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  • Author: Fred Tanner
  • Publication Date: 08-2000
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Geneva Centre for Security Policy
  • Abstract: The disappearance of the overwhelming threat of Cold War confrontation has left the Europeans more sensitive to challenges, risks and threats from their southern periphery. The wars in the Persian Gulf and in the Balkans, the bloody civil war in Algeria, the recurrence of deadly violence between Israelis and Palestinians, the spread of religious extremism and the increasing migratory pressures from the South have obliged Europe and NATO to pay greater attention to their near abroad in the South. Given the region's root causes of conflict such as poverty, economic cleavages and uncontrolled population growth, the North's balancing strategy of the Cold War days was replaced by policies of engagements, politico-economic partnerships and dialogue initiatives. The EU, recalling its Euro-Arab special relations of the 1970s, lobbied to get its share in the post-Gulf War peace process, that brought together for the first time Arab states with Israel and Western "sponsors" in the multilateral setting of Madrid. Short-cut by the Arab-Israeli bilateral tracks under US patronage after Oslo, the EU changed gears in 1995 and founded in Barcelona a Euro-Med partnership with all Mediterranean states, including those of North Africa (with the exception of Libya), the Near East and the Palestinian Authority. This Partnership includes a political, economic and social dimension. The founders of the Partnership hoped that it would turn into the Mediterranean equivalent of NAFTA on the one hand and provide a support structure for the Middle East process on the other. The "Political and Security Chapter" of the Euro-Med Partnership was not only reminiscent of the Helsinki Process of the Cold War period, it also created a political platform of North-South co-operation in the Mediterranean that kept the Americans out and the Israelis in. The exclusion of the US from Barcelona (even as observer) was certainly one of the reasons why NATO enhanced its own security co-operation with some Southern Mediterranean states. Today, the Barcelona process finds itself in more or less direct competition with NATO with regards to soft security projection towards the South. This paper examines future scenarios of Euro-Med relations as well as of Atlantic relations over Mediterranean issues - under the assumption that Europe would become an international security actor. It will suggest that - in the long term - a successful Common European Security and Defence Policy (CESDP) would strengthen the EU security and crisis management capabilities in the Mediterranean region. The CESDP would entitle the EU to enter the domain of security-cooperation in the fields of peacekeeping, defence training and education and the use of military assets for humanitarian operations. But two obstacles will have to be overcome: First, the relations to NATO dialogue programmes in the region will have to be sorted out and second, the Southern partner states need to be assured that the EU headline force projection capabilities will not make Europe more interventionist in the region.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, NATO
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Yuri Nazarkin
  • Publication Date: 08-2000
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Geneva Centre for Security Policy
  • Abstract: Historically, Russia was always threatened from three sides: from the West it was threatened and invaded at different periods of its history by Poland, Sweden, France and Germany; from the South, its traditional rival and enemy was the Ottoman empire; from the East, China and Japan. Throughout its history Russia had to be on the alert along all its borders. Though at present there are no direct military threats from any of the three directions, the current Russian security planning takes into account all the three directions. However, the problem of European security is the highest priority in Russian foreign and security policy. There are a number of reasons for this.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, NATO
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe, Asia
  • Author: André Liebich
  • Publication Date: 08-2000
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Geneva Centre for Security Policy
  • Abstract: The above manifesto, entitled "A Horror is Haunting Europe," was published on the front page of one of Europe's premier newspapers in the thick of this year's presidential campaign in Russia. It was signed by some two hundred intellectuals and public figures, the French being the most strongly represented but including signatories from fifteen other European countries and a number of Americans. Among the recognisable names are those of media and cultural personalities such as Costas Gavras, Jean-Luc Godard, John Le Carré, Bernardo Bertolucci, Jane Birkin, Vanessa Redgrave and Barbara Hendricks. Many of the others are widely known academics, such as Umberto Eco and Noam Chomsky, as well as a minor galaxy of familiar Parisian personalities.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, NATO
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, America, Europe
  • Author: Roland Dannreuther
  • Publication Date: 08-2000
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Geneva Centre for Security Policy
  • Abstract: Ever since Catherine the Great pronounced that 'Russia is a European country', Russia has been an inescapable part of the European balance of power. Russia's European credentials are indisputable. The larger majority of the Russian population, and most of the major economic centres, are located in the European part of Russia. Russians are Christian, if of the eastern orthodox faith, and Russian poets, novelists, artists and composers have made an extraordinary contribution to European culture. Russians perceive themselves as part of European civilisation, not least when confronted with other ancient civilisations, such as Iran, India and China. Moreover, other European actors have recognised Russia as an intrinsic part of the European order, even if at times this recognition has been mixed with strong doses of suspicion and fear. But, Russia is not only in Europe. Geographically, the larger part of Russia's territory, however inhospitable and poorly populated, lies in Asia. Culturally, Russia has periodically been hermetically sealed from mainstream developments in Europe. During the medieval period, Russia lay under Tartar rule; during the Soviet period, the borders were, in Stalin's words, under 'lock and key' and Western influences were rigorously excluded. The consequent backwardness of Russia, which has been a consequence of these intermittent linkages with the more developed West, has diluted Russia's European credentials. Russia's Asian destiny was also a deliberate act of state policy with Russia's borders being continually expanded into Asian territory. Russia had a similar experience to the United States with a continental expansion to the Pacific, which was driven, as in America, by entrepreneurial colonists who subsequently decimated the local populations. Towards the South, Russia followed European imperial practice and