Russian Factors in the Middle East
Senior Research Fellow, Sasakawa Peace Foundation
In January 2009, the Brookings Institution released a report titled "The New Geopolitics of the Middle East."1 It argues that a new geopolitical structure is appearing in the Middle East due to the declining US influence and the rise of other countries. According to the summary of the report:
"The perception of U.S. withdrawal from the Middle East overstates reality, but American influence in the region is certainly on the decline. The United States retains a significant troop presence in the region, but the American public has limited support for military engagement in Middle Eastern conflicts. The perception that the United States is no longer dependent on the region's oil supplies is not borne out by the realities of the global oil market, but does shape contemporary American decisionmaking. The United States has stepped back from diplomatic leadership on the Middle East peace process and conflict management across the region. Only on issues related to Iran has the United States had a sustained—but not consistent—focus."
"Other actors have been inserting themselves into regional decisionmaking. As these two dynamics converge, a new geopolitical structure is evolving. It has six primary countries—Saudi Arabia, Iran, Turkey, Israel, the United States, and Russia. Others, like Egypt, maintain some of their past influence, although at significantly diminished levels. China does not currently play a central role in directing regional affairs, but is building its economic and diplomatic ties across the region and is poised to be more influential in the future."
In recent years, Russia has rapidly been restoring its influence in the Middle East and is now regarded as one of the six key actors that have influence in the new geopolitical structure that the Brookings report discussed. The purpose of this article is to elaborate on the aims, methods, the effectiveness and limitations of Russia's active engagement policy toward the Middle East.
Russia's military intervention in Syria realized its comeback to the global arena as a great power.
In the Brookings report, Georgetown University professor Angela Stent, a leading US-Russian relations expert, referred to Russia's growing influence in the Middle East in recent years: "Russia's return to the Middle East after the withdrawal from the region that followed the Soviet collapse is one of Putin's major foreign policy achievements... Putin has taken advantage of the U.S. ambivalence about its future role in the region to re-assert Russia's influence there. Indeed, Russia has begun to replace the United States as the go-to player in this fractured region. Its intervention in Syria and support for Assad have enabled Putin to achieve one of his major goals—Russia's return to the global board of directors."
Dmitry Trenin, director of the Carnegie Moscow Center, points out that Putin's main foreign policy objective has been to the top level of global politics, and that he chose the Middle East as the area for that breakthrough.2
The direct motive of Russia's military intervention in Syria was to prevent the collapse of the Assad regime.
The largest turning point for Russia to increase its influence in the Middle East was the full-scale military intervention by the Russian army in the Syrian civil war that began on September 30, 2015. Russia's direct motive was to protect the moribund Assad regime with its all might.
Fyodor Lukyanov, editor-in-chief of Russian magazine of foreign affairs "Russia in Global Affairs" and research director of the Foundation for Development and Support of the Valdai Discussion Club under the de facto control of the Presidential Executive Office of Russia, commented as follows on Russia's policy of active involvement in the Syrian civil war that began amidst the Arab Spring of 2011.3
"Unlike other Russian diplomatic adventures that are characterized by their impulsivity, its behavior in Syria is free from ambiguity. From the outset of the Syrian crisis, Russia declared its support for the Bashar al-Assad administration with a definite end of staying him in power. This is because of not only the long-standing relationship between Damascus and Moscow, but also of Russia's firm belief that the restoration of regional stability would be possible not by changing the existing regimes, but by strengthening them. The change of regimes, as shown by the experiences in Iraq, Libya, and Egypt, will lead to the expansion of chaos. Russia's present position was inspired by the event in Libya, where Moscow did not attempt to block foreign interference. The symbolic and visually atrocious murder of Qaddafi was a result of the change of regime in Libya."
"Since then, Russia's task has not changed --- the strengthening of the Assad regime and the maximum possible restoration of its own supremacy over the Syrian territory within internationally recognized borders. Russia took sides with Assad, initially by political and diplomatic means, and afterward by military means. Russia resorted to armed intervention, when it became clear that without it Damascus would fall."
In a research report entitled "Understanding Russia's Intervention in Syria," Samuel Charap, an American expert on Russian affairs with the RAND Corporation, points out that the prevention of the fall of the Assad regime was of crucial importance for Russia in the following two respects.
- If the Assad administration were overthrown, Syria would be taken over by the Sunni radical forces represented by IS. The threat of terrorism by these forces could then extend beyond the Middle East to the Caucasus, Central Asia, and even to Russia.
- If the Assad regime were overthrown by the hands of the anti-government coalition supported by the United States and its allies, Russia would legitimize Western-backed regime change, which Russia recognizes as a threat to its national security.
