Diplomacy

A “People’s War”: How China Plans to Dominate the South China Sea

“Essaying some foresight into these matters now could pay off handsomely if China tries to put General Chang’s—and Mao’s—strategic concept into practice.” James Holmes The National Interest By all means, let’s review China’s way of war, discerning what we can about Chinese warmaking habits and reflexes. But these are not automatons replaying the Maoist script… How they might transpose Maoist doctrine to the offshore arena—and how an unruly coalition can surmount such a challenge—is the question before friends of maritime ... Read More »

Why Assange and Ecuador Fell Out

Seven years ago, Julian Assange seemed at the height of his powers—a superstar information warrior behind the biggest leak in history—when he faced his first major legal blow. Dan Collyns NYR Daily He had lost a long fight against extradition to Sweden, where two women had accused him of rape. The possibilities for the rootless WikiLeaks founder, who was used to working from other people’s sofas and hotel rooms around the world, narrowed rapidly. Fearing that the Swedish investigation could ... Read More »

To Counter China and Russia, U.S. Mulls Inviting Hungary’s Orban to D.C.

Team Trump is trying to pull Hungary back from its cozy relationship with Moscow and Beijing. But it comes at a cost, critics say. By Robbie Gramer, Amy Mackinnon FP The Trump administration is expected to invite Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban to Washington this month in what would be a public relations coup for the Central European leader, who has flouted democratic norms and… According to four current and former U.S. officials familiar with internal talks, Orban is expected ... Read More »

Picking Up the Pieces After Venezuela’s Quashed Uprising

A failed uprising by Venezuelan National Assembly Chair Juan Guaidó has emboldened President Nicolás Maduro and deepened the country’s political deadlock. ICG However difficult, outside actors should continue to press the two sides to form a transitional cabinet, stabilise Venezuela’s economy and hold elections. The events that shook Caracas on 30 April remain shrouded in mystery, but their immediate impact seems clear: further polarising a political stand-off and raising the likelihood of domestic or… They began with the… Picking Up ... Read More »

Voting Capacity

Why European Parliament elections matter A citizen’s relationship with the voting process is contingent on their understanding of their country’s history and of the state of its politics. Above all, however, it is founded on the citizen’s notion of how they can affect change. Nicholas Karides * Citizens who vote in national parliamentary elections usually have a good grasp of their legislature’s role and work, but what prompts them to actually make the trip to the polling station is that ... Read More »

Venezuela’s Guaidó accused of coup attempt by government

Venezuelan authorities say they are putting down a small coup attempt after opposition leader Juan Guaidó announced he was in the “final phase” of ending President Nicolás Maduro’s rule. BBC He appeared in a video with uniformed men, saying he had military support. Mr Guaidó, who declared himself interim president in January, called for more members of the military to help him end Mr Maduro’s “usurpation” of power. But military leaders appeared to be standing behind Mr Maduro. Venezuela’s defence ... Read More »

Why Europe Needs a Security Council

In the new world of great power competition, European cooperation is vital for survival.  That’s why a new institution is needed. Ulrich Speck Berlin Policy Journal The end of any hope for liberal convergence; the tougher tone in international affairs; the United States’ focus on competition with China, and also with Russia; Donald Trump’s ruthlessness toward… Europeans increasingly realize that to leave defense and strategic leadership largely to the US and to focus mainly on domestic affairs isn’t going to ... Read More »

Council of Despair? The Fragmentation of UN Diplomacy

Wracked by divisions and political infighting, the UN Security Council is failing to respond to some of the world’s most pressing crises. ICG To overcome dysfunction and retain credibility, the council’s members should prioritise the few cases where international cooperation is still possible. What’s new?  Longstanding doubts about the effectiveness of the UN Security Council are intensifying, due to deepening tensions among the U.S. and its allies and between Western powers and Russia and China. Why does it matter?  As ... Read More »

“There’s Always Hope!”