engaged in a mission civilisatrice to bring European-style rule over purportedly backward peoples. The Russian imperial experience differed from the British and French examples in one critical element: no division was made between the metropolitan centre and empire and thus no clearly demarcated border existed between the Russian state and its imperial appendages. The Tsarist military historian, Mikhail Vernukov, argued that this absence of a separation involved a different imperial practice when compared with 'Englishmen in India who do their utmost to avoid mingling with the natives . . . Our strength lies in the fact that . . . we have assimilated subject races, mingling affably with them'. For these and other reasons, Russia's European credentials have been questioned, not only by other Europeans but by Russians themselves. For west Europeans, the vast geographical expanse, the relative backwardness and large population, the heady mix of despotism and mysticism, has made Russia an alien entity, the 'other' from which the enlightened rational West can be contrasted. The well-known French proverb - 'Grattez le Russe, et vous trouverez le Tartare' - illustrates this European scepticism well. Russians themselves have often been drawn to emphasising the exceptionalism of Russia, not as in America because Russia represents the 'new' rather than the 'old' world, but because Russia's unique position between Europe and Asia makes it belong to neither and the fusion of East and West preserves the benefits of Western civilisation but without its decadent rationalism and materialism. The notion of Moscow as the Third Rome has been a continual source of attraction to the more mystical members of Russian society. This complex set of historical experiences, mutual perceptions and attitudes have contributed to the frequent shifts in Russia's policy towards the rest of Europe. At times, Russia has fully embraced the West so as to 'catch up' and modernise; at other times, Moscow has retreated into its citadels so as to preserve its uniqueness and the universality of its message. In terms of security policy, Russian leaders have been consistent in promoting as fluid and weak a set of alliance structures in Europe as possible. Alexander I, at the Congress of Vienna, was arguably the first to conceive of the notion of collective security and this legacy has been followed in more recent times with Gorbachev's promotion of a 'common European home' and the Soviet and post-Soviet predilection for defining the CSCE/OSCE as the overarching framework for the European security order. These collective security proposals, which have consistently baffled and irritated other Europeans powers, have had a strong realpolitik dimension, alongside the requisite dose of mysticism. Such schemes are designed to exclude a concentration of power in Europe, which might be directed against Russia, and to prevent the type of direct aggression which Russia suffered through the Napoleonic and Nazi invasions. Such flexible arrangements are also the most favourable mechanism for promoting Russian influence in Europe and to securing Russia's consistent desire, even obsession, to be treated as an equal with the other European great powers. It is clear that the West's rejection of the proposed collective security arrangement for the post-Cold War European order, and the corresponding expansion of NATO, has been viewed in Moscow as a humiliating geopolitical defeat. The sense of betrayal, of promises made by the West and then reneged upon, has been profoundly felt. With the perception of a Europe excluding and marginalising Russia, there has been a turn towards the East in the search for alternative avenues for projecting Russia's power and influence. Again, there are historical parallels with the nineteenth century when the concerted European effort to block Russian expansion into the Balkans, with its ultimate pan-Orthodox goal of capturing Constantinople, led to Russian energies being re-directed towards expansion in the Caucasus and Central Asia. In a similar vein, in March 1997, the Russian Presidential Spokesman, Sergei Yastrzhembskii, stated at the Russian-USA Helsinki summit: 'If NATO expansion is going to continue . . . Russia will be confronted with a need to reconsider its foreign-policy priorities. Our relations with China, India . . . and Iran are developing well'. The objective of this paper is to assess the nature, complexities and the relative success and failure of Russia's purported 'turn' to the East. Three areas will be briefly surveyed: recent Russian policy towards the Middle East, to Central Asia and to China.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, NATO
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe
  • Author: Roberto Aliboni
  • Publication Date: 12-2000
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Unlike what has happened with Central-eastern Europe and the Eastern Balkans, policies conducted by the West towards Western Balkans after the end of the Cold War have had a largely reactive character. By and large, although the fragmentation of Yugoslavia had been widely feared and anticipated, developments in Western Balkans took the West aback because of their violent and uncompromising character. For this reason, with respect to this area the European countries and the United States have shown continuous hesitations and oscillations on how their interests in the area had to be understood, how much they had to feel involved and what they had to do.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe, Yugoslavia, Balkans
  • Author: Giovanni Gasparini
  • Publication Date: 03-2000
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Istituto Affari Internazionali (IAI), Italy's major international affairs think tank organised an international conference on “Ukraine's European Choice and the Partnership with Poland and Italy”, in cooperation with the Ukrainian and the Polish Embassies in Rome. The event took place in Rome on 22nd March 2000 and was supported by the Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the NATO Office of Information and Press, the Office of the European Commission in Rome, and the Centre for European and International Studies and the Institute of International Relations, Kyiv.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, NATO, International Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Ukraine, Italy, Rome
  • Author: Tatiana Sivaeva
  • Publication Date: 12-2000
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Ralph Bunche Institute for International Studies, City University of New York
  • Abstract: Today people from all over the world are discussing the situation in the Republic of Chechnya. Thousands of articles on this issue has been published, hundreds of speeches and programs have been broadcast on radio and television. They discuss political, economical, ethical aspects of the war. For the international community the issues of primary concern are violation of human rights and aggression against civil population of Chechnya. At the same time Russian media and population seem especially worried about the situation within the Russian Army and with economical consequences of the war. But all the vigorous discussions that go on about Chechnya often miss one very important point, which is its gender aspect.
