Turkish Foreign Policy in the Balkans Amidst Soft Power and De-Europeanisation

Authors: Başak Alpan & Ahmet Erdi Öztürk Affiliation: Middle East Technical University, London Metropolitan University Organization/Publisher: Southeast European and Black Sea Studies Date/Place: February 7, 2022/UK Type of Literature: Journal Article Number of Pages: 19 Link: Keywords: Soft Power, Foreign Policy, the Balkans Brief: Turkey’s influence in the Balkans has grown in recent years, with a focus on using religious, political, and economic strategies to achieve its goals. The country’s approach to the Balkans has been characterized by soft power, starting with its “zero problems with neighbors” policy in the early 2000s. Since the rise of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), Turkey has taken on a leadership role in the region. However, in light of domestic changes and de- Europeanization in both the Balkans and Turkey, Turkey’s foreign policy has become more assertive, shifting away from its earlier reliance on soft power. This approach is manifested in three dimensions: normative soft power, which relies on religion and nationalism; material soft power, such as investments in both state and non-state entities in the Balkans; and personal soft power, which is reflected in the relationships between regional leaders and their respective networks. In the early 2000s, Turkish foreign policy was closely aligned with the European Union’s framework of democratic reforms. The accession process encouraged Turkey to adopt a peaceful, soft power approach to its foreign policy, with the goal of incorporating the EU’s soft power techniques, which rely on cultural attraction, ideology, and international institutions, into its regional approach. However, starting in the 2010s, Turkish foreign policy began to diverge from this EU-friendly model. Key factors in this shift included the start of the Syrian civil war and the emergence of major security concerns such as the rise of Kurdish militias and ISIS, as well as the refugee crisis and the destabilization of the region. The nuclear deal between the P5+1 (the United States, United Kingdom, France, China, Russia, and Germany) and Iran also raised concerns that Iran could have greater influence in the region, before the deal was later scrapped by the US. Turkish foreign policy shifted further with military interventions in northern Syria in 2016 and 2018, as the country adopted a more assertive, revisionist approach to its past patterns. Turkey’s foreign policy has undergone a shift towards de-Europeanization, meaning that its institutions and policies are no longer fully aligned with EU standards or demands. Relations between Turkey and the EU have deteriorated since the 2005 period, particularly in regards to cooperation on issues such as migration and energy. However, there is still some level of “selective Europeanization,” where EU-style policy reform is accepted as long as it serves certain objectives. This shift in Turkey’s approach has been attributed to the rise of authoritarian rule, which is said to have resulted in a foreign policy based on an aggressive, religious, and nationalist foundation. It is understandable that Turkey’s relations with the West have weakened, given the reasons for its shift towards a more independent policy. The post-coup period and the lack of European and Western support for the Turkish government led to an independent and assertive foreign policy. However, branding this change as a descent into authoritarianism does not adequately capture the complexity of the new policies. It is important to consider the Western approach to the region and its destabilizing effect on Turkish national interests. It is not feasible for Turkey to follow a policy paradigm that is friendly to the West, regardless of whether it is harmful, simply because it aligns with EU/US style. It is not surprising that a trade- oriented approach has been balanced with a security-oriented one in light of regional events, and not just because the ruling party has domestic power ambitions. In addition, Turkey and the EU have had conflicts over drilling in the East Mediterranean, which are connected to issues involving Cyprus and the Aegean Islands with Greece. The EU has expressed support for Cyprus and Greece in regards to their territorial claims and threatened punitive measures against Turkey’s drilling activities. It is not realistic to expect Turkey to sit back and allow two of its neighbors to isolate it from the sea in an attempt to gain geopolitical leverage against it. It is true that domestic events can influence foreign policy. Ignoring regional events or the unhelpful stance of the EU towards Turkey can lead to misunderstandings in analysis. The shift in Turkish foreign policy cannot be attributed solely to authoritarianism fueled by chauvinistic rhetoric. Turkey’s approach to the Balkans has seen a significant increase in depth since the time of Turgut Özal, with a reliance on diplomacy and soft power methods dating back even further. The rise of Erdoğan to power marked an intensification of relations, particularly in the early 2000s as the region underwent a process of Europeanization. Institutions such as the Turkish Diyanet, TIKA (Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency), and Yunus Emre Institute have played a role in building influence. Despite the changes in Turkish foreign policy in the post-2010s period, this dynamic has not changed much, if at all. This is particularly evident in how Balkan actors perceive Turkey’s presence, with Muslims generally viewing it positively and others with suspicion. However, the changes in the nature of Turkish policies in the 2010s have had some impact, reflected in the differing opinions on Turkish influence. One camp sees the increasing influence as a reflection of the historical ties between Turkey and the Balkans, while the other voices concerns about what they perceive as a neo-Ottoman hegemonic project. The departure from EU ideals also plays a role in the new dynamic in the region with regard to Turkish presence, but it cannot be said that the soft power approach has disappeared or is no longer central in the Balkans. It is noteworthy that the most active field is the religious domain, with the Turkish Diyanet establishing representative offices throughout the Balkans, particularly in Albania, Bulgaria, and North Macedonia. Turkey’s approach to the region garners favor in the domestic popular scene by strengthening relations with Muslims on the international stage. Additionally, the increasing de-Europeanization in the region has caused regional actors to turn to their religious identities as a substitute for the less appealing EU ideals. Claims of rising authoritarianism try to explain this shift as a criticism of the new status quo. However, it is more likely that the current status quo and its further evolution away from EU ideals is a natural development. Perhaps EU liberal principles are no longer able to address the needs of the region and its people. In addition to its religious activities, Turkey’s foreign policy also includes a significant focus on the economic domain. In 2016, Turkey invested $200 billion in 11 regional countries, with indirect investments made through institutions like TIKA and the Yunus Emre Institute. The economic domain is supported through both state apparatus and commercial activities by businessmen close to the state. It is clear that Turkey is increasing its presence through both direct and indirect economic relations, supported by aid activities throughout the Balkans. Despite economic challenges, Turkish influence remains significant in the region. Additionally, the increased importance of strong leader figures in the Balkans has allowed for deeper relations between Balkan states beyond just popular rhetoric, providing additional avenues for conducting foreign policy in the region through personal relations between government leaders. In conclusion, Turkey’s proximity to the Balkans has allowed it to effectively use soft power to increase its role in the region. Up until the early 2010s, Turkish foreign policy was influenced by the EU, after which significant changes led to a more assertive approach in Turkey’s neighboring regions. Turkey has used the domains of economy and religion to increase its influence, relying on both the normative and material aspects of soft power. Domestic changes may influence how Turkish foreign policy shifts, in addition to the de-Europeanization of foreign policy, which may bring challenges in relations with non-Muslim states in the Balkans. By: Omar Fili, CIGA Research Assistant

Turkey’s Isolation from the Eastern Mediterranean Gas Forum: Ideational Mechanisms and Material Interests in Energy Politics

