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  • Author: Sergey Ryabkov, Armen Oganesyan
  • Publication Date: 04-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: To get down to the facts, in April, Russia’s BrICs presidency got off to a flying start. Within two and a half months, a number of major BrICs related events took place in Russia. Furthermore, a major nonproliferation forum took place, a review conference in new York from late April until late May. this event is held once every five years. and I should also mention perhaps a series of very important, intense and constructive contacts at the top and other levels with the leaders of Latin american countries. This sets the current year apart from the previous year and the year 2013.
  • Topic: Economics, Human Welfare, International Security, Financial Markets
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Author: Col. Douglas Mastriano
  • Publication Date: 03-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: The strategic calculus changed in Europe with the 2014 Russian seizure of Crimea and its ongoing war against Ukraine. Compounding the dilemma of an aggressive Russia, is the application of ambiguity to create a clock of uncertainty that prevents a decisive response to counter its destabilizing activities. However, this application of ambiguity is easily defeated, if nations are willing to take concerted efforts now to preempt and deter further Russian aggression. Project 1704 provides an honest assessment of the tenuous strategic environment that now envelopes Eastern Europe and offers specific recommendations on how to continue the 70 years of unparalleled peace that most of Europe has enjoyed.
  • Topic: Politics, International Security, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Russia, Ukraine, Eastern Europe, Crimea
  • Author: Stefan Forss, Col. (Ret) Pekka Holopainen
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: The Nordic states, just as other regions of Europe which neighbor Russia, are engaged in an urgent reexamination of their security and defense posture. Events in Ukraine in early-2014 threw into sharp focus a local lack of capability following decades of drawdowns and focus on crisis management operations instead of territorial defense. After an unpleasant awakening, countries in the region have turned their attention to the heightened security risks they face and their lack of preparedness for them.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, NATO, International Security, Military Strategy, Military Affairs
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Author: Volodymyr Dubovyk
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Arnold A. Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies
  • Abstract: Since the beginning of Euromaidan (Maidan II), Ukraine finds itself entangled in a deep crisis, which, while not necessarily existential, dramatically alters the country’s internal dynamics and international positioning vis-à-vis its neighbors and other significant regional and global players. To handle this crisis, Ukraine must find the right method of dealing with international players, especially the Russian Federation, the European Union and the United States of America. Ukraine should take certain actions against the new super-assertive and aggressive Russia. The European Union unquestionably has provided significant aid to Ukraine during these turbulent times. However, there remains great potential for cooperation, and questions linger regarding whether the EU is prepared to foot the bill for pulling Ukraine’s economy away from the brink indefinitely. Finally, the United States should by all means continue doing its good work in bringing attention to the situation in and around Ukraine in a variety of ways, including multilateral venues, unilateral initiatives, and bilateral frameworks. The fact that Ukraine is located in Europe does not make this crisis a mere European problem but a conflict with global repercussions.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Political Economy, International Security, Geopolitics
  • Political Geography: Russia, Ukraine, European Union
  • Author: Oleksandr Fisun
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Arnold A. Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies
  • Abstract: The Russian annexation of the Crimean peninsula represents a radical transformation of the system of international security on the European continent and in the wider context of the postwar “Yalta system” of interstate boundaries and their guarantees by major international players. The most important takeaway is that for the first time since World War II, one of the founders of the Yalta system of international boundaries has considered it within the realm of possibility to revisit its provisions by directly augmenting its own territory. This paper aims to analyze the outcomes of Russia’s annexation of Crimea, the features of the newly formed regional political regime in Crimea, the role of Crimea in contemporary Ukrainian politics, as well as to present scenarios for the development of the geopolitical situation surrounding the “Crimean issue” in the context of the possible actions that primary geopolitical players may take.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Organization, International Security, Geopolitics
  • Political Geography: Russia, Ukraine, Crimea
  • Author: Thomas Graham, Rajan Menon, Jack Snyder
