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  • Author: Robert Springborg, F.C. "Pink" Williams, John Zavage
  • Publication Date: 02-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: The United States, Russia, and Iran have chosen markedly different approaches to security assistance in the Middle East, with dramatic implications for statebuilding and stability. The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region is the world’s testing ground for the effectiveness of security assistance provided by global and regional powers. That security assistance has contributed to the intensity and frequency of proxy wars—such as those under way or recently wound down in Libya, Yemen, Syria, and Iraq—and to the militarization of state and substate actors in the MENA region. Security assistance is at the core of struggles for military, strategic, ideological, and even economic preeminence in the Middle East. Yet despite the broad and growing importance of security assistance for the region and for competition within it between global and regional actors, security assistance has been the subject of relatively little comparative analysis. Efforts to assess relationships between the strategic objectives and operational methods of security assistance providers and their relative impacts on recipients are similarly rare.
  • Topic: Security, Geopolitics, Political stability, State Building
  • Political Geography: Russia, Iran, Middle East, United States of America
  • Author: Ehud Eiran
  • Publication Date: 04-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Israel is still holding to its traditional security maxim. Based on a perception of a hostile region, Israel’s response includes early warning, deterrence and swift – including pre-emptive – military action, coupled with an alliance with a global power, the US. Israel is adjusting these maxims to a changing reality. Overlapping interests – and perhaps the prospect of an even more open conflict with Iran – led to limited relationships between Israel and some Gulf states. These, however, will be constrained until Israel makes progress on the Palestine issue. Israel aligned with Greece and Cyprus around energy and security, which may lead to conflict with Turkey. Russia’s deployment in Syria placed new constraints on Israeli freedom of action there. The US’s retrenchment from the Middle East is not having a direct effect on Israel, while the Trump administration’s support for Israel’s territorial designs in the West Bank may make it easier for Israel to permanently expand there, thus sowing the seeds for future instability in Israel/Palestine. The EU could try and balance against such developments, but, as seen from Israel, is too divided to have a significant impact. Paper produced in the framework of the FEPS-IAI project “Fostering a New Security Architecture in the Middle East”, April 2020.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Defense Policy, Gas, Hezbollah
  • Political Geography: Russia, Iran, Middle East, Israel, Greece, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Cyprus, United States of America, Mediterranean
  • Author: Teresa Val
  • Publication Date: 05-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: EastWest Institute
  • Abstract: Terrorism in Afghanistan: A Joint Threat Assessment is intended to serve as an analytical tool for policymakers and an impetus for joint U.S.-Russia action. The report provides an overview of the security situation and peace process in Afghanistan, taking into account U.S. and Russian policies, priorities and interests; surveys the militant terrorist groups in and connected to Afghanistan and explores the security interests of various regional stakeholders vis-à-vis Afghanistan. Challenges relating to border management, arms trafficking and terrorist financing in Afghanistan are also briefly addressed.
  • Topic: Security, Diplomacy, Military Strategy, Counter-terrorism, Peace
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Russia, United States, Europe, Middle East, North America
  • Author: Frank Aum, Jacob Stokes, Patricia M. Kim, Atman M. Trivedi, Rachel Vandenbrink, Jennifer Staats, Joseph Yun
  • Publication Date: 02-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: A joint statement by the United States and North Korea in June 2018 declared that the two countries were committed to building “a lasting and stable peace regime on the Korean Peninsula.” Such a peace regime will ultimately require the engagement and cooperation of not just North Korea and the United States, but also South Korea, China, Russia, and Japan. This report outlines the perspectives and interests of each of these countries as well as the diplomatic, security, and economic components necessary for a comprehensive peace.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Diplomacy, Economy, Peace
  • Political Geography: Russia, Japan, China, Asia, South Korea, North Korea, Korean Peninsula, United States of America
  • Author: Kirill Semenov
  • Publication Date: 04-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Geneva Centre for Security Policy
  • Abstract: The situation in Idlib poses a challenge to the Assad government. Damascus has neither the forces nor the means to resolve the problem. Moreover, any operation conducted against the Syrian moderate opposition and the radical alliance “Hayat Tahrir al-Sham” (HTS) concentrated in this region could be significantly problematic for the government. Turkey seeks to establish a protectorate or security zone in Idlib to accommodate those fleeing regime-held areas and prevent a new refugees flow into Turkey. The gains achieved by the Turkish operation in Idlib by the establishment of the security zone has potentially been lost as a result of the subsequent Russian backed Syrian government offensive, which has created a problem for Turkey with hundreds of thousands heading toward the Turkish border and threatening to exasperate what is already a costly refugee problem for Ankara. In order for Turkey to address issues in Idlib, including IDPs and economic problems, it first needs to deal with the HTS, ideally finding a way to dissolve the group. This could potentially be an area of cooperation for Moscow and Ankara. This may be necessary to prevent a deterioration in the security situation and long-term destabilisation of the area.
  • Topic: Security, Refugees, Economy, Political stability, Displacement, Syrian War, Hay'at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), Transition
  • Political Geography: Russia, Turkey, Middle East, Syria, Idlib
  • Author: Miroslav Tuma
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Institute of International Relations Prague
  • Abstract: The New START Treaty, which limits the number of deployed strategic nuclear weapons, will expire in February 2021. According to the assessment of most arms control experts and, for example, the former US and Russian Foreign Ministers, the non-extension of the New Start Treaty will have a number of negative effects. What are the possibilities of the subsequent development if the last US-Russian control-arms contract New START is not extended? And what would that mean for strategic use of the universe? The unfavorable security situation in the world in recent years is characterized, among other things, by deepening crisis of the bilateral arms-control system between the USA and Russia, built since the 1970s. The urgency of addressing this situation is underlined by the fact that both countries own about 90% of all nuclear weapons that they modernize, introduce new weapon systems into their equipment, and reduce the explosiveness of nuclear warheads and thus their declared applicability in regional conflicts. The culmination of this crisis may be the expiry of the US-Russian New START treaty which limits the number of deployed nuclear warheads and strategic carriers. Concerns about the consequences of non-prolongation are, among others, raised by the expected disruption of space strategic stability, which could occur as a result of eventual termination of the complex verification system. In addition to notifications, the exchange of telemetry and information, on-the-spot inspections, etc., the termination would relate in particular to the contractual non-interference in the verification work carried out by National Technical Means (NTMs).
  • Topic: Security, Arms Control and Proliferation, Nuclear Weapons, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: Russia, Eurasia, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Eoin Micheál McNamara
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute of International Relations Prague
  • Abstract: Eoin Micheál McNamara in his Policy Paper called The Visegrád Four and the Security of NATO’s “Eastern Flank” expresses the argument that there is considerable scope for the V4 states to improve their contribution to NATO’s collective defence posture. Based on this fact, he argues the different strategic positions of each V4 member within the NATO membership related to Russian influence.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, NATO
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe
  • Author: Anna Maria Dyner
  • Publication Date: 05-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Outside its borders, Russia has military bases in the post-Soviet space and in Syria. The main goal is to increase Russian military security and political influence in countries in which these bases are located. Despite economic difficulties related to the drop in oil and gas prices and the costs of the COVID-19 pandemic, Russia will maintain its network of bases, which it considers an important element of influence.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Economics, Military Strategy, Coronavirus
  • Political Geography: Russia, Eurasia
  • Author: Jakub Benedyczak
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: COVID-19 has become an opportunity for the Russian authorities to increase repressive measures and test Chinese solutions for digital control of society. Most of the solutions will probably be maintained after the pandemic eases, especially given the deepening economic crisis and potential of protests.
  • Topic: Security, Human Rights, Surveillance, Coronavirus
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Eurasia
  • Author: Paweł Markiewicz
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The Arctic has become another contested area between the U.S., Russia, and China. The region’s growing importance for global trade and American security means the U.S. goal is largely to maintain freedom of navigation in the Arctic. For this reason, the Trump administration strives to increase American capacities to operate in the Arctic. The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic will delay implementing these plans; nevertheless, they will be achieved in the long term and the U.S. will also expect support in the Arctic from NATO allies.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, NATO, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Arctic, United States of America
  • Author: Lauren Speranza
  • Publication Date: 07-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: Tackling hybrid threats, particularly from state actors such as Russia and China, remains one of the greatest challenges for the transatlantic community. Hybrid threats have gained more traction among policymakers and publics across Europe and the United States, especially in a world with COVID-19. Over the last five years, Euro-Atlantic nations and institutions, such as NATO and the European Union (EU), have taken important steps to respond to hybrid issues. But, as hybrid threats become more prominent in the future, policymakers must move toward a more coherent, effective, and proactive strategy for countering Russian and Chinese hybrid threats. To develop such a transatlantic counter-hybrid strategy for Russia and China, this paper argues that two major things need to happen. First, transatlantic policymakers have to build a common strategic concept to guide collective thinking on hybrid threats. Second, transatlantic policymakers need to take a range of practical actions in service of that strategic concept. In a strategic concept for countering Russian and Chinese hybrid threats, Lauren Speranza offers five strategic priorities that could form the basis of this strategic concept and presents a series of constructive steps that NATO, the EU, and nations can take, in cooperation with the private sector and civil society, to enhance their counter-hybrid capabilities against Russia and China.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, NATO, Diplomacy, Politics, Science and Technology, European Union, Innovation, Resilience, Non-Traditional Threats
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Europe, Eurasia, Asia
  • Author: Jeffrey Cimmino, Matthew Kroenig, Barry Pavel
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: The COVID-19 pandemic is a strategic shock, and its almost immediate, damaging effects on the global economy constitute a secondary disruption to global order. Additional secondary strategic shocks (e.g., in the developing world) are looming. Together, these developments pose arguably the greatest threat to the global order since World War II. In the aftermath of that conflict, the United States and its allies established a rules-based international system that has guaranteed freedom, peace, and prosperity for decades. If the United States and its allies do not act effectively, the pandemic could upend this order. This issue brief considers the current state of the pandemic and how it has strained the global rules-based order over the past few months. First, it considers the origins of the novel coronavirus and how it spread around the world. Next, it examines how COVID-19 has exacerbated or created pressure points in the global order, highlights uncertainties ahead, and provides recommendations to the United States and its partners for shaping the post-COVID-19 world.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, NATO, Diplomacy, Politics, European Union, Economy, Business , Coronavirus, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, South Asia, Eurasia, India, Taiwan, Asia, North America, Korea, United States of America, Indo-Pacific
  • Author: Hans Binnendijk, Conor Rodihan
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: The conventional military threat from Russia towards Europe most acutely affects a number of frontline Nordic and Baltic states from the Barents Sea in the Arctic through the Baltic Sea region: Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, and Sweden. Since Russia’s invasion of Crimea in 2014, these countries, in concert with other Euro-Atlantic allies and partners, have concentrated on strengthening their own defenses and on developing and enhancing eight sets of different defense cooperation arrangements. As the only two non-NATO and militarily nonaligned nations in the region, Finland and Sweden’s role in regional security and their level of cooperation with these and other partners poses challenges as well as opportunities for deterrence and defense in Europe’s northeast. These two countries have particularly emphasized cooperation with partners as they seek to build an interlocking web of security relationships to improve defense in the region. The core arrangements within this network include: The Finnish-Swedish bilateral defense relationship; Nordic Defense Cooperation; Nordic-Baltic Eight; The Northern Group; NATO Partnerships; The European Union; Ad hoc arrangements such as the Joint Expeditionary Force; Framework Nations Concept, and European Intervention Initiative; Finnish-Swedish-US trilateral and bilateral defense cooperation. These “geometries of deterrence” vary in scope, scale, and membership, but taken together, they enhance a range of important components of deterrence. In Geometries of Deterrence, Hans Binnendijk and Conor Rodihan assess the contributions of each of these arrangements against an ideal or “gold standard” for conventional military deterrence, before evaluating the arrangements collectively and offering recommendations to further strengthen deterrence for Finland, Sweden, and indeed for all of Northeastern Europe.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, NATO, Partnerships
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Eurasia, Northern Europe
  • Author: Matthew Kroenig, Mark Massa, Christian Trotti
  • Publication Date: 03-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: In 2018, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced five new nuclear-capable, strategic weapons systems. These systems include a nuclear-powered, nuclear-armed cruise missile and a nuclear-powered, nuclear-armed submarine drone. What does Russia have to gain from developing these novel and exotic nuclear weapons? And what should the United States and NATO do about it? This new Atlantic Council issue brief, Russia’s Exotic Nuclear Weapons and Implications for the United States and NATO, answers these questions. Informed by a workshop convened by the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security and Los Alamos National Laboratory, authors Matthew Kroenig, Mark Massa, and Christian Trotti evaluate the potential utility, motivations, and consequences of these new systems. Among other conclusions, the most significant may be that great-power competition has returned, and with it, the importance of nuclear weapons in international politics.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Nuclear Power, Deterrence
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Eurasia, North America, United States of America
  • Publication Date: 03-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Mitvim: The Israeli Institute for Regional Foreign Policies
  • Abstract: This policy paper sets out the various interests and goals of global powers (the US, Russia, China and the EU) in the Mediterranean, and the measures they are undertaking to implement them. The document also describes Israeli policies vis-àvis the powers’ activities in this region, and points to the principles that should guide them. The paper is based on a July 2019 meeting in Jerusalem of the research and policy working group on Israel in the Mediterranean, held at the initiative of the Mitvim Institute, the Hebrew University’s Leonard Davis Institute for International Relations and Haifa University’s National Security Studies Center.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Middle East, Israel, United States of America, Mediterranean
  • Author: James M Dorsey
  • Publication Date: 05-2020
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: The Begin-Sadat Centre for Strategic Studies (BESA)
  • Abstract: The coronavirus pandemic and its economic fallout may rewrite the security as well as the political and economic map of the Middle East. The crisis will probably color Gulf attitudes towards the region’s major external players: the US, China, and Russia. Yet the Gulf States are likely to discover that their ability to shape the region’s map has significantly diminished.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, International Relations, Security, Trade
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Middle East, United States of America, Gulf Nations
  • Author: James M Dorsey
  • Publication Date: 03-2020
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: The Begin-Sadat Centre for Strategic Studies (BESA)
  • Abstract: Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is at odds with just about everybody. He is on opposite sides with Russia in Syria as well as Libya and is trying the patience of his US and European allies. Turkey and Russia are testing the limits of what was always at best an opportunistic, fragile partnership aimed at capitalizing on a seemingly diminishing US interest in the Middle East, already evident under President Barack Obama and continuing under Donald Trump, who is haphazardly redefining what he sees as America’s national interests.
