Women in Chechnya and Palestine do not become suicide bombers because they are Muslim.
Women in Chechnya and Palestine become suicide bombers because human security levels decrease
during long-term conflict and allow rogue collectives to gain power in the absence of authority. This
research explores how the experience of female suicide bombing is constructed as a response to
foreign occupation, how gender and religion are secondary concerns to supporters of violent
resistance, and how the history of human insecurity in Chechnya and Palestine has resulted in an
‘economy of conflict’ that has little stake in peace....
June 7, 2010 Connections Quarterly Journal // Partnership for Peace Consortium of Defense Academies and Security Studies Institutes
Russia has been the victim of a number of horrendous terrorist attacks at the hands of endemic actors, such as networks of radical separatists and terrorists based in the North Caucasus. The Russian authorities have dealt these networks a number of serious blows thanks to the strengthening of the Russian state and its security and law-enforcement apparatus, as well as to the increased involvement of local populations, including former rebels, in counter-insurgency and policing efforts. Nevertheless, these networks remain not only willing, but also capable of executing terrorist attacks in Russia with high impact and dramatic visibility. This paper begins by identifying those actors that have the capacity and motivation to commit acts of maritime terrorism against Russia. The article then reviews Russia's maritime and freshwater infrastructure and activities before outlining selected scenarios of terrorist acts that could take advantage of vulnerabilities in this infrastructure and facilities. It then offers an overview of the Russian government's response to terrorism, including the flaws that have existed in this response. The paper concludes that the threat of maritime terrorism, including catastrophic terrorism, remains serious, and offers selected recommendations on how to minimize the likelihood of such attacks....
May 31, 2010 Caucasian Review of International Affairs
After the Russia-Georgia war, tensions grew in the relationship between Russia and the West. These tensions have occasionally led some to argue that a New Cold War may be on the horizon between Russia and the West. Others have even claimed that the Old Cold War has not really ended. This work investigates such arguments by examining Western ties to Georgia, Russia’s power resurgence, and Georgia’s role in that war. The authors claim that those, who interpret the Russia-Georgia war within a Cold War paradigm, neglect the complexities of that conflict. During similar conflicts, the Cold War is an easily comprehendible and adoptable paradigm for the West, particularly the US. Adopting a Cold War perspective, however, ignores that Tbilisi had a significant role to play in defining the 2008 war. Russia versus West tensions can no longer be characterized by the ideological rivalries of the Cold War. Moreover, the Russia-Georgia war appears to indicate a return to older forms of international rivalry....
May 14, 2010 China and Eurasia Forum Quarterly // Central Asia-Caucasus Institute and Silk Road Studies Program
For the main Eurasian great powers, Russia, China, India, and Iran, the
Afghan issue has become an increasingly significant element of their
foreign policy, power projection and mutual relations. Indeed, the
difficulties in stabilizing Afghanistan after three decades of
uninterrupted conflict and the involvement of the U.S.-led international
coalition has had a strong impact on its surrounding areas, namely,
Central Asia, Xinjiang, Baluchistan and Kashmir. It has also affected the
balance-of-power relations in Eurasia. A growing informal economy
across the region, mainly in the form of drug trafficking, is also argued as
one of the major long-term issue. Today there is growing recognition that
the Afghan problem requires a concerted regional effort. This could give
a more prominent role to the Shanghai Cooperation Organization....
April 30, 2010 Centre d'études sur la paix et la sécurité internationale // Centre for International Peace and Security Studies // Université de Montréal // McGill University
In 2002, perennial pessimist of American power, Paul Kennedy, made a remarkable reversal. He boldly declared that “in global military terms only one player on the field now counts—the US.” Having been stunned by the 9/11 attacks, he wrote, the US went on to wreak “appropriate oblivion” on the foes in Afghanistan. More impressive yet is that the US intervened with allied contributions described as “mere tokenism.” The lesson was instructive: American military power was unrivaled compared to friend and foe alike. Unilateralism appeared to be a logical byproduct of unipolarity, a world in which all power indicators favored the United States. In this world, allies would be less meaningful than they were in shifting the balance of power during the great wars of the previous century. Moreover, relying on multilateral institutions, their most strident critics had pointed out, was tantamount to “reacting to events or passing the buck to multilingual committees with fancy acronyms.” Even defenders of multilateral institutions had to admit that multilateralism in a unipolar world meant less autonomous decision-making, leading them to wonder “why multilateralism might ever be preferred to an architecture where the hegemon could more directly exercise dominance?” Put another way, why would the most powerful states need help from their friends?...