Like Lukyanov, Charap argues that Russia's perspective was largely affected by the fact that the military support of Western countries overthrew the Qaddafi regime in Libya, and that the resulting chaotic state in Libya allowed the subsequent rise of the IS. The Kremlin viewed the situation in Syria at that time in connection with NATO's airstrikes on Serbia, the expulsion of the Taliban from Afghanistan, the US invasion of Iraq and the overthrow of the Hussein regime, and the fall of the Qaddafi regime in Libya under NATO's military support. "The Kremlin also saw the 'color revolutions' in several former Soviet republics and the Arab Spring as instruments of US policy to achieve the same objective without using military force. Russia saw this pattern of Western interventions as a significant threat to its own national security."4
US-Russia "anti-terrorism" alignment attempted in Syria
Angela Stent describes the characteristics of Russia's Middle Eastern diplomacy in recent years: "Unlike in Soviet times, Russian policy is pragmatic and non-ideological, which gives it considerable flexibility. Russia has ties with all the major regional players, irrespective of their internal politics. Indeed, Russia is the only major power that talks to the Shiite states, the Sunni states, and to Israel. It has been able to establish cooperative ties with the region's main protagonists and antagonists: Israel and the Palestinians; Israel and Iran; Iran and Saudi Arabia; Turkey and the Kurds; both Libyan governments; and Hamas and Hezbollah…. Russia is in the Middle East for the long haul. It is seeking to convert its decisive role in Syria—ensuring that Assad prevailed and stayed in power—to a broader role of regional power broker."5
The notable feature of Russia's Middle Eastern diplomacy in recent years lies in the maintenance of channels of dialogue with all these major actors in the region. This is what is shared by many analysts inside and outside Russia, including Eugen Rumer, a national intelligence officer for Russia and Eurasia at the US National Intelligence Council during the Obama administration, currently director of the Carnegie Russia and Eurasia Program, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.6
However, the Russian International Affairs Council (RIAC) director general Andrey Kortunov said, "It seems that initially, the Russian return to the MENA region had no goal of becoming such a power broker."
"After the United States demonstrated its apparent inability to "fix" places like Iraq, Libya, and Afghanistan, Moscow wanted to be seen as the bearer of a different, more practical, and more efficient approach to the region. This was particularly important after the Ukraine crisis in 2013 cast a dark shadow over Russia's relations with its Western partners and, above all, with the Obama administration."
"The Kremlin had to demonstrate to leaders at the White House that it could be a part of the solution, not a part of a problem. The idea was not to replace the United States in the Middle East, but to change the US approach to the region, most importantly to convince Americans that their enthusiastic support for the Arab Spring in 2011 had been irresponsible, shortsighted, and dangerous. This idea reflects the overall mental framework of contemporary Russian leaders, who believe that the real borderline in global politics today divides not democracy and authoritarianism, but order and chaos."7
In his speech at the UN General Assembly on September 28, 2015, just two days before the Russian army began airstrikes on Syria, President Putin criticized the United States and Western countries for their actions in the invasion of Iraq through the Arab Spring. On the other hand, he called for the global alignment against terrorism in Syria, saying "Relying on international law, we must join efforts to address the problems that all of us are facing, and create a genuinely broad international coalition against terrorism."8
Immediately after Russia's launch of airstrikes on Syria, US Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov began cooperation to find a political solution to the civil war in Syria. The first meeting of the International Syria Support Group (ISSG), co-chaired by both of them, was held in November of the same year.9 Under this framework, the cease-fire agreement was concluded respectively in February and September 2016 between the Syrian government forces and the rebel forces (excluding IS and the al-Nusra Front10) with the approval of the UN Security Council and under the watch of the US and Russian forces. The basic concept of the US-Russia alignment in Syria was that Russia should exert pressure on the Assad administration and the US on the rebels, thereby first achieving a ceasefire and then a political solution.
However, the situation turned out to be more difficult than expected. The February 2016 ceasefire agreement was not fully implemented by both sides. In September of the same year, another ceasefire agreement was concluded, which was immediately followed by two fatal incidents. First, US troops attacked Syrian government troops in Deir ez-Zor, claiming dozens of deaths. The US military later announced that it was an accidental bombing. Soon after, the Red Cross humanitarian convoy was attacked by an unidentified party, and numerous humanitarian workers were killed. The US military announced that either the Syrian army or the Russian army was responsible, but both of them denied it. The Obama administration terminated cooperation with Russia in Syria.11
Dmitry Trenin points out that Moscow ascribed the failure of the US-Russia alignment in Syria to the US inability to separate the Nusra fighters from the rest of the opposition forces and, more seriously, to the disagreement within Washington regarding the wisdom of cooperating with Russia. While John Kelly advocated such cooperation, the Pentagon and the intelligence community were highly negative, and President Obama himself was ambivalent.12
The Astana process led by three countries: Russia, Turkey, and Iran
After the failure to create a US-Russian alliance, the Kremlin drastically altered its approach to Syria and the Middle East. First, in tandem with Turkey, Russia helped the Assad administration to recapture Aleppo, a strategic point in northern Syria. In January 2017, Russia together with Turkey and Iran launched the Syria cease-fire process (Astana process) in Kazakhstan's capital Astana and seized the initiative in Syria leveraging the Astana process.13
Meanwhile, Russia invited the Trump administration, inaugurated in January of the same year, to attend the Astana meeting as an observer calling on President Trump for US involvement in the Syrian issue. However, the Trump administration made a limited engagement including the deployment of military forces in relation to issues of particular interest such as anti-IS operations. Otherwise, President Trump rather avoided involvement in the Syrian issue, and finally in October 2019, issued an order to withdraw US troops from Syria.14
Lukyanov describes the characteristics of Russia's sophisticated policy toward Syria as follows: "Fulfilling this task --- the strengthening of the Assad regime and the maximum possible restoration of its supremacy over the Syrian territory within internationally recognized borders ---, Russia has demonstrated the capability of skillfully using various instruments --- military, political, diplomatic, cultural, and information. The flexibility that Moscow shows in realizing its course of action in Syria is not as typical as Russia's diplomatic practice. This is partly due to the existence of numerous actors standing in the way of achieving results. Their interests either do not coincide with hers at all or coincide only in certain respects. This complicates her pursuit of a consistent course of action, while concurrently creating situational opportunities advantageous to Russia. Moscow deftly takes advantage of this, managing to maintain practical relations with all significant actors without exception."
