev and Yevkurov Meet Again, This Time in Moscow The War on Dagestan's Police Continues Chechnya Starts the New Year on a Tense NoteBy Mairbek Vatchagaev Ingushetia's New President Faces an Uphill BattleBy Mairbek Vatchagaev.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Publication Date: 02-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: IN THIS ISSUE: Austrian Prosecutors Were Investigating Israilov's Charges against Kadyrov Zakaev Rejects Kadyrov's Invitation Rebels and Pro-Moscow Forces in Shoot-Out near Chechen Village Ingush President Accuses U.S. of Seeking to "Undermine the Caucasus" Briefs Dagestan's Sharia Jamaat Suffers Series of SetbacksBy Mairbek Vatchagaev Ethnic-Based Governing System is Increasing Tensions in DagestanBy Valery Dzutsev.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Publication Date: 02-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: In this issue: Ingushetia's Violence Continues as Yevkurov Calls for Blood Feuds to End Chechen Rebel Representative Reportedly Switches Sides Briefs Ingush Authorities Blame Insurgency on Arabs and U.S. IntelligenceBy Mairbek Vatchagaev The Changing Landscape of Islam in North OssetiaBy Mikhail Roshchin.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Publication Date: 02-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: A year after the near-fatal shooting of President José Ramos-Horta, security in Timor-Leste is strikingly improved. Armed rebels are no longer at large. The atmosphere on the streets of Dili is far less tense. The government does not seem to be facing any serious political threat to its survival. It has, at least temporarily, been able to address several of the most pressing security threats, in large part by buying off those it sees as potential troublemakers. Nevertheless, the current period of calm is not cause for complacency. Security sector reform is lagging, the justice system is weak, the government shows signs of intolerance towards dissenting voices, and it has not got a grip on corruption. These problems, which have been at the root of the instability facing Timor-Leste since independence, must be tackled if the country is to escape the cycle of conflict.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Political Violence
  • Political Geography: South Asia, Asia, Vienna
  • Author: Katrine Barnekow Rasmussen
  • Publication Date: 03-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: This is a brief English version of a Danish DIIS Report on the foreign policy of Iran. In the Report, Iran's foreign policy is investigated both ideologically and in respect of its pragmatic motivations.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Foreign Policy, Islam, Oil, Weapons of Mass Destruction
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran, Asia
  • Publication Date: 03-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Tensions in Aceh are high as elections approach, although they have receded somewhat from a peak in mid-February. The murders of three former combatants of the Free Aceh Movement (Gerakan Aceh Merdeka, GAM), other shootings and numerous grenade attacks over the last two months – all with unidentified perpetrators – have set the province on edge, and there remains a risk of sporadic, low-level violence before and after general elections on 9 April. Disputes over the results, with 44 parties competing for seats in district, provincial and national legislatures using a new and complicated system of voting, are also likely. There is little danger in the short term of violence escalating out of control, let alone a return to armed conflict, but the underlying causes of the tensions are not just election-related and need to be addressed if peace is to be preserved in the long term.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Political Violence, Democratization
  • Political Geography: Indonesia, Asia, Australia/Pacific, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Christine Lynch, Devon Tucker, Michael Harvey, Jacqueline McLaren Miller
  • Publication Date: 02-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: EastWest Institute
  • Abstract: Drawing on a diverse array of opinions from Africa, Asia, Europe, and North America, the EastWest Institute's Fifth Worldwide Security Conference brought together specialists from the spheres of policy, academia, and civil society. Participants addressed a variety of issues on the contemporary global security landscape. These ranged from specific security threats (whether illicit trade, the targeting of critical infrastructure or cyber crime) to the role of interested actors (such as business, NGOs, and media), as well as a focus on potential strategies to counter terrorism and extremism (either in terms of constructing global cooperative architectures or, more controversially, the possibility of opening dialogue with the terrorists). A variety of policy recommendations emerged from each session—detailed in the main body of the report—but there were several recurring themes binding the debate together and animating the core arguments of proceedings as a whole. These policy recommendations were not necessarily consensus recommendations but reflected a wide range of debated policy prescriptions.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Economics, Education, Globalization, Human Rights, International Security, Political Theory
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe, Asia, North America
  • Publication Date: 03-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: North Korea says it is preparing to launch an experimental communications satellite using a rocket that is part of its ballistic missile program. This would be in the face of an international outcry, and of what is a strong though not definitive argument that it violates two UN Security Council resolutions. Japan has been most vocally opposed, saying it will shoot down the rocket if it threatens to fall on its territory. But even if the test is successful, it would only slightly increase security risks, while an overblown response would likely jeopardise the Six-Party Talks to end North Korea's nuclear program. What is needed is a calm, coordinated response from the key actors to raise pressure on Pyongyang to return to the talks rather than a divided reaction that only fulfils the North's desire to widen splits among its neighbours.
