Security

Downward spiral US-Turkey relations

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International relations are shaped by national interest. States are perpetually striving to get stronger, either by making common cause with other states or expanding economically and militarily at the expense of other states. Global Village Space Before the 20th century, the ‘balance of power’ sustained by military alliances between states gave the best possible explanation for understanding, interpreting and predicting geopolitics. In the 20th century, especially after the Second World War, the idea of collective defense under international institutions gained ... Read More »

The Eastern Mediterranean is getting more dangerous, and it’s not because of Russia, Syria, or Iran

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The Eastern Mediterranean is about to get a lot more dangerous, and it’s not because of Russia, Syria, or Iran. Michael Rubin Washington Examiner Eastern Mediterranean used to be waters the U.S. Navy just sailed through on its way to the Red Sea and Persian Gulf, but now it is as militarily active as both. Of course, during the Cold War, the Eastern Mediterranean was in play. In 1967, the Soviet Union formed the 5th Mediterranean Squadron to counterbalance NATO ... Read More »

Getting the U.S. in Step with the Koreas’ Diplomatic Dance

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A new round of inter-Korean diplomacy commenced 18 September as the North and South Korean leaders met for a three-day summit. Christopher Green International Crisis Group Meanwhile, U.S.-North Korean relations are reverting to previous bad form. Washington should welcome Seoul’s help in restarting productive contacts with Pyongyang. President Moon Jae-in of South Korea arrived in Pyongyang early on Tuesday for a three-day visit. The outcomes of this summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un will set the tempo for the remainder ... Read More »

Syria’s Idlib Wins Welcome Reprieve with Russia-Turkey Deal

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After weeks of escalatory rhetoric, Russia has partnered with Turkey in a deal to avert an all-out assault on Idlib, the last stronghold of Syria’s armed rebellion. International actors seeking to end the Syrian war should embrace the agreement. ICG Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Russian President Vladimir Putin have unveiled an agreement to forestall a Syrian regime offensive in the country’s north-western Idlib governorate. Per Putin and Erdoğan’s announcement of the deal, signed following bilateral talks in Sochi, on Russia’s Black ... Read More »

EU and UK need each other on post-Brexit security

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Brexit will leave a gaping hole in Europe’s foreign policy. By JACEK CZAPUTOWICZ, LINAS LINKEVIČIUS AND TEODOR MELEȘCANU Politico The U.K.’s withdrawal from the European Union poses a number of challenges on both sides of the Channel, but Brussels should be alive to one particularly important risk: Brexit’s effect on… The U.K. — in its capacity as a U.N. Security Council member, a nuclear power and a guarantor of approximately one-fourth of European defense capabilities — is one of the key pillars of the EU’s… ... Read More »

China And The SEA In Asia’s Troubled Waters – Analysis

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The never ending disputes over a semi-enclosed sea, the South-China Sea (SCS) was culminated in the consensus between the Philippines and China in bringing the case before the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA). Dhiana Puspitawati Eurasia Review While the PCA under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea 1982 (UNCLOS 1982) ruled in favor of the Philippines and declare that China’s nine-dash line claims are illegal, China has asserted that they will not obeys the… This paper ... Read More »

Paul Manafort Agrees to Cooperate With Special Counsel; Pleads Guilty to Reduced Charges

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WASHINGTON — Paul Manafort agreed on Friday to tell all he knows to the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, as part of a plea deal that could shape the final stages of the inquiry into Russian interference in the… By Sharon LaFraniere and Kenneth P. Vogel The New York Times The deal was a surrender by Mr. Manafort, President Trump’s former campaign chairman, who had vowed for months to prove his innocence in a case stemming from his work ... Read More »

It’s Not Too Late to Prevent a Russia-China Axis

Chinese troops parade at the end of the day of the Vostok-2018 (East-2018) military drills at Tsugol training ground not far from the borders with China and Mongolia in Siberia, on September 13, 2018. (Photo by MLADEN ANTONOV / AFP)        (Photo credit should read MLADEN ANTONOV/AFP/Getty Images)

Here’s how the U.S. can avoid driving the two countries together. Anja Manuel The Atlantic Chinese tanks splashed through the mud, while a few dozen helicopters flew in formation overhead in eastern Russia, and a young Chinese military recruit explained, “I have never experienced an overseas deployment of this scale.” The scene neatly summed up the much-written-about, enormous Russian military exercises that took place this week. Participants included 300,000 Russian and 3,200 Chinese soldiers. They deeply rattled the… It’s Not ... Read More »