He also explains the Astana process that is the linchpin of Russia's policy toward Syria as follows: "The so-called Astana Triangle represents Russia's diplomatic ingenuity --- a permanent framework for discussing the situation in Syria with the participation of Russia, Turkey, and Iran. Its uniqueness lies in the fact that the three parties have varied, if not opposite, interests in Syria, while the level of mutual trust between them, to put it mildly, leaves much to be desired. That is why, when negotiations began in January 2017, most commentators believed that this framework would not last long. However, after a lapse of almost three years, the three parties manage to overcome acute crises and maintain cooperation. The basis of this stability is not a coincidence of interests or mutual sympathy, but a strictly pragmatic understanding that none of the three parties could achieve their goals in Syria without the assistance or at least neutrality of the other two. This has turned out a very effective basis for cooperation."15
The above remarks of Lukyanov may require some explanation. First, as far as Russia-Turkey relations are concerned, three of the four de-escalation zones16 set up at the Astana meeting in May 2017 came under the control of the Assad administration in 2018. Over the remaining area of Idlib and its environs, however, touch-and-go incidents have occurred more than once between the Assad army and the Free Syrian Army under the umbrella of the Turkish government. The Astana process has managed to survive the crises owing to Russia's intermediary efforts of reconciling conflicting interests.
Russia and Iran share the same interest in preventing the collapse of the Assad regime in Syria. However, Russia does not share Iran's strategic goal of securing Syria as a base for attacking Israel or for supporting and supplying Lebanon's Hezbollah. Consequently, Russia is striving to bridge the gap of interest between Iran and Israel through the creation of a buffer zone in southern Syria bordering the Israeli territory. Nonetheless, Russian efforts have fallen short of eliminating Israel's anxiety. Russia overlooks Israel's airstrikes on Iranian installations in Syria.
Acquisition of strategic assets through active involvement in niche spaces
What is the aim of Russia's Middle Eastern policy, which is elaborately structured on the subtle balance of interests over Syria with the countries concerned? Lukyanov describes it as follows: "Some Middle Eastern actors expect that Russia will now either replace the United States as the main patron in the region or try to at least restore the status of the USSR. Their expectations have no foundations…. The model of regional politics of the last century that continued to be valid for some time in the current century, or the model assuming the presence of a powerful regional patron or a powerful external patron, is becoming obsolete. No power can control a region. This is crystal-clear from the experiences in all parts of the world from East Asia to Latin America, and still more so in the Middle East. On the other hand, there are niche spaces in many regions as a balancer capable of regulating the level of tensions and mitigating contradictions among various actors in local politics."
"In this capacity, Russia scored points. Russia's potentials in the Middle East have markedly increased the country's status in the international hierarchy. To use the market language, this is a valuable asset for global interaction. It is worth recalling that by the time military operation began in Syria in the fall of 2015, Western countries had deliberately limited the space for dialogue with Russia to the Minsk process and the Ukrainian crisis, thereby trying to increase pressure on Moscow. Now the situation has changed dramatically, due largely to Russia's activity in the Middle East. The goal of Russia is to consolidate her strategic position in Syria by developing her bases there into strongholds in the Mediterranean. However, this is not a question of control over the region, but her position in a broader international sense."17
To sum up the above:
- Russia has no intention to replace the United States in the Middle East.
- The era when patrons with overwhelming influence like the United States existed in the Middle East and other regions has ended.
- In such an era, various problems accompanied by tensions and contradictions occurred in each region, and temporary moves to attempt to adjust or alleviate them create niche spaces.
- If some power took a risk by engaging actively in such temporary moves and occupied a niche space, the power could thereby acquire valuable strategic assets.
- Russia aimed at occupying such a niche space and at acquiring strategic assets through military intervention in the Syrian civil war; its subsequent attempts for anti-terrorism alignment with the United States; and the shift to the Astana process after the failure of its alliance efforts.
- As a result, Russia has succeeded in significantly raising its position in the international community.
As mentioned above, the immediate motive of Russia's military intervention in Syria was to prevent the collapse of the Assad regime. Russia wanted to prevent the possible threat of the proliferation of international terrorism originating from Syria after the fall of the Assad regime. Russia also wanted to prevent the change of regime by Western countries. The nightmare of the overthrow of the Qaddafi regime in Libya had a huge impact on Russia's decisions in its Middle Eastern policy.
