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Putin's Next Offensive
Both NATO and the United States have publicly acknowledged that Russia is violating the newest cease-fire over Ukraine, which was recently concluded in Minsk, Belarus. Despite the agreement, Moscow is still sending tanks, armored vehicles, rocket technology and artillery to separatist elements inside Ukraine, and has moved on to occupy the strategically located railroad terminal of Debaltseve. Moscow's continuing military buildup in the Donbass region, and the outbreak of renewed fighting, strongly suggests that Russia does not seek an off-ramp out of Ukraine but intends to conquer still more Ukrainian territory.
Obama's Ill-Advised Gamble
Of the new framework accord with Iran over its nuclear program, President Barack Obama said he hopes "that we can conclude this diplomatic arrangement - and that it ushers a new era in U.S.-Iranian relations - and, just as importantly, over time, a new era in Iranian relations with its neighbors."
Kremlin Fight Club
At first glance, Grozny seems like an odd place for a gathering of the world's best fighters. The capital of Russia's restive Chechen Republic, Grozny is in a better place today than it was in the 1990s and early 2000s, when it was ground zero for two brutal wars between Islamist insurgents and the Russian state. But the city, like the region it inhabits, still ranks high on the misery index. Despite a major rebuilding effort on the part of the government, Chechnya's unemployment and poverty rates are among the highest in the Russian Federation, and the region has emerged as a significant source of angry young men who have traveled to the Middle East to join the ranks of the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham.
Iran Is to Blame for the Palestinians' Plight
If you go by President Barack Obama's rhetoric, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has single-handedly sunk the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. The United States has been forced to "re-assess our options," the commander in chief has said, including supporting Israel at the United Nations, on the basis of Netanyahu's election-eve statement opposing a two-state solution.
An Ugly Double Standard For Israel
President Barack Obama's vow to reassess U.S.-Israeli relations after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's campaign remarks about a Palestinian state showcases his badly skewed views of Israel, its conflict with the Palestinians, its Arab neighbors and the true sources of regional instability.
Latest In-House Bulletins
Iran Democracy Monitor - No. 155
Iran, P5+1 strike tentative nuclear deal...;
China Reform Monitor - No. 1157
Chinese firm signs massive infrastructure deal in Djibouti;
South Asia Security Monitor - No. 364
FGFA program sputters;
China Reform Monitor - No. 1156
Europeans join new Chinese-led multilateral bank;
Eurasia Security Watch - No. 335
Turkey green lights Azeri pipeline;
Latest Policy Papers
Understanding Cybersecurity - Part 2 - Information Assurance
Information Assurance is the art and science of securing computer systems and networks against efforts by third parties to disable, intrude, or otherwise impede operations. It is the focus of most “cybersecurity” professionals in the technical community. The principal goals are to maintain an information system’s Confidentiality (the secrecy of information as it is used and stored), Integrity, reliability of data and equipment, and Availability, that a computer system is ready and able to function as needed. Information Assurance includes writing secure software, deploying it safely, and managing it to minimize the risk of compromise.
Asia for the Asians
In recent months, Xi Jinping’s China has rolled out a large number of new foreign policy initiatives. Some of these have been economic proposals such as the BRICS Bank; the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank; the China-Korea and China-Australia free trade agreements; the land and maritime silk road proposals; a massive, albeit not entirely transparent, energy deal with Russia; an increasingly effective effort to promote international trade denominated in the yuan or Renminbi; and an attempt to push ahead with either the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement or the Free Trade Agreement of the Asia-Pacific.
Cybersecurity is an often abused and much misused term that was once intended to describe and now serves better to confuse. While originally intended to cover security related issues associated with “cyberspace,” a phrase coined by author William Gibson in the short story “Burning Chrome,” it has become the byword for a staggeringly diverse array of topics. While this is frustrating, the term is popular as shorthand, so we offer this paper to identify and explain four clusters of related topics under the larger umbrella of “cybersecurity.” Each is a distinct issue area with unique technical and policy challenges, while retaining some association to the others...
American Deterrence and Future Conflicts
On the centennial of the start of World War I—a war that began largely as a result of crisis miscalculations
and escalations—we are entering a new era with important implications for deterrence, escalation control, and coalition management. Today, like at the time of World War I, we confront a large number of actors who have the potential to misread cues and red lines while relying on treaty relationships if they miscalculate. Then, as now, military technologies were widely diffused. Prevailing assumptions about how an adversary (or potential adversary) would react in a crisis or confrontation were based on imperfect intelligence and inadequate understanding of red lines...
U. S. & European Perspectives of Current and Evolving Security Challenges
As we think through the role that the United States might play in addressing future security challenges in the European and Eurasian arenas in coming years, it would seem appropriate to have some indication of the thinking, thoughts, and ideas of our partners and allies—especially those in NATO. Americans may feel strongly about issues such as missile defense, countering terrorism and stopping Iran from developing a nuclear capability, but do European and Eurasian allies feel the same?...