Stephen Blank

Stephen Blank
Foreign Policy Research Institute

About

273
Publications
338,565
Reads
How we measure 'reads'
A 'read' is counted each time someone views a publication summary (such as the title, abstract, and list of authors), clicks on a figure, or views or downloads the full-text. Learn more
1,320
Citations

Publications

Publications (273)
Article
Full-text available
Russian nuclear strategy in the war against Ukraine through June 1, 2022
Article
Full-text available
Russia seeks to convert the Black Sea into a Russian lake. This entails projecting power well into the Mediterranean Sea. Since 2013 Moscow has reinforced the missile, air defence, and submarine component of its Mediterranean Eskadra (Squadron) to deny NATO access to the Eastern Mediterranean and Black Seas. This article explains how and why Russia...
Article
Full-text available
Article
Full-text available
What policy should the U.S. follow in regard to North KOrea
Chapter
Full-text available
Russian foreign policy in the Middle East has been a challenge not only to the regional world order but also to a geostrategic modus operandi in the region. This involvement challenges the regional order and the balance of power/interests in a way that introduces new input into the regional security equation. The domestic factor of Russian involvem...
Book
Full-text available
This book is about deterrence Russian, U.S. and Chinese nuclear policies
Article
Full-text available
This essay argues that a Sino-Russian alliance has come into being over many years of the two states’ evolutionary policies. Although Vladimir Putin has emphasised that this is a multi-faceted relationship, this essay focuses exclusively on its military dimension. It comprises extensive inter-ministerial and inter-governmental cooperation, arms sal...
Book
Full-text available
The Zambakari Advisory is pleased to publish its Summer 2020 Special Issue: “Courting Africa: Asian Powers and the New Scramble for the Continent.” To produce a quality perspective and shine a nuanced light on this “scramble,” we invited prominent scholars to think about Africa’s relationship with one of its biggest trading partners in Asia. We ask...
Article
Full-text available
U.S. policy in Central Asia
Chapter
Full-text available
This chapter addresses the evolution of the so called strategic triangle since 2014. It argues that whereas the Obama Administration dismissed the whole idea of a triangle, it is impossible to discern as of yet any coherent strategy of the Trump Administration. Meanwhile Russo-Chinese relations have evolved towards a de facto alliance (although not...
Chapter
Full-text available
Chapter
By 2013, Russia aimed to assert its independent status as a major contributor to stabilization on the Korean Peninsula and to avoid marginalization by standing apart from efforts to restrain North Korea. Many see South Korea’s harder line and US policies as primarily responsible for North Korea’s adventurism and believe Washington still seeks regim...
Chapter
Full-text available
The Crimean crisis in March 2014 impels us to reconsider Sino-Russian relations. From Russia’s perspective, all that matters is that China—its largest trading partner and the primary hope for future investments—opposed sanctions and would not formally oppose Moscow at the Security Council. We see the limits of Russia’s ability to resist Chinese pow...
Article
Full-text available
Russian policy in Asia and in the Arctic share significantly overlapping elements. One such element is the precedent set when the UN awarded the Sea of Okhotsk to Moscow in 2013. Moscow’s subsequent conduct in closing that sea to foreign shipping and creating a naval bastion there suggest that it may well do the same should part or all of its very...
Chapter
Full-text available
The United States has gradually disengaged from the security affairs of the South Caucasus, and accords ever less attention to conflict resolution. Led by an administration that views the deployment of US power with apprehension, the defining features of US policy have been the failed “Reset” policy with Russia, and a general lack of direction that...
Article
This essay examines Russia’s ongoing counterinsurgency war in the North Caucasus in the light of Russian historical strategies and some Western or comparative principles that pertain to such wars. We argue that Russia is failing to bring this war toward resolution and that it is already deforming the state structure and could engender even more neg...
Article
This article examines some of the many challenges facing Russia’s defense industrial sector as it tries to compete abroad under new circumstances and focuses to a considerable degree on its ties to Asian countries, mainly China. It also seeks to prove that Russia exports weapons mainly for reasons of gaining foreign policy standing and influence an...
Article
As the NATO withdrawal proceeds in Afghanistan, both the Alliance and key members will encourage Central Asian states to assume more responsibility for providing their own security. But such a task is enormous for most Central Asian governments. Thus, they fear that they might be abandoned to Moscow, if not Beijing, or left on their own to face wha...
Article
The Russo-Chinese relationship is one of the most important relationships in both Asian and international security. It is undergoing dynamic evolution as a result of the Russian war in Ukraine. This article stresses that the bilateral relationship is one where both Moscow and Beijing espouse the logic of the strategic triangle vis-a-vis the United...
