Subverting Myanmar’s Constitution for Its Own Good

Democracy needs flexibility.. When the first act of a new legislature is to circumvent its country’s written constitution, it’s usually a bad sign. Not so in Myanmar, where the democratically elected parliament moved last week to create the post of “state counselor” and give the job to Aung San Suu Kyi, the… Source: Subverting Myanmar’s Constitution for Its Own Good – Bloomberg View Read More »

The “Drowning” Argument

Abbott, Morrison, Turnbull and Dutton are not to be believed when they express concern about people drowning in their attempt to reach safety.  Their policy (which Labor basically supports) seems to be this: “We are so concerned about you drowning, that we will punish you if you don’t drown.” The Federal election campaign of 2013 was the first time in our political history that… Source: The “Drowning” Argument | Julian Burnside Read More »

Turkey Releases ISIS Suspects

Last month Turkey released seven suspects accused of being major figures in the Islamic State in Turkey. Now all 96 ISIS suspects have been freed. Late last month, a Turkish court released the last seven suspects who had been arrested on suspicion of being members of the Turkish branch of ISIS… Source: Turkey Releases ISIS Suspects Read More »

Why NATO is unlikely to respond to Brussels attacks

In the absence of real solidarity, individual allies are bypassing the Alliance. President Obama and Donald Trump don’t agree on much. But when both make similar complaints about NATO allies “free-riding” on U.S.-provided security, you have to worry about the Alliance’s future… Source: Why NATO is unlikely to respond to Brussels attacks – POLITICO Read More »

What If Israel Didn’t Have Nuclear Weapons?

Jerusalem’s bomb may not have made much difference at all, either to its own security or to regional nonproliferation efforts. Since the early 1970s, Israel has informally maintained a nuclear deterrent. In order to prevent the activation of a variety of legal instruments that would disrupt Israeli relations with the United States and Europe, Israel has not… Source: What If Israel Didn’t Have Nuclear Weapons? | The National Interest Read More »

Germany can take that smug look off its face

The AfD and the insurrection led by Donald Trump are both a visceral reaction to voters’ fears about immigration, terrorism and the arrogance of the powers-that-be. Each gains strength in the electronic echo chambers of social media… Source: Germany can take that smug look off its face Read More »

Exploiting Disorder

al-Qaeda and the Islamic State The Islamic State (IS), al-Qaeda-linked groups, Boko Haram and other extremist move­ments are protagonists in today’s deadliest crises, complicating efforts to end them. They have exploited wars, state collapse and geopolitical upheaval in… Source: Exploiting Disorder Read More »

We ignore the debt at our peril

This article appears in the March 28, 2016 issue of National Review. Writing in this space five years ago, I made the controversial prediction that the rating of U.S. government debt would soon be downgraded. In August of that year, Standard & Poor’s duly obliged. I revisited the topic in November 2011 and argued that the U.S. would probably not regain its stain-free AAA rating anytime soon: The history of downgrades is that they endure. At this writing, the U.S. ... Read More »

It’s Impossible to Beat ISIS With Erdoğan in Power

This article first appeared on the American Enterprise Institute site. Turkey’s authoritarian president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, is in Washington to participate in a conference regarding strategies to defeat the Islamic State militant group (ISIS). That’s like inviting Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei to a conference about fighting anti-Semitism… Source: It’s Impossible to Beat ISIS With Erdoğan in Power Read More »

Chad: Between Ambition and Fragility

Ahead of Chad’s presidential election on 10 April popular discontent is rising amid a major economic crisis, growing intra-religious tensions and deadly Boko Haram attacks. The regime that portrays itself as spearheading the fight against regional jihadism could see all sorts of violent actors gain influence at home if it pursues exclusionary politics and denies its people a viable social contract… Source: Chad: Between Ambition and Fragility – International Crisis Group Read More »

How the NSC Hijacked U.S. Foreign Policy

The next president must unleash America’s diplomats. In the last year, the Obama administration began a little-noticed process that should be embraced by the next president: the downsizing of the National Security Council (NSC). On the White House blog, the National Security… Source: How the NSC Hijacked U.S. Foreign Policy | The National Interest Read More »

Ensuring the E.U.’s Natural Gas Supply

European demand for natural gas is likely to increase, but the future of the supply remains uncertain. Whether Russia or the European Union take the lead, whoever builds the best pipeline will secure access to the market for decades to come… Source: Ensuring the E.U.’s Natural Gas Supply · Handelsblatt Global Edition Read More »

Turkey doesn’t want to join Europe – it wants to undermine it

On 18 March 2016, the European Union (EU) struck a controversial deal with Turkey, aiming to stem the flow of refugees fleeing across the Aegean Sea. According to the deal, any refugee arriving on the shores of Greece can now be deported back to Turkey if their claim is rejected. In order to determine the validity of refugee claims, border authorities will conduct a swift individual interview. If sent back, the EU will resettle one Syrian refugee from camps in ... Read More »

Europe Versus the Islamic State

PARIS – Ever since the terrorist attacks in January on the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo and a kosher supermarket, Parisians knew that barbarism lurked around the corner, and that it would strike again. But it is one thing to know something, to anticipate it, and another to be confronted with the grim reality. On Friday night, reality struck us with a vengeance. We are at war. It would be wrong – even dangerous – not to… Source: Europe Versus the ... Read More »

Reviving the Mediterranean’s Lost Cosmopolitanism

Eastern Mediterranean cities that view migration as a threat today thrived on the ubiquitous presence of multicultural societies a century ago. Iason Athanasiadis opens our Reviving Cities series by explaining that the roots of today’s slow-motion refugee ‘disaster’ can be found in the region’s trend towards introversion… Source: Reviving the Mediterranean’s Lost Cosmopolitanism | Refugees Deeply Read More »

Careless Donald Trump is a danger to Australia and Asia

Donald Trump has made an idiotic and potentially incendiary claim about one of the world’s most flammable strategic tinder boxes. Asia has serious strategic problems. It needs serious strategic solutions. Instead, on the weekend it got the thoughts, if that’s what you can call them, of Donald Trump… Source: Careless Donald Trump is a danger to Australia and Asia Read More »