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  • Author: Robert Satloff
  • Publication Date: 05-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Addressing the Palestinian Legislative Council Tuesday, new Palestinian Authority (PA) prime minister Mahmoud Abbas outlined a bold program of domestic reform and commitment to diplomacy that balanced loyalty to Yasir Arafat with an evident desire for fundamental political change. The speech's most positive aspects were Abbas's affirmation of negotiations as the route to achieve Palestinian aspirations, his assertion of the primacy of the rule of law, and his promise that "the unauthorized possession of firearms . . . will be relentlessly addressed." He hinted at, but was not conclusive on, plans to have paramilitary groups like Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades forcibly disarmed rather than just invited to reach "an internal understanding" on their opposition to a peace strategy. Abbas's ambiguity on whether attacks against Israeli targets inside the West Bank and Gaza constitute terrorism left a serious question mark. An important aspect of his address, overlooked by most observers, was his frequent reference to the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), not the PA, as the institution to which he owed first allegiance.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: David Makovsky, Dennis Ross
  • Publication Date: 05-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On April 28, 2003, Dennis Ross and David Makovsky addressed The Washington Institute's Special Policy Forum. Ambassador Ross is director and Ziegler distinguished fellow at the Institute and former U.S. special Middle East coordinator for the peace process. Mr. Makovsky is a senior fellow at the Institute and author of Making Peace with the PLO: The Rabin Government's Road to the Oslo Accord.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: David Makovsky
  • Publication Date: 02-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Prime Minister Ariel Sharon presented his new 68-member right-center government to the 120-member Knesset today. The government represents four parties with the following allocation of seats: Likud (40), Shinui (15), National Union (7), and National Religious Party (6). This marks the first Israeli government formed since 1974 that does not include any ultraorthodox participation. Below are the main areas that the government has made its policy guidelines.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Robert Satloff
  • Publication Date: 02-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: As one clock ticks toward a decision on the use of force to disarm Iraq, a second clock clicks toward the formal launching of the "roadmap" for Israeli-Palestinian peacemaking drafted by the Quartet (i.e., the United States, the European Union, Russia, and the United Nations). Barring some major external development — such as the death or exile of Yasir Arafat, a cataclysmic act of Palestinian terrorism, or an unexpected Israeli-Palestinian initiative — the roadmap process is likely to begin, as President George W. Bush might say, in a matter of weeks, not months.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Matthew Levitt
  • Publication Date: 02-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: In a recorded statement released this week, Osama bin Laden called on Iraqis to carry out suicide attacks against Americans. Al-Qaeda is not the only terrorist organization to call for such attacks, however; just four days earlier, Hamas spiritual leader Shaykh Ahmed Yassin published an open letter calling on Muslims to "threaten Western interests and strike them everywhere" in the event of a "a crusaders' war" against Islam in Iraq. Indeed, Director of Central Intelligence George Tenet told the Senate Intelligence Committee this week that "the days when we made distinctions between terrorist groups are over." Moreover, in February 2002, Tenet told Congress that if Palestinian groups "feel that U.S. actions are threatening their existence, they may begin targeting Americans directly, as Hizballah's terrorist wing already does." In fact, several Palestinian groups are increasingly inclined to target American interests.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: David Makovsky, Elie Rekhess
  • Publication Date: 01-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On January 29, 2003, David Makovsky addressed The Washington Institute's Special Policy Forum. Mr. Makovsky is a senior fellow at the Institute, an adjunct lecturer on Middle Eastern studies at Johns Hopkins University's School of Advanced International Studies, and a contributing editor to U.S. News and World Report.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: David Makovsky, Elie Rekhess
  • Publication Date: 01-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On January 24, 2002, Elie Rekhess and David Makovsky addressed The Washington Institute's Special Policy Forum. Dr. Rekhess is a senior associate at the Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern Studies at Tel Aviv University and director of the center's research program on Arab politics in Israel. Mr. Makovsky is a senior fellow at the Institute and contributing editor to U.S. News and World Report.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution
  • Political Geography: United States, Washington, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: David Makovsky
  • Publication Date: 01-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Earlier this week, Israel's Labor Party leader Amram Mitzna announced that he would not look to resume a broad coalition government with the Likud Party following the country's upcoming January 28 election, a crucial decision that dropped Labor from 24 to 20 seats (according to today's Yediot Aharonot poll) and that may have sealed the election for Likud. Mitzna's decision halted Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's slide of the last several weeks in the wake of a vote-buying scandal that imperiled his electoral bloc's grip on a Knesset majority.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: David Makovsky
  • Publication Date: 01-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: The slide in the polls of Ariel Sharon's Likud Party over the last six weeks has been rather dramatic, transforming the character of the campaign from an expected Sharon landslide into a closer contest. In Thursday's Yediot Ahronot-Dahaf poll, Likud dropped from 40 to 28 seats in the 120-member Knesset, while Amram Mitzna's Labor Party edged up to 24 seats from 22. Sharon's losses stem directly from the swirl of Likud election corruption allegations, beginning with low-level charges of vote buying — illegal activity that may have helped catapult Sharon's son Omri onto the parliamentary list. The latest charges, denied by Sharon, surround a $1.5 million loan that the prime minister borrowed from a South African businessman friend, Cyril Kern, to pay back illegal campaign contributions in 1999. Sharon still clings to the hope that his denials will halt his party's slide downward, while Mitzna is finding new hope in the prospect that a drop in support for Likud will lead voters to take a second look at his candidacy.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Israel, Arab Countries
  • Author: Lawrence Uzzell
  • Publication Date: 11-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Did the U.S. and Russian governments both know that, when Russian commandos stormed Moscow's Dubrovka theater in October of 2002, the Chechen terrorists inside it had already agreed to release several of their hostages, including U.S. citizen Sandy Booker? Booker's fiance, Svetlana Gubareva, says that the answer is Yes. Booker and Gubareva's 13-year-old daughter, Sasha, both died in the tragedy; Gubareva was also taken hostage but survived.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict, Government
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe, Asia, Moscow
  • Author: Lawrence Uzzell
  • Publication Date: 11-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: The recent upheavals in the Kremlin, including the resignation of Aleksandr Voloshin as President Vladimir Putinís chief of staff, could portend major changes in the Kremlinís policies on Chechnya. Voloshin was known as a key architect of those policies and especially as a political ally of Akhmad Kadyrov, whose inauguration he attended in person last month. Conversely, the so-called ìsilovikiîó—the hard-liners of the military and secret police establishment, widely seen as the winners in the latest Kremlin faction fightó—have often been hostile to Kadyrov, whom they see as unreliable.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia, Chechnya
  • Author: Lawrence Uzzell
  • Publication Date: 10-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Many of the Chechens who have disappeared in “zachistki” security sweeps are still alive in Russian captivity, in the view of human rights activist Kheda Saratova. The head of the Vozvrashchenie (“Return”) foundation told correspondent Aleksandr Kolesnichenko of Novye izvestia that the organization has assembled more than a thousand individual case files. Vozvrashchenie was created only a month ago in Grozny, for the purpose of finding as many of the kidnapped as possible.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict, Human Rights
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia, Chechnya
  • Author: Lawrence Uzzell
  • Publication Date: 10-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: The purging from Chechnya's government structures of sup porters of the main opposition candidates in the recent election has apparently intensified since October 5. Marina Perevozkina of Moskovsky komsomolets reported in an October 21 article on her conversation with Salavat Gebertaev. He is the mayor of Urus-Martan, which lies southwest of Grozny, and was one of the leaders of the movement for the Urus-Martan district to secede from Dudaev's jurisdiction in 1994. Dudaev's army stormed his town four times. When Maskhadov came to power, Gebertaev was sentenced to death and for some time hid abroad; after returning he survived an assassination attempt that he believes was organized by Maskhadov's circle. “It would seem,” suggested Perevozkina, “that Moscow should be relying on precisely such people in Chechnya. But Gebertaev is a relative and friend of Malik Saidullaev [who tried to run for president against Kadyrov]. On top of that, he committed a terrible crime: He received from Saidullaev and distributed some 500 wheelchairs and 2,000 crutches. Because of this the head of the district administration told him on the day after the election: “From now on we will not work with you.”
