The Black Sea is a vital strategic crossroads between Europe, Central Asia and the Middle East. Comprising at least ten countries, with diverse religious, cultural, political and economic backgrounds, the region was shaped historically by centuries of conflict between the Ottoman and Russian empires, and in the 20th century by the rise and dramatic collapse of the Soviet Union and the subsequent post-Cold War emergence of newly independent states. The region faces emerging security challenges of major international strategic interest, not least because 80% of all Russian gas destined for Europe transits through the Black Sea states. The nexus for unresolved territorial conflicts which have led to the establishment of intractable guerrilla regimes, the region is also a hotbed of illicit trafficking in counterfeit goods, drugs, weapons and radioactive material from discarded former Soviet facilities. This book expands on the proceedings and subsequent contributions resulting from a NATO workshop held at Oxford University. The workshop on Black Sea security cooperation brought together key government and private sector stakeholders in the region. The first part of the book covers the security challenges to the Black Sea region. The second part looks at the prospects for shaping a new security architecture in the region, highlighting various regional law enforcement and counter-trafficking cooperation initiatives and proposing a range of technical security cooperation solutions to the ongoing challenges. The final part of the book offers perspectives on the South Ossetia conflict.
This paper gives historical context to the Black Sea security concerns discussed elsewhere in the book. It also explains how this publication fits into a broader public diplomacy effort to restructure international security architecture in response to new post Cold-War and post 9/11 challenges. In particular, it calls for the development of a cohesive thinking capability on international security cooperation issues, as well as more effective cross-cutting working relationships between countries, government agencies and the public and private sectors.
This paper summarizes the principal findings and recommendations from the discussions and subsequent contributions to the NATO workshop on Black Sea Security Cooperation. It characterizes the Black Sea as a critical strategic corridor, identifies the principal legal and illegal goods that are channeled through Black Sea transit routes, and summarizes their impact on the region.
Oxford University was chosen as a suitably neutral academic setting for this NATO workshop on Black Sea Security Cooperation. Here, in typical succinct fashion, Wilfrid Knapp, Emeritus Fellow of St. Catherine's College, welcomes the workshop delegates to Oxford, outlines Oxford's long history of conflict resolution, and points out that former Cold War opponents now share an environment in which we seek security collectively against shared threats.
This paper argues that the end of the Cold War in 1989 and the 11 September 2001 terror attacks ushered in a revolutionary change in the nature of armed conflict in which security is no longer just a military concern. The new security scene is characterized by the uncontrollable proliferation of technology, a growing gap between rich and poor countries and the information revolution. The paper calls for a corresponding revolution in the way we define security in the light of new threats which require new responses. It highlights the implications for institutions such as NATO and the EU, and emphasizes that Turkey has replaced Germany as the keystone state for European security.
The Black Sea region forms the new eastern border of the European Union and constitutes a vital strategic corridor between Europe, Russia, Central Asia and the Middle East. This paper highlights the region's principal security challenges and outlines the prospects for greater regional stability as the Black Sea states develop closer ties with Europe.
The Harvard Black Sea Security Program promotes a regional approach to Black Sea security based on cooperation and integration. The Harvard program provides a valuable forum for Black Sea policy makers to meet with counterparts from other countries in a neutral, academic setting. This paper identifies the principal external and internal security factors affecting the Black Sea region, and calls for increasing regional cooperation in order to create a true Black Sea community.
The security of oil and gas in transit through the Black Sea region is vital to the global economy. This paper explores the close links between energy and geopolitics in the Black Sea region and discusses the implications of the convergence of major oil and gas supply routes from Russia and Central Asia to Europe through the Black Sea corridor. The paper concludes by outlining the prospects for developing a mature energy partnership between Europe as the world's biggest gas consumer and Russia as the world's biggest gas producer.
Illicit trafficking is a major security challenge for states in the Black Sea region. This paper examines how traditional contraband channels are used to finance organized crime and terrorism and destabilize the transit countries. The paper cautions that illicit trafficking is likely to increase because of the huge financial incentives and the relatively low risks. It calls for a change in strategic thinking in order to counter the threat.