  • Topic: Security, Geopolitics, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan
  • Political Geography: Russia, Turkey, Middle East, Libya, Syria
  • Author: David Carment
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Canadian Global Affairs Institute (CGAI)
  • Abstract: After three years of limited discussion, the leaders of France, Germany, Russia and Ukraine renewed their peace talks to resolve the separatist conflict in Eastern Ukraine (Donbas). Efforts to facilitate a peaceful resolution to the conflict in the Donbas began five years ago with the meeting of the Trilateral Contact Group on Ukraine. This framework, developed by the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), attempted to facilitate a dialogue between Russia and Ukraine through the mediation of an impartial actor, and it culminated in the Minsk I (September 2014) and then Minsk II (February 2015) agreements. The Minsk II agreements comprised a 13-point peace plan, chief among which is an arrangement specifying support for the restoration of the Ukrainian-Russian border. While the implementation of the military portions of the Minsk II agreements were finalized within three months of signing, the political and security portions remained unresolved. Though President Vladimir Putin has declared his intent to protect the Russian-speaking peoples of the region, he has also stated he has no interest in reclaiming Eastern Ukraine. Not surprisingly, since Russia’s ultimate goal is undeclared, the conflict has proved very difficult to resolve.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Territorial Disputes, Negotiation
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Ukraine, Canada, France, Germany, United States of America
  • Author: Plamen Pantev
  • Publication Date: 02-2020
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Institute for Security and International Studies (ISIS)
  • Abstract: The first reflection about the geopolitical environment that Bulgaria faced after the tectonic systemic shifts in the end of the 80s and the beginning of the 90s of the 20th century thirty years later is that the efforts of the country to influence the transformation of the Balkans into a regional security community were successful. The second reflection is that Bulgaria was not able to influence effectively a similar development in the Black Sea area. Both the Balkans and the Caspian Sea-Caucasus- Black Sea area were conflictual knots of relations inherited from the Cold War divide. While the traditional European great powers that polarized the Balkan system of international relations pushing the small countries one against the other and the United States had the strategic interest of pacifying the South Eastern region of Europe, the dominating great power in the Black Sea area – Russia, aimed at preserving the opportunities of coming back to the territories that the Soviet Union lost after its collapse by preserving various degrees of conflictness in the neighbouring countries. Depending on the general condition of the Russian economy and state as well as its domestic political status different opportunities were either designed or just used to preserve the profile of Russia of the empire that sooner or later will be back. What are, in this regard, the perceptions in Bulgaria of the annexation of Crimea?
  • Topic: Security, International Security, Geopolitics, Conflict, Empire
  • Political Geography: Russia, Caucasus, Soviet Union, Bulgaria, Caspian Sea
  • Author: James Sherr
  • Publication Date: 07-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: International Centre for Defence and Security - ICDS
  • Abstract: The aims of this report are to explain Ukraine’s consolidation, resilience and determination to make its own decisions despite great asymmetries of power and Russia’s exploitation of its vulnerabilities and divisions; to describe why President Volodymyr Zelensky represents an opportunity as well as a challenge to Russia; and to set out necessary and realistic goals for the West.
  • Topic: Security, History, Resilience, Non-Traditional Threats
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Eurasia, Ukraine
  • Author: Ivo Juurvee, Anna-Mariita Mattiisen
  • Publication Date: 08-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: International Centre for Defence and Security - ICDS
  • Abstract: This report revisits the spring 2007 crisis in Estonia, centred on the World War II memorial known as the Bronze Soldier statue. The crisis is well-known both in Estonia and abroad. It was one of the first wake-up calls to the cooling of relations between Russia and the West. It also involved the first use of wide-ranging cyber-attacks against a state.
  • Topic: Security, History, Cybersecurity, Resilience, Hybrid Warfare , Hybrid Threats
  • Political Geography: Russia, Eurasia, Estonia
  • Author: Heinrich Brauss, Kalev Stoicescu, Tony Lawrence
  • Publication Date: 02-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: International Centre for Defence and Security - ICDS
  • Abstract: In response to Russia’s aggression against Ukraine in 2014, NATO has revitalised its core business of deterrence and defence and adapted it to today’s political and geostrategic circumstances. In the Baltic region, the most visible expression of this effort has been the deployment of the enhanced Forward Presence battlegroups in Poland and the three Baltic states. These are, in turn, backed up by a readiness and reinforcement strategy, which NATO has also strengthened through the adoption of a number of measures agreed by the Allies. But deterrence is a complex matter that involves political, diplomatic, military, economic, cyber, information-related, and other aspects. In the Baltic region, the constraints of geography coupled with the proximity of the region to Russia pose particular challenges to NATO’s approach. The region remains a focus of tensions between Russia and the West and the three Baltic states are still NATO’s most vulnerable members. Moscow, meanwhile, pretends that it is particularly threatened in the Baltic region, where it regards the territory of the Baltic states as a potential bridgehead of American power projection and presents NATO’s deterrence measures as a deliberate, unprovoked and unjustified build-up of forces around its periphery. Two interdependent developments in the period since 2014 have pointed to a particular need to re-examine the credibility of NATO’s posture as it pertains to the Baltic region: first, Russia’s continued programme to achieve conventional military superiority in its western direction; and second, its recent deployment of new mobile, land-based, intermediate-range, nuclear-capable missiles. The former has given Russia has a substantial numerical advantage in ground forces in the Baltic region which give Moscow the option of executing a rapid land-grab attack before NATO could react. The latter could be used to try to decouple Europe from the extended nuclear deterrence provided by the US, paralysing NATO decision making and undermining the Allies’ resolve. Full and expeditious implementation of all decisions taken at Warsaw and Brussels to strengthen NATO’s deterrence and defence posture is therefore imperative. In this policy paper, we recommend some steps that NATO should take in order to strengthen the deterrent effect of NATO forces and to ensure that timely reinforcement of its peripheries is feasible. In the light of a US Congressional request for a detailed assessment from the Pentagon on whether to expand US military presence in the Baltic states, we pay particular attention to the role of US forces in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.
  • Topic: Security, NATO, Political stability, Deterrence
  • Political Geography: Russia, Baltic States
  • Author: Elizabeth N. Saunders
  • Publication Date: 10-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Security
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: When and how do domestic politics influence a state's nuclear choices? Recent scholarship on nuclear security develops many domestic-political explanations for different nuclear decisions. These explanations are partly the result of two welcome trends: first, scholars have expanded the nuclear timeline, examining state behavior before and after nuclear proliferation; and second, scholars have moved beyond blunt distinctions between democracies and autocracies to more fine-grained understandings of domestic constraints. But without linkages between them, new domestic-political findings could be dismissed as a laundry list of factors that do not explain significant variation in nuclear decisions. This review essay assesses recent research on domestic politics and nuclear security, and develops a framework that illuminates when and how domestic-political mechanisms are likely to affect nuclear choices. In contrast to most previous domestic arguments, many of the newer domestic-political mechanisms posited in the literature are in some way top-down; that is, they show leaders deliberately maintaining or loosening control over nuclear choices. Two dimensions govern the extent and nature of domestic-political influence on nuclear choices: the degree of threat uncertainty and the costs and benefits to leaders of expanding the circle of domestic actors involved in a nuclear decision. The framework developed in this review essay helps make sense of several cases explored in the recent nuclear security literature. It also has implications for understanding when and how domestic-political arguments might diverge from the predictions of security-based analyses.
  • Topic: Security, Arms Control and Proliferation, Nuclear Weapons, Treaties and Agreements, International Security, Domestic politics, Nonproliferation
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, China, Iran, North Korea
  • Author: Flemming Splidsboel Hansen
  • Publication Date: 04-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: The digital domain is an arena of opportunity for Russia in which to attempt to achieve its various objectives. However, it is also a source of threat, as it contains the possibility of attacks on Russia’s digital infrastructure, including the ability to send a relatively uninterrupted flow of information to the public. The continued development of artificial intelligence has the potential to upset the system, and Russia, which will trail the leading states within this field, is still in the early phases of formulating a response to this challenge. Recommendations ■ Remember that the digital domain in Russia is seen not only as an arena of opportunity, but also as a source of threat to the state (or rather to the regime). ■ Be prepared for Russia to think creatively to minimize the gap separating it from the world’s leaders in the development of AI. ■ Be prepared for Russia to work for an international regime restricting the use of AI for military purposes.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Power Politics, Cybersecurity
  • Political Geography: Russia, Eurasia
  • Author: Samuel Bendett
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Fletcher Security Review
  • Institution: The Fletcher School, Tufts University
  • Abstract: Following the end of the Cold War, the Russian Federation lagged behind the United States in terms of advanced technology in warfighting. However, after substantial spending on modernization starting in 2008, the Russian military and the nation’s defense sector have been making great strides at developing remotely operated and autonomous technologies and integrating them in their tactics and combat operations. Russia is also starting to invest in Artificial Intelligence (AI) development with specific military applications. These developments affect the ability of the United States to meet the goals in its new National Security Strategy; in order to meet its stated December 2017 objective of renewing American competitive advantage in key military areas, the United States should be aware of key adversarial developments such as Russia’s emerging unmanned, autonomous, and AI capabilities, and prepare itself in terms of appropriate capabilities, tactics, and plans...
  • Topic: Security, Science and Technology, Military Affairs, Military Spending, Artificial Intelligence
  • Political Geography: Russia, Eurasia, United States of America
  • Author: Heather Williams
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Fletcher Security Review
  • Institution: The Fletcher School, Tufts University
  • Abstract: Dr. Heather Williams is a lecturer in the Defence Studies Department and Centre for Science and Security Studies at King’s College London. She also does research for the Institute for Defense Analyses on Strategy, Forces, and Resources, and previously was a Research Fellow at Chatham House. Williams received her doctorate from King’s College London for her dissertation on U.S.-Russia arms control from 1968-2010.
  • Topic: Security, Arms Control and Proliferation, Science and Technology, Weapons , Interview
  • Political Geography: Russia, Eurasia, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Nina Jankowicz
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Fletcher Security Review
  • Institution: The Fletcher School, Tufts University
  • Abstract: Nina Jankowicz is writing a book on the evolution of Russian influence campaigns in Eastern Europe. She has previously worked advising the Ukranian government on communication and managed democracy assistance programs for Russia and Belarus. She is currently a Global Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars’ Kennan Institute and has previously served as a Fulbright-Clinton Public Policy Fellow.
  • Topic: Security, Territorial Disputes, Geopolitics
  • Political Geography: Russia, Ukraine, Eastern Europe
  • Author: Antulio J. Echevarria II, Sam J. Tangredi, Mathieu Boulegue, Keir Giles, C. Anthony Pfaff, Karen J. Finkenbinder, Massimo Pani, Richard A. Lacquement Jr., John F. Sullivan
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: Our 2019 Spring/Summer issue of Parameters features three forums. In the first forum, A2/AD Myths: Chinese & Russian, Sam Tangredi’s “Anti-Access Strategies in the Pacific: The United States and China” puts Beijing’s A2/AD capabilities in perspective and encourages the United States to consider developing an anti-access strategy of its own to deter possible Chinese aggression in the South China Sea. Keir Giles and Mathieu Boulegue’s “Russia’s A2/AD Capabilities: Real and Imagined,” explode some of the myths concerning Russia’s A2/AD capabilities and recommend ways to promote a stronger defense of the Baltic states and Eastern Europe. The second forum, Enhancing Security & Stability, considers how to address emerging and periodic challenges in regional and functional stability. In “Human Security in the Arctic: Implications for the US Army,” Tony Pfaff explains the growing importance of Arctic security for Army strategists. The challenges of climate change will require the Army, including the Alaska National Guard, to reallocate forces to this important region. In “Projecting Stability: A Deployable NATO Police Command,” Massimo Pani and Karen Finkenbinder propose methods NATO could use to project a stability force to crisis situations within 5 days, to be augmented with additional police forces and command elements within 30 days. Our third forum, On Strategic Foundations, offers two articles that explore the reliability of some of the conceptual foundations of our strategic thinking. Richard Lacquement Jr. discusses the use of historical analogies as one of humanity’s most important adaptive techniques in “Analogical Thinking: The Sine Qua Non for Using History Well.” He suggests pattern recognition may aid in clarifying context and in guiding action in unfamiliar intellectual terrain. In “Reconsidering Sun Tzu,” John Sullivan challenges readers to be more critical of orthodox interpretations of Sun Tzu’s Art of War. After all, the unexamined theory is not worth teaching.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Armed Forces, Military Affairs
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Asia, North America, Arctic, United States of America
  • Author: Leo Lin
  • Publication Date: 11-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: China Brief
  • Institution: The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Kazakhstan President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev’s recent visit to the People’s Republic of China (PRC) on September 10-12 was not merely a state visit, but also signaled a new era in bilateral relations between Kazakhstan and China. During his visit, Tokayev met top officials of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), including CCP General Secretary Xi Jinping, Premier Li Keqiang, and Li Zhanshu, the Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress. Tokayev also stopped in Hangzhou, where he visited the headquarters of the Alibaba Group and spoke with founder Jack Ma, as well as the new chairman and CEO Daniel Zhang (Sina Tech, September 12). The September visit has symbolic meaning for both Xi and Tokayev as they prepare for a new stage of their partnership—in the same year as the 70th anniversary of the founding of the PRC, and the 30th anniversary of Kazakhstan’s independence.