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict, Government
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia, Chechnya, Moscow
  • Author: Lawrence Uzzell
  • Publication Date: 10-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Among the few surprises to come from Chechnya's election day on October 5, so far the most interesting is the revelation that the Russian troops who took part voted overwhelmingly against Akhmad Kadyrov. A respected Moscow journalist, recently returned from Grozny, told Chechnya Weekly on October 14 that some 90 percent of the Russian troops who cast ballots chose the option (not available in American elections) of voting “against all” of the candidates. The journalist said that the servicemen must have done this under the direction of their commanders, which provides further confirmation of the deep alienation between Kadyrov and the Russian military.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia, Chechnya, Moscow
  • Author: Lawrence Uzzell, Zaindi Choltaev
  • Publication Date: 10-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: We left Sunzhensky district early in the morning, heading for Grozny from the west of Chechnya. After the turn to Assinovskaya, still not far from the Ingush border, we came upon engineering reconnaissance troops: Several tanks and military trucks, soldiers walking along the sides of the road. Civilian cars started to pile up behind us. Suddenly the soldiers stopped, squatted down, and aimed their machine guns and rifles at a spot in the field. So did the large caliber gun on the armed troop carrier. We heard an explosion. When the dust settled, our driver commented: “Those are just games. They put the explosives there themselves, and then they set them off.” I frequently heard similar talk. Many people in Chechnya have observed how the soldiers, in order to receive money and decorations, plant explosives and set up fake “battle situations.”
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict, Elections
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Chechnya
  • Author: Lawrence Uzzell, Brian Glyn Williams
  • Publication Date: 10-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: In 1999, U.S. presidential candidate George Bush spoke for much of the American right when he warned the Russians that they “need to resolve the dispute (with the Chechens) peaceably and not be bombing women and children and causing huge num bers of refugees to flee Chechnya.”[1] If the Russians did not stop their brutal second war against the Chechens, which had begun in the fall of 1999, Bush threatened to cut off IMF and Export-Import Bank loans to the former superpower that the Republican right, led by Senator Jesse Helms, still saw as a dangerous manifestation of the USSR.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Asia, Chechnya
  • Author: Lawrence Uzzell
  • Publication Date: 09-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: In a remarkably under reported statement, Russian President Vladimir Putin has apparently accused lower echelon U.S. government officials of meeting with known Chechen terrorists. On September 20, a few days before flying to the United States for his summit meeting with President George W. Bush, Putin met with several U.S. television journalists. Asked about Chechnya, the Russian president gave a long answer that mostly repeated points that he and his spokesmen have made before. But toward the end of his response he said the following (as translated by Chechnya Weekly from the text placed on the official website Kremlin.ru): “The United States has now voted in the Security Council in favor of recognizing several individuals as international terrorists. The State Department has announced that it has included several figures in its list of international terrorists. But unfortunately we know that on the executive level there are continuing attempts at contacts with some people under the pretense that what's happening is only work with the opposition. Even with people who are included on the United Nations list. These people come, say that they are 'political activists' and present them- selves in all sorts of guises. But I assure you, I know about this precisely—they are maintaining connections with their allies in Afghanistan, including those who have gone there from the Northern Caucasus of Russia and who are fighting with arms in their hands against American soldiers. Such absurdities on the working level must be stopped, the sooner the better.”