Authors: Pınar İpek & V. Tibet Gür Affiliation: TOBB University of Economics and Technology (Ankara, Türkiye), and Rutgers University (New Brunswick, New Jersey, USA) Organization /Publisher: The Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center/Turkish Studies (Routledge) Date/Place: May 16, 2021/ the UK Type of Literature: Journal Article Number of Pages: 31 Link: Keywords: Eastern Mediterranean Gas Forum, Regionalization, Cooperation, Energy, Eastern Mediterranean, Türkiye Brief: The article discusses the patterns of inter-state enmity and amity in the regionalization process during the formation of the Eastern Mediterranean Gas Forum (EMGF). The authors use a constructivist approach to analyze the changes in foreign policy objectives and identify the role of ideational mechanisms as a factor in constructing material interests in the lack of cooperation between Türkiye and other regional states, with particular reference to Türkiye’s isolation from the EMGF. The discoveries of offshore natural gas resources, first in Israel and later around the island of Cyprus, have escalated political disputes in the region and created new patterns of amity. In the case of hydrocarbon politics, Türkiye, Republic of Cyprus, and Greece’s policy discourses differ in cooperative and conflictual contexts. The authors assume that the ideational mechanism plays an essential role in policy changes. Contextual ‘frames’ are identified and used to analyze and measure how policy elites think about an issue; i.e., how that issue is framed in their minds and reflected in their speeches can profoundly impact their attitudes and policy choices. A dataset of 286 press releases and statements by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Türkiye, Greece, and RoC, as well as related archived speeches of the respective presidencies between 2010-2020 were framed in five different contexts: cooperative economic, conflictual economic, cooperative security, conflictual security, and socio-cultural. The authors use Amitav Acharya’s theoretical framework to explain ideational mechanisms that constructed material interests in the regionalization process during the formation of the EMGF. The authors’ three ways that ideas and material interests shape the politics of regional orders are 1) cognitive priors, 2) redefined causal ideas, and 3) exogenous ideas. Cognitive priors are preexisting ideas of individuals and societies about the world and other actors. Thus, cognitive priors reflect how actors interpret inter-subjective structures beyond rational cost and benefit calculations. The authors’ findings demonstrate that the dominant ‘conflictual security’ framing in the RoC and Greece’s discourse persistently translated into policy guidance from 2010 through 2020. Türkiye’s official policy has regularly emphasized the country’s obligation to protect the rights of Turkish Cypriots in developing hydrocarbon resources in maritime jurisdiction areas of Cyprus Island. In short, the authors claim that cognitive priors and socio-cultural ideas embedded in conceptions of Turkish national identity have constructed material benefits at the expense of economic incentives for cooperation between Türkiye and RoC in the region. Causal ideas describe how initial cognitive priors embedded in policy discourse are transferred, or how new ideas are introduced in the social construction of material or normative instruments to achieve policy goals. During 2017-2020 the Turkish policy shifted conflictual security and conflictual economics. The shift in policy preferences can plausibly be explained by cognitive priors and redefined causal ideas in Türkiye’s interactions with Israel, the RoC, and Greece. The causal ideas that diverted the attention of Turkish policy elites were the changing relations with Israel since 2008, the Arab Spring of 2011, Türkiye’s 2015 General elections, and the 2016 coup attempt. Exogenous ideas are the involvement of the EU and US as international actors in conflict resolution. Thus, the preexisting beliefs and locally produced ideas serve as the lenses through which international actors’ ideas and norms are interpreted, and briefly highlight how the stalemate in Türkiye’s relationship with the EU and the political tension between Türkiye and the US have shaped new ideas (i.e., blue homeland) in Ankara’s shift to an increasingly assertive foreign policy. Türkiye’s increasingly independent foreign policy, based on the regional projection of soft power and its accession negotiations with the EU in 2005, have complemented its causal ideas fostering multilateral cooperation and dialogue to protect Turkish Cypriots’ existing and inherent equal rights and interests. While Türkiye diplomatically opposed the RoC’s bilateral Exclusive Economic Zone agreements in 2003, 2007, and 2010, which delimited RoC’s maritime economic zones with Lebanon, Egypt, and Israel, the cooperative framing in its discourse continued. Though in 2008, Turkish and Israeli officials decided to explore the feasibility of a so- called Med-Stream project aimed to connect their countries by five pipelines that would carry water, electricity, fiber optics, natural gas, and oil. However, Türkiye’s cooperative policy between 2003 and 2010 has been lost in the corresponding framing of ‘conflictual security’ in RoC’s discourse towards Türkiye. Further, Türkiye’s causal ideas were redefined when the RoC unilaterally began drilling in the disputed maritime jurisdiction areas in September 2011. Türkiye concluded with its own continental shelf delimitation agreement with the TRNC in the same week, and the TRNC issued a drilling license to the Turkish Petroleum Corporation in September 2011. In other words, since Türkiye’s sovereign rights and thus material interests were directly threatened by the foreign energy firms’ drilling activities on behalf of the RoC in 2011,Türkiye has been forced to defend its rights and has increasingly contested the RoC’s acts—and started redefining its causal idea. The main reason for Türkiye’s policy shift is based on the strategic vision of the Turkish Navy, known as the “blue homeland.” Thus, a memorandum of understanding on the role of Libya in maritime borders delimitation in the Eastern Mediterranean resulted between Türkiye and the UN-recognized government of Libya in Tripoli in December 2019, which charted a mutually expansive maritime border between the two states. This diplomatic move aimed to prevent the completion of the proposed East-Med pipeline, transporting natural gas to European markets from Israel and Cyprus. Additionally, the Turkish Navy undertook unprecedentedly extensive navy exercises in the Black, Aegean, and Mediterranean Seas. The authors conclude that ideational mechanisms are operating to create specific conditions of cooperation or conflict, and further, that social constructs—the inclusion of ‘us’ and the exclusion of ‘them’—are influential in the patterns of amity or enmity among Türkiye, Greece, and the RoC. The authors note the role of a strong Navy, and claim that deeply rooted nationalist discourses explain Türkiye’s ambitious and independent regional foreign policy. Overall, the authors fail to recognize that Türkiye’s ‘isolation’ from the EMGF is being presented as a ‘lack of cooperation’ despite the member states choosing to exclude Türkiye from the start. By: Razia Wadood, CIGA Senior Research Associate

Avoiding War Over Taiwan

Authors: 14 Task Force Members on US-China Policy Organization/Publisher: 21st Century China Center, University of California San Diego Date/Place: October 12, 2022/ USA Type of Literature: Policy Brief Word Count: 4500 Link: Keywords: China, Taiwan, US, Taiwan Strait, One-China Policy, Geopolitics, War, Deterrence, South China Sea, Communist Party of China Brief: There is no longer any ambiguity in the US policy towards China, as Washington has identified Beijing as its only competitor in the coming times and believes that it “needs to be reined in” to prevent harm to the world’s most powerful economy and military. One of the main measures that Washington has taken in this regard is targeting Taiwan, an island nation with a population of around 24 million. However, this policy paper strongly advises against escalation and warns that “despite rising tensions, it is both essential and possible to avoid war in the Taiwan Strait. None of the three governments wants war. But to avoid war, all three governments must avoid steps that force the other side to launch a military conflict.” Tensions between Taiwan and mainland China were exacerbated when US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi made an unannounced visit to Taiwan in August, despite strong objections from Beijing, which does not want Taiwan to be recognized as a separate entity. The US formally recognized China in 1979 and moved its diplomatic mission from Taipei to Beijing, adopting the “One-China Policy” under which Taiwan is considered part of mainland China. This policy was also adopted by the United Nations. However, Taipei has maintained its independence since 1949. The Taiwan Relations Act, which was enacted in 1979, has governed US relations with Taiwan. The Three Communiques, a series of bilateral agreements, have also influenced these ties. Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan, also known as the Republic of China, marked the first time in 25 years that a sitting speaker of the US Congress traveled to the island nation, located south of mainland China across the Taiwan Strait. This visit was seen as the biggest provocation in recent times, and in response, Beijing conducted massive military exercises in the air and at sea around Taiwan and fired missiles, some of which flew over the island. The rule of Taiwan’s Democratic Progressive Party, a nationalist and center-left political party, is also seen by Beijing as promoting independence, and as a result, has faced criticism and actions by the Chinese authorities, including the sanctioning of some of its officials. As China’s economic and military influence has expanded, more nations have recently switched their diplomatic relations to Beijing, leaving Taiwan with full-fledged diplomatic relations with only 14 nations. However, Taiwan has never been ruled by Beijing, as the People’s Republic of China (PRC) was formed in 1949. The military exercises launched in response to Pelosi’s trip to Taiwan were also seen as China showcasing its military might – it has the world’s largest naval fleet – and the armory it deployed almost blocked off Taiwan’s maritime borders. The US has increased its military activities near Chinese waters, which has led Taiwan to increase its defense relations with the US and place weaponry orders worth $8 billion since the Trump administration. The Biden administration has continued this policy and even ramped up the rhetoric, stating that the US will militarily intervene to help Taiwan in the event of a Chinese invasion. Biden’s reiteration of military support to Taiwan has only reinforced the belief that the US has moved from strategic ambiguity to strategic clarity with regard to China. This belief is also supported by the fact that the US national security establishment has targeted Chinese firms, including chip manufacturers, and Chinese citizens, linking them to the Chinese military and intelligence agencies. However, the 14 authors of this policy paper remind Washington of theorist Thomas Schelling’s belief that “effective deterrence of the PRC requires not only the credible threat of a forceful response to an attack on Taiwan, but also the credible assurance that if the PRC refrains from attacking Taiwan, interests considered vital to Beijing will not be damaged anyway.” When considering Chinese President Xi Jinping’s policy, which many experts describe as the third phase of China’s development since independence, he has insisted on the sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity of China. Xi Jinping’s recent re-election as the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) chief for a record third time is also viewed in a similar light, as China would not want to see destabilization in its economic and military progress despite widespread criticism for its handling of Xinjiang, also known as East Turkistan. Western nations, including the US, which have suffered the devastating impact of COVID-19 with tens of thousands of deaths, have heavily criticized China’s strict pandemic policy, which has apparently led to a low number of deaths (only 5,226 according to Chinese official figures). This policy paper strongly argues against turning the current situation into a full-fledged war, stating that the goal for both sides must be “to keep rising tensions from evolving into a shooting war that would be extremely dangerous and destructive for all sides and that could result in the use of nuclear weapons.” The policy paper also notes that the reunification of Taiwan with the Chinese mainland remains at the core of China’s policy, regardless of who leads the government and the CCP. While Beijing has consistently stated that it prefers peaceful reunification, it has not ruled out the use of force to achieve this goal. Beijing has also expressed its desire to control Taiwan under the “One country, Two systems” mechanism. Xi’s recent interactions with military commanders, focusing on combat and war preparedness, show that Beijing’s consistent policy is to fully modernize the People’s Liberation Army by 2027. The policy paper also highlights the different governance models pursued by Beijing and Taipei. While the CCP is the single party that has ruled China since its independence, Taiwan underwent a transition to democracy in 1986 and has a vibrant presidential, legislative, and local elections system. The paper notes that “this is at odds with the Chinese identity that an earlier generation of leaders on Taiwan endorsed, and which Beijing has sought to perpetuate,” citing a June 2022 survey that found 63.7% of respondents in Taiwan identifying as Taiwanese rather than both Chinese and Taiwanese (30.4%). At the same time, the paper states that Beijing has “emerged from a period of strategic caution to assert its interests more strongly by, for example, reclaiming land and building military installations atop seven reefs in the South China Sea, sending coast guard ships daily into waters near the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands whose ownership China contests with Japan, and enrolling many of its neighbors in its Belt and Road Initiative to tie their economies more closely to China’s. The paper adds that “China appears convinced that the United States seeks to prevent China from ever achieving what it sees as its legitimate national objectives, and that US policy on Taiwan is part of that strategy. The US appears convinced that Chinese pressure on Taiwan threatens US values and interests. Taiwan, for its part, has done what it can to consolidate its distinct democratic identity at home and to cultivate de facto international status as an autonomous political entity.” The authors suggest three steps to avoid a war, including asking Taiwan not to declare independence, urging Washington not to recognize Taiwan as an independent state, and preventing Beijing from using military force against Taiwan to compel unification. However, in Washington, many believe that allowing China to control Taiwan would “render impossible the defense of US allies in Asia.” The authors note that “strategic clarity is hardly necessary because (Chinese) Mainland leaders and the PLA already fully expect and plan for US intervention if China acts militarily to take control of Taiwan.” In addition to suggesting an upgrade of its weaponry, including warships and aircraft deployed in the region, the authors argue that Taiwan “must demonstrate its ability to maintain resilience during a blockade and impose high costs on an invading PRC force” and create “deeper reserves of strategic resources like fuel and food in case the PRC elects to blockade the island.” They urge Washington to focus on peace in the Taiwan Strait and reiterate its stance against Taiwan’s independence, and also to involve allies in discussions about “their own stake in peace and stability in cross-Strait relations and the need for them to contribute to a moderate and responsible US strategy to deter mainland belligerence.” The authors also argue against making any “politically advantageous but strategically damaging statements about Taiwan” by US officials and politicians. By: Riyaz ul Khaliq, CIGA Non-resident Research Associate

