Analysis

Regional Report: Eastern Mediterranean

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Eastern Mediterranean region are beginning to increase E&P activity and were able to bring several key projects on stream in 2017 Emily Querubin World Oil Eastern Mediterranean region are beginning to increase E&P activity and were able to bring several key projects on stream in 2017. Despite a substantial amount of progress, the region still faces a few hurdles as it enters the new year. EGYPT Egypt is home to several mega-projects—including Nooros and Zohr fields—which reportedly will double the ... Read More »

Is America’s Alliance with Turkey Worth It?

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The most basic feature that the United States should expect from an ally is consistent, reliable behavior that benefits U.S. policy objectives. Ted Galen Carpenter The National Interest  Ideally, since America regards itself as a champion of democracy and freedom, an ally should embody those values as well, but Washington has never been a stickler for that standard. Indeed, the United States has a sordid history of collaboration with undemocratic, even odious, regimes when U.S. leaders believed that the relationship ... Read More »

The F-35: How Taiwan Could Really Push Back Against China

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For the first time, an American National Security Strategy (NSS) explicitly mentions Taiwan. Michael Mazza Gary Schmitt The National Interest The NSS includes a commitment to “maintain our strong ties with Taiwan in accordance with our ‘One China’ policy, including our commitments under the Taiwan Relations Act to provide for Taiwan’s legitimate defense needs and deter coercion.” The NSS language on Taiwan parallels Congress’s increased interest in strengthening ties with Taipei. Last summer, Senators Tom Cotton and Corey Gardner introduced ... Read More »

Jeff Flake’s 20 most damning lines about Donald Trump’s assault on the press

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(CNN) – Arizona Republican Sen. Jeff Flake came to the Senate floor Wednesday with a simple message for Donald Trump: Stop attacking the media. Analysis by Chris Cillizza, CNN Editor-at-large The speech, which Flake had previewed over the weekend, was the first of what the Arizona Republican has promised will be a series of addresses over 2018 aimed at noting the abnormalities of the Trump presidency. Critics have cast Flake as something of a sore loser — a Republican whose strong ... Read More »

Politics and Security Hold Each Other Hostage in Nagorno-Karabakh

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This week’s meeting between Armenia’s and Azerbaijan’s foreign ministers is likely to centre on security issues, including numbers of international observers in Nagorno-Karabakh. Magdalena Grono ICG But frustration with the peace process will grow unless both foreign ministers address the critical political aspects of a future settlement. Sniper fire can hit almost every open-air spot in Nerkin Karmiraghbyur, an Armenian village in the Tavush region on the border with Azerbaijan. Nargiza, who runs a well-stocked shop out of an abandoned ... Read More »

Seven Priorities for the African Union in 2018

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In 2018, the African Union (AU) and its new Assembly Chairperson President Paul Kagame of Rwanda have the chance to push ahead with much-needed institutional reforms ICG But the AU must not lose focus on dire conflicts and defusing potential electoral violence. What’s the issue? African Union leaders meet at the end of January for their bi-annual summit. Vital institutional and financial reform will likely be at the top of the AU’s 2018 agenda, but the organisation must ensure that ... Read More »

Explainer: the evidence for the Tasmanian genocide

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At a public meeting in Hobart in the late 1830s, Solicitor-General Alfred Stephen, later Chief Justice of New South Wales, shared with the assembled crowd his solution for dealing with “the Aboriginal problem”. Kristyn Harman The Conversation If the colony could not protect its convict servants from Aboriginal attack “without extermination”, said Stephen, “then I say boldly and broadly exterminate!” Voluminous written and archaeological records and oral histories provide irrefutable proof that colonial wars were fought on Australian soil between ... Read More »

Democracy has a future, if we rethink and remake it

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Consider Brexit, the election of US President Donald Trump, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s referendum, Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte’s policy of state-sanctioned murder and Hungary’s drift towards a new authoritarianism. Authors The Conversation “Democracy is dead,” say the disheartened. “It’s time to bury democracy,” pounds one Tunisian pro-Sharia party. “Democracy has fallen, we need a new game in town,” argue Vladimir Putin’s populist and Xi Jinping’s neo-authoritarian allies. These mantras, circulated widely through social media, have ricocheted around the world ... Read More »

