Stephen Blank

Dr. Stephen Blank is a Senior Fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute. Previously, he worked as a professor at the Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College at Carlisle Barracks, PA. The views expressed here do not represent those of the U.S. Army, Defense Department or the U.S. Government.

Contact Stephen Blank


    Articles by Stephen Blank

    Behind Moscow’s Arms Control Offensive

    Russia has a long track record of importuning the United States and its allies regarding arms control treaties and negotiations. But the sentiment Moscow presents to the West is far

    New Missions and New Capabilities for Russia’s Navy

    One of the hallmarks of Vladimir Putin’s leadership has been the steady rise in capabilities and mission sets for the Russian navy—the Military-Maritime Fleet (Voyenno-Morskoy Flot—VMF). Already in February 2014,

    Russia Reacts to US Afghanistan Policy

    Russia has opposed the United States’ policy in Afghanistan for years. Indeed, Moscow’s own support for the Taliban, in the form of intelligence sharing and arms transfers, goes back to

    Russia’s Middle Eastern Position in 2025

    Summary Through 2025, Russia will continue to enjoy the prominence it now possesses in the Middle East and can be expected to succeed in this quest because it has strategically

    Russia in the Middle East: Introduction

    Today, Moscow is engaged across the entire Middle East in multiple and apparently mutually reinforcing ways. Apart from its military intervention in Syria, it now holds the balance between Israel

    Russia’s Connection to Saudi Arabia Intensifies

    Even without the enormous scandal of the brutal murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi by Saudi hit men allegedly operating under state auspices, late October 2018 has been especially eventful for

    Kremlin Ties Rosneft Closer to China

    Russian state-owned oil giant Rosneft continues to think big and strike major deals on the global stage. It recently announced a program to sell bonds worth 1.3 trillion rubles ($22.53

    Arms and the King in Saudi-Russian Relations

    Vladimir Putin described Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud’s visit to Moscow as “momentous” (see EDM, October 10; RIA Novosti, October 5); and it certainly was. In similar fashion,

    Moscow Still Investing in Venezuela

    Despite the multiplicity of major and urgent international crises around the globe, Russia still finds time to invest its political resources in Venezuela’s long-running collapse. Indeed, Russian President Vladimir Putin

    The Bloom Comes off the Arctic Rose

    For about a decade, the Arctic has been a showpiece of Russian policy. And with the Vladimir Putin regime’s displayed proclivity for engaging in vast “mega-projects” like the Sochi Olympics,

    Space and the Russian Military: New Trends

    Russian President Vladimir Putin held a meeting on May 22, in Sochi, where he called for broadening the use of space technologies to improve the domestic economy and national defense,

    A Caravan to Nowhere? Russo-Japanese Relations

    The present crisis over North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs not only impels a much more careful look at the Korean peninsula but also encourages closer scrutiny of the complex

    Russian Anxiety About Central Asia Becomes Palpable

    Moscow’s anxieties about Central Asia and its position there are becoming increasingly visible. And renewed charges of Russian imperial ambitions in the region and elsewhere clearly sting the Kremlin. Thus,

    Russian Advances in the Gulf

    All too often, Russian policy in the Middle East is perceived as tied mainly or exclusively to Syria and its ongoing civil war. But in fact, Moscow has long sought

    Russia, Iran and the US: An Obtuse Triangle

    After Iran tested another missile, on January 29, in violation of several United Nations resolutions, the White House declared that Tehran was “on notice” and imposed new sanctions on the

    Moscow’s Double Game in Afghanistan

    With multiple global crises competing for urgent public attention, it is not surprising that Western media and governments have failed to keep pace with Russia’s double game in Afghanistan. But

    Is Belarus at Risk From an Impatient Russia?

    Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2014, Belarus’s strategic position has become riskier and more acutely endangered, a fact the government in Minsk undoubtedly understands quite well. At the

    The Rocky Road to Russo-Japanese Peace

    On December 15–16, Vladimir Putin will travel to Japan for a summit with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. This summit will represent the culminating effort to date of a four-year

    Russia Looks to the Weapons of the Future

    Ever since Soviet Marshal Nikolai Ogarkov first wrote about the Revolution in Military Affairs (RMA) 40 years ago, Moscow has looked to build weapons based upon what he called “new

    Fueling Russia’s Arctic Obsession

    A recent article in the Financial Times (October 23) ran with the headline “Russia’s Arctic Obsession.” And this has undoubtedly become an entirely justified characterization of Moscow’s approach to its

    Can Russia Sustain Its Military Capability?

