Reports & Papers

17 Items

Tractors on Westminster bridge

AP/Matt Dunham

Paper - Institut für Sicherheitspolitik

The Global Order After COVID-19

| 2020

Despite the far-reaching effects of the current pandemic,  the essential nature of world politics will not be transformed. The territorial state will remain the basic building-block of international affairs, nationalism will remain a powerful political force, and the major powers will continue to compete for influence in myriad ways. Global institutions, transnational networks, and assorted non-state actors will still play important roles, of course, but the present crisis will not produce a dramatic and enduring increase in global governance or significantly higher levels of international cooperation. In short, the post-COVID-19 world will be less open, less free, less prosperous, and more competitive than the world many people expected to emerge only a few years ago.

A Tajik conscript looks out over remote stretches of northern Afghanistan from a border outpost near Khorog, Tajikistan.

Photo by David Trilling (c)

Report - Russia Matters

Jihadists from Ex-Soviet Central Asia: Where Are They? Why Did They Radicalize? What Next?

| Fall 2018

Thousands of radicals from formerly Soviet Central Asia have traveled to fight alongside IS in Syria and Iraq; hundreds more are in Afghanistan. Not counting the fighting in those three war-torn countries, nationals of Central Asia have been responsible for nearly 100 deaths in terrorist attacks outside their home region in the past five years. But many important aspects of the phenomenon need more in-depth study.

This research paper attempts to answer four basic sets of questions: (1) Is Central Asia becoming a new source of violent extremism that transcends borders, and possibly continents? (2) If so, why? What causes nationals of Central Asia to take up arms and participate in political violence? (3) As IS has been all but defeated in Iraq and Syria, what will Central Asian extremists who have thrown in their lot with the terrorist group do next? And (4) do jihadists from Central Asia aspire to acquire and use weapons of mass destruction? If so, how significant a threat do they pose and who would be its likeliest targets?

    Report - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

    Putin's Choice for Russia

    • Stephen R. Covington
    | August 2015

    This paper was written by Stephen R. Covington, with a Foreword written by Kevin Ryan.

    In Putin’s view, any solution short of changing the European security system—including full integration, separation by erecting new walls, freezing the status quo around Russia, or partnering with other countries to counter-balance the powers in the European system—only means Russia’s inevitable loss of great power status and the loss of his personal power at home.

    Report - Danish Institute for International Studies

    Great Power Politics and the Ukrainian Crisis: NATO, EU and Russia after 2014

    | 2014

    This report assesses the relationship between Europe and Russia as the sum of great power reactions to the Ukrainian crisis and Russia's annexation of Crimea. Despite agreement on a no business-as-usual principle, important national nuances have arisen stemming from different historical bonds to eastern Europe and Russia (Germany, Poland, United States) or different interests in the region (France, United Kingdom).

    Paper - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

    The Cuban Missile Crisis: Debatable Issues, Instructive Lessons

    • Viktor I. Yesin
    | October 16, 2013

    Viktor Yesin analyzes important nuances in the behavior and thinking of the American and Soviet leaders during the Cuban Missile Crisis, building upon an evolving body of work surrounding the events of October, 1962.

    Foreword by Graham Allison and Andrei Kokoshin.

    First stage in the Soviet troop withdrawal from Afghanistan, 20 October 1986.

    Wikimedia Commons

    Report - International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation and Political Violence

    Talking to the Taliban: Hope over History?

    | July 2013

    Talking to the Taliban: Hope over History? provides a history of attempts to talk to the Taliban. The publication of the report coincides with the announcement that the United States will begin direct negotiations with the Taliban within days. The report charts the history of talks with the Taliban and their forebears. It explains that such talks are nothing new and that contacts have existed between the Taliban and the West for many years and argues that attempts to negotiate with the Taliban since 2001 have been characterised by wishful thinking, bad timing, poor management and the 'chaos of good intentions'.

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    Report - Center for Strategic and International Studies

    Global Forecast: The Top Security Challenges of 2008

    • Carola McGiffert
    • Craig Cohen
    | November 14, 2007

    This volume of essays showcases CSIS's collective wisdom on the most important security issues facing America in 2008—the major political, military, and economic challenges likely to have strategic implications for the nation. Some of these challenges depend on political developments in other countries, while others hinge on U.S. actions. Some are regional in focus; others have transnational or global reach. All have the potential to expand into full-scale crises and must be watched and managed carefully.

    Paper - Institute for Nuclear Materials Management

    Reducing Nuclear and Radiological Terrorism Threats

    | July 2007

    Urgent actions are needed to prevent a nuclear or radiological 9/11.  Terrorists are actively seeking nuclear weapons and Radiological Dispersal Devices (RDDs) and the materials to make them.  There are scores of sites where the essential ingredients of nuclear weapons exist, in dozens of countries worldwide.  There are thousands of sites worldwide where radiological materials exist.  Many of these sites are not sufficiently secured to defeat the kinds of threats that terrorists and criminals have demonstrated they can pose.  A dangerous gap remains between the urgency of the threat of nuclear and radiological terrorism and the scope and pace of the U.S. and world response.  While the gap has narrowed significantly in recent years, much more needs to be done.  This paper describes the nuclear and radiological terrorism threats, analyzes the actions taken so far to address these threats, and recommends further actions going forward.

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    Paper - Caspian Studies Program

    Federalization of Foreign Relations: Discussing Alternatives for the Georgian-Abkhaz Conflict

    | October 2003

    "...Leaders of the Georgian, Abkhaz, and Ossetian national movements even consider Soviet federalism to be one of the main causes of the exacerbation of ethnic conflicts in Georgia and are not eager to reinstitute a federal structure. From the Georgian perspective, the Moscow leadership used federalism as an instrument to divide and rule and weaken the Georgian movement for national independence. From the Abkhaz and South Ossetian perspectives, Soviet federalism has put the various national communities in a hierarchical relation toward each other. This kind of ethnic stratification runs contrary to the principle of national self-determination, which pre-supposes the equality of all national communities. The exacerbation of ethnic conflicts in Georgia during the first half of the 1990s and the failure of existing federal arrangements to address these problems led to war in South Ossetia and then in Abkhazia. These wars resulted in the creation of two de facto states in these regions...."