Analysis

How Europe’s Band-Aid Ensures Greece’s Bondage

All the happy talk about impending “debt relief” and a “clean exit” from Greece’s third “bailout” obscures an uglier truth: the country’s debt bondage is being extended to 2060. Yanis Varoufakis Project Syndicate Worse, by ossifying Greece’s insolvency, while pretending to have overcome it, Europe’s establishment is demonstrating its refusal to fix the eurozone’s flaws. ATHENS – Greece’s never-ending public-debt saga has come to signify the European Union’s inept handling of its inevitable eurozone crisis. Eight years after its bankruptcy, ... Read More »

North Korean “Cyber – Songun”

The main trends in the development of telecommunication technologies determine the continuous increase in the dependence of modern society on transnational network resources. International Security Forum The global information space consists of personalities as well as resources of civilian and military infrastructure. At the same time, today there is practically no legal regulation in this sphere. This situation creates ideal conditions for the work of “computer burglars” – the well-known hackers. Despite the constant perfection of means of protection, it ... Read More »

The U.S. and Turkey Go Their Separate Ways

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson recently said what many analysts have long been thinking: The relationship between Turkey and the United States has reached a “crisis point.” By Sinan Ciddi Stratfor The two countries’ strategic partnership has been increasingly rocky as Washington and Ankara take diverging approaches to the Syrian civil war. But more than protracted policy disagreements, the decline in U.S.-Turkish relations owes to a fundamental loss of trust. Visits by key U.S. government personnel — including Tillerson ... Read More »

Small-scale fisheries are throwing away fish that could feed those in poverty

At least 7.3m tons of fish (usually dead or dying) are thought to be discarded each year from marine fisheries around the world. Benjamin L. Jones Leanne Cullen-Unsworth Richard K.F. Unsworth The Conversation But these estimates come mostly from observations of large-scale industrial fisheries. Limited attention has been paid to small-scale fisheries, which are assumed to have low discard rates – some estimate as little as 3.7% total catch, compared to more than 60% for some large-scale shrimp trawlers. Small-scale ... Read More »

Europe Still Doesn’t Take Its Own Defense Seriously

If candidate Donald Trump had one signature position, it was criticizing America’s populous, prosperous allies for leeching off the U.S. military. Doug Bandow The National Interest He even talked about charging them for the Pentagon’s services. But like many other issues, he proved to be more bark than bite. Whether reflecting a lack of belief or attention, he left European policy to his Europhile officials, who told European leaders to ignore the president. “There is a lot more support for ... Read More »

Does Kafka’s ‘The Trial’ Have Lessons for Today?

The Synetic theater’s bold adaptation of The Trial features the surrealism, disorientation and overwhelming sense of dread that one would expect from Kafka. Matthew Reisener The National Interest Paata Tsikurishvili, the founding artistic director of Synetic Theater in Arlington, Virginia, is famous for his wordless productions of plays ranging from Shakespeare to Moliere to Dante. His cast of actors fuses mime, dance and music to create dramas that may refer to the present but have an artistic merit that also ... Read More »

Can Sudan Manage Economic Discontent amid Volatile Geopolitics?

Facing an economic crisis at home, Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir has avoided picking sides in the spat between Gulf powers. But friction with Egypt and divisions in the Gulf have made such flexibility in regional relations more difficult to achieve. ICG There was guarded hope in Khartoum when the U.S. government removed many of its economic and trade sanctions on Sudan in October 2017. Officials thought Washington would move forward with normalising relations, the next step being to strike Sudan ... Read More »

Russian Expansion in the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov: Economic Consequences for Ukraine

Moscow’s appetite in the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov has not decreased after Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014. By: Ihor Kabanenko Eurasia Daily Monitor Russia has gradually advanced its presence into significant areas of the exclusive maritime economic zone of Ukraine, which, in accordance with international law, is subject to the sovereign rights of Ukraine. This expansion aims to establish control over critical maritime areas and transport communications nodes. In violation of the UN Convention on the ... Read More »

