Diplomacy

Spy Attack Widens Turkey’s Split With U.S.

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As U.S. and European allies form a diplomatic front against Russia, Turkey’s coziness with the Kremlin is testing its crucial defense ties with the U.S. and its military alliance with NATO. Selcan Hacaoglu Bloomberg Businessweek The U.S., Canada and several European nations expelled more than 100 Russian diplomats on Monday to punish President Vladimir Putin’s government for the nerve-agent attack on a former Russian spy in the U.K. Turkey, which has grown closer to Russia in recent years, stayed out ... Read More »

Foreign Policy From the Dark Side

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THE RETURN OF MARCO POLO’S WORLD War, Strategy, and American Interests in the Twenty-First Century By Robert D. Kaplan By Bret Stephens The New York Times The 1990s: Remember them? The decade began with the collapse of the Soviet Union. It ended with the Dow bursting past the 10,000 mark. In between, we got victory in the gulf, the creation of the European Union and the World Trade Organization, NATO enlargement, an American budget surplus, peace in Northern Ireland, Google, ... Read More »

Mike Pompeo expected to take tough tact as relations with Turkey erode

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Former CIA chief seen as more in line with White House, ‘bit less afraid to throw an elbow’ By Guy Taylor and Dan Boylan  The Washington Times Iran and North Korea may top incoming Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s to-do list, but a festering problem with a key NATO ally may prove just as hard to solve. Turkey and the U.S. appear to sharply diverge on a host of fronts, including Turkey’s war against U.S.-allied Kurds in the Middle East ... Read More »

Congress Should Help Rein In Trump’s New Pro-war National Security Advisor

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Contrarian arguments about John Bolton – that he is smart and that his hawkishness might browbeat U.S. rivals into peace deals – look past a long record that suggests an appetite for forcible regime change, a capacity for shading the truth, and a… Stephen Pomper ICG President Trump’s announcement that John Bolton would become his third national security advisor hit foreign policy circles like a minor earthquake last… Bolton had long been rumoured to be waiting in the wings to ... Read More »

Finland’s race for Arctic riches

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A small city on the Baltic may soon become a vital part of Helsinki’s push to compete with Russia and China. Reid Standish Politico OULU, Finland — A new frontier of geopolitics is opening up as countries move to control lucrative and strategically important natural resources and shipping lanes in the Arctic, and Finland doesn’t want to be left… The unprecedented rate at which the polar ice caps are melting is creating a flurry of activity. So far, Russia and ... Read More »

Greece vs. Turkey: Are We Headed for an Intra-NATO War?

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The alarming escalation in the Aegean. The Aegean Sea between Greece and Turkey hosts one of the world’s highest concentrations of high-tech weaponry. John Psaropoulos The Weekly Standard Athens Sixty-seven surface ships and two dozen submarines are deployed on a body of water the size of Lake Superior. The two air forces command 448 fighter jets armed with smart bombs and guided missiles. On land, 832 heavy tanks and more than 2,500 lighter artillery vehicles—as much tank firepower as in ... Read More »

Putin, Erdogan discuss preparations for Russia-Turkey-Iran summit in Ankara

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Preparations for an upcoming summit meeting of the Russian, Turkish and Iranian leaders in Ankara were in focus of a telephone conversation between Russian and Turkish Presidents, Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the… AMN “The two presidents discussed preparations for a regular meeting of the top-level Cooperation Council between Russia and Turkey and the second summit of the Astana process guarantor nations – Russia, Turkey and Iran – due to be held in early April in Ankara,” the… The ... Read More »

James Mattis Is an Ancient Roman Action Hero

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Argument In dealing with President Trump, the defense secretary seems to have done his reading on Emperor Nero. By Robert Zaretsky FP Since the 2016 election, comparisons between the United States and ancient Rome abound, motivated as much by President Donald Trump-Emperor Nero analogies as anything. Commentators have dwelled on the traits of theatricality, brutality, solipsism, narcissism, cruelty, and… There’s a problem, however, with these comparisons: their source material. Most have turned to the work of Suetonius as their Nero-knowledge ... Read More »

