Diplomacy

Botched CIA Communications System Helped Blow Cover of Chinese Agents

Illustration by Kotryna Zukauskaite

The number of informants executed in the debacle is higher than initially thought. Zach Dorfman FP It was considered one of the CIA’s worst failures in decades: Over a two-year period starting in late 2010, Chinese authorities systematically dismantled the agency’s network of agents across the country, executing dozens of suspected U.S. spies. But since then, a question has loomed over the entire debacle. How were the Chinese able to roll up the network? Now, nearly eight years later, it ... Read More »

Cameroon’s Far North: A New Chapter in the Fight Against Boko Haram

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The Cameroonian government should aim at encouraging more Cameroonian Boko Haram members to surrender. ICG Community service, public confessions, symbolic ceremonies and vocational training can help reintegrate those who do not pose a threat. The government should also prepare for the demobilisation of some vigilantes. What’s new? As fighting between government forces and the Boko Haram insurgents in Cameroon’s Far North diminishes, a lasting peace depends on how the government deals with former members of the… Why does it matter? A well-designed policy toward ... Read More »

The fallout from Turkey’s crisis will cause damage far beyond its borders

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Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s hubris has destablised a nation of pivotal regional importance Simon Tisdall The Guardian Hubris begets nemesis, as the ancient Greeks opined. It’s a life lesson Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Turkey’s arrogant leader, appears unable to absorb as his country teeters over an abyss of his making. Erdoğan argued in June’s elections that an all-powerful executive presidency was the best way to govern – and he was the best man for the job. His wish was granted. Now Turkey ... Read More »

Trump Is the First President to Get Turkey Right

BRUSSELS, BELGIUM - JULY 11:  U.S. President Donald Trump (L) and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan attend the opening ceremony at the 2018 NATO Summit at NATO headquarters on July 11, 2018 in Brussels, Belgium. Leaders from NATO member and partner states are meeting for a two-day summit, which is being overshadowed by strong demands by U.S. President Trump for most NATO member countries to spend more on defense.  (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

Good riddance to the so-called strategic relationship between Washington and Ankara. Steven A. Cook FP Last Friday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan published an op-ed in the New York Times outlining his country’s grievances toward the United States. The Turkish leader raised valid concerns about U.S. policy that genuinely vex Turkish leaders and citizens alike. Yet Erdogan only told half the story, leaving his readers to believe that Washington has victimized a reliable ally and partner. The United States has long had ... Read More »

Turkey’s lira crisis: ‘economic war’ sees Erdoğan look east for new allies

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Global markets are on edge once again, this time thanks to the Turkish lira. It crashed more than 15% against the US dollar, euro and pound sterling on August 10 and continued to fall when markets reopened after the weekend on August 13. Emre Tarim The Conversation The latest trigger was Donald Trump’s announcement that he would double import tariffs on Turkish steel and aluminium. But the lira has been falling consistently over the past year as markets fear for ... Read More »

The US-Turkey Crisis: The NATO Alliance Forged in 1949 Is Today Largely Irrelevant

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There has been some reporting in the United States mass media about the deteriorating relationship between Washington and Ankara and what it might mean. Philip Giraldi American Herald Tribune Such a falling out between NATO members has not been seen since France left the alliance in 1966 and observers note that the hostility emanating from both sides suggests that far worse is to come as neither party appears prepared to moderate its current position while diplomatic… The immediate cause of ... Read More »

China Uighurs: Beijing denies detaining one million

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China has said reports it is holding a million Muslim Uighurs in detention in Xinjiang are “completely untrue”. BBC Uighurs enjoyed full rights but “those deceived by religious extremism… shall be assisted by resettlement and re-education”, officials said. The rare admission from Beijing – at a UN meeting in Geneva – came in response to concerns that the region “resembles a massive internment camp”. Xinjiang has seen intermittent violence – followed by crackdowns – for years. China accuses Islamist… China ... Read More »

Taliban Kill More Than 200 Afghan Defenders on 4 Fronts: ‘a Catastrophe’

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KABUL, Afghanistan — Afghan government forces lost more than 200 officers and soldiers in fighting over the past three days as Taliban insurgents launched sustained attacks on four different fronts. By Rod Nordland, Fahim Abed and Mujib Mashal The New York Times The hardest-hit area was the southeastern city of Ghazni, where more than 100 police officers and soldiers had been killed by Sunday, a hospital official said, and the insurgents appeared to be in control of most of the… Ninety miles west, in Ghazni Province, ... Read More »

