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  • Publication Date: 01-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Russia has invested extensive resources and prestige in the Winter Olympics to be held in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, 7-23 February 2014. The tab, an estimated $51 billion, does not include a nationwide security operation to protect the venue against attack by a resilient and ruthless armed jihadi movement. A spate of bombings, including two in December in the southern city of Volgograd, show that North Caucasus Islamist terrorists are determined to strike opportunistically across the country to mar the games and challenge President Vladimir Putin, who has promised a "safe, enjoyable and memorable" Olympic experience. If ripple effects of security for Sochi and the ambitious regional tourism project the games are meant to inaugurate are not to worsen the situation in the war-to rn North Caucasus, local communities must be assured they will benefit from the development plans, not fall victims to rapacious local elites or the abuses allegedly accompanying the Games. Equally important, they will need guaranteed long-term security, not simply oppressive security regimes.
  • Topic: Security, Islam, International Affairs, Insurgency, Governance
  • Political Geography: Russia, Caucasus, Sochi
  • Author: Józef Lang
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: European Union Institute for Security Studies
  • Abstract: Russia's current and foreseeable policy towards Afghanistan is multi-vectored, complex and shows, at times, signs of incoherence. Russia views developments in Afghanistan as a strategic challenge and is expressing growing concern over the country's prospects for stability after the withdrawal of ISAF forces by the end of 2014. Russian decision-makers fear that a security vacuum emerging after the withdrawal could destabilise Central Asia and have a negative impact on Russia itself. At the same time, Moscow is concerned with Western military presence in the region, which it regards as interference in its neighbourhood. At tactical level, Russia also sees the situation in Afghanistan as an opportunity to secure its interests both regionally (consolidating its influence in Central Asia) and more widely (in terms of its relations with NATO).
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Foreign Policy, Regional Cooperation, War, Insurgency
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Russia, Central Asia
  • Author: Anthony H. Cordesman
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Creating political unity and reasons to be loyal to government. Creating a new structure of governance and balance between factions. Effective revenue collection, budget planning and expenditure, and limits to corruption. Fully replacing NATO/ISAF with the ANSF and "layered defense". Creating a new structure of security forces, advisors, and aid funds, to include addressing the presence of US and other nations' personnel. Acting on the Tokyo Conference: Creating effective flow and use of aid, economic reform, and limits to corruption and waste Stabilizing a market economy driven by military spending and moving towards development: Brain drain and capital flight. Coping with weather and other challenges to agricultural structure and with pressures to increase the narco - economy. Dealing with neighbors: Pakistan, I ran, Central Asian nations, India, China, and Russia.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Military Strategy, Foreign Aid
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Afghanistan, Russia, China, South Asia, India, North America
  • Author: Andrew Monaghan, Keir Giles
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: The United States and its allies are in general agreement on the legal status of conflict in cyberspace. Although key principles remain unresolved, such as what precisely constitutes an armed attack or use of force in cyberspace, overall there is a broad legal consensus among Euro-Atlantic nations that existing international law and international commitments are sufficient to regulate cyber conflict.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Science and Technology
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, North America
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: Ukraine is once again at a potential turning point in its young history. It missed the opportunity at independence and during the Orange Revolution to make a decisive break with an authoritarian past and move decisively toward an open, market-oriented society. Yet Ukrainian civil society remained vibrant and late last year once again spoke out against the country's authoritarian and corrupt leaders. As a result of the protests from an enraged citizenry, then-President Viktor Yanukovych fled the country for Russia.
  • Topic: Security, Territorial Disputes, Governance, Reform
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Ukraine
  • Author: Coghlan Christopher, Muzammil Maliha, Ingram John, Vervoort Joost, Otto Friederike, James Rachel
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: From 2010 to 2013 the world experienced a number of extreme weather events, several of which were notable for their intensity, duration, and impacts on livelihoods and food security. This report focuses on four case studies – a heat wave in Russia, flooding in Pakistan, drought in East Africa, and a typhoon in the Philippines – that represent a range of extreme weather. It analyses the impact of these extreme weather events on food security, by considering when and why threats emerge. This involves characterization of the weather events, examination of the vulnerable groups affected, and analysis of livelihoods and the role of governance and capital.
  • Topic: Security, Climate Change, Environment, Food
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Africa, Russia, Philippines
  • 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
  • Author: Karl-Heinz Kamp
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: NATO Defense College
  • Abstract: Moscow's aggression against Ukraine has truly been a “game changer” for the Atlantic Alliance. Its implications for NATO's further evolution can hardly be over-estimated and after the likely shoot-down of a Malaysian civil aircraft over Ukrainian territory, controlled by pro-Russian rebels, the situation is even more unpredictable. Even if the catastrophe has put heavy political pressure on President Putin to reduce Russian involvement in Ukraine, Moscow is still not likely to revert the annexation of the Crimean peninsula. As a result, the crisis will dominate the international security debate for a long time to come. Thus, signs of resolve directed at Russia, measures to reassure the NATO members in Eastern Europe and indications of further cooperation with Ukraine will rank very high on the agenda of the NATO summit in Wales in September 2014. With the draw-down of the operation in Afghanistan, some Allies tend to see NATO's future role as primarily to preserve the territorial integrity of its member states. Hence, they argue in favour of a “back to basics” approach with an Alliance concentrated on its defence mission, according to Article 5 of the Washington Treaty.
  • Topic: Security, Terrorism, International Security
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Malaysia, Ukraine, Asia, Moscow
  • Author: Michael Ruhle
  • Publication Date: 05-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: NATO Defense College
  • Abstract: The crisis in Ukraine, which culminated in Russia's annexation of the Crimea, marks a new low in NATO-Russia relations. While this relationship had been deteriorating for quite some time, Moscow's role in the Ukraine crisis revealed a geopolitical agenda that caught many observers by surprise. In the course of just a few weeks Russia clearly emerged as a revisionist power, behaving in a manner reminiscent of the "predatory nation-states from the 19th century" and changing borders by force in order to deny a neighbouring country the choice to determine its own alignments.
  • Topic: Security, Political Violence, Defense Policy
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Ukraine, Asia, Moscow
  • Author: Roger McDermott, Brooke Smith-Windsor, Heidi Reisinger
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: NATO Defense College
  • Abstract: Russia's behaviour in the Ukrainian crisis has been described by some as giving rise to “the most dangerous situation in East-West relations since the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968.” For one, NATO's recently retired Supreme Allied Commander has called for immediate action in response. This could include, for example, bringing the NATO Response Force – a sea, air, land, special forces capability – to a higher state of alert, and sailing NATO maritime forces into the Black Sea.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, NATO
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Ukraine, Asia