Diplomacy

Is Washington pushing Turkey and Europe toward each other?

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is seeking new allies to offset Ankara’s worsening ties with Washington, which have come to a breaking point over Turkey’s continued detention of American pastor… Semih Idiz Al-Monitor Erdogan’s remarks show that his heart is set on Russia and China. Ironic as it may seem, though, Turkey’s crisis with the United States is rekindling its ties with Europe, even though these ties had hit rock bottom not so long ago. Recent European statements of support for ... Read More »

Turkey-U.S. Tiff Shows How Deep NATO’s Problems Run

Europe can’t just blame Trump if everything falls apart. Hal Brands Bloomberg NATO is having a rough summer. Fresh off President Trump’s deliberately disruptive behavior at the alliance summit in July, NATO has suffered a high-stakes blowup between two key members: the U.S. and… That dispute crystallized over the fate of an American pastor, Andrew Brunson, being held in Turkey on spurious charges of supporting a failed coup against Recep Tayyip Erdogan in 2016. It has been punctuated by economic sanctions, ... Read More »

Is China worsening the developing world’s environmental crisis?

The developing world is in the midst of an environmental crisis. Simply breathing the air is a leading cause of death. Jonas Gamso The Conversation One recent study found that pollution is to blame for a fifth of sub-Saharan Africa’s infant deaths. Another showed that exposure to toxins or other dangerous substances in the air killed over 9 million people in 2015 alone, with 92 percent of those deaths occurring in developing countries – this is more people than were ... Read More »

Timor-Leste praises Witness K’s actions in helping resolve maritime border

New foreign minister says the country has begun a new chapter in its relations with Australia Helen Davidson The Guardian The actions of Witness K and Bernard Collaery were a valued part of the “collective effort” that led to the historic maritime boundary treaty between Australia and Timor-Leste, the Timorese foreign minister has said. In an exclusive interview with Guardian Australia, the foreign minister of Timor-Leste, Dionísio Babo Soares, said the two nations were at a new stage of their ... Read More »

After Elections, Zimbabwe Government’s Legitimacy in Limbo

Zimbabwe’s disputed elections have reinforced political divisions as the Constitutional Court hears an opposition challenge of the results. Piers Pigou The military crackdown on opposition protesters highlights the urgency of reform if the government is to preserve stability and, by extension, its re-engagement strategy with international donors. ICG The Zimbabwean government posited that the first elections after the November 2017 ouster of Robert Mugabe would enhance the state’s credibility and strengthen the country’s prospects for economic recovery. Voters responded in ... Read More »

Ban ‘killer robots’ to protect fundamental moral and legal principles

When drafting a treaty on the laws of war at the end of the 19th century, diplomats could not foresee the future of weapons development. Bonnie Docherty The Conversation But they did adopt a legal and moral standard for judging new technology not covered by existing treaty language. This standard, known as the Martens Clause, has survived generations of international humanitarian law and gained renewed relevance in a world where autonomous weapons are on the brink of making their own ... Read More »

Russia Considers Its Next Moves in Syria

The Syrian civil war has entered a new phase since the government takeover of Daraa and Quneitra in the country’s southwest. Stratfor Now, for the first time in the conflict’s seven-year history, all meaningful territory in Syria is either under the direct control of loyalist forces or subject to a significant foreign presence. The Syrian Democratic Forces and allied U.S. troops control the northeastern portion of the country, while Turkish troops are embedded in northern Aleppo province and Idlib province, ... Read More »

After Elections, Zimbabwe Government’s Legitimacy in Limbo

Zimbabwe’s disputed elections have reinforced political divisions as the Constitutional Court hears an opposition challenge of the results Piers Pigou The military crackdown on opposition protesters highlights the urgency of reform if the government is to preserve stability and, by extension, its re-engagement strategy with international donors. ICG The Zimbabwean government posited that the first elections after the November 2017 ouster of Robert Mugabe would enhance the state’s credibility and strengthen the country’s prospects for economic recovery. Voters responded in ... Read More »

Shaping a New Peace in Pakistan’s Tribal Areas

Pakistan is moving to bring its Federally Administered Tribal Areas into the constitutional order. But rights remain severely restricted in the borderlands, threatening deeper popular alienation. ICG To stop militants from stepping in, the government should lift its draconian interim regulations and deliver needed services. What’s new? Pakistan has merged the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) along the Afghan border into an adjacent province, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, a big step toward bringing constitutional governance and restoring peace to these lands. But ... Read More »

Why should Kofi Annan’s death cause us to forget how bad at his job he was?