Welcome to a world no longer led by Moscow and Washington

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Scott Gilmore: While America slinks into isolation and Russia jokes on Twitter, Beijing is shaping the world order Scott Gilmore Macleans In Moscow, yesterday, the news must have arrived at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs quickly and caused a stir. In retaliation for a nerve agent attack against a former double agent living in the United Kingdom, Russian diplomats around the world were being declared persona non grata in droves. Canada announced four were to be sent home. In Australia ... Read More »

Spy Attack Widens Turkey’s Split With NATO Allies Over Russia

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As U.S. and European allies form a diplomatic front against Russia, Turkey’s coziness with the Kremlin is testing its crucial defense ties with the U.S. and its military alliance with NATO. Selcan Hacaoglu Bloomberg The U.S., Canada and several European nations expelled more than 100 Russian diplomats on Monday to punish President Vladimir Putin’s government for the nerve-agent attack on a former Russian spy in the U.K. Turkey, which has grown closer to Russia in recent years, stayed out of ... Read More »

A New Cold War Is Not Inevitable

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Top NATO and Russian military commanders have agreed to meet. Here’s what they need to discuss. James Stavridis Bloomberg When I served as Supreme Allied Commander at NATO from 2009 to 2013, I developed a friendly relationship with the head of the Russian armed forces, General Nikolai Makarov. He was a short, barrel-chested man with a congenial personal style, and given my own somewhat compact physique, I could at least tell my boss, Secretary of Defense Bob Gates, that I ... Read More »

Europe fakes Turkish delight

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Prospect of breathing new life into Turkey’s bid for EU membership remains as remote as ever. Matthew Karnitschnig Politico Bulgaria’s Black Sea coast offers everything Europe’s political elite expect from a good summit: an exotic location, breathtaking views and (most important) casks of fine wine. If only Recep Tayyip Erdoğan hadn’t shown up. For the EU’s top brass, the irascible Turkish leader was the proverbial fly in the summit soup at Monday’s dinner meeting with Council President Donald Tusk, Commission ... Read More »

ISIS Returnees Bring Both Hope and Fear to Chechnya

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The return of ISIS fighters to Chechnya could pose a security challenge for the war-torn Russian republic. The authorities may respond true to form, with repression, but efforts to repatriate women and children stranded in Syria and, in some cases, to reintegrate foreign fighters should not be discounted. Anna Arutunyan ICG The victories over ISIS in Mosul and Raqqa pose a dilemma for states whose citizens travelled to join the Islamic State’s (ISIS) ranks and who may now seek to return ... Read More »

Palestinian refugees lament as Trump funding cuts create job insecurity and a pension crisis

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The livelihoods and long-term futures of thousands of Palestinian refugee families across Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, Gaza and the West Bank are at risk due to Donald Trump’s catastrophic decision to cut the American donation to the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA). Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh The Conversation The US president’s decision to contribute only US$60m to UNRWA in 2018 – instead of US$125m – has been widely denounced as a brutal form of collective punishment for the Palestinian ... Read More »

Truth, Power, and the Academy: A Response to Hal Brands

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Academic expertise should guide U.S. foreign policy. Unfortunately, it does not really work that way. John Glaser War On The Rocks On a host of issues, there is an enormous gap between scholarship on international relations and the policy consensus in Washington. The United States persistently pursues foreign strategies that run contrary to the policy implications of the academic consensus. And on questions that are hotly debated in academia, Washington displays inviolable bipartisan unity. Hal Brands addressed the gap in ... Read More »

14 EU states announce mass co-ordinated expulsion of Russian diplomats over Skripal case

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Fourteen members of the EU have decided to expel Russian diplomats over the Sergei Skripal case, European Council president Donald Tusk has confirmed. RT It comes despite zero evidence proving that Moscow was responsible. Donald Tusk stated that further action could be taken. Germany, France and Poland have expelled four diplomats each, respective foreign ministries confirmed on Monday. The Netherlands and Denmark will expel two diplomats each, their foreign ministries said. Italy is expelling two Russian diplomats, while Lithuania has ... Read More »