  • Topic: Security, Weapons of Mass Destruction, International Security
  • Political Geography: Israel, Asia, North Korea
  • Author: Yury E. Fedorov
  • Publication Date: 11-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: In November 2009, the 'Law on Amendments to the “Law on Defence”' proposed by President Medvedev entered into force. It allows the Kremlin to dispatch troops outside Russia for four purposes: to counter armed attacks against Russian armed forces, other troops and bodies deployed beyond its borders; to counter or prevent an armed attack against another country if this country has requested Russia to do so; to protect Russian citizens abroad from an armed attack; and to combat piracy and guarantee the safety of shipping. The law is an attempt to close the gap between Moscow's strategic goals, primarily the establishment of its geopolitical dominance over the former Soviet republics, and Russia's legislation, which restricted its ability to deploy armed forces beyond national borders. In effect, the amended legislation enables the Kremlin to deploy its armed forces abroad in a wide range of situations, precisely because of a lack of clear criteria. The wording of 'Medvedev's amendments' sheds light on some plans and scenarios that may be taking shape in Moscow. It is not beyond the realms of possibility that Russia may plan to ignite large-scale disturbances and ethnic clashes in Sevastopol or in Latvia and Estonia, which may be used as a pretext for Russian military intervention. A Russo-Ukrainian conflict in Crimea would pose not so much a military as a political challenge for Europe and the West. Even though Ukraine does not belong to these organizations, if NATO and the EU failed to respond to Russian intervention in Crimea with strong political and economic measures, their strategic relevance would be seriously undermined. If NATO did not defend its member states in the Baltic, the strategic role of the Alliance would be reduced to zero. The aforementioned scenarios fall into the worst-case category, yet there are numerous precedents in Russia's history which demonstrate that worst-case scenarios can become reality. European dependence on Russian energy supplies and interest in Russia's support in resolving the Iranian nuclear problem and the conflict in Afghanistan, as well as the Obama administration's interest in Russia's partnership in nuclear issues, constrain Western ability to respond. However, the West could and should make it quite clear that new Russia's military interventions will result in the country's political ostracization. Furthermore, the West could propose and develop an internationally recognised mechanism regulating the most important aspects of humanitarian intervention. In particular, it should minimise the ability of individual states to make unilateral decisions to intervene militarily if the UN Security Council were unable to make firm decisions. Such mechanisms could be discussed and developed in the frameworks of the UN, the OSCE, the so-called Corfu process and similar international forums.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Law
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Publication Date: 02-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Bomb disposal experts with the Interior Ministry for the Southern Federal District's counterterrorist Center 'T' defused a large bomb in a wooded area three kilometers outside the village of Babugent in the Cherkesk district of the Kabardino-Balkaria Republic (KBR), Kavkazky Uzel reported on February 28. "The explosive device was located in a hiding place," a source in the KBR Interior Ministry told the website. "It consisted of a gas-cylinder with a capacity of 27 liters, four bags with a mixture of ammonium nitrate and aluminum powder, a five-liter plastic canister of kerosene and a demolition cord." KBR Interior Minister Yury Tomchak told a meeting of the ministry's public council on February 26 that 53 members of "illegal armed formations" are wanted by the republican authorities, Interfax reported. "Until recently the law-enforcement bodies were searching for 42 NFV [illegal armed formation] members, 14 of whom are on the federal wanted list and 10 who are on the international wanted list," Tomchak said. He added that the republic's Interior Ministry, with the assistance of the republican branch of the Federal Security Service (FSB) and the Investigative Committee of the Prosecutor General's Office, have put another 11 members of "illegal armed formations" on the republic's wanted list over the last two weeks.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Development
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Publication Date: 03-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Ingushetia's election commission reported on March 4 that 92.3 percent of the republic's eligible voters voted in the Russian presidential and republican legislative elections, both of which were held on March 2, Kavkazky Uzel reported. According to the commission, 91.6 percent of those in Ingushetia who voted in the presidential election cast their ballots for Dmitry Medvedev, while 6.1 percent voted for Liberal Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR) leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky, 1.5 percent voted for Communist Party leader Gennady Zyuganov and 0.1 percent voted for Democratic Party leader Andrei Bogdanov. In the election for Ingushetia's People's Assembly held the same day, the pro-Kremlin United Russia party received 74.09 percent of the vote, the LDPR won 11.06 percent, the pro-Kremlin A Just Russia party received 7.39 percent of the vote and the Communist Party won 7.34 percent.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Development
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Publication Date: 03-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Ingushetian President Murat Zyazikov on March 12 dismissed his cabinet, which is chaired by Ibragim Malsagov, as well as the republic's local administration heads. Newsru.com reported that the dismissed cabinet will remain in place until a new one is formed and that First Vice-Premier Khov Yevloev will serve as the republican government's acting chairman, replacing Malsagov.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Development
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Publication Date: 03-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Chechen rebel, pro-Moscow government and independent sources alike reported on March 19-20 that a large-scale battle had taken place in the village of Alkhazurovo in Chechnya's Urus-Martan district. Kavkazky Uzel reported on March 20 that the battle had taken place the previous evening and that rebels had burned down the village administration building and killed five law-enforcement officers along with two civilians. At least six other people, including two women and a teenager, were wounded in the fighting, the website reported. "To all appearances, up to 15 militants took part in yesterday's armed clash in the village of Alkhazurovo," a Chechen police officer told Kavkazky Uzel. "At the moment, actions to find and neutralize this gang are continuing. The militants burned the local administration building, and five employees of power structures (four policemen and an employee of the military prosecutor's office) and two local residents were killed."
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Development
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Publication Date: 03-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Gadzhi Abashilov, the head of GTRK Dagestan, the Dagestani affiliate of Russia's state television and radio company, was killed in a drive-by shooting as he traveled home from work in Dagestan's capital, Makhachkala, on March 21. His driver was seriously injured in the attack. Just hours earlier, Ilyas Shurpaev, a Dagestan-born journalist who covered the North Caucasus for state television's Channel One, was found stabbed and strangled in his Moscow apartment after a neighbor reported a fire in the apartment. Russian news reports quoted investigators as saying that the perpetrators had set fire to the apartment in an attempt to conceal the crime.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Development
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia, North Caucasus
  • Publication Date: 04-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Kavkazky Uzel, citing the press service of the Chechen president and government, reported on April 2 that President-elect Dmitry Medvedev and Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov met and discussed issues related to the socio-economic development of the Chechen Republic. Forum.msk.ru reported that the meeting took place in the Kremlin and that during a portion of the meeting that was open to the press, they discussed changes that have taken place in Chechnya over the past year. "Let's talk about the whole complex of issues: how work to develop the republic's socio-economic potential is going; what achievements [and] what problems there are," the website quoted Medvedev as saying in opening the meeting.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Development
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Publication Date: 04-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Kavkazky Uzel reported on April 8 that Chechnya's rebels have stepped up their activities and even taken control of villages on at least two occasions during the last month. With the arrival of spring and the appearance of foliage, which works to the advantage of guerrilla fighters, rebel units have noticeably stepped up their actions in the republic's foothills and mountainous regions, the website reported. While last month's incident in the village of Alkhazurovo, in which a large contingent of rebel fighters took over the village and held it for several hours, killing five policemen and burning down the local administration building before leaving (Chechnya Weekly, March 20 and April 3), received significant press coverage, a similar rebel operation in the village of Yandi-Kotar in Chechnya's Achkhoi-Martan district received none.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Development
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Publication Date: 04-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Chechnya's parliament on April 17 adopted a resolution calling on Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov either to dissolve Vostok, the elite Chechen-manned battalion that answers to the Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU) of the Russian Armed Forces' General Staff, or to replace its leaders, including its formal commander, Sulim Yamadaev. A road collision between Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov's motorcade and a Vostok convoy that occurred near the Chechen town of Argun on April 14 was followed by an armed confrontation between Vostok fighters, including Sulim Yamadaev's younger brother, Badrudin, who commands one of the battalion's platoons, and fighters loyal to Kadyrov. According to Reuters, 18 or more people were killed in a shootout that followed the traffic accident (see Andrei Smirnov's article).
