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Iran Strategy Brief No. 7: Iran's Various Voices
Policy Papers - June 17, 2015

Is the Islamic Republic of Iran a country or a cause? For decades, the question is one that has bedeviled Western observers. Foreign politicians and diplomats long have struggled to reconcile the Iranian regime’s radical rhetoric and destructive international behavior with its pragmatic participation in numerous treaty arrangements, and its prominent role in various multilateral forums.

The Message Behind Nemtsov's Murder
Articles - March 4, 2015

Russia's political opposition has been put on notice. The Feb. 27 murder of prominent opposition leader Boris Nemtsov just steps from the Kremlin marks a dramatic escalation of the Russian regime's long-running war on its opponents. Nemtsov, after all, wasn't merely a dissenting politician. He was part of the old system, having served as a deputy prime minister in the government of President Boris Yeltsin in the late 1990s. Beginning in the early 2000s, Nemtsov had moved into the political opposition, emerging as a critic of Yeltsin's successor, Vladimir Putin, and his policies. Even so, his position as a member of Yeltsin's inner circle had given him a degree of immunity from official retribution.

Asia for the Asians
Policy Papers - January 29, 2015

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.

Russia Reform Monitor - No. 1948
Bulletins - January 9, 2015

New signs of life among the Russian opposition;
Moscow maintains focus on nuke modernization, and the Arctic



The Fall Of The Berlin Wall: A Forgotten Part Of The Story
Articles - November 9, 2014

Twenty-five years ago, the opening of the Berlin Wall transfixed the world, but somewhat obscured a bigger story: the peaceable seizure of the state by that part of East German society that did not want to go to the West. 

3 Lessons From The Fall Of The Berlin Wall
Articles - November 7, 2014

A quarter-century ago this month, East Germany's communist leaders announced they were opening the Berlin Wall in an act that, as much as anything else during that momentous year, symbolized the Cold War's end. 

Russia's Costly Ukrainian Conquest
Articles - September 9, 2014

Ukrainian government and the Russian-directed separatist movement occupying parts of two Ukrainian provinces and Crimea. Few expect it to last because neither side is ready to live with the status quo. 

Ukraine needs to resume fighting to prevent Moscow from permanently controlling separatist-occupied Ukraine. Moscow needs to resume fighting to achieve its further territorial ambitions in Ukraine. Further, if Russian President Vladimir Putin is stopped in Ukraine, it will complicate his designs on the territory of Kazakhstan, Belarus, Moldova and other parts of the former USSR. How is this likely to play out? 

Western Policy, Post-Crimea
Articles - April 7, 2014

By all accounts, Vladimir Putin appears to be winning. Over the past month, Russia’s wily president has managed to orchestrate the asymmetric invasion of a neighboring state (Ukraine) and annex a new territory into the Russian Federation (Crimea).

Moscow Could Be Big Loser In Ukraine Protests
Articles - December 10, 2013

You have to hand it to the Ukrainians. They sure know how to stage a revolution.

In November of 2004, popular outrage over the dubious victory of pro-Kremlin candidate Viktor Yanukovych in presidential elections blatantly manipulated by Moscow brought hundreds of thousands into the streets in what came to be known as the "Orange Revolution." The protesters succeeded beyond their wildest dreams; over the course of two months, the original results of the vote were annulled and a new election held. In it, popular, Western-leaning candidate Viktor Yushchenko handily defeated Yanukovych in what was widely seen as a referendum for a new national direction — one free of Russian influence.

Implosion: The End of Russia and What It Means for America
Books - September 2013

Today, Putin’s Russia is fast approaching a social and political crisis—one that promises to be every bit as profound as the fall of the USSR. Author Ilan Berman tackles the crisis that has Russia on the fast track to ruin, and the grave danger Russian collapse poses to America’s security, in his new book, Implosion.