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  • The Kremlin Kowtow

    To the dismay of Russian reformers, a consensus seems to be growing among Western policymakers and intellectuals that Russia is not ready for liberalism and that there are even certain advantages to dealing with the illiberal political order built by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.

  • Putin-Medvedev Double Act is Prelude to Either Reform or Marginalisation

    To dismiss Medvedev as a mere Putin puppet would be a mistake; Medvedev was chosen to recruit an internet savvy and generally more liberal Russian constituency to the Kremlin’s program of conservative modernization.

  • The Kremlin Two Step

    Although Putin has the coercive power of the state firmly in hand, Medvedev plays an important role in the governance of Russia, and his appeal to a younger, generally liberal demographic is key to the Kremlin’s goal of conservative modernization.

  • Nuclear Proliferation: New Technologies, Weapons, Treaties

    A broad array of military, political, and legal issues exert an increasing influence on the issue of nuclear nonproliferation, and they must be taken into account in any effort to strengthen the nonproliferation regime.

  • A One-Man Vote

    A new procedure in Russia’s gubernatorial elections that allows the party dominating the regional legislature to nominate gubernatorial candidates only perpetuates the worst problems of the previous system of appointments.

  • The Difficulty of Being Ukraine

    • Mark Medish
    • December 22, 2009
    • International Herald Tribune

    Whoever wins the upcoming presidential election in Ukraine must lead a country divided by identity issues and hit hard by the global financial meltdown, while maintaining a delicate balance between Western integration and Eastern cultural roots and affinities.

  • Solid and Promising

    President Obama has had some major accomplishments in the past year, but serious challenges still lay ahead: strengthening the nonproliferation regime, climate change, Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Iran, and Afghanistan.

  • U.S. Policy in Central Asia: Looking Ahead

    As the war in Afghanistan begins to enter a new phase, it is important to reexamine some of the premises of U.S. policy in the Central Asian region and to consider whether the conditions in the region have changed in the last decade.

  • Russia: Overcoming an Unfriendly Climate for Change

    As the world headed to Copenhagen to talk about climate change, Russians were largely silent on the subject; by most accounts, the average Russian citizen doesn’t think about global warming at all.

  • Manmohan Singh’s Visit to Moscow – a Cause for Reflection on the Future of Russian-Indian Relations

    Clearly it is in Russia's interest, while maintaining its strong positions in India, to search for a way to move beyond the traditional spheres of cooperation, in order not only to maintain the strategic nature of their bilateral relations in the long run, but, using these relations, to enhance the innovative character of its own economy.

  • The Fifth Missile Defense Crisis

    The Obama administration’s decision to abandon plans to deploy a European ballistic missile defense system has helped sooth relations with Russia and provided an opportunity for U.S.-Russian cooperation on missile defense.

  • 2-Way Dialogue Once A Year

    Although Prime Minister Putin’s eighth annual call-in show was much livelier than the typical state television coverage of the government’s public policy, it will take much more than a yearly show to establish a genuine two-way dialogue between the government and the people.

  • Toward a Stronger European Security

    • Wolfgang Ischinger, Igor Ivanov, Sam Nunn
    • December 08, 2009
    • The Moscow Times

    In response to the diverse challenges facing the region, the Euro-Atlantic Security Initiative—an international commission to build the intellectual framework for an inclusive transatlantic security system for the 21st century—has been launched.

  • Obama's Oslo speech

    While a Nobel Peace Prize seems the occasion to address an international audience, Obama must use this opportunity to speak to his domestic constituency on the three great present challenges to world peace: nuclear proliferation, climate change and the allure of radical Islam.

  • Obama's Afghanistan Speech and Strategy

    In his long-awaited address, President Obama presented a series of objectives but no clear strategy. His plan will likely leave Afghanistan looking worse than it does now.

  • Competitive Devaluations Threaten a Trade War

    As Asian countries seek to maintain trade advantage by manipulating their currencies, the United States and Europe, who have little room to devalue, may respond with protectionist measures that will hurt global trade.

  • From a "Treaty to Replace All Treaties" to Addressing Europe's Core Security Issues

    Russian President Medvedev’s draft Treaty on European Security aims to create an undivided Euro-Atlantic security space and bury the legacy of the Cold War. It is a positive step, but concrete action is needed to reconcile the differing interests and potential tensions of the parties involved.

  • Middle East Democracy Promotion Is Not a One-way Street

    The Obama administration must engage in a new type of dialogue with the Middle East, one modeled after the process used to improve relations with the Soviet bloc, if it wants to have any chance of impacting political reform in the region.

  • Iraqi Vice President Rejects Election Law, Threatening January Vote

    One of Iraq’s vice presidents, Tariq al-Hashemi, has vetoed the country's new election law, threatening to delay elections which according to the constitution must happen by the end of January 2010.

  • Russia: Time to Be Optimistic?

    Signs of strength are emerging in the Russian economy, aided by increasing exports, oil prices, and industrial production. However, weak domestic demand may hamper the recovery’s sustainability.

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