In Praise of Lesser Evils: Can Realism Repair Foreign Policy?

Author: Emma Ashford Affiliation: Georgetown University and the Reimagining US Grand Strategy Program at Stimson Center Organization/Publisher: Foreign Affairs Date/Place: September-October 2022/ USA Type of Literature: Book Review Word Count: 3622 Link: emma-ashford Keywords: Classical Realism, Structural Realism, Geopolitics, Hyper-rationalism, Morals, Human Factors, War in Ukraine, the US Foreign Policy Brief: In this article, Ashford critically reviews two recent books about Realism in International Relations: “The Atlantic Realists: Empire and International Political Thought between Germany and the United States” by Matthew Specter, and “Unwritten Future: Realism and Uncertainty in World Politics” by Jonathan Kirshner. Both books address the limitations and potential of realism, focusing on “Classical Realism”, which is based on a negative view of human nature. Specter’s book examines the origins of classical realism in the pre-World War I period, attempting to uncover what he considers “the malevolent historical roots” of realist philosophy and its terminology. Kirshner’s book, on the other hand, aims to rehabilitate classical realism as a framework for understanding modern geopolitics, and to confront “Structural Realism” (Neorealism), which the author sees as having analytical shortcomings, hyper rationality, and a lack of moral consideration. Structural realism (both defensive and offensive) has come to dominate over other strands of realism and has become synonymous with realism in general. The two books come amid growing questions about the feasibility and relevance of realism in explaining current wars and great power competitions, particularly the Ukrainian war. A number of prominent realists, led by John Mearsheimer, have argued that this war was a result of the structural factor of NATO’s eastward expansion, rather than the aggressive actions of President Putin, which has led to a decline in realism’s popularity. Opponents of realism have also criticized the theory as “meaningless”, as the war in Ukraine seems to demonstrate. This has led to a revival of the historical debate about the ethical dimension of realism, with some arguing that a realistic analysis of the harsh realities of international relations (based on anarchy and states’ pursuit of security and survival, acting in accordance with national interest rather than moral principles) endorses selfish behavior by states rather than providing a positivist diagnosis. So the realists have been accused of having no morals at all, as the debate on the Ukraine war demonstrate. For such reason Robert Gilpin wrote -in 1996- his famous essay, “No One Loves a Political Realist.” The article is divided into four parts. In the first part, the author sets the context of the growing criticism of realism, which has led to a decline in its popularity after it gained acceptance among elites and the general public due to its often reasonable analysis of the ideological American foreign policy driven by liberal internationalism over the past three decades. Ashford believes that while realism provides useful broad lines of analysis regarding the war in Ukraine (such as the argument that NATO expansion into post-Soviet space contributed significantly to the outbreak of the war), it is flawed in many details. She also argues that the war in Ukraine demonstrates that some realist theories are as simplistic and unhelpful in explaining the conflict as they were during times of global geopolitical upheaval. According to Ashford, the realist theories presented in Specter and Kirshner’s books may not offer new insights, but they do review and update our understanding of the pragmatic and analytical model of classical realism, which may be the most suitable model for our multipolar world. In the second part of the article, Ashford discusses Specter’s critique of classical realism and realism in general. Specter offers an alternative narrative on the origins of realism, examining the intellectual foundations of realism and the biographies of prominent (German and American) founding figures of realism such as Hans Morgenthau, Wilhelm Grewe, and Carl Schmidt. Specter argues that the common narrative of realism, which is promoted by the realist Edward Hallett Carr, is false and that classical realism has dark imperial origins. This narrative claims that classical realism was the intellectual reaction of German-American thinkers such as Morgenthau to the bloody wars of the 20th century. These thinkers rejected the idealism of US President Woodrow Wilson, whose failure to establish a League of Nations that would resolve conflicts between nations through law and norms after World War I led to the rise of Nazism and the outbreak of World War II. In response, these thinkers returned to classic notions of Realpolitik as represented in the works of Thucydides and Machiavelli and embodied by the German leader Otto von Bismarck. Specter disputes this narrative, arguing that the classical realists invented a noble line of great thinkers, such as Thucydides and Hobbes, because their ideas fit the classical realist worldview while avoiding their more questionable historical antecedents from the 19th century imperial geopoliticians. Additionally, Specter refutes the association of realists with “Bismarckian Realpolitik” and tries to prove the connection of realism with an anti-realpolitik imperial German school, “the Weltpolitik,” which is guided by social Darwinism and grants great powers the right to geopolitical expansion and domination. These ideas were embodied in Wilhelm II’s policy in the late 19th century, as well as in Hitler’s policy during World War II. Ashford praises Specter’s genealogical work, but disagrees with some of his findings. She argues that there is nothing wrong with contemporary scholars seeking intellectual clues from history to support their case, and that Specter does not show how contemporary realists’ borrowing from historical concepts undermines the validity of their arguments. While it is true that classical realism formulated its arguments using terms familiar to 20th century imperialists, it also added terms such as “ethical seriousness” and “caution” to its legacy. If there are darker variants of realism in history, this should not invalidate more modern incarnations of the theory, such as “defensive realism”, which is a more moral approach that does not accept immoral principles or the early imperial roots of realism. In the third part of the article, Ashford discusses Kirshner’s “Unwritten Future”. Unlike Specter, Kirshner finds much value in classical realism for the analysis of today’s world and calls on contemporary scholars to revive it due to its analytical richness based on the crucial role of intellectual and internal political factors. He focuses on recent academic works that highlight the role of factors such as honor, pride, and prestige in international affairs, which are core factors for classical realists. He also criticizes structural realism, arguing that it falls into a “hyper-rationalist” view of the world that ignores the moral factor. Neorealism overestimates the rational causes of war and cannot explain anything beyond the stasis of the international system. Kirshner poses a series of problems that structural realists have struggled with recently, such as how to reconcile morality with a fundamentally amoral theory, and the malleability of the concept of the national interest. He also argues that structural realism is better at pointing out the errors of other approaches than at suggesting its own solutions, and cannot fully explain why and when wars happen or how leaders and populations will react when they do. This is why he emphasizes the importance of integrating human factors, which classical realism focuses on, in the analysis of wars. Ashford attributes Kirshner’s perception of the “hyper-rational” language of structural realists to their attempt to make their beliefs about international politics “scientific,” rather than appearing as ideological as they do to their liberal opponents. Liberalists believe that states can rise above power politics and transcend conflict through trade, international institutions, and international law, while realists disagree and see a lot of ideology and political delusions in liberalist arguments. This is why the language of realists is often seen as more rational, less ideological, and lacking in moral consideration. However, Kirshner argues that both realism and liberalism have ideological underpinnings, and that realists should stop pretending to be scientists and return to the messier terrain of classical realism, which is more analytically rich. In the last part of the article, Ashford defends the virtues of realism, emphasizing the need for it to explain international affairs or guide American foreign policy despite its limitations. In response to critics who argue that realism succeeds more in criticism than in offering alternatives, Ashford points out that there is no single political realism. There are different views within the realist paradigm and among realists on various international issues, such as how to deal with China. This has made it difficult for realists to shape policies within the current US administration or its successor. However, realists still put pressure on US administrations to justify their policy choices or adopt more pragmatic and non-ideological policies, despite their complex history with US policymakers. Although both books provide a critical overview of the problems facing realism, they fail to offer alternatives. Ashford believes Kirshner’s book is relatively better in this regard, as it assesses what it would mean in practice to rehabilitate classical realism. For example, it explores the shortcomings of classical realism and incorporates issues of political economy into its framework, as well as incorporating classical realist views into current policy debates to guide them. However, Ashford also criticizes some inconsistencies in Kirshner’s vision. While arguing that great powers have an opportunity to reassess their global commitments, he also calls on the United States to maintain the status quo, claiming that major changes are incompatible with realism’s emphasis on prudence. In contrast, Ashford believes that Specter largely punts on the question of the future of US foreign policy. He makes it clear that realism is not a reasonable path forward, at least not until it incorporates postcolonial, feminist, and critical theoretical insights, because it is too respectful of imperialist approaches, too undemocratic, and too rooted in ethically questionable philosophy. This distaste, according to Ashford, reflects the progressives’ concern about pragmatism and moderation in foreign policy when these concepts come into conflict with universal values. Realists are well aware of these problematic issues. In foreign policy, realism is often a choice between the lesser of evils. Realism does not condone “political ideals and moral principles, but it requires indeed a sharp distinction between the desirable and the possible,” as Morgenthau wrote. Pretending that moral principles or values can override all constraints of power and interest is not political realism; it is political fantasy. Finally, Ashford believes that with the world’s shift towards multipolarity, realism will once again become more important for the conduct of US foreign policy. By: Djallel Khechib, CIGA Senior Research Associate

