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  • Author: Michael Kofman, Richard B. Andres
  • Publication Date: 02-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for National Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: On January 7, 2009, the existing energy relationship among Europe, Russia, and Ukraine broke down over a natural gas dispute, just as it had done 3 years earlier. Amid subzero temperatures in many parts of Europe, Russia turned off its gas supply to Ukraine, causing shortages in more than 20 European countries. Thousands across the continent were left in the dark, and government services were closed. While the flow of gas was eventually restored, Russian gas disputes with Ukraine continue, and the prospect of another Gazprom shutoff has become an annual event for European consumers. Despite earlier indications that another breakdown in negotiations would lead to blackouts in Europe early in 2010, the potential crisis was averted via a Russia-Ukraine deal that restructured earlier payment and pricing arrangements. However, it is doubtful that Ukraine can continue timely payments for its domestic gas consumption and maintain its own pipeline infrastructure. Fundamental changes to Russia-Ukraine energy transport agreements are coming.
  • Topic: Security, Energy Policy
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe
  • Author: Stephen J. Blank (ed.)
  • Publication Date: 11-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: As of November 2010, the so-called “New START (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty)” treaty between the United States and Russia that was signed in Prague, Czech Republic, on April 8, 2010, awaits a ratification vote in the Senate. Regardless of the arguments pro and con that have emerged since it was signed, it is clear that the outcome of the ratification vote will not only materially affect the Obama administration's reset policy towards Russia, but also the strategic nuclear forces of both signatories. Indeed, throughout the Cold War, both sides built up their forces based on what each was thought to have or be building. Although the Bush administration (2001-09) rhetorically announced its intention to sever this mutual hostage relationship, it failed in that regard. As a result, critical aspects of that relationship still survive in Russia's orientation to the United States and in the language of the treaty, especially in its preamble, which explicitly affirms a link between nuclear offense and defense.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Arms Control and Proliferation, Nuclear Weapons, Weapons of Mass Destruction
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Czech Republic
  • Author: Marlène Laruelle
  • Publication Date: 11-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: NATO Defense College
  • Abstract: In July 2011, the first U.S. troops started to leave Afghanistan - a powerful symbol of Western determination to let the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) gradually take over responsibility for national security. This is also an important element in the strategy of Hamid Karzai's government, which seeks to appear not as a pawn of Washington but as an autonomous actor in negotiations with the so-called moderate Taliban. With withdrawal to be completed by 2014, the regionalization of the "Afghan issue" will grow. The regional powers will gain autonomy in their relationship with Kabul, and will implement strategies of both competition and collaboration. In the context of this regionalization, Russia occupies an important position.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Regional Cooperation, Military Strategy
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Russia, United States
  • Author: Gregory L. Schulte
  • Publication Date: 03-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for National Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: The United States has a great interest in the success of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), given the important role it can play in reducing the risks of nuclear proliferation and nuclear terrorism. Stalled investigations of Iran and Syria have put the credibility of the IAEA at stake. The agency detected neither Iran’s hidden uranium enrichment facility near Qom nor the reactor being constructed by Syria near al Kibar. These examples underscore the importance of strengthening the agency’s verification capability, by both increasing its authority and sharing more information. The IAEA can also help shape the global growth of nuclear power, ensuring the highest levels of safety and security, while discouraging the spread of sensitive technologies that can be misused to build nuclear weapons. The IAEA Board of Governors’ recent decision to establish a nuclear fuel bank in Russia is a step in the right direction. Success requires a new “Spirit of Vienna”—a willingness of delegates to work toward consensus on even difficult topics—surrounding the agency’s important role in nonproliferation. It also requires a conscious effort by the new Director General to remove the politics from IAEA business and return the agency to its technical mandate.
