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  • Author: Richard Giragosian, Sergey Minasyan
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Connections
  • Institution: Partnership for Peace Consortium of Defense Academies and Security Studies Institutes
  • Abstract: After twenty years of independence, the three counties of the South Caucasus-Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia-continue to struggle with a daunting set of challenges. In light of several unresolved conflicts and profound deficiencies in efforts directed at democratic and economic reform, the South Caucasus continues to be a "region at risk." As if this rather bleak landscape was not enough, three more recent trends have emerged to further threaten the region's security and stability. The first trend, and one that is likely to have the most profound effects over the long term, is evident in a subtle shift in the already delicate balance of power in the region, driven largely by a steady surge in Azerbaijani defense spending and exacerbated by a lack of progress in the mediation of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Since the 1994 ceasefire that resulted in the suspension of hostilities over Nagorno-Karabakh (but that did not definitively end them), this unresolved or "frozen" conflict has been subject to an international mediation effort conducted by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe's (OSCE) so-called Minsk Group. This tripartite body co-chaired by France, Russia, and the United States seeks to engage and prod the parties to the conflict toward a negotiated resolution of the conflict.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe, Caucasus, France, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia
  • Author: Venelin Georgiev
  • Publication Date: 09-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Connections
  • Institution: Partnership for Peace Consortium of Defense Academies and Security Studies Institutes
  • Abstract: Defense acquisition policy is one of the most important aspects of defense policy, and requires an efficient and effective strategy for implementation. As a universal method, modeling provides an opportunity for many different approaches to defense acquisition strategies to be developed and analyzed in order to select the best or most appropriate method, depending on a nation's current economic conditions. Variables that can be included in modeling the process of defense acquisition strategy include specific defense acquisition instrumental policies and their parameters; typical strategies currently in use in different defense acquisition domains; and strategic management tools, such as the strategic card (SC) and the balanced scorecard (BSC). In the end, the options for defense acquisition strategy that are developed through modeling are assessed based on the extent to which they appear likely to develop the set of desired military capabilities and implement the defense missions and tasks that have been set forth in the nation's defense policy, and remain in line with the level of ambition, budget resource restrictions, and level of associated risk.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, NATO
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Graeme P. Herd, Daniel A. Flesch
  • Publication Date: 03-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Connections
  • Institution: Partnership for Peace Consortium of Defense Academies and Security Studies Institutes
  • Abstract: On 7 August 2008, Georgia attacked Tskhinvali, the capital city of South Ossetia, with heavy artillery, rocket launchers, and ground troops in an attempt to take control of the breakaway republic, which contained bases of both Russian and OSCE peacekeepers. Russia, claiming to be acting under the mandate of peace enforcement, pushed Georgia out of both South Ossetia and another breakaway Georgian republic, Abkhazia, and deep into Georgian territory. This created the potential for regime change, as the Russian Army appeared to be moving on Tbilisi with the intent of overthrowing Georgia's democratically elected government. On 8 August 2008, Russian military forces crossed the Georgian border into South Ossetia and Abkhazia in a successful effort to repulse Georgian troops. The immediate casus belli for Russia was genocide, with claims that “over two thousand” South Ossetians had been killed by Georgian troops, along with the shooting of ten Russian peacekeepers in South Ossetia, which necessitated a humanitarian and peace enforcement operation. The Russian advance included ground troops, tanks and armored personnel carriers, and air and sea operations, combined with coordinated kinetic and cyber attacks. Russian forces also crossed into Abkhazia in defense of their compatriots – 70 percent of the Abkhaz population of 220,000 are Russian passport holders, and 90 percent of the South Ossetian population of 70,000 are also Russian citizens.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, International Affairs, Population
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Georgia, South Ossetia
  • Author: Gordana Djurović
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Connections
  • Institution: Partnership for Peace Consortium of Defense Academies and Security Studies Institutes
  • Abstract: Euro-Atlantic integration is the best framework for ensuring the long-term stability and security of the countries in the Western Balkans, and is the precondition for their economic development. Euro-Atlantic frameworks provide mechanisms for establishing confidence between countries in the regions, as well as strengthening cooperation and understanding, in the area of security and in many other fields. This is the reason why Montenegro fully supports the Euro-Atlantic aspirations of its neighbors, with a focus on regional cooperation and participation in all regional initiatives that are based on a good-neighbor policy. Montenegro's strategic priorities on the international level are building positive relations with its neighbors, increasing the level of regional security, and contributing to peacekeeping and stability in the world through participation in international missions and operations led by the UN, the EU, and NATO. At the same time, practical and efficient realization and implementation of a range of Partnership for Peace mechanisms have enabled Montenegro to gain access in a very short period of time to the Intensified Dialogue with NATO, and to begin the initial stages of the Membership Action Plan. Montenegro is ready to respond as rapidly as possible to all challenges that might arise in its path toward NATO membership, and looks forward to working in consultation and assistance with NATO, its neighbors, and other member states of NATO and the PfP.
  • Topic: Security, NATO
  • Political Geography: Europe, United Nations
  • Author: Elena Kovalova
  • Publication Date: 03-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Connections
  • Institution: Partnership for Peace Consortium of Defense Academies and Security Studies Institutes
  • Abstract: Since the end of the Cold War, transnational organized crime and corruption have persistently plagued the post-communist states in Central and Eastern Europe. Facilitation of travel and trade regimes in Europe has provided criminal organizations with a broader scope to expand their businesses and to invest and profit through such practices. The fall of living standards and growth of unemployment in the post-communist economies—along with the promotion of free movement of goods, services, and people in the enlarging European Union (EU)—produced new forms of organized crime in the region, particularly a modern-day equivalent of slavery that is known as trafficking in persons (TIP). The novelty of the crime, combined with the corruption of unreformed law enforcement agencies in transition states and the transnational nature of TIP have increased the need for international cooperation to fight it effectively. Based on an analysis of TIP in South Eastern European (SEE) and Eastern European states, this article attempts to assess the patterns of human trafficking in the region, determine links between corruption and trafficking, and identify possible networks for counter-trafficking activities in the region.
  • Topic: Security, Crime
  • Political Geography: Europe, Eastern Europe
  • Author: C.D. Van Aller
  • Publication Date: 09-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Connections
  • Institution: Partnership for Peace Consortium of Defense Academies and Security Studies Institutes
  • Abstract: The war in Iraq continues to divide the Western democracies, nations once optimistic that the post-Cold War environment might lead to a more secure world. Even if solutions proved difficult to achieve, many hoped that these societies would share common viewpoints on threats to peace. Yet there have been contrasting security perspectives that have been highlighted by the conflict in Iraq, such as that of former European Union High Commissioner for Foreign and Security Policy Javier Solana, who stated in 2003 that “Europe is not at war.” One of the main cleavages is between Europe and the United States generally, with the former considering that the U.S. has increasingly been too dedicated to the unilateral use of force, views held by both elites and the general public in Europe. Even before the Bush Administration, Samuel Huntington de-scribed U.S. foreign policy as one of “world unilateralism,” with a single-minded devotion to its own interests while minimizing those of other countries. Since the Iraq war, Harold Pinter has stated, the U.S. “has become a fully-fledged, award-winning, gold-plated monster. It has effectively declared war on the world....” Many people in Western Europe have some sympathy with this view, if not its hyperbolic quality, and the war in Iraq appears to have amplified long-held convictions about the world's sole remaining superpower.
  • Topic: Security, Cold War
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Europe