Article
Full-text available
Rerouting South Stream through Turkey, Russia is striking at Azerbaijan and at potential Central Asian gas exporters to Europe. Over the last couple of years, under Baku’s lead, Azerbaijan and Turkey have been working on bringing to fruition the so-called Southern Gas Corridor (SGC), which aims to bring Caspian-sourced gas through the Trans-Anatoli...
Article
Genocide and genocidal political processes have been used by the Russian state for decades—if not centuries—as a technique of self-colonial rule intended to eliminate “dissident” ethnic identities. Within this context, the historical fate of the Crimean Tatars is surely a unique one. Despite Soviet obstructions, the Crimean Tatars eventually return...
Article
Even as the world focuses on Ukraine, Washington has conspicuously ignored resolute action to resolve existing conflicts in the Caucasus, in particular the so-called frozen conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh. Here, Washington has refused to see that Russia is playing a malignant role in perpetuating the conflict and has r...
Article
Full-text available
Russia attempts to leverage itself onto the global stage and be portrayed as a global power that must be consulted on major global issues. It does so in order to claim a status of equality with the United States and force it to consider Russian interests before the United States acts in those regions where Russia claims to have vital or important i...
Article
Since the Russo-Georgian war of 2008 Moscow has embarked upon a steady and relentless military buildup across the Caucasus. This buildup actually accelerated after 2010, allegedly on account of Russian expectations that the West would attack Iran and of Iranian retaliation against US-Israeli interests and allies in the Caucasus. Such unrealistic pr...
Article
Full-text available
Russia has made systematic strategic efforts for the last few years to expand and enhance its strategic presence throughout the Middle East. It has used all the instruments of power available to it—arms sales, energy sales or buys, and diplomatic support—to gain a lasting position from which it can influence all of the states and issues in the Midd...
Article
Full-text available
Russia views its military exports as a major tool for achieving its national security interests, particularly, in the East Asia and the Middle East. The arms trade is an integral part of its image as a world power, a critical part of its relationship with other states in Asia, a central element in its defense and security agreements, and an essenti...
Chapter
Full-text available
Moscow’s professed interest in regional security is first and foremost an effort to leverage its geographical position and attributes of great power standing, membership in the Security Council, vast energy reserves, nuclear weapons, geographical expanse, etc. for purposes of global standing. Ultimately Russian policy remains rhetorical rather than...
Article
Moscow has shown interest in reducing tensions on the Korean peninsula through promotion of three major trilateral (RF-DPRK-ROK) infrastructure projects: uniting the railroads in both Koreas with the Tran-Siberian Railway as well as constructing gas pipelines and power lines from Primorye to South Korea through North Korea. North Korea's "rapproche...
Article
This article is an early attempt to underscore some of the immediate conclusions arising out of Russia's invasion, occupation, and annexation of Crimea. It deals not only with the implications for Ukraine but for Europe and Eurasia as a whole, with special reference to the Caucasus—an area beset by unresolved conflicts. In those contexts, the artic...
Article
Many see the western Balkans as the back yard of Europe. As the promise and reality of regional economic integration has weakened, however, Russia has returned to the area to play its historically important regional role. In the Balkans, a Russian or Russifying project competes against a European Union project, while Washington has shown little int...
Article
Full-text available
The study of a country's arms sales opens up pathways for investigating its domestic and foreign policies. Arms sales are also a phenomenon that is greatly affected by globalization. This is certainly the case for Russia, especially as regards its arms sales to Asia. This article analyzes Russian arms sales to Asia and finds that despite Moscow's p...
Article
Full-text available
Increased shale gas and shale oil production in the USA will affect global geopolitics and national security considerations. An influx of Qatari LNG into Europe and Asia, which is diverted from the USA, erodes the tremendous market share held by the Russian gas company Gazprom and significantly reduces its pricing power. The USA did not begin to im...
Article
Full-text available
The most under-reported aspect of the Arctic's growing importance is its impact upon Asia's international relations. There is an enormous need for energy due to the rise of China and other Asian countries as the most dynamic region of the global economy. The introduction of the Arctic into the Asian equation could enhance Russia's role. This articl...
Article
Full-text available
Despite both the Russian and Chinese governments proclaiming to have identical interests, the reality is quite different. On global issues like intervention in third world countries, non-proliferation, democracy promotion and Central Asia, Russia and China jointly act to resist US notions of a liberal world order dominated by American power. Howeve...