Crisis Group has produced a multimedia presentation on the August 2008 Georgia-Russia conflict, featuring an interview with Europe Program Director Sabine Freizer, a timeline of the crisis, and historical background.
Popular revolt continued to convulse the Arab world in February. The rapid spread and escalation of unrest underlined the magnitude of events, but their pace makes the direction of change uncertain.
After almost three weeks of massive protests Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak stepped down on 11 February. The Supreme Military Council took control and promised presidential and parliamentary elections within six months. On 22 February a new civilian cabinet was sworn in.
Just days after Mubarak's downfall protests broke out in Libya against Muammar Qaddafi's four-decade rule. Hundreds of civilians were feared killed and thousands injured as Qaddafi launched a brutal crackdown, prompting senior members of the regime and military to defect. By the end of the month Libya was in the throes of a full-scale rebellion, with large parts of the country under opposition control. The UN Security Council unanimously voted to impose sanctions and refer Libya to the International Criminal Court.
Protests intensified in Yemen, where dozens were killed in daily clashes between protesters and security forces from the middle of the month. Demonstrations for political reform in Bahrain also saw several protesters killed by security forces. Following international condemnation of the crackdown Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad al-Khalifa ordered the withdrawal of security forces and offered dialogue with the opposition. In Afghanistan, the standoff continued between President Hamid Karzai and the opposition over the flawed September parliamentary election. A controversial special tribunal set up by Karzai - which the opposition condemns as unconstitutional - has started recounting votes in several provinces. Three Muscovite tourists were killed in a guerrilla attack on a North Caucasus ski resort, one of several attacks in the region's Kabardino-Balkaria Republic. The attack underlined the degree to which the previously relatively peaceful republic has become a target of Islamic guerrilla activity.
Conflict in Somalia escalated as government troops backed by AU peacekeepers battled against Islamic militant al-Shabaab in Mogadishu, and Ethiopian troops were reportedly involved in border clashes. In Somaliland, tensions increased in oil-rich Sool, Sanaag and Cayn region as government forces fought with rebel militia.
The collapse of a six-year ceasefire led to heightened tensions in Côte d'Ivoire and further warnings of an outbreak of civil war. The situation in Thailand also deteriorated as hostilities broke out along the border with Cambodia in the disputed area near Preah Vihear temple. Compromised elections in Uganda saw President Yoweri Museveni win a fourth term....
Historic events in the Arab world gripped the world’s attention in January. In Tunisia weeks of escalating riots and demonstrations over dire economic conditions, corruption and government repression culminated in the ouster of President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali on 14 January. He was replaced by an interim government which announced the country’s first free elections since independence.
The direction of Tunisia’s transition, and its significance for the region, are not yet clear. But, assuming a successful transition, this could mark the first genuine popular revolt leading to a democratic government in the Arab world.
Inspired by the Tunisian uprising yet fuelled by their own long-standing grievances, hundreds of thousands took to the streets across Egypt towards the end of the month, protesting against authoritarian rule and poor living standards, and calling for President Hosni Mubarak to step down. Over 135 people were killed and more than 2,000 injured during the initial police response. The army was deployed at the end of the month to curb increasing chaos and looting, but vowed not to use force against the protesters. Events in Tunisia and Egypt have fuelled anti-regime protests elsewhere, including in Yemen, Jordan, Algeria and Sudan.
In the South of Sudan, preliminary results of the landmark self-determination referendum indicate 99 per cent of voters in favour of secession. The peaceful conduct of the vote drew praise from international observers and President Omar al-Bashir pledged to support an independent South.
Elsewhere in Sudan the situation deteriorated, however, as clashes between the government and Darfur rebel groups intensified. A deadly attack at Moscow’s main airport killing at least 35 people was blamed on a suicide bomber from the Caucasus. In Albania, three people were shot dead and over a hundred injured during clashes between police and opposition supporters during anti-government protests.