Money Can’t Buy China Love – but Influence, Apparently

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China under Xi Jinping is deeply concerned with its global status and standing and aims to regain its deserved place on the global stage Falk Hartig Asia Sentinel This has dramatic consequences not only for China but for the rest of the world One of the most important developments with regards to China has been the bold departure from the foreign policy dictum to keep a low profile. While the country, until recently, was mainly concerned with domestic issues and ... Read More »

Twilight of the Kurds

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Kurdish officials once dreamed of forging their own state out of the ashes of the war against the Islamic State. Now they are fighting for their very survival. By Joost Hiltermann, Maria Fantappie Foreign Policy Just a few months ago, it appeared that the Kurds of Iraq and Syria were the biggest winners in the war against the Islamic State. Bolstered by alliances with the very Western powers that had once betrayed and divided them, they dared to dream that ... Read More »

The Iran Nuclear Deal at Two: A Status Report

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The 2015 Iran nuclear accord is working, but is at risk from longstanding U.S.-Iran rivalry, Trump administration policies and Tehran’s upsurge of activism in the Middle East. ICG The deal’s other signatories should encourage the U.S. not to withdraw and consider ways to sustain the deal, regardless of U.S. actions and as long as Iran remains committed to it. What’s the issue? The 2015 Iran nuclear accord is as successful as it remains fragile. President Trump has warned he will ... Read More »

Will Religious Instability Destroy Bangladesh?

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Bangladesh was born in 1971 after India intervened in Pakistan’s civil war, which resulted in the independence of what was known as East Pakistan. Doug Bandow The National Interest The new state’s politics were violent too, punctuated by military rule, which pushed to Islamicize the secular state. Bangladesh today is nominally democratic, but politics is bitterly fractious and violent. Moreover, Islamist tides are rising. Like a number of other majority Islamic states, such as Afghanistan and Pakistan, a once relaxed social ... Read More »

EU’s Western Balkan Dilemma – the Trickiest Task in 2018

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Last year (2017) was not the year of the Western Balkans, as analyses can be read. Adelina Marini euinside This was the year of the EU’s awakening to this volatile region in its immediate neighbourhood, and the realisation that it is of strategic importance to member states in time of a renewed geopolitical race. 2017 began with the surprising recognition of the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign and Security Policy Federica Mogherini (Italy, Socialists and Democrats) that she was ... Read More »

From Siberia to Crimea: The Revenge of History in U.S.-Russian Relations

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One is tempted to conclude that the Washington foreign-policy establishment has learned little over the past century Lyle J. Goldstein The National Interest Strolling the cavernous and well-appointed halls of Russia’s carefully renovated Central Naval Museum [Центральный Военно-морской Музей] near the Neva River in St. Petersburg, one can find an assortment of interesting artifacts, not least the small skiff in which Peter the Great learned to sail more than three centuries ago now. Among the many captured battle standards from Sweden, Turkey ... Read More »

Sudanese heritage youth in Australia are frequently maligned by fear-mongering and racism

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Recent criminal incidents in Melbourne involving young people of African heritage have enabled the media and politicians such as Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton to again capitalise on the opportunity to demonise those of African descent in Australia. Melanie Baak The Conversation This has become a common occurrence, traceable back at least to the media reporting of the murder of South Sudanese Melburnian Liep Gony in 2007. The then immigration minister, Kevin Andrews, responded by restricting the numbers of refugees ... Read More »

How Washington Will Lose Its Influence in Asia

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There is no guarantee that President Trump will ask Congress to renew the Trade Protection Authority Act before it expires Peter C.Y. Chow The National Interest As Douglas Irwin said, if “truth” is the first to be sacrificed in the war, then “free trade” will be the scapegoat in the populist electoral politics. The most recent examples are the Brexit and the U.S. withdrawal from the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP-12). While the British government is facing contentious negotiations with the ... Read More »