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  • Affiliation : Director of OSCE Academy
  • Position : Chairman of the Executive Board
  • Affiliation : PIR Center
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International Security Index iSi decreased to 2719 points. Buzhinsky, Dunay comment events of the week

18.09.2012

_2012d174-07-01.jpgMOSCOW, SEPTEMBER 18, 2012. PIR PRESS – “Vladivostok APEC summit chaired by Russia was a positive event. Despite the different views expressed before and after the summit, it was quite effective. The main achievement of the summit is that Russia has sent a clear signal of its willingness to strengthen political and economic ties in the Asia-Pacific, both on multilateral and bilateral basis”, - PIR Center Senior Vice President, Lieutenant General (Retired), Evgeny Buzhinsky (Russia)

The new weekly International Security Index iSi was published in Kommersant newspaper (in Russian).  

During the week of September 10 - 17, 2012, the International Security Index iSi decreased to 2719 points.  In the Middle East, North Africa and Asia erupted anti-American demonstrations provoked by the movie Innocence of Muslims. In Libya, as a result of an armed attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission, Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three of his colleagues were killed. In Yemen, Tunisia, Egypt, Sudan, the protesters tried to seize the U.S. Embassies, which resulted in violent clashes with the police, there are victims. The protests also took place in Iran, Iraq, Qatar, Jordan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Israel, France, Canada, Australia and several other countries. The UN Security Council condemned the attacks on diplomatic missions. U.S. authorities advised their citizens to refrain from visiting countries where the protests take place. In Syria, the army conducted a special operation to retake the eastern outskirts of Aleppo. In Cairo, at a meeting of the regional contact group on Syria its member-countries called for political methods of conflict resolution. In China took place protest actions against the nationalization of disputed Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea by Japan. Chinese naval vessels entered the Japanese territorial waters near the disputed islands which sparked a fierce criticism of Tokyo.  

Comments on the week's events by members of the International Expert Group of the PIR Center

Buzhinskiy_new.jpgEvgeny Buzhinsky (Russia), PIR Center Senior Vice President, Lieutenant General (Retired)  by phone from Moscow: Persisting tensions in the Middle East are the main reason of the continued deterioration of international security. Among the events that have a negative impact on security in the world, the Syrian crisis should be mentioned, as well as Iranian nuclear program, and the anti-American demonstrations that spread across the Middle East, North Africa and Asia. The fighting in Syria is still at the center of world attention. The further development of the situation in the country will depend on the ability of Bashar Assad to remain in power. If he failes in it, Syria could plunge into the chaos of civil war, which certainly would affect the neighboring countries.

The main political event of the year is the U.S. presidential election that will take place in November. On the result of elections depends the future of US-Russian and US-Chinese relations. In the case of Barack Obama's re-election relations will continue to develop in a positive way, in any case, the reset policy between our countries will continue. The main irritant in the security policy of the U.S. and Russia, and the U.S. and China will remain the problem of missile defense. A victory of Republican candidate Mitt Romney would mean that the program of creating a global missile defense system would be adjusted by increasing the number of elements of detection and interception. Arms control agenda would be frozen as well as relations with Russia generally. The toughest scenarios in relation to Syria and Iran may come to reality.

Vladivostok APEC summit chaired by Russia was a positive event. Despite the different views expressed before and after the summit, it was quite effective. The main achievement of the summit is that Russia has sent a clear signal of its willingness to strengthen political and economic ties in the Asia-Pacific, both on multilateral and bilateral basis

Pal_Dunay.pngPál Dunay, (Hungary), Head of the International Security Program of the Geneva Center for Security Policy - by e-mail from Budapest: Missile defence is a matter where the U.S. government has continued to demonstrate interest and resolve. In spite of that BMD does not seem to be a project that would fly high and change the situation fundamentally neither on strategic, nor on theatre level. It is an extremely expensive reassurance policy that has unfortunately gained symbolic importance. It is blocking the advancement of the development of U.S.-Russia relations and to a lesser extent those of NATO – Russia. In addition it provides a cheap excuse to forces that do not want to find ways to cooperate. For the foreseeable future it would be the best to deprive the ballistic missile defence programme so that it would not have negative spill-over and block cooperation in many areas.

In light of thirty years of experience with BMD there is no doubt that no such system with full effectiveness can be established. It may carry a message to countries with developing missile capabilities about the combination of defence and deterrence. However, the U.S. is pressing the matter at a time when the upcoming end of the IFOR mission is increasing doubts what would hold NATO together beyond inertia after 2014. Many states in Europe are deeply confident about the continuing relevance and importance of the Atlantic Alliance. However, it may well be the U.S. that sees less utility in NATO. Hence a project that causes no damage to any member-state and contributes to bonding in the Alliance may come in handily. I do not happen to believe that there is much more to it.

The iSi index is calculated weekly and monthly. A weekly iSi value is published on Tuesdays in Kommersant Daily (www.kommersant.ru) accompanied by brief comments explaining Index fluctuations. Results of the monthly iSi calculations are published on the first working day of each month at the PIR Center website at www.pircenter.org

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