  • Topic: Security, International Trade and Finance, Science and Technology, Treaties and Agreements, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Central Asia, Kazakhstan
  • Author: Agnieszka Legucka, Jędrzej Czerep
  • Publication Date: 11-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Russia’s increasing presence in Africa is motivated by global political ambitions and economic goals. To expand its influence, Russia is involved in local conflicts and fuels anti-Western sentiment. Competing with EU and U.S. countries, it is simultaneously becoming an important security partner for many African governments. An obstacle to Russia further increasing its presence in Africa is its weak economic condition, which not only limits the possibility of economic expansion on the continent but also its interference in internal political processes in African countries.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Politics, Bilateral Relations, Soft Power
  • Political Geography: Africa, Russia, African Union
  • Author: Abbas Kadhim
  • Publication Date: 10-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: Iraq has a long and complicated history with the United States, and security and military engagements have been the primary driver of the relationship. Iraq’s relations with Russia, on the other hand, have been more transactional and economically-oriented. At a time when there are signs of US disengagement from the Middle East and North Africa while Russian and Chinese activities in the region are increasing, it is useful to trace the past US and Russian strategies in Iraq and assess how the United States could better tailor its strategy toward Iraq in the future in order to achieve durable outcomes that would bring benefits to both sides such as a responsive government, a thriving economy, and security. This chapter is part of an edited volume that gathers analysis on the policy choices pursued by Washington and Moscow in the MENA region and develops case studies of the two powers’ policies in the countries beset by major crises.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Defense Policy, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: Russia, Iraq, Eurasia, Middle East, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Taylor Valley
  • Publication Date: 05-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on International Policy (CIP)
  • Abstract: What is Russia’s geopolitical game in Latin America? Since the early-2000s, we have witnessed bilateral trade spike by 44 percent, around 40 diplomatic visits by high-ranking Russian officials, and budding military cooperation through joint-naval exercises in Latin American ports. Some explain this growth as Russian efforts to create multipolarity in the western hemisphere and undermine U.S. influence in the region. This narrative of bilateral relations disregards a key element that may be driving Russia’s engagement— the role of Latin American leadership.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Imperialism
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Latin America, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Ferry de Kerckhove
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Canadian Global Affairs Institute (CGAI)
  • Abstract: The art of war has changed considerably since the end of the Second World War. In the last 15 years, the centre of gravity has slowly shifted from the Atlantic to the Pacific. The West is increasingly being destabilized. Hybrid warfare and cyber-attacks have become increasingly effective alternatives to both hard and soft power. Russia is a major player in this domain; so is Iran. Other players are joining the fray, most of them hostile to the West, such as Iran and Russia’s client states. The barriers between civilian and military are fading quickly. All-out war now happens in a space that’s invisible to the naked eye. Not only is such warfare threatening us, but it also has consequences we have barely begun to assess. The divide between good and bad is blurring. Marshall McLuhan said the medium is the message. Today, the medium and the message are an undecipherable continuum where evil and lies coexist with truth and goodwill. Technological prowess increases vulnerability, but technology is also at the heart of corresponding systems of security. Thus, we have fully entered a new arms race where deterrence comes from the other side knowing what you don’t want him to discover, but what you want him to fear. Voltaire said: “If you wish to speak to me, let us start by defining the meaning of our words.” In this day and age, this mantra is particularly applicable to the definition of contemporary threats as well as of the targets, or even who is in the sights of Russian and Middle Eastern leaders. “Cyberspace is a domain characterized by the use of electronics and the electromagnetic spectrum to store, modify, and exchange data via networked systems and associated physical infrastructures. In effect, cyberspace can be thought of as the interconnection of human beings through computers and telecommunication, without regard to physical geography.” Consequently, “(c)ybersecurity is the practice of protecting systems, networks, and programs from digital attacks. These cyberattacks are usually aimed at accessing, changing, or destroying sensitive information; extorting money from users; or interrupting normal business processes. Implementing effective cybersecurity measures is particularly challenging today because there are more devices than people, and attackers are becoming more innovative.” Discussions focus on whether Russia or China is the heavyweight in terms of threat. Some argue that China is more subtle while Russia is more of a rogue. But it is undeniable that China’s attempt to change the fundamental paradigm of international relations, while using and hopefully subduing the existing international order’s mechanisms to its advantage, represents a holistic approach and is thus more threatening to the world if it even partly succeeds. Indeed, the planet’s centre of gravity is moving from the Atlantic to the Pacific and that means the global threat comes from China. If we needed a reminder, in 2014 Chinese hackers stole the personal information of more than 22 million people connected to U.S. security clearance processes. Not bad for five years ago!
  • Topic: Security, Science and Technology, Cybersecurity
  • Political Geography: Russia, Iran, Middle East
  • Author: Nazir Hussain, Amna Javed
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: South Asian Studies
  • Institution: Department of Political Science, University of the Punjab
  • Abstract: South Asia is an important but complex region. Its manifold complexity is largely ascribed through historical, economic, political and strategic manifestations. The region has witnessed instability in all the given premises and interactions. The entirety happens to be the fact that the structure of alignments is motivated by security complexes which involve cohesion of foreign powers and regional states. The US, Russia, Iran and China now make out to be contemporary stakeholders in South Asian security equation. Their involvement has been seen as a major reorientation in the regional dynamics in terms of political, economic and security characteristics. The manifold possibilities of re-alignments are what the future of the region will look like. The chance of full-fledged strategic alliance in the face of US-India on the basis of similar political, economic and security interests is on the horizon. As a corollary to this alliance pattern, there is China-Russia-Pakistan alliance which is similar in force but opposite in direction. These two systems are one set of opposition forces to each other, which are also natural in form. Another structure which occurs out of the regional dynamics happens to be of India-Iran-Afghanistan which is a trifecta aiming at Pakistan. On the other hand, Russia-China-Pakistan which could turn into a politically motivated and economically driven alliance and can also cover certain aspects of security. Therefore, due to various changes in order there will stem out various patterns of relationships, which could set the order of the region as one marked by various fluctuating alignment patterns.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Power Politics, Geopolitics, Realignment
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Afghanistan, Russia, China, South Asia, North America, Punjab, United States of America
  • Publication Date: 04-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Institut français des relations internationales (IFRI)
  • Abstract: What makes the militia milieu so unique and important for understanding today’s Russia is that it finds itself at the intersection of state institutions, patronage mechanisms, criminal structures, and grassroots illiberal activism. Abroad, the Kremlin plays through it one of its major “hybrid warfare” cards, outsourcing activities traditionally conducted by intelligence entities and allowing for plausible deniability. The militia realm thus seems destined to play a growing role in Russia’s law-enforcement, military and intelligence culture both at home and abroad. Marlene Laruelle is Research Professor and Associate Director of the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (IERES) at the George Washington University (Washington DC) and Co-Director of PONARS-Eurasia. She has been Associate Research Fellow at Ifri’s Russia/NIS Center since January 2019.
  • Topic: Security, Nationalism, Military Affairs, Ideology
  • Political Geography: Russia, Eurasia
  • Author: Andrei V. Belyi
  • Publication Date: 05-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: International Centre for Defence and Security - ICDS
  • Abstract: The Baltic region is making a significant progress in developing functioning regional natural gas market, expanding and integrating the related infrastructure, and ensuring the security of supply. However, there are multiple factors—at the national, regional, European and even global levels—that prevent this from becoming an ideal market capable of delivering greater security at a reasonable cost. Liquidity of the market is low due to falling consumption; state aid and state participation in the energy enterprises discourage private investments and distort market conditions, while geopolitical tensions between the West and Russia add further complications. The report considers the trends in the overall natural gas sector—such as greater portion of trade being conducted in gas trading hubs; more reliance on spot pricing rather than long-term contracts; LNG glut in the global markets, introduction of “virtual pipelines” and flexible infrastructure, pressure to reduce CO2 emissions as well as the US entry into the global LNG market as a major player—and analyses their implications to Estonia. It puts forward a number of recommendations on how to create and sustain the conditions necessary for efficient natural gas market in the region as well as for improved energy security of Estonia.
  • Topic: Security, Energy Policy, European Union, Economy, Resilience
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States of America
  • Author: Anna Tiido
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: International Centre for Defence and Security - ICDS
  • Abstract: This analysis calls for European governments to pay greater attention to the resilience of their societies, starting with the integration of minorities. It is also important to continue work to increase awareness of Russian influence. The paper analyses the issue of Russian speakers in the EU based on the example of Finland, Germany and Estonia. Although the Kremlin’s “Russian World” policy sees all the people connected to Russia as a homogeneous group, the minority groups analysed are quite diverse. The media preferences and habits of Russian-speakers are connected to language, naturally, and these communities are one of the targets of Russia’s actions. At the same time, Russia also targets non-Russian audiences. It promotes propaganda that is tailor-made for specific countries, based on existing conditions. The grievances of Russian-speakers are one such tool, but they constitute one of many available—and not the main one.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, International Affairs, Integration, Social Cohesion, Resilience
  • Political Geography: Russia, Finland, Germany, Estonia
  • Author: James Sherr, Kaarel Kullamaa
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: International Centre for Defence and Security - ICDS
  • Abstract: Until recently, the Russian Orthodox Church was a subject that interested few outside expert circles. That dramatically changed in late 2018 when the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople granted autocephaly (independence) to the Orthodox Church of Ukraine. The reverberations of this decision — religious, political and geopolitcal — underscore the importance that the Church once again plays in Russian policy. In this report, we consider the role that the Russian Orthodox Church has played as an adjunct to an imperial policy stretching back over many centuries. Today, the Russian Federation has a secular constitution. But as much as in tsarist times, the Church regards itself as one of the pillars of Russia’s political order. As much as in the time of Catherine the Great, it is also a protagonist in its wars of identity and the rewriting of the history of former imperial subjects whose experience of the relationship between church and state is different from Russia’s. This diversity is well brought out in the report’s two case studies, Ukraine and Estonia. In both countries, local Orthodox churches embodied distinctive cultural traditions and values until they felt the full force of Russian control, tsarist and Soviet. Since 2014, Russia’s hybrid war in Ukraine has revived many historical controversies. It also has raised entirely new security concerns about the borderline between faith and politics. These concerns are summarised at the conclusion of the report, which closes with a section on policy recommendations.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Defense Policy, Politics, Religion, International Affairs, Governance, Christianity
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Ukraine, Estonia
  • Author: Seth G. Jones
  • Publication Date: 02-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The Trump administration’s National Security Strategy and National Defense Strategy outline a U.S. shift from counterterrorism to inter-state competition with China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea. However, U.S. policymakers need to be prepared for much of this competition to occur at the unconventional level, since the costs of conventional and nuclear war would likely be catastrophic. U.S. strategy is evolving from a post-9/11 focus on counterterrorism against groups like al Qaeda and the Islamic State to competition between state adversaries. As the National Defense Strategy notes, “Inter-state strategic competition, not terrorism, is now the primary concern in U.S. national security.”1 This shift has significant implications for the U.S. military, since it indicates a need to improve U.S. capabilities to fight—and win—possible wars against China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea if deterrence fails. Though it is prudent to prepare for conventional—and even nuclear—war, the risks of conflict are likely to be staggering. Numerous war games and analyses of U.S. conflicts with Russia in the Baltics, China in the Taiwan Strait and South China Sea, and North Korea on the Korean peninsula suggest the possibility of at least tens of thousands of dead and billions of dollars in economic damages. In addition, these conflicts could escalate to nuclear war, which might raise the number of dead to hundreds of thousands or even millions. According to one analysis, for example, a U.S. war with China could reduce China’s gross domestic product (GDP) by between 25 and 35 percent and the United States’ GDP by between 5 and 10 percent. The study also assessed that both countries could suffer substantial military losses to bases, air forces, surface naval forces, and submarines; significant political upheaval at home and abroad; and huge numbers of civilian deaths.2 These costs and risks will likely give Washington, Moscow, Beijing, Tehran, and even Pyongyang pause, raising several questions. Will these high costs deter the possibility of conventional and nuclear war? If so, what are the implications for the United States as it plans for a rise in inter-state competition? The Cold War offers a useful historical lens. NATO planners prepared for a possible Soviet and Warsaw Pact invasion of Western Europe. The U.S. military, for example, deployed forces to the Fulda Gap, roughly 60 miles outside of Frankfurt, Germany, as one of several possible invasion routes by Soviet and other Warsaw Pact forces. NATO also planned for nuclear war. The United States built up its nuclear arsenal and adopted strategies like mutually assured destruction (MAD). The concept of MAD assumed that a full-scale use of nuclear weapons by two or more opposing sides would cause the annihilation of both the attacker and the defender. The threat of such heavy costs deterred conflict, despite some close calls. During the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, the two superpowers nearly went to war after a U.S. U-2 aircraft took pictures of Soviet medium-range and intermediate-range ballistic nuclear missiles (MRBMs and IRBMs) under construction in Cuba. But Washington and Moscow ultimately assessed that direct conflict was too costly. Deterrence held. Instead, the United States and Soviet Union engaged in intense security competition at the unconventional level across Latin America, Africa, Asia, and Europe. Both countries backed substate groups and states to expand their power and influence. Under the Reagan Doctrine, for example, the United States provided overt and covert assistance to anticommunist governments and resistance movements to roll back