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International Security

Sanctioning Russia’s science community: at what cost?

Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Western states, such as the US, UK and Germany have engaged in intense discussions about how to sanction Putin’s Russia most effectively. In the name of the West’s isolation strategy, numerous sanctions have been imposed, including on Russia’s science sector. A closer look at Western sanctions against the Russian scientific community suggests that the West’s isolation strategy might entail unintended effects, such as undercutting any long-term hopes for a more liberal Russian society, rolling back years of scientific collaboration on climate change and eventually, pushing Russia further into a codependent relationship with China.

Eurasia Security

The Russo-Ukrainian War and Nagorno-Karabakh’s Faltering Ceasefire

Azerbaijan has sought to exploit the world’s and Russia’s preoccupation with the war in Ukraine in order to militarily resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh crisis. As Moscow becomes extensively embroiled in its so-called ‘special military operation’ against Kiev, it is highly likely that Baku will feel emboldened enough to push further into the contested region, even if this results in the antagonisation of Russian peacekeepers.

Middle East/North Africa Security

The United Arab Emirates and Houthi Attacks: Successes and Risks

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has been exposed to a recent wave of drone and missile strikes from Houthi militants in Yemen. These attacks are in retaliation to a change in the UAE’s strategy in its intervention in Yemen’s civil war. The UAE’s robust defense systems have been able to thwart Houthi attacks. However, the UAE’s continued intervention in Yemen risks provoking Houthi rebels into adopting military tactics that target civilians. The mere risk of such an attack would negatively affect the UAE’s perception of security, which is crucial for the UAE’s success as an economic powerhouse of the Middle East. 

Europe Security

Political Tensions and Russian Influence: Threats to Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Rising tensions in Bosnia and Herzegovina are dragging the country into its most precarious political situation since the Bosnian War of 1992-1995. In early October 2021, Milorad Dodik – Bosnian Serb leader and member of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s tripartite presidency – announced plans to form an independent Bosnian Serb Army and pull out of joint state institutions. With international presence in the region waning, unresolved rivalries and opposing interests among the various ethnic groups have resurfaced. Combined with political interference from both Russia and Serbia, the situation threatens to damage the Dayton Peace Agreement of 1995.

Eurasia Natural resources and energy Security

Opinion: An effective Russian sanctions regime

As Brussels and DC continue to expand their sanctions package they risk hurting the Russian people more than the Russian state. To target the Russian state, the West must consider oil and gas export restrictions and stop insulating the Kremlin’s main source of income through SWIFT loopholes. 

Asia Pacific China Natural resources and energy Security

Is food insecurity a looming eventuality in China’s future?

China’s carbon emissions have soared following the reopening of the country after the Covid-19 pandemic. Without a serious reduction, it looks unlikely that China will be able to mitigate the disastrous repercussions these emissions will have on its agricultural industry and food security as a whole. 

Europe Politics Security

Opinion: Germany’s Influence on European Unity

In the build up to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Western nations were clear on where they stood on the issue. Between funneling weapons into Ukraine to threatening severe economic sanctions, many EU and NATO members vowed to punish Russia. One country that has been largely absent from this strong and clear response is Germany, who seeks to mitigate the domestic risks that punishing Russia entails. This self-interested position risks harming EU unity at a time when it’s needed most.

Africa International Security

Africa’s Crime-Terror Nexus: Transnational Organised Crime, Illicit Economic Networks and Violent Extremism in the Sahel

Africa’s Sahel region lies at the epicentre of a sprawling jihadist insurgency straddling the ‘ungoverned spaces’ south of the Sahara. As U.S, French and African forces struggle to contain the violence spreading like wildfire across the Sahelian scrublands, one key dimension of instability which remains overlooked is the role of transnational organised crime and illicit economic networks in fuelling violent extremism across the region.

Europe Security

Risk Factors for Svalbard Conflict between Russia and Norway

The unique provisions of the Treaty of Svalbard, NATO ambiguity on the status of Svalbard, and mounting geopolitical tensions between Russia and Norway signify a realistic probability of outright violation of Norwegian sovereignty over Svalbard in the medium to long-term.

North America Politics Security

The Geopolitical Dynamics of Extraterritorial Detention

The Biden administration is undertaking a formal assessment of Cuba’s Guantanamo Bay military prison. Former President George W. Bush created the detention center in 2002 to hold foreign terrorist suspects in the aftermath of 9/11. President Biden wants to shut down the prison by the conclusion of his first term in 2024, resurrecting an Obama-era objective that was never realized.