Russia actively engaged as a solution provider in the Middle Eastern problems accompanied by tensions and contradictions resulting from the decline of the hegemonic power of the United States. These actions of Russia, as Lukyanov describes in detail, had an aspect of acquiring strategic assets that would contribute to raising Russia's international prestige. As a result, Russia has achieved a comeback as a major power in the world --- the main objective of Putin's foreign policy.
If so, it is obvious that Russia is implementing a careful risk management policy that cannot be put aside by saying that Russia's Middle Eastern policy is "filling the strategic vacuum in the wake of the US withdrawal."
The advantage of this approach by Russia is that the combination of coalitions can be changed flexibly according to the situation. Initially, Russia attempted an "anti-terror" alliance with the United States. But as soon as it failed, Russia lost no time in taking up the Astana process. It was the culmination of this approach. Unless Russia fails to make a proper risk assessment in advance, the approach will enable the country to acquire large strategic assets at relatively low cost.
Meanwhile, Russia does not possess a clear grand strategy on "What should the future of the Middle East be like?" This seemingly represents the limit of Russia's Middle Eastern policy.
- June 2022, "Why War Occurs in Europe?--The Structural Transformation of the European Security Order in the Post-Cold War Era --" written by Yuichi Hosoya, Professor, Keio University
- June 2022,"The Russia-Ukrainian War and the Behind-the-Scenes Stance of the United States" "On Economic Security" written by Tsuneo Watanabe, Senior Fellow, Sasakawa Peace Foundation
- June 2022, "The Russia-Ukraine War and NATO", written by Michito Tsuruoka, Associate Professor, Keio University
- June 2022, "The Ukrainian War Viewed from Theories of International Politics" written by Matake Kamiya, Professor, National Defens Academy
- March 2022, "Economic Security Challenges and Cyber Security" written by Jun Osawa, Senior Research Fellow, Nakasone Peace Institute
- March 2022, "On Economic Security" written by Matake Kamiya, Professor, the Ntional Defense Academy
- March 2022, ""Economic Security" and the Review of the 2013 NSS and the Related Strategy Documents" written by Nobushige Takamizawa, Visiting Professor, the University of Tokyo
- March 2022, "The US-China Rivalry and Economic Security" written by Yuzo Murayama, Professor, Doshisya University
- March 2022, "Japan's National Security Policies and Science and Technology" written by Nobukatsu Kanehara, Professor, Doshisya University
- March 2022, "Economic Security in the Free Trade Regime" written by Kazuto Suzuki, Professor, the University of Tokyo
- January 2022, "The 2022 South Korean Presidential Election and the Next Administration's Foreign and Security Policy" written by Junya Nishino, Professor, Keio University
- January 2022, "North Korea's Nuclear and Missile Development and Japan's Defense" written by Hideshi Tokuchi, Senior Fellow, GRIPS
- January 2022, "What will Become of Japan-South Korea Relations? The 1965 Japan-South Korea Treaty System in Jeopardy" written by Masao Okonogi, Professor Emeritus, Keio University
- December 2021, "Economic and Social Conditions in North Korea and its Relations with South Korea" written by Mitsuhiro Mimura, Chief Research Fellow, The Economic Research Institute for Northeast Asia.
- December 2021, "China's Korean Peninsula Policy and North Korea" written by Shin Kawashima, Professor, the University of Tokyo.
- December 2021, "China's Korean Peninsula Policy and North Korea" written by Shunji Hiraiwa, Professor, Nanzan University.
- December 2021, "What to Do with the Relations with North Korea?" written by Hitoshi Tanaka, Chairman for Institute for International Strategy at the Japan Research Institute.
- October 2021, "Strategic Implications of North Korea's Enhanced Nuclear and Missile Capabilities" written by Narushige Michishita, Vice President, National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies.
- October 2021, "The Biden Administration's North Korea Policy: Its Low Priority and Looming Crises" written by Tsuneo Watanabe, Senior Fellow, Sasakawa Peace Foundation.
- October 2021, "The Evolution of the US-ROK Alliance: Tasks in the Biden Era" written by Yasuyo Sakata, Professor, Kanda University of International Studies.
- September 2021, "The Development of Regional Security Architecture: From Asia-Pacific to Indo-Pacific" written by Ken Jimbo, Professor, Keio University.
- September 2021, "The Strategic Development of Japanese Security Cooperation under Superpower Competition and the Development of the FOIP and its Operationalization" written by Nobushige Takamizawa, Visiting Professor, Graduate School of Public Policy, The University of Tokyo.
- August 2021, "Security Perceptions of Central Asian Countries--- From the Perspective of China Studies ---" written by Shin Kawashima, Professor, the University of Tokyo.
- August 2021, "Security in the Indian Ocean Region---Implication of the Galwan Incident for QUAD in the Indo-Pacific" written by Dr. Satoru Nagao, Fellow (Non-Resident), Hudson Institute.
- August 2021, "Easternization and Security in Asia" written by Tsuneo Watanabe, Senior Fellow, Sasakawa Peace Foundation.
