Saturday, February 16, 2019
Security Challenges

Western allies continue their search for the right way to handle the Islamic Republic

By Cornelius Adebahr

The violent unrest in many Iranian cities took officials and foreign observers by surprise. It stemmed from the pent-up frustration of regular people in the provinces over unemployment, price hikes and corruption, while the world focused more on Iran’s increasing regional might and the uncertain state of the nuclear deal.

The relative calm inside the country has given way to a domestic quarrel over how to respond to the hitherto …

Two decades after the Yugoslav Wars, security in the Western Balkans is again in peril, this time by organized crime and political and religious extremism

By Rüdiger Rossig

On the morning of January 16, 2018, Oliver Ivanović, 64, was on his way to the office of his citizens’ initiative “Serbia, Democracy, Justice” in Kosovska Mitrovica when several shots were fired at him from a passing car. The Kosovo-Serb politician was soon pronounced dead on arrival at the local hospital.

Ivanović’s murder raised eyebrows far beyond the borders of Kosovo, a state of 1.8 million inhabitants on the southeastern …

Russia’s perennial leader is bent on completing his country’s return to superpower status and recasting the global order in its favor

By Katja Gloger

In February 1990, a young KGB officer departed from his first – and last – foreign posting and returned to a country that was still called the Soviet Union. Vladimir Putin had spent five years in East Germany and bought a used car (a “Volga”) with his savings. His return luggage also included a used washing machine – a gift from his neighbors.

In Dresden, Vladimir Putin had experienced the …

The situation in Ukraine may seem calm. Underneath, it is anything but

By Reinhard Veser

The daily reports issued by the OSCE Observer Mission in Ukraine testify to a constant stream of ups and downs. Sometimes the number of ceasefire violations increases over the previous day; other times it decreases. There is no definite direction either way – like a barely fluctuating wave that flares up on rare occasions. Today, as the war prepares to enter its fifth year, the political situation surrounding the conflict …

The underlying tensions and mistrust at the core of the conflict between Russia and the West

The underlying tensions and mistrust at the core of the conflict between Russia and the West
By Stephanie Liechtenstein

The conflict in Eastern Ukraine is in its fourth year. More than 10,000 people have died so far, and the number of ceasefire violations is on the rise. The humanitarian situation is dire, especially for people living close to the line of contact. The area around the line is polluted with land mines, leading to civilian casualties and making it difficult for farmers to use their land. Moreover, critical infrastructure …

Russia seeks to exploit divisions in the West. But how big is the threat?

By Dmitri Trenin

General Curtis LeMay, chief of staff of the United States Air Force in the early 1960s, once interrupted one of his officers who described the Soviet Union as an enemy. The USSR, LeMay said, was not an enemy, but an adversary. The enemy was the US Navy, the general clarified, referring to the bitter and never-ending rivalry among the US military services.

Definitions matter. Today, Russia is variously and officially …

The Minsk Protocol in the absence of trust

The Minsk Protocol in the absence of trust
By Fyodor Lukyanov

Stock exchange traders know what a Minsky Moment is. It’s when a market fails or falls into crisis after an extended period of market speculation or unsustainable growth. This phenomenon was named for Hyman Minsky, an economics professor famous for arguing that a long bull market tends to end in large collapse.

As we live in a world dominated by a market economy, some concepts seem to apply to political …

World powers are scrambling for influence over Asian maritime routes

By Carlyle Thayer

Security alignments in the Asia-Pacific are quickly hardening in response to China’s rise and regional assertiveness.

These realignments have led to the formation of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, or simply the Quad, which comprises the United States, its two close allies Australia and Japan, and India. The Trump administration’s endorsement of the term “Indo-Pacific” gives these alignments a maritime focus on the sea lanes traversing the Western Pacific, South China …

A mechanism to manage security tensions in the Asia-Pacific region

By Kevin Rudd

As we meet this year at Munich, global tensions are at their highest point since the end of the Cold War. Like much of the rest of the world, Asia saw a number of security crises unfold over the last year. Tensions between China and South Korea flared over Seoul’s deployment of the THAAD missile defense system. The return of maritime tensions in the South China Sea continues to threaten …

Beijing’s plans for a globalization that is more open, inclusive, and beneficial for all

Beijing’s plans for a globalization that is more open, inclusive, and beneficial for all
By Fu Ying

As we enter 2018 and move toward the end of the second decade of the 21st century, the world is witnessing new instabilities and turbulent situations. Having attended forums in Munich, Sochi and Rome in late 2017, I could sense the anxieties in international strategic circles. People were asking: What is happening in the world today? Is our current global system collapsing? Will mankind fall back into confrontations and isolationism?…