Title: Post-2023 Election Scenarios in Turkey

Author: Berk Esen Affiliation: Sabancı University, Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences Organization/Publisher: SWP German Institute for International and Security Affairs Date/Place: September 22, 2022/Berlin, Germany Type of Literature: Article Word Count: 4500 Link: Keywords: Türkiye, Political Parties, Election Scenarios, Economic Crisis, Foreign Policy, Post- Erdogan Era Brief: In his analysis of the post-2023 election scenarios in Turkey, Berk Esen argues that the upcoming presidential and parliamentary elections, set to take place by June 2023, will mark the first time in Erdogan’s 20 years in power that he is not the clear favorite due to economic struggles and divisions within his AKP party. Six opposition parties have united to select a joint presidential candidate with a chance of defeating Erdogan, but even if they succeed, the new government will face significant challenges, including establishing a “meritocratic bureaucracy,” revising diplomatic and economic policies, and restoring the parliamentary system of government. Esen also discusses the current state of the Turkish political and economic landscape and the potential for election fraud. He highlights the significant challenges that a post-Erdoğan government would need to tackle. According to Esen, the AKP’s decreasing popularity and poor performance in opinion polls can be attributed to the economic crisis in Turkey, which threatens the party’s ability to secure more than 50% of the vote share in the upcoming presidential and parliamentary elections. The opposition parties, including the Republican People’s Party (CHP), the Future Party (GP), the Democracy and Progress Party (DEVA), and the Nation Alliance (consisting of the Turkish Nationalist Good Party (İyiP), the Islamist Felicity Party (SP), and the Democrat Party (DP)), are more united than in previous elections and have a greater chance of defeating Erdogan and the AKP. Esen anticipates that the election will be highly polarized, with the ruling bloc having control over resources, media, and bureaucracy, and warns that Erdogan may resort to repression against Kurdish groups or military action to divert attention from economic issues and bolster his candidacy. However, he believes that such actions would not be sufficient to halt the decline in Erdogan’s support or prevent the rise of the opposition. Esen also raises concerns about the fairness of the election, given the government’s control over media, bureaucracy, and the judiciary, which could make it difficult for a smooth transfer of power to take place. Esen discusses several post-election scenarios in Turkey. It is expected that the ruling bloc will not be able to maintain its parliamentary majority, but Erdogan may still win the presidential election and be confronted with an opposition-dominated parliament. Under the presidential system, this would not pose a significant challenge, as the president has more power and the parliament has fewer checks on their authority. If the opposition were to win the presidential election, the parliamentary composition would depend on the outcome of the presidential race. It is difficult to predict the allocation of seats between the ruling People’s Alliance and the opposition Nation’s Alliance based on opinion polls. The decision of the opposition parties to participate in the election through joint lists under the main opposition parties (the CHP and the İyiP) or to run on their own parties could also impact the allocation of seats. The potential presence of another alliance, such as the HDP forming an alliance with far-leftist parties like the Worker’s Party of Turkey (TIP), could also influence the parliamentary allocation of seats. The HDP, which received about 11.7% of the votes in 2018 and is expected to continue performing well based on opinion polls, could serve as a key party in balancing the two large blocs in parliament. However, the increasing support for the anti-refugee populist Victory Party (ZP) could disrupt the opposition vote if they manage to attract public support but do not reach the parliamentary threshold of 7% of the vote. Another scenario is Erdogan losing the presidency to a candidate from the Nation Alliance. In this case, the AKP would face difficulties, as they would be denied access to public resources, which could impact the party’s functioning and Erdogan’s ability to lead the party in opposition for a long period of time, given the personalistic nature of the party and its weak institutions. Esen emphasizes the severe challenges that a post-Erdoğan government would face. One of the top priorities for the new government would be to restore the parliamentary system and transfer the extensive powers of the presidency back to the parliament. The new government would also need to address the economic crisis and work towards sustainable development. While the opposition parties have a strong team of economists who could develop a recovery plan, it is uncertain which party would be responsible for the economic portfolio in the new government. Additionally, not all parties have fully developed their economic programs, such as the CHP, which is the only left- leaning party in the alliance. Another challenge for a post-Erdoğan government would be the development of a new foreign policy that moves away from Erdogan’s “revisionist agenda,” which has caused tensions with the EU, NATO, and neighboring countries. The new government would need to restore Turkey’s international position and improve relationships with the EU, NATO, and its surrounding countries. Esen suggests that a new leadership may be able to win goodwill from EU governments towards Turkey, though it may take time to fully repair bilateral relations, particularly with issues such as Cyprus, border tensions with Greece, and the refugee crisis. However, the opposition has not yet developed a clear vision for maintaining relations with Russia and Iran, which could overlap with Turkish-Syrian relations given the complex dynamic between the three countries. Major opposition parties like the CHP and İyiP have expressed a willingness to open channels with the al-Assad regime in order to reach an agreement for the military pullout in exchange for the return of Syrian refugees. Additionally, the opposition parties have different foreign policy agendas, which could hinder the development of a consistent foreign policy and diplomacy. Another significant challenge for the new government would be developing a migration policy that addresses the issue of hosting a large number of refugees (nearly six million) in Turkey, particularly amid the current economic crisis and increasing sentiment against the long-term settlement of Syrian refugees in Turkey. While most of the opposition parties have included the refugee issue in their programs and have similar agendas regarding the status of Syrians in Turkey, they have not made it a “main campaign issue.” This has opened the door for the anti-refugee Victory Party (ZP), a single-issue party focused on expelling Syrians, to gain public interest, with estimates of support ranging from 1-4% in public polls. The opposition parties’ tendency to advocate for the voluntary return of Syrians is driven by a fear of losing votes to anti-refugee parties and a desire to shift the public’s attention to the economic crisis. However, the voluntary return of refugees is not a practical solution due to the Syrian government’s unwillingness, the refugees’ unwillingness, and the high cost of settlement in Turkish-controlled areas. Esen suggests that the new government needs to develop new policies and instruments to address the issue, including “resettlement in third countries, repatriation, and integration.” Reforming the civil service is another challenge for a post-Erdoğan government, as it would involve replacing partisans in the civil service, military, and judiciary, who may resist the new political agenda, particularly in bureaucracy and military institutions. The opposition parties recognize the need for reform and change, but they are not in agreement on the mechanism for reform or the cadres who should replace current officials. Additionally, the opposition parties, with the exception of the two splinter parties from the AKP, have a shortage of experienced cadres due to their exclusion from public office under AKP governments. Overall, the opposition alliance has not yet developed comprehensive policies on issues such as the economy, refugee crisis, and civil service reform. However, they will need to make tough decisions and address their divisions on various issues, including foreign affairs, the Kurdish dilemma, and public office appointments. They will also need to restore the parliamentary system through constitutional amendments, taking into account the history of weak coalition governments in Turkey. Finally, Esen notes that in a post-Erdoğan era, Turkey may seek rapprochement with the EU, and the EU could play a constructive and supportive role in the transition period, including monitoring elections and cooperating in areas such as the economy, migration, security, and climate to ensure mutual benefits. By: Yomna Süleyman, CIGA Research Associate