- July 2021, "The Ideas of "Autonomy" and "Self-Reliance" in Contemporary India's Foreign Strategy" written by Kazutoshi TAMARI, Associate Professor,Chukyo University.
- July 2021, "Thailand's Security Policies and Threat Perceptions" written by Saya Kiba, Associate Professor, Komatsu University, Faculty of Intercultural Communication.
- July 2021, "Myanmar's Security Perceptions and the February 1 Coup d'Etat" written by Yoshihiro Nakanishi, Associate Professor, Kyoto University.
- July 2021, "Australia's Security Perceptions and the "Asia Threat"" written byTomohiko Satake, Senior Fellow, Defense Policy Division, Policy Studies Department, NIDS .
- June 2021, "The Indo-Pacific Regional Architecture: Its Future--- Multipolar Order Beyond US-China Relations ---" by Tsutomu Kikuchi, Professor, Aoyama Gakuin University
- June 2021, "The Quad Plus in the Security of Asia: Its Significance and Outlook" by Hideshi Tokuchi, Senior Fellow, National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies
- June 2021, "Indonesian Views and Perceptions on National Security" by Nobuhiro Aizawa, Associate Professor, The Graduate School of Social and Cultural Studies, Kyushu University
- June 2021, "Normalized Tensions in the Cross-Strait Relations--- Structural Changes in Taiwanese Society and the Xi Jinping Administration's Strategic Shift ---" by Yasuhiro Matsuda, Professor, The University of Tokyo
- June 2021, "China's Maritime Strategy and Responses of the United States and Japan" by Yoji Koda, Former Commander in Chief, Self Defense Fleet
- June 2021, "The South China Issues from the Perspective of the International Law Order",by Shigeki Sakamoto, Emeritus Professor, Kobe University
- May 2021, "Indonesian Views and Perceptions on National Security" by Nobuhiro Aizawa, Associate Professor, Kyushu University
- May, 2021, "The Philippine Foreign and Security Policy Perspective" written by Yusuke Takagi Associate Professor,National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies.
- May, 2021, "Vietnam's Security: Challenges and Responses" written by Tomotaka Shoji Head, Asia and Africa Division, Regional Studies Department, National Institute for Defense Studies
- March, 2021, "Can the Biden Administration Restore America as a Global Leader?" written by Matake Kamiya, Professor, the National Defense Academy of Japan.
- March, 2021, "The Biden Administration and Japan's Security Strategy" written by Hideshi Tokuchi, Senior Fellow, National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies.
- February,2021, "US Foreign and Security Policy Direction Viewed from the Biden Administration's Lineup" written by Tsuneo Watanabe, Senior Fellow, Sasakawa Peace Foundation
- February,2021, "Trade Policies of the Biden Administration" written by Takaaki Asano, Senior Analyst, Sumitomo Corporation Global Research Co. Ltd.
- February,2021, "The Biden Administration's Policy toward Russia" written by Taisuke Abiru, Senior Fellow, Sasakawa Peace Foundation
- January,2021, "Will US Policy Toward China Change?" lectured by Ryo Sahashi, Associate Professor, the University of Tokyo
- January,2021, "How will China View the Biden Administration?" written by Bonji Ohara, Senior Fellow, Sasakawa Peace Foundation
- January,2021, "An Assessment of the 2020 US Presidential Election－American Democracy Now－" lectured by Fumiaki Kubo, Professor, the University of Tokyo
- January,2021, "Two Trumpian Mysteries－Why did Trump win over 70 million votes? Why is his outrageous behavior unchecked?－" lectured by Kazuhiro Maeshima, Professor, Sophia University
- September, 2020, "The Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic and Internationa Relationsl" by Matake Kamiya, Professor, National Defense Academy of Japan
- September, 2020, "The Policy Agenda for the Xi Jinping Administration- COVID-19 Countermeasures and China's International Relations -" by Shin Kawashima, Professor, The University of Tokyo
- "Control in the United States and International Relations" by Koji Murata, Professor, Doshisha University
- September, 2020, "The EU's Response to COVID-19 and International Relations" by Yuichi Hosoya, Professor, Keio University
- August, 2020, "The Corona Crisis Seen from a Macroeconomic Perspective" written by Motoshige Itoh, Professor Emeritus, The University of Tokyo
- August, 2020, "The Coronavirus Pandemic and Japan's Infectious Disease Control" written by Takashi Mihara, Senior Research Fellow, NLI Research Institute
- August, 2020, "Infectious Disease Crisis Control in Japan- Recommendations on an Exit Strategy -" written by Kazumasa Oguro, Professor, Hosei University
- August, 2020, "Security against Infectious Disease Threats --- Policy Responses Abroad" written by Takashi Sekiyama, Associate Professor, Kyoto University
- June 2020,"Transformation of the International Order in the Middle East--- Varying Degrees of "Stateness" and Three Directions of the New Order" written by Satoshi Ikeuchi, Professor, Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology, The University of Tokyo
- June 2020,"Destabilization in the Middle East and its Impacts on Japan's Energy Security" written by Amane Kobayashi, Research Fellow, The Institute of Energy Economics
- May 2020: Urgent Recommendations "Toward a V-shaped Recovery after the Novel Coronavirus Pandemic "Coronavirus Testing for All" --- the First Step of the Next Phase"
- May 2020: "US Diplomacy toward Iran: Economic Sanctions as a Diplomatic Tool" Hiroki Sugita Columnist, Kyodo News
- "Russian Factors in the Middle East" Taisuke Abiru Senior Research Fellow, Sasakawa Peace Foundation
