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  • Author: Kakha Gogolashvili
  • Publication Date: 02-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Georgian Foundation for Strategic International Studies -GFSIS
  • Abstract: Since the August 2008 War and the consequent recognition of independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia by Russia, the relations between Georgia and Russia have deteriorated significantly. In the absence of diplomatic relations, the consultations and peace-building talks in Geneva (mainly Abkhazia and South Ossetia related) remain the only format involving international actors and mediators. Indeed, more than 40 rounds of negotiations have produced no tangible progress on converging the visions between parties. Nor have the bilateral format of talks, operational since 2012 contributed to a visible normalization of relations, save some progress in economic relations and humanitarian issues. With this lack of interaction between official structures, Russia-Georgia experts’ and opinion makers’ dialogue remains one of the most important instruments for generating and sharing the ideas directed towards solving the problems between Georgia and Russia.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Ghulam Qumber
  • Publication Date: 02-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Global Regional Review (GRR)
  • Abstract: CPEC is the first of the Belt and Road Initiative’s (BRI) six envisioned corridors and the flagship project connecting the belt from Kashgar with the maritime Silk Road at Gwadar Port of Pakistan. From Pakistan’s perspective, this project has been labelled “Fate Changer” for Pakistan and “Game Changer” for the entire region. CPEC is expected to bring significant economic and geo-strategic benefits for Pakistan and China. The expected investment of USD 60 billion will elevate Pakistan’s economy and security. Both the countries remain committed to see its timely completion. While CPEC offers opportunities at global, regional and domestic levels, it faces some internal and external challenges. Therefore, a comprehensive approach in realm of foreign policy initiatives, governance and security domains is required
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Sohail Ahmad
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Global Regional Review (GRR)
  • Abstract: Presented in the late 70s, the theory of Complex Interdependence is in line with the contemporary scenario of international politics. International politics has given up the traditional approaches of hard power. Non-state actors now serve as significant stakeholders in world peace. This paper examines CPEC along the framework of Complex Interdependence. China will build a network of roads, railways and highways across Pakistan, contributing to infrastructure development and economic growth. The notion that China and Pakistan are “iron brothers” is popular among the diplomatic circles of both states. Both states share military, diplomatic and strategic ties. However, the economic ties could not be realized to the full potential as contacts at the societal level are minimal. CPEC possesses the ability to bridge these gaps and transform the relation into “Complex Interdependence”.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Zehar Abbass
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Global Regional Review (GRR)
  • Abstract: To sustain economic growth of the South Asian region, an uninterrupted supply of abundant Central Asian energy needs to be ensured. The situation for energy trade between the two regions is mutually beneficial. The Central Asia South Asia Electricity Transmission and Trade Project (CASA-1000) is a well-thought initiative to fulfill the energy demands of the region by transmitting 1300 megawatts electricity from Tajikistan and Kyrgyz Republic to Afghanistan and Pakistan. Central Asian partners are enthusiastic on the completion of CASA-1000 as the project is expected to bring an economic boost to the countries. Despite many opportunities, the project is facing some challenges in the form of financing of the project, security of the transmission lines, political instability of Afghanistan, and sustainability. This paper attempts to highlight challenges which may impede the successful implementation of the project
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: South Asia
  • Author: Rafaqat Islam
  • Publication Date: 02-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Global Regional Review (GRR)
  • Abstract: National security implications of the rising government debt in Pakistan increase concerns about military powers such as the USA and industrial giants such as Japan. This paper examines the unprecedented rise and abundant use of debt by governments since 2008. Apart from economic sustainability risks of the debt, the paper also traces history of Pakistan’s search for national security since 1947. Pakistan achieved nuclear capability in the face of opposition from the USA. There are fears that in the presence of huge external debts and low capacity to service them, Pakistan may not be able to take independent decisions regarding national security. The paper offers recommendations to overcome the threats.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Pakistan
  • Author: Ayaz Ahmad
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Global Regional Review (GRR)