  • Topic: Gender Issues, Human Welfare, Non-Governmental Organization
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Chechnya
  • Publication Date: 12-2000
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: U.S. Government
  • Abstract: During the past two years, the National Intelligence Council and the Bureau of Intelligence and Research of the US Department of State sponsored a working group and four seminars with experts from outside the Intelligence Community to examine the impact of societal and infrastructural factors on Russia's future over the next two decades. The factors identified--demography, health, intellectual capital, and physical infrastructure--all pose great challenges to Russia. The purpose of the project was to begin to think through in systematic fashion the difficulties and opportunities confronting Russia's leadership in these four specific areas.
  • Topic: Demographics, Development, Government
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States
  • Publication Date: 05-2000
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: U.S. Government
  • Abstract: In a recent conference, trade experts identified three primary reasons the World Trade Organization (WTO) failed to launch a new trade Round at its December 1999 Ministerial. First, leading members were unable to resolve differences on critical issues prior to the gathering. In addition, many developing countries and nongovernmental organizations were more assertive than they had been at previous conferences. Finally, in recent years, the WTO has expanded the range of issues it addresses, which has made efforts to reach a consensus on any point more difficult. According to the speakers, as a result of the acrimonious Ministerial, the WTO has suffered a substantial loss of credibility, which will impair efforts to launch a new Round in the near term. There is no immediate alternative to strong US leadership, and WTO negotiations will be more complicated because developing countries and nongovernmental organizations will be more inclined to resist trade liberalization efforts that they believe do not advance their interests. Experts at the conference offered a variety of assessments regarding the course the WTO might choose to follow this year. The majority argued that if the trade body is seeking to rebuild confidence, it could continue with scheduled meetings on agriculture and services and use the time to rebuild confidence. A minority, however, held that the forum is too fractured to make progress, thus talks would only undermine the already declining prestige of the trade body. The experts identified several long-run challenges that the WTO will probably need to address to be an effective decisionmaking institution, including: Bridging the developed-developing country gap Costa Rica, Mexico, and South Africa generally support trade liberalization and have credibility among developed and developing states; thus they are in a position to meld the interests of the two sides. Enacting institutional reforms The organization's expansive agenda and large membership require that it adopt policies that facilitate decisionmaking, especially before new members such as China and Russia join. The trade body may try to increase transparency to promote greater trust in its procedures. Also, to avoid protracted and bitter selections such as the forum suffered last year, the WTO could review its procedures for electing a new director general. Managing the backlash against globalization Supporters of freer trade could launch a massive educational program to highlight the gains for all countries from expanded trade and to counter the dire assertions made by nongovernmental organizations (NGOs).
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Development, Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Russia, China
  • Author: P. Terrence Hopmann, Stephen D. Shenfield, Dominique Arel
  • Publication Date: 01-2000
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Watson Institute for International Studies, Brown University
  • Abstract: Since the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991, cross-pressures toward integration and disintegration have influenced relations among the 15 newly independent states that appeared on the territory formerly occupied by the Soviet Union. Centrifugal tendencies continue to be manifest as some of these states try to achieve even greater independence from one another. Distinct regions within many of these states have also sought varying degrees of sovereignty and independence. These trends are countered in part by centripetal tendencies. The costs of independence within this previously highly integrated region have become increasingly apparent, especially for the economies of the newly independent states.
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Ukraine, Soviet Union