    Russia’s 2014 invasion of Ukraine and subsequently accelerating militarization has forced us to re-examine Russian defense policy as a central focus of foreign attention. The war in Ukraine, Russia’s intervention

    A Crystallizing Russo-Chinese Alliance

    Whenever a Russian president travels to Asiatic Russia or the Asia-Pacific region, he traditionally enunciates important precepts of Russian foreign policy in Asia. This was true of both Dmitry Medvedev

    Moscow’s Appointment in Doha Goes Awry

    Russian talks with Gulf states, in Doha, Qatar, aimed at freezing oil production and thereby raising prices, broke down on April 17 (RT, April 17). This failure to reach an

    A Comeback for South Stream?

    When Moscow abruptly terminated the South Stream natural gas pipeline project in December 2014 (see EDM, December 17, 2014), that decision left all of Russia’s potential partners in the Balkans

    Russia’s Newest Balkan Games

    Experts have long known that the Balkans are a political battleground between Russia and the West. And this chronic non-military conflict has only intensified with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and

    Russia Losing Ground Across Central Asia

    Increasingly, it seems that wherever one looks in Central Asia, Russia is losing ground. This retreat is not confined to economics, though it is certainly present in this sphere. Notably,

    Russia Decides Who the Terrorists Are

    At the end of 2015, an unnamed Kremlin official announced that Moscow was now sharing intelligence about the Islamic State with the Afghan Taliban, even though the Taliban remains on

    Russia and the TAPI Pipeline

    On December 13, Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India broke ground on the constructions of a new natural gas pipeline that will carry Turkmenistani gas eastward toward the other three partner

    Whither Russo-Japanese Relations?

    Although Russian President Vladimir Putin will not be visiting Japan this year or anytime soon (see EDM, October 9) and currently no agenda even exists for any such visit, Tokyo

    Cuba: Russia’s Unsinkable Aircraft Carrier

    Despite all of the other major foreign policy issues on its agenda, Russia has not forgotten Cuba. Indeed, it appears that Moscow’s strategic interest in this Caribbean island country has

    Russia’s Fourth Front: Central Asia

    Russian leaders have long held a deeply pessimistic view about Afghanistan’s future prospects as well as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s (NATO) strategy there (Mil.ru, December 10, 2014). Indeed, late

    North Pole Becomes an Object of Multipolar Rivalry

    The Arctic is seemingly becoming an object of multipolar contention. President Barack Obama’s recent visit to the Arctic and call for construction of a new icebreaker and Arctic-capable commercial vessels

    Moscow Trying Every Middle Eastern Door

    Throughout the year, the Middle East has remained engulfed in conflict as well as intense international diplomatic negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program. And just as the United States

    Russia’s New Maritime Doctrine

    On July 26, Russia released its new maritime doctrine to 2020 (Kremlin.ru, July 26). It is important not to confuse this document with a new “naval doctrine,” although this doctrine

    Once Again Moscow Tries to Intimidate Tokyo

    Despite the best efforts of both Moscow and Tokyo to sustain the momentum toward a full normalization of their relations and a genuine rapprochement (see EDM, February 24, 2014; June

    BRICS for Greece

    It appeared too great a temptation to pass up for the Kremlin when Greece’s impending default and exit from the Eurozone or even the European Union (the so-called Grexit) occurred

    Russo-Chinese Exercises in the Mediterranean

    Sino-Russian joint naval maneuvers are not a new phenomenon; they have occurred at least twice in the Far East. But the most recent maneuvers that took place in the Mediterranean,

    Kim Jong-un: The Man Who Got Away

    Even as South Korean media were speculating about Kim Jong-un’s projected visit to Moscow to attend the VE-Day celebration on May 9, 2015, he announced abruptly that he would not,

    Russia’s Game in Southeast Asia

    The Ukraine crisis has brought Russia and China much closer together (see EDM, April 3). But Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev’s trip to Southeast Asia—Thailand and then Vietnam—in early April

    Russia and Yemen’s Agony

    Russia’s position on the fighting in Yemen needs to be understood in terms of its overall approach to the Middle East. And Moscow’s approach to the region has become more

    His Master’s Voice: Lavrov Tours Latin America

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov’s recent tour of Latin America aimed to build on Moscow’s previous successes among pro-Russian regimes there—Cuba, Nicaragua, Venezuela—as well as to establish stronger ties with

    Why Is Russia Deploying Nuclear Weapons to Crimea?

