Georgia is strategically important to the United States in the war on terror and an indispensable transit point for energy supplies between Asia and Europe. Though the country’s November 2003 “revolution of roses” is the most positive event to have occurred in the countries of the former Soviet Union in more than a decade, Georgia is entering an unstable period of transition as its new government tries to promote national coherence among the country’s ethnic groups and takes steps to dismantle the corrupt power structure that thrived under former president Eduard Shevardnadze. This timely report, written by an expert on conflict prevention in the Caucasus, recommends steps the United States and the international community can to take to bolster President Mikhail Saakashvili as well as moves his government should make in the short and long term.
The Kremlin and the Obama administration have signaled a desire to work toward a more cooperative U.S.-Russia relationship. But CFR Fellow Jeffrey Mankoff says Russian sensitivity over its "near abroad" will continue to threaten progress.
Authors: Eric M. O'Neill, Burton Gerber, John J. Devine, Mark Stout, and Peter Brookes
The arrest of ten alleged Russian agents in U.S. suburbs raises questions about the nature of spying in the twenty-first century. Former U.S. spies discuss the enduring need for intelligence collected by humans and the motives for this latest round of espionage.
The signing of a new strategic nuclear agreement with Russia bolsters U.S. president Barack Obama's diplomatic credentials and opens a new chapter on arms control, but domestic political challenges await, says CFR's Charles Kupchan.
The suicide attacks in Moscow, whether or not the work of North Caucasus extremists, are a reminder that Russia must work to reform local administration, promote economic development, and end abuses by security forces in the region while cracking down on extremists, writes CFR Russia expert Jeffrey Mankoff.
New plans for another global summit on the Syrian crisis represent modest progress, but the real question is whether the Kremlin is willing to withdraw support for the Assad regime, says CFR's Stephen Sestanovich.
Vladimir Putin's third term as Russia's president could be characterized by greater political competition and middle-class opposition domestically, along with mixed relations with the United States, says CFR expert Stephen Sestanovich.
The emerging BRICS economies agree that the West should hold less sway in the global economy. But their leaders, despite regular summits, have failed to articulate a coherent vision because of divergent interests, says journalist Martin Wolf.
The Council on Foreign Relations' David Rockefeller Studies Program—CFR's "think tank"—is home to more than seventy full-time, adjunct, and visiting scholars and practitioners (called "fellows"). Their expertise covers the world's major regions as well as the critical issues shaping today's global agenda. Download the printable CFR Experts Guide.