Central Asia & Caucasus

 
  •  The Russian Military and the Georgia War: Lessons and Implications

    The Russian Military and the Georgia War: Lessons and Implications

    The Russian Military and the Georgia War: Lessons and Implications Dr Ariel Cohen, COL Robert E Hamilton Monograph by the US Army War College, Strategic Studies Institute "Russia launched the war against Georgia in August 2008 for highly valued strategic and geopolitical objectives, which included de facto annexation of Abkhazia, weakening or toppling the Mikheil Saakashvili regime, and preventing North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) enlargement. The Russian politico-military elites had focused on Georgia since the days of the presidency of Eduard Shevardnadze, whom they blamed, together with Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev and Union of Socialist Soviet Republics (USSR) Communist Party Central Committee Secretary Alexander Yakovlev, for the dissolution of the Soviet empire in Eastern Europe and the dismantlement of the Soviet Union itself."
    • Published On: 6/1/2011
  •  Central Asian Security Trends: Views from Europe and Russia

    Central Asian Security Trends: Views from Europe and Russia

    Central Asian Security Trends: Views from Europe and Russia Dr Stephen J Blank Monograph by the US Army War College, Strategic Studies Institute "The papers collected in this volume pertain to Central Asia. Indeed, they offer us two foreign views of the strategic situation evolving there—a Russian and a French analysis. For obvious reasons: the war in Afghanistan, proximity to major global actors, large energy holdings, and for less obvious reason, i.e., the possibility that domestic instability in one or more of these states could spread to other Muslim states as we now see in the Arab revolutions of 2011, Central Asia is an increasingly important and interesting strategic region. As such, it merits sustained critical attention and analysis of the sort we are presenting here and that we have presented in the past."
    • Published On: 4/1/2011
  •  2010 Key Strategic Issues List (KSIL)

    2010 Key Strategic Issues List (KSIL)

    2010 Key Strategic Issues List (KSIL) Antulio J. Echevarria II Document by the US Army War College, Strategic Studies Institute "The Key Strategic Issues List (KSIL) is published annually to make students and other researchers aware of strategic topics that are, or should be, of particular concern to the Department of Defense and the U.S. Army. The list is a compilation of input from the faculty at the U.S. Army War College as well as input from subject matter experts across the field of strategic studies. The topics reflect current as well as longer-term strategic issues, and are revised as the changing security environment warrants. This hard copy document is supplemented by a more expansive online research topic database which is updated in real time. Researchers are encouraged to contact any of the faculty members of the Strategic Studies Institute listed herein for further information regarding possible topics."
    • Published On: 7/1/2010
  •  Wanted: A Strategy for the Black Sea

    Wanted: A Strategy for the Black Sea

    Wanted: A Strategy for the Black Sea Dr Stephen J Blank Op-Ed by the US Army War College, Strategic Studies Institute "There exists an extensive literature on the strategic importance of the Black Sea zone. Yet it is difficult to discern whether U.S. policymakers are pursuing a coherent strategy for this crucial region. Although Kyrgyzstan is in Central Asia, an adjoining region, events there are symptomatic of this strategic challenge. Not only did our embassy in Kyrgyzstan repeat the mistake the United States made in Iran by being excessively attached to the reigning government and insufficiently attuned to other opposing sociopolitical groups, its actions during the April 2009 upheaval were inadequate, even though it had forewarning of that event."
    • Published On: 6/1/2010
  •  War Is War?

    War Is War?

    War Is War? -- The utility of cyberspace operations in the contemporary operational environment Dennis M Murphy Issue Paper by the US Army War College, Center for Strategic Leadership "The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) defines cyberspace operations as “the employment of cyber capabilities where the primary purpose is to achieve military objectives or effects in or through cyberspace.” Cyberspace emerged as a national-level concern through several recent events of geo-strategic significance. Estonian infrastructure was attacked in the spring of 2007, allegedly by Russian hackers. In August 2008, Russia again allegedly conducted cyber attacks, this time in a coordinated and synchronized kinetic and non-kinetic campaign against Georgia. It is plausible that such complex excursions may become the norm in future warfare among nation-states having the capabilities to conduct them."
    • Published On: 3/15/2010
  •  The Militarization of the Collective Security Treaty Organization