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Development
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Publication Date: 04-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Russian state television's Channel One on the evening of April 22 broadcast a putative documentary film made by Kremlin correspondent Anton Vernitsky called “Plan 'Kavkaz'” (The Caucasus Plan). The film purports to show how Turkey, the United States and Great Britain attempted at the start of the 1990s to divide Russia into small parts not controlled by the federal center. The film featured Berkan Merrikh Yashar, born Abubakar—a Turkish-born ethnic Chechen who claims to be a journalist who once worked for Radio Liberty in Munich and a politician with close connections to the Turkish leadership.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Development
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Turkey, Asia, Chechnya
  • Publication Date: 05-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: A battle between rebels and security forces took place in Chechnya's Urus-Martan district on May 6. Kavkazky Uzel on May 7 quoted a Chechen Interior Ministry source as saying of the incident: “Yesterday at around 1400 in a forest tract at the village of Komsomolskoe in Urus-Martan district servicemen from a Defense Ministry unit who were carrying out intelligence-reconnaissance activities discovered a gang-formation unit numbering up to 15 people that was concealed at a temporary base. After a short shootout, the bandits retreated and left, presumably in the direction of the mountains (the village of Komsomolskoe is located in the foothills). There were no causalities or wounded among the servicemen. An operation to find and neutralize that gang group is continuing at the moment.” According to Kavkazky Uzel, Chechen rebel websites claimed that the battle lasted more than one and a half hours but did not report on whether any rebel fighters were killed or wounded.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Publication Date: 05-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: The opposition Ingushetiya.ru website reported on April 30 that around two weeks earlier, Musa Keligov, the former deputy presidential envoy to the Southern Federal District and well-known businessman who some call the “purse” of the opposition to Murat Zyazikov, Ingushetia's president (Chechnya Weekly, March 20), by chance ran into Zyazikov in a Moscow hotel. According to Ingushetiya.ru, the chance encounter ended with Zyazikov's bodyguards finding him “unconscious and with a smashed face.” The website reported that Keligov asked Zyazikov bodyguards to tell Zyazikov once he regained consciousness that he had been dealt with “according to Ingush laws” and that judgment according to Russian laws lay ahead.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Publication Date: 05-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: In what appears to be an ongoing campaign by Chechnya's pro-Moscow administration against the Vostok Battalion of the GRU (Russian military intelligence), investigators with the republic's law-enforcement bodies are looking into the battalion's possible involvement in the murder of the Arsamakov brothers (Chechnya Weekly, April 17 and 24; May 1). Kavkazky Uzel on May 8 quoted a Chechen law-enforcement source as saying that investigators who are looking into the Vostok Battalion's activities have information about the possible involvement of battalion members in the kidnapping and subsequent brutal murder of Yusup and Yunus Arsamakov and their driver, who disappeared in early February of 2007.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia, Moscow
  • Publication Date: 05-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: The commander of the Combined Group of Forces in the North Caucasus, Major General Nikolai Sivak, said in an interview published in the newspaper Krasnaya Zvezda on May 20 that 17 servicemen have been killed in the region so far this year, which is an increase over the same period last year, Interfax reported. “Unfortunately, we were unable to reduce the losses compared to last year,” he told the military newspaper. “Since the beginning of this year up to 27 April, 17 people have died; last year [2007] 15 people died during the same period.” Sivak said that 32 militants had been killed since the start of 2008. "Last year the figure was about the same," he said.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Publication Date: 05-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Unidentified gunmen fired on a car in which soldiers were traveling in the village of Verkhnie Achaluki in Ingushetia's Malgobeksky district on May 29, killing two servicemen on the spot and wounding two others. One of the wounded servicemen later died in the hospital, bringing the total number of servicemen killed in the attack to three. The press service of the Investigative Committee for Ingushetia told Interfax that the servicemen were traveling through Ingushetia on the way to their base in Mozdok, North Ossetia, at the time of the attack. Russian Interior Ministry troops were involved in a shootout with militants in Ingushetia's Sunzhensky district on May 24. A local police source told RIA Novosti that no troops were injured in the clash and that there was no information about fatalities among the “illegal armed group” members involved in the clash. “Troops clashed with a group of nine gunmen, about one kilometer from the town of Gandalbos, and then about three kilometers from the town another clash occurred with another group of militants numbering about 30,” the source told the news agency. The source said that the militants were fired on with artillery as they retreated. A spokesman for the Ingush Interior Ministry said that the ministry had no information confirming that those armed encounters had taken place. The same spokesman said, however, that two Interior Ministry troops were wounded on May 23 when an unidentified explosive device went off in the Sunzhensky district. “They were both hospitalized and the doctors say their lives are not in danger,” the spokesman said.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Publication Date: 06-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Chechen rebels burned a Russian armored vehicle in the town of Bamut on June 16, the Associated Press reported on June 17. The news agency quoted the Chechen Interior Ministry as saying that a group of rebel fighters fired rocket-propelled grenades at the armored vehicle and that its crew managed to get out unhurt, but that a resident was wounded in the crossfire. RIA Novosti on June 17 quoted a Chechen law-enforcement officer as saying that three unidentified assailants had fired grenade launchers and automatic rifles at two Russian military vehicles in Bamut and that one vehicle had been burned out and a local resident injured in the attack.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Publication Date: 06-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Security forces in Ingushetia killed five militants during a special operation conducted in the city of Karabulak on June 11. Itar-Tass quoted law-enforcement sources in Ingushetia as saying the militants, who were holed up in a house, were blockaded by security forces, who called on them to surrender. Instead, the militants opened fire, and a battle ensued in which the five rebels were killed. According to the sources, the house in which they were holed up caught fire during the shootout. Itar-Tass quoted a military source as saying that one of the militants was killed when he tried to escape, after which the rest were killed in the battle. The news agency also reported that a woman was among the five dead militants. According to the opposition Ingushetiya.ru website, the woman killed in the battle owned the house where the militants were staying and her son was among those killed. Life.ru on June 11 quoted a law-enforcement source as identifying the slain woman and her son as having the surname Abalakov and saying that they had recently arrived in Karabulak.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