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict, Government
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Russia, United States, Europe, Asia, Chechnya, North Caucasus
  • Author: Lawrence Uzzell
  • Publication Date: 09-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Have Chechen separatist guerrillas been fighting against the United States and its allies in places such as Iraq or Afghanistan—and if so, how many have been captured or killed? The U.S. government has been strikingly passive in seeking to learn (or, at least, in publicly disclosing) the answer to that question. Chechnya Weekly began pressing for a precise, concrete answer months ago, but we have yet to get one from the White House, Pentagon, or State Department.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict, Government
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Russia, United States, Iraq, Europe, Asia, Chechnya
  • Author: Lawrence Uzzell
  • Publication Date: 09-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: In a surprising announcement, Khusein Dzhabrailov has with drawn his candidacy for the presidency of Chechnya. The Moscow businessman, who had managed to win such potent endorsements as those of Bislan Gantemirov and Ruslan Khasbulatov, failed to give any substantive explanation for his decision. As reported on September 2 by the Lenta.ru website, his office merely announced that he had “come to the conclusion that he can provide significantly greater service to society in his present role.”
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia, Chechnya, Moscow
  • Author: Lawrence Uzzell
  • Publication Date: 08-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Pressure against Chechen refugees in Ingushetia has intensified further in recent days, Aleksandr Podrabinek of the newspaper Russky kurier reported on August 18. Hooligans are throwing rocks at the tents during the night, he wrote, and the tents are also being besieged at night by cars that honk their horns so that the refugees cannot sleep. The Kadyrov administration's prime minister, Anatoly Popov, who is now serving formally as “acting president” while Kadyrov pursues his own candidacy, told the news agency Interfax on August 13 that all of the tent camps for Chechen refugees in Ingushetia must be closed by October 1. That is just four days before the election.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia, Chechnya, Ingushetia
  • Author: Lawrence Uzzell
  • Publication Date: 08-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Are the Russian authorities lying about the number of casualties caused by the August 1 bombing of the military hospital in Mozdok? According to the official figures, widely disseminated in the Russian and western media, fifty occupants of the hospital complex died and eighty-two were wounded. But the Moscow daily Kommersant has received conflicting versions regarding those figures from a source connected to the criminal-investigative team on the scene. According to this source, the hospital was filled to more than its planned capacity of 150 patients. Also, several tents had been deployed on its grounds, each containing an additional eight to sixteen people. The truck bomb that destroyed the hospital was so powerful that only one wall of the building was left standing and nearby buildings were also damaged.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia, Chechnya, Moscow
  • Author: Lawrence Uzzell
  • Publication Date: 07-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: About 20 percent of the Kadyrov administration's gunmen are secretly loyal to the secessionist government of President Aslan Maskhadov, a key Maskhadov representative claimed during a visit to Washington last week. Salambek Maigov, Maskhadov's emissary in Moscow, told Chechnya Weekly that former rebel guerrillas constitute the majority of Kadyrov's ostensibly “pro-Moscow” militia. Many of those not now in contact with the rebels, he insisted, “would fight for us if we were to attack Grozny again,” as in 1996.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Washington, Asia, Chechnya, Moscow
  • Author: Lawrence Uzzell
  • Publication Date: 05-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Russian President Vladimir Putin's amnesty proposal, which last week received preliminary approval from the federal Duma, is intended in large part to serve the same purpose as his March constitutional referendum. That is to create the impression that peace, reconciliation and the rule of law are returning to Chechnya, with the support of all but a few separatist fanatics. But compared to the referendum, the amnesty has a key disadvantage: Most (though not all) of the key issues involve the proposed legislation's formal text, not the largely hidden process by which that text will be put into practice. Ever since the president formally presented his proposal to the Russian parliament on May 12, skeptics have subjected it to withering criticism—most of the specific points of which Putin and his circle have not even seriously tried to address.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia, Chechnya
  • Author: Lawrence Uzzell
  • Publication Date: 05-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: In some few respects—indeed, fewer even than a year ago— Shamil Basaev remains a traditional Chechen rebel rather than a postmodern global terrorist. For one, he takes full, public and personal responsibility for his atrocities. That fact alone casts doubt on the Kremlin's attempts to create the impression that the Chechen separatist movement (of which Basaev in any case represents only a part) is simply an arm of al Qaeda. Another difference is that Basaev has not followed al Qaeda's recent switch to soft targets. A pair of mid-May attacks, which Basaev publicly claimed as his own on May 19, were directed against two of the most heavily defended entities in hyper-militarized Chechnya—a key regional headquarters of the Federal Security Service (FSB) secret police, and the person of the head of the republic's Moscow- appointed administration.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia, Moscow
  • Author: Lawrence Uzzell
  • Publication Date: 05-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Anna Politkovskaya has indicated to a friendly human rights journalist that her newspaper has additional information about the involvement of Russia's secret services in the terrorist raid on Moscow's Dubrovka theater last October—enough information to confirm that involvement even apart from her dramatic interview with an apparent double agent. “The next chunk of information on this topic will be published later,” she said, “depending on what actions our authorities take.”
