Thumbnail image for New Report for USAID — “Central Asian Involvement in the Conflict in Syria and Iraq: Drivers and Responses”

New Report for USAID — “Central Asian Involvement in the Conflict in Syria and Iraq: Drivers and Responses”

This spring USAID and MSI International commissioned me to write a long-form policy paper on the Central Asian recruiting to the Syrian conflict. Though it took a couple of months to make sure it was approved for public release, I’m happy to finally be able to share it. This report is the culmination of around [...]

A half-frozen low-intensity conflict in Eastern Ukraine?

Caught in a “no war, no peace” situation, Eastern Ukraine is slowly but relentlessly diving into a low-intensity conflict. From the onset of the crisis, barely two years ago, Ukraine has been at war with Russia over the territorial integrity of Crimea and separatist Donbas – two fronts Kyiv has to deal with simultaneously. Through [...]

Russian Strategy – WTF?

Is Russian Strategy warlike – true or false? Russia’s strategic deployment and bombing campaign in Syria appears to have surprised and shocked many observers, including Russia watchers.  It shouldn’t have. The uproar is all about Russian aggression and expansionism.  Pundits decry Putin’s alleged attempt to re-create the Soviet Union.  The descriptors of Putin and Russia [...]

Pipeline politics to return to the fore in the Caucasus and Central Asia

by Max Hess

The future of European gas resources may run through the South Caucasus. 2016 is likely to be a pivotal year in determining the extent of the region’s importance in gas transit, as well as the role of Central Asian states, and potentially even Iran, in supplying these routes. Geopolitical concerns, the development of regional divides, [...]

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Taking a Page from Putin’s Playbook

by Max Hess

Only a few hours after the first shoot-down of a Russian plane by a NATO member in 60 years, Russian President Vladimir Putin took to the airwaves to explain Russia’s reaction to the incident. It was a stark contrast to the highly managed appearances that Putin has usually given when discussing security issues, such as [...]

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Russian Strategy – WTF?

by Nathan Barrick

Is Russian Strategy warlike – true or false? Russia’s strategic deployment and bombing campaign in Syria appears to have surprised and shocked many observers, including Russia watchers.  It shouldn’t have. The uproar is all about Russian aggression and expansionism.  Pundits decry Putin’s alleged attempt to re-create the Soviet Union.  The descriptors of Putin and Russia [...]

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Local elections in Ukraine bring mixed results

by Mathieu BOULEGUE

On October 25, 26.7 million Ukrainian voters were called to elect their 168,450 local and regional representatives in the first local elections since the Maidan. With a relatively low turnout of 46.62 percent, the elections represented a genuine test of popularity for the government as well as a barometer of popular discontent over the course [...]

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New Report for USAID — “Central Asian Involvement in the Conflict in Syria and Iraq: Drivers and Responses”

by Noah Tucker
Thumbnail image for New Report for USAID — “Central Asian Involvement in the Conflict in Syria and Iraq: Drivers and Responses”

This spring USAID and MSI International commissioned me to write a long-form policy paper on the Central Asian recruiting to the Syrian conflict. Though it took a couple of months to make sure it was approved for public release, I’m happy to finally be able to share it. This report is the culmination of around [...]

1 comment Read the full article →

A half-frozen low-intensity conflict in Eastern Ukraine?

by Mathieu BOULEGUE

Caught in a “no war, no peace” situation, Eastern Ukraine is slowly but relentlessly diving into a low-intensity conflict. From the onset of the crisis, barely two years ago, Ukraine has been at war with Russia over the territorial integrity of Crimea and separatist Donbas – two fronts Kyiv has to deal with simultaneously. Through [...]

Read the full article →

98 Degrees and Rising? Azerbaijan’s Military Expansion and the Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict

by Suzanne Rothman

The mountainous region of Nagorno-Karabakh is the epicenter of one of the world’s deadliest ethnic conflicts, one that has been considered “frozen” since the belligerents, Armenia and Azerbaijan, signed a ceasefire agreement in 1994. In reality, however, border skirmishes resulting in casualties on both sides are abundant and the mutual hostility remains intense on the [...]

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Understanding Crimea’s Annexation in Light of Separatism in Eastern Ukraine

by Max Hess

Nearly eighteen months after Russia’s annexation of Crimea, the motivations and goals of Crimea and Sevastopol’s integration into the Russian Federation remain highly contentious. Foreign policy scholars and regional analysts have issued a bevy of opinions as to what Russia hoped to achieve through the annexation, ranging from arguments that it was based in realist [...]

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US DoS’s recognition of Uzbek rights advocate makes Bishkek so unhappy that…

by Elmurad Kasym

In early March 2011, the U.S. Department of State awarded then-Kyrgyz President Roza Otunbayeva with the International Women of Courage Award. “So what?” an interested reader might ask. “She earned it,” was perhaps the thought in her administration, which included Temir Sariyev—then the deputy premier and finances minister. However, when the U.S. DoS awarded Azimjan [...]

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An Exile in Ukraine Recalls Fleeing his Native Kyrgyzstan

by Matthew Kupfer
Thumbnail image for An Exile in Ukraine Recalls Fleeing his Native Kyrgyzstan

In March 2014, as Russia’s “little green men” were quietly seizing the Crimean peninsula, a well known liberal activist from Kyrgyzstan, Ilya Lukash, left his homeland for Ukraine. He was fleeing harassment and threats of violence after Kyrgyz nationalists publicly pilloried him as a “gay activist” and burnt his portrait during an anti-Western protest. My [...]

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