Crimes of solidarity: liberté, égalité and France’s crisis of fraternité

The French republican ideals of freedom and equality – indeed of all modern democracies – crystallised in the late 18th century. Abi Taylor The Conversation This was when revolutionary forces combined and fought to abolish two hallmarks of the Ancien Régime: absolutism (unrestricted government power) and privilege (aristocratic rights and status). Freedom and equality are assumed to be reinforced, brought into harmony by the republic’s third principle – fraternity. Yet, while liberty relates to government, and equality to the law, ... Read More »

The ethics of resigning public office

Last of 2 parts First word I DECIDED to write this two-part series on the ethics of resigning public office, on account of the effect on governance of non–performing executives who cling to their posts long after they have lost effectiveness and public support. YEN MAKABENTA The Manila Times This column continues my summation of J. Patrick Dobel’s article (“The Ethics of Resigning”), which presents a moral theory of resignation. It surveys the various reasons why public officials leave office, ... Read More »

For what shall it profit a city if it loses its civic soul? A plea to preserve Melbourne’s Fed Square

For 150 years Melburnians dreamed of a square, a great ceremonial space where people could relax, celebrate, protest or simply enjoy the company of their fellow citizens. Graeme Davison The Conversation They had a word for their dream – a civic square. The word “civic” means “of the city” or “belonging to the citizens”. What they wanted was not a market, a park, an arena or a mall – Melbourne had plenty of those – but a grand piazza where ... Read More »

A Middle East Game Much Bigger Than Turkey

The course that Turkish leaders choose to follow in the Syrian war will have long-term consequences for their country and for the world. Marc Pierini Carnegie Europe Turkey’s foreign policy is dominated by a heated nationalist narrative, which in turn has triggered military operations in Syria. At the roots of these developments are several threats to Turkey—some very real, some perceived, others imagined—and the ways in which the political leadership uses them. But beyond the immediate horizon, littered with hard-to-digest ... Read More »

Who Owns the Elgin Marbles?

“They were created in a short time for all time. Each one of them, in its beauty, was even then and at once antique, but in the freshness of its vigor it is, even to the present day, recent and newly wrought.” Patricia Vigderman The New York Times Thus Plutarch described the buildings on the Acropolis as a showcase of Periclean Athens. Although he was writing half a millennium after the Parthenon was built, he touched on the essence of ... Read More »

Winning the Post-ISIS Battle for Iraq in Sinjar

Though the Islamic State (ISIS) is beaten in Iraq, the battle for the country’s political soul is not over. Baghdad should act to restore local governance in Sinjar, where ISIS terrorised the local community, and encourage the district’s displaced people to return home. ICG What’s new?  The Islamic State (ISIS) is defeated in Iraq, and its genocidal campaign against the Yazidis in Sinjar has ended. But Iran-backed Shiite militias – Popular Mobilisation Units – now control the district. Much of ... Read More »

Mueller, Russia and Oil Politics

Dunder-Mifflin as Troll Farm The Mueller indictment made public on Friday charges 13 Russian nationals with trolling the American electoral process to ‘sow discord’ by falsely representing themselves as American dissident personas. Rob Urie CounterPunch Once the field of presidential aspirants had been narrowed in 2016, their goal became to support Donald Trump’s candidacy while disparaging Hillary Clinton. There is no charge that the outcome of the 2016 election was changed by these actions. The form of the alleged conspiracy ... Read More »

The secret on the ocean floor

A wave of pioneers is poised to scoop up treasure from the deep sea. But was this ocean mining boom sparked by a 1970s CIA plot? By David Shukman BBC In the summer of 1974, a large and highly unusual ship set sail from Long Beach in California. It was heading for the middle of the Pacific where its owners boasted it would herald a revolutionary new industry beneath the waves. Equipped with a towering rig and the latest in ... Read More »