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Commentary by Simon Anglim - In the Absence of Effective Global Governance, Security Policy Based on Political Realism Makes Sense

By ilgar Gurbanov

views: 656

Sep 30, 2015 - 3:29 PM

To political realists, the world is a dangerous place, anarchic and without any central body to enforce international law or any universal system of morality. Consequently, states cannot trust each other, and have a duty towards their citizens to maximise their power in order to ensure their protection. A political leader may have a strong sense of personal morality, but this must be put aside in the face of possible threats to the safety and welfare of the people who have entrusted him/her with high office. Other forms of guaranteeing state and international security, for instance through collective security, are contingent on trust and optimistic interpretations of human nature. Consequently they have flaws and loopholes where realism does not, and the current emphasis on liberal intervention could be making the world less stable, and therefore less secure. Read more...

Samtskhe-Javakheti as a Potential Flash Point in Georgia: Ethnic-Confessional Composition and Integration Challenges; Nika Chitadze

By ilgar Gurbanov

views: 653

Jan 18, 2016 - 12:16 PM

This article will assess the importance of the geographical location of Georgia’s Samtkhe-Javakheti region and its administrative-territorial division. It will also provide an overview of the historical factors relating to the formation of the territory and borders of the region, which influenced its ethnic and religious composition. Taking into consideration the historic and geographical factors, a central focus of the research is a deep analysis of the ethnic and religious composition of the population of this historic part of Georgia, in order to answer the main research question: how have multi-ethnic and multi-confessional factors affected the socio-economic and political situation in Samtskhe-Javakheti? Read more...

CAUCASUS UNDER REVIEW: RECENTLY PUBLISHED BOOKS

By ilgar Gurbanov

views: 650

Sep 30, 2015 - 3:26 PM

While the Caucasus is a region of enormous diversity and potential, it is also a region about which relatively little is known. However, during the last decade, numerous publications on the region have expanded both regional and international understanding of this diversity and potential. This overview of recent publications provides an up-to-date reading list for anyone interested in the region. Read more...

Armenia, Transnational Terrorism and Global Interests: What Do CIA and DoS Documents Suggest? Oleg Kuznetsov

By ilgar Gurbanov

views: 646

Sep 30, 2015 - 3:42 PM

The 1980s witnessed intensive theoretical engagement with and reflection on the issue of state-sponsored transnational terrorism in and outside Armenia. During that decade, this terrorism existed on an unprecedented and as yet unrepeated scale, effectiveness and emotional intensity. Scholarly debate on the subject was taking place against the backdrop of continuing geopolitical conflicts in the Middle East, particularly Lebanon, forming the primary foundation of this socio-criminological phenomenon with its mainstream experiencing deep and structural modernization, consolidation and crystallization. An adequate understanding of the goals, objectives and practical orientation of the academic discussion on Armenian terrorism has only become possible in recent years, following the release of CIA documents on Armenian terrorist organizations (Armenian Secret Army for the Liberation of Armenia, Justice Commandos against Armenian Genocide, and New Armenian Resistance) into the public domain. A comparison of the US intelligence documents and those of the United States Department of State (DoS) with academic research materials has demonstrated a high degree of correlation across their content, potentially indicating that the majority of the theoretical analyses of the time were carried out indirectly or directly in the service of US government interests. The main purpose of the contemporary academic discourse was to study different theoretical perspectives and different angles on the possibility of the use of resources and potential of Armenian state-sponsored terrorism against the Soviet Union as a “hot tool” in the Cold War. The affirmative answer to this question became the catalyst of aggression of originated in the Middle East Armenian terrorism against the Soviet Transcaucasia and marked the beginning of the Nagorno-Karabakh con-flict. Read more...

Life in a Tent… The Unending Plight of Syrian Refugees in Lebanon; Samar el Kadi

By ilgar Gurbanov

views: 641

Sep 30, 2015 - 2:46 PM

When Syrians fled their war-torn country for the relative safety of neighboring Lebanon, they little imagined that almost four years on, they would still be there. As the humanitarian assistance which they have been relying on runs out and the tolerance of their hosts wears thin, their living conditions have dramatically deteriorated. What is it like for the Syrian refugees who continue to spend years of their lives in poorly equipped tents in miserable conditions? Samar el Kadi reports from the Bekaa valley in eastern Lebanon. Read more...