Jailing of Reuters journalists ‘nothing to do with freedom of expression’, says Aung San Suu Kyi

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Myanmar’s State Counsellor, Aung San Suu Kyi, says two jailed Reuters journalists can appeal their seven-year sentence, and that their jailing had nothing to do with freedom of expression. ABC Asked how she felt about jailing journalists as a democratic leader, Suu Kyi said: “They were not jailed because they were journalists, they were jailed because … the court has decided that they have broken the… She made her comments at the World Economic Forum on ASEAN in Hanoi on ... Read More »

Reports of British Challenges to Chinese Claims in the South China Sea

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International news media published coverage over the weekend of the British Navy warship HMS Albion conducting “freedom of navigation” operations (FONOPS) in the South China Sea. Katie Begley OpsLens Albion sailed near the Paracel Islands, land claimed by China but not recognized by the international community as Chinese sovereignty. The Paracel Islands, along with nearby Spratly Islands, are claimed by numerous nations surrounding the South China Sea. The Paracel Islands are claimed by China, Vietnam, and Taiwan. International Maritime Law ... Read More »

An Offensive Plan for the Balkans That the U.S. Should Get Behind

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A Kosovo-Serbia land swap would be peaceful ethnic cleansing. But at least it would bring peace. Charles A. Kupchan * The New York Times The Balkans remains in strategic limbo. Kosovo declared independence from Serbia 10 years ago, but Serbia has yet to come to terms with its loss — refusing to recognize Kosovo and stirring trouble between the country’s ethnic Serbs and the ethnic Albanian majority. Almost two decades after the… A breakthrough may now be in the making. ... Read More »

UN Secretary-General: American Power Is in Decline, the World Is ‘in Pieces’

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Is Democracy Dying? António Guterres confronts the “reemergence of irrationality” in global politics. Uri Friedman The Atlantic For the past two years, the secretary-general of the United Nations, António Guterres, has watched as President Donald Trump upends American foreign policy, engaging in trade wars while simultaneously disengaging from international agreements and… And now Guterres has reached a verdict: The United States, once the guarantor of global stability, is losing its ability to influence world events. “I think that the soft ... Read More »

New book offers vital background on the Iran nuclear deal

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Wendy Sherman may not have the highest name recognition outside of Washington — but that’s what you might expect from a former top State Department official whose job included delicate negotiations with old adversaries and… Jason Rezaian The Washington Post Now she has just come out with a new memoir that fills a valuable gap in recent history by providing a detailed look at the talks that led to the Iran nuclear deal. Sherman was the lead negotiator for the ... Read More »

German spy chief passed info to AfD: report

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Hans-Georg Maassen, president of Germany’s domestic intelligence service, allegedly passed on sensitive data from a report to the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD). Ben Knight DW The spy chief has already faced calls to resign. The relationship between Germany’s domestic spy chief Hans-Georg Maassen and the Alternative for Germany (AfD) came under renewed scrutiny on Thursday, when it was revealed that the head of the domestic intelligence service, the Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV) had passed on ... Read More »

If Britain Opts for Corbyn, Then the New Prime Minister Will Clash with Trump Over Israel

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Is the Middle East ready? Lawrence J. Haas The National Interest The signs of breakdown in the liberal international order are mounting, and they’re coming from disparate directions: Washington battles its closest allies on trade, Beijing and Moscow come together more closely militarily in an anti-U.S. alliance, and Beijing seeks to make its territorial expansion a… But the liberal order is as much about values as about alliances and power plays. In that sense, the most striking recent manifestation of ... Read More »

Yemen’s Geneva talks fall apart after Houthi no-show

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UN-sponsored peace talks falter after Houthi rebels fail to show up, prompting Yemeni government officials to leave. Barbara Bibbo Al Jazeera Geneva, Switzerland – Yemen’s foreign minister has harshly criticised UN diplomats for not putting pressure on the Houthi rebel group to attend peace talks in Geneva, dooming them to failure. Minister Khaled al-Yamani, who was heading the Yemeni delegation, said that Special Envoy for Yemen Martin Griffiths was providing the… Yemen’s Geneva talks… Read More »