Trump and Erdoğan are impatient players in a chess match – Hareetz

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The fraught relations between the United States and Turkey may resemble a chess game, but neither President Donald Trump nor President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan have the patience or the… Ahval Turkey’s reconciliation with Russia after Turkish jets shot down a Russian warplane over the Syrian border in 2015, leading to an impasse in relations between the two countries, shows that… In June 2016, Erdoğan sent a letter to Russian President Vladimir Putin, apologising for the death of the Russian pilot and ... Read More »

Russia will emerge from US-Turkey fallout as an even more potent actor

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Putin stands to gain from a whole array of Trump policies, from trade tensions with Europe to undermining Nato allies, writes David Rothkopf The National There is one clear winner from the increased tensions between the United States and Turkey that were ratcheted up this week by, naturally, a tweet from Donald Trump: Vladimir Putin. Mr Putin seems to be the big beneficiary of a whole array of Trump policies and postures, from trade tensions with Europe and undercutting the ... Read More »

More than 100 seats that backed Brexit now want to remain in EU

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Major new analysis shows most constituencies now have majority who want to Remain Michael Savage The Guardian More than 100 Westminster constituencies that voted to leave the EU have now switched their support to Remain, according to a stark new analysis seen by the Observer. In findings that could have a significant impact on the parliamentary battle of Brexit later this year, the study concludes that most seats in Britain now contain a majority of voters who want to stay in the EU. ... Read More »

‘Leave immediately’: US Navy plane warned over South China Sea

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Above the South China Sea (CNN) – High above one of the most hotly contested regions in the world, CNN was given a rare look Friday at the Chinese government’s rapidly expanding militarization of the South China Sea. By Brad Lendon, Ivan Watson and Ben Westcott, CNN Aboard a US Navy P-8A Poseidon reconnaissance plane, CNN got a view from 16,500 feet of low-lying coral reefs turned into garrisons with five-story buildings, large radar installations, power plants and runways sturdy enough ... Read More »

ITLOS ruling: Ghana, Ivory Coast successfully plots all coordinates; boundary dispute settled

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The boundary dispute between Ghana and Ivory Coast has been amicably settled after both parties reached a consensus on the plotting of the coordinates in Accra today. GhanaWeb The Coordinates provided by the International Tribunal for Law of the Sea (ITLOS) in its judgement of the boundary dispute brought before it by Ivory Coast, was to assist both parties draw the line that separates the countries. Head of Ghana’s delegation at the meeting and Senior Minister, Yaw Osafo Maafo explained ... Read More »

Embattled Nord Stream 2 seeks to skirt Danish veto

FILE - In this May 8, 2017 photo steel pipes for the North Stream 2 pipeline are stacked in Mukran harbour in Sassnitz, Germany. American officials say a pipeline project between Russia and Germany risks triggering U.S. sanctions because of security concerns. Senior State Department diplomat Sandra Oudkirk says the United States opposes the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline because it could increase Russia's "malign influence" in Europe. (Stefan Sauer/dpa via AP, file)

Russia’s controversial Nord Stream 2 pipeline consortium on Friday said it had applied for an alternative route to skirt a new Danish law that threatened to block the project. AFP New legislation which took effect in January allows the Danish government to veto pipelines passing through the Nordic nation’s territorial waters based on its foreign policy, security and defence interests. Led by Russia’s gas giant Gazprom, the consortium said in a statement that the law gives the Danish foreign ministry ... Read More »

Erdogan: How Turkey Sees the Crisis With the U.S.

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Unilateral actions against Turkey by the United States will undermine American interests and force Turkey to look for other friends and allies. By Recep Tayyip Erdogan Mr. Erdogan is the president of Turkey. The New York Times ANKARA, Turkey — For the past six decades, Turkey and the United States have been strategic partners and NATO allies. Our two countries stood shoulder to shoulder against common challenges during the Cold War and in its aftermath. Over the years, Turkey rushed ... Read More »

Trump’s Victorious Retreats

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Why does US President Donald Trump keep making empty threats against other countries? While his detractors think he is simply a braggart, a fool, and an ignoramus, there could be a less unflattering, though equally depressing, explanation. Anatole Kaletsky Project Syndicate LONDON – Will Donald Trump back down in his trade war with China, or will he win it? The answer is probably both. Trump’s characteristic sequence of blood-curdling threats – “fire and fury,” “squeeze Iran’s exports to zero,” “tariffs ... Read More »