communist supporters. The Soviets did the same and supported states and substate actors across the globe. In addition, the Soviets adopted an aggressive, unconventional approach best captured in the phrase “active measures” or aktivnyye meropriatia. As used by the KGB, active measures included a wide range of activities designed to influence populations across the globe. The KGB established front groups, covertly broadcast radio and other programs, orchestrated disinformation campaigns, and conducted targeted assassinations. The Soviets used active measures as an offensive instrument of Soviet foreign policy to extend Moscow’s influence and power throughout the world, including in Europe. Unlike the Cold War, the United States confronts multiple state adversaries today—not one. As the National Defense Strategy argues, the United States is situated in “a security environment more complex and volatile than any we have experienced in recent memory” where “the central challenges to U.S. prosperity and security is the reemergence of long-term, strategic competition by what the National Security Strategy classifies as revisionist powers.” But based on the likely costs and risks of conventional and nuclear war with China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea, much of the competition will likely be unconventional—and include what former U.S. State Department diplomat George Kennan referred to as “political warfare.” The term political warfare refers to the employment of military, intelligence, diplomatic, financial, and other means—short of conventional war—to achieve national objectives. It can include overt operations like public broadcasting and covert operations like psychological warfare and support to underground resistance groups.3 The United States’ adversaries today are already engaged in political warfare. Russia, for instance, utilizes a range of means to pursue its interests, such as technologically sophisticated offensive cyber programs, covert action, and psychological operations. Moscow has conducted overt operations like the use of RT and Sputnik, as well as semitransparent and covert efforts. It has also become increasingly active in supporting state and substate actors in countries like Ukraine, Syria, Afghanistan, and Libya to expand its influence in the Middle East, Asia, Europe, and even North Africa. Finally, Russia is attempting to exploit European and transatlantic fissures and support populist movements to undermine European Union and NATO cohesion, thwart economic sanctions, justify or obscure Russian actions, and weaken the attraction of Western institutions for countries on Russia’s periphery. Iran is using political warfare tools like propaganda, cyber attacks, and aid to substate proxies to support its security priorities, influence events and foreign perceptions, and counter threats. Tehran is also assisting state and substate actors in Yemen, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Bahrain, and Afghanistan. Iran supports Shia militia groups in Iraq, Hezbollah in Lebanon, the Bashar al-Assad regime in Syria, and Houthi rebels in Yemen. In the South China Sea, China is pouring millions of tons of sand and concrete onto reefs, creating artificial islands. It is also conducting a sophisticated propaganda campaign, utilizing economic coercion, and using fleets of fishing vessels to solidify its assertion of territorial and resource rights throughout the Pacific. Finally, Beijing is targeting the U.S. government, its allies, and U.S. companies as part of a cyber-espionage campaign. With political warfare already alive and well with the United States’ state adversaries, there are several implications for U.S. defense strategy. First, U.S. policymakers need to be prepared for significant inter-state competition to occur at the unconventional level, since the costs and risks of conventional and nuclear war may be prohibitively high. This should involve thinking through trade-offs regarding force posture, procurement, acquisition, and modernization. A U.S. military that predominantly focuses on preparing for conventional or nuclear war with state competitors—by modernizing the nuclear triad, building more resilient space capabilities, acquiring more effective counter-space systems, equipping U.S. forces with high-technology weapons, and emphasizing professional military education (PME) to fight conventional wars—may undermine U.S. unconventional readiness and capabilities. Second, even organizations that already engage in some types of political warfare—such as U.S. Special Operations Command and the U.S. intelligence community—will need to continue shifting some of their focus from counterterrorism to political warfare against state adversaries. This might include, for example, providing more aid to the Baltic States to conduct an effective resistance campaign against unconventional action by Moscow. Or it might involve aiding proxies in countries like Syria and Yemen to counter Iranian-backed organizations. It could also include improving the border security capabilities and effectiveness of Ukrainian military and police units against Russian-backed rebels. Third, the United States should invest in resources and capabilities that allow the military and other U.S. government agencies to more effectively engage in political warfare—and to provide agencies with sufficient authorities to conduct political warfare. One example is improving capabilities to conduct aggressive, offensive cyber operations. Other examples might include advanced electronic attack capabilities, psychological warfare units, security force assistance brigades, and precision munitions. Recognizing that other powers routinely conduct political warfare, George Kennan encouraged U.S. leaders to disabuse themselves of the “handicap” of the “concept of a basic difference between peace and war” and to wake up to “the realities of international relations—the perpetual rhythm of struggle, in and out of war.” Kennan’s advice may be even more relevant today in such a competitive world.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Nuclear Weapons, Military Strategy, Counter-terrorism
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, China, Europe, Asia, North Korea
  • Author: Heather A Conley
  • Publication Date: 02-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Twenty-five years of relative calm and predictability in relations between Russia and the West enabled European governments largely to neglect their military capabilities for territorial defense and dramatically redraw Northern Europe’s multilateral, regional, and bilateral boundaries, stimulating new institutional and cooperative developments and arrangements. These cooperative patterns of behavior occurred amid a benign security environment, a situation that no longer obtains. Following Russia’s annexation of Crimea, its military incursion into eastern Ukraine, its substantial military modernization efforts, heightened undersea activity in the North Atlantic and Baltic Sea, and its repeated air violations, the region’s security environment has dramatically worsened. The Baltic Sea and North Atlantic region have returned as a geostrategic focal point. It is vital, therefore, that the United States rethink its security approach to the region—what the authors describe as Enhanced Deterrence in the North.
  • Topic: Security, Regional Cooperation, Military Strategy, Modernization
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe, North Atlantic, Northern Europe, Crimea, Baltic Sea
  • Author: Igor Istomin, Akshobh Giridharadas
  • Publication Date: 07-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Fletcher Security Review
  • Institution: The Fletcher School, Tufts University
  • Abstract: Igor A. Istomin is a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Applied Analysis of International Issues at MGIMO University. He holds Ph.D. and M.A. degrees from MGIMO University as well as an undergraduate degree from Saint Petersburg State University. Istomin teaches undergraduate and graduate classes in methods of applied analysis of international affairs. He is an executive editor at International Trends, a leading Russian academic journal. He is also a visiting fellow at the School of International and Public Affairs at Jilin University in China. Istomin is the author of more than 50 publications on U.S. foreign policy, relations in the Euro-Atlantic space, and international security. His most recent book is The Logic of State Behavior in International Politics (2017). He has also prepared policy reports and papers for the Russian International Affairs Council, the Valdai Discussion Club, the Center for Strategic Research in Moscow, and the European Leadership Network.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Cold War, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: Russia, Eurasia, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Tatiana Shakleina, Ryan Rogers
  • Publication Date: 07-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Fletcher Security Review
  • Institution: The Fletcher School, Tufts University
  • Abstract: Professor Tatiana Shakleina sat down with the Fletcher Security Review in November 2017 in conjunction with the Conference on U.S.-Russia Relations between The Fletcher School and Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO). In a detailed and engaging conversation that spanned over 25 years of history, Professor Shakleina traced the post-Cold War origins of the current tension between the United States and Russia. While personnel within the Trump Administration have moved on to new positions or left government altogether since the interview, Professor Shakleina’s rich historical overview of post-Cold War U.S.-Russia relations remains extremely relevant in understanding the recent trajectory and current state of the bilateral relationship. ​
  • Topic: Security, Cold War, Government, History, Bilateral Relations, Trump
  • Political Geography: Russia, Eurasia, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Ursula Kazarian
  • Publication Date: 07-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Fletcher Security Review
  • Institution: The Fletcher School, Tufts University
  • Abstract: The independent development of renewable energy resources — and especially solar energy production, in the short term — may present the best opportunity for both intrastate and interstate autonomy in the South Caucasus, and may particularly benefit the Republic of Armenia, whose current energy portfolio is almost entirely supplied, owned, and, until recently, operated by Russia.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Climate Change, Energy Policy, Natural Resources
  • Political Geography: Russia, Armenia, South Caucasus
  • Author: Ishan Khokar, Celeste Wallander
  • Publication Date: 07-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Fletcher Security Review
  • Institution: The Fletcher School, Tufts University
  • Abstract: Celeste Wallander is President and CEO of the U.S.-Russia Foundation. She served as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Russia/Eurasia on the National Security Council (2013-2017), as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Russia/Ukraine/Eurasia (2009 to July 2012), professor at American University (2009-2013), visiting professor at Georgetown University (2006-2008), Director for Russia/Eurasia at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (2001-2006), Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations (2000- 2001), and professor of Government at Harvard (1989-2000). She is the author of over 80 publications on European and Eurasian security issues, focused on Russian foreign and defense strategy. She received her Ph.D. (1990), M.Phil. (1986) and M.A. (1985) degrees from Yale University. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Atlantic Council of the United States, and the International Institute for Strategic Studies.
  • Topic: Security, Energy Policy, Bilateral Relations, Interview
  • Political Geography: Russia, Eurasia, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Julie Wilhelmsen, Maia Brown-Jackson
  • Publication Date: 07-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Fletcher Security Review
  • Institution: The Fletcher School, Tufts University
  • Abstract: Julie Wilhelmsen is a senior research fellow at the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs. She conducts research in the fields of critical security studies, Russian foreign and security policies and the radicalization of Islam in Eurasia. Wilhelmsen has also written about convergence in Russian and Chinese interests in Central Asia and about Russian approaches to the fight against terrorism. She holds a master’s degree in post-Soviet and Russian studies from the London School of Economics and holds a PhD in Political Science at the University of Oslo.
  • Topic: Security, Terrorism, History, Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Eurasia, Soviet Union, Chechnya
  • Author: Evelyn Farkas, Ryan Rogers
  • Publication Date: 07-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Fletcher Security Review
  • Institution: The Fletcher School, Tufts University
  • Abstract: Dr. Evelyn N. Farkas is a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, and a national security analyst for NBC/MSNBC. She served from 2012 to 2015 as deputy assistant secretary of defense for Russia/Ukraine/ Eurasia, responsible for policy toward Russia, the Black Sea, Balkans, and Caucasus regions and conventional arms control. From 2010 to 2012 she served as senior adviser to the supreme allied commander Europe and special adviser to the secretary of defense for the NATO Summit. Prior to that, she was a senior fellow at the American Security Project, and executive director of the Commission on the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferation and Terrorism. From April 2001 to April 2008, she served as a professional staff member of the Senate Armed Services Committee on Asia Pacific, Western Hemisphere, Special Operations Command, peace and stability operations, combatting terrorism, counternarcotics, homeland defense, and export control policy. Dr. Farkas obtained her MA and PhD from The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. She is a member of the board of trustees of Franklin & Marshall College and Aspen Institute Socrates Seminar, and Harold Rosenthal Fellowship advisory boards. She has received several Department of Defense and foreign awards and an honorary doctorate from Franklin & Marshall College. In January 2018, Dr. Farkas discussed a range of issues concerning Russia and the post-Soviet space with the Fletcher Security Review. The conversation took place in the run-up to the March 2018 presidential elections in Moscow and before President Putin’s highly publicized Presidential Address to the Federal Assembly, in which he unveiled a number of new nuclear weapon systems currently under development by the Russian Federation.
  • Topic: Security, Bilateral Relations, Geopolitics, Grand Strategy
  • Political Geography: Russia, Eurasia, Ukraine, Syria, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Nikolay Surkov
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Geneva Centre for Security Policy
  • Abstract: Discussion paper for the workshop on: “The emerging security dynamics and the political settlement in Syria”, Syracuse, Italy, 18-19 October 2018. Since 2015, Syria has been a test-ground for many Russian military innovations. Among them the Russian Military Police (RMP), which quickly became one of the symbols of the Russian involvement in the Syrian crisis. After defeating the militants, the Russian stabilisation and reconciliation strategy included the deployment of forces that could provide security for civilians, negotiators, demining teams and medics. Furthermore, once the ceasefire agreement was reached in 2016, a peacekeeping force was needed to oversee its implementation. Due to domestic and international circumstances, Russia could not deploy combat troops, so the RMP was chosen for its effectiveness and low profile. The RMP provided support to the Reconciliation Centre (RC), secured humanitarian evacuations and monitored de-escalation zones. Despite certain achievements, total success was limited. Due to its size, the RMP was unable to maintain a massive presence in the governmentcontrolled areas to protect the civilian population and shape the security environment. As such, it could not be a substitute for the local and national Syrian forces that were needed to bring peace and stability in the long run.
  • Topic: Security, Military Affairs, Syrian War, Police, Reconciliation
  • Political Geography: Russia, Middle East, Syria
  • Author: Charles E Ziegler
  • Publication Date: 06-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Whitehead Journal of Diplomacy and International Relations
  • Institution: School of Diplomacy and International Relations, Seton Hall University
  • Abstract: According to classical realism, diplomacy is the means by which states defend their interests and achieve their objectives short of war, using a mixture of persuasion, compromise, and the threat of force. In the quartercentury since the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russian diplomacy has evolved from a passive, Western-orientation toward a muscular, multilateral and assertive posture. In the immediate post-perestroika years Russian diplomacy reflected the nascent democratic character of the new Russia, and the search for a new post-Soviet identity. Since Vladimir Putin ascended to the presidency, Russian diplomacy has become highly effective at several diplomatic issues. These include: Promoting and representing Russian national interests; defending key principles of sovereignty; non-interference in internal affairs; and respect for Russia as a great power; consolidating the former Soviet space as a privileged sphere of Russian influence; and addressing Russia’s vital security concerns in the Eurasian region, including concerns with The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the European Union (EU) expansion eastward.
