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Central Asian States: Is Intra-Regional Integration Possible?

Image courtesy of the Kremlin.ru. (CC BY 4.0)

This article was originally published by the Italian Institute for International Political Studies (ISPI) on 3 October 2019.

For a long time, the five Central Asian republics have presented a puzzle to researchers and policymakers regarding regional cooperation. They have a range of historical, linguistic, religious and political aspects in common: they were all part of the same bloc, the Soviet Union; they have Russian as a lingua franca, while most national languages are part of the Turkic linguistic family and largely mutually intelligible; Sunni Islam is the region’s predominant religion; and they exhibit similar political systems. Furthermore, Central Asian states share the fate of being situated in a largely neglected, landlocked region surrounded by more populous, powerful neighbours, namely Russia and China.

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National Cybersecurity Organizations, Main Bodies and Responsibilities: Italy


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The Current State of the World Trading System and Its Likely Future

Image courtesy of chuttersnap/Unsplash.com

This speech was originally published by the Lowy Institute on 18 September 2019.

On 17 September 2019, the Lowy Institute hosted Ambassador Alan Wm Wolff, Deputy Director-General of the World Trade Organization, for a discussion of the risks and opportunities facing world trade at this decisive moment.

Mr Wolff became WTO Deputy Director-General in October 2017, after a long career in international trade, including as chief trade lawyer of the US executive branch, Chairman of the National Foreign Trade Council, as a senior US trade negotiator, and private law practitioner. He has served and advised both Republican and Democratic administrations.


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It’s Time to Talk About A2/AD: Rethinking the Russian Military Challenge

Image courtesy of Dmitriy Fomin/Flickr. (CC BY 2.0)

This article was originally published by War on the Rocks on 5 September 2019. 

America’s strategy community has a problem that it likes to call “A2/AD,” and while the symptoms are very real, in the case of Russia strategists and planners have largely misdiagnosed the nature of the challenge. Anti-access and area denial, commonly known as A2/AD, is more than another defense community buzzword: It has become a deeply rooted way of talking about the military capabilities of adversaries that the United States considers to be relative peers. The term has enjoyed great utility as short-hand for a select grouping of adversary capabilities that pose major problems to America’s preferred way of conducting combat operations (unrestricted and uncontested). But when applied to Russia, the “A2/AD” frame has become dangerously misleading. Over time, anti-access and area denial has evolved from a vehicle for useful conversations about Russian conventional capabilities to a vision of a Russian doctrine or strategy for warfighting that frankly does not exist. The result is a general misreading of the Russian military’s operational concepts and strategy for large scale combat operations.

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How Much Force is Necessary to Protect Civilians?

Image courtesy of MONUSCO Photos/Flickr. (CC BY-SA 2.0)

This article was originally published by the IPI Global Observatory on 24 September 2019.

The use of force by United Nations peacekeepers has always been contentious. As far back as 1956, the then-Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjöld warned that resorting to force in situations other than self-defense risked compromising the UN’s impartiality, and making peacekeepers a party to the very conflicts the UN was trying to defuse through political engagement.

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