RSC Reading Room

RSC Reading Room

The RSC “Reading Room” contains a regularly updated electronic library of reports, documents and other research resources. The RSC collects and compiles this set of electronic material and research resources in order to provide access to a wider body of work for researchers and analysts. Most notably, the RSC “Reading Room” is a key element of our efforts in the areas of public education and research and analysis, as we construct and expand a virtual “knowledge base” of resources covering a wide range of topical issues and geographical areas, many of which are neither widely known nor available in Armenia or the South Caucasus region.

18 December 2015

In an insightful report, the U.S. Congressional Research Service (CRS) issued a report on 18 December raising new questions and challenges over the U.S. strategic concept of strengthening the military capabilities of foreign partners so that they could assume increased responsibility for regional security.  With a varied record of achievements and limitations, including the U.S “Train & Equip” program for Georgia, for example, this report examines the American approach known as Building Partner Capacity (BPC), which “has increased in prominence within U.S. strategy, arguably becoming a central pillar of U.S. national security and foreign policy in recent years,” based on the premise that strengthening fragile foreign security institutions abroad will have benefits for U.S. national security. 

NEW US REPORT ON RUSSIAN NAVY

18 December 2015

Although the Russian Navy receives far too little attention, as much of the analytical focus tends to be dominated by the Russian army and air power, the U.S. Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI) released an insightful new report on 18 December, entitled, “The Russian Navy – A Historic Transition.”

http://news.usni.org/2015/12/18/document-office-of-naval-intelligence-report-on-russian-navy

RUSSIAN POLITICAL SCIENTIST CALLS FOR REVISED POLICY TOWARD ARMENIA

In a piece for Russia Direct published on 8 December 2015, Russian political scientist Sergey Markedonov makes an interesting case for a modification of Russian policy toward Armenia. Most notably, he calls on the Kremlin to adopt a new policy of “diversified relations” with “all the political forces in Armenia, with an emphasis not so much on the person of the leader (or persons of the leading group), but on the strengthening of Russian-Armenian strategic cooperation.” 

Dr. Mathew Burrows and Prof. Alexander Dynkin
2 December 2015

“Global System on the Brink: Pathways toward a New Normal” is a joint study by the Atlantic Council's Strategic Foresight Initiative and the Primakov Institute of World Economy and International Relations (IMEMO). Work on this joint assessment of global trends began before the onset of the recent crisis in US-Russian relations, but is more relevant than ever today as we seek to avoid a greater conflict and achieve a new normal of cooperation between Russia and the West. In keeping with previous forecasting works published by the Atlantic Council and the IMEMO, the study examines current trends and potential scenarios for global developments over the next twenty years. 

Despite the rapid globalization of the past few decades, which promised cooperation and integration, the potential for major state conflict is on the rise due to deep fragmentation within and between societies. The old confrontation between capitalism and communism has given way to conflicts of moral values with nationalist, religious, and historical-psychological overtones. The worst outcome would be the emergence of a new bipolarity, pitting a group of states centered around China and Russia against the United States and some European and Asian allies. However serious the current situation, the study emphasizes the opportunities for narrowing differences.

www.atlanticcouncil.org/images/publications/Global_System_on_the_Brink.pdf

The National Interest
By E. Wayne Merry
31 January 2013 

Summary: In the conflict zone stretching from Syria to Afghanistan lies another war waiting to re-emerge: Nagorno-Karabakh. This dispute is likely to occupy President Obama’s new foreign-policy team whether they want it or not.  Two decades ago the newly independent states of Armenia and Azerbaijan fought a bitter war over this remote area of mountains and valleys. Armenia won the war, but nobody has achieved peace. A fragile ceasefire signed in 1994 remains the only tangible achievement of diplomacy.  Since then, a mediation effort led by Washington, Moscow and Paris has sought a solution. Despite the best efforts of the three governments—including presidential initiatives by all three—the parties to the conflict do not and will not negotiate. This impasse has contributed to a dangerous evolution of the dispute in recent years from post-war to pre-war. 

Link: http://nationalinterest.org/commentary/another-regional-war-the-wings-8042

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