  • Topic: Security, Diplomacy, Politics, History, Military Affairs
  • Political Geography: Russia, Eurasia, Soviet Union
  • Author: Fabio Rugge
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Italian Institute for International Political Studies (ISPI)
  • Abstract: The good old days of cold war disinformatia are gone. Social media are increasingly relevant in shaping the public opinion, but they are just “eco chambers”. Foreign actors with malicious intent can easily exploit this intrinsic feature of social media manipulating online information in order to influence the public opinion. Moreover, cyberspace allows a large degree of anonymity, behind which it is easy to automate propaganda, and cyber attacks may be leveraged to exfiltrate and expose sensitive content or to gain information dominance during military operations, increasing the strategic relevance of the “information space”. Operations in this domain are central in Russia’s security strategic thinking, featuring predominantly in its “New Generation War” military doctrine. But the ongoing militarization of cyberspace risks having dangerous spillovers in the conventional domain. What can we do in order to protect our open democracies while preserving a global, free and resilient Internet? The answer is multi-faceted, in as much as CEIW (cyber-enabled information warfare) is an emerging asymmetric threat that forces us to innovate our security approach in many ways.
  • Topic: Security, Science and Technology, Cybersecurity, Social Media
  • Political Geography: Russia, Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 11-2018
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Future for Advanced Research and Studies (FARAS)
  • Abstract: Currently, Russia is trying to maintain its political and security understandings with key parties to the Syrian conflict. But one of the main obstacles facing it is the intertwining and conflicting interests of parties, which leaves Russia with limited options and narrow room for maneuvering. Furthermore, it strains its relations with these parties, as is the case with Israel, following the Russian accusation to Israel of shooting down the Ilyushin Il-20 in September 17, 2018.
  • Topic: Security, Sanctions, Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin, Hassan Rouhani, Bashar al-Assad
  • Political Geography: Russia, Iran, Syria
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Future for Advanced Research and Studies (FARAS)
  • Abstract: French President Emmanuel Macron’s call to create a unified European army, independent of NATO, to defend the European continent in the face of major powers such as Russia, China and even the US, has sparked a political firestorm. The most notable of these reactions came from US President Donald Trump, who tweeted rejecting the proposal and criticizing the French President, heightening tensions between the two sides. At the official level, the US State Department commented on the idea of the European Union forming an independent army of member states, stating that the US opposes any actions that could contribute to weakening NATO. “That’s been a sustained entity that the United States government and many others supported for many years, and so we would not want the weakening of NATO”, US State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said on November 14, 2018.
  • Topic: Security, Regional Cooperation, Armed Forces, European Union
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Eurasia, France, United States of America
  • Author: Corentin Brustlein
  • Publication Date: 11-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institut français des relations internationales (IFRI)
  • Abstract: The instruments of cooperative security created during and since the Cold War to foster mutual confidence and reduce the risks of war, inadvertent escalation, and arms races, in and around Europe, have come under increasing strain. The European security architecture has been – and is being – weakened by renewed geopolitical competition, technological and military developments, and states violating or bypassing international law, or walking away from previous commitments. Against this backdrop, it is crucial to reassess the meaning and requirements of crisis and strategic stability in Europe. This report looks at some current and future sources of strategic instability, and focuses in particular on how the Russian way of waging modern conflict could, through the importance given to strategic ambiguity and operational opacity, fuel escalatory dynamics in Europe. It argues that strengthening strategic stability in Europe requires a two-pronged approach, combining a sustained effort to reinforce deterrence and defense in Europe with new confidence- and security-building and arms control measures to reduce reciprocal fears, incentives to escalate rapidly during a crisis, and risks of conventional and nuclear war in Europe.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Security, Arms Control and Proliferation, Deterrence
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe
  • Author: Gregory Waters
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Middle East Institute (MEI)
  • Abstract: The Tiger Forces is a Syrian Air Intelligence-affiliated militia fighting for the Syrian government and backed by Russia. While often described as the Syrian government’s elite fighting force, this research portrays a starkly different picture. The Tiger Forces are the largest single fighting force on the Syrian battlefield, with approximately 24 groups comprised of some 4,000 offensive infantry units as well as a dedicated artillery regiment and armor unit of unknown size. Beyond these fighters are thousands of additional so-called flex units, affiliated militiamen who remain largely garrisoned in their hometowns along the north Hama and Homs borders until called on to join offensives as needed. Despite a decentralized command structure, the Tiger Forces' capabilities far exceed any other unit currently fighting in the Syrian civil war. The main source of the unit’s success stems from its two full-strength infantry brigades with dedicated logistical support and the ability to call on the Syrian air force—and after September 2015 the Russian air force—at will. While there is likely some degree of higher-than-average competence among the Tiger Forces’ officer corps, this research demonstrates that the true power of the unit does not come from their alleged status as elite fighters but instead from their large size, supply lines, and Russian support.
  • Topic: Security, Armed Forces, Military Affairs, Conflict, Syrian War
  • Political Geography: Russia, Middle East, Syria
  • Author: Nuria G. Rabanal
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal on International Security Studies (RESI)
  • Institution: International Security Studies Group (GESI) at the University of Granada
  • Abstract: The aim of this work is to show the energy situation of the European Union (EU) across the analysis of its energy policy focusing in energy security. The facts show the important role of Russia as energy player and its influence in the design of energy strategy of the EU. As a reply of the strong dependency of Russian imports, European institutions have developed a strategy structured in two dimensions; internal and external one with the aim to guarantee the international cooperation with third countries, the increasing of internal energy market integration, the promotion of energy save, and the search of effective alternatives to conventional sources. The EU Strategy has designed a joint of measures that includes the increasing in the efficient use of conventional sources combined with higher levels in energy Investment, Innovation and technological Development (I+D+I), and the promotion of renewables. This is the way to change the classical energy model to a new one more compatible with the environment and a sustainable economic growth but also that implies a significant reduction of energy dependence.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Energy Policy, European Union
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Eurasia
  • Author: Javier Morales Hernández
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal on International Security Studies (RESI)
  • Institution: International Security Studies Group (GESI) at the University of Granada
  • Abstract: Russia considers the rapprochement or integration into NATO of other countries of Central and Eastern Europe or the Caucasus as a direct threat, even though it does not pose any danger to its own sovereignty and territorial integrity. Instead of interpreting this process as a mere competition for influence, Russian leaders perceive it primarily as a military threat, which would even justify the use of force to counteract it. In the present article we investigate the social and ideational factors that have led to this securitization of NATO enlargement, preventing Moscow from adapting to the new game of alliances in a more pragmatic way. The concept of “ontological security” allows us to explain the consistency and permanence over time of these Russian perceptions, which are derived from its own subjective needs.
  • Topic: Security, NATO, Sovereignty, Non-Traditional Threats, Ontology
  • Political Geography: Russia, Eurasia
  • Author: Robert Pulwer, Hans Binnendijk
  • Publication Date: 07-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Fletcher Security Review
  • Institution: The Fletcher School, Tufts University
  • Abstract: Dr. Hans Binnendijk is Vice Chairman of the Fletcher School Board. He has served in senior positions at the National Security Council, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the State Department. He has directed think tanks at Georgetown University, the National Defense University, and in Europe. He writes frequently on national security policy.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Government, Politics, Partnerships, Trump
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Monica M. Ruiz
  • Publication Date: 07-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Fletcher Security Review
  • Institution: The Fletcher School, Tufts University
  • Abstract: There are often misunderstandings among member states in international organizations (IO) regarding the legal nature of certain acts. Issues of privileges and immunities based on the principle of functional necessity, both inherent and implied powers, and the principle of good faith under common law are continuously criticized and debated by both member states and IOs alike. For this reason, international legal order can be a process of continuous transition and constant evolution. This essay analyzes the development and changes of legal norms in the European Union’s (EU) Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP). On that basis, it will unfold by looking at the EU’s legal structure to create a solid framework for understanding the current challenges for common European defense policy in relation to Russia’s involvement in Ukraine. Although there have been substantial legal improvements introduced by the Treaty of Amsterdam (effective 1999) and by the Treaty of Nice (effective 2003) to help clarify the ambiguous nature of the CFSP, its objectives remain wide and abstract. This further precludes the EU from formulating a joint and coherent stance on issues related to defense...
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, International Law, International Organization, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: Russia, Ukraine, European Union
  • Author: Oleksandr Lytvynenko, Philipp Fluri, Valentyn Badrack
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Geneva Centre for Security Sector Governance (DCAF)
  • Abstract: This comprehensive collection of Ukrainian legislation on the Security Sector serves two purposes: it gives Ukrainian and Western experts an overview of what legal documents already exist in Ukraine; and serves as a tool for identifying possibilities for adaptations to the law.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Sovereignty, Territorial Disputes, Governance, Law, Military Affairs, Conflict, Legislation
  • Political Geography: Geneva, Russia, Europe, Ukraine, Eastern Europe
  • Author: Lukáš Dyčka
  • Publication Date: 12-2017
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Institute of International Relations Prague
  • Abstract: The Czech foreign security and defence policy in 2017 was influenced mainly by the Russian threat, terrorism and migration – nevertheless, Brexit and the new US administration under President Trump were also important external drivers for it. These factors resulted in various steps taken within the Czech defence sector. The policy faced changes ranging from renewals of strategic documents, an increased defence budget, the high (yet still problematic) support from the public and rising numbers of Armed Forces personnel to problems with the age structure within both the military and the civilian part of the defence sector. Finally, the foreign security policy will likely be heavily influenced by the results of the parliamentary elections in October 2017 and also by the new government of Andrej Babiš, but this is rather to be expected in 2018.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Defense Policy, Migration, Terrorism, Armed Forces
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Czech Republic, United States of America
  • Author: Lukáš Tichý
  • Publication Date: 12-2017
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Institute of International Relations Prague
  • Abstract: In 2017, the Czech Republic focussed mainly on the issue of strengthening energy security, both within the EU and the V4, and bilaterally in its relations with Germany, Austria, Russia, USA and France. In this context, the politicisation of the Czech discourse regarding the external dimension of energy security has been rather limited. Similarly, the polarisation of the Czech external dimension of the energy security discourse has also been limited. Despite this, the Czech government has relatively successfully tried to maintain a unified position in its energy policies, which is why in this case we can talk about a coherence within time, and across different players, as well as through the declared priorities of both the government and the EU. Last, but not least, the Czech Republic was supportive of creating common policies based on its proactive approach and co-operative position. The Czech Republic also adapted to external politics in the area of energy – which was the result of its reactive approach and neutral position.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Energy Policy
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, France, Germany, Austria, Czech Republic, United States of America
  • Author: Justin Key Canfil
  • Publication Date: 07-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of International Affairs
  • Institution: School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University
  • Abstract: Concerns about state-directed cyber intrusions have grown increasingly prevalent in recent years. The idea that state principals can obfuscate their involvement in such attacks by delegating operational tasks to non-state agents poses a particularly significant challenge to international enforcement and remedies. Gaps in international law, coupled with obstacles to detection in such cases, may make it more difficult to bring sponsoring states to justice. This paper offers a roadmap for assessing the propensity of states to delegate to non-state actors and correct for false positives in standard (typically more technical) cyber attack attribution methods. I conclude that the conditions under which attacks are likely to have been backed by sponsoring states occupy a much narrower window than conventional wisdom suggests, and that the universe of transgressors can be identified when standard indicators overlap with specific conditions.
  • Topic: Security, Elections, Cybersecurity, Election Interference
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe, North Am
  • Author: Mieke Eoyang, Evelyn Farkas, Ben Freeman, Gary Ashcroft
  • Publication Date: 06-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Third Way
  • Abstract: In this paper, we argue that Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election is just one part of a wide-ranging effort by Moscow to undermine confidence in democracy and the rule of law throughout countries in the West. Russia has engaged in this effort because, in both economic and demographic terms, it is a declining power – the only way it can “enhance” its power is by weakening its perceived adversaries. Because Russia’s aim is to erode the health of Western nations, we argue it is time for America and its allies to employ a comprehensive, non-kinetic response to contain Russia.
  • Topic: Security, Elections, Cybersecurity, Democracy, Foreign Interference, Election Interference
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe, North America
  • Author: GianLuca Pastori
  • Publication Date: 07-2017
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Italian Institute for International Political Studies (ISPI)
  • Abstract: The dynamics of the Mediterranean region are increasingly affected by the interplay of the US, Russian, and Chinese efforts to strengthen their respective regional positions. Since the years of the second Obama administration, the US disengagement has led to a greater Russian and Chinese presence and to the growth of their influence at political, economic, and military levels. Today, Russia is heavily involved in the Libyan struggle for power, a role that the reception of General Khalifa Haftar onboard the flagship of the Russian Fleet, the Admiral Kuznetsov, already highlighted in January 2017. Since then, Moscow’s role has progressively increased, culminating in the deployment of Russian PMC’s personnel in support of Haftar’s troops, in September 2019, during the operations on the Tripoli front. Somewhat reminiscent of the role assumed in Syria since 2016, Moscow’s activism has been, in recent years, the main source of concern for both the US military establishment and NATO. Moreover, the increase in military assertiveness has gone side by side with a greater economic presence in the Eastern Mediterranean, favored by the planned enhancement of the shipyard facilities in Tartus[1]. Moscow’s political weight has been re-affirmed in the region by the role that Russian President Vladimir Putin played as peace broker during the crisis triggered by the announcement of the US’ withdrawal from Northern Syria in October 2019. The so-called ‘Sochi agreement’ (October 22, 2019) has been, to a large extent, a product of the role that Russia has assumed as the bulwark of the Bashar al-Assad’s regime and main military force in the region.
  • Topic: Security, Strategic Competition, Proxy War
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Libya, Syria, Mediterranean
  • Author: anya Loukianova fink
  • Publication Date: 12-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for International and Security Studies at Maryland (CISSM)
  • Abstract: This discussion paper analyzes a sample of 2014-2016 Russian-language publications focused on Russia’s security relations with the United States. It characterizes the Russian expert debate at that time as dichotomous in nature, where security policy analysts proposed either coercive or restrained policy approaches in dealing with perceived threats. It assesses similarities and differences of these two perspectives with regard to the nature of Russia’s political-military relationship with the West, as well as past challenges and then-future opportunities in nuclear arms control and strategic stability.
