October 2012

The Emerging Doctrine of the United States

By George Friedman

Over the past weekend, rumors began to emerge that the Syrian opposition would allow elements of the al Assad regime to remain in Syria and participate in the new government. Rumors have become Syria's prime export, and as such they should not be taken too seriously. Nevertheless, what is happening in Syria is significant for a new foreign doctrine emerging in the United States -- a doctrine in which the United States does not take primary responsibility for events, but which allows regional crises to play out until a new regional balance is reached. Whether a good or bad policy -- and that is partly what the U.S. presidential race is about -- it is real, and it flows from lessons learned.

What Does Russo–Serbian Strategic Partnership Mean?

By Stephen Blank

Serbia is the key target of Russian foreign policy in the Western Balkans, as Moscow’s main strategic objective remains forestalling the European democratic integration in the Balkans and Eastern Europe as a whole. In that context, keeping Serbia out of NATO and the EU preserves a major outpost of Russian influence and perpetuates an unresolved status quo in the former Yugoslavia, most notably with respect to Kosovo.

Why Doesn't the United States Export More Oil?

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By Christopher Swann

America’s energy boom is spurring a clash between the realms of politics and economics. Meaningful exports of oil have been banned for almost a century. But with output surging and crude fetching a 20 percent discount at home, producers want to ship it overseas. BP, Royal Dutch Shell and four others have applied for limited licenses to do just that. Unblocking trade could benefit everyone.

A New Initiative to Achieve a Nuclear-Weapons-Free World

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By Roman Vassilenko and Martin Sieff

The ATOM Project is a new international initiative to build global support for a permanent end to nuclear weapons testing and the total abolition of nuclear weapons. It was launched at a parliamentary assembly in Astana, Kazakhstan on August 29, 2012, the UN International Day Against Nuclear Tests, established in recognition of the closing of the Semipalatinsk nuclear test site on that day in 1991 by the president of Kazakhstan.

Escaped Mayor of Almaty Lives in Switzerland

By Eric Diehn

More often lately the characters of publications and TV-programs of the European press have been the natives from Asia. And these are not worldwide famous scientists, or actors of arts and culture, as we would like them to be. More often public tribune is occupied by personalities, talking about their complicated interrelations with authorities in their motherlands. Instead of studying culture of other people more often we go deep into dirty laundry of run-away criminals, flowing to us from the whole world. And then we talk about crisis of multiculturalism…

Kazakhstan Downplays NATO’s Role in Central Asia

By Roger McDermott

Kazakhstan has recently participated in international military exercises with its NATO partners as well as through the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) in what at first sight appears to confirm that its multi-vector foreign policy also strongly influences its defense and security policy. Nonetheless, the scope, intensity and seriousness attached to the country’s defense and security relations with Moscow and its involvement in the CSTO goes far above the lip service it pays to cooperation with NATO. This critical distinction in Astana’s defense policy is amply demonstrated by the country hosting the CSTO’s first peacekeeping exercises from October 8 to October 17 (Interfax, October 3; see EDM, September 11).

The Nightmare Scenario: A U.S.-China War

By James R. Holmes

Our great and powerful editor has requested—nay, demanded!—a series of posts exploring how a U.S.-China war might unfold. That sounds like a request for prophecy. But making predictions is a dicey business, as the equally great and powerful sage Yogi Berra reportedly observed—especially when they’re about the future. The Naval Diplomat is no clairvoyant. Undeterred, we nonetheless commence a five-post cycle exploring some of the big ideas likely to shape each phase of a Far Eastern maelstrom.

Lithuania's three opposition parties agree to hold talks on ruling majority

Lithuania's three opposition parties – the Labor Party, the Social Democratic Party and the Order and Justice Party – agreed to set up a working group in the early hours of Monday for talks on a ruling coalition and agreed to support each other's candidates in the run-off ballot for the Seimas in single-member constituencies.

Dmitry Salamatin: Ukraine will contribute to the creation of safe Afghanistan

 Today in Brussels, chaired by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, was held the meeting of the North Atlantic Council with countries - contributors to the operation of the International Security Assistance Force in the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. This is reported in the press service of the Defense Ministry, for UNN.