CrisisWatch again identifies a conflict risk alert for Côte d’Ivoire as former president Laurent Gbagbo refused for a second month to hand over power to the elected president Alassane Ouattara....
December 6, 2010 Combating Terrorism Center // West Point
This issue includes the following articles:
- AQAP’s Soft Power Strategy in Yemen
- Developing Policy Options for the
AQAP Threat in Yemen
- The Role of Non-Violent Islamists
- The Evolution of Iran’s Special
Groups in Iraq
- Fragmentation in the North Caucasus
- Assessing the Success of Leadership
- Revolution Muslim:
Downfall or Respite?
Seven actual or potential conflict situations around the world deteriorated and none improved in September 2010, according to the latest issue of the International Crisis Group’s monthly bulletin CrisisWatch.Guinea saw increased political and ethnic divisions, exacerbated by controversies related to the presidential elections. Two days of violent clashes in the capital between rival supporters of the two presidential candidates, Alpha Conde and Cellou Diallo, left one person dead and dozens injured. Continued delays in the timing of the run-off and Diallo’s rejection of the appointment of the election commission’s new head led to further tensions between the two camps.
In Sri Lanka moves by President Rajapaksa to consolidate his power through a de facto constitutional coup transformed the political terrain. On 8 September the parliament passed the 18th Amendment to the Constitution, which gives the President nearly unbridled power by scrapping term limits on the presidency, abolishing the Constitutional Council and allowing the President to appoint directly officials to the judiciary, police and electoral bodies.
More protesters were killed by police in Kashmir as anti-India demonstrations continued and spread to new areas, bringing the death toll from the demonstrations since June to over 100. The Indian government on 25 September announced an eight-point plan aimed at calming the situation. Separatist leaders rejected the initiative and said that protests will continue.
The situation in Burundi deteriorated as violent clashes between security forces and armed groups increased, alongside kidnappings and fatal attacks on civilians. There are increasingly credible indications that elements disgruntled with elections held earlier this year have re-established bases and taken up arms in the Rukoko and Kibira areas. However, local authorities deny that former rebels are regrouping and insist that bandits are behind the recent attacks.
The month saw a new upsurge of violence in Russia’s restive North Caucasus region, demonstrating the growing ability of guerrillas to carry out major operations. In the deadliest terrorist strike anywhere in Russia since the March subway bombings in Moscow, a suicide attack killed at least 17 at a market in the capital of North Ossetia. A spate of bold guerrilla attacks also struck security personnel and infrastructure in Dagestan. The situation in Ecuador took a dramatic turn at the end of the month when disaffected members of the police and armed forces staged a protest against proposed austerity measures, taking control of the National Assembly building and airport and laying siege to a hospital where President Correa had sought refuge. President Correa later said the revolt amounted to an attempted coup. Meanwhile, in Mozambique 13 people were killed and over 170 injured in three days of riots that took place early in the month over food and energy price increases....
September 7, 2010 Combating Terrorism Center // West Point
This issue includes the following articles: Building a Strategic U.S.-Pakistan Nuclear Relationship, by Rolf Mowatt-Larssen; Beyond the Moscow Bombings: Islamic Militancy in the North Caucasus, by Christopher Swift; After Pune, Details Emerge on the Karachi Project and its Threat to India ,by Animesh Roul; Assessing the Recent Terrorist Threat to the Malacca Strait, by Peter Chalk; The Philippines Chips Away at the Abu Sayyaf Group’s Strength, by Zachary Abuza; Al-Qa`ida in the Islamic Maghreb: A Case Study in the Opportunism of Global Jihad, by Jean-Pierre Filiu; No Silver Bullets: Explaining Research on How Terrorism Ends, by Audrey Kurth Cronin....
This factsheet contains a brief overview of the conflict in each of the main regions of the North Caucasus: Chechnya, Ingushetia, North Ossetia, Dagestan, Kabardino-Balkaria, South Ossetia, and Abkhazia. The North Caucasus region is the part of Russia that slopes up towards the main ridge of the Caucasus mountains, often considered the border between Europe and Asia.
It is home to dozens of nationalities and languages, many of which have troubled relationships with their neighbours or with central governments in Moscow or Tbilisi....