60. Putin-3
  • Author: Leon Aron
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: In the past nine years, Russian foreign policy has been examined several times in these pages. At no other time, however, has its direction been as troubling as it is today. To understand the causes of this disturbing evolution and to gauge its future course, the changes have to be examined in the context of the regime's ideological and political transformation since 2000, when Vladimir Putin was elected president.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, International Relations, Security, Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Publication Date: 06-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: On June 25, Human Rights Watch released a report stating that the situation in Ingushetia is starting to resemble that of Chechnya several years ago in terms of human rights abuses. The New York-based group stated in a summary of the report that the Chechen conflict “overflowed” into Ingushetia, bringing with it “grave conflict dynamics.” “For the past four years Russia has been fighting several militant groups in Ingushetia, which have a loose agenda to unseat the Ingush government, evict federal security and military forces based in the region, and promote Islamic rule in the North Caucasus,” the report's summary stated. “Beginning in summer 2007, insurgents' attacks on public officials, law enforcement and security personnel, and civilians rose sharply. Human Rights Watch condemns attacks on civilians and recognizes that the Russian government has a duty to pursue the perpetrators, prevent attacks, and bring those responsible to account. Attacks on civilians, public officials, and police and security forces are serious crimes. Russia, like any government, has a legitimate interest in investigating and prosecuting such crimes and an obligation to do so while respecting Russian and international human rights law. Regrettably, Russia is failing to respect or to adhere to these laws. Law enforcement and security forces involved in counterinsurgency have committed dozens of extrajudicial executions, summary and arbitrary detentions, and acts of torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.”
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Publication Date: 08-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov on July 30 denied reports that he had been the target of an assassination attempt. “Those rumors are being generated either by the Wahhabis themselves or provocateurs straining for cheap sensationalism,” Gazeta.ru quoted Kadyrov as saying during a meeting with Chechnya's education and science minister, Anzor Muzaev. The Chechen president insisted that the situation in the republic is peaceful and stable. “Naturally, there is a circle of persons whom this [situation] doesn't suit,” he said. “This sort of verbiage has only one goal—to destabilize the situation in the region. These provocative fantasies are engendered by ideologists of the extremists and their henchmen. Jackals who don't have the guts to go into the woods themselves.” The Chechen president's press service also denied that there had been an attempt on Kadyrov's life, calling the reports “provocations aimed against the Chechen Republic and its president.”
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia, North Caucasus
  • Publication Date: 08-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: The ongoing conflict between the pro-Moscow government and the Vostok battalion of the Russian Defense Ministry's Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU) intensified on August 6 when the Chechen authorities announced that the battalion's commander, Sulim Yamadaev, has been put on the federal wanted list for various crimes, including an alleged murder. On August 7, the Investigative Committee of the Russian Prosecutor General's Office confirmed that Yamadaev had been put on the federal wanted list for the 1998 murder of a Chechen businessman, Itar-Tass reported.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia, Moscow
  • Publication Date: 08-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Kavkazky Uzel reported on August 13 that members of the Chechen-manned Vostok battalion of the Russian Defense Ministry's Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU) were among the Russian forces that invaded Georgia. According to the website, the Vostok fighters were located in area of the Georgian town of Gori along with Sulim Yamadaev, the Vostok battalion commander. Yamadaev, who became a target of Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov's wrath following a confrontation and apparent shootout last April involving Vostok members and security forces loyal to Kadyrov, was put on Russia's federal wanted list earlier this month.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia, Georgia
  • Publication Date: 09-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Police in Ingushetia's largest city, Nazran, forcefully broke up an anti-government protest on September 2, two days after police shot dead Magomed Yevloev, owner of the opposition Ingushetiya.ru website. Reuters reported that the protest started during the funeral of Yevloev, who died after being shot while in police custody. The news agency quoted Magomed Mutsolgov of the Ingushetia-based human rights group Mashr as saying police had arrived at around 5:30 a.m. local time to disperse a crowd of around 50 men who had been sleeping in Nazran's main square. Police and military vehicles were then deployed to block access to the main square, Mutsolgov told Reuters. Protest organizers later vowed to try and force their way back into the square on September 2. However, an Ingushetia Interior Ministry press official denied the police had forced the demonstrators to leave and insisted they had left peacefully. “We didn't even have to make any arrests,” Reuters quoted the official as saying.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Publication Date: 09-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Newsru.com reported on September 11 that unidentified attackers had fired grenade launchers and machine guns at Ingush President Murat Zyazikov's home in the Nazran municipal district village of Barsuki the previous evening. A home located nearby belonging to relatives of Zyazikov was also reportedly targeted. According to Ingushetiya.ru, there was no information on whether there were any casualties from the attack, which lasted around 20 minutes. Ingushetia's Interior Ministry, meanwhile, denied that such an attack took place, Interfax reported.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Matt Waldman
  • Publication Date: 03-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Increasing insecurity and criminality is jeopardising progress in Afghanistan. With low government revenues, international assistance constitutes around 90% of all public expenditure in the country, thus how it is spent has an enormous impact on the lives of almost all Afghans and will determine the success of reconstruction and development. Given the links between development and security, the effectiveness of aid also has a major impact on peace and stability in the country. Yet thus far aid has been insufficient and in many cases wasteful or ineffective. There is therefore no time to lose: donors must take urgent steps to increase and improve their assistance to Afghanistan.