Renewing the American Regime: U.S.– China Competition beyond Ukraine

Author: Ashley J. Tellis Affiliation: The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace Organization/Publisher: Center for Strategic & International Studies Date/Place: September 12, 2022/USA Type of Literature: Report Number of Pages: 20 Link: competition-beyond-ukraine Keywords: Capacity, Containment, Hegemony, Domestic Politics Brief: The ongoing conflict in Ukraine has disrupted the international order established after World War II. This order is reliant on American power and dominance, and the international system and its benefits rely on American hegemony due to a lack of alternatives. The Russian invasion of Ukraine and the rise of China pose a direct threat to the American-led international order on both domestic and international levels. To protect itself and its allies, the US is maintaining its hegemony over the European and Asian rimland. The challenges to US hegemony require it to take a proactive stance in order to shape trends in its favor. The main goal is to maintain the US’ position as the most powerful country in the world by maintaining peak military capabilities, technological innovation, economic superiority, and serving as a model for other countries to emulate. No other country has achieved the level of power the US has, allowing it to maintain its hegemony. To retain this position, the US must pursue three tasks: preserving liberal democracy both at home and abroad by spreading its ideals and using minimal force to support its institutions; protecting the global economic system and free trade relations; and physically protecting its allies through military force and Hegemonic stability is not self-sustaining and requires strong leadership and moderation in decision making based on a comprehensive perspective, which the US has been lacking in the post-Cold War era. The complex challenges posed by China, particularly in the areas of ideology, technology, and economy, can only be effectively addressed through a maximalist approach that puts adversaries on the defensive and creates an unfavorable balance of power. However, for this approach to be successful, the domestic scene must be maintained in good shape, as negative developments within the US can undermine its ability to project power abroad. It is crucial to address increasing polarization, declining domestic mobility, and to reaffirm the American ideal of pursuing the common good. The weakening of social groups that support hegemony makes it more difficult to face the challenges posed by China, especially when these challenges require a unified domestic base. Communicating the importance of these issues to the American public and building support for a maximalist approach requires meaningful communication between the leadership and the public. However, the presence of President Trump in power demonstrated how a president can use rising public disinterest in hegemonic power to limit US foreign policy and damage the country’s global standing. In addition, material support from the public, particularly constituencies that support an active foreign policy, is crucial for hegemonic foreign policy. Globalization has contributed to rising inequality and a lack of adequate social safety nets in the US, leading to reduced social mobility compared to other liberal order countries. Revitalizing the American regime at home also depends on rejuvenating its political life around the ideal of the common good, rather than focusing on the private benefit of certain constituencies. In its current situation, the US needs to utilize all of its resources to protect its own interests and those of its allies. This involves engaging with the concerns of states within its sphere of influence, particularly in Europe, the Indo-Pacific region, and the Middle East. To address the challenges posed by China, the US should focus on two projects: encouraging greater European participation in their own defense and building an effective coalition in East Asia to balance China. Europe is too far away to effectively address the China challenge on its own, so they should prioritize improving their military and economic security to give the US more room to focus on countering China. The US should also transform its East Asian alliances into a more effective security network. The Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (Quad) is a useful diplomatic tool, but it lacks the agreements to become a strong military alliance. Japan and Australia also have significant shortfalls in their military power to fully contribute to the Quad. In terms of the US position in East Asia, there needs to be a reassessment of the current strategic ambiguity. The US should augment its support for Taiwan while maintaining the One China policy by reinforcing Taiwanese de facto independence before it is too late, and clearly stating that any attempt to annex the island by force will be met with American retaliation. To strengthen American leadership, it is necessary to adopt an economic engagement strategy that is suitable for the growing power competition. China has benefited greatly from the open market, which led the Trump administration to withdraw from global economic leadership. The Biden administration has worked to reverse the anti- internationalist tendencies of Trump, but there are still concerns about China’s exploitation of global trade. Additionally, neither political party in the US is interested in expanding international trade, which has deprived the World Trade Organization (WTO) of much- needed reforms and has geopolitical implications for forming alliances. Another factor that hinders the US’ ability to recalibrate its trade policies is the domestic scene, as new agreements can lead to domestic discontent. avoiding unnecessary wars. Trump withdrew the US from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which was one of the most significant partial free trade agreements at the time. Domestic politics have also prevented the Biden administration from seriously considering returning to the TPP. Agreements like the TPP would have allowed for deeper economic integration among US allies, with higher standards that could have limited China’s advantages in global trade by creating economic networks that are closed off to China. On the military aspect of containment, the US has the capability to project power in the Indo-Pacific region and significantly hinder Chinese influence, but there are not enough resources being directed towards increasing US presence in this way. The administration is hesitant to make radical changes to the budget allocation between different branches of the military and cannot simply increase the budget due to domestic constraints on military spending. The future consequences of this inability to increase military presence in the Indo-Pacific region are dangerous, as the threat of Chinese or Russian influence goes beyond regional undermining of the status quo in Europe or East Asia. The real danger is the potential inability of the American political system to understand that the current challenges are threatening the liberal international order as a whole, and that the defenses put up against this threat may be inadequate. By: Omar Fili, CIGA Research Assistant

