Bringing Peace to the South Caucasus: Is There a Role for the UK?
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Bringing Peace to the South Caucasus: Is There a Role for the UK?
24 March @ 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
The UK and its Western allies have long been absent from the strategically important South Caucasus leaving only NATO member Turkey on the ground. Following Azerbaijan’s defeat of Armenia in the 2020 Second Karabakh War, the South Caucasus two geopolitical coalitions have emerged represented by Turkey-Azerbaijan (and to a lesser extent Pakistan) in competition with Russia-Armenia-Iran. Azerbaijan, in turn, has a long-standing security relationship with Israel. In addition to promoting reconciliation between Armenia and its Turkish and Azerbaijani neighbours, the national interests of the UK and its allies are four-fold in the South Caucasus. The first is to deny Russia, which has long-term military bases in Armenia and temporary peacekeeping forces in Azerbaijan, a security monopoly over the region. The second is Azerbaijan as a major energy producer which has geopolitical importance in reducing Russia’s monopoly of energy supplies to Europe. The third is the need for the EU to build a security dimension to its Eastern Partnership that could be applied to the South Caucasus thereby denying Russia a monopoly on peacekeeping in Georgia and Azerbaijan. The last is the UK, its Western allies and Israel hold an interest in deterring the expansion of Iranian influence, its promotion of instability and spread of its proxy forces.
The Henry Jackson Society is delighted to invite you to the timely discussion on South Caucasus to explore the interests of the UK in the region and how these could be achieved.
Ambassador (ret.) Matthew Bryza completed a 23-year career as a U.S. Foreign Service Officer in 2012, culminating as Ambassador to Azerbaijan.
Earlier, he served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State (2005-2009) and Director on the National Security Council Staff at the White House (2001-2005) for U.S. relations with Turkey, Cyprus, Greece, Central Asia, and the South Caucasus, as well as Eurasian energy security.
During 1998 to 2001, Ambassador Bryza was the Deputy Special Advisor to the President and Secretary of State on Caspian Basin Energy Security.
He also served in the U.S. Missions to Russia (1995-1997) and Poland (1989-1991).
Bryza is a frequent commentator on media outlets that include CNN International, Al Jazeera, BBC, Fox News, Financial Times, Washington Post, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Bloomberg, as well as numerous outlets in Turkey, Poland, and the South Caucasus.
He is the recipient of Estonia’s Cross of Terra Mariana and Georgia’s Order of St. George.
Bryza currently resides in Istanbul, Turkey, where he serves on the Board of Turcas, a publicly traded company in fuel distribution and power generation. Concurrently, he is CEO of Lamor Turkey, a Turkish-Finnish joint venture in environmental solutions. He also serves on the Board of Nobel Upstream, an oil exploration and production company based in London and is the founder and CEO of Eurasian Business Diplomacy, a strategic consultancy.
Additionally, Bryza is a Non-Resident Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Global Energy Center, Eurasia Center, and Atlantic Council in Turkey program. He is also a Board Member of the Jamestown Foundation. Bryza was Director of the International Center for Defense and Security in Tallinn, Estonia, during 2012-2015, where he founded the Center’s energy and cyber security programs.
Ambassador Bryza received his bachelor’s degree in international relations from Stanford University (with honors) and his master’s degree from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy.
Yusuf Erim is TRT World’s Editor at Large. He is the former assistant director of public relations at the Federation of Turkish American Associations. Yusuf also spent 8 years as the head of the English news desk at Turkey’s leading financial data provider Foreks News agency. He has lectured on Turkish foreign policy at many universities and think tanks, written several articles published in Jerusalem Post, The National Interest, Middle East Eye and Daily Sabah and has given comments and interviews to CNN, Al Jazzera, BBC, France24, Russia Today, CGTN, Press TV i24, The Financial Times, The Guardian and The Independent on Turkish foreign policy and developments in the Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia.
Shota Kakabadze is a Policy Analyst at the Georgian Institute of Politics. He is a Doctor of Philosophy in Political Science from the University of Tartu (Estonia). Shota has obtained his Masters degree in the European Union – Russia Studies from the same university. During his doctoral studies he has been a Swedish Institute Research Fellow at Uppsala University Institute of Russia and Eurasian Studies, as well as a Junior Researcher of International Relations at the Johan Skytte Institute of Political Studies at the University of Tartu. His main research interest includes discourses on national identity, foreign policy, Eastern Partnership. He has published several academic articles and a book chapter on Georgian national identity/foreign policy relationship.