  • Topic: Security, Diplomacy, Nuclear Weapons
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe
  • Author: Iryna Klymenko
  • Publication Date: 01-2016
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Connections
  • Institution: Partnership for Peace Consortium of Defense Academies and Security Studies Institutes
  • Abstract: Russia’s non-standard intervention in Ukraine was accomplished in four major areas—the economic system as a whole, the energy and security sectors, and information policy. The deliberate policy of the Kremlin has transformed Ukraine into economically fragile and institutionally weak nation. Due to efforts of former regime and Russian intelligence agencies, main Ukrainian government institutions were involved in semi-legal, semi-criminal transnational business scheme. Macro-financial vulnerability of Ukraine, in conjunction with a strained economic structure, proved to be the necessary and sufficient conditions for preparing and implementing hybrid aggression. The Ukrainian precedent might be replicated as a special operation to destroy statehood, whereby disruption is achieved through the escalation of internal political and economic challenges. One universal means of undermining statehood in an era of hybrid wars is to encourage corruption among holders of the highest office.
  • Topic: Security, Territorial Disputes, Conflict, Foreign Interference
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Ukraine, Eastern Europe
  • Author: Miroslaw Banasik
  • Publication Date: 09-2016
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Connections
  • Institution: Partnership for Peace Consortium of Defense Academies and Security Studies Institutes
  • Abstract: The success of the Russian Federation in Ukraine and the annexation of Crimea attest to the fact that the hybrid warfare constitutes an effective tool for achieving political objectives. This article evaluates the nature of hybrid warfare based on theoretical publications on the art of war and doctrinal documents of the Russian Federation, and characterizes the practical dimensions of hybrid warfare. It can be concluded on that basis that hybrid warfare and organized crime constitute real threats to European safety and security. International organizations such as NATO and the European Union so far have not drawn up neither the strategy nor effective tools for countering these phenomena.
  • Topic: Security, NATO, Military Strategy, European Union, Hybrid Warfare
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, North Atlantic, North America
  • Author: Steven Pifer
  • Publication Date: 03-2016
  • Content Type: Video
  • Institution: Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues
  • Abstract: Steven Pifer will address how the crisis between Ukraine and Russia has developed, what it means for the West and the U.S. policy response.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Security, Foreign Policy, Territorial Disputes
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Ukraine, North America, United States of America
  • Publication Date: 04-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Liechtenstein Institute on Self-Determination, Princeton University
  • Abstract: The Liechtenstein Institute on Self-Determination at Princeton University (LISD) convened a special Liechtenstein Colloquium,“Emerging European Security Challenges,” in Triesenberg, Principality of Liechtenstein, from November 12-15, 2015. The colloquium brought together senior diplomats, academics, policy-makers, experts and representatives of European civil society and NGOs. The colloquium was off-the-record and was financially supported by a grant from the Carnegie Corporation of New York and SIBIL Foundation, Vaduz. The objective of the colloquium was to examine the interactions between and the various effects of three key crises—the Ukraine war, the war in Syria, and the European refugee crisis—for broader regional, EU, and international security. Cluster One considered “Russia, Ukraine, the West, and the future of collective security,” including the role of the Baltic states in security issues, the relationship between Russia and the European Union, and the role of media, information and hybrid warfare. Cluster Two, “The Syrian War and ISIS/Da’esh” focused on several issues related to the ongoing civil war and conflict in the Middle East, including alliances of the Assad government, rebel and other opposition groups, ISIS/Da’esh, Russia, Iran, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States, and, especially, the Kurds. Emphasis was put on the plight of Christians and other religious groups in the region. Cluster Three, “The refugee crisis and the challenge of European collective action,” connected the worst refugee crisis in Europe since World War II to the situation in the MENA region. It focused on refugees and migrants within Europe’s borders and along the Balkan route, the role of Turkey, Greece and Germany, terrorism concerns, and EU actions and emerging differences between member states. The protection of religious minorities and the longer-term question of integration and assimilation of refugees and asylum-seekers offered another focus. This report reflects the substance of these discussions and includes an updated Chair’s Addendum.
  • Topic: Security, Terrorism, European Union, Refugee Crisis, ISIS, Humanitarian Crisis
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Ukraine, Middle East, Syria
  • Author: Hannes Androsch
  • Publication Date: 12-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Liechtenstein Institute on Self-Determination, Princeton University
  • Abstract: In many places it is forgotten that Europe, especially the EU, is a veritable success story, as this continent has never before experienced a period such as the past seven decades of democracy, peace and prosperity. Faced with the current challenges, especially the refugee crisis, there has been an increasing tendency among European governments to take unilateral action. This approach cannot be successful, however, as European governments attempt to implement policy prescriptions of the past to solve problems of the present. In fact, we need not less but more Europe—but also a reformed Europe: a European Union with one voice for external policy (common foreign, security and defense policy and asylum and migration policy) and the capacity to overcome its internal turmoil (common economic, budget, and tax policies, and a minimum of a transfer union). We also need a European Union that makes the benefits of globalization available to all people. The European Union is currently experiencing one of its worst crises in its history. Old fault lines that have run through the continent for centuries, once considered overcome, have become prominent once again; new challenges have arisen, especially in the wake of globalization, climate change and new technological developments (the Digital Revolution). The world has seemingly become ungovernable. The proclaimed 1989 “end of history” (Fukuyama) is certainly over, and history has a firm grip on Europe. This, at least since the outbreak of the financial and economic crisis in 2007/08, no longer deniable fact is reflected in the still unresolved crisis in Greece (“Grexit”), the associated Euro Crisis, the British referendum on exit from the EU (“Brexit”), and in the renaissance of geopolitics. The annexation of Crimea by Russia undertaken in violation of international law, the war in eastern Ukraine, as well as state disintegration in Libya, Yemen, Iraq and Syria have made it clear that, from the Caucasus to the Balkans and from Pakistan/Afghanistan via the Middle East to North Africa, extends a “Ring of Fire,”—a term used by former Prime Minister of Singapore Lee Kuan Yew to describe the geopolitical challenges of Europe more than twenty years ago. These long concealed —or ignored—distortions are now breaking out again in the form of “wars of succession,” leaving behind territories plagued by unrest, civil wars, and failed states, and resulting in terrorism and refugee waves now reaching the center of Europe. The resulting “crisis mode,” within which the European Union has been operating for several years now, reached its climax with the result of the referendum conducted in June, determining Britain’s exit from the European Union (Brexit). Aside from the medium and long-term economic implications for the country, Brexit was an earthquake with unforeseeable consequences especially on the political level. Scotland is once again discussing its potential separation from the United Kingdom, the fragile peace funded by the EU in Northern Ireland is threatened by collapse, and in a considerable number of other EU countries—mainly France and the Netherlands—populist and nationalist parties are interpreting Brexit as a signal to seek their salvation in national initiatives.
  • Topic: Security, Global Recession, European Union, Refugee Crisis, Brexit, Humanitarian Crisis
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, United Kingdom, Europe, Turkey, Middle East, Asia, Syria
  • Author: David J. Bercuson, Jean-Christophe Boucher, J. L. Granatstein, David Carment, Teddy Samy, Paul Dewar, Roy Rempel, Eric Miller, Anthony Cary, Chris Westdal, Rolf Holmboe, Randolf Mank, Marius Grinius, P. Whitney Lackenbauer, Adam Lajeunesse
  • Publication Date: 03-2016
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Global Exchange
  • Institution: Canadian Global Affairs Institute (CGAI)
  • Abstract: The Dispatch (later called The Global Exchange) is the Canadian Global Affairs Institute’s quarterly magazine featuring topical articles written by our fellows and other contributing experts. Each issue contains approximately a dozen articles exploring political and strategic challenges in international affairs and Canadian foreign and defence policy. This Spring 2016 issue includes articles on Canada's international reputation, foreign relations, defense policy and more.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Defense Policy, Peacekeeping, Cybersecurity, Weapons , Brexit, Nonproliferation, Syrian War, Trans-Pacific Partnership, Peace
  • Political Geography: Britain, Russia, China, Canada, Israel, Asia, North Korea, Syria, North America, Arctic
  • Author: Stefan Lehne
  • Publication Date: 09-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: After years at the margins of international diplomacy, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) has suddenly regained political relevance because of the Ukraine crisis that began in 2014. The organization turned out to be the most appropriate framework to manage the crisis and prevent further escalation. To continue to play a useful role in resolving this issue and in easing tensions between Russia and the West, the OSCE needs to adjust its way of working and strengthen its toolbox. As the relationship between Russia and the West deteriorated at the end of the 1990s, the OSCE’s role declined. The organization’s arms control regime eroded, its debates on human rights relapsed into ideological confrontation, and its work on promoting economic cooperation never got off the ground. The Ukraine crisis has revived the organization. While political crisis management has been left mainly to a few capitals working with the parties to the conflict, the OSCE’s monitoring mission in Ukraine has become an essential factor of stability. Violence has not stopped, however, and the mission’s work remains hampered by insufficient cooperation from the parties. The OSCE has also assumed an important role in facilitating negotiations on implementing the Minsk agreement, which contains a road map for a political settlement. However, little progress has been made so far. diplo
  • Topic: Security, Political Violence, Diplomacy, Human Rights, Regional Cooperation, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Ukraine
  • Author: David Blagden
  • Publication Date: 04-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: The international system is returning to multipolarity—a situation of multiple Great Powers—drawing the post-Cold War 'unipolar moment' of comprehensive US political, economic and military dominance to an end. The rise of new Great Powers, namely the 'BRICs'—Brazil, Russia, India, and most importantly, China—and the return of multipolarity at the global level in turn carries security implications for western Europe. While peaceful political relations within the European Union have attained a remarkable level of strategic, institutional and normative embeddedness, there are five factors associated with a return of Great Power competition in the wider world that may negatively impact on the western European strategic environment: the resurgence of an increasingly belligerent Russia; the erosion of the US military commitment to Europe; the risk of international military crises with the potential to embroil European states; the elevated incentive for states to acquire nuclear weapons; and the vulnerability of economically vital European sea lines and supply chains. These five factors must, in turn, be reflected in European states' strategic behaviour. In particular, for the United Kingdom—one of western Europe's two principal military powers, and its only insular (offshore) power—the return of Great Power competition at the global level suggests that a return to offshore balancing would be a more appropriate choice than an ongoing commitment to direct military interventions of the kind that have characterized post-2001 British strategy.
  • Topic: Security, Cold War
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Europe, Brazil
  • Author: David J. Berteau, Gregory Sanders, T.J. Cipoletti, Meaghan Doherty, Abby Fanlo
  • Publication Date: 01-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The European defense market, though impacted by lethargic economic growth and painful fiscal austerity measures, continues to be a driver in global defense. Five of the fifteen biggest military spenders worldwide in 2013 were European countries, and Europe remains a major market for international arms production and sales. Surges in military spending by Russia, China, and various Middle Eastern countries in recent years has augmented the defense landscape, especially as European countries in aggregate continue to spend less on defense and the United States embarks on a series of deep-striking budget cuts. This report analyzes overall trends in defense spending, troop numbers, collaboration, and the European defense and security industrial base across 37 countries. To remain consistent with previous reports, this briefing utilizes functional NATO categories (Equipment, Personnel, Operations and Maintenance, Infrastructure, and Research and Development) and reports figures in constant 2013 euros unless otherwise noted. Many of the trends identified within the 2012 CSIS European Defense Trends report continued into 2013, namely reductions in topline defense spending, further cuts to R spending, and steadily declining troop numbers. Though total European defense spending decreased from 2001-2013, with an accelerated decline between 2008 and 2010, select countries increased spending2 between 2011 and 2013. Collaboration among European countries has decreased in the R category; however, it has increased in the equipment category – indicating increased investment in collaborative procurement. Defense expenditure as a percentage of total government expenditure has decreased across Europe from 2001-2013 with the exceptions of Albania and Estonia. An updated CSIS European Security, Defense, and Space (ESDS) Index is included within this report and exhibits a shift in geographic revenue origin for leading European defense firms away from North America and Europe and towards other major markets between 2008 and 2013. Finally, a brief analysis of Russian defense spending is included in the final section of this report in order to comprehend more fully the size and scope of the European defense market within the global framework. In 2013, Russia replaced the United Kingdom as the third largest global defense spender, devoting 11.2 percent of total government expenditures to defense. This briefing report concludes with summarized observations concerning trends in European defense from 2001 to 2013. CSIS will continue to follow and evaluate themes in European defense, which will appear in subsequent briefings.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Military Affairs, Budget
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, United Kingdom, America, Europe
  • Author: Joanna Hecht, Sam duPont, Cynthia Barmore, Natasha Geber, Abby McCartney, Emily A. Wiseman, Jordan Dantas, Stephanie Leutert, Lauren Dunn
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Woodrow Wilson School Journal of Public and International Affairs
  • Institution: Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University
  • Abstract: Cynthia Barmore builds on primary survey research conducted in Bosnia and Herzegovina to offer new explanations of the constraints placed on farmers by an unreformed land system. Natasha Geber addresses an underexplored policy area, looking at Russia’s geopolitical ambitions in the Arctic and offering a perspective on the chances of international cooperation on Arctic issues. Abby McCartney pulls together two seemingly disparate policies, seeing an opportunity for New Jersey to expand its successful drug court program using provisions of the Affordable Care Act. Emily Wiseman looks at how women and girls still tend to be excluded from post-disaster relief efforts, even though almost all implementers understand that this exclusion exacerbates gender inequality and retards reconstruction. Jordan Dantas analyzes the drop in piracy off the Somali coast, and finds private sector success where military solutions failed. Stephanie Leutert offers a clear-eyed perspective on the divergent narratives about the Obama Administration’s deportation policies, and analyzes how those policies have impacted immigrant communities. Lauren Dunn looks at two programs for using mobile phones to provide basic banking services—a success and a failure—and offers lessons for how the regulatory environment and existing institutions must shape program design.
  • Topic: Security, Gender Issues, Government, Immigration, Piracy, Women, Conflict, Rural, Drugs, Land Rights, Barack Obama, Medicaid
  • Political Geography: Russia, India, Haiti, North America, Somalia, Arctic, United States of America, Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Author: Ivan Babin, Elizaveta Egorova
  • Publication Date: 03-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Connections
  • Institution: Partnership for Peace Consortium of Defense Academies and Security Studies Institutes
  • Abstract: The Ukrainian crisis of 2013, followed by the annexation of Crimea, has redistributed the balance of power among the political players of the world arena. Moreover, since Putin’s return to the presidency in 2012, the concept of a shared neighborhood between the Russian Federation and the European Union (EU) becomes a strategic challenge not only for both but foremost for those post-Soviet republics struggling between two strategic decisions: to accept Russian protection or to choose Western development. The aim of this paper is to shed light on the forthcoming 2015 Eurasian Economic Union’s (EEU) economic and political perspectives, on South Ossetia and Abkhazia’s economic attractiveness, the sentiment inside those breakaway regions of Georgia and the Russian Federation standpoint in resolving or maintaining the situation in the disputed territories.
  • Topic: Security, Imperialism, European Union, Annexation
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Ukraine, Crimea
  • Author: David Matsaberidze
  • Publication Date: 03-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Connections
  • Institution: Partnership for Peace Consortium of Defense Academies and Security Studies Institutes
  • Abstract: This paper aims to analyze the construction and transformation of the post-Soviet security perspectives of Georgia and Ukraine in the context of the post-Soviet Russian foreign policy in the “near abroad,” quite often termed the “legitimate sphere” of Russian influence by high-ranking Russian officials. This inquiry covers the panorama of the foreign policy in post-Soviet Russia across the FSU, from the early 1990s through to the present, where Georgia and Ukraine’s independent and pro-Western orientation are the main issues securitized for the Russian Federation. Accordingly, the maintenance of territorial integrity has become a security priority for Georgia since the early 1990s and will most likely be Ukraine’s top concern after the Crimean occupation by the Russian Federation in March 2014 and the subsequent developments in Eastern Ukraine. Therefore, it could be claimed that post-Soviet Russian and Georgian/Ukrainian security strategy (following peaceful revolutions) represent a zero-sum game.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Imperialism, Military Strategy, European Union
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe, Ukraine, Eastern Europe, Georgia
  • Author: Joshua Sinai
  • Publication Date: 09-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Connections
  • Institution: Partnership for Peace Consortium of Defense Academies and Security Studies Institutes
  • Abstract: As of mid-2015, the primarily Islamist-based terrorist threats against Russia and its counterterrorism response measures continued to be in the spotlight. These Islamist terrorist threats, it must be pointed out, were unrelated to Russia’s other national security problems emanating from its intervention in Ukraine, which will not be discussed in this article. As with other Western countries, the latest phase of the terrorist threats against Russia has become even more complicated than before, with large-scale involvement by a reported 1,700 “homegrown violent extremists” (HVE),[1] primarily North Caucasus-based, many of whom have travelled to Syria and Iraq to join the Islamic State’s insurgents and to fight the Moscow-supported Bashar al-Assad government as well as the Shi’ite government in Baghdad (which is also backed by Tehran – Russia’s close ally), with their violent extremism also directed against the Russian state. As part of this phase, although unrelated to the involvement of the aforementioned Russian Islamists in Syria, Russian airpower was deployed in Syria in September 2015 to support the besieged al-Assad regime against the Islamic State. The earlier phase of the terrorist threats against Russia was highlighted by the April 15, 2013 Boston Marathon bombings, which were perpetrated by two brothers of ethnic Chechen origin (one of whom was reportedly monitored by Russia’s security services during his stay in Dagestan), as well several significant terrorist attacks in late 2013 during the lead-up to the Sochi Winter Olympics, which were held in February 2014 without a terrorist incident. Overall, the primary terrorist threats against the Russian Federation are presented by the Islamist insurgents in the North Caucasus, who are organized into several groups that are loosely allied with al-Qaeda’s global Jihad. Fortunately for Russia, in their most significant threat over the past several years, these Islamist militants were thwarted in their intent to exploit the worldwide media attention associated with the February 2014 Olympic sporting events, which were located close to the North Caucasus, several hundred miles from the Republic of Dagestan, where they were mounting an insurgency to establish an Islamic state in that region. In response, Russia greatly boosted its counterterrorism measures in the North Caucasus republics as well as in other parts of the country, thereby preventing these insurgents from succeeding in their terrorist plots. Nevertheless, the attraction of jihadi groups such as the Iraq- and Syria-based Islamic State in radicalizing hundreds of Russian Islamists into joining their insurgency expanded the geographical scope of the terrorist threats against Russia, particularly upon the return of some of them to Russia to carry out attacks in light of Moscow’s support of the Syrian and Iraqi regimes and their call to establish an Islamist caliphate in the North Caucasus.
  • Topic: Security, Terrorism, Counter-terrorism, War on Terror
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Eastern Europe
  • Author: Andrey Makarychev, Alexandra Yatsyk
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The Winter Olympic Games in Sochi and the annexation of Crimea were two major international events in which Russia engaged in early 2014. In spite of all the divergence in the logic underpinning each of them, four concepts strongly resonate in both cases. First, in hosting the Olympics and in appropriating Crimea, Russia was motivated by solidifying its sovereignty as the key concept in its foreign and domestic policies. Second, the scenarios for both Sochi and Crimea were grounded in the idea of strengthening Russia as a political community through mechanisms of domestic consolidation (Sochi) and opposition to unfriendly external forces (the crisis in Ukraine). Third, Sochi and Crimea unveiled two different facets of the logic of normalisation aimed at proving - albeit by different means - Russia's great power status. Fourth, one of the major drivers of Russian policy in both cases were security concerns in Russia's southern flanks, though domestic security was also an important part of the agenda.
  • Topic: Security
  • Political Geography: Russia, Ukraine
  • Author: Alena Vysotskaya Guedes Vieira
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Russia's actions towards Ukraine in 2013-14, which inaugurated a new Cold War in its relations with the West, presented a dilemma to Russia's allies: whether to align themselves with Russia's choices or pursue a more independent course of action. The leadership of Belarus, Russia's closest ally, chose the latter option both by establishing dialogue with the interim government and President of Ukraine, Oleksandr Turchinov, considered illegitimate in Russia and, later, by being present at the inauguration of Petro Poroshenko on 7 June 2014 and downplaying Russia's position on the 'federalisation' of Ukraine as the only way out of the country's instability. The perspective of the intra-alliance security dilemma helps explain the divergence of views between Russia and Belarus, while pointing to the changing position of the parties towards the Eurasian integration project.
  • Topic: Security, Cold War, Government
  • Political Geography: Russia, Eurasia, Ukraine
  • Author: Pavel K. Baev
  • Publication Date: 06-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The severe and fast-evolving Ukraine crisis has required a great concentration of Russia’s political efforts and is having a massive impact on Russian policymaking, including in the Middle East. This region provides the best opportunity for Moscow to reassert its status as a key player in the global arena, and the deep fall of oil prices makes Russia particularly attentive to regional conflict developments. One of the main motivations for Russia is the pronounced desire to demonstrate its capacity to thwart US policy, but another is to prove its value to China as a strategic partner. Russia’s reach remains limited but it will continue to look for opportunities to make a difference.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Conflict, Syrian War
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Middle East, Syria, United States of America
  • Author: Rabia Altaf, Molly Douglas, Drew Yerkes
  • Publication Date: 09-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Fletcher Security Review
  • Institution: The Fletcher School, Tufts University
  • Abstract: Many Western leaders point to the Arctic as a zone of cooperation—and we have observed such cooperation with the formulation of the Arctic Council, joint scientific endeavors, Search and Rescue agreements, and the very recent Arctic Coast Guard Forum—but disputes between Russia and other Arctic nations in regions to the south have raised concerns in certain quarters. While an ongoing struggle for dominance over the Northern Sea Route and Northwest Passage and competing continental shelf claims may reflect these tensions, tit-for-tat military exercises and plans for expanded military infrastructure in the Arctic certainly do. The Russian government recently announced completion of a new military base in Franz Josef Land capable of supporting 150 soldiers, as well as its intention to rebuild six existing airfields. While such a nominal increase in military personnel posted to the Arctic may merely be seen as a posturing act, taken in context with Russia’s recent actions in Europe and the Middle East, it might also be seen as a bold move to project power from a previously overlooked region.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, International Cooperation, Geopolitics
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Asia, North America, Arctic, United States of America
  • Author: Andrew Yerkes
  • Publication Date: 09-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Fletcher Security Review
  • Institution: The Fletcher School, Tufts University
  • Abstract: Over the weekend of November 21st, 2015, Russia flew 141 sorties over Syria, hitting 472 targets in eight different provinces throughout the country.[1] While the deployment of the Russian Air Force over Syria has been in full affect since last September, the events of November 20th proved to be unique. Two of the TU-160 blackjack bombers that participated in the weekend’s campaign took flight not from a base in southern Russia, but rather from Olenegorsk Airbase on the Kola Peninsula of the Russian Arctic.[2] The two bombers traveled southwest along the coast of Norway, skirting United Kingdom airspace, turning east through the straits of Gibraltar, and achieved their goal of firing cruise missiles on Syria from the eastern Mediterranean. After their mission was complete, they flew northeast over Iran and the Caspian Sea to their home base in Engles, Saratov Oblast, in Southern Russia.[3] In total, the flight lasted 16 hours, with the aircraft traveling 8,000 miles, while motivating Norway[4] and Britain,[5] among other nations, to scramble fighter jets in the process. Presumably, the Russians chose such a circuitous route along the edges of Europe to demonstrate its long range bombing capabilities. In doing so, the Russian Federation also showed the rest of the world that its capabilities might rival those of the United States, proving that Russia too could attack targets all throughout the world. This use of an Arctic airbase for active bombing missions also marks a turning point in history; not even during the Cold War did the Russians demonstrate Arctic-based military capabilities with such expansive reach.[6] While this mission did not focus on targets within the Arctic, the use of an Arctic base for active bombing missions draws attention to Russia’s military buildup in the region...
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Military Strategy, Weapons
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Syria, Arctic, United States of America
  • Author: Victor Marsh
  • Publication Date: 09-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Fletcher Security Review
  • Institution: The Fletcher School, Tufts University
  • Abstract: On April 18, 1775, Massachusetts businessman and U.S. revolutionary Paul Revere alerted fellow patriots that British military action against the rebellion in Boston would come by sea rather than by land. The warning that “the [British] regulars are coming” was a verbal intelligence report. It was based on what Revere and his associates had seen with their own eyes. They interpreted the visual data correctly; British military action came the very next day via an initial naval landing of troops that engaged in the first battles of the United States’ Revolutionary War. Intoning the urgency of Mr. Revere, these U.S. analysts and Alaskan politicians seek to inspire a sense of urgency within United States decision-making, warning that the Russians are coming to dominate the north. While taking exhaustive notes on the ambiguous “duality” in Russia’s Arctic policies, the pessimists have nonetheless quickly resolved this open question and pronounced with alarm the fear that Russia is secretly deploying a “new ice curtain,” meaning actions to deny the United States access to the allegedly vital Arctic region.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Security, Diplomacy, Geopolitics
  • Political Geography: Russia, Arctic, United States of America
  • Author: Lawson W. Brigham
  • Publication Date: 09-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Fletcher Security Review
  • Institution: The Fletcher School, Tufts University
  • Abstract: The development of the Northern Sea Route (NSR)[1] across the top of Eurasia is tied directly to Arctic natural resources and the future economic security of the Russian Federation. This national Arctic waterway has two primary purposes: to maintain marine access in all seasons to the Russian North’s remote regions for an effective sovereign presence, security, law enforcement, and supply (to coastal communities and government outposts), and also to facilitate the movement of natural resources out of the Russian Arctic to global markets. It is the latter purpose, as a marine transportation corridor, that garners international attention and is linked firmly to the regional development of Siberian onshore and offshore resources. However, the NSR is unlikely to be a major global maritime trade route in the coming decades that will attract large numbers of container ships away from the Suez and Panama canals. Certainly plausible are niche markets, more limited but economically viable roles, between the Pacific and Europe where trans-Arctic voyages can be established and maintained on a seasonal (summer) basis. But the majority of the new Arctic marine traffic will plausibly sail on voyages along the NSR with bulk cargo ships, liquefied natural gas (LNG) carriers, and tankers carrying resources out of the region to European and Pacific-rim markets. The length of the NSR navigation season has yet to be established as it will be maintained in the future by a fleet of nuclear and non-nuclear escort icebreakers, several of which are being constructed today in Russia. According to Russian Arctic shipping experts, it is highly plausible the NSR will develop in future decades as a ‘seasonal supplement’ to the Suez Canal route.[2]... ​
  • Topic: Security, Maritime Commerce, Natural Resources, Economy
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Eurasia, Arctic, North Sea
  • Author: Dr. Ariel Cohen, Ivan Benovic
  • Publication Date: 11-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: Since the breakup of the Soviet Union, a number of gas disputes between Russia and Central and Eastern European countries have unveiled the strategic dependence of Europe on Russian piped gas. The recent Ukrainian crisis demonstrated that Europe has a desperate need to improve the security of its gas supply. The United States is interested in the economic stability and growth of Europe, because the European Union (EU) is its principal and largest economic partner. The United States and the EU enjoy the largest trade and investment relationship in the world, which should not be jeopardized by disruptive, anti-status-quo powers. Europe’s energy independence is not only an economic interest of America, but also a political and security one. Europe’s dependence on Russian natural gas undermines European unity and weakens the primary U.S. allies in their relations with Russia. U.S. Armed Forces in Europe and the U.S. Army in particular can and should play an important role in promoting energy security. This involvement includes: increased situational awareness; deployment to the sensitive areas; and enhanced training activities, including with the allies of the U.S. military in Central and Eastern Europe.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Energy Policy, Natural Resources, Military Affairs, Gas
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Eastern Europe, Soviet Union
  • Author: Richard Dr. Weitz
  • Publication Date: 04-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: China and Russia have engaged in an increasing number of joint exercises in recent years. These drills aim to help them deter and, if necessary, defeat potential threats, such as Islamist terrorists trying to destabilize a Central Asian government, while at the same time reassuring their allies that Russia and China would protect them from such challenges. Furthermore, the exercises and other joint Russia-China military activities have a mutual reassurance function, informing Moscow and Beijing about the other’s military potential and building mutual confidence about their friendly intentions toward one another. Finally, the joint exercises try to communicate to third parties, especially the United States, that Russia and China have a genuine security partnership and that it extends to cover Central Asia, a region of high priority concern for Moscow and Beijing, and possibly other areas, such as northeast Asia. Although the Sino-Russian partnership is limited in key respects, the United States should continue to monitor their defense relationship since it has the potential to become a more significant international security development.
