With Putin’s Proposed Changes, Russia Begins Its Transition to One-Party Rule

| January 24, 2020

Vladimir Putin’s proposed changes to the Russian constitution portend a shift toward one-party rule and lay out a framework by which he can continue to be a major power broker well beyond the end of his presidential tenure in 2024.

Photo-Ops Notwithstanding, Iran Faces the US Alone

| January 15, 2020

Iran is now assessing whether it should retaliate further against the US for the targeting of Qassem Soleimani, and if so, how. Its relationships with Russia and Turkey might look warm, but they are troubled. Neither is likely to leap to Tehran’s side in its clash with the US. Israel should exploit Iran’s fissures with Russia and Turkey to its advantage.

NATO Must Survive

| December 17, 2019

The recent urgent push by NATO to provide a defensive framework to Poland and the Baltic states is by no means a false alarm intended merely to shore up a sense of common purpose during a period of crisis. It reflects a serious threat that must be addressed.

Straightening Out Russian Foreign Policy

| December 15, 2019

Russian foreign policy since the mid-2000s tends to be perceived in contradictory terms: as either a negative for Russia or the product of a grand strategic vision on the part of the Russian leadership. It is also often falsely perceived as representing a break with the past. Moscow’s foreign policy moves need to be viewed with a balanced perspective and should be placed in their historical context.

Kremlin Coups Turned Democratic Revolutions

| December 13, 2019

The revolution that took place in the Czech Republic thirty years ago was not just the work of Vaclav Havel and his Charter 77 followers. The spark was a KGB coup directed by General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev. A Kremlin coup also helped spur revolutionary change in Germany. The late 1980s saw unprecedented power struggles within the Soviet elite and Politburo under Gorbachev.

The Phenomenon of “Global Russia”

| December 1, 2019

As Russia increases its geopolitical involvement across the globe, the concept of “Global Russia” has been gradually taking hold. Though Russia is inherently weak, it is likely that Moscow will continue its global initiatives throughout the 2020s. Only by the end of that decade and into the next is there likely to be a gradual decline in Russia’s adventurism abroad.

Global Protests: Russia and China Risk Ending Up on the Wrong Side of History

| November 17, 2019

Russia and China are widely perceived as the rising powers in the Middle East as a result of America’s flip-flops in Syria and President Donald Trump’s transactional approach to foreign policy. This perception also reflects an acknowledgement of Russian and Chinese support for regimes irrespective of how non-performing and/or repressive they may be. But they could both ultimately find themselves on the wrong side of history in an era of global breakdown of popular confidence in political systems and incumbent leadership and increasingly determined and resourceful protests.

Putin’s Policies Are Not New

| October 30, 2019

It has become fashionable to link Russian foreign policy moves of the past 20 years solely to President Vladimir Putin and his close associates. But what is viewed as innovative is in fact an intensification of much older policies that long preceded Putin’s rise to power.  

Eurasia’s Great Game: India, Japan, and Europe Play to Putin’s Needs

| October 11, 2019

Eurasia’s Great Game is anything but simple and straightforward. A burgeoning alliance between China and Russia that at least for now is relegating potential differences between the two powers to the sidelines has sparked a complex geopolitical dance of its own.

Russian-Chinese Cooperation Is Not As Temporary As You Think

| October 8, 2019

Many believe the Russian-Chinese partnership, which functions across a variety of economic and political spheres, is only temporary. But Moscow’s disenchantment with the West, and the redirection of its foreign policy toward Beijing and beyond, is rooted in Russian historical thinking. The disagreement between Russia and the West is a full-scale geopolitical separation.