Nona Shahnazarian is a social anthropologist who is a Senior Research Fellow at The Institute of Archeology and Ethnography, National Academy of Sciences, Yerevan, Armenia. She is also affiliated with the Center for Independent Social Research, St. Petersburg, Russia. In 2017, she was a Visiting Carnegie Fellow at the University of Stanford. She has published extensively on the issues of gender, war, migration, memory and Diaspora in the Caucasus, including a book chapter National Ideologies, Survival Strategies and Gender Identity in the Political and Symbolic Contexts of Karabakh War (2010), as well as a monograph in Russian In the Tight Embrace of Tradition: War and Patriarchy (2011). Her most recent contribution After Genocide: Gendered Trauma, Transmission, and Reinvention (ed.). The book volume is forthcoming in 2021. She runs the regional office of the Women in War Think Tank in Yerevan since 2015. Being a member of The Global Network of Women Peacebuilders, she is active in the regional peace-making initiatives.
Taras Kuzio is a Research Fellow at the Henry Jackson Society and Professor in the Department of Political Science, National University of Kyiv Mohyla Academy. His previous positions were at the University of Alberta, George Washington University, and University of Toronto, International Institute of Strategic Studies, and School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University. Taras Kuzio holds a PhD in political science from the University of Birmingham, England, an MA in Area Studies (USSR, Eastern Europe) from the School of Slavonic and East European Studies, University of London, and a BA in Economics from the School of European Studies, University of Sussex. He held a Post-Doctoral Fellowship at Yale University. Taras Kuzio is the author and editor of 22 books, 38 book chapters and over 130 scholarly articles on Soviet, Eurasian, Russian, and Ukrainian politics, colour revolutions, nationalism, geopolitics, and international relations.
On the 24th March, Dr Taras Kuzio, Research Fellow at the Henry Jackson Society, Shota Kakabadze, Policy Analyst at the Georgian Institute of Politics, Nona Shahnazarian, Associate Researcher at The National Academy of Sciences in Yerevan, Amb (ret.) Matthew Bryza, former Ambassador to Azerbaijan, and Yusuf Erim, TRT World’s Editor at Large, discuss the need to break the Russian security monopoly on the region and what the UK can do to assist this.
Dr Kuzio began the event by introducing the speakers and the topic of discussion. Amb (ret.) Bryza then discussed the US role in the South Caucasus during the Bush administration and the contrasting approach of the Obama administration. He explained how US-Turkish relations soured after the attempted 2016 coup and how this has weakened Americas position in the Caucasus. Nona Shahnazarian spoke about the Azeri involvement in the failed normalisation of relations between Armenia and Turkey in 2009. She also described the deep mistrust between the Armenian and Azerbaijani publics and Russia’s role in obstructing successful peace negotiations. Yusuf Erim discussed the Turkish attempts to provide an alternative to Russian influence in the region and Azerbaijani policies to divest itself from Russia. He also argued that as a result of the 2020 war the situation is ripe for successful normalisation of relations in the region as well as how the UK and US expertise can rebuild Karabakh. Shota Kakabadze spoke about the ongoing political crisis in Georgia and how it has impacted their support for Ukraine, but he argued Georgia was still looking for greater integration with Europe.
The talk then closed with a series of questions asking, whether the EU will have to consider the security dimension of its eastern border, whether there will be greater sanctions against Russian oil and gas and what China’s policies will be for the region.