  • Topic: Security, Humanitarian Aid
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Asia
  • Publication Date: 09-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Ruslan Yamadaev, the older brother of Vostok (East) battalion commander Sulim Yamadaev and former State Duma deputy who received a Hero of Russia award in August 2004 from then President Vladimir Putin, was shot to death in central Moscow on September 24. As is typically the case with high-profile murders in Russia, Yamadaev's killing has sparked a flurry of competing theories as to who was behind the deed.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia, Moscow, North Caucasus
  • Publication Date: 10-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: A car belonging to an official believed to be a relative of Musa Medov, Ingushetia's Interior Minister, was blown up in Nazran on October 8. The opposition Ingushetia.org website reported that a powerful explosion took place 100 meters from the Interior Ministry building in Nazran while Itar-Tass quoted a source as saying that the explosion was an attempt on the life of Daud Medov, the deputy head of the Interior Ministry's vehicle maintenance department. According to Newsru.com, the blast was caused by an explosive device that was attached to the undercarriage of Medov's Lada Priora car and that the bomb went off when the car was parked outside his home and as Medov had left his home and gone outside. Neither Medov nor anyone else was hurt in the blast, but the car was burned out.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Publication Date: 10-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: A suicide bomber attacked the motorcade of Ingush Interior Minister Musa Medov on September 30. The Moscow Times reported on October 1 that the male bomber attempted to ram a Lada hatchback packed with explosives into Medov's convoyin downtown Nazran at 8:20 a.m., local time, but the car exploded before it collided with the minister's armored Mercedessedan. According to Gazeta.ru, Ingush prosecutors said Medov and his bodyguards were unharmed, while five by standers were wounded and several houses in the vicinity of the blast were damaged. Kommersant reported on October 1 that amongthe injured were a taxi driver and his passenger who were driving by when the bomb detonated and two women living in apartment buildings nearby.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Publication Date: 10-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Ingushetia.ru reported on October 16 that rebel fighters had seized two villages in the republic. According to the opposition website, the militants had blocked the entrances to the villages of Muzhichi and Yandare from the Rostov-Baku federal highway and had set up their own checkpoints. Yet sources in Ingushetia's Interior Ministry called the report “disinformation,” while the republic's prosecutor, Yury Turygin, told Interfax that neither he nor the Interior Ministry nor any other republican law-enforcement bodies had received any information about “bandits” having seized villages.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Mairbek Vatchagaev
  • Publication Date: 10-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Following the capture of the foothill villages of Muzhichi and Yandare in Ingushetia on the evening of October 16 (North Caucasus Weekly, October 16), militants from the Ingush Jamaat “Shariat” carried out another series of high-profile actions against Russian troops. According to various sources, more than 50 Russian military personnel were killed and wounded in two assaults by the militants on the Galashki Highway on October 18, which would make this the most audacious attack by the jamaat members in Ingushetia to date. According to the media reports, the attack on the Russian military motorcade took place on the Alkhasty-Surkhokhi road in Ingushetia's Nazran district at ten in the morning. According to Ingush Prosecutor General Yury Turygyn, only two soldiers were killed and five were wounded in the attack. All of them were from Interior Ministry detachments based in the village of Alkhasty (RIA Novosti, October 18) According to Turygyn, the assault was carried out by members of “illegal armed formations” with the purpose of destabilizing the situation in the region. Turygyn, however, was apparently referring to the casualties in an attack on another column of servicemen that had occurred earlier on October 18, and the Regnum News Agency quoted a source in the Interior Ministry department forIngushetia's Sunzha district as saying that all the soldiers in the column targeted in the second attack were killed except forone and that the total number killed was around 50. The surviving serviceman was transported to the Sunzha Central District Hospital, the source said (www.regnum.ru/news/1071507.html). Thus, according to the Ingush police, two attacks took place, not one, as the Ingush Prosecutor General's Office claims.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Publication Date: 11-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: The deputy commander of Russia's army, Colonel General Vladimir Moltenskoi, announced on November 8 that the two Chechen-manned special force battalions of the Defense Ministry's Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU), Vostok and Zapad, will be reformed into companies of the Defense Ministry's 42nd Motor Rifle Division, which isbased in Chechnya. According to RIA Novosti, Moltenskoi announced the reorganization at a meeting with Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov in Grozny. However, there was some confusion about the battalions' fate: Interfax quoted the Chechen president's press service as saying that Moltenskoi had said the battalions would be disbanded. Yet Moltenskoi told Interfax on November 8 that the units would not be disbanded but rather reorganized into companies within the 42nd Motor Rifle Division. Interfax on November 10 quoted Kadyrov's press service as saying that it had been stated during the meeting between the Chechen president and Moltenskoi onNovember 8 that the criminal investigation committee of the Russian Prosecutor General had ordered the Chechen Interior Ministry to bring Sulim Yamadaev to interrogators by force. Prague Watchdog reported on November 10 that the Chechen Interior Ministry had received a formal request on November 7 that Sulim Yamadaev be sent to the Gudermes district investigative unit for questioning. According to the website, Yamadaev is the principal suspect in the case of the murder of aGudermes district resident committed ten years ago.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Publication Date: 11-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Ingushetia's parliament on October 31 confirmed Yunus-Bek Yevkurov as the republic's president, replacing Murat Zyazikov, who resigned the previous day (North Caucasus Weekly, October 31). According to Itar-Tass, 16 legislators out of the 18 who attended the session voted to confirm the 45-year-old colonel, while one voted against and one ballot was invalidated. The news agency reported that Yevkurov was born into an ethnic Ingush family in North Ossetia and graduated from the Ryazan Higher School of Airborne Troops in 1989. In 2004, he graduated from the Academy of the Russian Armed Forces General Staff, Russia's highest military education institution. In 1999, Yevkurov commanded a unit of Russian paratroopers that entered Kosovo and took control of the international airport ahead of the forces of other countries. As the Moscow Times wrote on November 1, Russian media reported that Yevkurov led the 200-man contingent that caught NATO off guard by racing from Bosnia to Kosovo to occupy the airport in Kosovo's capital of Pristina, an operation at the end of the Kosovo war that “risked a dangerous confrontation with NATO troops, who were also heading to the airport.” According to the English-language newspaper, it was later revealed that an armed clash was only averted because the local NATO commander, British General Michael Jackson, refused to be involved in a conflict that could “start World War III.” However, Itar-Tass, in its description of the incident, wrote that the Russian race to occupy the airport in Pristina “went down in the history of the Russian Airborne Troops as one of the most successful peacekeeping operations.”