1. "US-Russian Bering Sea Marine Border Dispute: Conflict over Strategic Assets, Fisheries and Energy Resources"
Despite the universal implementation of the Law of the Sea principles in defi ning national sovereignty over
coastal waters and the end of the Cold War, Russia continues to press marine border disputes with several
neighboring countries. Th e most important confl icts are with the United States, Norway, and Japan. Fortunately,
these are not military confrontations, but political disputes over the economically and strategically
important marine regions claimed by all four countries. At stake are strategic considerations, abundant fi sh
resources and large oil and gas deposits at the bottom of the sea. Th is article discusses the history of the
US-Russian conflict, the viewpoints of both sides, and the impact of this dispute on access to marine living
resources of the area.
Author: Kaczynski, Vlad M.
2. "The Kuril Islands Dispute Between Russia and Japan: Perspectives of Three Ocean Powers"
Japan and Russia have never come to an agreement over the ownership of the four southern Kuril Islands and
therefore have never signed a peace treaty at the end of World War II. Russia currently occupies the islands, but
Japan claims them as Japanese territory. Th e Soviet Union exerted fi rm control over the islands. Under Yeltsin,
Russia's position seemed to weaken, but no progress was achieved in signing a peace treaty. Since Putin's rise
to power, neither side has been willing to make concessions and the situation remains stalemated.
Author: Kaczynski, Vlad M.
3. "Norway and Russia in the Barents Sea - Cooperation and Conflict in Fisheries Management"
Th e Barents Sea fi sheries are managed bilaterally by Norway and Russia. Th e Joint Norwegian-Russian
Fisheries Commission sets quotas for the most important fi sh stocks in the area which are allocated according
to a standard formula. Th e collaboration between the two countries generally functions well, but has
since the late 1990s been plagued by disparity between scientifi c recommendations and established quotas,
and Norwegian claims of Russian overfishing.
Author: Hxc3xb8nneland, Geir...
In 2006, Russia's real gross domestic product (GDP) grew by approximately 6.7 percent, surpassing average growth rates in all other G8 countries, marking the country's seventh consecutive year of economic expansion. Russia's economic growth over the past seven years has been driven primarily by energy exports, given the increase in Russian oil production and relatively high world oil prices during the period. Internally, Russia gets over half of its domestic energy needs from natural gas, up from around 49 percent in 1992. Since then, the share of energy use from coal and nuclear has stayed constant, while energy use from oil has decreased from 27 percent to around 19 percent....
The Caucasus is the theatre of several internal and regional armed conflicts. It is a strategic oil region crossed by pipelines linking the Caspian to the Black Sea, in which Moscow maintains a military presence. The republics of the northern Caucasus are a kaleidoscope of ethno-linguistic families.
August 31, 2004 European Centre for Minority Issues
The Ethnopolitical Map of Europe is intended to cover those regions in Europe, including the Balkans, the Baltic Sea area and the Caucasus, which are currently facing or have recently experienced ethnopolitical tension or conflict. The clickable map is guiding the users to official documents which reflect international involvement in the reduction of ethnopolitical tension and resolution of interethnic conflicts in different countries and regions of Europe. Further, the map provides information on population statistics, current national legislation and relevant literature on the ethnopolitical situation in those countries. ...
January 27, 2011 International Relations and Security Network
While no group has yet claimed responsibility, the Domodevo bombing earlier this week appears to demonstrate the continued ability of Chechen separatists to strike terror deep in the heart of Russia. Largely overlooked by commentators, however, is the resource driving the 16-year old conflict: oil.
August 12, 2010 International Relations and Security Network
Doku Umarov’s attempt to resign has revealed a schism in the leadership of North Caucasus-based insurgency and terrorism networks, but whether he stays or goes will have no long-term impact on the network’s capabilities, Simon Saradzhyan comments for ISN Security Watch. Two days after the internet release of a video showing the leader of the North Caucasus-based insurgency and terrorism networks, Doku Umarov, querying fellow warlords about his resignation, the self-styled emir of ‘Imarat Kavkaz’ (Emirate “Caucasus”) ordered a new video in which he denied plans to step down.
“In the current situation in the Caucasus I believe it is impossible for me to step down from the post of the emir of Imarat Kavkaz,” Umarov said in a video uploaded on the networks' news portal Kavkaz Center on 3 August. “This statement of mine makes the previous statement void. That previous statement was completely fabricated,” the Chechen warlord claimed, referring to the video of his resignation uploaded two days earlier by the same Kavkaz Center. [...] The appearance of two videos clearly illustrates the divisions among the networks’ leaders, regardless of the real reasons behind Umarov’s decision to seek the emirs’ approval for his replacement by Vadalov....