- "The SDF Dispatches to the Middle East --- History and Significance" Ippeita Nishida Senior Research Fellow, Sasakawa Peace Foundation
- March 2020, "Space and Security" Kazuto Suzuki Professor, Hokkaido University
- March 2020, "The US Security Space Policy --- With a Focus on the Establishment of Two Space Forces" Yasuhito Fukushima Chief Researcher, The National Institute for Defense Studies
- March 2020, "China's Recent Activities in Space and Cyberspace" Bonji Ohara Senior Research Fellow, Sasakawa Peace Foundation
- March 2020, "Environmental Security and Japan" Takashi Sekiyama Associate Professor, Kyoto University
- March 2020, "Changes in Global Environment and Security --- US Security Strategy" Hideshi Tokuchi Senior Fellow, National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS)
- February 2020, "Cyberspace Security" Motohiro Tsuchiya Professor, Keio University
- February 2020, "Japan's Space and Cyberspace Policy" Yukinari Hirose Former President of the National Institute for Defense Studies
- December 2019, "The US-China Confrontation --- Where Will Hegemony Reside Next?" Akio Takahara Professor, the University of Tokyo
- December 2019, "Challenges Facing the Chinese Economy" Osamu Tanaka Chief Senior Researcher, Institute of Developing Economies, JETRO
- December 2019, "US Strategic Perception on China: Implications for US Allied Partners" Tsuneo Watanabe Senior Fellow, Sasakawa Peace Foundation
- November 2019, "The Xi Jinping Administration's View of the International Order– China's emphasis on United Nations diplomacy and liberal economic policies−" Shin Kawashima, Professor, the University of Tokyo
- November 2019, "The Future of China's Security Strategy" Hideshi Tokuchi, Senior Fellow, National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies
- November 2019, "China --- Its Confidence and Anxiety" Bonji Ohara, Senior Research Fellow, Sasakawa Peace Foundation
- August 2019: Several Perspectives on the Korean Peninsula Issue--- The Deteriorating Japan-South Korea Relationship and the Uncertain Denuclearization of North Korea --- By Masahiro Akiyama Chairman, the SSDP
- July 2019, "An Outlook on the Denuclearization of North Korea--- What is the Stance of North Korea?---", Junya Nishino, Professor, Keio University
- July 2019, "An Outlook on the Denuclearization of North Korea --- How will the US move?", Narushige Michishita, Vice President, National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies
- July 2019, "Discussion on Denuclearization of North Korea", SSDP Discussion Meeting on May 8, 2019
- May 2019: "Current Status and Prospects of South Korea and Japan's Frictions over History: How to address the Judicial Problems", Masao Okonogi, Professor Emeritus, Keio University
- May 2019: "South Korea and Japan's Frictions over History" (Comments), Junya Nishino, Professor, Keio University
- May 2019: Japan and South Korea Relationships (Question & Answer)
- March 2019: "The Present State and Prospects of the Indian Economy and Economic Policies" written by Koji Kobayashi, Senior Economist Mizuho Research Institute Ltd.
- March 2019: "The "Modi diplomacy" in the History of Indian diplomacy--- Departure from or maintenance of the traditional diplomacy? ---" written by Toru Ito, The National Defense Academy of Japan
- February 2019: Dynamics of Indian Politics and the 2019 General Elections, written by Chiharu Takenaka, Professor of Rikkyo University
- February 2019: "Cooperative Strategy" to Realize "Competitive Strategy"--- The composite structure of Japan's "Free and Open Indo-Pacific" strategy (vision) ---, written by Matake Kamiya, Professor at The National Defense Academy of Japan
- January 2019:, A paper, "How will the US midterm elections results affect the Trump administration's foreign policy for 2019?" written by Tsuneo Watanabe, Senior Fellow, the Sasakawa Peace Foundation
- January 2019:, A paper, "The Present and Future of the International Trade Order" , written by Akihiko Tamura, Professor, National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies
- December 2018: The US-China Competition and Japan, written by Ryo Sahashi, Professor at Kanagawa University
- December 2018: An Outlook for the US-China Trade War―What makes the two economically interdependent superpowers confront each other?―, written by Takashi Sekiyama, Associate professor at Toyo University
- September 2018: Proposal, "The Denuclearization of North Korea and the Restoration of Peace in the Korean Peninsula― Correct Perceptions and Eight Proposals on Japan's North Korea Diplomacy－" edited by the Society of Security and Diplomatic Policy Studies
- September 2018: "The Taiwan Policy of the Xi Jinping Administration in its Second Term: An Outlook on Cross-Strait Relations in the New Era" written by Yasuhiro Matsuda, Professor of the Tokyo University
- July 2018: "The EU States and Russia on North Korea Issues- Expansion of Influence through Diplomacy: Attempts and Limitations -" lectured by Yuichi Hosoya, Professor of Keio University
- "An Assessment of the US-North Korea Summit and an Outlook for the Future of the Korean Peninsula" lectured by Junya Nishino, Professor of Keio University
- "Korean Peninsula Issue and Japan's Future Security Policy" written by Hideshi Tokuchi, Senior Fellow of National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies
- July 2018: "US North Korea policy affected by personnel changes in the Trump administration" lectured by Tsuneo Watanabe, Senior Fellow of the Sasakawa Peace Foundation.
