International Security | Wilson Center

International Security

Why Russia and Turkey Are Drifting Closer To Each Other

Something big and important must be at the heart of a relationship in which both sides are able to overcome the pain they repeatedly inflict on each other. Russia and Turkey, historically adversaries and newly active allies, are one such case.

Bridging the Gaps in Cybersecurity Policy


Major questions impacting key cybersecurity policy decisions remain unanswered.  As a new Administration takes office, how should key stakeholders think about gaps like the capabilities of non-state actors to do harm in the digital space?  Will other nations follow Russia’s lead and steal and leak information against foes? Is the future of the public-private partnership – especially in protecting America’s critical infrastructure – a promising one?  And what’s the state of play in development of international norms?  Can the U.S. provide meaningful input?

Time of Uncertainty: How the EU and Germany See Today’s Russia

Perception of Russia in the EU and German foreign policy concepts

The architecture of the EU’s foreign policy relations and domestic agenda of its member states have been undergoing some serious changes. The European system of checks and balances has become unbalanced and no longer functions properly. Seventy years after the end of World War II, Europe is once again a continent on which military conflicts occur, borders are redrawn, and the number of people seeking refuge and safety is greater than in the decades during and after World War II.

Putin and Erdogan’s Marriage of Convenience

It has been a remarkable turnabout. In November 2015, then-Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan proudly took credit for ordering the shooting down of a Russian warplane that had violated Turkish airspace for a grand total of 17 seconds. Russian retaliation in the form of stinging economic sanctions swiftly followed.

The Year Putin Won

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The year 2016 felt like the third year since 2014 rather than, say, the 25th since the collapse of the Soviet Union. When peering into Russia’s future from a Russian vantage point, one has to mark the year 2014 as a major threshold. It changed international politics and Russian society. It was the year of the first unthinkable internationally significant event, the annexation of Crimea, of which we have seen more since then.

A Murder in Ankara

The brazenness of the assassination of Ambassador to Turkey, Andrey Karlov, recorded for all to see, has shocked everyone. The ramifications of the murder will be felt far and wide. For starters, the assassin was a policeman who had previously been assigned to security details, including that of Turkey’s President. And then there’s the fact that the attack happened just after Turkey had come to the conclusion that Aleppo and its inhabitants could no longer be saved from the onslaught of the Syrian army, as supported by the Russian air force and the Lebanese Hezbollah militia.

Assessing ISIS Expansion in Southeast Asia: Major Threat or Misplaced Fear?

In an era of international terrorism and the rise of large, well-organized Islamic jihadist groups working hard to violently establish strict conservative Islamic states, the need for continually evolving threat assessments becomes paramount for the safety of lives and assets. One such threat assessment to evaluate is the vulnerability of the Southeast Asian region as a possible new theater for the expansion of the jihadist group known as the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

Navigating Complexity: Climate, Migration, and Conflict in a Changing World

Climate change is expected to contribute to the movement of people through a variety of means. There is also significant concern climate change may influence violent conflict. But our understanding of these dynamics is evolving quickly and sometimes producing surprising results. There are considerable misconceptions about why people move, how many move, and what effects they have.

What Does the World Expect of President-elect Trump: Middle East

Iran Expects:

Hassan Rouhani and his supporters worry whether the nuclear deal will hold and if it does not, will want to ensure they are not blamed; Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) likely to test Trump Administration early  in the Persian Gulf.

Syrian Opposition, Arabs, and Kurds Expect:

With regard to the ongoing war in Syria, there is renewed concern that U.S. assistance to Anti-Assad opposition will end; and Trump Administratioin will be even more risk averse than predecessor.

Iraq Expects: