International Security in the Post-Soviet Space


Little attention is being paid to the region that once was the Soviet Union. Instead, the outside world focuses on fragments. Sometimes these fragments are indisputably important, as in the case of Caspian Sea oil and gas, or "loose nukes," or developments in Russia itself, but they are fragments nonetheless. Although the post-Soviet area is disintegrating space–in the sense that countries and sub-regions are drifting in various directions–in important respects, security trends in this part of the world pose overarching challenges for the larger international setting and, in particular, for the critical European and Asian theaters that abut it. For the most part, these challenges have gone unrecognized.

The four volumes in this project are intended to begin filling this gap. Each addresses an important dimension of the link between security in the post-Soviet space and the broader international security environment. The first volume, Thinking Strategically: The Major Powers, Kazakhstan, and the Central Asian Nexus (2003), assesses the evolving stakes of the major powers–the United States, the E.U., China, Japan, and Russia–in Central Asia, with a special emphasis on Kazakhstan. The second volume, Swords and Sustenance: The Economics of Security in Belarus and Ukraine (2004), compares the impact of economic factors on the national security policies of Ukraine and Belarus. The third volume, The Russian Military: Power and Policy (2004), provides a profile of contemporary Russia as a military actor, covering everything from evolving national security policy to the use of force to military reform. The fourth volume, Statehood and Security: Georgia after the Rose Revolution (2005), considers the complex impact of external and internal forces on countries faced with the harshest security challenges, and uses Georgia as the case in point. A forerunner to the books in the series, Belarus at the Crossroads (1999), shares the same conception and examines what kinds of security issues are overlooked when the complex challenges raised by the larger post-Soviet space are reduced to single dimensions, such as Russia's relationship with the West.

MIT Press published the books as part of the American Academy Studies in Global Security Series, a book series launched by the Academy in 2003. The series addresses the political, economic, environmental, and technological changes shaping the future prospects for peace and human well-being. The American Academy Studies in Global Security Series was edited by Carl Kaysen, MIT, John Steinbruner, University of Maryland; and Martin B. Malin, American Academy of Arts & Sciences and is a project of the Committee on International Security Studies.

These titles are also available in Russian: Swords and Sustenance, Thinking Strategically, The Russian Military, and Statehood and Security. The project was funded by a generous grant from the Carnegie Corporation of New York.