July 14, 2010 The Jamestown Foundation // Terrorism Monitor
Several Jordanian newspapers and websites published details in early June about 24-year-old Jordanian Anas Khalil Khadir, stating that he was killed in Chechnya after joining the jihad there. Khadir’s family members, who live in Zarqa (a city located east of Jordan’s capital city of Amman), told journalists that Khadir was very attached to the Chechen cause, leading him to abandon his medical engineering studies at Zarqa’s Hashemite University and depart for Chechnya a week before his final exams (Khaberni [Amman], June 7; al-Sabeel [Amman], June 3; Bab al-Arab, June 7).
A few days after the news of Khadir was reported, newspapers announced the death of another Jordanian in Chechnya, Yasser Ammara. Described as “a prominent Jordanian-born warlord,” Ammara was one of nine militants killed during a battle in the mountainous forests of the Vedeno region during the government’s “Operation Vengeance” (Interfax, June 11). The author’s sources confirmed that unlike Khadir, Ammara had been in Chechnya since early 2000.
The story of Khadir was more alarming than that of Ammara in terms of developments in the North Caucasus because Khadir first travelled to Chechnya on December 21, 2008, long after the 2003 to 2004 decline of the Arab fighters in Chechnya phenomenon. The timing was also significant because it coincided with increasing interest in the North Caucasus and Chechnya on Salafi-Jihadis websites and internet forums and a period of rare postings on the topic.
The revival of Salafi-Jihadi interest in the North Caucasus comes in the context of two strategies that al-Qaeda and affiliated Salafi-Jihadist groups are implementing: seeking safe havens and creating a local, grass-roots jihad that will sustain such safe havens....
The international summit on Afghanistan’s future held in London on 28 January 2010 produced three main outcomes: a very clear willingness to negotiate with the insurgents, the provision of substantial funding ($140 million) to lure elements of the insurgency from their campaign, and a focus on more rapid training of Afghan security forces. At the same time, it is reported that elements of the Taliban are already engaged in informal talks with United Nations officials.
These proposals represent a remarkable change from the policy of the George W Bush administration, driven by a search for clear military victory in Afghanistan. Barack Obama and his team take a different view: they recognise that the war cannot be won and that compromise is essential. But they also make a concession to the Bush approach in believing that a position of military strength is route to securing the best compromise possible - hence the military “surge” that is currently underway. There remains a large question over the effectiveness of this approach; the infusion of more foreign troops could provoke increased resistance by Afghans who see them as occupiers.
Behind the coalition’s shift in policy is the concern that public opinion in the United States and Britain is moving against the war, and that more people in both countries increasingly want their forces to leave. Many other Nato countries may be involved in Afghanistan, but these two states are pivotal: the US for its political and military leadership, and Britain for the size of its own involvement (it has more than twice the number of soldiers in Afghanistan as any other European state), which helps make it a marker for European attitudes as a whole....
December 2, 2009 International Relations and Security Network
The bombing of a passenger train en route to St Petersburg is a stark reminder that residents of ‘mainland’ Russia cannot feel safe until authorities achieve a qualitative and sustainable improvement in their efforts to not only suppress terrorist networks, but also to address factors behind political violence. The bombing on 27 November of a Moscow-St Petersburg train that killed 26 and injured more than 90 others is the first terrorist attack outside Russia’s North Caucasus to lead to significant casualties since 2004. That year saw two passenger airliners, which departed from Moscow, and two Moscow subway stations bombed by North Caucasus-based terrorist groups, killing more than 200 people.
The casualties in the 27 November attack would have been even larger had the bomb derailed the locomotive. Fortunately, the terrorists appeared to have miscalculated the speed of the train, and the bomb - which consisted of several ingredients, including plastic explosives, and which contained an equivalent of 7 kilograms of TNT - detonated too late.
The attack came as a stark reminder to residents of ‘mainland Russia’ that the period of relative safety that they saw during the second half of Vladimir Putin’s second term in office and the beginning of Dmitry Medvedev’s presidential rule might be over.
