Analysis

Britain reborn as Greek wild-child?

ATHENS // It is a surreal experience to write about a possible EU Brexit from the country that was the first to raise the spectre of bailing out of the bloc. Greece, was painted as Europe’s wild-child last summer when it went to the polls in a Yes or No referendum on a multibillion-euro bailout and its attached demands from creditors. It was interpreted by many as the country deciding whether or not to stay in the EU. The initial ... Read More »

Nigeria: The Challenge of Military Reform

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Nigeria’s military is in distress. President Muhammadu Buhari’s over-due reforms aren’t yet enough to turn an under-resourced, over-stretched and corrupt army back into a professional force. A complete overhaul is needed, including accountability for human rights abuses, if Nigerians are not to be left at the mercy of Boko Haram and other armed groups… Source: Nigeria: The Challenge of Military Reform – International Crisis Group Read More »

The Left backing Brexit: The European Union won’t bend

The EU is a game set up more for big business than for ordinary people. Many people’s response to seeing massive structural flaws within the European Union is to say “Yes, of course the EU isn’t perfect, but it’s better to stay in and reform it than give up and leave.” This is the Labour party line, which we tend to hear whenever an awkward truth is brought up in a debate: Yes it is awful, but let’s try and ... Read More »

Russia vs. America: A Nuclear Bomber Showdown

Who wins?.. In the previous articles “These Russian Nukes Are Better Than America’s” and “U.S. vs Russia: Struggling for Undersea Nuclear Supremacy” we reviewed the strategic nuclear balance between Russia and the United States in the context of land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles (IСBMs) and submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs), respectively. We have also examined in… Source: Russia vs. America: A Nuclear Bomber Showdown | The National Interest Read More »

Blaming Spree: Is Ankara Really Seeking to Mend Russo-Turkish Relations?

Due to his inconsistent foreign policy Turkish President Erdogan still remains at odds with Russia. It is hardly surprising since Ankara has spoiled relations with countries all across its neighborhood.. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s bid to acquire almost absolute power in Turkey as well as his inconsistent foreign policy triggers concerns both in Russia and in the West… Source: Blaming Spree: Is Ankara Really Seeking to Mend Russo-Turkish Relations? Read More »

Eight ways to clean up money in Australian politics

Political funding in Australia is governed by different rules for state (some of which do not require disclosure) and federal governments. Both levels suffer significant weaknesses; foremost is the lack of transparency associated with the place of private money. When devoted to lobbying, donations can sometimes result in covert influence over the political process. And when made directly to political… Source: Eight ways to clean up money in Australian politics Read More »

Ancient Greeks would not recognise our ‘democracy’ – they’d see an ‘oligarchy’

We owe to the ancient Greeks much, if not most of our own current political vocabulary. All the way from anarchy and democracy to politics itself. But their politics and ours are very different beasts. To an ancient Greek democrat (of any stripe), all our modern democratic systems would count as “oligarchy”. By that I mean the rule of and by – if not necessarily or expressly for – the few, as opposed to the power or control of the ... Read More »

Gordon Parks and Ralph Ellison, Artistic Giants of Postwar Harlem

Masters of their fields, the photographer Gordon Parks and the writer Ralph Ellison bonded over a shared vision of using their creative talents to address racial injustice. That commitment led to the powerful, enduring 1952 photo essay “A Man Becomes Invisible.” Source: Gordon Parks and Ralph Ellison, Artistic Giants of Postwar Harlem – The New York Times Read More »

From Bosnia to Iraq: The Failure of Forced Coexistence

The obsession with inviolable borders often creates dangerously divided societies.. Janko Bekić The U.S.-led military interventions in Bosnia and Herzegovina, rump Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, and Iraq have revealed Washington’s inclination toward forcible regime change and external democratization, but also its propensity for the maintenance of the status quo in regard to international boundaries (with Kosovo’s secession from Serbia as an obvious exception to… Source: From Bosnia to Iraq: The Failure of Forced Coexistence | The National Interest Read More »

Buhari’s Nigeria: Boko Haram Off Balance, but Other Troubles Surge

The peaceful election in March 2015 of President Muhammadu Buhari, a former army general, raised hopes that some of Nigeria’s most pressing security problems could soon be tamed. One year later, the new government has struck at the Islamist Boko Haram insurgency. But Nigeria is sliding deeper into other difficulties. Senior Nigeria Analyst Nnamdi Obasi looks at the main challenges… Source: Buhari’s Nigeria: Boko Haram Off Balance, but Other Troubles Surge | Crisis Group Read More »

Pakistan’s Jihadist Heartland: Southern Punjab

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Once-tolerant southern Punjab has become a base for jihadist groups. Socio-economic grievances, political alienation and poor education provide a near endless source of recruits. To reverse the tide, the government must end a climate of impunity, block hate speech, improve rule of law, and refocus counter-terrorist action to target all jihadist groups… Source: Pakistan’s Jihadist Heartland: Southern Punjab – International Crisis Group Read More »

Gawker case: standing up to online bullying, or billionaires crushing free speech?

Billionaire Peter Thiel claims he was outed by news website Gawker. Does that give him the right to destroy it?… Source: Gawker case: standing up to online bullying, or billionaires crushing free speech? Read More »

Could Russia’s Cold War Super-Jet Last 100 Years?

The MiG-21 is one of history’s sturdiest and most reliable aircraft.. Military aircraft can have notoriously short lifespans, especially during periods of technological ferment. The most elite aircraft of World War I could become obsolete in a matter of months. Things weren’t much different in World War II. And at the dawn of the jet age, entire fleets of aircraft became passé as technologies matured. The advanced fighters that fought in the skies over… Source: Could Russia’s Cold War Super-Jet ... Read More »

Blatant Hypocrisy: the Latest Late-Night Bailout of Greece

The new late night deal in the Eurogroup on the new bailout for Greece is another blatant hypocrisy by the dominant European Union powers, their partner-cum-competitor IMF (aka the US) and the Greek establishment (now represented by the SYRIZA government). The new deal is an uneasy compromise subject to a continuing tug-of-war between the US (through its proxy, the IMF) and the EU… Source: Blatant Hypocrisy: the Latest Late-Night Bailout of Greece Read More »

South Sudan’s South: Conflict in the Equatorias

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The 2015 Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan reached a milestone with the formation of a transitional government in Juba in April. Yet fault lines like those in the Equatorias remain outstanding. A committed, inclusive political response is vital to stop low-level conflicts continuing indefinitely… Source: South Sudan’s South: Conflict in the Equatorias – International Crisis Group Read More »

Yanis Varoufakis: Australia’s negative gearing is ‘scandalous’

The former Greek finance minister has a laundry list of suggestions to fix Australia’s economy. Here for Sydney Writers’ festival, he doesn’t hold back. here are two seats to choose from: a deep, soft black-leather couch, or a red one that has the utilitarian look of a school chair. Yanis Varoufakis – a man who has described himself as an “erratic Marxist”… Source: Yanis Varoufakis: Australia’s negative gearing is ‘scandalous’ | World news | The Guardian Read More »