Special Reports

Special Reports provide in-depth analysis on a particular topic or issue and provide policy recommendations.

Russia’s Defense Industry: Between Political Significance and Economic Inefficiency

The Russian Federation’s defense industry provides the authoritarian regime with military power that is used for maintaining its domestic and foreign legitimacy. The industry’s top-management is a major part of Russia’s governing establishment. Nevertheless, the industry suffers from economic...

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The Future of the Kurdistan Region after the Defeat of ISIS and the Failure of the 2017 Independence Referendum

In 2017, the Kurdistan Region of Iraq held an independence referendum, which triggered severe backlash, including the loss of control over the oil-rich city of Kirkuk. The backlash from the independence referendum prompted the regional government (Kurdistan Regional Government)...

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Making Sense of the Sadrists: Fragmentation and Unstable Politics

Iraq’s Sadrist movement, led by populist Shi’i cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, has been at the heart of Iraqi politics since 2003. The movement's political strategies have shifted dramatically during this time, encompassing militant insurgency, sectarian violence, electoral politics, and reform-oriented...

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Friends or Frenemies? How Russia and Iran Compete and Cooperate

Relations between the Russian Federation and the Islamic Republic of Iran relations are best understood as a tenuous partnership that oscillates between “strategic” and “tactical” cooperation on common security issues despite long-lasting mistrust, unmet expectations, and weak economic ties....

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Iraq: Asking the Right Questions about Civil Disorder

Since October 1 of last year, over 600 Iraqis have been killed and thousands injured in protests throughout the country. The accompanying political and social chaos has strengthened efforts by other nations to interfere in Iraq with deadly effects....

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Narrowing Interests in the Middle East: Planning for Great Power Competition

Download Narrowing Interests in the Middle East: Planning for Great Power Competition  The United States dramatically increased the commitment of ...

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Three Conflict Scenarios for the Black Sea in 2020

What happens in the Black Sea does not stay in the Black Sea. The region’s status as a crossroad linking ...

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Russian Private Military Companies: Continuity and Evolution of the Model

Download Russian Private Military Companies: Continuity and Evolution of the Model  Executive Summary Russian private military companies or contractors (PMCs) ...

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Belarus-Russia: From a Strategic Deal to an Integration Ultimatum

Download Belarus-Russia: From a Strategic Deal to an Integration Ultimatum Executive Summary In the mid-1990s, Minsk signed several treaties and ...

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Transatlantic Trialogue: Turkey, the Syrian War, and the Future of the Transatlantic Alliance

Download Transatlantic Trialogue: Turkey, the Syrian War, and the Future of the Transatlantic Alliance Tensions over Syria have negatively impacted ...

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