Diplomacy

Where world’s power brokers really meet

Another winter gathering has quietly become the venue for smart thinkers to get to grips with geopolitics For true “globalist elites,” it’s a rite of winter. By MATTHEW KARNITSCHNIG Politico Just when the European weather is at its most unwelcoming, the world’s great strategic minds descend on a quaint city at the Continent’s geographic center, crowding into rustic Stuben to debate the state of the world over beer and mulled wine. In recent years, this forum for Big Thought, aka the Munich Security Conference, ... Read More »

Syria war: Row over Turkey using German-made tanks

The German government is facing calls to halt arms exports to Turkey after reports emerged that German-made Leopard tanks were being used in an offensive against the Kurdish YPG. BBC Some German politicians have requested that any moves to approve a tank upgrade deal be halted. Turkish-led forces began an assault in Syria’s north-west on Saturday. The row comes just weeks after the two countries’ foreign ministers vowed to improve bilateral ties. Relations between the two Nato members have soured ... Read More »

Taiwan’s Nightmare: China Seeks to Alter the Cross-Strait Status Quo

It is in the national interest of the United States and other like-minded democracies to counter Beijing’s crude attempts to bully its neighbors Dennis P. Halpin The National Interest As East Asia and the world continue to turn their attention toward the escalating nuclear crisis on the Korean Peninsula, Beijing has taken advantage of the distraction to move forward its agenda of a “China Dream” of regional hegemony. This dream envisions a China restored to what is viewed as Beijing’s ... Read More »

Judy Asks: Is Turkey Damaging NATO?

A selection of experts answer a new question from Judy Dempsey on the foreign and security policy challenges shaping Europe’s role in the world. Judy Dempsey Carnegie Europe Federiga Bindi Yes, it is. In Afrin, Turkish forces have launched a ground offensive against U.S.-backed Syrian-Kurdish militia. In other words, Turkey is indirectly attacking its main NATO ally. It is doing so with Russian support, as Moscow controls the skies in the area—the last act in the rapprochement between the two ... Read More »

The Korean Peninsula Crisis: Beyond Fire and Fury

Two Crisis Group reports detail how a nightmarish war on the Korean peninsula is closer than ever in recent history, and how the Winter Olympics and North Korea’s need to show economic progress in its 70th anniversary year offer opportunities for diplomacy and de-escalation. ICG North Korea’s nuclear and missile tests combined with bellicose rhetoric from the U.S. mean the risk of a catastrophic war on the Korean peninsula is higher than at any time in recent history. Yet a short ... Read More »

How US went from supporting Syrian Kurds, to backing Turkey against them – in just 9 days

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has been left flailing as Washington desperately struggles to avoid being shut out of Syria by its own allies – following a crisis it helped provoke just days ago. Igor Ogorodnev for RT For all the backpedaling and reframing the US officials are now doing, the chronology of the volte-face from Afrin to Ankara is startlingly straightforward. January 13 US-led coalition announces a 30,000-strong Kurdish SDF-led Border Security Force (BSF) to stave off a ... Read More »

Turkey Steps Up Offensive Against Syrian Kurdish Militia Amid Growing Diplomatic Pressure

ISTANBUL — Turkish land forces have advanced into Syria trying to push a Kurdish militia out of the Afrin area. Dorian Jones VoA Over 40 targets were hit by Turkish jets and artillery, and there are reports of civilian casualities. Quoting YPG forces, a stringer for the VOA Kurdish Service in Afrin reported that three Turkish military tanks were destroyed in the nearby towns of Bilbil and Shara. Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim says the objective of Operation Olive Branch was ... Read More »

BULUT: When Will The West Care About Cyprus And Persecuted Minorities In The Muslim World?

