Central Asian Military Capabilities

Another Oxford Analytica brief, this one originally published in late February 2015. —– SIGNIFICANCE: Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan are leading other Central Asian governments in increased spending on military and security forces and the procurement of modern equipment. Regional governments have long-standing fears of potential Russian military interference and remain concerned about the situation in Afghanistan. […]

Moscow Conference on International Security 2015 Part 2: Gerasimov on military threats facing Russia

Here’s the second installment of my reporting from the 2015 MCIS conference. This one and the next will focus on Russian views of NATO as the primary source of military threat to the Russian Federation. The first speech was by General Valery Gerasimov, the Chief of the General Staff. His topic was the military threats and […]

Foreign military assistance to Central Asia

My SIPRI-OSF working paper and policy brief on external support for Central Asian military and security forces are finally out. They seem to have been somewhat buried on the SIPRI website, so it seems worthwhile to highlight some of the key findings here. I am putting up the first half of the policy brief here today […]

Russian preparation for Central Asian instability

The most recent issue of the Moscow Defense Brief has an interesting article by Maksim Shepovalenko on “Russian Preparations for Reduced Foreign Military Presence in Afghanstan.” It starts with the usual line on how the Taliban could spread instability to Central Asia if it came to power after the coming withdrawal of ISAF, which is […]

Central Asian Military and Security Forces: Assessing the Impact of Foreign Assistance

The next PONARS Eurasia policy conference is happening next Monday and Tuesday. Here is my policy memo for that conference, based on my forthcoming report on this topic for SIPRI and OSI. For more information about the conference, including the full program, visit the PONARS Eurasia website. ——– As the drawdown of U.S. and coalition […]

Energy concerns drive China-Central Asia defence ties

Here’s the latest of my Central Asia series of Oxford Analytica briefs. This one is from late February. —- In shaping its relations with Central Asian states, Beijing has primarily focused on developing energy imports and forging economic ties in other areas. At the same time, China faces several security concerns emanating from the region, […]

Great Powers vie for sway in Central Asia

Here’s an Oxford Analytica brief from early February on basing in Central Asia. —– As NATO and the United States prepare to withdraw the bulk of their military forces from Afghanistan in 2014, both regional powers and local actors in Central Asia are preparing for the aftermath. NATO countries have already negotiated short-term access to […]

Russia and China vie for influence in Central Asia

I’m still swamped with various projects, so in the meantime, here’s another Oxford Analytica brief. This one is from mid-December… —- Although China and the United States have focused greater attention on Central Asia in recent years, Russia remains the dominant power in the region. Its size and the cultural, political and economic connections that […]

Russian-Central Asian Security Relations

I was recently asked by the Slovak Atlantic Commission to write a short article reviewing security relations between Russia and Central Asia for their Euro Atlantic Quarterly. With their permission, I repost the article below. —- Russian policies in Central Asia are shaped by three divergent perspectives. The geopolitical/military perspective focuses on the great power […]

The State of the Airborne Troops

A few days ago, NVO published a lengthy interview by Viktor Litovkin with General Vladimir Shamanov, the  commander of Russia’s airborne troops. Litovkin got answers to some questions that have long been circulating among observers of the Russian military. Maintaining the old organizational structure First of all, he addresses the issue of why the VDV […]