How not to Deal with a Rising China: A US Perspective

Author: Joseph S. Nye Jr. Affiliation: the Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government Organization/Publisher: Journal of International Affairs Date/place: September 6, 2022/New York, USA Type of Literature: Journal Article Number of Pages: 17 Link: Keywords: US-China Relations, Power Competition, US-China Interdependence, China’s Rise Brief: In this journal article, Joseph S. Nye Jr. poses the question of whether China will displace the United States as a major power. Throughout the article, he attempts to answer the question of how the US should behave towards China and how it should react to China’s rise, in a way that will shape China’s behavior and environment without resorting to war. Many people believe that China is declining due to factors such as its failure to avoid the middle- income trap, its declining demographics, and low factory productivity. However, the future is uncertain and will depend in part on the strategy that the United States pursues, according to the author. According to Nye, realism has traditionally been the dominant model of international relations. He discusses various forms of realism, such as Hans Morgenthau’s classical realism and John Mearsheimer’s offensive realism, as well as alternative versions that focus on the balance of power between a hegemonic power and a rising competitor. The author also mentions various historical metaphors that have been used to describe the current state of relations between the United States and China, but admits that these metaphors can be oversimplified or misused. He specifically mentions the Thucydides trap, the New Cold War, and the 1914 Sleepwalker as three relevant metaphors. The Thucydides trap refers to the fear that a rising power (in this case, China) can instill in a dominant power (the United States). This concept has often been applied to past events, such as the relationship between Britain and Germany before World War I. However, the author argues that the gap in power between the United States and China is larger than that between Britain and Germany, and that the relationship between these two countries was more complex than simply a response to a rising power. The author also notes that other factors, such as Russia’s rise and the growth of Slavic nationalism, influenced Germany’s decision to go to war. In addition, the author discusses the role of American foreign policy in influencing the level of fear between the two countries and the potential for misjudgments that could lead to the Thucydides trap. The author also addresses the issue of hegemonic transition and asks whether China will be able to provide global public goods, such as climate finance, stability, and freedom of the seas. The author points out that China is currently the second largest funder of UN peacekeeping forces and heads four important UN agencies, and is also building its Belt and Road Initiative and collaborating on efforts to address climate change. Nye discusses the metaphor of the “New Cold War,” which is often used to describe the relationship between the US and China. However, Nye disagrees with the use of this metaphor and points out differences between the US and China, as opposed to the US and the Soviet Union, which make it an inappropriate comparison. Nye also notes that attempts to economically detach the US from China would come with significant economic risks and costs. In contrast to the Cold War with the Soviet Union, which was primarily driven by military and ideological threats, Nye believes that the US must consider its allies and the combined wealth of western democracies in order to address the challenges of dealing with China in the current globalized, interdependent world. Nye argues that “the politics of global interdependence involves power with others as well as over others.” Nye’s third and final metaphor is that of the “1914 sleepwalker,” which he believes is the most applicable to the current situation. This metaphor refers to the period leading up to World War I, when all major powers were anticipating a Balkan war that would shape the balance of power. Nye emphasizes several key features of this time period, including the rise of nationalism, which posed a threat to both the Ottoman and Austro-Hungarian empires, and the rise of pride and arrogance that led to a lack of moderation. Additionally, Nye notes the role of German policy, which was both eager and determined, yet unclear. In light of these historical lessons, Nye argues that it is important to stay alert to the rise of nationalism in China and populist nationalism in the US. He also points out the outdated nature of the US’s “double deterrence” policy, which aims to prevent Taiwan from declaring independence and China from using force, and warns against reacting to tensions by blocking assets or cutting off trade with China. Instead, he advises finding ways to prevent a cold or hot war between the US and China. Following the 1992 elections, some politicians in Washington came to believe that the Cold War was over and focused instead on the perceived threat from Japan. Joseph Nye believed at the time that this issue was exaggerated and that the real challenge of China’s rise was being overlooked and underestimated. Nye argues that, while the US based its policy on realism in dealing with Japan, it took a more liberal approach to trade. Therefore, a strategy of containment would not have been effective and would have jeopardized the US’s relationships with its allies. Instead, Nye suggests that the US should try to shape China’s environment in order to influence its behavior. While it may be unrealistic to expect the US to change China’s entire political system into a democratic and liberal state, a more realistic goal would be to coexist on terms that are beneficial to US interests and values. Some believe that China is showing signs of change and opening up, while others believe that these efforts are simply strategic moves. Nye argues that, while terrorism is a significant issue, it is less important than great power competition in the current global landscape. He suggests that a strategy focused solely on terrorism could have two problems: it could lump together various types of states, leading to an underestimation of powers like Russia, and it could overlook threats from ecological globalization, such as climate change, which could have significant economic costs and potentially lead to war. Instead, Nye advises the US to adopt a strategy of “competitive coexistence” with China, viewing it as a “cooperative rivalry.” He suggests that, by working together and coordinating their policies, the US, Japan, and Europe can create a rules-based international order that protects their interests and shapes Chinese behavior. Nye also highlights several advantages that the US has over China, including its geography, energy resources, financial power, and technological innovation, but notes that China is investing in research and development and aims to lead the fourth industrial revolution. According to Nye, the US should maintain its alliance with Japan and not halt all immigration, as demonizing China and starting a Cold War would hinder cooperation on ecological interdependence and potentially lead to the growth of nuclear weapons. Nye also notes the challenges of political polarization and dealing with social and economic problems, as well as the rise of populist nativism, which could reduce immigration and undermine support for international institutions and alliances. Additionally, he highlights the importance of having a clear vision and values in crafting a successful and necessary strategy for the US. This approach should include both realism and discretion, but also a focus on democratic values and human rights in order to effectively wield soft power. In conclusion, Nye argues that a successful strategy for the US must begin within its own borders by maintaining democratic institutions and investing in research and development to stay current with technological advances. The US should also be open to the world, while structuring its military and strengthening its ties with allies. To succeed, the US must not succumb to fear of weakening or decline and should continue to cooperate with China on transnational interdependence. Ultimately, Nye offers guidance to US policymakers on how to approach the challenges of dealing with China in an era of globalization and interdependence. He emphasizes the importance of cooperation, especially in issues like climate change and global pandemics, and points out the need for cooperation that has been demonstrated in the past couple of years with the spread of COVID-19. However, Nye does not advocate for a focus on regime change in China, which he sees as unrealistic. Instead, he suggests that the US and its allies should aim to shape China’s environment and influence its behavior to align with their interests, recognizing that regime change could be a welcomed outcome if it occurs. By: Sara El Souhagy, CIGA Research Intern

Title: Horn of Africa Emerging as a Strategic Pivot of The Indian Ocean Region: Need for Repackaging SAGAR 2.0

Author: Somen Banerjee

Affiliation: National Cadet Corps (Indian Navy), Odisha Directorate, Bhubaneshwar, India
Indian Ocean Research Group Inc; Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) /
Journal of the Indian Ocean Region
August 25, 2021/ the UK
Type of Literature:
Journal Article
Number of Pages:
India, the Horn of Africa, Indian Ocean, Geostrategic Pivot, Human Security, Development

