Analysis

Will the US and Turkey break up over Russian S-400?

WASHINGTON, DC – Fans of diplomatic history realize the importance of dates: They mark milestones, turning points, make-or-break moments. ekathimerini Endy Zemenides Those who follow Turkey are keenly aware that a new era in the country’s diplomatic history is taking shape before us. March 4 and 5, 2019 are sure to become important dates in this new diplomatic history. This past Monday, reversing a trend of handling issues with Ankara quietly and in private, US President Donald Trump sent a ... Read More »

The Democrats’ dilemma

What Ilhan Omar and Dean Phillips tell us about the future of the Democratic Party. Tim Alberta Politico MINNEAPOLIS — They have gathered in defiance of the freezing temperatures on a late February’s night, scores of them twirling Somali flags in one hand and American flags in the other, crowding around the arrivals terminal and waiting to welcome one of their own. The vast Somali community in the Twin Cities is like one sprawling extended family, explains Ali Aden, a ... Read More »

Proud Boys and antifa: When a right-wing activist met a left-wing anti-fascist

Since the election of Donald Trump, extreme right-wing groups and left-wing activists have battled on American streets. Mike Wendling BBC It’s happened in New York, Berkeley, Charlottesville and elsewhere. But one liberal enclave might be the epicentre of the fighting: Portland, Oregon, a progressive city in the Pacific north-west. Two activists who have been on opposite sides in the Portland clashes agreed to meet and talk. But would they have any common ground? I didn’t think they would both be ... Read More »

How to Make a Middle East Superpower: Arm Israel with F-22s and B-21 Bombers

Possible? This is not to say that Israel needs, or could use, something analogous to the Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine. Robert Farley The National Interest However, a more modest boat with a smaller number of missiles of limited range could indeed prove very useful to Israel’s efforts to create a robust second-strike capability. A flotilla of four such boats would provide a nearly invulnerable retaliatory capacity. With only a few notable exceptions, Israel can buy whatever it wants from the… ... Read More »

As EU stresses the migration ‘crisis’ is over, Italy makes hundreds of migrants homeless

Refuting what he called populist “misinformation”, the first vice-president of the European Commission, Frans Timmermans, has stressed that: “Europe is no longer experiencing the migration crisis we lived in 2015, but structural problems remain.” Vicki Squire The Conversation The commission emphasises that the current level of arrivals is just 10% of what it was at its “peak” in 2015. But these comments overlook the fact that the so-called “crisis” of 2015 was defined as one on the basis of a series of myths ... Read More »

Sánchez bets big on women in Spanish campaign

The ruling Socialists have strong feminist credentials, but an anti-feminist party is on the rise. MADRID — Pedro Sánchez made feminism a banner as soon as he became prime minister nine months ago, and now he’s doubling down on women’s votes to keep him in office after Spain’s election on April 28. Diego Torres Politico With an openly anti-feminist party — the far-right Vox — on the rise, Sánchez’s Socialists and their mainstream rivals trampled on each other to get the… The ... Read More »

Banks need to show more than mea culpas and committees

“We never want to go through an experience like that again,” Brian Hartzer told the House of Representatives economics committee in Canberra on Friday. Adele Ferguson WAtoday The Westpac boss was of course referring to the banking royal commission, which he described as “a sad indictment on the financial services industry”. It certainly was an indictment on a sector that has been riddled with scandals for years that were fobbed off as sideshows caused by a few bad apples. Hartzer ... Read More »

Why Research on Gender and Conflict Matters

At Crisis Group, we believe the interaction of gender and conflict is of central importance. But we consider carefully what a gender perspective entails and the conceptual pitfalls we should avoid. Robert Malley ICG For instance, women are not just victims, but have agency and choice. Last October, Ethiopia appointed its first woman president, the only female leader of an African state today. In many national parliaments, from Mexico to Rwanda, women now match or outnumber men. One of the ... Read More »