Since 1989, the West has become stuck in the “politics of eternity,” failing to think either about the past or the future, argues historian TIMOTHY SNYDER in an interview. Timothy Snyder Berlin Policy Journal It’s high time this changed. Is this the end of the West as we know it? It might be. But it’s up to us. Over the last 25 years or so, we have contributed to the Western decline because we have failed to actually think about ... Read More »

No Ever Closer Union

Pro-Europeans have long avoided a debate on the end goal of EU integration. Heinrich August Winkler Berlin Policy Journal It’s time for honesty: ever closer cooperation between member states is the only realistic way forward. In the run-up to the European Parliament elections, none of the German political parties has shown quite as much ambition as the Free Democratic Party (FDP). In its election program, adopted at the end of January 2019, the pro-business liberal party calls for the convening ... Read More »

White House ignores Erdoğan’s proposal for S-400 working group in readout

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan put forward a proposal to create a working group on the Russian S-400 air defence system during phone call with his U.S. counterpart Donald Trump on… Tiny Url Ahval The Turkish President “brought up the proposal to establish a working group regarding the procurement of the S-400 defence system from the Russian Federation,” Ankara’s statement on the… The White House approximately 3 hours after the release of the Turkish statement, sent out a readout for ... Read More »

Would a nuclear war erupt over South China Sea dispute?

Islets of desire: There are far too many warships in the disputed maritime territory Jay Hilotin, Web Editor  and  Christian Borbon, Web Producer Gulf News “Mischief” means “a cause of harm, evil, irritation”. A reef (rock, sand or coral just above or below the sea surface) called Mischief has many other names — it’s called Meiji Jaio by China; Panganiban by the Philippines, Meiji Reef by Taiwan; and Da Vahn Khan by Vietnam. Names and wordings are a big deal in ... Read More »

Ukraine’s president-elect Zelensky offers passports to Russians

President-elect Volodymyr Zelensky dismissed an offer by Vladimir Putin to provide passports to Ukrainians, and pledged instead to grant citizenship to Russians who “suffer” under the Kremlin’s rule. KIEV – Agence France-Presse Hurriyet The Russian president on April 27 said Moscow was considering plans to make it easier for all Ukrainians to obtain Russian citizenship, after it earlier moved to grant passports in the country’s separatist east. Kiev has been fighting Moscow-backed rebels in eastern Ukraine since 2014 in a war that has killed 13,000. Zelensky, a comedian ... Read More »

Brexit boosts support for Scottish independence to 49 percent

Polling company YouGov says rise driven by Remain voters. Anca Gurzu Politico Support for Scottish independence has risen to 49 percent, its highest level since 2015, according to a poll released today. Asked whether Scotland should be an independent country, 49 percent of respondents said ‘yes,’ according to a YouGov poll conducted this week for the Times. That’s up from 45 percent in June 2018. The change seems to be largely driven by Remain voters, the polling company said, with attitudes having ... Read More »

Should Trump Worry About the Putin-Xi Meeting?

The Chinese-Russian bilateral relationship is better than at many points in the past, but it remains superficial. Doug Bandow The National Interest Russian president Vladimir Putin left his meeting with North Korea’s Kim Jong-un to journey to Beijing. The former’s destination: a forum on China’s infamous Belt and Road initiative, where Putin announced the approval of a toll road tying Belarus to Kazakhstan. The more important objective, though, for the Russian leader was meeting with Chinese president Xi Jinping. The ... Read More »

Post-Bouteflika Algeria: Growing Protests, Signs of Repression

A groundswell of popular unrest has ended Bouteflika’s twenty-year rule and brought Algeria to a fork in the road. ICG The regime should embark on substantive reforms and enter dialogue with protest leaders in order to prevent the cycle of mass protests and repressive counter-measures spiralling out of control. What’s new? On 2 April, Abdelaziz Bouteflika, Algeria’s aging and ailing president, resigned under pressure from the military. The move was the result of five weeks of street protests at the ... Read More »