    The Militarization of the Collective Security Treaty Organization

    The Militarization of the Collective Security Treaty Organization COL John A Mowchan Issue Paper by the US Army War College, Center for Strategic Leadership "Russia has reenergized its efforts to evolve the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) from a largely symbolic political organization to a more cohesive militarized security alliance. At the forefront of these efforts is a Russian-led plan to create a new CSTO Rapid Reaction Force (RRF) and a larger Central Asian Military Group. While both initiatives are still in the initial phase of development, the militarization of the CSTO alliance and its transformation into a credible security organization could bolster the Kremlin’s ability to limit U.S. and Western influence in Eurasia. It could also allow Russia an enhanced ability to increase its control over former Soviet-controlled states and re-create an alliance similar to the Warsaw Pact."
    • Published On: 7/15/2009
  •  2009 Key Strategic Issues List

    2009 Key Strategic Issues List

    2009 Key Strategic Issues List Antulio J. Echevarria II Document by the US Army War College, Strategic Studies Institute "Unlike other lists that generally reflect issues which are operational or tactical in nature, the focus of the Key Strategic Issues List is strategic. The spotlight is, in other words, on those items that senior Army and Department of Defense leaders should consider in providing military advice and formulating military strategy. At present, the U.S. military is engaged in a changing situation in Iraq and an increasing presence in Afghanistan, as well as efforts to restore balance in force sizing and structure."
    • Published On: 7/1/2009
  •  Challenges and Opportunities for the Obama Administration in Central Asia

    Challenges and Opportunities for the Obama Administration in Central Asia

    Challenges and Opportunities for the Obama Administration in Central Asia Dr Stephen J Blank Monograph by the US Army War College, Strategic Studies Institute "In this monograph, Dr. Stephen Blank argues that a winning strategy in Afghanistan depends as well upon the systematic leveraging of the opportunity provided by that road and a new coordinated nonmilitary approach to Central Asia. That approach would rely heavily on improved coordination at home and the more effective leveraging of our superior economic power in Central Asia to help stabilize the region so that it provides a secure rear to Afghanistan. In this fashion we would help Central Asia meet the challenges of extremism, of economic decline due to the global economic crisis, and thus help provide political stability in states that are likely to be challenged by the confluence of those trends."
    • Published On: 6/1/2009
  •  Russia and Arms Control: Are There Opportunities for the Obama Administration?

    Russia and Arms Control: Are There Opportunities for the Obama Administration?

    Russia and Arms Control: Are There Opportunities for the Obama Administration? Dr Stephen J Blank Monograph by the US Army War College, Strategic Studies Institute "As the Obama administration took office, Russo-American relations were generally acknowledged to be at an impasse. Arms control issues feature prominently in that conflicted agenda. Indeed, as of September 2008, the Bush administration was contemplating not just a break in arms talks but actual sanctions, and allowed the bilateral civil nuclear treaty with Russia to die in the Senate rather than go forward for confirmation. Russian spokesmen make clear their belief that American concessions on key elements of arms control issues like missile defenses in Europe are a touchstone for the relationship and a condition of any further progress towards genuine dialogue."
    • Published On: 3/1/2009
  •  Kazakhstan's Defense Policy: An Assessment of the Trends

    Kazakhstan's Defense Policy: An Assessment of the Trends

    Kazakhstan's Defense Policy: An Assessment of the Trends Mr Roger N McDermott Monograph by the US Army War College, Strategic Studies Institute "In this monograph, Roger N. McDermott argues that Kazakhstan’s armed forces, though subject to many structural changes, have not yet experienced systemic military reform. He assesses the achievements and setbacks of U.S. and NATO defense assistance to the country, while also showing that Kazakhstan remains deeply linked in close defense and security partnership with Russia. McDermott suggests greater sophistication and follow-up is needed from Western assistance programs to ensure that Kazakhstan successfully gains genuine military capabilities and the type of armed forces it needs within the region."
    • Published On: 2/9/2009
  •  Russia, China, and the United States in Central Asia: Prospects for Great Power Competition and Cooperation in the Shadow of the Georgian Crisis

    Russia, China, and the United States in Central Asia: Prospects for Great Power Competition and Cooperation in the Shadow of the Georgian Crisis

