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  • Author: Henry E. Hale
  • Publication Date: 11-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: EastWest Institute
  • Abstract: The future security and stability of Russia, Central Asia, and the Caucasus–all struggling to deal with the simultaneous forces of terrorism, crime, narcotics, poverty, and disease–require a successful political and economic transformation in Afghanistan. A federal system was rejected in favor of aunitary state structure for Afghanistan, but the government of Hamid Karzai has faced great difficulty extending central authority much beyond Kabul. New questions about state-building there and elsewhere in the region should compel policymakers to reconsider federalism among a range of options for how best to organize this complex and diverse society. Although critics charge that a federal solution to state organization enhances social cleavages and fosters instability, federalism could be aviable and effective option if constructed to minimize the power and influence of the demographically dominant group.
  • Topic: Security
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Russia, Europe, Central Asia, Caucasus, Asia, Kabul
  • Author: Adam N. Stulberg, Hendrik Cosijn
  • Publication Date: 08-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: EastWest Institute
  • Abstract: Once considered an impediment to stable development and a catalyst for a new “Great Game,” Caspian energy may play a stabilizing role in world markets and geopolitics after all. With the West's growing dependence on hydrocarbon imports, growing tensions in the Middle East, and Moscow's emergence as a major player in 21st century energy politics, the Caspian region is poised to become a focal point for cooperation between the United States, Europe, and Russia. Policymakers in Washington, Brussels, and Moscow share a common interest in preventing the Caspian Basin from lapsing into another Persian Gulf, where windfalls in oil revenues have fueled instability and extremism. They also recognize that efforts to extract and export Caspian energy must advance regional development and stability. Thus far, however, shared interests have not yielded real transatlantic partnership on Caspian energy issues. Different strategic orientations and preferred approaches for unlocking Caspian energy threaten to mar prospects for broadening and deepening transatlantic cooperation in the region. To date, the U.S., Europe, and Russia have pursued parochial interests in the Caspian Basin without much regard for each other. The time is ripe for American, European, and Russian policymakers to take stock of the burgeoning confluence of interests, mount a concerted effort to prevent backsliding, and cement a common agenda by forging a trilateral dialogue on Caspian energy issue.
  • Topic: Security, Energy Policy
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe, Washington, Asia, Moscow
  • Author: David L. Goldwyn
  • Publication Date: 08-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: EastWest Institute
  • Abstract: Together, the United States, Europe, and Russia can help to diversify the global energy supply by creating a Global Strategic Petroleum Reserve (GSPR) filled largely with oil from Russia and other states in the Caspian Basin. Such a move would mitigate U.S. and European dependence on Middle East oil and help to stabilize world oil prices. Other important beneficiaries of a GSPR would be the Asia-Pacific economies outside the OECD that currently lack strategic reserves. A GSPR offering access to China and other Asian economies would help anchor these states in an important, positive-sum arrangement that highlights shared energy security interests with Russia and the West. If managed responsibly, creating the GSPR will not antagonize OPEC countries, which themselves benefit from stable energy markets. Moreover, developing the GSPR will encourage the reform and modernization of Russian and other transition countries' energy economies and give real substance to collaboration on energy issues between Russia, the EU, and the U.S. If coupled with close collaboration on Caspian energy development, the creation of a GSPR would make U.S. and EU energy ties with Russia and its neighbors sources of substantial, long-term strength.
  • Topic: Security, Energy Policy
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe, Middle East, Asia
  • Author: Robert Orttung
  • Publication Date: 06-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: EastWest Institute
  • Abstract: Instability in Russia's southern regions poses a threat to the continuation of the country's overall political and economic reform, and to regional stability in Central Eurasia. These regions, which already possess Russia's most fragile local economics, face a variety of problems emanating from the weak and failing states to their immediate south. Most visibly, there is the threat of terrorism, an increasing flow of illegal narcotics from producers in Afghanistan, an influx of contraband goods that wipe out Russian jobs, and illegal immigration. With few resources and extensive corruption among key officials, Russia's southern regions are poorly equipped to deal with these problems. Developing mutually beneficial trade links between Russia's southern regions and its neighbors in Central Asia, China, and Mongolia can mitigate instability and economic stagnation in this region, help to rebuild regional economies, generate income, and better enable governments to provide security and basic human services to their people. The West can support these developments as well as help combat organized crime, target corruption, and improve border security.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, International Cooperation, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Russia, China, Europe, Mongolia, Asia
  • Author: Rolf Ekeus
  • Publication Date: 11-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: UN Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1441, adopted after weeks of diplomatic aerobics, authorized renewed weapons inspections in Iraq and outlined a timetable for the inspections process, with mandatory deadlines for Iraqi compliance. UNSCR 1441's popularity is remarkable: the United States, Russia, France, and Syria all like it, and even Iraq seems somewhat amenable to its terms. This popularity may stem from the possibility that each of these countries has a different understanding of the resolution's implications. If so, the disarmament effort may eventually reach a fork in the road, with two possible paths forward.
