I made my BBC debut, pivoting off of that TNR bit I wrote a few days ago lobbying for arming Ukraine. Debating Dr. John Mearsheimer, I attempted to highlight the Kremlin’s strategic weakness in Ukraine remains, as ever, Russian military casualties. Hopefully my stuttering didn’t get the best of me.
I also shared a few thoughts at The Diplomat on the UN Special Rapporteur’s recent visit to, and report, on Kazakhstan, which slammed Astana for further rights repression:
As 2015 begins, Kazakhstan has begun ramping up a pair of international campaigns in earnest. The first, which has thus far gained the most coverage, aims at landing the 2022 Winter Olympics, pitting Kazakhstan against Beijing, host of the 2008 Summer Games. The second, however, may be just as important in certain circles: landing a seat as the first Central Asian representative no the United Nations Security Council. Astana has already gone to concerted lengths to pitch its candidacy – ministers sitting down for rare full-length interviews; pieces touting Kazakhstan’s UNSC merits within certain outlets linked to those pushing Astana’s PR machine – and may well have a better chance of landing the seat than the Games.
But if a recent visit from UN Special Rapporteur Maina Kiai is any indication, the UN body may well view Kazakhstan’s candidacy with a degree of skepticism.