Politics

Imagining Russia post-Putin

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On July 21, Vladimir Putin was asked at an audience with schoolchildren what he will do when he retires. He replied, “I haven’t decided yet if I will leave the presidency.” Peter Rutland The Conversation While everyone is obsessed with following the twists and turns of the ties between Putin and President Trump, it is important to bear in mind that the relationship between the two countries will long outlast these two men. Putin will run again in the March ... Read More »

It’s time to stop kowtowing to Turkey

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Israel’s great relationship with Turkey is over, here’s what’s needed. The break in relations between Israel and Turkey is often identified as happening in May 2010, when the Israel Navy took control of the Mavi Marmara protest ship that was on its way to Gaza. YAIR LAPID JPost Nine protesters were killed during the operation, all Turkish citizens. The response was harsh. Turkey announced it was suspending all joint military exercises with Israel, the families of Israel’s diplomats were returned home. ... Read More »

Australia’s Prime Minister Slowly Realizes Trump Is a Complete Idiot

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The transcript of Donald Trump’s discussion with Australian prime minister Malcolm Turnbull obtained by the Washington Post reveals many things, but the most significant may be that Trump in his private negotiations is every bit as mentally limited as… Jonathan Chait New York At issue in the conversation is a deal to settle 1,250 refugees who have been detained by Australia in the United States. I did not pay any attention to the details of this agreement before reading the transcript. By the ... Read More »

Venezuela’s Last Flickers of Democracy

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Venezuela’s political crisis took another fateful turn on Sunday 30 July with the rigged election of an all-powerful assembly mandated to rewrite the constitution. Phil Gunson ICG In this Q&A, Senior Analyst for the Andes Phil Gunson says Sunday’s vote represents the end of what little democratic space still existed and takes the country on the path to dictatorship. Can you explain what Sunday’s vote was about? On Sunday, the chavista government led by President Nicolás Maduro held a one-sided “election” to ... Read More »

A Dangerous Gulf in the Horn: How the Inter-Arab Crisis is Fuelling Regional Tensions

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The Gulf crisis and the scramble for military outposts in the Horn of Africa are exacerbating regional tensions that risk triggering a conflict. Rashid Abdi ICG In this Q&A, Crisis Group’s Horn of Africa Project Director Rashid Abdi untangles the complex web of relations that tie the Horn and the Gulf. How has the Gulf crisis affected security and stability in the Horn? The Gulf and the Horn are intricately intertwined regions that face common threats and vulnerabilities: armed conflict, ... Read More »

Can Boris Johnson deliver on his colossal naval expectations?

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Boris Johnson’s ebullient pronouncements last week on a future Royal Navy freedom of navigation ‘operation’ in the Indo-Pacific region have attracted attention, but also criticism. Euan Graham Interpreter At the press conference following the “2+2” meeting of Australian/UK defence and foreign ministers (AUKMIN), on 27 July, Mr Johnson initially said this: ‘One of the first things we will do with the two new colossal aircraft carriers that we have just built is send them on a freedom of navigation operation ... Read More »

Cameroon’s Anglophone Crisis at the Crossroads

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Since October 2016, protests and strikes related to sectoral demands have escalated into a crisis over the economic and political marginalisation of Cameroon’s Anglophone minority. ICG Although the government has made some concessions, it must rebuild mutual trust with Anglophone actors in order to avoid instability ahead of the 2018 general elections. Executive Summary The Anglophones of Cameroon, 20 per cent of the population, feel marginalised. Their frustrations surfaced dramatically at the end of 2016 when a series of sectoral ... Read More »

‘Joint venture with China on South China Sea violates Charter’

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MANILA, Philippines – A joint venture with China in the West Philippine Sea is a violation of the Constitution, according to a senior magistrate of the Supreme Court (SC). The Philippine Star “The language of the Constitution is explicit, that the exclusive economic zone is part of the national territory and that it should be for the enjoyment and exploitation exclusively of Filipinos… We cannot enter into joint development within the EEZ,” Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio said in a ... Read More »

Dunkirk, the War and the Amnesia of the Empire

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OXFORD, England — Two and a half million soldiers drawn from Britain’s empire in South Asia fought in World War II. YASMIN KHAN The New York Times But they are missing from many British commemorations and accounts of the war — an absence reinforced by Christopher Nolan’s new film “Dunkirk,” which does not feature any of the Indian soldiers who were present at the battle. The Indian soldiers at Dunkirk were mainly Muslims from areas of British India that later ... Read More »