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The cyber security insurance market never took off as expected and is currently facing a major crisis as claims from companies hit by the escalating ransomware wave hit the insurers. Still, Jan Lemnitzer argues that a well-regulated insurance market could provide protection to companies and solve the big issue in cybersecurity that years of awareness … Continued
In the foreign policy they pursued for more than 60 years, Jack, Bobby, and Ted Kennedy offer valuable lessons for President Biden. Throughout their lives, the Kennedy brothers believed that America must play a prominent role on the world stage, and that it could serve as a beacon for others to emulate. They feared war, … Continued
The US and EU’s lack of a coherent strategy towards the Western Balkans has emboldened Russia to hinder the region’s integration into the EU and NATO. In recent years, the Western Balkans has been at the forefront of Russia’s strategy to expand its global influence and undermine the West. These strategies have included more traditional soft … Continued
The crimes of the Chinese Communist Party in Tibet are well known as too is the failure of governments around to world to say, let alone do, anything in response. For years Freedom House placed Tibet as the second least free place in the world and since the 2008 Tibetan uprising suppression there has intensified. … Continued
Across the Eurasian landmass, authoritarian regimes are using deeply subversive means to destabilise the liberal democratic global order. A revisionist Russia is actively engaged in using below-threshold means to destabilise NATO partners across Europe. In the Baltic states and across eastern Europe, Russia continues utilising cyber-attacks and information warfare, whilst recently utilising sophisticated disinformation campaigns … Continued
It is almost five years since the Oxford English Dictionary named “post-truth” its word of the year. Since then, the onslaught of fake news, disinformation, and conspiracy theorising have not only remained unrelenting, the problem has grown worse. With the COVID-19 pandemic, a maturing environment and practice of disinformation has found its ideal host, a … Continued
On the 1st of February 2021, newly re-elected State Counsellor of Myanmar Aung San Suu Kyi was forcefully detained by a military junta, alongside other members of her National League of Democracy (NLD) party. This coup took place hours before her confirmation in Parliament. Leader of the Military, Min Aung Hlaing, claimed that the NLD … Continued
We are delighted to host celebrated investigative journalists Andrei Soldatov and Irina Borogan as they discuss their timely and fascinating book The Compatriots: The Brutal and Chaotic History of Russia’s Exiles, Émigrés, and Agents Abroad. Building on their extensive expertise on Russian intelligence, this event will discuss the complex and changeable role of Russian émigrés … Continued
On 25th January 2020, the UK’s Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation, Jonathan Hall QC announced a new review into terrorism across the prison estate in England and Wales. This timely announcement comes in the wake of a number of terrorist attacks perpetrated by radicalised offenders released from across the UK prison estate and an increase … Continued
2020 was a turning point for Britain. Following the death of George Floyd in the US state of Minnesota, a wave of Black Lives Matter demonstrations took place in the UK. The protests, as far-reaching as the Shetland Islands to the Isle of Wight, have undoubtedly had an impact on various spheres of British life … Continued
Since the last National Cyber Security Strategy (NCSS) has been established, the world has endured global cyber attacks in WannaCry and Not-Petya, financial losses to cyber crime have ballooned and show no signs of slowing down. There is a clear and present need for a new generation of NCSS, but what directions should UK … Continued
In 2014 army chief Prayut Chan-o-cha launched a coup which brought himself and the Thai military to power. Five years later elections, widely seen as unfree and unfair, took place in an attempt to legitimise this rule. The junta remained in power, marking yet another setback for democracy in Thailand. This has not occurred without … Continued
Most who study or work to prevent and counter violent extremism and terrorism do so with one overriding purpose - to reduce, or even prevent further victims of terrorist attacks. Consulting survivors and the families of those lost to terrorism holds significant potential for the continued development of preventative and responsive strategies to terrorism - … Continued
India will soon have the largest population in the world, and in ten years is predicted to have the third-largest economy and defence budget. It is no wonder that Prime Minister Boris Johnson was keen to visit New Delhi for the country’s national day last month. While Covid may have cancelled this trip it has … Continued
Even in prison, Aleksei Navalny has continued his epic battle against Putin’s kleptocracy. On 19th January, Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation released their biggest investigation yet into their most sensitive topic yet: Vladimir Putin’s own wealth. The video detailing Putin’s $1billion palace reached 85 million views in just six days and sparked large-scale protests across more than sixty … Continued
In the wake of the Prime Minister’s much-vaunted recent announcement of the uplift in defence spending, the Royal Navy are set to be the big winners with increased frigates and destroyers bolstering the navy’s fleet. On the back of this announcement the UK-led Carrier Strike Group is set for its first operational mission this spring, … Continued
In the 2019 Queen's Speech, the Government announced it was “considering whether to follow allies in adopting a form of foreign agent registration”. The Government’s announcement followed a series of concerning accounts of strategic adversaries conducting disinformation and aggressive lobbying operations in London, at the risk of undermining the UK’s democratic system. In order … Continued
