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  • Affiliation : Chairman of the Executive Board, PIR Center; Co-Chair of the Trialogue Club International.
  • Affiliation : Independent Libyan Academic, Journalist
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International Security Index iSi decreased to 2809 points. Buzhinsky, Fetouri comment events of the week

28.10.2014

MOSCOW, OCTOBER 28, 2014. PIR PRESS “The security situation will most likely deteriorate over the winter of 2014. Not excluded is the fact that after the parliamentary elections in Ukraine, President Petro Poroshenko will make another attempt to solve the crisis in Donbas militarily. This will lead to a resumption of hostilities in the region with unpredictable results and will provoke further deterioration of Russia's relations with the West”, – PIR Center Senior Vice President, Lieutenant General (Ret.), Evgeny Buzhinsky.

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

During the week of October 20 – 27, 2014, the International Security Index iSi decreased to 2809 points. Egypt declared a state of emergency in the Sinai after militant attacks on local security forces. The US dealt a new series of strikes against Islamists in Syria and Iraq. In Libya, the army freed most of Benghazi from the Islamists. In northeastern Nigeria, Boko Haram militants kidnapped 60 women. In Hong Kong, authorities held talks with protesters; anti-government demonstrations continued. In Mexico, mass protests broke out in demand of the students who disappeared on September 26. In Ukraine, extraordinary parliamentary elections were held; elections were held in about half of the electoral districts in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions.

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

Evgeny Buzhinsky (Russia), PIR Center Senior Vice President, Lieutenant General (Ret)  by phone from Moscow: Despite the formal cease-fire in southeastern Ukraine and the beginning of air strikes by the international, US-led coalition on areas held by the Islamic state – the global security situation continues to deteriorate.

With some stretch, talks between the presidents of Russia and Ukraine at the summit of the Asia - Europe in Milan, as well as negotiations between German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Vladimir Putin in the framework of the Norman Quartet, also at Milan, can be considered a positive development. However, this positive nature of this meeting and dialogue is limited by the fact that, at the end, there were no concrete results.

The security situation will most likely deteriorate over the winter of 2014. Not excluded is the fact that after the parliamentary elections in Ukraine, President Petro Poroshenko will make another attempt to solve the crisis in Donbas militarily. This will lead to a resumption of hostilities in the region with unpredictable results and will provoke further deterioration of Russia's relations with the West.

International coalition air strikes on the positions of the Islamic State in Iraq in Syria have shown that it is impossible to destroy the Islamists via such means. There is  need for a ground operation. This raises the question of whose forces can carry out such an operation. The US and its European allies, including Turkey, will certainly strongly deviate from direct participation, and the conducting of land operations with forces of the Arab Gulf states does not guarantee success.

Mustafa Fetouri (Libya), Independent Libyan Analyst, Journalist – by e-mail from Tripoli: There is no strategy to confront the Islamic State in the area. What is going on now is nothing but a US-led, loose coalition with an ill-defined role and no clear objectives. One must not forget that the Islamic State is a by-product of the European and US’s regional polices towards the conflict in Syria. Let us remember that, despite what the West and its regional allies say, the main objective of those polices for the last four years has been regime change in Syria. Those who supported the so-called Syrian Free army in 2011 are responsible for the creation of the Nusra Front as well as the IS in both Syria and Iraq.

The Obama administration continues to support what it calls moderate opposition in Syria, forgetting that in any democratic political process any opposition loses its credibility as soon as it picks up arms to achieve its goals. This is the case in Syria. From the start the Syrian government, just as in Libya, has said that it is fighting terrorism and destabilizing groups who represent a small section of the Syrian people but enjoy the unconditional support of certain countries including Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Jordan.

We will see whether a situation such as that which occurred in Afghanistan will be repeated, whereby the span of the IS will only increase and come to reach as far as North Africa and the Sahel countries. In fact Libya-based jihadist groups are already aligning themselves with the IS and supporting it monetarily as well as with arms and fighters. We should recall that when the US invaded Afghanistan and Iraq its aim was to eradicate Al-Qaeda. Billions of USD and over a decade later we ended up with more than one Al-Qaeda in more than one country across the region spanning from Pakistan to Niger and Mali.

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

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