    Recently, there has been an uptick in Russian efforts to defend the placement of nuclear-capable weapons, if not actual nuclear weapons, on Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula, which Russia illegally annexed one

    Russia’s Aircraft Carrier of Tomorrow

    According to Admiral Viktor Chirkov, the commander in chief of the Russian Navy, Moscow is currently building an aircraft carrier of tomorrow. This future-oriented carrier will possess broad capabilities connected

    Russia Stirs the Pot in the Middle East

    While attention in the Middle East has focused mainly on the Islamic State or on Israel’s relationship with the United States, Russia has been busy trying to advance its own

    Stephen Blank Quoted by CBC

    Stephen Blank, a Eurasian affairs analyst for Jamestown, discussed the possibility of the United States arming Ukraine in that country's fight against Russia with CBC.

    Putin’s Passage to India: Where Did It Lead?

    Russian President Vladimir Putin termed his recent trip to India “productive” and “positive.” Indeed, twenty agreements were signed with India, pertaining mainly to economic issues, energy supplies and arms sales

    What Do Russian Probes in the Baltic Portend?

    Earlier this month (October 2014), Scandinavian, and especially Swedish, media have focused on Sweden’s apparently abortive efforts to locate what was allegedly a disabled Russian reconnaissance submarine off its shores

    Moscow Begins Building a New Black Sea Fleet

    After annexing Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula, Russia is now rebuilding its Black Sea Fleet (BSF) to ensure its regional dominance, to exclude all rivals, and to lay the foundation for further

    Vladimir Putin’s Latin American Tour

    During July 11–16, Russian President Vladimir Putin traveled around Latin America. Apart from attending the BRICS (loose political-economic grouping of rising developing countries Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa)

    Arms Sales to Pakistan Kindle Indian Wrath

    Russia’s announcement, earlier this month, that it was negotiating the sale of helicopters to Pakistan (see EDM, June 24) may have backfired on Moscow, as it clearly underestimated the anger that

    Moscow’s Ministers Descend on Baku

    During June 2014, Russian ministers and high-level officials descended on Baku to pursue Russia’s lengthening agenda with Azerbaijan. At the beginning of the month, Economic Minister Alexei Ulyukaev came to

    Russia’s Game in North Korea

    During his visit to Seoul in late 2013, Vladimir Putin almost explicitly warned the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK—North Korea) that, if it did not respond to Moscow’s proposal

    Nicaragua: Moscow’s ‘Second Front’

    If focused exclusively on Russian actions in Ukraine or other areas contiguous to Russia, one loses sight of major elements of Moscow’s foreign policy. The Russian Federation considers itself to

    The Arctic Template of Russian National Security Policy

    Ukraine shows that Russia’s threat assessments are cynical, mendacious, inclined toward worst-case scenarios, self-aggrandizing and self-reinforcing. They betray not just an incipient trend toward paranoia, but also hysteria about foreign

    Moscow Expands Its Presence in Latin America

    Nobody should think that Moscow’s aggressive campaign to restore its former status as a global great power or its fundamentally anti-American policy is currently confined to Ukraine. Indeed, while the

    Russo-Japanese Rapprochement Moves Forward

    Despite the mounting ferocity of Sino-Japanese rhetoric, China’s partner Russia is moving forward on normalizing its ties with Japan. Indeed, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe met with Russian President Vladimir

    Russia Begins Collecting Its Ukrainian Gas Bill

    Although demonstrators still occupy the Maidan in central Kyiv and none of Ukraine’s fundamental issues that precipitated the crisis in late 2013 have been resolved, it is clear that the

    The Latest Round of Russian Nuclear Intimidation

    October–November 2013 witnessed a series of concerted Russian actions designed to express Moscow’s anger at the ballistic missile defense (BMD) program being implemented by the United States and the North

    What Do the Zapad 2013 Exercises Reveal? (Part Two)

    On September 20–26, Russia carried out Zapad (“West”) 2013 military exercises with Belarusian forces. Though the training scenario envisioned repulsing an attack on Belarus by “terrorist” forces, Zapad 2013’s territorial

    What Do the Zapad 2013 Exercises Reveal? (Part One)

    Summer through early fall is traditionally the main exercise season for Russia’s armed forces, and 2013 was no different from preceding years. Russian exercises are important because they reveal where,