  • Topic: Security, NATO, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Bosnia, Asia, Kosovo
  • Publication Date: 10-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: On October 30, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev signed a decree ordering an early end to Murat Zyazikov's term as Ingushetia's president, Itar-Tass reported, citing the Russian presidential press service. Zyazikov, the former KGB general who headed Ingushetia for six and a half years, said that his resignation as Ingushetia's president was absolutely voluntary and connected to his transfer to another job. “I will be working in Moscow,” Interfax quoted him as saying. Zyazikov did not indicate what his new job would be.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia, Moscow
  • Publication Date: 11-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: “From the very first moment of his appointment, General Yunus-Bek Yevkurov has behaved like a man sent to the front line with a special mission,” the piece stated. “He cancelled the inauguration ceremony and the celebrations that are normally held when a new Ingush president takes office. On his first day he visited the central mosque to take part in the evening prayers. His predecessors have also made such visits from time to time, but only as guests of honor. Yevkurov plans to rely primarily on the people, rather than on the siloviki and the bureaucrats. He let this be understood when, on returning from prayers, he requested support from the elders of the Ingush teips.”
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia, Ingushetia
  • Publication Date: 11-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Russian Interior Minister Rashid Nurgaliev removed Musa Medov as Ingushetia's interior minister on November 24. Medov, along with Murat Zyazikov, who was removed as Ingushetia's president late last month (North Caucasus Weekly, October 30), were accused by the republic's opposition party of involvement in the August 31 murder of Magomed Yevloev, founder of the independent Ingushetiya.ru website (North Caucasus Weekly, September 5). Ingushetiya.ru's successor website, Ingushetia.org, reported on November 25 that Medov has been replaced by Colonel Ruslan Meiriev, a former employee of the police department in the Siberian town of Nizhnevartovsk. Newsru.com on November 25 quoted sources in the federal Interior Ministry as saying that Medov had been given a job in the ministry's apparatus in Moscow—which is in effect a promotion. The website reported that Meiriev had been introduced to the staff of Ingush President Yunus-Bek Yevkurov and Deputy Russian Interior Minister Colonel-General Arkady Yedelev.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia, Moscow, North Caucasus, Ingushetia
  • Author: Kang Wu, Fereidun Fesharaki, Sidney B. Westley, Widhyawan Prawiraatmadja
  • Publication Date: 08-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: Concerns about energy security affect economic performance and political stability all over the world, but nowhere are these issues more critical than in Asia and the Pacific. Oil is at the heart of the region's energy challenge. Oil consumption is increasing nearly twice as fast in the region as in the world as a whole, while options for increasing production are severely limited. The result is a steadily growing dependence on imported oil, largely from the volatile Middle East. Apart from efforts to increase domestic production and slow consumption growth, recommendations for policymakers include initiating joint ventures with oil producers, improving the efficiency of domestic markets, building up strategic stocks, strengthening regional cooperation, reducing transportation bottlenecks, and establishing a regional market for oil futures. In the long run, policymakers need to devise new strategies for economic growth based on more efficient use of oil and natural gas, continuing dependence on coal, and ultimately, the development of alternative sources of energy.