Failure falls upwards. Dominic Green Spectator We’re supposed only say good things about the dead—‘De mortuis & c.’, as one of John Buchan’s heroes manfully abbreviates it. It’s an ancient superstition, apotropaic and illogical. I’m with the Archdeacon in Anthony Trollope’s The Last Chronicle of Barset: the taboo is ‘founded in humbug’, so why adopt the ‘everyday decency of speaking well of one whom one had ever thought ill’? The deceasedness of the deceased means we can say what we really ... Read More »

The Greek Financial Crisis May Be Over, but Greece, and the Eurozone, Will Never Be the Same

Like many English words, “crisis” has a Greek origin — the word “krisis,” which in its initial form meant “a decisive moment.” Stratfor It is an ironic twist of fate that during the past decade the word has become so intimately linked to the country where it first originated. In recent years, any discussion about Greece has demanded acknowledgement of the deep financial, economic, political and social crisis that has afflicted the country since the late 2000s. And that makes ... Read More »

Denmark as a Model for American Socialists?

Here are some facts to consider before American “democratic socialists” look to Denmark for guidance, as Senator Bernie Sanders did during the 2016 presidential campaign. Lars Hedegaard Gatestone Institute First of all, Danes actually pay for their brand of socialism through heavy taxation. In Denmark, everyone pays at least the 25% value-added tax (VAT) on all purchases. Income tax rates are high. If you receive public support and are of working age and healthy enough to work, the state will ... Read More »

Defiant Erdogan Gets Political Support From Russia, China and Qatar

“The Turkish crisis is not in any way shape or form a financial one. It’s an unequivocal attempt to punish Erdogan for his geopolitical transgressions against the Pax Americana. Ivan Danilov Sputnik The crisis will either break Turkey or help radically reshape the global order.” US-Turkish relations are at their lowest point in recent history. The crisis only appears to be financial, even though it has some painful financial implications for Turkey. Although Erdogan’s incompetent monetary policy made Turkey excessively vulnerable to American economic sanctions, ... Read More »

SPD’s Andrea Nahles says Germany may give aid to Turkey

Ahead of Turkish President Erdogan’s trip to Germany in September, the SPD’s Andrea Nahles has said German aid is a possibility. It comes as tensions between the US and Turkey rise over the house arrest of a… DW The head of Germany’s Social Democratic Party (SPD) Andrea Nahles has said there could be circumstances in which Germany would provide financial assistance to Turkey during its economic… “A situation might arise where Germany needs to help Turkey, regardless of political tensions ... Read More »

Turkey’s currency collapse shows just how vulnerable its economy is to a crisis

If you happen to be a tourist in Turkey right now, consider yourself lucky. Otherwise, things look grim. Authors: The Conversation The Turkish lira has lost as much as a third of its value relative to the U.S. dollar in less than a month and recently hit a record low. As a result, all imported goods became more expensive practically overnight. And because Turkey is heavily dependent on foreign goods, most everything was affected, including gasoline, food, furniture and clothing. ... Read More »

Brexit: Ford warns UK it will take ‘whatever action is needed’ after profits hit

The car company blamed withdrawal from the EU for a £760m drop in profitability in 2017 Joe Watts Independent Car manufacturer Ford has issued a Brexit warning to British politicians that it will take “whatever action is needed” to protect its business. The ominous words came after the American car giant blamed uncertainty over Brexit for a colossal £760m drop in its European earnings in 2017. The firm pointed the finger at plummeting confidence in the UK since the Brexit referendum and raised fears of ... Read More »