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Must Reads of the Week: Russia's Rebooted Army, Kazakh Oil, Sanctions Wars, and More

Author: Editors
April 4, 2014


"In Crimea, Russia Showcases a Rebooted Army"
By C.J. Chivers and David M. Herszenhorn
New York Times

"Across Crimea in the past several weeks, a sleek new vanguard of the Russian military has been on display, with forces whose mobility, equipment and behavior were sharply different from those of the Russian forces seen in the brief war in Georgia in 2008 or throughout the North Caucasus over nearly two decades of conflict with Muslim separatists."

Russian Tanks Arrive in Crimean SettlementA man and children look at Russian tanks on freight cars after their arrival in Crimea in the settlement of Gvardeiskoye near the Crimean city of Simferopol. (Photo: Courtesy Reuters)
"How a Giant Kazakh Oil Project Went Awry"
By Selina Williams, Geraldine Amiel, and Justin Scheck
Wall Street Journal

"To replace what they pump, oil companies need to collaborate with state-owned companies that control 90% of the globe's remaining oil reserves, by a World Bank estimate. But governments often give foreign oil companies access only to the hardest-to-develop acreage. Kashagan's large-scale stumble shows how collaborations in these difficult fields can go sour for both sides."

"Sanctions: War by Other Means"
By Geoff Dyer
Financial Times ($)

"The U.S. currently has 24 different sanctions programmes covering countries such as Côte d'Ivoire, Belarus and Syria, and companies involved in "conflict" diamonds. But as recently as the 1990s, support for them seemed to be waning."

"The Wolf Hunters of Wall Street"
By Michael Lewis
New York Times

"Katsuyama and his team did measure how much more cheaply they bought stock when they removed the ability of some other unknown trader to front-run them. For instance, they bought 10 million shares of Citigroup, then trading at roughly $4 per share, and saved $29,000—or less than 0.1 percent of the total price… It sounded small until you realized that the average daily volume in the U.S. stock market was $225 billion. The same tax rate applied to that sum came to nearly $160 million a day."

"Reconciliation Means Having to Say You're Sorry"
By Lily Gardner Feldman
Foreign Policy

"There are several lessons that Germany could convey. The first is that reconciliation need not conform to the East Asian ideal. There is a tendency in East Asia to see reconciliation as perfect peace and harmony—and therefore unattainable—but Germany's was long, messy, and has not yet ended."

"U.S.-Japan Relations: Not So Sweet Caroline"
By Yo-jung Chen
The Diplomat

"America, which badly needs stability in East Asia and a solid U.S.-Japan-South Korea alliance in order to face an assertive—but indispensable—China and an unpredictable North Korea, has been disturbed by the worsening tensions between Japan and its two neighbors under Abe's watch. Although Japan may not be the only party to blame in these quarrels, Washington is increasingly irritated by what it sees as Abe's unhelpful flexing of nationalism that has served only to aggravate an already precarious situation in Asia."

Must Reads sample analyses, reporting, and inquiries on foreign policy from around the web selected each week by CFR Editors. See more Must Reads here.

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