Publications

Membership Action Plan (MAP) – Political Formality & the Fiction of Military Deterrence? Membership Action Plan (MAP) – Political Formality & ...
Membership Action Plan (MAP) – Political Formality & the Fiction of Military Deterrence?

"If the political ends are vague or unspecified, how can you choose methods and means that are fit for purpose" - Colin Gray

Author: Shalva Dzebisashvili

Abstract

Since the Bucharest summit declaration that promised the NATO-membership to Ukraine and Georgia, the option of the membership action plan (MAP) - formally the only mechanism for joining the alliance - became increasingly controversial, politicized and questionable, putting the credibility of the Alliance and its promises under the big question mark. The article doubles down on the debatable value of the MAP from the perspective of military deterrence and argues that the current version of the membership action plan does nothing whatsoever to increase the deterrent of a membership candidate, and in contrary, may lead to a much higher probability of military threat, i.e. aggression. Hence, the MAP appears to acquire a purely formal nature, with no practical applicability and military value to secure the membership process itself. Realizing this but not admitting it openly, the alliance is therefore trapped in its hesitance to decide on membership, thus effectively "donating" the veto right to a revisionist country that actively opposes the enlargement policy. The rapid inclusion of Finland and Sweden in NATO without formally activating the MAP-procedure, is reviewed as the vivid demonstration and testimony of the accuracy of arguments provided in the article.

The “Middle Corridor”: Georgia as A Part of China’s Westpolitik The “Middle Corridor”: Georgia as A Part of ...
The “Middle Corridor”: Georgia as A Part of China’s Westpolitik

Author: Irakli Javakhishvili

Abstract

The project of the “Middle Corridor” which is a component of China’s “grand strategy”, is an important instrument of Beijing’s Westpolitik. Georgia, in turn, has a significant place in this project, due to its favorable geopolitical location.Through the regions of Central Asia and the South Caucasus, China will create various land connections with the European Union, which will also serve as an alternative to the Russian route. This will be the shortest way from China to Romania – the “Middle Corridor”, which will pass through Central Asia, the Caspian Sea, the South Caucasus, and the Black Sea. In the same sense, the Anaklia deep-water port can become an essential node in the functioning of the Corridor, especially if its construction is carried out by a Chinese company (it will have not only an economic, but also a significant political weight). However, regardless of the possible economic benefits that Georgia may receive from the “Middle Corridor” project, including through the Anaklia port, such a shift in foreign policy priorities of Tbilisi may cause irreparable damage to the country’s aspirations to join the EU and, in general, completely alienate it from the Western democratic world. At the same time, the benefits of the Middle Corridor project will be much greater for China (in proportionality) than for Georgia, particularly in the light of the fact that Beijing often shows dishonesty in bilateral agreements and partnerships, and often applies economic and political leverage to the contracting party.

GEORGIA’S DEFENCE MODEL – A CRITICAL CHOICE IN A RISKY ENVIRONMENT GEORGIA’S DEFENCE MODEL – A CRITICAL CHOICE IN ...
GEORGIA’S DEFENCE MODEL – A CRITICAL CHOICE IN A RISKY ENVIRONMENT

The report reviews the current situation in the areas of Georgia’s defense and security policy planning, provides a comprehensive analysis of the main problems in these areas, taking into account both internal and external factors, and offers insights and recommendations on these issues to address shortcomings, including in the form of an optimal defense model.

China’s Cyber Operations Against the United States Critical Infrastructure China’s Cyber Operations Against the United States Critical ...
China’s Cyber Operations Against the United States Critical Infrastructure

Abstract

In 2024, the U.S. officials and government agencies openly accused China of conducting dangerous cyber operations against the country’s critical infrastructure (CI). The U.S. military and intelligence agencies believe that China’s cyber activities can distract the U.S. ability “to project, or defend against, military action”. By initiating cyber-attacks against and preposition malware in U.S. CI facilities in close proximity of the U.S. military bases, China might be preparing for several possible scenarios, including an unexpected cyber-attack against the U.S. critical military infrastructure, which might amount to the scales of the Pearl Harbor attack of 1941. If successful, current cyber activities conducted in peacetime can disrupt the U.S. ability to properly perform its military functions during the war or crisis.

Iran’s Foreign Policy and Activities of the Iranian Special Services Against the Backdrop of the Ongoing War in Ukraine Iran’s Foreign Policy and Activities of the Iranian ...
Iran’s Foreign Policy and Activities of the Iranian Special Services Against the Backdrop of the Ongoing War in Ukraine

Vasil Glonti

Executive Summary
After the start of the Russia-Ukraine war, Iran became very active in the foreign political arena. The political and military elite of this country considered that the mentioned conflict would change the geopolitical configuration of the world, so Iran would need strategic visions and an action plan adapted to the new reality. In its foreign policy, the regime of the Iranian Mullahs identified as the main priorities: activation and expansion of cooperation with Russia, especially in the military-industrial, economic and banking-financial fields; further development of Iran's nuclear program; arranging relations with the countries of the Middle East region and giving priority to the regional security format; strengthening political-economic and military expansion in Syria, Yemen, Iraq and Lebanon; deepening of confrontation with the USA and Israel in the Middle East and different regions of the world; pursuing an aggressive policy towards Azerbaijan and neutralizing the influence of Israel; expansion of strategic relations with Armenia;

Russia’s Disinformation and the War in Ukraine Russia’s Disinformation and the War in Ukraine
Russia’s Disinformation and the War in Ukraine

Megi Benia

Executive Summary

Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine has proven unsuccessful in many unexpected directions and the disinformation campaign with the aim of spreading the false narratives about its military engagement in Ukraine is among them. A general overview of respective events and moves has shown that Russia has been forced to adjust its approach on disinformation and increase its focus on the domestic audience. The article aims to demonstrate that in these efforts, Russia tries:

  1. To justify its so-called “special military operation” by claiming to seek liberation of the brotherly Ukrainian people from forcefully installed neo-Nazi regime in Kyiv;
  2. To apply the policy of deniability to the crimes it has committed on the territory of Ukraine.

