May 2012

Mission impossible?

video

The US is a vast country, with a growing population and a myriad of cultures. Getting your message across is not always easy. NATO is no exception. So we asked five Americans how they would try to convince their compatriots of the value of NATO.

Serbia’s Belief in the Promise of Europe

That Europe has not lost its luster and power of attraction despite the eurozone crisis was made evident in an unlikely part of the continent: the Western Balkans. Beyond the excitement of this weekend’s French and Greek elections, Serbia also held presidential, parliamentary, and local elections. The message from the voters, after the mist of electoral rhetoric had been dispelled, was two-fold and clear: there is a sense of deep concern and dissatisfaction with the political class but also of belief in the need to pursue the paths of democratic reform and European integration.

Britain's Strategy

By George Friedman

Britain controlled about one-fourth of the Earth's land surface and one-fifth of the world's population in 1939. Fifty years later, its holdings outside the British Isles had become trivial, and it even faced an insurgency in Northern Ireland.

Kyrgyz-Russian Relations Salvaged, As Gazprom Weighs Another Buyout

By Myles G. Smith

Kyrgyzstan President Almazbek Atambaev, in an interview with the Russian daily Kommersant on April 10, said that while some may want to drive a wedge between Russia and Kyrgyzstan, “this will be hard to do.” Considering Atambayev’s streak of bewildering statements on Russia, and Kyrgyzstan’s policy over the last month, fallout appears to be becoming a permanent possibility.

The Legacy of Soviet Nuclear Industry in Tajikistan: Opportunities and Challenges

By Mark Vinson

In April, Rustam Latifov, the head of the Tajik Parliament’s Ecological Commission, announced Tajikistan’s intention to seek international donors to help secure more than 50,000 tons of radioactive waste in Taboshar and distribute humanitarian funds for 2,000 people in the immediate vicinity who are particularly exposed in the villages of Old Taboshar and Somoni (ozodi.org, April 12). Taboshar, situated in the Ferghana Valley of Sugd Oblast just north of Khujand (Tajikistan’s second largest city), is one of ten Soviet-era nuclear sites in the country. While a part of the Soviet Union, Sugd Oblast was a center for both the extraction and enrichment of uranium. Mines in Taboshar and Adrasman provided uranium to the Leninabad Mining and Chemical Combine (now the Vostochnyy Rare Metal Industrial Association, or Vostokredmet) in the city of Chkalovsk. The then-Leninabad plant processed up to 1,000,000 metric tons of uranium a year to enrich yellowcake and uranium hexafluoride and provided the material for the USSR’s first nuclear weapon.

Uzbekistan: Will Karimov Get Blown Off in Windy City?

video

By Deirdre Tynan

It appears that Uzbek President Islam Karimov’s efforts to obtain a one-on-one meeting with US President Barack Obama are coming up short, an informed source indicates. Obama's preliminary schedule for the upcoming NATO summit reportedly does not include individual meetings with any of the Central Asian leaders who are planning on attending the event.