By analyzing the compatibilities between India’s goal of Security and Growth for All in the Region (SAGAR) and the United Nations’ agenda of Sustainable Peace, the author aims to provide a framework for India’s geopolitical involvement in the Horn of Africa. The Horn of Africa has emerged as a strategic pivot, a region that offers the geographical cause for shaping the universal course of history. The Horn of Africa has become the strategic hub of the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) due to the growing presence and interests of extra-regional powers, its unique admixture of conflicts, superpower competition, and contestation between the Middle Eastern States; and, it straddles one of the busiest waterways of maritime trade. India—with the 6th largest Economy in the world—must broaden and deepen its involvement in the region’s geopolitics by harmonizing security and development to contribute to the region and achieve sustainable peace positively.
The author examines the challenges and prospects of working with the geopolitically complex region of the Horn of Africa to achieve a sustainable peace, and strives to address the central questions: What factors make the Horn of Africa an IOR strategic pivot? What distinguishes this area from the rest of Africa? The author examines India’s challenges as a security player in any region, since India has created conflicts from arbitrary border-drawing and shown staggering disregard for social affiliations. Its weak central government has exacerbated and even weaponized these fault lines, causing societal unrest and civil disputes. Accordingly, it must be questioned whether India’s SAGAR framework—which it has used for marine governance to integrate security and development—has the capacity to be implemented in the Horn of Africa, which is rapidly changing. The author analyses the geopolitical significance of the Horn as a pivot of the Indian Ocean Region to determine SAGAR’s feasibility as a foreign policy plan. The crucial point that the author tries to convey is that orthodox politics no longer determines national stature or power. Instead, the new sources of a country’s international leverage are equally centered on technology, connection, climate change, investment, and trade. The Horn of Africa is not an exception. The region’s security architecture has been shaped by the military presence of several governments and the ever-expanding economic networks in the region. While the U.S., China, the European Union, Japan, and France have emerged as prominent security actors, Russia and the Middle Eastern governments have made considerable inroads in the region. As a result, the Horn of Africa is becoming a strategic pivot for the Indian Ocean Region and a microcosm of anarchism in global politics. The security architecture of the area is being increasingly impacted by structural reasons, which has implications for the whole world, as the commercial and military presence of foreign players continues to grow.
The Horn of Africa’s geostrategic relevance has increased significantly over the past ten years due to the fierce military and geoeconomics struggle. Therefore, it will soon become a strategic pivot in the IOR. Although geoeconomics rivalry in the region has brought developmental outcomes and has boosted economic growth in some countries of the Horn region, its great mass of people still lack access to even the most basic human necessities. More should be done. In this regard, Japan’s and France’s geopolitical approaches can be exemplary as the two have allocated resources that support the development and human security in the Horn of African states. India has, ironically, been an outlier in the region. The deployment of Indian soldiers to serve the U.N. Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) have little political influence on the regional security architecture. The U.N.’s mission of sustainable peace is supported through Grant Assistance for Grassroot Human Security Projects (GGP), which focuses on human security issues. Therefore, ideal geopolitical involvement in the Horn should combine essential human security and development elements. The network of connections that influence the Horn’s political landscape results from competition between Middle Eastern governments and interactions between significant foreign powers. Different local, regional, and international incentives exist for every foreign participant to be present in the Horn. The geopolitical ups and downs have not affected India’s relationship with the Horn; its indulgence has mainly been restricted to anti-piracy patrols at sea and peacekeeping missions on land. However, the expectation of global leadership has increased with India’s nomination to the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) for the years 2021 and 2022. The best approach to getting the world’s respect is to show that you have global importance. India would thus need to exert tremendous effort in the Indian Ocean Region’s littorals by focusing on human security and sustainable development. In this regard, India might realign its Security and Growth for All in the Region (SAGAR) philosophy using the conceptual framework provided by the United Nations’ objective for sustainable peace. In terms of development, the World Bank has designated Sudan, Somalia, and Eritrea as Fragile and Conflict-Affected States (FCS) for the fiscal year 2021. The obstacles to advancement are just as common in Africa as in the Horn. Multidimensional inequalities and unfair wealth distribution are manifested in the region’s vulnerability to widespread poverty. Additionally, horizontal disparities based on racial, gender, linguistic, religious, and cultural identities feed societal unrest. Other concerning megatrends that influence the economic, political, and social environment are the COVID-19 pandemic, rapid population rise, migration, and urbanization. Forecasts indicate that the temperature will increase and that coastal regions will experience more frequent flooding. Risks associated with disasters would result in the loss of infrastructure, crops, and livelihoods, which might cause civil instability and mass migration. Furthermore, by 2050, the majority would probably be forced to live in urban slums due to the high population increase. Most people in the Horn experience structural and physical violence in their daily lives because there is no political leviathan Ethiopia’s extraordinary economic development over the past two decades has brought about stability and regional collaboration, encouraging peace and security. The Horn of Africa is blessed with abundant natural resources, a sizable agricultural area, and the Nile, one of the world’s longest rivers. Fossil fuels, mineral resources, and fishing are significant economic contributors. Any attempt to sustainably engage the Horn would require a regional strategy with Ethiopia at its center. China’s Djibouti-Ethiopia model is instructive in this regard.
Human security, broadly described as being free from both fear and hunger, is closely tied to many facets of economic progress. The Horn of Africa yearns for a lasting peace that places people at the heart of prosperity and security, in contrast to its people being exploited by colonial powers who have continued interfering in the region that has resulted in decades of strife. Regional integration seems to be the most practical plan for quick
expansion given the current Horn conditions. The best course of action is to invest in the economic corridors that connect Ethiopia with its maritime neighbors. However, this development ought to result in peace and security for people. By definition, SAGAR, the foreign policy concept of India, coincidentally combines security and development. But is it a workable plan for fostering long-term peace in the Horn of Africa?
Growing evidence suggests that the geopolitical rivalry and direct and indirect international interventions by extra-regional or outside actors have been ineffective in resolving complex and protracted conflicts in the global south, but instead enabled patrimonial politics and
authoritarianism. Inequality, lack of opportunities, discrimination, and exclusion have also fueled complaints and perceptions of injustice. In most African governments, poor governance leads to transnational crimes such as terrorism, violent extremism, human trafficking, forced migration, and illicit money flows. To take the author’s recommendations seriously would require that geopolitical interests and rivalry should prioritize societaldevelopment and security over militarism and partisan politics in the target region. Extra-regional actors must follow human-centered geopolitical approaches to bring about sustainable peace in the Horn of Africa. If geopolitical players follow the author’s presumptions, the Horn of Africa’s politics and strategic position may favorably influence peace, development, democracy, property, and human security. However, if these presumptions are not taken into account and geopolitics in the Horn of Africa continue to be characterized by militarization and mutually-exploitive politics between local actors and their international partners, the region will continue to be plagued by state collapse, civil war, human trafficking, and terrorism.

The Horn of Africa has been increasingly important over the past 20 years, and the area has begun to serve as the IOR’s strategic pivot. India must thus shift its attention to this important geographic location. Because of the ongoing violence in the area, the smaller nations are more susceptible to political and social upheavals. In this context, Ethiopia’s demographic dividend, political influence, and geographic center give optimism for regional prosperity and integration. As a result, the Horn of Africa’s regional integration, with Ethiopia at its center, is a workable way to promote economic development and stability. According to the logic presented in this article, India’s SAGAR foreign policy philosophy, which conflates security with development, is consistent with the U.N.’s goal of sustainable peace. SAGAR, however, is unduly concerned with maritime governance in its current form. India’s approach to the region should consider good governance, growth, and human security. India has to contribute to global concerns, not just in word only, but actually build its worldwide presence to impact global consciousness visibly. While moving forward would require risk-taking, India should avoid misrepresenting caution and hesitation as wise decisions. Undoubtedly, the Horn of Africa poses a variety of challenges. Still, it also presents India with tremendous potential to position itself as an advocate for international stability and security, particularly in light of its participation in the U.N. Security Council in 2021–2022. India must thus redesign SAGAR Version 2.0 for the Horn of Africa by coordinating its foreign policy with the U.N.’s objectives for sustainable peace.

By: Jemal Muhamed, CIGA Senior Research Associate

The Hollow Order: Rebuilding an International System that Works

Author: Philip Zelikow Affiliation: Professor of History at the University of Virginia. Former U.S. Diplomat and Executive Director of the 9/11 Commission. He has worked for five US presidential administrations including National Security Council staff for President George H.W. Bush (1989-1991), and member of the President’s Intelligence Advisory Board for President Bush (2001-03) and for President Obama (2011-13). Organization/Publisher: Foreign Affairs Date/Place: July/August 2022, Washington, USA Type of Literature: Journal Article Word Count: 4933 Link: Keywords: New World Order, Ukraine, Washington, Russia, China Brief: After working for five US Presidential administrations as a career diplomat and then Intelligence Advisor, the author now believes the current world order needs to be rebuilt and reconstructed. In this new system, the US’s role would be central but not domineering, and power would be shared with partners and allies; it would be a world of free trade with partners that share the same values. The author is critical of the US’s high defense spending, which satisfies more those in power rather than supporting any positive strategies, much like the European empires that built a system to satisfy mainly their interests. Furthermore, the US and other states have withdrawn from trade agreements and have disregarded international institutions, and have not taken any action to improve the economy or global health. The author’s main idea is one of cooperation, crafting ideal and practical solutions that would benefit broad interests. The author sees a new system based on a cooperative world, which according to him is a new idea. After WWII and the Cold War, the system that had emerged was a divided one. International policymakers commenced to build new institutions and improve old ones. They believed that Washington’s role in this new system would be essential but not domineering, that partnerships would be made to combine its powers with other allies. After the fall of the Soviet Union, policymakers were careful not to hurt Russia’s pride, while the US began to withdraw most of its forces from Europe. Since then, the world order and its institutions have been working on autopilot. There were some issues that plagued Europe, mostly security issues. George W. Bush, for instance, urged Ukraine to receive NATO membership in 2008; however, other allies such as Germany and France blocked any further progress on the issue, which created a division among NATO members. Here, the author explains that the crisis which happened in 2014 was not due to NATO, but rather was induced by Ukraine’s venture to associate itself with the EU. Based on what the author states, Putin only uses NATO to conceal his real concern—Ukraine becoming a democratic independent state. The author then addresses the issue of climate change and its policies. The main international response since the Earth Summit (held in Rio de Janeiro in 1992) has been to commit to decarbonization. However, most of the assurances and promises made by states have been a façade. Europe, which is the most outspoken on the issue, has become more and more dependent on fossil fuels, especially from Russia. The fuel crisis in Europe is acutely visible after the war in Ukraine started. On another note, economically, the United States has been incapable to join trade agreements due to domestic opposition. Many countries have incurred enormous amounts of debt and the current system is unable to organize a way to provide vital and necessary relief. The author emphasizes the impact of this system on global health and how certain events have shown its lack of success, notably the SARS epidemic of 2013 and more recently the COVID-19 outbreak. These two outbreaks highlight concerns about the role in informing the world about the seriousness of the cases, and revealed the weakness of international organizations in charge, such as the World Health Organization. It also showed that when it came to a so-called “global response”, major powers were only concerned with their own self-interest. Thus, the author states that in a new world order, policymakers would have to address the failures of the existing system, and the way to achieve this is to actually practice problem-solving. The first step is to focus on the crisis in Ukraine and its reconstruction. The G-7 allied countries must arrange for Ukraine’s accession to the EU. However, the author also states that the US and Europe must reevaluate their defense strategy and undertake military planning beyond Europe, and not only focus on Ukraine. The issue of Ukraine affects many aspects of diplomacy—one being the disagreement over Taiwan’s sovereignty. When Russia started its invasion against Ukraine, the author claims that China sees this as an opportunity to prove its sovereignty. Accordingly, both Japan and the US must defend Taiwan if Beijing took any action. This reality must be taken into account, and Japan and the US must leave no doubt that they would come to the rescue. The author tries to highlight the current system’s problems that the war in Ukraine has made visible. For instance, he mentions that there should be more determined and cooperative action on the transition to clean energy, which will require a process of finding different and secure supplies of minerals needed for renewable sources. Moreover, the G-7 must work on fighting Russian aggression against Ukraine, but the author cautions they must study how their actions would affect developing states. Furthermore, coordination between the US and Europe must improve. Especially when another pandemic hits, the US government must work with its partners in developing and distributing vaccines. The author emphasizes the decentralization of this new order. Because many are united by their resentment of the US and will try to discredit this new system, it should not be limited only to the US and its traditional allies. It should be more inclusive and attempt to welcome other states at the table such as India and possibly even China. However, China would be more difficult to achieve, especially after its partnership with Putin and its grouping with states that include Iran, North Korea, and Pakistan. The author comments on China’s view that US policy is to cut off China’s growth. Because China’s strategy is national self-sufficiency, the author believes that this is not at odds with having the world’s most populous country in this new world order. Rather, it would be effective and of utmost benefit to the system. By: Sara El Souhagy, CIGA Research Intern