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Moscow
  • Author: Lawrence Uzzell
  • Publication Date: 05-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Was last October's attack by Chechen terrorists on a Moscow theater actually a provocation organized by elements of the Russian security services—or at least known to them in advance, so that they could easily have prevented it? In the opinion of Novaya gazeta correspondent Anna Politkovskaya, the answer is yes, and the key figure in this shadowy operation was a Chechen serving as an agent for Russia's special services—one Khanpash Terkibaev. This mysterious figure unaccountably agreed to let Politkovskaya interview him. And although he has since denied the most sensational parts of her April 28 account of their conversation, he and the administration of Russian President Vladimir Putin have failed to provide any convincing alternative explanation.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Author: Lawrence Uzzell
  • Publication Date: 04-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: An overconfident and overbearing Russian delegation lost the first major international test of Moscow's Chechnya policy to occur since the March 23 constitutional referendum. The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) voted unexpectedly on April 2 to recommend creation of an international tribunal to try both Russians and Chechens accused of war crimes. The lopsided vote (97-27) stood in dramatic contrast to the victory celebrated by the Russians in January, when they succeeded in blocking a challenge to the referendum led by the Parliamentary Assembly's own rapporteur on Chechnya. Their action, in effect, forced his resignation (see Chechnya Weekly, February 6).
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Author: Lawrence Uzzell
  • Publication Date: 04-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Add one more to the list of independent eyewitnesses who flatly deny Russian claims of a huge turnout for Chechnya's March 23 constitutional referendum. Nathalie Nougayrede of Le Monde told Radio Radicale on March 25 that she saw no long lines at polling stations in Grozny, where she spent referendum day. She said that Grozny was “practically deserted” that day: “At one or two polling stations I saw a few people, maybe four or five. Twenty or twenty-five during the whole day....Everyone I spoke to in the days leading up to the referendum said they had no intention of voting.” She added that at one particular polling station she knew that only several dozen people turned out, but “at the end of the day the chief electoral officer declared that around 3,000 people had voted there.”
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Author: Lawrence Uzzell
  • Publication Date: 03-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Moscow journalist Anna Politkovskaya has made a stunning discovery in the suburbs of Chechnya, one comparable to the 1999 scandal in which secret police of Russia's Federal Security Service (the FSB, which is the renamed. but not reformed. KGB) were caught planting explosives in a Ryazan apartment building. As she wrote in the March 24 issue of Novaya gazeta, “during the entire war in Chechnya rumors have circulated about how the federals are planting mines and organizing provocations which they then attribute to the guerrillas. But only now has it become possible to confirm these rumors with documentary evidence.”
