v8n1_13 - Russian Phoenix: The Collective Security Treaty...

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The Whitehead Journal of Diplomacy and International Relations Russian Phoenix: The Collective Security Treaty Organization by Adam Weinstein R ussia’s quest for security and power did not die with the collapse of the USSR in 1991, though it did face new complications. Fifteen republics arose from the Soviet rubble, and with them, fifteen competing notions of national prestige. While media images in the West reinforced a uniformly positive view of communism’s death throes—statues of Lenin and Marx felled like dead timber, red flags and banners ripped down—little sober thought was given to what might rise in their place. To the lay observer, the age of cold war alliances, arms races, and geopolitical competition was now strictly a concern for historians. Not so in the Russian Federation and its surrounding regions. Although independence—both from the strictures of Soviet communism and the expenses associated with leading the USSR—was a priority for Russia, life in 1992 presented a bevy of new defense concerns. Control of the Soviet nuclear and conventional arsenals was a priority, as was the prevention or control of sectarian violence in the former USSR, particularly where large numbers of ethnic Russians were concerned. Furthermore, seventy-four years of communist rule, preceded by centuries of czarist domination, reinforced a sense of security interdependence (as well as a Russian sense of imperial pride and responsibility) in the Russian “near abroad.” The breakaway republics shared many such concerns with Russia but disagreed over how to address them. Most of these fledgling republics preferred a “lone wolf” or regional approach to any Moscow-led form of security cooperation. That appears to have changed in the interceding years. While collective measures and deference to Russian authority were nonstarter issues for most of the post- Soviet states in their infancy, these nations have achieved a degree of stability and sovereignty that enables them to reconsider their old military ties—particularly as shared apprehensions have grown over the threat of terrorism and extremism in the post-Soviet space. The evolution of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) reflects this sea change. Born in its current form in 2002, the CSTO actually has its genesis in the Russian-inspired early military agreements of the Commonwealth of Independent Adam Weinstein , a journalist and graduate student of international affairs at Florida State University, focuses on US foreign policy, military strategy, and emerging threats. He previously attended the US Naval Academy and Columbia University. 167
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WEINSTEIN The Whitehead Journal of Diplomacy and International Relations States (CIS), particularly the 1992 Collective Security Treaty. Through most of the 1990s, the Collective Security Treaty (CST) was a weak, unenforceable convention between mainly Central Asian and Eurasian nations that accomplished little, notable only for the public defection of several of its members in 1999. Yet, since the Treaty
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v8n1_13 - Russian Phoenix: The Collective Security Treaty...

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