  • Publication Date: 09-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Arnold A. Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies
  • Abstract: Amidst calls for containing an assertive Russia, politicians and pundits have been debating whether Ukraine should serve as a “buffer zone” between the Russian and Western spheres of influence. Based on a survey of the history of buffer zones in Ukraine and elsewhere, we argue that buffer strategies are most likely to succeed in promoting international stability when three mutually reinforcing conditions obtain. First, the buffer state has the material strength, defensible geography, and social cohesiveness necessary to resist penetration, annexation, or partition. Second, states that may contemplate using war as a means to annex or dominate the buffer zone anticipate high risks and costs. Buffers survive when flanking powers are relatively weak, satisfied, skeptical that “offense is the best defense,” and chary of commitments to reckless allies and clients. Third, whether the major powers have agreed, implicitly or explicitly, on rules to regulate their rivalry in the buffer region may also affect the likelihood of a collision. Based on these findings, we are doubtful that Ukraine can serve as a reliable buffer.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Organization, International Security, Geopolitics
  • Political Geography: Russia, Ukraine
  • Author: Sergei Markedonov
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Arnold A. Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies
  • Abstract: Following a period of 22 years as a part of independent Ukraine, the Crimean peninsula entered into Russian custody in the form of two separate subjects of the Federation. This event constitutes a watershed in Russian domestic policy and relations between Russia and other countries and also poses a serious challenge to security throughout Europe. The Russian government would do well to forestall their emergence, not by exerting force, but rather by raising the quality of infrastructure and resolving other social problems. Thus the acquisition of Crimea, for Russia, is not the “end of history,” but the beginning of a complex process of integrating not merely the territory, but more importantly, the peninsula’s inhabitants.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Security, Peacekeeping
  • Political Geography: Russia, Ukraine, Crimea
  • Author: Grigoriy Shamborovskyi
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Arnold A. Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies
  • Abstract: This paper explores topics related to Ukraine’s Relations with Russia, the EU, and the US. These relationships are explored in terms of international trade, security issues and institution building. Finally, the existence of internal political and socioeconomic divisions is discussed.
  • Topic: International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance, International Security, Political and institutional effectiveness
  • Political Geography: Russia, America, Ukraine, European Union
  • Author: Yulia Tyshchenko
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Arnold A. Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies
  • Abstract: This article examines certain questions and challenges pertaining to the Russian Federation’s illegal annexation of Crimea in the domains of security and the violation of both property rights and human rights, abuses of which are systemic in the region. The issues I will discuss, pertaining to the illegal nationalization of private and state property in the annexed region of Ukraine, are problems that entangle the Russian Federation in complex land relations, which have the potential to fuel conflict. This article examines human rights violations linked with the annexation of the Crimea. Problems have arisen concerning the persecution of different ethnic and national groups—namely, Crimean Tatars and Ukrainians—by Crimean and Russian authorities. Currently, both Ukraine and the international community lack significant opportunities to influence Crimea’s politics and economy.
  • Topic: Political Violence, Human Rights, International Political Economy, International Security
  • Political Geography: Russia, Ukraine, Crimea
  • Author: Richard Barrett
  • Publication Date: 06-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Soufan Group
  • Abstract: Over 12,000 fighters from at least 81 countries have joined the civil war in Syria, and the numbers continue to grow. Around 2,500 are from Western countries, including most members of the European Union, the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. There are also several hundred from Russia. But the great majority are from the Arab World. Most are fighting with rebel groups, and increasingly with the most extreme among them; but many are also fighting with the Government, or with ethnic or faith communities that are trying to protect themselves from both sides. A lot are young, often teenagers, and a fair percentage of those arriving from non-Muslim majority countries are converts to Islam. These and others who share their faith commonly express their motivation as a religious obligation to protect fellow Muslims from attack. This sense of duty is captured by their loose use of the word 'jihad'.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, International Security
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe, Middle East, Canada, Arabia, Australia, Syria, New Zealand