Monday, November 19, 2018

Six developments that could lead to structural changes to the global nuclear order

By Michael Rühle

We are still living in the second nuclear age. Unlike the first nuclear age, which was shaped by the bipolar nuclear standoff between the United States and the Soviet Union, the second is far more complex. The spread of nuclear weapons has made deterrence a multiplayer game; Asia has emerged as the region with the …

President for a half-year. The Security Times spoke with Boyko Borisov, prime minister of Bulgaria and the current president of the European Council, about the country’s role in and for Europe

President for a half-year. The Security Times spoke with Boyko Borisov, prime minister of Bulgaria and the current president of the European Council, about the country’s role in and for Europe
By Boyko Borisov

The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists has advanced the big hand of its Doomsday Clock, which forecasts the destruction of the world through nuclear war; the time is now two minutes before midnight. The Bulletin’s justification was the war threats levied between the US and North Korea – which have aggravated tensions between America and …

All border changes in Europe since 1990 have violated international treaties

By Andreas Zumach

What do the following places have in common: Kosovo, Crimea, Catalonia, Chechnya, Abkhazia, South Ossetia, Transnistria, Hungary, Scotland and the Kurdish regions of Iraq, Syria and Turkey? After the Cold War, each was the scene of secession attempts or demands to alter national borders.

In Yugoslavia, Georgia and the Ukraine, the secessionists used violence to …

Ten conflicts to watch in 2018

Ten conflicts to watch in 2018
By Robert Malley

It´s not all about Donald Trump. That’s a statement more easily written than believed, given the US president’s comportment on the world stage — his tweets and taunts, his disregard of international accords, his odd choice of foes, his even odder choice of friends. But a more inward-looking US, the increasing militarization of foreign policy …

The political geometry of the Middle East has been redrawn in the last year

By Volker Perthes

Three issues are likely to determine the Middle East agenda in 2018: ongoing efforts to unwind the war in Syria, the Saudi-Iranian rivalry and, of course, the positioning and policies of Russia and the US. Other unresolved conflicts will continue to be enormously consequential to the people affected by it – the war in Yemen …

Erdoğan wanted Turkey to embrace its Western and Arab allies. Now he’s tied to Putin

By Can Dündar

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan came to power in 2002 with a commitment to full membership of the EU. His then Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu initially endeavored to deliver on his promise of “zero problems with neighbors,” making advances to Armenia and the Kurds of Northern Iraq while promoting commerce with Russia. On the back of amicable …

Turkey seeks to destroy Kurdish self-government in Syria – but it just might achieve the opposite effect

By Michael Martens

The Turkish invasion of the Kurdish canton of Afrin has added yet another facet to the proxy war in Syria. The Turkish army and its Arab auxiliaries are now fighting against Syrian Kurds in northwestern Syria. However, events in the area involve the interests of at least four other actors, namely Washington, Moscow, Tehran and …

Squaring the triangle of security, migration and state-building in Libya

By Silvia Colombo and Nathalie Tocci

Making sense of Libya through the lens of the nation state was never easy. This has been all the more true since 2011 when the country plunged into chaos and violence, triggering seven years of multi-layered intra-state conflicts, the proliferation of non-state actors, external interference and regional rivalries. The outcome has been the disintegration of …

Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates are planning a massive boost to domestic weapons production by 2030

By Markus Bickel

The goal is ambitious. Saudi Arabian Military Industries (SAMI) will create 40,000 new jobs by 2030. And that’s not all: The new state-owned defense contractor would produce half of the Saudi forces’ weapons requirements by the end of the next decade. The Saudi Kingdom, which of late has made headlines primarily through vast imports of …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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, …

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 …

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 …