    Russia, China, and the United States in Central Asia: Prospects for Great Power Competition and Cooperation in the Shadow of the Georgian Crisis Dr Elizabeth Wishnick Monograph by the US Army War College, Strategic Studies Institute "An overview of changing U.S. Central Asia policy over the past 5 years reveals an effort to respond to changing developments on the ground, most recently the Georgian crisis, but also the “color” revolutions, the Andijan events in Uzbekistan and its subsequent decision to end U.S. basing rights at Karshi Khanabad, Kazakhstan’s economic rise, and leadership change in Turkmenistan. At the same time, the worsening security situation in Afghanistan and growing insecurity about energy supplies has heightened U.S. interest in security and economic cooperation in Central Asia. "
    • Published On: 2/1/2009
  •  Transformation of the Azerbaijani Armed Forces

    Transformation of the Azerbaijani Armed Forces

    Transformation of the Azerbaijani Armed Forces Mr Ritchie L Dion, Prof Bernard F Griffard, Prof James W Shufelt Jr Issue Paper by the US Army War College, Center for Strategic Leadership "The South Caucasus region is bounded by the Black Sea in the west and the Caspian Sea in the east, by Russia in the north, Turkey in the west and Iran in the south. This region, in combination with the Russian North Caucasus, is often regarded as the land bridge where the East and the West meet. Within this geographically confined space three small, yet completely dissimilar nations have emerged – Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia. The history of the region and the present character of its peoples are inextricably tied to the legacy of the several empires that have ruled over this region. Each left a legacy, for better or worse, within the three nations. Despite this legacy, or in some cases even because of it, each country has managed to develop their own distinct character, culture and history. "
    • Published On: 10/16/2008
  •  China-Russia Security Relations: Strategic Parallelism without Partnership or Passion?

    China-Russia Security Relations: Strategic Parallelism without Partnership or Passion?

    China-Russia Security Relations: Strategic Parallelism without Partnership or Passion? Dr Richard Weitz Monograph by the US Army War College, Strategic Studies Institute "Chinese-Russian security relations directly concern many subjects of interest to the Strategic Studies Institute. These areas include regional conflicts, nonproliferation issues, and military force balances. Given the importance of these two countries in international affairs, however, almost any foreign policy action of their governments affects some American national interest. For almost 2 decades, China and Russia have been strengthening their security ties. Nonetheless, as this monograph makes clear, the relationship between Beijing and Moscow remains in flux. In some cases, they share overlapping interests. In other instances, they compete for power and wealth, particularly for oil and gas resources."
    • Published On: 8/1/2008
  •  2008 Key Strategic Issues List

    2008 Key Strategic Issues List

    2008 Key Strategic Issues List Antulio J. Echevarria II Document by the US Army War College, Strategic Studies Institute "The Key Strategic Issues List (KSIL) offers military and civilian researchers a ready reference of topics that are of particular interest to the Department of the Army and the Department of Defense. The KSIL performs a valuable service by linking the research community with major defense organizations which, in turn, seek to benefit from focused research. It thus forms a critical link in an ongoing research cycle. With the publication of the AY 2008-09 KSIL, the Strategic Studies Institute and the U.S. Army War College invite the research community to address any of the many strategic challenges identified herein. Further information regarding specific topics can be obtained by contacting SSI faculty or relevant KSIL sponsors."
    • Published On: 7/1/2008
  •  Turkmenistan and Central Asia after Niyazov

    Turkmenistan and Central Asia after Niyazov

    Turkmenistan and Central Asia after Niyazov Dr Stephen J Blank Monograph by the US Army War College, Strategic Studies Institute "Sapirmurat Niyazov ruled Turkmenistan, a small Central Asian country with enormous natural gas holdings, like a sultan or latter-day Stalin. Therefore his sudden death on December 21, 2006, opened the way not just to a domestic power struggle, but also to fears of instability in Turkmenistan and Central Asia, and to a major international struggle among the great powers—Russia, China, Iran, and the United States—for influence over the new leadership. This monograph examines the dimensions of the succession to Niyazov, the great power struggle for influence in this key Central Asian state, and concludes with recommendations for American policymakers."
    • Published On: 9/1/2007
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