Policy Memos

A Vicious Circle: The Security Implications of Rising Anti-Americanism in the North Caucasus

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While attending a conference on combating terrorism and extremism at the state university in Nalchik, Kabardino-Balkaria, in April 2010, one moment in particular made me feel as if I had been placed inside a time machine. Leaving behind the fancy monitors and big screen projections, I was thrust into the Communist Party and Young Communist meetings of Soviet times. The speaker, Kabardino-Balkaria’s deputy interior minister, was accusing “the West” of masterminding instability in the North Caucasus in order to weaken Russia. It was surreal to hear that the U.S. government would risk supporting Islamist radicals in the name of undefined geopolitical goals in the North Caucasus, a region peripheral, at best, to core U.S. national security interests. [...]

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About the author

Professor of Political Science
San Diego State University