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Moscow
  • Author: Lawrence Uzzell
  • Publication Date: 03-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: The administration of Russian President Vladimir Putin and its allies in Grozny are clearly counting on a big win in Saturday's (March 22) referendum. Putin aide Sergei Yastrzhembsky said that “the appearance of voters in Chechnya is traditionally high,” and the Russian media have been circulating forecasts that at least two-thirds of the republic's population will cast votes.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Author: Lawrence Uzzell
  • Publication Date: 03-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: The Russian authorities and their allies in Chechnya are actively trying to create the impression that the March 23 constitutional referendum enjoys massive popular support. Buvaisar Arsakhanov, head of the election commission for Chechnya, told the news agency Itar-Tass on March 11 that almost 10,000 refugees have already expressed their desire to vote in the referendum. Vladimir Zorin, federal minister for nationalities, told a March 10 press conference that “the residents of the Chechen Republic themselves are placing great hopes on the referendum.” For the first time in ten years, he said, they will have the possibility “to express their will for peace and normal life.” (Zorin chose to ignore the 1997 vote, recognized as free and fair by international human rights observers, in which Aslan Maskhadov was elected president of Chechnya.) The pro-Kremlin website Strana.ru quoted Akhmad Kadyrov on March 5 as estimating that 96 percent of the residents of Chechnya are ready to take part in the referendum. That figure is reminiscent of the near-unanimous “elections” of the Soviet years.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Author: Lawrence Uzzell
  • Publication Date: 03-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Russia's highest military award, the order of “Hero of Russia,” has been bestowed on five people for their roles in the Dubrovka Theater hostage crisis of October 2002. But a member of the federal Duma learned that only two of these medals went to soldiers who actually took part in the storming of the theater. Another two went to top leaders of the secret police, and the fifth went to the chemist responsible for releasing the gas that killed about 200 of the hostages (see Chechnya Weekly, December 17, 2002).
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Author: Lawrence Uzzell
  • Publication Date: 02-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Reversal on voting rights for Chechen refugees? In an apparent reversal, the head of the Moscow-appointed Chechen government told a Grozny press conference on February 25 that only voters physically present in Chechnya will be allowed to cast ballots in next month's constitutional referendum. Akhmad Kadyrov said that no polling stations would be open outside Chechnya's boundaries. He thus seemed to be indicating that tens of thousands of Chechen refugees in neighboring Ingushetia will be able to vote only if they return to war torn Chechnya. A report by the Russian news agency Novosti said that “according to Mr. Kadyrov, all wishing to vote can come to Chechnya and vote there.” If the Novosti report is accurate, it means that Kadyrov has broken his recent pledge to the visiting human rights commissioner of the Council of Europe. He had announced his support of the March referendum after Kadyrov assured him that the refugees in Ingushetia would be allowed to take part.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe
  • Author: Lawrence Uzzell
  • Publication Date: 02-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Kremlin admits constitution flawed. The Putin administration's in-house human rights advisers admit that its proposed constitution for Chechnya has serious flaws. Human-rights ombudsman Oleg Mironov told Radio Liberty on February 4 that the proposed text gives the president of the Chechen republic too much power at the expense of the legislature. Ella Pamfilova, head of the president's human rights commission, expressed concern about the power granted to the president of the Russian Federation to dismiss the president of Chechnya. Nevertheless, the two have chosen not to challenge Putin on what has become the centerpiece of his Chechnya strategy: going ahead with the constitutional referendum on March 23.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Author: Simon Serfaty
  • Publication Date: 04-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the European Union (EU) have been significant institutional casualties of the war in Iraq. European heads of state and government who joined the coalition of the willing organized by President George W. Bush (with a decisive assist from Prime Minister Tony Blair) often did so in spite of significant opposition from their general public. States that gathered, vocally or passively, in the coalition of the unwilling (and even resentful) organized by President Jacques Chirac (with a decisive assist from Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder) did so at the expense of a Euro-Atlantic structure within which the states of Europe have gained unprecedented security, stability, and prosperity. As the first phase of the coalition's military action in Iraq comes to an end, the prevailing view in the United States is that the EU is a troubled and troubling union: troubled in terms of its internal divisions, and troubling in terms of the motivation that seems to underline the actions of its older members. As for NATO, the prevailing view is that it is a fading organization with a blocking minority of members who are not only unwilling but also broadly incapable and frankly irrelevant.
