How useful is it to characterise the presence of foreign states in Central Asia as a new ‘Great Game’? 1

The States of Central Asia

The recent resurgence of the geopolitical and geostrategic importance of Central Asia (hereafter CA) has led to the re-adoption of the Great Game discourse[1], recalling the strategic rivalry which opposed the British Empire and the Russian Empire in the XIX century.

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Reclame

The blue-print of the future NATO strategic concept: future missions and capabilities Răspunde

I continue the presentation and analysis of the experts’ report on the future NATO strategic concept, an endeavor which I have began in May, with the section dedicated to the future missions and military affairs. The final section of the experts’ report deals with NATO’s future missions and the development of future military capabilities required to fulfill them.  Section five of the report provides an analysis of the current needs and capabilities and makes recommendations on what missions and capabilities should be provided in the future strategic concept of the Alliance.

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The blue-print of the future NATO strategic concept: organizational and political issues 1

Three months a go I have published on this blog an analysis of the experts’ report concerning the future NATO strategic concept to be adopted in Lisbon, in late 2010. That analysis dealt mainly with general comments and observations concerning the threat environment, NATO’s core tasks and partnerships. The second installment of the analysis of the experts’ report on the future NATO’s strategic concept will deal with political and organizational issues.

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Regional integration or regional delusion in Latin America? 5

The Cuban political dissident Orlando Zapata Tamayo died in prison on February 23 after 85 days of hunger strike to protest against severe beatings in jail. Initially sentenced to 3 years imprisonment for contempt, public disorder and „disobedience”, he later was sentenced to 36 years for disobedience in jail. Actually, he was the victim of a very harsh regime of beatings and other privations, a situation very often mentioned in reports of various human rights organizations, Amnesty International being one of them. More…

The End Game: the consequences of World War II 7

Potsdam Conference (courtesy of Wikipedia and Bundesarchiv)

It is said that when asked about what he thought of the French Revolution, the Chinese foreign minister Zhu Enlai replied that it is too early to say. This famous quip about the French Revolution can be applied also to the consequences of World War II. This article is the final installment in a series of articles which dealt with the greatest conflict ever to have been fought and provides a short-list of the far reaching consequences of this event. The list of consequences should not be viewed by the readers as being definitive and I strongly urge them to add more or comment on them.

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Appeasement 2

Munich Agreement: Neville Chamberlain, Joachim von Ribbentrop, Edouard Deladier, Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini, Galeazzo Ciano

Munich Agreement: Neville Chamberlain, Joachim von Ribbentrop, Edouard Daladier, Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini, Galeazzo Ciano

The term appeasement is unpopular today both in politics and in academia as it is associated with the policy pursued by France and Great Britain towards Nazi Germany in the 1930s. The highpoint of this policy was reached on September 29, 1938 in Munich when the Western Powers gave in to Hitler’s territorial demands concerning Czechoslovakia. Since then the term has been associated with political and military weakness and treachery. This article represents the second installment in a series  dedicated to the commemorations of 70 years since the start of World War II and will deal with the political implications of appeasement. In the following lines I will outline the meaning of appeasement and its implications for the international system. My approach will draw upon the work of Robert Gilpin and of Mark R. Brawley and will concentrate on defining appeasement and explaining the political context in which it was implemented.

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World War II: Seventy years after Răspunde

World War II fighting

Few events have had such a deep impact on world history as the conflict that griped the international system seventy years ago. As all great power wars in the last five hundred years it started in Europe, with a bid a for hegemony made by a Germany, the second in twenty-five years, but it soon spread to North Africa, the Pacific and the Atlantic oceans. World War II was a total war, the second in less than a generation, and as such it involved attacks on civilians and genocide. From a military and strategic point of view it was a total war, as the aim of the war was the re-ordering of the entire international system and the destruction of some of its members; its scope was not limited to the European continent, it saw an unprecedented level of societal mobilization for the war effort in every country involved and it was prosecuted with every means available, culminating in the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

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