US, NATO wait to see if Russia-Turkey defense deal goes through

Russia's Russian S-400 Triumph air defence missile system rides through Red Square in Moscow during the Victory Day military parade night training on May 3, 2017. 
Russia celebrates the 72nd anniversary of the 1945 victory over Nazi Germany on May 9 / AFP PHOTO / VASILY MAXIMOV        (Photo credit should read VASILY MAXIMOV/AFP/Getty Images)

Turkey’s plans to procure an advanced long-range air and missile defense system (LORAMIDS) has been dragging on for 10 years, but now it could be leading to a profound crisis of confidence between Turkey and the US-Western security blocs. Author:  Metin Gurcan  Translator: Timur Göksel The latest indicator was a July 23 statement by Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff Joseph Dunford at an Aspen, Colorado, security forum: “[Turkey has] not bought the S-400 air defense system from Russia. ... Read More »

Why is Turkey buying the Russian S-400 missile defence system?

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Why is Turkey buying the Russian S-400 missile defence system? TRT World and agencies Ali Topchi Turkey, which boasts the second-largest army in NATO, announced last week, on Tuesday, it had inked a deal to buy an S-400 (NATO version SA-21 Growler) missile defence system for $2-3 billion from Russia. The deal led NATO members to question Turkey’s move and what it means for their alliance with NATO. The parties did not share the details of the S-400 agreement due to its… Why is Turkey… Read More »

North Korea’s new ICBMs change little about threat to the US

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Pyongyang’s development of a missile capable of reaching most of the continental US is not a game-changer that everyday citizens should worry about. ROBERT E. MCCOY Asia Times North Korea’s launch of an ICBM (inter-continental ballistic missile) in early July, followed by another even longer-range missile 24 days later, has generated a lot of buzz. While the detailed analyses of those launches have yet to be published, we do know that both missiles are clearly of a class whose range is at least 3,400 ... Read More »

Essential Guide to Kenya’s High Stakes Election on 8 August

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Kenya’s 8 August elections are rapidly approaching and concerns continue to mount over the prospect of electoral violence. Murithi Mutiga ICG In this Q&A, Senior Kenya Analyst Murithi Mutiga looks at what is at stake and assesses efforts to prevent another violent fallout from the balloting. Kenya is scheduled to hold a general election on 8 August. The vote comes ten years after a disputed presidential poll brought the key East African country to the brink of civil war. Hundreds ... Read More »

Germany Urges EU Retaliation Over US Sanctions on Russia

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Economy Minister: US Sanctions a Violation of International Law In comments today, German Economic Minister Brigitte Zypries declared the latest round of US sanctions against Russia a violation of international law, pushing for the European Union to retaliate against the US to protect its economic interests. Jason Ditz Antiwar Several European nations, but particularly Germany, have been concerned with the wording of the latest US sanctions, which intend to target foreign investment in Russia’s energy industry. Germany, and indeed much ... Read More »

The Week Donald Trump Lost the South China Sea

HONG KONG - JULY 07:  China's first aircraft carrier Liaoning aircraft carrier arrives on July 7, 2017 in Hong Kong, Hong Kong. China's first aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, made a five-day port call in Hong Kong over the weekend to mark its 20th anniversary of the city's handover to Chinese rule. The military allowed 2,000 Hong Kongers aboard the only in-operation aircraft carrier of China for the first time as its been reported the presence of the carrier is a show of military force in Hong Kong, days after China President Xi Jinping warned the city against independence forces.  (Photo by Keith Tsuji/Getty Images)

Vietnam’s capitulation shows China’s neighbors fear the U.S. no longer has their backs Bill Hayton Foreign Policy Vietnam’s history is full of heroic tales of resistance to China. But this month Hanoi bent the knee to Beijing, humiliated in a contest over who controls the South China Sea, the most disputed waterway in the world. Hanoi has been looking to Washington for implicit backing to see off Beijing’s threats. At the same time, the Trump administration demonstrated that it either ... Read More »

Pakistan could be moving toward new era of accountability

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There was nearly complete silence in Pakistan on Friday morning, as it was Judgment Day, not only for Nawaz Sharif, but also for his dynasty. TUBA ATHAR HASNAIN Asia Times Pakistanis around the world were glued to their television screens, and this time it was not because their very own Shahid Afridi was holding the bat on the cricket pitch to hit a six, but instead, the sitting prime minister was doing the batting. As soon as the clock ticked to 12:10, the ... Read More »