Article
Full-text available
The most outstanding trend in contemporary conflicts has been the fusion of the threats from terrorism and insurgency. Insurgent threats in many places on the globe today are mistaken as terrorist threats, and counterterrorism (CT) is deployed as the local insurgents come increasingly to resemble their transnational terrorist partners. Such an emph...
Article
Russo–Chinese relations in all their aspects are immensely important for Asian and global security. This article focuses on regional trends in their military relations and finds them to be much more complicated and ambivalent than both Moscow and Beijing would have us believe. Although both sides profess ever-greater identity of interests, and some...
Article
Full-text available
Ukraine's current policy line is counterproductive, according to the authors. Not only may potential supporters be unable to help Ukraine, they will probably not want to help it and will ignore the consequences of its distress given their preoccupation with other problems. Then many wolves will flock not only to Ukraine's but to Europe's door oblig...
Article
China is already outpacing Russia, which is encountering ever more difficulties in trying to arrange a continental bloc of satellite states. While it may not be possible for China to organize its own version of such a bloc given the deep-rooted regional fears and apprehensions about Chinese objectives, in the coming years it will probably be the pr...
Article
Full-text available
Although information warfare (IW) and information operations (IO) have become ubiquitous global phenomena, not everyone views them in the same way. Whereas the United States and many other advanced powers see these new strategic capabilities as useful mainly to disrupt enemies’ physical infrastructure and military command and control, Russia, becau...
Article
Full-text available
A U.S. initiative treating Russia as a serious East Asian partner, engaging in a real dialogue on security threats there, and a strong public expression of U.S. willingness to invest in the Russian Far East (RFE) in return for real guarantees of that investment, could well elicit a favorable Russian response. Such an initiative should also encourag...
Article
The North and South Caucasus (or Transcaucasus) are among the most volatile places in the world today. The potential for conflict among or between its states and non-state terrorist movements is high, with conflicts either occurring or frozen. Russia, although by no means the only factor behind these conflicts, is clearly one of the governments mos...
Article
Full-text available
This paper represents an assessment of the present great game or new great game in Central Asia among the major external and internal political actors three. It finds that the game is probably intensifying and at the same time serves the purposes of Central Asian governments in helping them preserve domestic security. Thus the foreign rivalry serve...
Article
China's Border Policies toward Central Asia since 1991 are revealing indicators of the growth of Chinese power and the expansion of Chinese objectives with regard to the region. As China has grown more powerful, its interest in acquiring more land in Central Asia and in altering the borders to meet its new interests has also increased. The goal of...
Article
The stagnation of the six-party process has produced great anxiety in Russia over the future of the Korean peninsula. Indeed, in September 2010, even before the attack on Yeonpyeong and the announcement of a uranium enrichment facility, Moscow's representative to the six-party talks stated that Korea was on the brink of war. This anxiety reflects t...
Article
Full-text available
The Obama administration touts the reset policy with Russia as one of its signal achievements in foreign policy. One of the key elements of its argument is Russia’s help with Iran. Upon closer inspection it appears, however, that this support is tenuous and limited. Indeed, we may have reached the end of the line in terms of Russian support for t...
Article
Asia, where nuclear powers already interact (including North Korea), exerts a growing influence on the thinking and policy underlying Russia's current and future nuclear (and overall defense) posture. China's rise is forcing Russia into a greater reliance on strategic offensive weapons and tactical nuclear weapons. These in turn will reinforce its...
Article
Full-text available
During the 20 years of independence, security environment in Central Asia has been changing drastically, with changes in strategies and alliances. This region is acquiring day by day more geostrategic importance due, among other things, to the situation in Afghanistan, to their natural resources, hydrocarbons specially, and their localization among...
Article
Full-text available
Four years after the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)-Russia Council came into being, it represents a picture in ambivalence and incomplete realization of partnership. This monograph focuses on the Russian side of this growing estrangement. It finds the Russian roots of this ambivalence in the increasingly visible manifestations of an auto...
Article
Full-text available
In responding to the "Arab Spring," Russia has attempted to protect its interests in the region, block Western initiatives, and prevent contagion closer to home. Since the fall of Libya's Qaddafi, Moscow has been all the more determined to shield Syrian president Assad and draw Central Asian regimes closer to Russia. But there is little evidence th...
Article
The views expressed in this report are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, the Department of Defense, or the U.S. Government. Authors of Strategic Studies Institute (SSI) publications enjoy full academic freedom, provided they do not disclose classified information, jeop...
Article
Full-text available
Russia has tied the success of its efforts to reclaim great power status in Asia to its success in selling China, Japan, and South Korea energy. Consequently energy policy has been tied to defense and security and, for example, defense of energy projects has become a major mission for the navy. But Russia is encountering difficulties. In the Arctic...
