Asia

Armenia: Doomed to be a Never-ending Issue?

Hille Hanso interviews Professor Hakan Özoğlu, Ph.D, Professor of History and Director of Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Central Florida. His research interests include the power struggle in the modern Republic of Turkey after WWI, US involvement in the Middle East through Turkey since the Great War, and Kurdish Nationalism in the Ottoman Empire.

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A Voyage through Turkish Kurdistan

The visit of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, President of Turkey, to Estonia on 24 October passed by with relatively modest media coverage. At the moment, both countries have probably other issues on their minds, but there is nevertheless some overlapping: for example, Russian destroyers are minding their own business on both the Baltic Sea and the Black Sea, and it is a known fact that the militants fighting under the black flag for an expanding “Islamic State” have come from Europe, a hundred or so even from Denmark where, according to latest news, some sort of rehabilitation project is underway to help aspiring Islamic soldiers return to normal life.

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Islamic extremists have created a successful narrative…

… because we are helping to tell it. While looking for a narrative for Estonia is something philosophical, and everybody has a different vision of it, the radical and violent Islamic extremist group lately known as ISIL or ISIS went all out and cunningly started to call itself the Islamic State in various media channels. In media terms, “the Islamic State” is more quotable and substantially more memorable, and found widespread use immediately.

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Maoist Hat-Tricks in Asia

The devil’s finest trick is to persuade you that he does not exist!
Charles Pierre Baudelaire, Le Spleen de Paris, 1869
I have been saying for the last three years that Naxalism remains the biggest internal security challenge facing our country.
Manmohan Singh, Indian Prime Minister 2004–2014, in May 2010

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Why does North Korea continue to exist and why it is a global problem?

The problem with North Korea and the Kim dynasty is that they will continue to exist as long as they have a certain utility for major regional or global powers. This appears to be the case for all parties involved, including China, the US, Russia and Japan. North Korea is in an awkward way a necessary evil that holds regional powers in balance and helps to maintain a functioning status quo. When this delicate balance crumbles, a whole new security structure will have to be found. Nobody appears willing to take the first step into the unknown. North Korea’s leaders seem well aware of the situation and are trying to exploit this to their own advantage i.e. trying to ensure regime survival and international acceptance as a nuclear power.

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A leap forward on the sea – China’s first aircraft carrier

Ligi nädala eest lõppesid Venemaa lõunaosas suurõppused Kavkaz-2012, milliseid Vene meedia kirjeldas peamiselt kui siseriikliku julgeoleku tagamisele suunitletud sõjamänge. Olukord Põhja-Kaukaasias on jätkuvalt rahutu ja Sotši olümpiamängud pole enam mägede taga. Tegelikkuses kandis Kavkaz-2012 eneses viiteid valmistumisele täiemõõduliseks konventsionaalseks konfliktiks, mis lisaks Venemaale hõlmaks ka naaberriike.

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