    Russia’s Latest Arctic Gambit

    Russia invariably proclaims that its response to the challenges provided by the opening up of the Arctic and the Northern Sea Route (NSR) is purely political, diplomatic and peaceful. Yet,

    Russia Seeks Naval and Air Bases in Cyprus

    The past two years have seen a steady rise in Russia’s willingness to deploy its navy into the Mediterranean, to Syria, and Cyprus in order to demonstrate Russian power, support

    Moscow Pulls Back the Curtain on Zapad 2013

    Four years ago, Russia conducted an exercise called Zapad (West) 2009 to test the efficacy of its, then, new military reforms as well as its doctrine and strategy. Today, that

    Russia’s Heightened Interest in Africa

    The Soviet Union conducted a robust policy toward Africa, but that ended with the collapse of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. As Russian analysts today admit, Africa, relatively speaking,

    Is Russia Losing Ground in India’s Arms Market?

    India remains Russia’s biggest customer for arms sales and technology transfers. It still receives about 70 percent of its defense imports from Russia and accounts for between 30–40 percent of

    Is There at Long Last a Russo-Chinese Gas Deal?

    In advance of new Chinese President Xi Jinping’s forthcoming visit to Moscow, a major “deliverable” has finally emerged. On February 27, Gazprom and the China National Petroleum Company (CNPC) announced

    Russia Reacts Predictably to North Korean Nuclear Test

    Since it participates in the six-party talks on North Korea’s nuclear disarmament, Russia has a vital interest in developments there. Therefore, Russia’s governmental and expert community reactions to the North

    Russia Aims to Extend Alliance with Venezuela

    Hugo Chavez’s reported life-threatening illness has repercussions beyond Venezuela and even Latin America. The prospect of a potential change in Venezuela’s leadership has led Russia to seek to ensure its

    The Mistral Saga Takes a New Turn

    It is becoming clear that there will be major reversals in key elements of Russian defense policy as a result of the fall of Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov in November

    What Do Russia’s Arms Sales to Bangladesh Mean?

    On January 15–16, President Vladimir Putin held talks in Moscow with Bangladesh’s Prime Minister Sekh Hasina. As a result of these discussions, Russia has pledged to lend Bangladesh $1 billion

    Is Moscow Losing Its India Connection?

    Earlier in October, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin traveled to India to complete discussions ahead of President Vladimir Putin’s planned trip there and to negotiate nuclear and arms deals.

    Whatever Happened to Russia’s Korea Projects?

    In August 2011, Russia signed what appeared to be a momentous agreement with North Korea (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea—DPRK), an accord that marked Kim Jong Il’s last great foreign

    Russia and Japan Try (Again) for a Rapprochement

    For several months, although Russia has insulted Japan by strengthening its claims to the Kurile Islands and even reinforcing them militarily, Moscow and Tokyo have been trying to initiate a

    Moscow Continues Heavy Reliance on Nuclear Weapons

    At a recent nonproliferation conference Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov stated that Moscow is ready to continue reducing strategic offensive weapons on the condition that other countries preserve strategic

    Russia’s Quiet Rapprochement with Pakistan

    Quietly and unobtrusively, a Russo-Pakistani rapprochement has been developing behind the scenes of world politics for the last two years. On Pakistan’s side, the almost spectacular deterioration of relations with

    Moscow Mixes Profit with Principle in Syria

    To hear Moscow tell it, Russia’s aims in Syria are only motivated by principle. It opposes the use of ambiguous UN resolutions to permit intervention to forcibly democratize a country,

    Russia Launches New Initiative Toward Japan

    Signs are multiplying that Moscow has launched a new initiative toward Tokyo to improve Russo-Japanese relations. In addition, this initiative is part of Moscow’s never-ending quest to be considered a

    Russia Reacts to the Korean Succession

    As Russia is a member of the six-party talks on North Korea’s nuclear program and a neighbor of North Korea, it naturally was concerned by the announcement of Kim Jong-Il’s

    Putin’s Agenda: The Arctic Revival

    Russian foreign policy under Vladimir Putin is increasingly resorting to gunboat diplomacy (see EDM, December 12). However, another key element in Putin’s agenda has been his aggressive campaign to assert

    Putin’s Agenda: Gunboat Diplomacy

    Since announcing his return to the presidency on September 24, Vladimir Putin has regained the limelight (though he never lost the power) attached to the direction of Russian foreign policy.

    A New Rapprochement Between Moscow and Tehran

    The US reset policy has already become an object of political contention between Democrats and Republicans. The Obama Administration never ceases to point to it as a success, not least

    Can Anyone Save the Russian Defense Industry?

    In what might be called his presidential campaign speeches, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has promised that within a decade a three trillion ruble ($95.18 billion) modernization program will completely rearm

    The CSTO: Gendarme of Eurasia

    Recent articles in the Eurasia Daily Monitor (EDM) have extensively covered Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) exercises and its decision to work openly to frustrate any manifestation of Arab-Spring like

    Kim Jong Il’s Excellent Adventure In Siberia

    During his meetings with President Dmitry Medvedev on August 24, Kim-Jong Il reportedly agreed to resume the six-party talks over North Korea’s nuclear weapons without preconditions; if the talks take

    Moscow Puts the Heat On Minsk and Kyiv

    Moscow is piling the heat on Minsk and Kyiv to subordinate their economies, notably their energy sectors, to Russia and with that accept Russia’s political tutelage. In both cases, Moscow

    Moscow Tries to Rescue Syria from Its Own Crimes

    Syria has been a long-term friend of Russia during the past fifty years. Throughout this time, Moscow has sold the country weapons, supported its diplomatic posture in the Arab-Israeli struggle

    China’s Central Asian Profile Continues Growing

    Though largely unnoticed by the media, China continues to expand its economic and therefore political and strategic position in Central Asia. This expansion even includes territorial revisions in China’s favor.

    Russia’s Navy Muscles Up and Looks East

    According to Russia’s decade-long military procurement plan the Navy will receive 4.7 trillion rubles ($159 billion) of the total 20 trillion rubles ($678 billion), a figure that Prime Minister, Vladimir

    Putin and Chavez Reach Major Deals in Caracas : Part Two

    Russia’s central partner in Latin America remains Venezuela and Prime Minister, Vladimir Putin’s, visit there underscores the scope of that partnership. Putin’s trip encompassed several large deals with Venezuela that

    Is a Russian-Uzbek Rapprochement in the Offing?

    Uzbekistan is famous for its flexibility in maneuvering between Moscow and Washington. Most recently, President Islam Karimov has been the subject of overtures from the US and NATO to which

    Russia is Open for Nuclear Business in Asia

    Although other issues have taken center stage recently, it is possible to discern in Moscow’s policies across Asia a renewed emphasis on the sale of nuclear reactors to interested Asian

    Sergei Lavrov Travels to Latin America

    During his presidential tour of Latin America in 2008, Dmitry Medvedev said that Russia’s Latin American policy was only beginning. Although the pace of these relations cooled in 2009, due

    Vietnam is Russia’s Biggest Arms Customer

    It may surprise readers to learn that in 2009 Vietnam was Russia’s best customer for its arms exports (www.defensenews.com, January 21). During 2009, Vietnam bought six Russian kilo-class submarines and

    China’s Russian Far East

    On April 21, 2009, China formally concluded an agreement to lend $25 billion to Russian state-owned oil company Rosneft and pipeline monopoly Transneft in exchange for the completion of an

    Recent Trends in Russo-Chinese Military Relations

    The Russo-Chinese relationship is a multi-dimensional one.  Thus progress in each aspect of those ties is uneven.  For instance, Russia has consistently failed to satisfy China’s demands for energy, which

    The Russo-Chinese Energy Follies

    Chinese and Russian officials habitually proclaim that their bilateral relations have never been better and thereby invoke a great congruence in their agenda for the international regime.  Thus Viktor Kremenyuk,

    WILL TURKMEN GAS GO SOUTH AS WELL AS WEST?

    Most commentary on Turkmenistan’s energy future has focused on the possibility of its being able to sell gas directly to Europe instead of having to go through Russia to do

    RUSSIA REGRETS SADDAM HUSSEIN’S DEATH

    Deposing a dictator, let alone hanging him in public, has never been popular in Russia. Saddam Hussein’s death was no exception. Public commentary in Russia over Saddam’s death by hanging

    RUSSIAN MEDIA SPLIT ON IRAQ STUDY GROUP REPORT

    Surprisingly, the official Russian media reaction to the publication of the Baker-Hamilton Iraq Study Group report has been very restrained -- even difficult to find (Rossiya TV, NTV, December 6).

    RUSSIA UNFAZED BY NORTH KOREAN NUCLEAR TEST

    Although North Korea’s nuclear test on October 9 transformed the Northeast Asian landscape, it apparently has not changed the postures of the members of the six-party talks all that much.

    RUSSIA SEEKS ENTREE INTO EUROPE’S AVIATION MARKET

    Recently Vneshtorgbank, Moscow’s state owned foreign trade bank, spent about a billion dollars to buy 5.02% of the shares of the European Aeronautic Defense and Space Corporation (EADS). The revelation

    RUSSIA’S LATEST NAVAL TRAGEDY

    On the morning of September 7, the St. Daniil Moskovsky, a Russian Victor III-class submarine that was commissioned in 1990 and went to sea in 1991, caught fire in the

    PUTIN EMBRACES DOUBLE STANDARD IN MID-EAST CRISIS

    Although the Russian press regularly rebukes the West for double standards regarding terrorism, such as supporting the insurgents in Chechnya, media outlets have not pointed out that Moscow is taking

    READING PUTIN’S MILITARY TEA LEAVES

    Russian President Vladimir Putin's annual speech to the Federal Assembly on May 10 was notable for its emphasis on military affairs. Putin outlined new and increasing threats from the arms

    RUSSIA AND THE TWO-KOREAS: THE LATEST ROUND

    The latest round of the six-party talks on North Korea's nuclear program took place November 9-11 in Beijing. Like many of the preceding rounds, this one ended inconclusively. While U.S.

    RUSSIA’S NAVY PINS HOPES ON BULAVA NUCLEAR MISSILE

    During his September 27 call-in television program, Russian President Vladimir Putin once again invoked one of his favorite themes. Specifically, he stressed that under his leadership Russia is developing new

    RUSSIA ASSESSES THE NORTH KOREA SIX-PARTY AGREEMENT

    The Russian government and media welcomed the six-party agreement about North Korea's nuclear programs announced on September 19. Izvestiya even called it a breakthrough. Deputy Foreign Minister, Alexander Alexeyev, Russia's

    PUTIN’S MÉNAGE À TROIS IN KALININGRAD

    Over the weekend of July 3-4, Russian President Vladimir Putin hosted French President Jacques Chirac and German Prime Minister Gerhard Schroeder for a summit in Kaliningrad, supposedly to celebrate the

    ISLAM KARIMOV AND THE HEIRS OF TIANANMEN

    Fresh from the massacre at Andijan, Islam Karimov traveled to China in late May, where he received not just praise, but expressions of China's delight at his handling of the

    The Future of Uzbekistan After Andijan

    To assess the nature and likely development of terrorist threats to Uzbekistan in the wake of the Andijan massacre, we must determine what exactly happened there on May 12-13 and

    RUSSIA AND IRAN JOIN HANDS IN THE CASPIAN

    While Central Asia and the Caucasus have been the recent focus of world attention due to the popular revolution in Kyrgyzstan and the massacre in Andijan, Uzbekistan, potentially significant strategic

    BAIT AND SWITCH: MOSCOW’S SHELL GAME IN CHECHNYA

    Even though Moscow successfully eliminated Chechen leader Aslan Maskhadov in an apparently carefully planned and long-term operation in March, there is little sign of progress towards peace in the breakaway

    BISHKEK REASSURES BEIJING AFTER TULIP REVOLUTION

    China invested considerable economic, political, and military resources in Kyrgyzstan, so it is no surprise that Beijing has been disconcerted by the rapid fall of the Akayev regime and the

    TIES STRENGTHEN BETWEEN TASHKENT AND NEW DELHI

    From April 4 to 6 Uzbekistan's President Islam Karimov visited New Delhi to conduct negotiations with the Indian government and to sign 12 agreements with India. These accords ranged over

    INDIA’S QUEST FOR CENTRAL ASIAN ENERGY

    India, the world's second fastest growing economy, relies on oil and gas imports for its economic development. And, as Prime Minister Manmohan Singh observed, it can no longer remain complacent

    BASHAR ASSAD COMES TO MOSCOW, SEEKING GIFTS

    Earlier this month a scandal broke out when it became known that Moscow was planning to sell Syria the Iskander-E and Igla anti-air missiles (see EDM, January 17). Rumors of

    A NEW SPRINGTIME OF THE NATIONS?

    By Stephen Blank A specter is haunting the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS); the specter of popular unrest. In the last year we have seen political crisis strike country after