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International Security Index iSi increased to 2837 points. Jayatilleka, Dunay comment events of the week.

08.07.2014

MOSCOW, JULY 8, 2014. PIR PRESS “The new detente between the governments of India and Pakistan has been positive. The attacks by the Pakistani Taliban and the counteroffensive by the Pakistani armed forces may mean a reduction in the gap between Indian and Pakistani threat perceptions with regards to Afghanistan after the US withdrawal. This may make a joint approach feasible”, – former Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva, Senior Lecturer in Politics at the University of Colombo, Amb. Dayan Jayatilleka.

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

During the week of June 30 – July 7, 2014, the International Security Index iSi increased to 2837 points. In eastern Ukraine, military operations resumed; the Ukrainian army established control over the cities of Slavyansk and Kramatorsk. The Foreign Ministers of Ukraine, Russia, Germany, and France agreed at a meeting in Berlin to renew work of the Contact Group on the regulation of the Ukrainian crisis. In Iraq, the group “Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant” announced the creation of an “Islamic Caliphate” in the territory under their control.  In Syria, 14 people died as a result of the mortar shelling of the city Idlib. Israel and Palestine exchanged fire. In Egypt, the high court sentenced the leader of the “Muslim Brotherhood” to life imprisonment.  Iran and the P5+1 renewed negotiations on preparing an agreement on Iran’s nuclear program. In Sudan, inter-clan clashes erupted; 150 people were killed.  In Nigeria, Uganda, and Kenya, took place clashes with militants.  In Afghanistan, the announcement of presidential election results was delayed.  In Japan, the government allowed the army to participate in military operations abroad.

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

Dayan Jayatilleka (Sri Lanka), Ambassador, former Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva, Senior Lecturer in Politics at the University of Colombo – by e-mail from Colombo: Two wars have made the situation unstable. The escalation of military action instead of a political solution by the Ukrainian government has led to civil war in the East of that country, while the thrust by the ISIS/ISIL has jeopardized the entire balance in the Middle East region by the prospect of the collapse or carving up of Iraq. Both these developments are the result of adventurism by the West, first the unwarranted destruction of the Iraqi state by the invasion of that country and secondly the encouragement of political putschism and militarism in Ukraine.  

The increasing attacks by the two wings or manifestations of the Taliban in Afghanistan and Pakistan have resulted in the Pakistani armed forces having to launch an offensive against the Pakistani Taliban.  The prospect of a dangerous shift in Afghanistan after the US withdrawal at the end of this year and the effects of an expansion of Taliban control in areas of Afghanistan upon the activities of the Pakistani Taliban and the resultant instability in that country has a negative impact on the region.   

The new detente between the governments of India and Pakistan has been positive. The attacks by the Pakistani Taliban and the counteroffensive by the Pakistani armed forces may mean a reduction in the gap between Indian and Pakistani threat perceptions with regards to Afghanistan after the US withdrawal. This may make a joint approach feasible.  

In July – August 2014 the situation will depend on the surge of the ISIS/ISIL insurgent forces in Iraq, the knock-on effects on the civil conflict in Syria and the responses by Iran to what seems like a dangerous regional assertion by Saudi Arabia. The possibility of a wider armed conflict across borders cannot be ruled out. 

Pál Dunay, (Hungary), Director of OSCE Academy in Bishkek - by e-mail from Bishkek: In the Euro-Atlantic area there is not much to report as far as positive developments. It may be regarded positive that NATO members gave a responsible and graduated response to the external challenge. It was largely accepting the changing hands of the Crimea and then with the deepening division between Russia and Ukraine, rather than automatically following the US position started to consider what to do and, in spite of internal disagreements, did it. Sanctions were combined with keeping communication channels open.

The Ukrainian conflict and its inter-state aspect cannot be maintained in the longer run. Consequently, there will be some reconciliation although the tension between Ukraine and Russia will remain on a certain level in the long run and the internal political course of Ukraine will also remain volatile. (Will there be parliamentary elections, how will the forces of Maidan be integrated in the political establishment?) However, the politico-military crisis will give way to a humanitarian crisis soon. Fast rising number of asylum seekers from the Donetsk and Lugansk areas both to Russia and to other parts of Ukraine will burden both states. Both states (although on very different level) are stripped for resources, Russia has no GDP growth (contrary to 2012 when it had 4.3 per cent), and Ukraine will have a disastrous year coming economically as well. Will it contribute to internal destabilization? This is a question difficult to respond but certainly not irrelevant.

The coming in office of new leaders in the European Union and NATO before the end of September 2014 in spite of all the difficulties carries the promise of a new beginning in many relationships. This may also have positive bearing upon those relations that have been stalemated for some time, like the relations between Russia and western institutions.

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

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