Azerbaijani Community of the Nagorno Karabakh Region: Deported Community’s Quest for Peace, Justice and Returning Home; Rovshan Rzayev

By ilgar Gurbanov

views: 628

Sep 30, 2015 - 2:38 PM

Azerbaijan has experienced one the of the harshest refugee and IDP crises of modern times during its 25 years of independence which made about 13 percent of the country’s population to live lives of refugee and IDP. The Azerbaijani Community of Nagorno-Karabakh (ACNK) who was forcefully displaced by Armenia during ethnic cleansing in the occupied Nagorno-Karabakh is a part of the huge refugee and IDP population of Azerbaijan. The ACNK supports the peaceful resolution of the conflict in accordance with international legal norms, and in order to accelerate the peace process, the ACNK has offered to launch direct negotiations between the Azerbaijani and Armenian communities of the Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan. Despite all support provided by Azerbaijani state to solve socio-economic problems of the community no support can fully heal the wounds inflicted by war, occupation, massacres and ethnic cleansing. The only way to truly heal these wounds is through the resolution of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, with peace in Nagorno-Karabakh, and the community’s return to their native lands and homes. Read more...

Security Challenges for Afghanistan: Is the International Security Governance Failing or Succeeding in Afghanistan? Salih Doğan

By ilgar Gurbanov

views: 625

Sep 30, 2015 - 3:32 PM

The end of 2014 marked the conclusion of the United States’ longest war, at least in the sense of its role as a direct combatant. The military intervention in 2001, continued as a NATO mission, sought to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat terrorist and insurgent groups in Afghanistan. The international community withdrew most of their troops and left only 13,500 non-combatant soldiers under the new NATO mission. Named the Resolute Support Mission, the mission is designed to train, advise and assist the Afghan National Security Forces. However, the number of troops and their non-combatant role could pose difficulties in terms of Afghanistan’s security. An increase in the number of troops and a shift back into a combatant role might be needed in the near future. Obviously, it would be very optimistic to assume that the Afghan National Security Forces could overcome the terrorist threat on their own, given that this was impossible even with almost 150,000 NATO troops present in the country. With the Afghan forces fully responsible for security issues, 2014 became the bloodiest year since 2001. Moreover, the Islamic State (in Iraq and the Levant) moved beyond the Middle East and became active and operational in Afghan soil during this time. They began to carry out attacks in the country, which led the Islamic State and the Taliban to declare jihad against one another. Afghanistan’s current security situation has implications beyond its national borders; it is a trans-boundary security threat affecting Central Asian, South Asian and Middle Eastern countries. The situation now requires a common strategy from the international coalitions constituted to counter the Taliban and Islamic State, in order to fight these groups in the wider region. Read more...

NATO on Its Mind: Will Georgia’s Aspirations be Fulfilled?; Brendan Cole

By ilgar Gurbanov

views: 625

Jan 18, 2016 - 12:21 PM

Since the Rose Revolution of 2003, the last decade or so of Georgia’s recent history has been a turbulent one. The presidency of Mikheil Saakashvili ushered in sweeping changes, increasing westernization, and a break from the country’s Soviet past. After he was democratically ousted by the Georgian Dream coalition in 2012, this Euro-Atlantic realignment continued apace, out of a desire to join the European Union as well as NATO. The economic benefits of EU membership were obvious enough, while joining the Alliance would demonstrate Georgia’s ability to hold its own at the world’s top military table. On a more practical level, Tbilisi had hoped that membership would offer Georgia security, especially in light of the 2008 war with Russia, which led to declarations of independence by Abkhazia and South Ossetia. The breakaway republics remain points of contention in relations between Moscow and Georgia. The Georgian government’s rhetoric of optimism has not shifted one bit, and NATO has not disabused Georgia of this outlook, continuing to work with Tbilisi as a partner. However, the alliance remains non-committal regarding the prospects for a Membership Action Plan (MAP), the first concrete step to eventual membership. London-based journalist Brendan Cole asks think tanks in the British capital and the US about the likelihood of NATO membership for Georgia - and if not, what are the alternatives? Read more...

The Iron Silk Road: How will Turkey be Involved?; Onur F. Uysal

By Editor CI

views: 621

Jul 25, 2016 - 3:40 PM

The Iron Silk Road, the railway corridor connecting China to Europe and Middle East, is one of the fastest growing railway corridors in the world. China’s strategic plan for creating strong economic ties with Eurasia, known as ‘One Belt, One Road’, is the primary source of this growth, though not the only one. Many other countries, including Iran, Russia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, and Ukraine, all have specific political and economic interests in this new corridor. Turkey, located on the ancient Silk Road and at the crossroads between Europe and Asia, has ambitious targets with regard to its involvement in the Iron Silk Road. This article discusses Turkey’s current and future position in Iron Silk Road, including its efforts and investments in the initiative, such as the Marmaray tunnel and Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway projects. Read more...
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