On 17th July, 2014, passenger jet Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 was destroyed over eastern Ukraine. All 298 people on board were killed, their bodies strewn across the cornfields of east Ukraine. These people were victims of Russia’s proxy war in Ukraine, which rages to this day and has claimed over 13,000 lives. Immediately after MH17 … Continued
2020 marked a testing year for the English education system. Over the course of the Covid-19 pandemic, there have been concerns that exam cancellations and the shift towards greater virtual learning, carries the risk of widening existing social and economic inequalities in England. In addition to this, cultural fault-lines have emerged over the content and … Continued
Anybody familiar with Russia will recognise the constancy of campaigns launched by state, quasi-state, and non-state actors – from law enforcement officers to so-called journalists and internet trolls – to discredit out-of-favour figures by the spreading of damaging information about them and their alleged activities. This phenomenon — “black PR” (chernyi piar) — emerged in the 1990s and has over time become a … Continued
The past few months have been especially terrible for Hongkongers. Their city, which over the past few years has bustled with political activity and protest, stood still. However, it was not just the fear of COVID-19 which kept people off the streets. The introduction of the national security law, in the summer of 2020, has … Continued
The December 2019 General Election will go down as one of the most dramatic in postwar history. Shattering Labour’s ‘red wall’ of previously safe seats in working-class towns across the Midlands, Northern England, and Wales, Prime Minister Boris Johnson led the Conservatives to their largest parliamentary majority since 1987 – with former Labour leader Jeremy … Continued
RSVP No European country has suffered as grievously from jihadist terrorist as France. Nearly three hundred people have been killed in a succession of outrages since 2015. President Macron has responded to the horrific murder of schoolteacher Samuel Paty, and the deadly knife attack committed at the Notre Dame Basilica in Nice, with a robust … Continued
Next year marks the centenary of the founding of the Communist Party of China. For Xi Jinping it is the first milestone in completing his ‘China Dream’, the last being 2049 which marks 100 years since the founding of the People’s Republic. By this point Xi hopes to restore China as a great nation, one … Continued
The election of Donald Trump in 2016 ushered in a very unique and controversial style of US Presidency. The development and delivery of US Foreign Policy by President Trump and his administration was at times both bold and brash, marked by unilateralism, and has been characterised by some as rife with internal conflicts among Cabinet … Continued
The 2020 US Presidential Election will go down as one of the most fascinating elections in American political history. While outgoing President Donald Trump has been soundly defeated in terms of the both the popular and Electoral College vote, initial voting data suggests that he unexpectedly managed to build on his 2016 support among both … Continued
WHEN 16:00-17:00 BST 7 December 2020 WHERE ONLINE Speakers: Lt. Col. (Ret.) Glen Grant Defence & Reform Expert, Ukrainian Institute of the Future & Senior Fellow, Institute for Statecraft, UK Moderator: Dr Alan Mendoza Executive Director, The Henry Jackson Society RSVP HERE The Henry Jackson Society and British-Ukrainian Aid are delighted to announce British-Ukrainian Aid’s … Continued
Following the Labour Party’s disastrous showing in last December’s UK General Election, much has been said on the breakdown of its relationship with traditional working-class voters in the industrial heartlands. However, figures suggest that there has also been a notable fraying of ties between Labour and British voters of Indian origin. In Harrow East – … Continued
Watch this event back here: https://youtu.be/C-IdqsZUhVg See the event transcript In response to China’s rise, the term ‘Indo-Pacific’ has become increasingly popular among strategic policy circles. The United States, Japan, Australia, and India have all created their own Indo-Pacific strategies or approaches, each with a slightly different interpretation – and ambition – for the … Continued
The Chinese Communist Party's actions in Hong Kong show that it is increasingly willing to act in ways that violate international norms, laws and expectations when it sees doing so as being in its own interests. Nowhere is this truer than in circumstances in which President Xi perceives the legitimacy of the party to rule … Continued
Following the police homicide of African-American George Floyd in the US state of Minnesota on 25 May 2020, a wave of civil unrest involving Black Lives Matter activists has gripped America’s major cities, from the eastern state of California to the western state of New York. However, the death of George Floyd has thrust issues … Continued
On 9 August, Belarusians took to the polls in their country’s presidential election. Aliaksandr Lukashenka, the five-term president, claimed a landslide victory, but there is compelling evidence that the vote was rigged. For the past week, citizens have protested against Lukashenka’s government and the election results. These protests have led to a troubling police crackdown, … Continued
Since the outset of the global Coronavirus pandemic, fundamental assumptions about our world have been called into question. Much of this reevaluation has focused on the question of trade. With nations unable to obtain essential supplies including PPE amidst the pandemic, import security has come to be seen as a national security concern. Nations have … Continued
President Vladimir Putin’s Russia seeks to weaken Western institutions and governments. Its disinformation campaigns attempt to exacerbate pre-existing divisions and create polarisations in societies. These campaigns are often most visible during elections, but they do not stop when the ballot box closes. Instead they are one of a number of tools in the Kremlin’s broader … Continued
The HJS Virtual Event Series: ‘Religious Freedom in China: A Spotlight on Repression’ – Thursday 16th July, 4pm-5.30pm (BST)