A Man of Good Hope is no tale of triumph over adversity, but it is the story of many

In a world where so many are escaping brutality, war, persecution, and loss of land, is it possible to tell the story of just one displaced person, and in so doing, tell the story of many? William Peterson The Conversation With A Man of Good Hope, a theatrical adaptation of a biography of the same name by Jonny Steinberg, the Cape Town-based Isango Ensemble suggests the answer is yes. An energetic cast of over 20 actor-singer-dancer-musicians are shaped by director ... Read More »

Flirting With Disaster: the Return of Offshore Drilling

It’s been decades since a fisherman out of Montauk on Long Island told me about seeing a ship in the Atlantic Ocean east of Long Island similar to those he had seen searching for oil in the Gulf of Mexico when he was a shrimper there. Karl Grossman CounterPunch I telephoned oil company after company and each gave a firm denial about having any interest in looking for petroleum off Long Island. That was until a PR man from Gulf ... Read More »

A chimpanzee cultural collapse is underway, and it’s driven by humans

Language, music, and art often vary between adjacent groups of people, and help us identify not only ourselves but also others. Authors: The Conversation And in recent years rich debates have emerged and spawned research into culture in non-human animals. Scientists first observed chimpanzees using tools more than half a century ago. As this complex behaviour appeared to differ across different populations, researchers concluded that tool use in apes was socially learned and therefore a cultural behaviour. This was the ... Read More »

The Politics of Selling Weapons to Algeria

Algiers looks to shift away from its dependance on Moscow. One of the biggest buyers of Russian weapons systems on the African continent wants the United States to revisit the restrictions that prevent it from buying military gear made in America. Maggie Ybarra The National Interest Algeria’s ambassador to the United States, Madjid Bouguerra, told the National Interestthat his country is looking expand its weapons acquisition program and improve its military-to-military relationship with the United States, which has been on a… ... Read More »

Does Russia See a War Threat in Warsaw?

The United States need not further inflame the new cold war with unnecessary and provocative basing arrangements in Eastern Europe. Lyle J. Goldstein The National Interest In a surprising twist on Ostpolitik, the United States has become entranced by the charms of Poland. Warsaw has diligently sent contingents off to Afghanistan, and agreed last year to increase their numbers. It has also become a reasonably large market for U.S. armaments. While Washington admittedly did not get too excited about Poland’s global climate change conference last ... Read More »

After years of vicious culture wars, hope may yet triumph over hate in Australian politics

For a generation, politics has been wearying for those of good heart and outright damaging to those targeted in the culture wars unleashed in the 1990s. How this happened, and whether it will continue, are… Chris Wallace The Conversation The traditional post-war political struggle pitted class and concerns about inequality, opportunity and redistribution against capital and concerns about profits, property rights and the shoring up of… Over the past two decades, the moorings of this “left” versus “right” paradigm of ... Read More »

Education for humans in an AI world

As technology increasingly shapes our world, education needs to incorporate global competence with a focus on human interactions and intercultural understanding. By Sophie Fenton, University of Melbourne Pursuit Today’s world is increasingly volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous – or VUCA. The VUCA acronym was first used in 1987 in a military context, but has recently started to filter into the wider lexicon, as exponential technological growth radically and rapidly changes our environment. This disrupted and disrupting environment presents challenges and ... Read More »

Brazil and Venezuela clash over migrants, humanitarian aid and closed borders

Venezuela’s borders are now dangerous flashpoints in a tense showdown between President Nicolas Maduro and Venezuela’s self-declared interim president, Juan Guaidó. Authors: The Conversation The United States, Colombia and Brazil – all supporters of Guaidó’s quest to unseat Maduro – have amassed hundreds of tons of medical and food supplies at Venezuela’s borders with Colombia and… Maduro, who condemns the humanitarian convoys as the pretext for a U.S.-led military invasion, refuses to allow the aid through. The aid standoff grew ... Read More »