Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko is using energy policy in his latest efforts to resist growing Russian pressure to integrate into Russia-dominated structures. Lukashenko’s efforts to diversify Belarusian oil imports will likely provide him with sufficient leverage to secure higher payments from Russia on Russian oil transiting Belarus. However, Lukashenko lacks leverage on the issue of Russian gas subsidies to Belarus. Lukashenko will not, in the long run, be able to prevent further integration with Russia.
ISW INTSUM Project
The purpose of this intelligence forecast is to outline ISW’s assessment of the most likely and most dangerous courses of action for the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) to pursue during Ramadan (June 17, 2015 to July 17, 2015). For the past three years, ISIS has conducted major offensive operations during the Ramadan holy month, accomplishing its major annual campaign objectives.
Jennifer Cafarella is the inaugural National Security Fellow at the Institute for the Study of War (ISW), a position created to sponsor rising national security leaders. Ms. Cafarella’s work focuses on U.S. defense strategy including how the U.S. must adapt to current and future threats. She is an established expert on Syria, the Middle East, and jihadism.