  • Topic: Security, Energy Policy, Oil
  • Political Geography: Asia
  • Author: Alexander Melikishvili
  • Publication Date: 12-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: IN THIS ISSUE: Women Found Murdered in Chechnya Aushev: Moscow Should Talk to Rebels in the North Caucasus Assassination of Vladikavkaz Mayor: Business or Politics? Briefs Kadyrov Claims Demise of Insurgency: Rebels Respond with Wave of New Attacks By Mairbek Vatchagaev Lezgin Refugees from Dagestan Seek Refuge in Georgia's Kakheti Region.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Fatima Tlisova
  • Publication Date: 11-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: IN THIS ISSUE: Medov Removed as Ingushetia's Interior Minister Human Rights Violations Remain Rife in Ingushetia Sulim Yamadaev Says a Chechen Unit Has Been Sent to Moscow to Kill Him Briefs Dagestan's Sharia Jamaat Expands and Reorganizes By Mairbek Vatchagaev Circassian Congress Calls for Unification of Circassian Republics in North Caucasus.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Publication Date: 12-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: IN THIS ISSUE: Ingush President Makes Opposition Lawyer His Adviser Kadyrov Performs the Hajj Pilgrimage Sharia Jamaat Threatens Dagestani Police, Officials, Clergy KBR Authorities Again Vow to Catch Anzor Astemirov Militant Actions Shake Up Dagestan.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Publication Date: 12-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: IN THIS ISSUE: Rights Activists: Religious Repression Feeds Dagestan's Insurgency New Ingush Rights Council Flooded with Complaints Spain Agrees toExtradite Former Rebel Commander Briefs Chechen Interior Minister Tries to Play Down the InsurgencyBy Mairbek Vatchagaev New Tensions Surface in Ossetian-Ingush RelationsBy Valery Dzutsev.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict, Human Rights
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Publication Date: 10-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Irresponsible arms transfers are undermining many developing countries' chances of achieving their Millennium Development Goal (MDG) targets. This paper shows new evidence of how this is happening in parts of Asia, Latin America, and Africa - either by draining governments' resources or by fuelling armed violence or conflict.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Security, Arms Control and Proliferation, Treaties and Agreements, War, Weapons of Mass Destruction
  • Political Geography: Africa, Asia, Latin America
  • Author: Ashley Tellis
  • Publication Date: 12-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Many Americans have blamed the resurgence of al-Qaeda and the Taliban on Pakistan's lackluster performance in the war on terror. Islamabad has indeed been ambivalent, but the convulsive political deterioration in the North West Frontier Province in Pakistan, Islamabad's military ineptitude in counterterrorism operations, and the political failures of the Karzai government in Afghanistan have all exacerbated the problem. Making U.S. aid conditional on Pakistan's performance in the war or undertaking unilateral strikes against terrorist targets in Pakistan would inflate suspicion of Washington's motives, and risk casting Pakistan, a nuclear-armed state, as an American adversary. U.S. policy must instead convince Pakistani elites that defeating terrorist groups serves their own interest, while emphasizing that a terrorist attack emanating from Pakistan would push Washington to adopt more painful tactics.
  • Topic: Security, Nuclear Weapons, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Afghanistan, United States, America, Washington, Asia, Taliban
  • Author: Ashley Tellis
  • Publication Date: 06-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Although it is often argued that China's recent antisatellite weapon test was a protest against U.S. space policies, Beijing's counterspace programs are actually part of a considered strategy designed to counter the overall military capability of the United States. In preparing to cope with America's overwhelming conventional might, China has taken aim at its Achilles heel: its space-based capabilities and their related ground installations. Thus, China will continue to invest in space-denial technology rather than be a party to any space-control agreement that eliminates its best chance of asymmetrically defeating U.S. military power. With its dominance of space now at risk, the United States must run and win this offense/defense space race if it is to uphold its security obligations and deter increased Chinese counterspace efforts.
  • Topic: Security, Arms Control and Proliferation
  • Political Geography: United States, China, America, Beijing, Asia
  • Author: Dmitri V. Trenin
  • Publication Date: 06-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Russia's recent foreign policy has taken on a combative tone and adopted a revisionist content. Moscow today speaks its mind publicly and freely, and makes clear it no longer wants to be bound by accords concluded when Russia was weak. However, while the Kremlin is clear about what it does not like or want, it has yet to articulate a positive international agenda. In fact, Russia faces a number of fundamental foreign policy choices that cannot be explained by a reference to sheer pragmatism or the show of newly regained power. In dealing with Russia at this stage, the West needs to reach beyond the binary formula of integration or isolation and focus instead on the national interests.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Diplomacy
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia, Moscow
  • Author: Justin Logan, Ted Carpenter
  • Publication Date: 09-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: Taiwan spends far too little on its own defense, in large part because the Taiwanese believe the United States is their ultimate protector. The Taiwan legislature's six-year delay and severe down- sizing of a budget to pay for weapons systems that Washington has offered the island since 2001 is only one piece of evidence of Taiwan's free riding. Although Taiwan recently approved roughly US$300 million of the original budget of about $18 billion, the underlying problem remains: even with the new appropriation, Taiwan's overall investment in defense—approximately 2.6 percent of GDP—is woefully inadequate, given the ongoing tensions with mainland China. America is now in the unenviable position of having an implicit commitment to defend a fellow democracy that seems largely uninterested in defending itself.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Security, Defense Policy
  • Political Geography: United States, Asia
  • Author: Ron Walker
  • Publication Date: 05-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Lowy Institute for International Policy
  • Abstract: The prospect of Australia's selling uranium to India offers major potential benefits both for our exports and our foreign policy. There is however a conundrum as to how this could be done in a way that advances rather than damages Australia's interest in the global enterprise to resist the spread of nuclear weapons and in a rules-based international order.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Nuclear Weapons
  • Political Geography: India, Asia
  • Author: Jeff Procak
  • Publication Date: 04-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: EastWest Institute
  • Abstract: On April 25, 2007, the EastWest Institute, together with the Kennan Institute, organized in Washington DC a two-hour roundtable discussion on the current state and outlook for US-Russia relations. The roundtable used President Putin's speech presented to the 43rd Conference on Security Policy in Munich on February 10, 2007 as a point of reference. The purpose of this gathering was to examine strategies and approaches to reverse the significant decline in Russian-American relations over the last several years. The seminar was attended by 20 prominent experts from the US and Russia, including foreign policy advisors, representatives of the academic, business, and NGO communities, and mass media. Topics discussed included the most important issues on the US-Russia geostrategic agenda: arms control and nuclear non- proliferation, international energy, Russia's WTO accession, trade and economic cooperation, mutual perceptions and role of the media.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe, Washington, Asia
  • Author: Beth Ellen Cole
  • Publication Date: 11-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: Afghanistan has now laid the foundation for a market-based economy. A new economic system, based on the state as a regulator, not a producer, of goods, with a clear separation between the public and private sectors, stands in place of the centralized economy of the past. An independent central bank, a liberalized foreign exchange system, and laws permitting foreigners to wholly own property characterize the new economic landscape. A doubling of the gross national product and per capita income, a 13 percent growth rate in 2007, and modest inflation paint a vibrant picture.
