Last week India and Russia finalized plans to deliver 250 to 300 jointly developed fifth-generation fighter aircraft (FGFA) and 45 multirole transport aircraft (MTA) to India over the next decade. The Indian defense minister underlined that these would be the flagship Indo-Russian joint development projects, building on the success of the Brahmos cruise missile program as a model. Some wrinkles remain in the two countries’ defense partnership. India raised the issue of inordinate delays in the delivery of Russian defense systems, which result in considerable cost escalation. For instance, India will end up paying Russia $2.34 billion for the delivery […]

The United States and Europe are pressuring oil-rich members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GGC) to forge closer ties with Yemen in a bid to link the fight against al-Qaida to tangible economic benefits for the Arab world’s poorest nation. U.S. officials say the Obama administration recently conveyed to GCC leaders Yemen’s reiteration of its 10-year-old request for GCC membership. The officials believe that U.S. and European endorsement of the request will prompt GCC leaders to respond more favorably when they meet in Abu Dhabi in December. The U.S. and Europe are exerting pressure against the backdrop of an increasing […]

Global Insights: Kyrgyzstan Election Benefits Regional Security

Few would have expected it to be possible a few months ago, but Kyrgyzstan managed to hold a free, fair, and surprisingly non-violent and trouble-free parliamentary election this weekend. In an assessment widely shared by regional experts, David Trilling, writing at EurasiaNet, concluded, “Kyrgyzstan’s parliamentary elections couldn’t have gone better.” Turnout exceeded 50 percent of the country’s 2.8 million eligible voters and produced sharply divided results that will force political leaders to compromise to form a coalition government. Five political parties, out of the 29 that participated, overcame the 5 percent threshold required to receive seats in the 120-member parliament. […]

SARAJEVO, Bosnia and Herzegovina — Bosnia’s elections on Sunday offered little reason to expect any normalization for the divided country in the near future. The country’s ethnic Serb entity re-elected leaders who have called for independence and denied genocide, while many Croats backed parties supporting further division along national lines. Despite a rise in support for moderate parties, these recalcitrant nationalists may impede the reforms envisaged by the international community to reverse several years of backsliding. The electoral arrangements themselves offer insight into Bosnia’s complex political arrangements, established by the 1995 Dayton Accords that ended the country’s civil war. The […]

China, Greece and the EU

I think it’s premature to compare China’s assurances that it will buy Greek government-issued bonds when they return to the market to the Marshall Plan, as VĂ©ronique Salz-Lozac’h does. But I agree that the Chinese commitment to Greece is very significant, for two reasons. First, it represents a bridgehead for China to develop closer bilateral ties on a win-win basis with EU member states. Given the tenor of EU-China relations at the moment, as well as the size advantage that China sacrifices when dealing with the bloc as a whole, that works to China’s benefit. Keep in mind, too, that […]

Some of the most distressing aspects of human behavior have endured stubbornly throughout history. To name just one example, human beings continue to inflict unspeakable horrors on other human beings in the course of combat. It is, indeed, a well-established fact that war is hell. But there is one feature of warfare, well-documented and generally accepted as unavoidable since biblical times, that is now coming under increasing scrutiny and facing a well-organized pushback: the use of rape as a weapon of war. As David Axe just reported for WPR from Congo, a growing number of organizations are now focusing their […]

To kick off this weekly column, which will focus on national security, I thought I’d begin by introducing myself. My name is Robert Farley, and I work as an assistant professor at the Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Commerce at the University of Kentucky. I write at Information Dissemination and Lawyers, Guns and Money, and have published defense-related work in several magazines. My focus is on military doctrine, maritime affairs, airpower, and anti-submarine warfare. In particular, I am most interested in defense policymaking in the United States and the United Kingdom, which makes today a great day to start […]

Global Insider: Poland-South Asia Relations

Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk met with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Defense Minister A.K. Antony in New Delhi last month while Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi visited Poland around the same time to meet with Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski. In an e-mail interview, Patryk Kugiel, an analyst at the Polish Institute of International Affairs, explains the context for recent developments in Poland-South Asia relations. WPR: What have Poland’s ties with Asia in general and South Asia in particular been historically? Patryk Kugiel: Poland’s first links with South Asia date back to the 16th century, but significant […]

When examining the effects of globalization, the international arms market presents an interesting case. It is certainly a global market in terms of distribution, with almost every country in the world, as well as many non-state actors, buying and selling weapons. And its impact is also felt throughout the world, for good as well as ill. But when it comes to the most sophisticated weapons — such as advanced warplanes, warships, tanks and missiles — that can reshape the balance of military power between important countries, the same states that have dominated the high-end of the international arms trade for […]

WPR on France 24: The World Last Week

I had the pleasure of participating on France 24’s panel discussion program, The World This Week, last Friday, along with Philip Turle, Laura Dagg and Dave Clark. Topics included the Israeli-Palestinian direct talks, the Irish bank bailout and EU immigration politics. Part one can be seen here. Part two can be seen here.

NATO Not Relevant, but Still Useful

Citing a Der Spiegel interview with Condoleezza Rice on the first Bush administration’s insistence that a reunified Germany remain a full NATO member, Greg Scoblete makes a good point about the enduring rationale of the alliance: Whatever other rationales are offered up for why NATO remains relevant, it’s central, animating purpose is to keep America immersed in the affairs of Europe. Seen in this light, Europe’s collective decision to continue to sacrifice defense budgets on the altar of austerity is a feature, not a bug. The logic at the time of the fall of the Soviet Union, in both Washington […]

With most U.S. political analysts — Charlie Cook, Larry Sabato and Stuart Rothenberg among them — now predicting that the Republicans will take back control of the House of Representatives in the midterm elections, the likelihood that Democratic Rep. Nancy Pelosi will be replaced as speaker of the house by the current Republican minority leader, Rep. John Boehner, is becoming more likely. But while this would mark a tectonic shift in American domestic politics, it might not lead to any immediate revolution in how the administration conducts foreign affairs. After all, the Democrats, under then-Minority Leader Pelosi, swept into power […]

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