Analysis

Welcome to a world no longer led by Moscow and Washington

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 »

Give millennials a break – young people are worse off and it’s not their fault

Young people are poorer than older people. And it’s not simply because the old have worked all their lives and are enjoying the fruits of their labours in their sunset years. Evangelos Kontopantelis The Conversation The wealth gap between the young and the old is on the rise in England. These were the stark findings of our research into deprivation levels between 2004 and 2015. We measured wealth (or lack thereof) using the the UK government’s English Index of Multiple ... Read More »

A New Cold War Is Not Inevitable

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 »

Cambridge Analytica: They ‘Got Trump Elected’, We Should Worry About What Else They’ve Done

The scandal that is wiping billions of dollars in value off the world’s richest company is about much more than just social media and data mining, writes Michael Brull. New Matilda British news program on Channel 4 has exposed Cambridge Analytica and Facebook for what has become an international scandal. However, due to the size and complexity of the issues raised, I don’t think their significance or implications have received the analysis they warrant. In this two part series, I’m ... Read More »

SMH editorial: Defamation laws long overdue for overhaul

Australia’s defamation laws were built for a different age. The last comprehensive national review of defamation laws was in 1979, almost 30 years before Facebook was launched in February 2004 and the first tweet was sent in March 2006. The Sydney Morning Herald The laws are increasingly unworkable and in desperate need of overhaul as slurs on social media and other digital platforms take off as a growing source of defamation claims. A five-year review of Australian defamation cases covering ... Read More »

Europe fakes Turkish delight

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

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

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

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 »

Big coal no more

The industry once ruled Europe. Now it’s struggling to survive. Sara Stefanini Politico The coal lobby used to be a Brussels power player. No more. Euracoal’s staff peaked in the 1970s. The 60-year-old industry association was a force to be reckoned with as it lobbied hard for the fuel that had powered Europe’s industrial revolution and was still a crucial part of its energy mix. Today, Euracoal has just three staffers, and this year the organization left its old spacious offices ... Read More »

Will the Putin-Xi era supersede the Western liberal (dis)order?

Perhaps a Confucian path would be the right direction toward Eurasian integration Pepe Escobar Asia Times The Chinese constitutional amendment allowing Xi Jinping the possibility of further presidential terms — staying in power long enough to bring “national rejuvenation” combined with the Russian election re-confirming Vladimir Putin in the presidency have assured consistency and continuity for the Russia-China strategic partnership way into the… This will facilitate the interaction between the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and… Will the Putin… Read More »

Taking Offense at the Opera

‘Turandot’ is musically irresistible, but can it survive today’s cultural sensitivities? Nicholas M. Gallagher The Weekly Standard When French president (then-candidate) Emmanuel Macron waxed lyrical about his passion for the composer Gioachino Rossini in spring 2017, the transatlantic chattering classes gushed in admiration (and… But when British foreign minister Boris Johnson was caught on a hot mic a few months later quoting Rudyard Kipling’s imperial-era poem “Mandalay” on a trip to Myanmar, the reaction was swift, sharp, and negative. Not ... Read More »

Will Putin follow in Brezhnev’s footsteps?

What should Russia and the world expect in the next six years? Mariya Petkova Al Jazeera On Friday, Russia‘s Central Electoral Commission released the final results of this week’s presidential elections, makingVladimir Putin‘s landslide victory official. The Russian president, who won 76.69 percent of the vote, will be inaugurated for a fourth term in May. “In the coming six years, will we see a new Putin or an old one?” Kremlin correspondent Andrei Kolesnikov askedthe president at the… Will Putin follow… Read More »

Americans Will Pay the Price for Trump’s Toughened Approach with China

American firms may not profit from a trade war with China, but both Airbus and Brazilian farmers have to be salivating at the prospect. Colin Grabow The National Interest It appears that President Trump is going to get his much-desired trade war with China. Citing the country’s harmful intellectual property and innovation policies, President Donald Trump on Thursday announced the pending imposition of tariffs on $60 billion worth of imports as well as restrictions on Chinese investment. Trump may have ... Read More »

The lost children of the Empire and the attempted Aboriginal genocide

The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse has concluded that British children who suffered abuse when they were forcibly sent abroad should now be paid compensation from the government. David Pilgrim The Conversation The inquiry has looked into the cases of children who were sent to Australia and parts of the British Empire from 1945 to 1970 by charities and the Catholic church. Its findings are damning. But if society is looking for a fuller social and historical account of ... Read More »

Time running out to save the Earth’s plants and animals

Five new reports unveiled at a UN biodiversity summit in Colombia are sounding the alarm over the rapidly deteriorating state of biodiversity on our planet. Dave Keating DW But they also provide the tools to fight back. Delegates at a major international summit on biodiversity in Medellín, Colombia have been rattled after being presented with stark new evidence about the state of the world’s biodiversity. The 750 delegates from 115 countries are meeting for the sixth plenary of the Intergovernmental ... Read More »