In the 21st century, a member state of the United Nations and the European Union continues to be colonized and occupied by a NATO and UN member and EU hopeful. By UZAY BULUT DailyWire The colonizer is Turkey and the victim is Cyprus. The northern part of the Republic of Cyprus — about 37% of the island’s territory — has been under Turkish military occupation since 1974. The so-called “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus” (TRNC) is recognized only by Turkey. Since invading ... Read More »

Editor: Erdogan urged attack on Turkish Cypriot newspaper

NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) – The editor of a left-wing Turkish Cypriot newspaper on Monday accused Turkey’s president of instructing supporters to launch a violent attack against his publication’s offices over criticism for Ankara’s military offensive into Syria. WPXInews Sener Levent said his newspaper Afrika won’t be silenced in calling out Turkey’s policies either in the breakaway north of ethnically-split Cyprus or elsewhere. Dozens of Turkish flag-waving protesters smashed windowpanes and hurled stones, eggs and other items at Afrika’s first floor offices in ... Read More »

China to U.S.: It’s your fault we are in the South China Sea

Trump may be trying a more assertive Pacific policy and China is having none of it By Emily Rauhala – The Washington Post AJC BEIJING — Beijing has a message for the Trump administration: the more ships you send to the contested waters of the South China Sea, the more we will bolster our presence there. The warning, delivered in a People’s Daily commentary published Monday, came days after the USS Hopper sailed within 12 nautical miles of Scarborough Shoal, ... Read More »

Emmanuel Macron: French would ‘probably’ vote to leave EU

The French President believes his country might also have quit the bloc if offered the choice in an referendum Greg Heffer SkyNews France would “probably” have voted to leave the EU if it had held an in/out referendum, according to the country’s leader. Emmanuel Macron attributed the UK’s decision to leave the EU to British voters’ loss of faith in globalisation and unrestricted free markets. The French President suggested there is “always a risk” with votes such as Britain’s 2016 ... Read More »

Why do names matter so much?

When it comes to politics and international diplomacy, names matter. We know they matter because people are always changing them Two important addresses changed this week. Jonathan Savage BBC The Russian embassy in Washington found itself situated not on Wisconsin Street but Boris Nemtsov Plaza, named after a Russian opposition politician. And in Turkey, the embassy of the United Arab Emirates is now on Fahreddin Pasha Road. The Turkish situation was very 2018 in that it was the result of ... Read More »

The secret to Henry Kissinger’s success

Many think the retired diplomat’s closeness to one man — Richard Nixon — was the source of his power. That gets Kissinger dangerously wrong. By NIALL FERGUSON Politico About halfway through writing my biography of Henry Kissinger, an interesting hypothesis occurred to me: Did the former secretary of state owe his success, fame and notoriety not just to his powerful intellect and formidable will but also to his exceptional ability to build an eclectic network of relationships, not only to ... Read More »

“Don’t let Afrin become another Kobane”

Academics and international human rights activists launched a petition calling upon world powers to act against Turkish aggression against Afrin ANF The petition, signed by academics and activists like Noam Chomsky, Michael Hardt and Debbi Bookchin, called for prevention of further Turkish attacks on Afrin. The full text of the petition reads as follows: “We, the undersigned academics and human rights activists, insist that the leaders of Russia, Iran, and the U.S. ensure that the sovereignty of Syrian borders is ... Read More »

Is America’s Alliance with Turkey Worth It?

The most basic feature that the United States should expect from an ally is consistent, reliable behavior that benefits U.S. policy objectives. Ted Galen Carpenter The National Interest  Ideally, since America regards itself as a champion of democracy and freedom, an ally should embody those values as well, but Washington has never been a stickler for that standard. Indeed, the United States has a sordid history of collaboration with undemocratic, even odious, regimes when U.S. leaders believed that the relationship ... Read More »

FYROM’s Zaev to discuss name push with Tsipras in Davos

The name dispute between Greece and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) will reportedly be discussed at a prime ministerial level in the next few days, reports from Skopje said on Friday. e kathimerini According to the tiny Balkan country’s Prime Minister Zoran Zaev, the meeting will take place on January 24 on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos. Even though Athens by late Friday had not confirmed the meeting, Greek Premier Alexis Tsipras described the ... Read More »