The strategic importance of the Black Sea will increase because it is a vital energy transit corridor for oil and gas from Russia and Central Asia to Europe. Energy security will drive both economic cooperation and strategic confrontation in the region. In response, this paper calls for the establishment of a new security architecture to maximize cooperation and minimize confrontation between Black Sea states. Specific security challenges include government corruption, uncontrolled regions, and uncoordinated membership of security and defense organizations. The paper sees improved intelligence and law enforcement information sharing as valuable and achievable steps towards greater regional cooperation and integration.
Afghanistan is the source of approximately 90% of the world's opium. This paper explains how the opium is smuggled through the Caucasus and the Black Sea en route to Europe and America, and how this drug trafficking nourishes separatist ambitions and armed conflicts in several Black Sea countries. The traffickers compromise and challenge international assistance programs in the region, and exert a corrupting influence on the local economies, politics and societies along the trafficking routes.
This paper looks at the role of the South East European Cooperation Initiative (SECI) in law-enforcement cooperation in South East Europe and the Black Sea, and considers SECI's capacity to combat organized crime and illegal trafficking in the Black Sea. Established in 1999, the SECI Center provides a focal point for police and customs cooperation in the region. SECI's information network coordinates between 24 national customs and police forces and is supported by 12 National Focal Points set up in the Member States using an encrypted Virtual Private Network to connect with the SECI Center. SECI Task Forces organize and execute regional anti-crime operations and coordinate investigations.
Ukraine is geographically, politically and economically sandwiched between Russia and Europe, providing a key transit corridor for Russian gas to Europe and leasing its warm-water bases to the Russian navy's Black Sea Fleet. This paper considers Black Sea security from Ukraine's particular perspective. It argues that none of the frozen conflicts in the region can be resolved without constructive Russian participation, and it underlines the need for regional cooperation to tackle mutual problems such as illicit trafficking and to improve regional transportation and communications.
This paper addresses the security of nuclear and radioactive material in the Black Sea region and highlights specific cases where radioactive sources have gone missing or have been stolen. The paper is divided into three parts: (1) it contrasts the ideal versus the real world situation for nuclear and radiological security; (2) it discusses the need for integrated deterrence using both first and second line defenses and explains the steps needed to improve the security of radioactive sources in the Black Sea region; and (3) it highlights shortfalls in safety and security culture and training. The paper concludes with a call for strengthening the international Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material.
The Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline (BTC) is 1,800 kilometers long and carries approximately 1 million barrels per day from the Caspian through Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey. With about 1.3% of global production, the pipeline is extremely important for Western energy security and for the economies of the countries through which it passes. This paper examines the safeguards and security challenges facing the pipeline and underlines the requirements for a comprehensive safety and security plan to prevent and mitigate supply disruptions. The paper argues that a comprehensive pipeline safety and security plan has the added benefit of promoting Black Sea/Caucasus regional cooperation and stability.
In this paper, the author draws on his experience in coordinating major international counter-narcotics and counter-terrorism efforts and proposes a concept for cross-disciplinary regional cooperation on counter trafficking in the Black Sea. The paper highlights the advantages of establishing some form of international Joint Inter-Agency Task Force for the Black Sea to enhance international counter-trafficking cooperation in the Black Sea region.
The South Ossetian conflict underlines the dangers of unresolved frozen conflicts in the Black Sea region. The 2008 war resulted in a rapid defeat for Georgia's military forces and in temporary Russian occupation of large areas of Georgian territory. It also demonstrated the vulnerability of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline. This paper examines the causes of the conflict, its consequences for the regional balance of power, and its dampening effect on efforts to integrate Georgia into NATO and the European Union.
In this paper, Tedo Japaridze analyses the post-war situation in Georgia and South Ossetia following the 2008 conflict with Russia. He appeals to the country's western friends to help resolve a problem that he argues is theirs too. Japaridze has served as Georgian Foreign Minister, as Chair of Georgia's National Security Council, and as Georgian Ambassador to the United States, Canada and Mexico. He has also served as Secretary-General of the Organization for Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC).
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