  • Topic: Security, Religion, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Russia, Iraq, Middle East, Arab Countries, Syria
  • Author: Patrick Clawson
  • Publication Date: 09-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: The United States and Britain are consulting with the other three permanent members of the UN Security Council (Russia, France, and China) before introducing a new draft resolution on Iraq. Much attention has been given to whether the resolution will explicitly authorize the use of force. At least as important will be whether the resolution reverses the long, slow erosion of Iraq's UN-mandated obligations. For all their seemingly tough language, recent Security Council resolutions on Iraq have been ambiguous at best about the issues on which Saddam Husayn has been allowed to cheat in the past.
  • Topic: Security, Religion, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Iraq, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Robert Satloff
  • Publication Date: 07-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: In the most significant Bush administration pronouncement on Arab-Israeli issues since President George W. Bush's landmark June 24 speech, Secretary of State Colin Powell joined with leaders from the United Nations (UN), the European Union (EU), and Russia in issuing a "joint statement" on Middle East policy in New York yesterday. In characterizing the meeting of "Quartet" diplomats that produced the statement, much of today's media reportage highlighted the contrast between Secretary Powell's fealty to the president's security-first approach and the preference of the other Quartet members for pursuing security, political, and humanitarian objectives simultaneously. Yet, a close reading of the Quartet's statement shows a different trend — namely, a disquieting resurrection of pre-June 24 prescriptions for Israeli-Palestinian peacemaking, as well as acquiescence by U.S. participants in subtle yet meaningful backtracking in key areas of policy.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, New York, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Mordechai Abir
  • Publication Date: 07-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: The Persian Gulf is a region of outstanding anomalies and immense energy wealth. About two-thirds of the world's proven energy reserves are located in the Gulf States, foremost in Saudi Arabia (25 percent). As long as the rest of the world requires this energy, its dependence on this region will continue. Yet, the evolving U.S. war against terrorism, coupled with the growth of non-OPEC oil output led by the revived energy industry in Russia and other former Soviet republics, is beginning to erode the coercive power of the Gulf states.
  • Topic: Security, Islam, Religion, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Middle East, Arab Countries, Saudi Arabia
  • Author: Philip H Gordon, James B Steinberg
  • Publication Date: 12-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: The question of whether and how to expand the North Atlantic Treaty Organization's (NATO) membership is one of the many important U.S. foreign policy issues that must be seen in a new light following the September 11 terrorist attacks. Prior to those attacks, there were strong indications coming from Washington that the Bush administration was planning to support a wide enlargement, notwithstanding strong opposition from Russia and from longstanding domestic opponents of the process. Many of those opponents will now argue even more forcefully that NATO enlargement should be put off or stopped altogether, particularly because Russian cooperation in the war on terrorism is now so crucial.
  • Topic: Security, NATO
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe, Washington
  • Author: Charles V. Peña
  • Publication Date: 12-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: To prosecute the war on terrorism, President Bush has assembled a diverse coalition of countries for political, diplomatic, and military support. Some of those countries are long-standing friends and allies of the United States. Others have new or changing relationships with the United States. Although there may be a price for their support, America should not pay an excessive price—one that could be detrimental to longer-term U.S. national security interests. And though it may be necessary to provide a certain amount of immediate aid (directly or indirectly) as a quid pro quo for the support of other nations in our war on terrorism, the United States needs to avoid longer-term entanglements, openended commitments, and the potential for an extreme anti-American backlash.
  • Topic: Security, Religion, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, America, Europe, Middle East, Asia