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VOL. 2 (1) - WINTER 2008



Note from the Editor-in-Chief (p. 1)
 

Research Papers

The Three Colors of War: Russian, Turkish, and Iranian Military Threat to the South Caucasus (pp. 2-10)
by Lasha Tchantouridzé

Nagorno-Karabakh: Basis and Reality of Soviet-era Legal and Economic Claims Used to Justify the Armenia-Azerbaijan War (pp. 11-24)
by Adil Baguirov

Russia, Iran, and the Conflict in Chechnya (pp. 25-34)
by Martin Malek

Iran’s Strategy in the South Caucasus (pp. 35-41)
by Kaweh Sadegh-Zadeh

The Russian Defense Reform and its Limitations (pp. 42-49)
by Andrew Liaropoulos

NATO Cooperation towards South Caucasus (pp. 50-57)
by Alberto Priego
 

Interview

Interview with Kevin T. Ryan, Harvard University (pp. 58-59)
 

Book Review

Deadly Arsenals: Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical Threats”, J.Cirincione, J.B. Wolfsthal & M. Rajkumar (pp. 60-63)
by Pierre-Emmanuel Dupont

 
 

Note from the Editor-in-Chief (p. 1)

It is a great pleasure to present the Winter 2008 issue of the Caucasian Review of International Affairs (CRIA). We are extremely glad to be able to publish again after a brief intersession. In September 2007 the Review was renamed, started again accepting submissions and presented its new and updated webpage…read more
 

Research Papers

The Three Colors of War: Russian, Turkish, and Iranian Military Threat to the South Caucasus (pp. 2-10)
by Lasha Tchantouridzé

The South Caucasus once again became a ground for major regional power competition after the dissolution of the USSR in 1991. Russia, Iran, and Turkey vie for power and influence, as well as for the access to strategic resources and transportation routes. These three major regional powers have used or threatened to use their armed forces against the region. Russia has invaded and threatened Georgia, Turkey has planned an invasion of Armenia and Georgia, and Iran has threatened Azerbaijanread more
 

Nagorno-Karabakh: Basis and Reality of Soviet-era Legal and Economic Claims Used to Justify the Armenia-Azerbaijan War (pp. 11-24)
by Adil Baguirov

The Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict over the Nagorno-Karabakh (NK) region of Azerbaijan, which in its modern form has continued for 20 years, is a complicated case study of  multi-vector and multi-layered claims, mostly from the Soviet times, ranging from history, economy, and legal status, used to justify the military occupation (along with seven adjacent regions). The article illustrates that some of the weaker claims were dropped altogether, whilst others were continually mixed with additional charges to make them “stick”… read more
 

Russia, Iran, and the Conflict in Chechnya (pp. 25-34)
by Martin Malek

The reactions in the Islamic world to Russia’s wars in Chechnya from 1994 to present were by far not as strong as the ‘Islamic solidarity’ claim might have suggested. Theocratic Iran was no exception. Sceptical remarks from some Iranian officials were immediately softened by reservations: Chechnya is an “internal affair” of Russia whose territorial integrity Iran would certainly continue to respect. At the beginning of the second war in Chechnya in 1999, Iran was chairing the Organisation of the Islamic Conference and made ostensible efforts to keep its role as a means of criticising Moscow as small as possibleread more
 

Iran’s Strategy in the South Caucasus (pp. 35-41)
by Kaweh Sadegh-Zadeh

The Islamic Republic of Iran seldom has been lauded for its foreign policy in the west. In contrast, Tehran is regularly accused of being a supporter of terrorism and a source of regional instability. In this regard the “mullah regime” is mostly blamed to pursue an irresponsible foreign policy undermining not only regional but, thanks to Iran’s nuclear programme, also international security. Paradoxically, while constantly being criticized by western governments, Iran’s immediate neighbours seem to take a complete different view on Iran’s foreign policyread more
 

The Russian Defense Reform and its Limitations (pp. 42-49)
by Andrew Liaropoulos

After years of neglect due to financial constraints, the Russian military has entered a period of systemic development. The ongoing defense reform has introduced a few important changes, but so far the pace of the reform is slow. In order to review the current reform effort, a number of factors - the resistance of the military elite to change, the demographic factor, the lack of a clear defense doctrine, the restructuring of the defense industry and the state of  civil control over the military - will be analyzed. These limitations will define not only the pace of the defense reform, but also Russia’s ability to play a more active role in the international arenaread more
 

NATO Cooperation towards South Caucasus (pp. 50-57)
by Alberto Priego

After the collapse of the Soviet Union, NATO was forced to remake its image. For this reason the Atlantic Alliance has created some cooperative initiatives like the Partnership for Peace (PfP). This programme is very flexible and allows partners to choose the kind of cooperation that they want to pursue. In the South Caucasus, each country has chosen its own style of involvement in the PfP read more
 

Interview

Interview with Kevin T. Ryan, Harvard University (pp. 58-59)

Question: How would you describe the current security situation in Iraq, and what are the prospects for withdrawal of U.S. forces, following the Petraeus report?
Ryan: It is still too unsettled to say that the security situation in Iraq is good or even better than beforeread more

 

Book Reviews

Deadly Arsenals: Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical Threats, J.Cirincione, J.B. Wolfsthal & M. Rajkumar (pp. 60-63)
by Pierre-Emmanuel Dupont

The second edition of Deadly Arsenals, published under the auspices of the Washington-based Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, is to be compared with the well-known Stockholm International Peace Research Institute’s Yearbookread more

       
 
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