  • Topic: Security, War, Governance, Military Affairs
  • Political Geography: Russia, China
  • Author: Keir Giles, Major General Aleksandr V Rogovoy
  • Publication Date: 04-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: Russia’s seizure of Crimea, and ongoing operations in eastern Ukraine, have refocused attention on the Russian military as a potential cause for concern in Europe. This Letort Paper, by an influential Russian general and military academic, lays out specifically Russian views on the essential nature of strong conventional land forces, and how they may be used. With an expert commentary providing essential context and interpretation, the Paper presents a valuable insight into Russian military thinking, at a potentially critical juncture for European security.
  • Topic: Security, War, Military Strategy, Military Affairs
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Ukraine, Crimea
  • Author: Kamran Ismayilov, Konrad Zasztowt
  • Publication Date: 10-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Azerbaijan recently had to face a wave of criticism from the European institutions (the OSCE and the European Parliament) due to its government’s undemocratic practices. In response, Baku accused its European partners of Islamophobia and declared the suspension of parliamentary cooperation in the framework of the EU’s Euronest. The Azerbaijani ruling elite also blames the West of supporting a “fifth column” in Azerbaijan (meaning civil society organisations) as well as of giving political support to its arch-enemy Armenia in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. At the same time authorities in Baku are displaying their developing political partnership with Russia. This paper examines the consequences of the crisis in relations between the EU and Azerbaijan and Azerbaijani-Russian rapprochement for the prospects for EU-Azerbaijan energy projects and regional security in the South Caucasus.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Security, Civil Society, Politics, Governance
  • Political Geography: Russia, Azerbaijan
  • Author: Richard Rousseau
  • Publication Date: 04-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Strategic Research and Analysis
  • Abstract: Following the inauguration of Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in May 2008, the Russian political scene was characterized by a new structure: the country was governed by a bicephalous system (which reflected the two-headed eagle of the national flag). Medvedev became President and Vladimir Putin assumed the position of Prime Minister. In this ostensibly tandem structure, the Chief Executive was subordinated to the President as was the case even before Russia first emerged as an independent country in the wake of the collapse of the Soviet Union. Such a dual power sharing worked quite well during Medvedev’s term and with no serious fissures that could bring about competing circles of power around each of the heads of state. This was true even though the personalities of the two leaders were very different. Their priorities, however, seemed different, at least formally. During his presidency (2000-2008), Putin made every effort to recover Russia’s super power status and international respect. He did not hesitate to use the privileged position of Russia – main energy supplier to Europe, a permanent member of the Security Council of the United Nations, a continuing influence over the post-Soviet space – to achieve his ambitious goal. For his part, Medvedev preferred to use foreign policy as an instrument to advance the process of economic modernization, while keeping Russian national interests in mind. When compared to Russia’s main partners and competitors, Medvedev was very much aware of the systemic disadvantages his country faced. These disadvantages, according to him, were factors that considerably weakened Russia as a major world power and economic player. The foundation of Putin’s domestic and foreign policy was the concept of “sovereign democracy,” which argues that Russia must follow its own democratization process. There was no need to emulate and copy Western models. In this view, if Russia’s political system had serious flaws, the same could be said of the political systems of Western countries. The West was no longer seen as being in a position to give lessons to Russia. Consequently, Russian foreign policy at the time gradually abandoned or even opposed some of the positions taken by Western countries. Such a tendency began with Putin’s speech at the annual Wehrkunde conference held in Munich in January 2007. Within a year serious tensions arose between Russia and their Western allies, for instance with the August 2008 armed conflict between Georgia and Russia. The origin of this conflict was the longstanding secession attempts by South Ossetia and Abkhazia, two territories recognized as being part of Georgia. Especially glaring were Russia’s disagreements and confrontations with the U.S. over such issues as NATO expansion, European-based missile defense systems and U.S. attempts to expand its influence into what Russia considers its “near abroad”, the post-Soviet space. Under Putin, Russia once again seemed to be a rival of the West, not merely on an ideological basis as during the Cold War, but because of its own strong nationalistic tendencies.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, United Nations, Military Strategy
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Soviet Union
  • Author: Omar Sheira, Muhammed Ammash
  • Publication Date: 04-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Global Political Trends Center
  • Abstract: The 26th Arab League Summit, held in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, came amidst a series of divisive crises in the Middle East and North African region: in Yemen, a Saudi Arabian-led coalition initiated a campaign of airstrikes to counter the advance of the Houthi rebellion; in Libya, a multiparty civil war continues between rival governments and Islamist-oriented groups; in Syria, the civil war enters its fifth year, prolonging the conflict and adding more parties; and in Iraq, the government leads an offensive against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), to regain territory which was seized by the group in the Summer of 2014. Meanwhile, Iran also has an alleged role in the crises in Yemen, Iraq, and Syria, which was referenced during the Summit. In addition to these issues, the agenda of the Arab League Summit also aimed to monitor the implementation of past recommendations, express support for Palestine and Somalia, and discuss ways to combat extremist groups.
  • Topic: Security, Diplomacy, Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Iraq, Libya, Yemen, Palestine, Arab Countries
  • Author: Alvin Almendrala Camba
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Central European University Political Science Journal
  • Institution: Central European University
  • Abstract: Nazrin Mehdiyeva's work is elegantly argued and timely volume on small states and energy politics; however, in looking to contribute to both of these literatures, she opens up questionable points in her book. Her main aim was to understand the conditions that allowed Azerbaijan to pursue an autonomous foreign policy after the Cold War while focusing on energy's role in the context of global energy insecurity. Mehdiyeva's structure relies on a simple and clear deductive narrative. Chapters 2 and 3 focus on small state literature and its application in Azerbaijan's institutional context; 4 focuses on Russia, the main 'antagonist' in the narrative, and 5 on the Caspian sea issue; while 6 and 7 deal with alternative allies in the form of Turkey and the United States. The last chapter concludes with the author's projection of future foreign policy.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Cold War, Politics
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Turkey, Middle East, Azerbaijan
  • Author: Marianna M. Yamamoto
  • Publication Date: 01-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for International and Security Studies at Maryland (CISSM)
  • Abstract: This monograph tests the OSCE approach to security. The OSCE approach to security encompasses all areas that can cause tensions and conflict between States, and is the result of a sustained effort by almost all of the world’s democracies on how to achieve both security and individual freedom. An important basis of the OSCE security concept is that international security cannot be achieved without the protection and promotion of individual rights and freedoms. The study first extracts from official OSCE documents a set of principles designed to achieve international security, and then uses the work of the first OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities (HCNM), Max van der Stoel, to test the effectiveness of the principles in practice. From 1993 to 2001, HCNM Max van der Stoel applied OSCE principles in cases involving minority tensions with a high potential for international conflict, and this experience provided the means to assess the practical effects on security when OSCE principles are implemented. The study examined three cases that involved potential conflict: Ukraine and separatism in Crimea; Estonia and tensions regarding the Russian minority; and Macedonia and tensions regarding the Albanian minority. The study found that in each of the three cases, the implementation of OSCE principles reduced national and international tensions involving minority issues, and increased security. The increase in security was seen within each State, between States, and in the region, and reduced the potential for conflict within and between OSCE States. The results were particularly significant in view of the instability, conflicts, and tensions of the post–Cold War period; the OSCE’s ongoing institutionalization during the period; and the limited resources and tools available to the OSCE and the HCNM. The study identified and articulated twenty OSCE security principles that addressed national and international security. The principles addressed the rights and responsibilities of State sovereignty; a comprehensive, cooperative, and common security approach; the prevention of security threats and the peaceful resolution of issues; the protection and promotion of individual rights and freedoms through democracy, the rule of law, and the market economy; rights and responsibilities pertaining to national minorities; the development and advancement of shared values; and processes and mechanisms. The monograph extended the research on the OSCE principles to express an OSCE security concept. The OSCE security concept is a security framework based on the idea that security depends on the development and implementation of principles guiding three areas: how States deal with each other and resolve problems; the protection and promotion of individual rights within States; and the processes and mechanisms to review and advance values, principles, and commitments. The study showed that the implementation of OSCE principles in Ukraine, Estonia, and Macedonia significantly increased security in those three countries and the OSCE region. The study found that the OSCE principles and the OSCE security concept constitute a significant body of thought and practice regarding security, and respect for the individual. The OSCE principles, the OSCE security concept, and the work of the High Commissioner on National Minorities merit further examination, development, and application to national security policy and practice. The application to national security policy and practice is relevant to all security threats and problems.
  • Topic: Security, Cold War, International Cooperation, Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Ukraine, Eastern Europe, Estonia, Macedonia, Crimea
  • Author: Marek Madej, Robert Czulda
  • Publication Date: 01-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for Development and International Relations (IRMO)
  • Abstract: The article ‘The Future of NATO in the New Security Environment. A Former Newcomer’s View’, analyses the role of NATO alliance in the contemporary security environment within the context of its priorities defined by new Strategic Concept 2010, having special attention on potential role of former newcomers and potential new members.
  • Topic: Security, NATO, Diplomacy, International Cooperation, Military Strategy, Deterrence
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, North Atlantic, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Samuel Morales
  • Publication Date: 12-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal on International Security Studies (RESI)
  • Institution: International Security Studies Group (GESI) at the University of Granada
  • Abstract: This document analyzes the tools that at present Russia uses with the intention of modifying and extending his area of strategic influence in the East of Europe. It centers fundamentally on the external action of Russia after the change of Government on Ukraine. The document tries to give response, first, to which they are the intentions of Russia with regard to his relations with the European Union; secondly if Russia uses as political tool his energetic resources; and thirdly, if the actions of not linear war developed in the peninsula of Crimea form a part structurally of the external action of Russia. In his development it does not think that the Euromaidan constitutes a point of inflexion in the strategic Russian thought, but rather the point of decision of a strategic approximation to the new world order presented in 2007 and that was applied by the first time in Georgia's war in 2008.
  • Topic: Security, War, International Affairs, Territorial Disputes, Geopolitics
  • Political Geography: Russia, Eurasia, Ukraine
  • Author: Ana Stanic
  • Publication Date: 10-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: Diversification of gas supply has been a strategic priority for the European Union since its dependence on imports began to grow in the early 2000s. The crisis in Ukraine has heightened concerns that the flow of Russian gas passing through this country may be interrupted and has reignited calls for dependency on Russian gas to be reduced. As a new European Commission takes over energy policy in Brussels, it is worth examining the lessons the EU ought to learn from the Southern Gas Corridor project, which for a decade was seen as key to enhancing energy security.
  • Topic: Security
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Brazil
  • Author: James Andrew Lewis
  • Publication Date: 01-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The Gulf has become a flashpoint for cyber conflict. Cyberspace has become an arena for covert struggle, with the United States, Israel and other nations on one side, and Iran and Russia on the other. Iran has far outpaced the GCC states in developing its cyber capabilities, both for monitoring internal dissent and deploying hackers to disrupt or attack foreign targets. Several such attacks over the past two years were likely either directed or permitted by Iranian state authorities. Even if Iran holds back from offensive actions as nuclear talks progress, the growth in Iranian capabilities remains a potential security threat for other Gulf states. The GCC countries have begun to develop their defensive capabilities, but they will need to expand their defenses and collaborate more effectively to deter future threats.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Defense Policy, Development, Science and Technology
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Iran, Middle East, Israel, Arabia
  • 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: Nikolai Silaev, Andrei Sushentsov
  • Publication Date: 12-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Connections
  • Institution: Partnership for Peace Consortium of Defense Academies and Security Studies Institutes
  • Abstract: The aim of this paper is to analyze the impact of political developments in Georgia since the 2012 parliamentary elections on Russo-Georgian relations. First, the authors examine the effect of changes in Georgia’s politics towards the Caucasus, Russia and the Euro-Atlantic region. Second, the authors analyze the opportunities for improving Russo-Georgian relations through studying the three following aspects of this bilateral relationship: creation of common economic space between Russia, Georgia, South Ossetia and Abkhazia; transformation of the Georgian North Caucasus Policy and its shift to-wards cooperation with Moscow; and implications of Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic integration for the regional security. The article suggests that Russo-Georgian relations are not doomed to be strained and have the potential for improvement.
  • Topic: Security, Development, Imperialism, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Eastern Europe, Georgia
  • 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: 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