October 2011

The Water Hegemon

By Brahma Chellaney

International discussion about China’s rise has focused on its increasing trade muscle, growing maritime ambitions, and expanding capacity to project military power. One critical issue, however, usually escapes attention: China’s rise as a hydro-hegemon with no modern historical parallel.

Global Insights: Dim Prospects for Putin's Eurasian Union

By Richard Weitz

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin followed up his unsurprising Sept. 24 declaration that he would again seek the presidency with a more surprising call: to create what he called a "Eurasian Union." In a rare and lengthy newspaper piece published on Oct. 4, Putin announced his desire for Russia to again lead a multinational bloc of tightly bound, former Soviet republics. But major obstacles stand in the way of Putin's project, and the prospects of a new Eurasian Union emerging anytime soon in the former Soviet space are small.

From the Mediterranean to the Hindu Kush: Rethinking the Region

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By George Friedman

The territory between the Mediterranean and the Hindu Kush has been the main arena for the U.S. intervention that followed the 9/11 attacks. Obviously, the United States had been engaged in this area in previous years, but 9/11 redefined it as the prime region in which it confronted jihadists. That struggle has had many phases, and it appears to have entered a new one over the past few weeks.

A Latvian Government for Latvia

By Vladimir Socor

Latvia’s government approved the country’s new government, a three-party center-right coalition that does not include the leftist Russian party Harmony Center (BNS, LETA, October 25). This outcome was in doubt until almost the last moment. Western-oriented Latvia came close to being governed by a hybrid coalition that would have included Harmony, an openly Russia-oriented party, signatory to a cooperation agreement with Vladimir Putin’s United Russia party, and allied to certain local Latvian oligarchs. Harmony is also Latvia’s single largest party as a legacy of Soviet-era migration from Russia’s interior, followed by monolithic Russian voting in today’s Latvia.

A Farewell to Nuclear Arms

By Mikhail Gorbachev

Twenty-five years ago this month, I sat across from Ronald Reagan in Reykjavik, Iceland to negotiate a deal that would have reduced, and could have ultimately eliminated by 2000, the fearsome arsenals of nuclear weapons held by the United States and the Soviet Union.