Why War Fails: Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine and the Limits of Military Power

Authors:Sir Lawrence Freedman, KCMG, CBE Affiliation: Emeritus Professor of War Studies at King’s College London (1982-2014) Organization/Publisher: Foreign Affairs Date/Place: July/August 2022/USA Type of Literature: Journal Article Word Count: 4867 Link: Keywords: Russia, Ukraine, Chechnya, Putin, Forces, Kyiv, Volodymyr Zelenskyy Brief: Russia is trying to hit hard but Ukraine isn’t silent as well. Russia had planned to seize Ukraine from the Kherson Airport at Chornobaivka, an important point for its upcoming offensive; but the operation wasn’t accurate as the Russians had planned, as Ukraine started to defend itself by armed drones and destroyed the Russian helicopters that were transferring supplies from Crimea. But Ukraine didn’t stop there; it also destroyed another 30 Russian helicopters in March. Ukraine’s attacks have continued to destroy more and more Russian supplies and weapons. Despite the result of these events, Russia apparently didn’t have a strategic plan to fix all of this, but instead stuck to its original orders, which led to a disaster. Because of the huge numbers of soldiers that Russia has been using to invade Ukraine, many leaders and politicians have questioned how Ukraine has held in front of these forces. Military power isn’t always about the skills and the kind of weapons you are using, but it also includes a good and organized leadership that can lead the troop wisely. According to the author, Putin has made the classical mistake of underestimating the enemy and what it is capable of. Military leaders need to understand that their decisions must be wisely made because depending on these decisions/orders, the fate of their country will be decided. The author mentions some main standards that every military leader must have: deep professional knowledge, the ability to use resources efficiently, good communication skills, the ability to get on with others, a sense of moral purpose and responsibility, and a willingness to care for subordinates. Not all subordinates will obediently carry out orders. Even the most careful field officer may disregard orders that are occasionally improper because they may be founded on insufficient and out-of-date intelligence. In other situations, implementation might be feasible but foolish because there may be a more effective approach to accomplish the same goals. However, to avoid such conflicts, the modern command philosophy practiced in the West has tended to encourage subordinates to take the initiative to handle the current situation; commanders trust those involved in the action to make the crucial decisions while remaining prepared to intervene if things go wrong. Ukrainian armies have adopted this strategy, while Russia adheres to a more hierarchical leadership paradigm. Although the local initiative is theoretically permitted by Russian ideology, the current command structures discourage subordinates from defying their superiors and taking a chance. The author says that Russia’s command problem in Ukraine is a consequence of current political leadership more than a military philosophy. As autocrats frequently surround themselves with advisors who share their political views and favor loyalty above competence among their senior military leaders, the author suggests that authorities and officers in Russia must be cautious before questioning superiors. The Russian military has always been a powerful and strategic one. An example was what happened in Chechnya in 1994-96 by Russian president Boris Yeltsin. The Russian Defense Minister Pavel Grachev assured the president that by sending the Russian military into the Chechen capital of Grozny as soon as possible, it would put an end to Chechnya’s attempt to break away from the Russian Federation. But because Russia underestimated what Chechnya could do, it lost the first attack on Chechnya. Three years later, Putin decided to resume the Chechnya war, but this time with a complete preparation of Russian forces. Despite all the efforts that had been made by Putin to be a powerful politician/president, his relations with the West have always been under threat because of many reasons, one of them (maybe the biggest) is Ukraine. As the Ukraine has come under the control of the West, Putin decided to join Crimea to his control. This confirmed his status as a shrewd supreme commander, and brought him great support from the local people; but he was always moving with a sensitivity alert without violence, and as violence occurred he had to protect the people in danger. Putin didn’t stop there, but began a bigger battle in the Donbas region. When Putin saw that he could be defeated by the Ukrainians, the Kremlin sent in regular Russian forces. Although the author claims that Russia didn’t face a real threat from the Ukrainian army and says that this move wasn’t necessary, he acknowledges Putin’s wanting to be on the safe side, especially as fighting continued despite the Minsk agreement being signed in 2014. The author discusses Putin’s strategies to protect himself and his state, that it can be said how the more Putin says that he isn’t using violence, the more he is actually using it. After Putin failed in trying to use the Russian enclaves to influence Kyiv to return to Moscow’s influence and never again consider joining NATO or the EU, he used Ukraine’s weaknesses and needs to convince the world that Kyiv needed to change its government. Such a strategy needs a strict commitment from the armed forces and strong movements. The recent Russian military action in Syria, which has effectively supported the dictatorship of Bashar al-Assad, and recent attempts to modernize Russia’s armed forces had increased Putin’s confidence. But the war hasn’t succeeded for Putin because he didn’t listen to the warning that came from different perspectives in his government and leaders, confirming that Ukraine is stronger than it was eight years ago and that the Russian numbers weren’t enough to invade all of the Ukraine. Consequently, the main flaws of the Russian campaign were exposed as soon as the invasion began. The first indication that Putin’s plan wasn’t going as it should was what happened at the Hostomel airport, near Kyiv, where the Russians faced more Ukrainian attacks than they expected. Putin’s initial strategic oversight was believing Ukraine to be both helpless against Russian forces and incapable to participate in anti-Russian operations. After Putin made his move and initiated the invasion, he appeared unwilling to adjust to the new situation as the invasion paused, adamant that everything was going according to plan and on schedule. On the other hand, the initial aim of the Russian operation was rejected by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who also rejected offers from the United States and other Western nations to be transferred to safety in order to establish a government in exile. In addition to surviving, he has remained in Kyiv, has been outspoken, and has rallied his supporters while urging Western countries to continue providing additional military and financial help. Putin’s position, and his warning to the West not to oppose what he is doing in the Ukraine, has remained the same. In the new offensive, which began in earnest in mid-April without the Russian forces taking any break for a full re-preparing, Russian forces made few gains, while Ukrainian counterattacks nibbled away at their positions. With Putin out of choices following a continuous spate of bad command decisions, numerous observers started to notice that Russia had become entrenched in an unwinnable conflict that it dared not lose, as the attack in Ukraine neared the end of its third month. The Ukraine-Russia war remains a debatable case of how a powerful state like Russia cannot succeed in winning over a weaker state like Ukraine through persistent force. One point that will be discussed is how Russia trusted in its powerful force and weapons without putting in real and detailed tactics. Moreover, underestimating your enemy is a classical mistake that Putin didn’t avoid. It isn’t always who is stronger in weapons but who is more intelligent in tactics. And despite its successes in different arenas like Syria and Chechnya, Russia didn’t put into consideration what Ukraine is capable of doing, or rather what capabilities the West would bring to Ukraine. One of the other important lessons from this battle will be the value of local initiative and delegated authority. For these methods to be successful, the author explains that the concerned military must be able to meet four requirements. First, there needs to be respect amongst people at the most senior and junior levels. Second, the combatants must have access to the tools and materials they require to continue fighting. Third, individuals providing leadership at the lowest levels of command must be of the highest caliber. Fourth, to function effectively at whatever level of command, one must be dedicated to the objective and comprehend its political purpose. The author believes these elements weren’t included in Putin’s strategic plan, who accordingly is having a challenge in directing people to act in favor of what they may see as a delusion. By: Sohaila Oraby, CIGA Research Intern