  • Topic: Security, Nuclear Weapons, Terrorism, Weapons of Mass Destruction
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Iran, Syria, Vienna
  • Author: Silvia Colombo, Ian Lesser
  • Publication Date: 04-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The paper provides a summary of the key issues raised in the third meeting of the Mediterranean Strategy Group which was convened in Rome to discuss the problem of energy security and cooperation in the Mediterranean from a transatlantic perspective. The meeting looked into the impact of geopolitical and economic variables on energy security around the Mediterranean, including the role and interests of “new” actors such as China, Russia and India. It also examined the outlook for new oil, gas, nuclear and electric power transmission projects, the prospects for alternative energy schemes, and the implications for strategy and policy affecting governments and the private sectors.
  • Topic: Security, Energy Policy, International Cooperation, Regional Cooperation, Natural Resources
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Europe, India
  • Author: Merijn Hartog, editor
  • Publication Date: 04-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Security Studies
  • Abstract: The Central Asian region faces a broad spectrum of security challenges. These range from religious terrorism, organised crime and simmering ethnic quarrels to endemic corruption, environmental decline and a disintegrating infrastructure. What is more, the danger of instability is heightened by unchecked authoritarianism in all five countries and a lurking receptiveness to religious extremism among returned migrants, mainly from Russia. How to deal with such diverse challenges in an effective and comprehensive way should be a pressing concern, not only for the five countries of Central Asia, but also for the entire international community.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Security, Crime
  • Political Geography: Russia, Central Asia
  • Author: Andrew Nagorski(ed.)
  • Publication Date: 04-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: EastWest Institute
  • Abstract: In the wake of the financial crisis, organizations everywhere have looked to the third revolution in information technology to upgrade their infrastructure and spur a new round of growth. The damage caused by cyber crimes and cyber attacks, however, is at the same time growing increasingly serious. As we face a looming “cyber cold war” and a “cyber arms race,” vital individual, business, and even national interests are threatened. At the same time, faith in information technology and information networks continues to slip. As a result, seeking effective ways to counter cyber threats has become an urgent priority across the globe.
  • Topic: Security, Globalization, International Cooperation, Science and Technology
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, China, India, Norway
  • Author: Nona Mikhelidze
  • Publication Date: 09-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Following the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the Caucasian-Caspian region has become a stage for the collision of opposing foreign security and energy policies. After 16 years of a very fragile ceasefire, the peace process between Azerbaijan and Armenia over the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh continues to depend not only on the attitudes of the conflict parties, but also and perhaps even more on the re-organization of the region at the political, security and energy levels. Three main developments can affect the prospects for conflict resolution in Karabakh: the parties' growing frustration with the OSCE Minsk-Group mediation; the US-brokered Turkish-Armenian rapprochement and the deterioration in US-Azeri relations; and finally, Russia's resurgence in the region. These three inter-related factors could result in a new regional scenario marked by the emergence of an energy triangle between Azerbaijan, Russia and Turkey, which in turn could impact on the destiny of Nagorno- Karabakh.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Energy Policy, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Turkey, Soviet Union, Armenia, Azerbaijan
  • Author: Robert K. Knake
  • Publication Date: 09-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: The United States is being outmaneuvered in the international forums that will determine the future of the Internet. Led by Russia and China, nondemocratic regimes are organizing into a united front to promote a vision of the Internet that is tightly controlled by states. That vision is increasingly attractive to many Western nations wrestling with interrelated threats of cybercrime, industrial espionage, and cyber warfare. The United States must actively combat these threats while it works to protect U.S. national interests in the preservation and extension of the Internet as a platform for increased efficiency and economic exchange. Protecting this interest requires far more extensive engagement within Internet governance forums to shape the future of the network in a way that addresses security concerns without resulting in a cure that is worse than the disease.
  • Topic: Security, Crime, Science and Technology, Governance
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, China
  • Author: Greg Austin, Franz-Stefan Gady
  • Publication Date: 09-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: EastWest Institute
  • Abstract: Russia and the United States have been unable to establish a common understanding in their bilateral diplomacy on most aspects of cyber security. In spite of a 1998 declaration of their interest in joint leadership of global responses to cyber security challenges, the two countries have acted more often than not like enemies guarding sensitive national security secrets rather than as allies committed to protecting common interests in the global digital economy and the socially networked world.
  • Topic: Security, Diplomacy, Science and Technology, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States