Since the formation of the Russian Federation in 1991, the Russian government has been careful to limit military spending, hoping to avoid the Soviet error of engaging in a ruinous arms race with the West. As recently as February, then-Russian President-Vladimir Putin reaffirmed that Russia “must not allow [itself] to be drawn into [a new global arms race].” But while Russian defense spending has already been rising in recent years, one long-term effect of the Georgia War could be to accelerate Russia’s military rearmament. On several occasions since the Georgia War began, Russian leaders have made statements that could be […]

The U.S.-Indian civilian nuclear agreement may still have to clear the U.S. Congress, but Indian firms and industry groups are already celebrating the Nuclear Suppliers Group’s decision this month that effectively gave the agreement a green light by waiving a ban on the country engaging in nuclear trade. The U.S.-India Business Council, which has lobbied hard in support of the bilateral agreement that followed a joint statement in 2005 by President George Bush and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, described the waiver as “a historic step forward for India and the world,” while the Confederation of Indian Industry said it […]

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Although widespread fighting in Georgia has ceased, the war’s diplomatic repercussions continue to ripple throughout the region. One major concern in Washington is that Russia’s successful military intervention in Georgia will intimidate other former Soviet republics to, if not bandwagon with Moscow, at least distance themselves from the United States to avoid antagonizing a newly belligerent Russia. It is therefore no accident, as Russian Prime Minister Vladmir Putin likes to say, that U.S. Vice President Richard Cheney visited Azerbaijan last week. Cheney travelled to Baku even before arriving in Georgia and Ukraine, whose governments have been engaged in more acute […]

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Seen from space Saudi Arabia looks like a chunk of reddish clay chiseled from a vast slab linking the Arabian Gulf in the east to the Atlantic coast of Mauritania in the west. This desert-like landscape, stretching almost 5,000 miles across the Middle East, stands in stark relief to the green, fertile lands of Turkey and Europe to the north and the central African jungles of Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo to the south. However, looking closer, from the perspective of an airplane flying over the kingdom, one would notice that the great sand sea of Saudi Arabia […]