Article
Full-text available
Commentators around the world have focused on China's rise but rarely have done so in regard to China's policies in Central Asia. Much of that rise appears to have been at Russia's expense, and China is increasingly able to deploy potent economic and political instruments of power (with the military one always being in reserve) to advance its posit...
Article
Full-text available
Russia seeks to reintegrate Central Asia around its power and authority and to that end deploys all the instruments of power available to it. However, it also faces several challenges in Central Asia. Some of those challenges to its policy stem from the possibility of terrorism or a Taliban victory in Afghanistan. Others come from the prospect of p...
Article
Full-text available
In 2008 Russia generated many headlines by overtly angling for a big role in Latin America s international politics. Although Russian interest in Latin America seemingly waned after that, recent signs suggest Russia is gaining a second wind in Latin America. This new upsurge begins from that 2008 baseline. Although it utilizes the same instruments...
Article
Russia's political-economic structure is a neo-Tsarist patrimonial one that fuses together power and position in traditional, even medieval ways. As a result its economy is hobbled by pervasive systemic corruption, misrule, and chronic sub-optimal outcomes. Of necessity these outcomes have a profound impact on Russian security and defense agendas....
Chapter
In assessing Russia’s security policy, the analysis of military doctrine plays an important role. Military doctrine forms a part of the national security policy and is a reflection of past and possibly future political- military policy. Therefore, to gain a good insight into Russian security policy, a thorough analysis of the development of Russian...
Article
Full-text available
The papers collected here represent the Strategic Studies Institute's (SSI) continuing activity to foster dialogue on topical issues in international security among experts from the United States and abroad. These papers are taken from the conference that SSI conducted on January 25-26, 2010, entitled, "Contemporary Issues in International Security...
Article
Stephen Blank is Research Professor of National Security Affairs with the Strategic Studies Institute at the U.S. Army War College. He can be reached at <stephen.blank@us.armymil>. 1. An English translation of Oleg Shvartsman's interview with Kommersant on November 30, 2007, is available at Robert Amsterdam, "Russia's Velvet Re-Privatization" http:...
Article
Full-text available
The NBR Special Report provides access to current research on special topics conducted by the world's leading experts in Asian affairs. The views expressed in these reports are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of other NBR research associates or institutions that support NBR. The National Bureau of Asian Research is a n...
Article
China has clearly emulated Russia's previous example of making loud claims and increasing military patrols in the Arctic. China will likely become a major player in Arctic trade routes and become a main destination for goods shipped through the Northern Sea Route. It is likely that a significant part of future Russian oil and gas production will ul...
Article
Full-text available
These papers are taken from the conference that SSI conducted on January 25-26, 2010, entitled, "Contemporary Issues in International Security" at the Finnish embassy in Washington, DC. The panel presented here was devoted to an unjustly neglected topic, Russia's standing and prospects in East Asia. While U.S. policymakers openly discuss the possib...
Article
Strategic Insights is a quarterly electronic journal produced by the Center for Contemporary Conflict at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California. The views expressed here are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the views of NPS, the Department of Defense, or the U.S. Government.
Article
The Obama administration's reset policy with Russia focuses on certain key issues in the Russo-American relationship: arms control, as embodied in the new Prague treaty called New Start, gaining Russian support for U.S. pressure on Iran, and gaining Russian support for the U.S. effort in Afghanistan. This article closely examines the arms control a...
Article
The US President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev have publicly insisted that hitting the reset button' has improved more than just the atmospherics of US-Russian relations. It is fashionable in today's Washington to assert that the US needs Russian cooperation to stop North Korean and particularly Iranian nuclear proliferation. T...
Article
Russia proclaims that its recent energy deals with China are win-win deals. But in fact, when looked at closely, they appear to be much more one-sided on behalf of China. They actually presage a new Asian economic order, beginning with the Russian Far East where China is the dominant power driving the agenda and establishing the order. In this cont...
Article
Full-text available
Editors July 2010 The views expressed in this report are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the De-partment of the Army, the Department of Defense, or the U.S. Government. Authors of Strategic Studies Institute (SSI) publica-tions enjoy full academic freedom, provided they do not disclose classifi...
Chapter
Eurasia (the Caucasus and Central Asia) has become and will remain a prime battleground between East and West. The Russo-Georgia war of 2008, the eviction of the US from its base at Manas, Kyrgyzstan, and Russia’s establishment of land, sea, and air bases in Abkhazia in early 2009 confirms this. As a result of that war Russia unilaterally abridged...
