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  • Affiliation : Founder and Chair, Nonproliferation for Global Security Foundation (NPSGlobal)
  • Affiliation : Director, Bylim Karvoni Nongovernental Research and Training Center
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International Security Index iSi decreased to 2854 points. Arguello, Tolipov comment events of the week

22.01.2014

MOSCOW, JANUARY 22, 2014. PIR PRESS “Memorandum of Understanding between Iran and Argentina on joint investigation of the terrorist attack against the Argentine Israelite Mutual Association (AMIA in 1994), which took the life of 85 people, became one of the most varying events in Latin America and showed the strength of Iranian penetration in the region. It was signed in January, and ratified in February by the Argentine Congress with the sole endorsement of the Kirchner’s party representatives. Previously several prominent Iranian leaders from the Hashemi Rafsanjani government were accused to have been sponsors and facilitators of this attack carried out by Hezbollah”, –  Founder and Chair of the Nonproliferation for Global Security Foundation, Irma Arguello.

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

During the week of January 13 - 20, 2014, the International Security Index iSi decreased to 2854 points. In Syria, continued fights between rival rebel groups. The authorities and the the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces of Syria officially confirmed their participation in the Geneva-2.conference Israeli Air Force attacked the Gaza Strip in response to the attack from Palestinian militants. In the referendum in Egypt, the majority of voters supported a new draft constitution of the country. In Libya an emergency was declared due to the incessant tribal clashes. In Turkey, broke out anti-government demonstrations provoked by introduction of a tighter control over the Internet. In Iraq, militants seized a prison in western Baghdad and released prisoner; series of terrorist attacks occurred in the country. In Afghanistan, as a result of a major terrorist attack 21 people were killed, including foreigners. In Thailand, a terrorist attack during an opposition demonstration injured about 30 people; Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra did not agree to postpone the parliamentary elections. In Ukraine anti-government demonstrations continued. 

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

Irma Arguello (Argentina), Founder and Chair of the Nonproliferation for Global Security Foundation – by e-mail from Buenos Aires: The decay process in Argentina has been aggravating with the passage of time and the society is at risk of dissolution. The state control of the force is been progressively replaced by factions that fight for predominance. Corruption in the government has been disclosed to the public opinion on several occasions during 2013, with no punishment. State become progressively absent from its basic duties: health, education, security, justice, and defense. Social unrest is rising up. The situation brings about severe risks for national and international security as the country had been traditionally the most advanced in the region

Memorandum of Understanding between Iran and Argentina on joint investigation of the terrorist attack against the Argentine Israelite Mutual Association (AMIA in 1994), which took the life of 85 people, became one of the most varying events in Latin America and showed the strength of Iranian penetration in the region. It was signed in January, and ratified in February by the Argentine Congress with the sole endorsement of the Kirchner’s party representatives. Previously several prominent Iranian leaders from the Hashemi Rafsanjani government were accused to have been sponsors and facilitators of this attack carried out by Hezbollah. Such suspects have received Interpol’s red notices and are internationally sought. The pressure put by the Kirchner’s government to get the MOU approved caused a deep disappointment in the Argentine society. That attitude has been reported as based on potential commercial interests and on ideological affinities. The case is right now stagnant but it served to put in evidence the Iranian penetration in Latin America were several like-minded governments opened their doors to bilateral trade, even taking the risk of circumventing sanctions on Iran concerning their nuclear programs.

Hugo Chavez’s death and radicalization of the authoritarian government in Venezuela is another trend of the past period. After months in the shadows due to a terminal illness, and in the middle of a huge amount of irregular governmental procedures and decisions the Venezuelan dictator was announced dead in March 2013. His successor Nicolas Maduro, with much less skills than the previous dictator is taking the country to a deep internal crisis and to the enhancement of totalitarian practices.

The most important issue in Latin America in 2014 will be political instability and deteriorating of democracies throughout the region go hand-by-hand with poverty, ignorance, increasing of corruption, penetration of organized crime, narco-trafficking, and terrorism, domestic and international.  These governments are usually prone to establishing misleading international relations and to making misleading foreign and security decisions. The commonly promote and give support to proliferators and other actors who negatively defy the international security order and peace. Some Latin American governments tend to promote stronger bonds with Iran, North Korea, Islamic terrorist organizations, international and regional organized crime, etc. It is interesting to notice that such governments usually do not get specific benefits like raising their countries’ human development, derived from such specific international relations.

Farhad Tolipov (Uzbekistan) - Director of the private research and educational center "Bilim Karvon"("Caravan of knowledge") - by phone from Tashkent: The security situation in Central Asia has slightly improved. Participation of the President of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov in the CIS summit, the entry of the republic in the CIS free trade zone in December 2013 to some extent stabilized the geopolitical situation in the region. Presidential elections in Tajikistan in November last year was held in a rather calm manner. Russia has kept its base in Tajikistan, which may also be a positive factor for regional security. But it will largely depend on the efficiency of the Russian presence in the country and the region as a whole.

Negative trend of the past period was the continuing political instability in Kyrgyzstan, which has the potential to decrease the security level in the region. Denial of Afghan President Hamid Karzai to sign the security agreement with the USA can also aggravate the situation both in the IRA, and in the contiguous Central Asia region. Such actions of Karzai lead to the legitimization of Taliban movement, with whom the president tries to establish relations in this way.

In 2014, the most important event for the region will be the withdrawal of the International Security Assistance Force from Afghanistan. Also in the coming year presidential elections in Afghanistan will take place, so throughout the year in the country will be a revival of political life. But this also can lead to the growing threat of terrorist activity.

For all the questions concerning the International Security Index please contact Galiya Ibragimova by e-mail ibragimova at pircenter.org

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