Diplomacy

Holyrood’s legal intervention over Brexit cost nearly £140k

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THE Scottish Government spent almost £140,000 on its intervention in the Article 50 case at the UK Supreme Court, figures show.. The Scotsman A response to a written Scottish parliamentary question showed that £128,877 was spent on “external legal fees”, while there was an £800 court fee to intervene in the case… Holyrood’s legal intervention… Read More »

Tony Blair’s Big Brexit Speech: How The Former PM Started His Comeback Tour

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Analysis of how the ex-PM got the Remainers rocking again Paul Waugh  The Huffington Post For the rapt audience in Bloomberg’s hi-tech conference room, this was as close as it gets to political.. And like fans of an ageing rock star kicking off his comeback tour, the Labour, Lib Dem and City slicker Remainers couldn’t take their eyes off their… Tony Blair’s Big… Read More »

Al Bab: ‘When the tide is turning, ISIL go apocalyptic’

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Ankara’s plans to push further east and south of Al Bab might face serious diplomatic challenges, say analysts. Mariya Petkova Al Jazeera In recent weeks, the Turkish-led Operation Euphrates Shield has made significant progress against ISIL around the city of Al Bab in northern Syria. Russia, a key ally during the operation, has provided Turkey with military and… Al Bab: ‘When… Read More »

The Cold War returns to the high seas

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(CNN) – The Russian Navy surveillance vessel SSV-175 Viktor Leonov is reportedly cruising international waters off the East Coast of the United States. James Holmes CNN Ho, hum. Viktor Leonov first… The Cold War… Read More »

Brexit Britain’s Nato strategy is fatally flawed

Brexit - The Guardian

Theresa May wants to engage with our European neighbours to secure our defences, but her government’s most pressing policy is to shun them Martin Kettle The Guardian The phrase, in different forms, is as familiar as any in politics. “The first duty… Brexit Britain’s Nato… Read More »

NATO survival will depend on Germany

US Defence Minister James Mattis greets officials as he attends a NATO defence ministers meetings at NATO headquarters in Brussels on February 15, 2017.  / AFP / EMMANUEL DUNAND        (Photo credit should read EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images)

Europe is $100 billion short of strategic autonomy. Fabrice Pothier Politico Berlin could close that gap. The United States will… NATO survival will… Read More »

What Did Trump Know, and When Did He Know It?

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During the Watergate scandal, until now the most outrageous political scandal in American history, the crucial question was drawled by Senator Howard Baker of Tennessee: “What did the president know, and when did he know it?” Nicholas Kristof The New York Times Today the question is the same. This is not about Mike Flynn. It is about the president who… What Did Trump… Read More »

Flynn, Russia and the World of Conspiracy Thinking

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Former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn has a well deserved reputation for conspiracy thinking. Melvin Goodman CounterPunch Presumably he will assume that the U.S. intelligence community, including the Central Intelligence Agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the.. Ironically, the Kremlin, which has lived historically in a… Flynn, Russia and… Read More »

Defense Secretary Mattis issues new ultimatum to NATO allies on defense spending

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BRUSSELS — Defense Secretary Jim Mattis issued an ultimatum Wednesday to allies in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, warning that if they do not boost their defense spending to goals set by the… Dan Lamothe and Michael Birnbaum The Washington Post “I owe it to you all to give you clarity on the political reality in the United States and to state the… Defense Secretary Mattis… Read More »

Pakistan: Stoking the Fire in Karachi

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Ethnic, political and sectarian rivalries, jihadist groups, criminality and heavy-handed security policies are turning Pakistan’s biggest city into a pressure cooker of… ICG Feuding politicians must set aside their conflicts or Karachi’s law-and-order crisis may further… Pakistan: Stoking the… Read More »

How to tackle repetitive droughts in the Horn of Africa

Africa - Al Jazeeras

Investing in localised initiatives to mitigate drought can help the continent to break the cyclic nature of disasters. Esther Ngumbi Al Jazeera News The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) recently declared that millions of citizens in the Horn of Africa face food shortages. Owing to a persistent… How to tackle… Read More »

US must understand that Greek default could lead to global crisis

Greece - AEI

One has to hope that the new administration is not complacent about the latest episode in Greece’s ongoing economic crisis. Desmond Lachman AEI Unlike earlier episodes, there is every reason to think that this episode will not easily be resolved. There is also… US must understand… Read More »

Cyprus: an island divided

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Cyprus, the disputed island in Eastern Medit­erranean, has been inhabited since 9000 BC, and in its troubled recent history — as well as in its beauty — it has much in common with… Irfan Husain Dawn Both have been partitioned, with religion and nationalism featuring in the dispute. The baggage of history weighs heavily for both, and two bigger players call the… Cyprus has been populated since 9,000 BC, and… Cyprus: an island… Read More »

Why NATO needs a European pillar

OBERVIECHTACH, GERMANY - JANUARY 19:  Soldiers of armored infantry battalion Panzergrenadierbataillon 122 of the Bundeswehr, the German armed forces, attend a ceremony to mark their pending deployment to Lithuania on January 19, 2017 in Oberviechtach, Germany. A total of 450 soldiers from the unit as well as armored equipment that includes Marder light tanks will begin deploying at the end of January as part of the NATO mission "Enhanced Forward Presence" to strengthen the defensive capabilities of the three Baltic states.  (Photo by Johannes Simon/Getty Images)

If Europe tries to protect the alliance only by ‘buying’ American commitment through increased defense spending, it will fail. Jean-Marie Guehenno Politico Europeans have every reason to worry about U.S. President Donald Trump. He has declared… Why NATO needs… Read More »

China upset at disputed islands mention in Japan-U.S. meeting

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China’s Foreign Ministry expressed concern on Monday after Japan got continued U.S. backing for its dispute with Beijing over islands in the… Reuters A joint Japanese-U.S. statement after the weekend meeting in the United States said the two leaders affirmed that Article 5 of the U.S.-Japan security treaty covered the… China upset at… Read More »

Can Trump and Netanyahu Make Progress Toward the “Ultimate Deal”?

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As U.S. President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu prepare to meet, the fundamentals of the… Ofer Zalzberg ICG What aspects of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict are Trump and Netanyahu likely to discuss at their meeting in Washington on 15… The meeting will be crucial for the… Can Trump and… Read More »