Diplomacy

Europe Needs Its Own Charles de Gaulle

There’s nothing wrong with today’s European Union that France’s legendary 20th-century leader didn’t see coming—and didn’t try to fix when he had the chance. Βy Bruno Maçães FP Julian Jackson’s new biography of Charles de Gaulle is a gripping and enlightening reflection on political power and its mysteries. The book fulfills the minimum requirements, of course, by recounting the major events of de Gaulle’s life: his heroic service in World War I, his prescient warnings in the interwar years about ... Read More »

America is Addicted to Sanctions

Ukraine is a good case study in the ineffectiveness of sanctions. The best way to think about the role of sanctions in American foreign policy is to regard it as an addiction. Nicolai N. Petro The National Interest Think about it. The inability to change the behavior of even the most rinky-dink nations must be enormously frustrating to those at the helm of the world’s lone superpower. This leads, not surprisingly, to the search for ways to assuage this sense ... Read More »

Gunmen besiege Kabul compound as Afghans mourn Shite dead

Gunmen besieged a compound belonging to the Afghan intelligence service in Kabul on Thursday, police said, as the city’s Shiite residents held funeral services for the victims of a horrific suicide bombing the… KABUL – Associated Press Hurriyet Police officer Abdul Rahman told The Associated Press from the location of the morning siege in a northwestern neighborhood of Kabul that the gunmen were holed up in a partially constructed building near the… The shooting – which underscored the near-daily, persistent ... Read More »

Poland’s Duda vetoes change to European Parliament voting rules

Critics say planned change would have resulted in just two parties being able to win seats in next year’s European election. By MICHAŁ BRONIATOWSKI Politico WARSAW — Polish President Andrzej Duda on Thursday refused to sign into law a change to the way the country elects members of the European Parliament, which critics say would have squeezed out all but the largest parties. The proposed change — which he said would have raised the election threshold to over 16 percent — is going ... Read More »

Why Jewish giving to Israel is losing ground

American Jews donate at high levels to charity. One way they support causes in the U.S., Israel and other places is collective, often through large grant-making organizations. Hanna Shaul Bar Nissim The Conversation In researching this organized philanthropy, I’ve observed that the proportion of Jewish institutional giving to Israeli causes has fallen since 2009. I believe that several factors, including demographic and social changes, a diminishing perception of Israel as being in need and concerns over the Palestinian-Israeli conflict have ... Read More »

Rising Tensions Between U.S. and Turkey

Readers criticize Turkey’s president (who wrote an Op-Ed article for The Times) for his increasingly autocratic and theocratic rule. The New York Times To the Editor: Re “Tensions Mount Between Ankara and Washington” (front page, Aug. 11): Let me get this straight. Last year President Recep Tayyip Erdogan looked on while his thuggish bodyguards assaulted American citizens peacefully protesting in Washington, and President Trump did nothing. This year, Mr. Erdogan ordered the Turkish military into northern Syria to attack and… ... Read More »

Botched CIA Communications System Helped Blow Cover of Chinese Agents

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

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

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

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

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

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

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’

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

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

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 »