- "China-North Korea relationship under Xi Jinping" lectured by Shin Kawashima, Professor of the Tokyo University.
- "North Korean Denuclearization and Russia" lectured by Nobuo Shimotomai, Professor of the Hosei University.
- March 2018: "The Network Hegemony Theory for a Security Architecture in The Asia Pacific Region" lectured by Masahiro Akiyama, Chairman, the Society of Security and Diplomatic Policy Studies
- January 2018: "A Destabilized Middle East" lectured by Koichiro Tanaka, Professor, Keio University
- December 2017: "Problems in Sino-Japanese Relations, 1992-2042" lectured by Ezra F. Vogel, Professor of the Social Sciences Emeritus at Harvard University
- November 2017: "The Future of the Asia-Pacific Region" written by Yoriko Kawaguchi, Fellow, the Meiji Institute for Global Affairs, Former Minister Foreign Affairs
- October 2017: "A New Trend in India's Foreign Policy and Japan" Written by HIROSE,Takako, Professor, Senshu University
- August 2017: "The Shocks that shook the Transatlantic World and their Implication for Japan's Foreign Policy" written by HOSOYA, Yuichi, Professor, Keio University
- August 2017: "Does Economic Interdependence not Encourage Collaboration? ―Thinking Japan-China Relations from an Economic Perspective―" written by Takashi SEKIYAMA, Ph.D., Toyo University
- July 2017: Proposal article "The Trump Administration's Impact on the Cross-Strait Relations" written by Yasuhiro Matsuda, Ph.D.
- June 2017: Proposal article "The outlook for the relationship between two great powers and implications for Japanese diplomacy" written by Professor Shin Kawashima
- May 2017: (Emergency Proposal) Facing the Inconvenient Truth: Re-examining Policy for Peace and Denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula (Chief author, Masao Okonogi)
- March 2017: "Economic Influences of the Trump Administration" written by Professor Motoshige Ito
- February, 2017: Proposal article "Trump's Foreign and Security Policy - Unpredictable President, Realistic Secretaries - " written by Mr. Tsuneo Watanabe is posted on the website of SSDP.
- December, 2016: Proposal article "Reconsidering North Korea Policy: How to Deal with a Nuclear Armed Divided States" written by Professor Masao Okonogi is posted on the website of SSDP.
- March 2022, A remembrance seminar "Remembering Professor Ezra Vogel" held on January 17, 2022
- March 2021, Japan-ROK Parliamentary Dialogue -Japan-ROK Cooperation in the Era of US-China Competition- held on March 11, 2021
- December 2020: The report of the Japan-ROK Future Dialogue held on November 21 to discuss "Japan-ROK Cooperation in the Post-Covid-19 Era
- October 2020: "Responses to COVID-19 and Agendas for the Post-COVID-19 Era", A Brief Overview of the Japan-Korea Experts Dialogue held on July 29,30, 2020
- October 2020: "The China-Taiwan Confrontation over Corona Response and Taiwan's Security" written by Makoto Ogata, Former Chief of the Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association in Taipei
- May 2020: "Rivalries in the Middle East in New Security Dynamics", Written by Sayed Ghoneim, Major General (retired) of the Egyptian Armed Forces, Chairman, Institute for Global Security & Defence Affairs
- March 2020: The Japan-South Korea Relationship in a Cul-de-Sac--- Where is an Exit ? Masao Okonogi Professor Emeritus, Keio Universit
- December 2019: The Hong Kong Upheaval and the Future of Cross-Straits Relations－The 2019 Japan-Taiwan Strategic Dialogue Report OGATA, Makoto Former Chief of the Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association in Taipei
- August 2019: Report; 2019 FUTURE CONSENSUS DIALOGUE --Sustainable Prosperity and Future of Korea-U.S.-Japan Cooperation-- By Future Consensus Institute (Yeosijae)
- June 2019: Report on India – Japan Security Dialogue 2019 by Ms. Vindu Mai Chotani, Ph.D Student, The University of Tokyo
June 2019: Four papers on Japan-India Cooperation submitted to India-Japan Security Dialogue 2019
Japan's Rationale for a Free and Open Indo-Pacific Vision
Tsuneo Watanabe, Senior Fellow, The Sasakawa Peace Foundation
The Significance and Possibilities of India-Japan Cooperation in the Concept of the Indo-Pacific
Toru ITO Associate Professor, National Defense Academy of Japan
Japan-India Defense Cooperation in the Indo-Pacific Context - Operationalizing the Security Aspect of the Indo-Pacific Vision –
Hideshi Tokuchi, Senior Fellow, National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS)
India-US-Japan Defense Cooperation: What's next?
