The Nascent Russia-Lebanon Alliance and Israel

| March 23, 2018

Though Russia has been gradually increasing its economic and military influence in Lebanon, it is unlikely that Moscow is prepared to irreparably compromise its relations with Israel. Russia faces competition from other actors in Syria, and good relations with Israel can serve its interests there.

Unintended Consequences of Sanctions on Russia

and | March 16, 2018

The Russian annexation of Crimea in 2014, the downing of a civilian aircraft, and the Russian military aggression in Ukraine were serious violations of the international order that required a powerful response from Western powers. But what is the right response to such provocations – and who might be affected other than the intended target?

A Perilous Tango for Four in the Eastern Med

| March 11, 2018

The Eastern Mediterranean has entered a new period of high volatility, with Israel and Greece in the eye of the storm. Both countries are facing an upgraded strategic challenge from Turkey and Iran. This is not simply an interstate problem but a broader crisis that will influence the future geostrategic physiognomy of the Eastern Med.

Israel’s Intelligence Contribution to US Security: The Cold War Years

| February 26, 2018

Israel and the United States have a long history of close intelligence cooperation. Israel made a unique and particularly valuable contribution by shedding fresh light on Moscow’s nuclear-equipped intercontinental ballistic missiles threatening the US.

Russia and the Israeli-Syrian-Iranian Confrontation

| February 15, 2018

On February 11, 2018, Israel conducted multiple airstrikes on Syrian-Iranian targets in Syria in response to the downing of an Israeli F-16 in Israeli territory following infiltration by an Iranian drone. Moscow’s mild reaction to these events reflects its desire to maintain cooperation with both Tehran and Jerusalem.

Russia’s Eurasian Disunion

| February 5, 2018

When the Eurasian Economic Union (aka the Eurasian Union) was unveiled in early 2015, it had one major goal: to strengthen Moscow’s position across the former Soviet space. By promising economic benefits and military protection, the Kremlin managed to bring Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan into the Union and solidify its influence over them. However, the Eurasian Union has stalled since then. It lags considerably far behind other major unions across the Eurasian continent in terms of overall economic and political influence, and will continue to face major geopolitical competition from the European Union (EU).

Why Won’t Russia Support the Investigation of Chemical Weapons Attacks in Syria?

| January 31, 2018

Because of Russian antagonism, 2018 might see a termination of investigations by an internationally authorized apparatus into chemical weapons (CW) attacks in Syria. There is a tight, if indirect, connection between that termination and the existence of a residual and possibly renewed stockpile of CW in the hands of the Syrian army, which is backed by Russia (and Iran).

DEBATE: What Are the Implications of the Russian-Turkish Rapprochement?

| January 21, 2018

Q: In the aftermath of the failed coup d’état of July 2016, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is embarking on an attempt to improve Ankara’s relations with non-Western countries to avoid international isolation. The Russian-Turkish rapprochement is a characteristic example. As the EU and the US criticize Erdoğan for his domestic and foreign policy choices, he regularly meets with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, to discuss new patterns of cooperation. BESA join the debate by asking the experts: What are the implications of the Russian-Turkish rapprochement?

Russia’s Strategic Advantage in the Baltics: A Challenge to NATO?

| January 19, 2018

Because nations have complex histories that mold or mar them, what geopolitical lessons and historical lessons can we draw from Russia’s previous military interventions? Has the historical relationship of Russia with the Baltic states been conditioned by a clash of civilizations as claimed by some Baltic thinkers? If so, how does this factor into the present tensions? What role does the sizable minority of Russians in the Baltic states play in the Kremlin’s policy-making? How can strategic military savvy and diplomacy aid in preventing the escalation of present tensions in the Baltics into full-scale war?

Russia and Iran: Friends and Foes

| January 17, 2018

Russia and Iran have been geopolitical rivals for centuries – but over the past couple of years, the Moscow-Tehran axis has grown exponentially. This creates major headaches for the US and other western powers that are concerned about how far this cooperation could go. The two powers share common interests in the South Caucasus and the Middle East, but are wary of one another’s growing influence in their own backyards.