  • Topic: Security, Development, Economics
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Asia
  • Author: J Alexander Thier, Leigh Toomey
  • Publication Date: 10-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: A legitimate, functioning and coherent justice system is urgently needed to establish peace and stability in post-Taliban Afghanistan. After three decades of war, continued insecurity, endemic corruption, and lack of resources hobble the formal justice system. Informal, community-based dispute resolution mechanisms—which are more readily accessible and understood than formal courts by most Afghans, particularly outside urban areas—are widely used to resolve both civil and criminal matters. These mechanisms are critical to maintaining stability within communities, and at present handle over 80 percent of disputes in Afghanistan. At the same time, informal or traditional practices may fall short of due process and human rights standards.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Government
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Asia
  • Author: Pavithra Banavar, Nicholas Howenstein
  • Publication Date: 03-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: In early January, in a surprising turn of events, the head of Bangladesh's caretaker government, Iajuddin Ahmed, stepped down under military pressure. As he did so, he declared a state of emergency, suspended civil liberties, and indefinitely postponed Bangladesh's elections, which had been scheduled for January 22, 2007. Fakhruddin Ahmed replaced him as head of the caretaker government. Most of these events have taken place with relatively little attention from the international community.
  • Topic: Security, Civil Society, Democratization
  • Political Geography: Bangladesh, Asia
  • Author: Karon Cochran-Budhathoki, Colette Rausch
  • Publication Date: 05-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: In February 2007, the U.S. Institute of Peace (USIP) facilitated a series of dialogues in Kathmandu, Nepal between civil society, the Nepal police, and representatives of political parties. The aim was to identify those areas of mutual concern related to security and the rule of law in Nepal. Civil society representatives from development organizations, media, human rights groups, the legal community, and Dalit and Janajati rights groups participated. The representatives from the Nepal police included deputy inspector generals, senior superintendents, superintendents, and deputy superintendents of police. The dialogue sessions were conducted over the course of four days. On day one, civil society representatives met to discuss the challenges and possible solutions to security and the rule of law. The next day, the police discussed the same issues. On day three, the two groups came together to develop a joint list of high-priority issues. On the final day, the police and civil society representatives presented this joint list to political party representatives.
  • Topic: Security, Development, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Asia, Nepal
  • Author: Niels Aadal Rasmussen
  • Publication Date: 02-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Since China has an interest in delivery systems of Weapons of Mass Destruction, and the main strategic capability available to the country is missile technology, China has a range of ballistic and cruise missile capabilities. China's technology export or proliferation of ballistic missile technology is of particular and serious concern. China has not joined the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), but has applied for membership and pledged to abide by its main control mechanisms. The Brief concludes that it seems unhelpful to deny China's accession to the MTCR on the grounds of inadequate missile export control, instead of seeking ways to bring China's missile technology export control policy and infrastructure to the acceptable level. The MTCR in the present international situation appears increasingly less dependent on exclusively bringing likeminded countries inside the regime and more on inclusiveness.
  • Topic: Security, Science and Technology, Weapons of Mass Destruction
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Publication Date: 01-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: The Russian government's amnesty for rebels in Chechnya and elsewhere in the North Caucasus, announced last July by Federal Security Service (FSB) Director Nikolai Patrushev acting in his capacity as head of the National Anti-Terrorist Committee (NAK), expired on January 15.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Publication Date: 01-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Zdzislaw Lachowski
  • Publication Date: 06-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Stockholm International Peace Research Institute
  • Abstract: On 16 August 2004 the President of the United States, George W. Bush, announced that some 60 000–70 000 US troops stationed in Asia and Europe would be returned to the USA over the coming decade. This realignment of forces signals a major change in US global and regional policies that will affect the structure of US and North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) base deployment (referred to as 'basing' or 'forward basing' by the military) throughout the world. In the 1990s Russia had begun pulling out of its cold war spheres of influence, but it either halted or began to reverse its base withdrawal process at almost the same time as Bush's plan was made known.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe, Eurasia, Asia
  • Publication Date: 11-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Liechtenstein Institute on Self Determination, Princeton University
  • Abstract: The Liechtenstein Institute on Self-Determination (LISD) at Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs convened the colloquium, “State, Security and Economy in Afghanistan: Current Challenges, Possible Solutions,” on 16-18 November 2007 in Brussels, Belgium. The conference was funded in part by the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the House of Liechtenstein, and the Government of Austria.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Economics, Government, War
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Central Asia, Asia, Belgium, Austria
  • Author: Keith C. Smith
  • Publication Date: 01-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: Russia's tough stance towards Ukraine on natural gas prices was viewed by many in Europe and the United States as raising new issues concerning Russia's foreign economic policies and growing European and US dependency on energy imports. For many new EU member states and for countries such as Ukraine, Georgia, and Moldova, however, this is an old problem. Central European attempts to flag the issue in Western capitals have until now been brushed aside. The rapid approval by the EU Commission of the Russian-German undersea gas pipeline project was a mistake. The concerns of the Central Europeans should have been examined in more detail. Western governments would also be wise to analyse more closely the political and security implications of Russia's energy policies.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Energy Policy
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe, Ukraine, Asia, Germany
  • Author: Erica Downs, Peter C. Evans
  • Publication Date: 05-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: The efforts of China's national oil companies to secure upstream oil assets abroad have attracted attention from U.S. officials and policymakers. Congress has taken notice, as indicated by the request of the Chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives Resources Committee Richard W. Pombo—triggered by the bid made by China National Offshore Oil Corporation Ltd. for Unocal in 2005—for a study by the Department of Energy of the economic and national security implications of China's energy demand. The report, released in February 2006, concludes that the foreign investments of China's national oil companies do not pose an economic challenge to the U.S. However, one issue the report mentions only in passing that merits further attention is how the Chinese government's financial support for some of these investments can undermine an open and competitive world oil market.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Energy Policy
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Asia