Foreign Policy Blogs

Caucasus

Donkey bloggers and press freedom in Azerbaijan

Donkey bloggers and press freedom in Azerbaijan

Reporters Sans Frontieres (RSF) released their 2010 “Predators of Press Freedom” list on May 3. The list consists of the top forty “politicians, government officials, religious leaders, militias and criminal organisations that cannot stand the press, treat it as an enemy and directly attack journalists,” says the RSF web site. Many of the usual suspects […]

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Arrests at State Oil Academy Commemoration

Arrests at State Oil Academy Commemoration

Police broke up a commemoration in Baku last Friday of the murders of twelve people—most of them students—at the State Oil Academy on 30 April 2009. The perpetrator of last year’s massacre, Farda Gadirov, was a Georgian of Azeri descent who shot students and staff indiscriminately once he gained entry into the academy. As police […]

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US-Azerbaijani relations on the mend (maybe), and other news

The chill in US-Azerbaijani relations may be thawing soon. After months of perceived snubs from Washington and acrimony out of Baku, which included a recent announcement by Azerbaijan that they have pulled out of a scheduled military exercise with the US, a Turkish newspaper reports that the two countries have discussed a possible visit to […]

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From Cold War Adversaries to Nuclear Partners: US and Russia Agree to Nuclear Treaty

From Cold War Adversaries to Nuclear Partners: US and Russia Agree to Nuclear Treaty

After months of negotiations, US President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev have finally agreed to a nuclear arms reduction treaty. The pair first started negotiations as a follow up to the 1991 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START I) in April of 2009, but were unable to reach an agreement, as the Kremlin disagreed […]

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Highly Controversial Elections in Abkhazia result in Bagapsh's Presidency

This past weekend, Pro-Russian incumbent President Sergei Bagapsh won a Presidential election in a region that many members of the global community refuse to recognize as a valid country. On December 13, Sergei Bagapsh was announced as the winner of the Presidential elections in Abkhazia, the breakaway region of Georgia that was a site of […]

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Georgia's other IDPs

Not even 30 km outside of Tbilisi and the first road sign to Sukhumi, Abkhazia’s de-facto capital, is a reminder of a legacy and war that continues to haunt the imaginations of IDPs who wish to return home and Georgians who wish to reintegrate the break away region. It is a sign of a conflict […]

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Ten Months On

The BBC reports today from South Ossetia that not much has been done for the South Ossetians whose homes were destroyed or damaged in last August’s war.  The Georgian minority long ago fled or were forced out.  The South Ossetians are left totally dependent on their protectors in Moscow — who were quick ten months  […]

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No Blooming Rose

Georgia may have once been America’s darling in the Caucasus, but no more.  As pressure mounts from within on Georgia’s young President, Mikhail Saakashvili, the political dynamics outside the country seem ever less favorable.  First there was the world economic crisis, reducing trade and foreign aid.  Then there was the lukewarm attitude toward Georgia on […]

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In the news…

Russia faces 'systemic threat’ from extremism: Medvedev President Dmitry Medvedev warned that Russia faced a “systemic threat” from extremism and urged security chiefs to be on alert for possible unrest linked to the economic crisis.The comments came amid continued violence in parts of Russia's historically restive North Caucasus… Plouffe to Donate Speaking Fee to Pro-Democracy […]

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Charter Politics

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Mixed Signals

What is it about the Caucasus crisis, now submerged below the sightline of international attention, that we need to remember as we close out 2008? For one thing, recall that now there are Russian troops in South Ossetia, where there were none last August. Second, consider that soon there will be no observers from the […]

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The Truth is Out There

Those who have been following the dueling versions of what happened in South Ossetia last August can find the latest installment of The Truth in today's Wall Street Journal.  In it, Mikheil Saakashvili attacks “misleading reports” by an OSCE observer who was in South Ossetia on August 7.  It was those reports, you may recall, […]

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The Guns of August

As we pass into October, what has happened to the Guns of August? Those who recall Barbara Tuchman's famous book about the origins of WWI must remember the uncanny way that Europe gives rise to conflict in late summer. In Georgia — or what used to be parts of Georgia — the guns are silent […]

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Georgia at the Brink

The head of Georgia's Parliament, David Barakidze, says his country is being targeted for “regime change — by economic means,” and is appealing to the United States and other countries for major economic assistance. In an interview from Denver, where he is lobbying leading delegates to the Democratic National Convention, Barakidze said Russian forces had […]

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Redlines

Redlines

Now that the bloodshed has stopped in the Caucasus, constructing a new policy approach for the West is imperative. Western, Georgian and Russian sources all agree on the following: Russian forces have largely, but not completely, left Georgia proper. They remain in Georgia in what has been called a "new administrative border" buffering South Ossetia […]

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Great Decisions Discussion group