For residents of the North Caucasus that period ended more than a year ago when the series of assassinations of officials and suicide bombings started to gain a deadly momentum....
The Chechnya Advocacy Network is a grass-roots not-for-profit organization with a horizontal structure and network member groups all over the US and Europe (see Our Structure). We are independent, non-partisan and non-denominational. Our goal is to help the residents of the North Caucasus region build a peaceful, prosperous and democratic future that will allow them to live normal, happy lives. We are guided in our work by the needs and priorities of individuals and communities affected by the wars, violence, human rights violations, displacement and deprivation of the past decade and a half. Because we consider ourselves on the side of the many victims of the conflict that has torn Chechnya for years, CAN does not side, and has never sided, with any of the parties involved nor do we promote any specific political outcomes....
The Chechnya Justice Project is a groundbreaking initiative that utilizes domestic and international legal mechanisms to seek redress for human rights abuses committed in Chechnya. The Project provides free legal counsel to victims of human rights violations and their families through its implementing partners the Stichting Russian Justice Initiative (the Netherlands) and Pravovaia Initsiativa (Ingushetia). The Project's lawyers and researchers investigate incidents of arbitrary detention, torture, enforced disappearances and extrajudicial executions and bring these cases to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France....
Youth movements played a critical role in the recent wave of revolutions in Serbia, Georgia, and Ukraine and -- to a lesser extent -- in Kyrgyzstan. New youth groups are appearing in Russia and Central Asia, much to the dismay of leaders there. "The Power of Youth" is an ongoing RFE/RL project that will look at how youth movements are born, mature, and make the transition to the postrevolutionary setting or endure under repression..
June 14, 2007 Fédération Internationale des ligues des droits de l'Homme // International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims
The so-called "war on terrorism" has seen democratic governments resort to torture and ill treatment of persons suspected of involvement in terrorist activities and has reignited the age-old debate about whether torture can be justified if the purpose is to save innocent lives. In this context, prominent opinion and decision-makers as well as members of the general public in leading democratic countries have argued that new forms of transnational terrorism necessitate a revision of existing legal and moral norms related to torture and ill treatment. At the same time, authoritarian rulers around the world have exploited this climate to step up their oppression of political opposition groups.
In February 2007, with funding from the European Commission, the Fédération International des Droits de l'Homme (FIDH) in partnership with the #IRCT launched the three-year project, "Preventing Torture within the Fight against Terrorism". The overall objective is to contribute to re-establish international respect for the absolute prohibition against torture and ill treatment embedded in international law. The project will do this through a wide range of complementary activities covering research, awareness raising, advocacy and capacity building....
Database contains information on illegal drugs in Central Asia (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan), in Russia, and in the Golden Triangle (Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan). The data covers drug production and drug trafficking dynamics within the aforementioned countries starting from 1995 up to the present time.
Three years after their August 2008 war over the South Ossetia region, tension is growing again between Russia and Georgia, and talks are needed to restore stability and create positive momentum in a situation that is fragile and potentially explosive. Diplomatic relations are suspended, and the two have only started limited negotiations, with Swiss mediation, on Russia’s World Trade Organisation membership. Yet, they share interests in improving regional security, trade and transport and should start discussions on these rather than continuing to exchange hostile rhetoric that only makes renewed dialogue more difficult.
Lack of contact has increased distrust since the fighting ended. For Georgia, Russia is an occupier who is undermining its sovereignty and security. While almost the entire international community regards South Ossetia and Abkhazia as parts of sovereign Georgia, Russia recognised both as independent shortly after the war. Moscow maintains an estimated 7,000 to 9,000 combat, security, and border forces in those two territories and is building and refurbishing permanent military bases there, in violation of the ceasefire brokered by the EU presidency in 2008. Some 20,000 persons displaced that year have been prevented from returning home, and casualties still occur along the administrative border lines....
Transnistria, a sliver of land on the east bank of the river Nistru, broke away from the rest of Moldova in 1990. Although there was fighting after that, there have been no fatalities since 1992. This is not really a conflict: it is a stand-off which benefits the business interests of those who are close to ruling elites, and suits some external players.