China today is facing the worst crackdown on human rights since the Tiananmen massacre in 1989. Across the board, basic freedoms are severely restricted and human rights widely and systematically violated by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). But there is one freedom which is experiencing, arguably, the worst repression since the Cultural Revolution, and that … Continued
How does the Chinese Government engineer its victories around the world? How has this threat influenced different aspects of our societies? How does it seek to persuade our leaders, policymakers, and elites to take decisions in its interests? These questions are no longer the niche interests of security analysts but real and present threats to our … Continued
The recent Black Lives Matter (BLM) demonstrations in the UK, following the police homicide of George Floyd on 25 May 2020 in the US state of Minnesota, have thrust issues such as trust and confidence in British public institutions into the spotlight. But messaging around the issue of black lives has become intertwined with the … Continued
A discussion with the chairs of the House of Commons Foreign Affairs, Defence and International Development Select Committees: Tom Tugendhat MP, Tobias Ellwood MP and Sarah Champion MP Covid-19 has interrupted HM Government’s Integrated Strategic Review. The pandemic – and the geopolitics behind it – has forced Britain’s strategists and policymakers to think harder about how the … Continued
20 years ago, Sir Robert Cooper’s updated pamphlet – The Postmodern State and the World Order – was published. It focused on the changing strategic situation in Europe. His argument, in a nutshell, was that globalisation and the end of the Cold War had rendered Europe a very different place to what had gone before. … Continued
The HJS Virtual Event Series: ‘Prof. Niall Ferguson: In Conversation – How Coronavirus Will Change the World of International Relations’
All event times are in BST. It is evident that Coronavirus has transformed our world. But what will its impact be on international relations and global politics? Whether it is changes in the international order and how that order interacts, the future of globalisation, China’s global role, the relative strengths of the free versus … Continued
Event times are in BST. While most look on a crisis like the COVID-19 pandemic with worry, and view it as a challenge to be overcome, there are dangerous, hate-filled actors who consider these troubling times to be a gift. A golden opportunity not to be wasted. Far-right extremists – both abroad and closer … Continued
HJS VIRTUAL EVENT “Russia and the High North: How Should the West Engage the Next Chair of the Arctic Council (2021-23)?”
All event times are in BST In 2021, for a two-year period, Russia will chair the Arctic Council, the leading intergovernmental forum promoting cooperation in the Arctic. It will do so whilst the region – and the world – grapples with the coronavirus pandemic, ongoing tensions between Russia and the West, and uncertainty over … Continued
Beijing’s plans to impose a ‘national security law’ on Hong Kong’s independent judiciary have provoked an international outcry. The EU’s top diplomat has said that China’s attempts to strengthen its control of Hong Kong pose a threat to the rules-based international order. The proposed law conflicts directly with China’s international obligations under the legally-binding Sino-British … Continued
HJS VIRTUAL EVENT: “Brian H. Hook & The Rt. Hon. Jeremy Hunt MP: In Transatlantic Conversation on Iran”
It is easy to forget this now, but at the start of 2020, the biggest flashpoint for many international policy-makers was not a global pandemic in the making, but the vexed question of how to handle Iran. When US President Donald Trump withdrew from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action in 2018 supported by the … Continued
The HJS Virtual Event Series: ‘COVID-19 and Social Media – Meeting Challenges using Lessons Learned from Countering Terrorism’
Following the extensive use of social media platforms by extremist groups and terrorist organisations for propaganda and recruitment purposes, technology companies have taken important proactive policy decisions on removing material and banning users from their sites. This discussion will focus on whether some of the same techniques and lessons learned can be applied to new … Continued
All event times are in BST Ukraine is used to fighting crises – and at the moment it is fighting three. The country currently has had around 20,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19, in a population of almost 42 million. It has the lowest testing rate in Europe, and the health care system is dilapidated … Continued
All event times in BST Covid-19 has hit Western and Southern European countries – Spain, Italy, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland – particularly hard. Across the continent, governments have implemented ‘lock downs’ to contain and repress the spread of the virus. China and Russia have seized on … Continued
Event times are in BST The United Kingdom (UK) is currently in second place behind the United States (US) in terms of the national number of COVID-19 deaths, and also ranks highly in terms of active cases. There are of course valid criticisms to be made about using ‘league tables’ without adjusting for population … Continued
Covid-19 has left a trail of destruction everywhere in its wake, but one of its most pernicious impacts is likely to be in the advances made by authoritarian states – and putative authoritarians – against their own populations but also against the free world. Human rights violations and suppressions of dissent that would normally spark global … Continued
Event times are in BST In a provocative new thesis – laid out in his book “Has China Won? The Chinese Challenge to American Primacy” – veteran diplomat Professor Kishore Mahbubani takes as his starting point the common idea that the defining geopolitical clash of the century will be between the USA and China, … Continued
As Europe is to mark the 75th anniversary of the end of WW2, national narratives of those historic events hugely differ across Europe. Identity and historical memory are often hijacked by populist and nationalist agendas and history suddenly enters the political mainstream. In Britain, the tabloid media has often fallen back on spurious references … Continued