President Obama has placed a greater emphasis on the need for a regional approach to Afghanistan. Leading experts analyze what a regional strategy would mean in practice through the eyes of key states, including Russia, Iran, Pakistan, and India, and what it could mean for U.S. policy.
Despite its importance, Russia’s perspective on the war in Afghanistan has typically been missing from previous analyses of coalition policy. Moscow views Afghanistan largely through the prism of security threats to itself and its Central Asian neighborhood.
Tensions between Georgia and Russia continue to simmer, in the aftermath of the five-day war of August 2008. Without disinterested help from the West, Georgian president Saakashvili’s rhetorical invocation of a Russian threat could all too easily become a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Neither the expansion of NATO—even if Russia is added—nor the European security pact proposed by Medvedev alone are capable of uniting Europe. What is needed is the creation of a common security zone encompassing all of these states in which war and the use of armed forces would be abolished.
The tragic death of the Polish president might give Poland and Russia a chance to move beyond their historical animosity, but it will still take hard effort on both sides to break away from the past and at long last come to terms with each other.
The new START agreement that President Obama and President Medvedev will sign in Prague on April 8 provides concrete and tangible progress in bilateral relations and addresses the biggest existential threat the United States faces—Russia’s nuclear arsenal.
When President Medvedev and President Obama sign the new START agreement in Prague on April 8, they should emphasize their common interest in nuclear disarmament and make the ratification process another step in the positive resetting of relations.
Terrorist threats in Russia require a long-term, consistent strategy. But Russia's system of heavy-handed and unaccountable governance precludes strategic thinking.
The Kremlin’s control over the media may allow Russia’s elites to avoid the immediate consequences of the recent metro bombings, but if the security problem is not resolved, the current authorities will face growing calls for accountability.
The March bombings in Moscow have shown that efforts by the Kremlin to quiet the North Caucasus have only made rebel leaders more desperate and more willing to resort to terrorism to achieve their goals.