Transnistria has little prospect of being recognised, even by Russia. Meanwhile Moldova has little hope of eventual EU membership while the Transnistrian problem remains. To escape this stalemate, Moldova and Transnistria need to find a solution. Moldova needs to show Transnistrians that a resolution will be good for them, just as the EU works with Russia to show that a solution does not harm Russia.
This study is timely in that it comes at a moment when Moldova is reaffirming its EU perspective, while elections in Transnistria may also presage some change. The problem of Transnistria is now on the borders of the EU: Transnistria is the EU's problem. A German-EU initiative in 2010 sought to address the Transnistrian issue at a strategic level, engaging the key external player, Russia.
This study brought together focus groups of ordinary people both in Transnistria and in the rest of Moldova. It is the first such study. The focus groups provide non-elite input, important when some in the elite have a personal interest in maintaining the status quo. The focus group perspectives have been reinforced by interviews with politicians and experts in Chisinau, Tiraspol and Berlin. The study is in three sections: a conflict analysis, an examination of the players, and themes from the focus groups. At the end, the report provides detailed policy and programme recommendations to the European Union.
The People’s Peacemaking Perspectives project is a joint initiative implemented by Conciliation Resources and Saferworld and financed under the European Commission’s Instrument for Stability. The project provides European Union institutions with analysis and recommendations based on the opinions and experiences of local people in a range of countries and regions affected by fragility and violent conflict....
July 18, 2011 Strategic Studies Institute // United States Army War College
The Arctic has returned with a vengeance as an area of international contention. Beginning in 2007, Russia has continued to make aggressive moves and claims regarding territory in the Arctic Ocean. These moves undoubtedly have been prompted by global climate change and the importance of energy, with which Russia believes the Arctic is lavishly supplied. These moves apparently were intended to compel other Arctic states, like Norway, to come to terms with Russia. Nonetheless, the tendency to invoke military and security issues and instruments in this region of the world continues apace. These essays, taken from SSI's 2010 conference on Russia, fully explore the Russian and international competition for influence and rights over the exploration and commercial exploitation of the Arctic....
June 15, 2011 Strategic Studies Institute // United States Army War College
Russia’s political leaders are currently pushing a state- and society-wide process of modernization. The Russian military, a deeply conservative institution, is being asked to accept fundamental changes that threaten the very livelihoods of those being asked to implement them. New structures can be created and new equipment and technologies procured, but the crucial element is the degree to which such changes are accepted by the human element. This is often the most difficult aspect in any process of organizational change. It is no wonder that the military modernization process is progressing slowly in Russia. The Russian ground forces will not be very different in the next few years than they are now. Time and future investment will eventually produce the more refined army that a host of Russian politicians have wished to see. But it will take time and investment....
June 7, 2011 Center for Security Studies, ETH Zurich
Although Chechnya no longer makes international headlines, instability persists and has actually spread within the wider North Caucasus region. Degrading socio-economic conditions, an unstable political situation, and increasing religious tension have made the North Caucasus susceptible to Islamist insurgency and terrorist activity. The modernisation strategy for the North Caucasus launched by Moscow in 2008 has failed to reverse the situation so far. Turning into an arc of insecurity, the region poses a growing challenge to stability within Russia and beyond....
March 4, 2010 Chicago Project on Security and Terrorism
The Chicago Project on Security and Terrorism maintains a searchable database on all suicide attacks from 1981 to 2001 and additional years will be added. The database includes information about the location of attacks, the target type, the weapon used, and systematic information on the demographic and general biographical characteristics of suicide attackers. The database expands the breadth of the data available in English using native language sources (e.g., Arabic, Hebrew, Russian, Tamil) that are likely to have the most extensive relevant information. The database allows filtering by location, group, campaign, target type, weapon and gender....
February 3, 2009 Center for Strategic and International Studies // Human Rights and Security Initiative
Since January 2004, CSIS staff have been compiling, almost daily, a database that tracks violent incidents occurring in the North Caucasus. This report highlights data for the period September 1, 2008 through December 31, 2008. Violent incidents include abductions of military personnel and civilians, bombings, assassinations of key civilian and military leaders, rebel attacks, police or military operations against suspected militants, destruction of property by militants, and the discovery of weapons. The database primarily tracks incidents occurring in Chechnya, Ingushetia, Kabardino-Balkaria, North Ossetia, and Dagestan....