At the international level, Russia attempts:

  1. To portray Ukraine as a West-supported aggressor by using the traditional playbook of illegal development of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) on the territories of the former Soviet Union;
  2. To distract Western societies’ support for weapons supply to Ukraine by warning of nuclear use;
  3. To prevent the full international isolation by targeting the countries in Africa, the Middle East and Latin America to get their support at the different international fora.

After providing specific facts that support the existence of these patterns, the article tries to explain the reasons behind Russia’s changed behaviours and claims that it was caused by:

  1. The unexpected failure on the battlefield in Ukraine;
  2. The development of the Open Source Intelligence (OSINT):
  3. The fear of complete international isolation.
The Role of EU Common Security and Defense Policy in the Context of the Russia-Ukraine War The Role of EU Common Security and Defense ...
The Role of EU Common Security and Defense Policy in the Context of the Russia-Ukraine War

Revaz Chkheidze

Executive Summary

Over the years, the EU's Common Security and Defense Policy (CSDP) has evolved with challenges. At the same time, the scope of CSDP was gradually expanding, which required closer work with partners. New challenges were reflected in the EU Global Security Strategy adopted in 2016, which further highlighted the issue of the EU's strategic autonomy in the international arena.

In the wake of other fundamental documents, in 2022 the European Union developed a "Strategic Compass", which was given additional burdens by the Russia-Ukraine war. In fact, for the first time, it clearly defines the measures of the future defense and security policy of the European Union. The European Peace Facility (EPF) was established as another important, but this time, financial mechanism for the implementation of the security and defense policy, which is actively used in the context of the aid allocated to Ukraine by the European Union.

The involvement of third countries in the common foreign and security policy of the European Union is supported by the relevant mechanisms, which also underwent a considerable evolution, which was accelerated by the process of adequately re-evaluating the international relations situation on the part of the European Union.

As a result of Russia's full-scale military intervention in Ukraine in February 2022, the EU completely changed its approaches and cautious attitude in terms of assistance to the military component of Ukraine, which was caused by Russia's rude and brazen crossing of red lines in international relations that existed even before the war.

Since the beginning of the Russia-Ukraine war, the financial aid allocated by the European Union to Ukraine for military purposes amounted to 3.1 billion euros, in addition to bilateral aid. Along with this, the Military Assistance Mission for Ukraine (EUMAM) was launched, within the framework of which up to 15,000 soldiers of the Armed Forces of Ukraine will be trained mainly in Poland, as well as in Germany. Overall, it is the first time, the EU directly provides military aid to a third country.

Orbán’s three perspectives on the Russian-Ukrainian War Orbán’s three perspectives on the Russian-Ukrainian War
Orbán’s three perspectives on the Russian-Ukrainian War

Gela Merabishvili

Executive Summary

Hungary stands out from other Eastern and Central European states in the context of the Russian-Ukrainian War. While Poland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic have provided plenty of political and military support to Ukraine and significantly reduced economic ties with Russia, Hungary’s Fidesz-led government has tried to maintain trade and diplomacy with Moscow while showing only tepid solidarity with Ukraine. This article explains the reasons behind Hungary’s particular position by analyzing Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s discourse.

By categorizing Orbán’s discourse into local, national and global geographical scales, the article identifies three main factors shaping the Hungarian response to the war:

  1. The distrust between Hungary and Ukraine derives from the several years of politicization of the Hungarian transborder community in Ukraine’s westernmost region of Transcarpathia.
  2. Hungary’s reliance on the Russian oil and gas led to Orbán’s decision to stick with Russia as an economic partner. Simultaneously, the April 2022 election period encouraged his populist narrative, prioritising Hungary’s economic needs over solidarity with Ukraine.
  3. Orbán’s long-existing geopolitical vision of a multipolar world led him to view the Russian-Ukrainian War as a materialization of the great power rivalry between the US and Russia, where each seeks to expand its zone of influence. This geopolitical view then justifies Hungary’s neutral role. Orbán reframes Hungary’s neutrality in the discourse of peace versus war, whereby Hungary represents an “island of peace” and himself ­– a promoter of peace. At the same time, the great powers and their local proxies are only interested in continuing the war.
Crisis Response Simulation Report 2021 Crisis Response Simulation Report 2021
Crisis Response Simulation Report 2021

The School of Social Sciences (University of Georgia-UG) conducted a three-day simulation exercise “Crisis Simulation and Response 2021”, a first attempt made by an academic institution in Georgia, with the participation of advanced level students and representatives of various state agencies. The objective of the exercise was to simulate a crisis scenario and identify problem areas in the existing policies to formulate respective policy improvements and recommendations. The pre-developed crisis scenario entailed several phases with the tendency of gradual escalation down to the direct military aggression and large-scale military confrontation.