  • Topic: Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Middle East
  • Author: Felix G. Rohatyn, Jean-Paul Béchat
  • Publication Date: 02-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: On January 24, 2003, the CSIS Commission on Transatlantic Security and Industrial Cooperation in the Twenty-First Century, under the leadership of CSIS president and CEO John J. Hamre, released its final report, The Future of the Transatlantic Defense Community. Cochaired by Jean-Paul Béchat, chairman and CEO of SNECMA and president (in 2001-2002) of the European Association of Aerospace Industries (AECMA), and former U. S. ambassador to France Felix G. Rohatyn, this Commission consisted of 22 senior business leaders and former policymakers from both sides of the Atlantic. An Experts Group, directed by CSIS Europe Program director Simon Serfaty and composed of several representatives from the private and public sectors and academia, assisted the Commission in its work.
  • Topic: Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Middle East
  • Author: George W. Grayson
  • Publication Date: 12-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Mexico's southern flank constitutes a porous, crime-ridden third border of the United States. The problem is that both President Vicente Fox and Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge concentrate on the U.S.-Mexican frontier, while neglecting the Mexican-Guatemalan interface that provides an open sesame for narcotraffickers, illegal aliens, prostitutes, smugglers, and terrorists.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, Latin America, North America
  • Author: Andre Belelieu
  • Publication Date: 11-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: On December 12, 2001, Canada and the United States signed the Smart Border Declaration, which gave birth to the 30-point Smart Border Action Plan. This bilateral agreement instantly became the de facto framework for ensuring the world's longest undefended border remained secure, while facilitating the flow of people, goods, and services, and was a key component in the larger homeland security goal of creating a zone of confidence against terrorist activity, while causing minimal damage to the world's largest trading relationship. Two years later, the Canadian and U.S. governments can point to progress on all 30 points contained in the Action Plan. Through cooperation and an understanding that a smart border works in the interest of both countries, Canada and the United States can claim to be closer than ever to ensuring that the Canada-U.S. border remains “open to trade and closed to terrorists.”
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, Latin America, North America
  • Author: Sidney Weintraub
  • Publication Date: 11-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Some significant outcomes in Mexico during the past quarter century are worth reviewing. There has been practically no growth in real per capita income since 1980. Until the presidential transition from Ernesto Zedillo to Vicente Fox, there were financial collapses either ending, starting, or during every other sexenio (six-year term) over this period. Perhaps these monotonic curses are a thing of the past, but no Mexican would “bet the farm” on this. These financial collapses were generally accompanied by economic downturns, spectacularly so in 1982 and 1994. Mexicans who came of age over the past 25 years—those now about 40 to 50—have known nothing other than repetitive currency depreciations and lack of sustained growth, and these expectations surely have been programmed indelibly into their psyches. A Mexican would have to be unthinking not to be pessimistic about the future based on recent economic management of the country, its currency, and its financial solidity.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: Latin America, North America
  • Publication Date: 10-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The Struggle over the Referendum On September 25, the new National Electoral Commission (CNE) issued the regulations that will govern referenda for the recall of elected officials. These long-awaited norms will make it possible for a popular vote to be held on President Chávez's stewardship in office by early March (157 days from the time the opposition submits a request to the commission, as it now has done). The commission's decision—not really welcomed by the president—changes Venezuela's political landscape. Although the outcome of the campaign for a referendum remains in doubt, this action gives encouragement to the alliance of the opposition parties seeking the president's removal. Chávez will now have to consider how to adjust his own strategy to deal with this new situation.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: South America, Latin America
  • Author: Miguel Diaz
  • Publication Date: 07-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: At the invitation of the White House, Argentina's newly elected president, Nestor Kirchner, will be paying a visit to President George W. Bush this Wednesday, July 23. This is the latest and most notable signal from Washington of an interest in engaging and working with the new government in Buenos Aires. The hope in Foggy Bottom is that this outreach can translate into the kind of constructive and comprehensive relationship that President Bush has established with Brazil's new president, Luis Inácio Lula da Silva, Kirchner's regional partner. Whether Kirchner has the savvy to exploit the gesture to set a tone for the bilateral relationship and establish the general parameters of a mutually rewarding policy agenda will be evident soon enough.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: South America, Latin America
  • Publication Date: 07-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Twenty-two years after the Brazilian Workers' Party (PT) was established, Luiz Inácio “Lula” da Silva—one of the PT's founders—became Brazil's president. His election on October 27, 2002, marked the first time a candidate with a limited formal education, a background of poverty and disadvantage, and a fully elaborated leftist agenda had been elected to Brazil's highest office.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • Author: Armand Peschard-Sverdrup
  • Publication Date: 07-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: On July 6, 2003, as many as 64.7 million registered voters will be heading to the polls to cast their votes for all 500 seats in the lower house of the Mexican Congress—the Chamber of Deputies. Of all 500 seats in the Chamber of Deputies, 300 are elected via direct representation (mayoria relativa) and 200 via proportional representation (representacion proporcional).
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: Latin America, North America
  • Publication Date: 06-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: In a solemn ceremony in Caracas, presided over by César Gavíria, secretary general of the Organization of American States (OAS), the Chávez administration and the Coordinadora Democrática signed a pre-referendum accord. In his remarks, Gavíria characterized the document as an important political step. The result of several weeks of quiet diplomacy, the agreement bridges the differences that had developed over an earlier April 21 draft. The most important provision of the document is paragraph 12, which envisages the possible invocation of article 72 of the constitution—a recall referendum—if the National Electoral Commission (CNE) decides that the conditions for such a referendum have been met.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: South America, Latin America
  • Author: Dwight N. Mason
  • Publication Date: 06-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: That the government was about to decide to seek negotiations on participation in the U.S. missile defense system was signaled by Bill Graham, Canadian foreign minister, in his May 15, 2003, statement in Parliament on missile defense policy.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: Canada, Latin America, North America
  • Author: William Barr
  • Publication Date: 05-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The New York Times was by no means the lone voice in criticizing Brazil's abstentions on the Cuba-related motions before the UN Human Rights Commission. Much tougher criticism has come from a wide range of Brazilians, including a substantial segment of academics, journalists, and even politicians who have long praised Cuba's independence from the U.S. orbit and criticized the United States' economic blockade.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, New York, Brazil, Cuba, United Nations, Latin America
  • Author: Miguel Diaz, Carlos M. Regúnaga
  • Publication Date: 05-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Argentina's national mania to experiment with new rules, procedures, and institutions never ceases to produce surprising, and sometimes stunning results. This time, the electoral process has been managed in such a bizarre way that as a result, the primary election of the Peronist Party will take place after the general election rather than before, as one would expect in a normal, more boring country.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: Argentina, South America, Latin America
  • Author: Carlos M. Regúnaga
  • Publication Date: 05-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Voter turnout for the April 27 elections was among the highest in record: about 80 percent of the total population eighteen years old and older. The number of empty ballot envelopes was less than 1 percent, and votes annulled were within the normal margins in any election. All of this indicates that the protest vote (“voto bronca”), which was so high in the 2001 congressional elections, was not a factor in this election. The large number of candidates—and the exceptionally high number of candidates with the possibility of reaching the second round presidency on May 18 in particular—may have convinced electors to cast positive votes.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: Argentina, South America, Latin America
  • Author: Brian Latell
  • Publication Date: 04-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The campaign against internal opposition launched last month by Fidel Castro's regime is among the most inhumane of the numerous crackdowns conducted during the more than 44 years he has ruled Cuba. Beginning in mid March, Cuban security personnel, often acting violently, rounded up more than 100 men and women associated with groups committed to peaceful democratic change on the island.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: Cuba, Latin America, Caribbean
  • Author: Luis Pinto
  • Publication Date: 04-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Since Augusto Pinochet stepped down as president in 1989, Chile has been one of the most politically, socially, and economically successful countries in the region. The country has been able to move forward because of its aggressive promotion of exports, strength of its institutions, and the trust it has built with the international community. Recently however, Chile has found itself opposing the United States, a long time champion and supporter; it was also embroiled in several domestic corruption scandals. Chile has turned to the strength of its institutions and its international credibility to get back on track.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, South America, Latin America, Chile