  • Abstract: Orientalist approach to Central Asia especially Bukhara in our historical references present a romantic picture. This paper takes publications and printing as the indicator of intellectual maturity of the population and progressive zeitgeist in socio-political life. Analysis of historical events and facts reveal very little appetite of reading, almost universal ignorance and scarcity of written/printed books. The transformation of Central Asia took place after introduction of presses during the Tsarist control. With the arrival of printing, not only literacy increased but also the scope, number and range of topics expanded. As a result of printing/publication, the Jadidist ideology emerged and opposed the Qadimist status quo. Ultimately the Jadids prevailed. Therefore, the paper establishes that socio-political awakening and increase in printing/publication are linked. The paper recommends revisiting errors in the representation of Central Asia in our accounts of history.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Central Asia
  • Author: Masood Ur Rehman Khattak
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Global Regional Review (GRR)
  • Abstract: Pakistan is successfully fighting against militants in its tribal areas. The threat in tribal areas has complicated security situation. Many terrorist groups allegedly operate in FATA, e.g. Hafiz Gul Buhadur Group, Molvi Nazir Group, the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan, and the Haqqani Network/ Afghan Taliban. The operation Zarb-I-Azb was a huge success. Pakistan’s armydestroyed many IED Factories, dismantled training Centers of the Suicide Bombers run by different terrorist groups and TTP Run Media Centers, exposed detention centers of militants and recovered foreign currency during Operation Zarb-i-Azb. For long term peace and stability in tribal areas, the government must carry out reconstruction and development programs on a large scale. There is a need to rebuild the capacity of the local population. Free education, rehabilitation and de-radicalization programs must be initiated to mainstream FATA youth.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Pakistan
  • Author: Piret Kuusik
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: International Centre for Defence and Security - ICSD
  • Abstract: The Brexit process is changing the balance of power and coalition politics in the European Union. This report analyzes the shared interests and aims of the six Nordic and Baltic member states (NB6, consisting of Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania and Sweden) in the EU, focusing on three broad areas: open society, open economy and shared security. The authors argue that, in a changing Union and an increasingly volatile global context, it is time for the Nordic-Baltic member states to cooperate more strategically in matters where common positions can be identified, such as protection of shared values, reform of the eurozone, free trade, digitalisation and regional security. Their cooperation needs to be flexible and open to like-minded countries beyond the NB6 group. One of the groupings that has received much limelight is the new ‘Hanseatic League’, consisting of the Nordic and Baltic member states, the Netherlands and Ireland. The authors highlight the limited nature and flexible format of this grouping. The report ends with a set of policy recommendations regarding future Nordic-Baltic cooperation in the EU.
  • Topic: International Affairs, Brexit
  • Political Geography: Baltic Sea
  • Author: Piret Pernik
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: International Centre for Defence and Security - ICSD
  • Abstract: This is the first publicly available comparative study of the military cyber organisations in five European countries: Estonia, Finland, Germany, the Netherlands, and Norway. The study examines strategic guidelines, political authorisation of international deployments, organisational set-up, the chain of command, and key functions of three categories of military cyberspace forces: cyber commands (Estonia, the Netherlands, Norway), military cyber services (Germany), and cyber defence divisions (Finland). The report discusses rationales for the establishment of each specific organisational set-up, and considers the advantages and disadvantages of these different models. It also presents policy recommendations in these areas (political authorisation, organisation, chain of command, functions)
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Tomas Jermalavicius
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: International Center on Nonviolent Conflict (ICNC)
  • Abstract: For quite some time, territorial defence seemed to be an obsolete need, a leftover from the Cold War era. However, Russia’s overt and covert uses of military force—against Georgia in 2008 and against Ukraine since 2014—have profoundly altered the security environment and threat perceptions in the region and, indeed, across the entire Alliance. Has this new situation also provided opportunities for the Baltic states and Poland to enhance their cooperation in their defence policies? What are the factors that enable and facilitate the advancement of cooperation in this format—and are there any obstacles to be removed? Ultimately, if these four countries on NATO’s northeast flank are functioning smoothly as a quartet, what are the political and military steps they could take to bring their cooperation to a new and enhanced level? Drawing upon a series of interviews with defence policymakers and military practitioners in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland, this policy paper examines the drivers, pressures and opportunities for closer defence cooperation among the Baltic states and Poland with the aim of articulating some recommendations as to how NATO’s “northeast quartet” could work together more harmoniously
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus