Emil Avdaliani

Russia’s and China’s Geopolitical Offensive in Africa

| July 10, 2019

Both China and Russia have increased their influence on the African continent through money, diplomacy, and other measures – efforts that go directly against US interests. Washington has paid little attention to Africa and will find it difficult to compete with Moscow and Beijing, particularly as other geopolitical theaters require its immediate attention.

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Russia Resurrects Mass Mobilization

| June 25, 2019

Mass mobilization saved the Russian state on many occasions in past centuries, proving effective against Charles XII, Napoleon I, and Hitler. The Russians are still inclined toward mass mobilization, even though modern wars tend to be more short-term. The large-scale military spending required to sustain mass mobilization will create additional problems for the already embattled Russian economy.

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The Trade War Is Just the Start of a US-China Cold War

| June 16, 2019

Many observers view the current confrontation on trade between China and the US as temporary. However, the two countries have opposed geopolitical imperatives that make it highly unlikely that a long-term solution will be found. The US will have to consider how to contain China, which is a far more formidable competitor than the Soviet Union ever was. The US will need much more than a Cold War-style “containment” strategy to counter Chinese ambitions. 

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Russian Elites and Why They Matter

| May 23, 2019

Mainstream analysis of Russian foreign policy decision-making often neglects to factor in the influence of the Russian elites. Despite the inclination of the current Russian government to centralize, elite groups continue to exert considerable influence. Their support for the government is crucial for Vladimir Putin, and their disenchantment with him would be fatal to his rule.

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Why Rapprochement with Russia Is Unlikely Under Zelensky

| May 15, 2019

Ukraine has a new president, 41-year-old Volodymyr Zelensky. While some argue that Kiev’s policy toward Russia is now likely to undergo a significant positive change, geopolitical realities suggest the opposite. Ukraine-Russia relations might in fact worsen now that Moscow has eased the citizenship process for Donbas residents.

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Russians Should Question Moscow’s Foreign Policy

| May 5, 2019

Hints from the Russian media show that more and more Russians are starting to question Moscow’s foreign policy during Putin’s 19 years of rule. Russia needs to reevaluate its position in the world: Should it focus only on the former Soviet space, or should it expand its vision of itself in a world where it might play a much grander role?

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Belarus Could Be Russia’s Next Big Geopolitical Target

| April 14, 2019

Russia’s geopolitical projection has shifted over the past two decades. The country has tried to reverse its losses in Ukraine and the South Caucasus, but it is in Belarus that Moscow will most likely try to further extend its leverage to keep the EU and NATO at bay.

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With Italy on Board, China’s BRI Gets a Major Boost

| April 11, 2019

China’s grand Belt and Road Initiative, which is intended to connect the Asia-Pacific with the European market, had a major boost in March when Italy – the first of the G7 states – effectively signed onto the project. This event illustrates how difficult it is becoming for European countries to resist Chinese investment at a time of economic troubles in the EU.

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The Deeper Meaning of China’s Base in Tajikistan

| April 2, 2019

It is au courant among analysts and scholars to compare modern-day China to early 20th-century Germany, in that it too is a rising power that desires a larger role for itself in world affairs. But a better comparison might be with the United States of the late 19th-early 20th century. The US of that era presented itself as non-interventionist, but it also proclaimed a “manifest destiny” to expand its influence.

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The US Does Not Lose Much by Withdrawing from Afghanistan

| March 17, 2019

In December 2018, the Trump administration announced that its military will start withdrawing roughly 7,000 troops from Afghanistan in the coming months. Though the decision seems an abrupt shift in the US’s 17-year-old war in Afghanistan, it fits into the American grand strategy of keeping Eurasia divided.

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