Chapter
Four years after the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)-Russia Council came into being, it represents a picture in ambivalence and incomplete realization of partnership. This monograph focuses on the Russian side of this growing estrangement. It finds the Russian roots of this ambivalence in the increasingly visible manifestations of an auto...
Article
China has exploited its relatively strong position following the current global financial and economic crisis, to buy up energy positions throughout Asia. In doing so it is using the tactics it had developed earlier when energy prices were quite high to buttress its energy security. That security entails having multiple secure sources of energy ove...
Article
Full-text available
In Washington, there is a widely shared view that the United States needs Russian cooperation to stop Iranian and North Korean nuclear proliferation, particularly Iran's. This view rests on the premise that the United States should take Russia "seriously," and taking Russia seriously means accepting Russian demands for no missile defense in Europe...
Article
This article analyzes the consequences of the 2008 Russian-Georgian war and the unfocused US response to that war. It describes the negative tendencies in both Russian behavior and European security that were illuminated by the war, and concludes that the West, including the United States, suffered serious geopolitical defeats, with consequences th...
Article
The Russo-Georgian War of 2008 had profoundly negative consequences for European security, which were exacerbated by the inability of the US and Europe, either individually or collectively, to offer any resistance to this aggression. Thus this war and its aftermath showed the effects of incoherent policy-making, enfeebled political will and disunit...
Article
The Rebuilding of Greater Russia: Putin's Foreign Policy towards the CIS Countries. By Nygren Bertil . Routledge Contemporary Russia and Eastern Europe Series, no. 10. London: Routledge, 2008. xiv, 336 pp. Notes. Bibliography. Index. Maps. $170.00, hard bound. - Volume 68 Issue 1 - Stephen Blank
Article
The regime crafted by Vladimir Putin and extended now with the election of Dmitry Medvedev in many ways represents a continuation of the Muscovite paradigm delineated by Professor Hellie in his earlier work. Indeed, we are witnessing the consolidation of a fourth version of the Muscovite service state and in the military a kind of serfdom still rei...
Article
Russia sees itself and wants to be seen as a great Asian power playing a major role in East Asian security. The main and perhaps only instrument for this is its energy resources which it hopes to convert into a means for economic and infrastructural development as well as defense reconstruction in the Far East. However, it is not keeping pace eithe...
Article
Analyses of the motivations behind Russia's recent war against Georgia, its unrelenting pressure on Ukraine to cede more and more aspects of its sovereignty, and its ambitions not only to dominate the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) but to prevent the enlargement of NATO and the EU and return the world to the bipolar order that existed dur...
Article
Full-text available
Under conditions of visibly deteriorating Russo-American and East-West relations it is necessary to outline clearly the threats perceived by Russia from Western and U.S. policies, and second, the threats that Russia may pose in return. An analysis of such threats reveals that the balance of threat perception is asymmetrically weighted to the Russia...
Article
Full-text available
In April–May 2007, Estonia experienced several weeks of coordinated cyberattacks against its financial and sociopolitical institutions. Although the origin of these attacks cannot be definitively named, it is widely believed in Estonia and among many analysts that Moscow was behind these attacks. Certainly these attacks represented the culmination...
Article
Full-text available
The Black Sea and its littoral are once again an arena for interstate and great-power rivalry. The frozen conflicts in Moldova, Georgia, and Nagorno-Karabakh connect regional rivalries within and between states with the larger great-power competition. Some of these conflicts, particularly the one between Georgia and South Ossetia, could explode at...
Article
Has Putin strengthened the Russian state or merely reinforced a particular regime? Russia's condition and recent development are examined in the context of the succession struggles in post-Soviet Russia. The parallels between contemporary Russia and the model of the patrimonial service state in which the state is the tsar's patrimony and he can use...
Article
Full-text available
Undoubtedly Central Asia's strategic importance in international affairs is growing. The rivalries among Russia, China, United States, Iran, India, and Pakistan not tomention the ever-changing pattern of relations among local states (five former Soviet republics and Afghanistan) make the region's importance obviously clear. Central Asia's strategic...
Article
Full-text available
While the progress to date on denuclearizing North Korea is encouraging, proclaiming the end of nuclear threats in Northeast Asia is premature. First, North Korea has lately been having second thoughts with regard to full disclosure of its nuclear holdings. Second, and more seriously, the deterioration of Russo-American relations over nuclear issue...
Article
The recent agreements concerning North Korea’s nuclear program raise possibilities for providing North Korea with energy (oil and gas) to compensate for the termination of its nuclear program and of integrating it more broadly into the Northeast Asian economy. Russia has long wanted to play the role of provider of oil and gas to North Korea and the...

Network

Cited By