Dr. Satoru Nagao, Hudson Institute
- Japan's Rationale for a Free and Open Indo-Pacific Vision
- November 2018: "The Present State of the Japanese Economy and Policy Issues" lectured by Motoshige Itoh, Professor Emeritus at the University of Tokyo.
- November 2018: "Expanding Social Security Expenses and Fiscal Reforms" lectured by Kazumasa Oguro, Professor at Hosei University.
- September 2018: "Taiwan Identity and Cross-Strait Relations and Trump's Taiwan Policy and the Future of Taiwan-US Relations-Discussion at The Second Japan-Taiwan Strategic Dialogue (June 21, 2018, Taipei)-" written by OGATA, Makoto
- September 2018: "Japan-Taiwan Dialogue 2018 Minutes", 21st June 2018, Taipei, Taiwan.
- July 2018: Report on The Second Japan – Philippines Strategic Dialogue prepared by Ms. Vindu Mai Chotani, Ph.D. Student, Graduate School of Public Policy, Tokyo University.
- May 2018: "Civilian Control "at Crisis"? – Perhaps Not, for the Case of the Field Sit-reps from SDF's South Sudan Mission" reported by Ippeita Nishida, Research Fellow, the Sasakawa Peace Foundation
- January 2018: "Fukushima, Genki？Project－Young Taiwanese volunteers introduce the facts on Fukushima's revival through documentary films－" reported by OGATA, Makoto, Former Chief of the Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association in Taipei
- December 2017: "Commemorating a Quarter Century of Dispatches of the JSDF's PKO Units: Challenges and Possibilities in the Post South Sudan" written by Takayuki Shoji, Lecturer, Nihon University
- November 2017: "19th CCP National Congress" written by Mr. Bonji Ohara, Senior Research Fellow, the Sasakawa Peace Fondation
- October 2017: "What is Japan's Role in the Indo-China border conflict?" written by Dr. NGAO,Satoru, Research Fellow, Institute for Future Engineering
- July 2017: "Overview of the Current Situation in Taiwan-" the Naturally Independent Generation" will affect the Taiwan"s politics-" written by Makoto Ogata MGE.(Ret.)
- June 2017: "Japan-U.S. Economic Dialogue" written by Mr.Takaaki Asano
- March 2017: "The Japan-Philippines Strategic Dialogue" written by Mr. Hideshi Tokuchi
- February, 2017: Current topic "The Importance of Japan's Security Role Under Trump" written by Dr. Satoru Nagao is posted on the SSDP website.
- December, 2016: Current topic "Widening Security Task: Will SDF do the Job?" written by Mr. Ippeita Nishida is posted on the SSDP website.
- March 2022, Research Jounal "Security Studies (vol 4 no 1)"-What is Economic Security?- was published.
- December 2021, Research Jounal "Security Studies (vol 3 no 4)"-Korean Peninsula Situation- was published.
- September 2021, A research journal "Security Studies vol03 no03" -Asia's Security II- (English edition)
- June 2021, A research journal "Security Studies vol03 no02" -Asia's Security I- (English edition)
- March 2021: Research journal "Security Studies (vol3 no1) "- US Foreign Policy in the Biden Administration / The 2020 US Presidential Election and American Democracy -(English edition)
- December 2020: A research journal "Security Studies (vol2 no4) "- Normalize Japan-South Korea Relations trough Dialogues -(English edition)
- September 2020: A research journal "Security Studies (vol2 no3) "-The Novel Coronavirus and Security-(English edition)
- July 2020: A research journal "Security Studies (vol2 no2) - Middle East Situation and Japan's Security - " (English edition) was published
- May 2020: A research journal "Security Studies (vol2 no1) - Cyber, Space, Environment and Security - " March 2020 (English edition)
- February 2020, "A research journal "Security Studies (vol1 no4) " (English edition)"
- September 2019: A research journal "Security Studies (vol1 no3) " (English edition)
- August 2019: Korea-Japan Joint Seminar: FUTURE CONSENSUS DIALOGUE
- April 2019: "Security Studies (vol1 no2) April 2019"
- March 2019: A research journal "Security Studies vol1 no01" just published
- February 2019: The Denuclearization of North Korea and the Takeshima Issue
- December 2018: Former Vice Defense Minister Masahiro Akiyama's Memoirs (An Ad)
- November 2018: Participation in the Future Consensus Forum held in Beijing
- September 2018: "2018 Indo-Pacific Security Dialogue" reported by Masahiro Akiyama
- 2017 December: "The Butterfly Project-A possibility of showing a solution to the North Korea problem-"
- October 2017: Campaign on the problems with North Korea
- August 2017: A New Containment Policy Strategy
- June 2017: Korean peninsla
- March 2017: President Duterte
- February, 2017: Kazakhstan
- November, 2016: Participated in Astana Club 2016 held in Kazakhstan on November 14- 16, 2016.