Showing posts with label Europe. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Europe. Show all posts

18 November 2017

Trump, Brexit and Echoes of World War I

Tobin Harshaw 

Of all the famous things Mark Twain never actually said, perhaps none is repeated more often and with less justification than "history doesn't repeat, but it rhymes." And since the election of Donald Trump as president, history as verse has become a farce: He is Hitler, he is Stalin, he is Mao, he is Caligula, he is Cyrus the Great, he is Pharaoh, he is Joe McCarthy, he is Charles Lindbergh, he is King George III (both the sane and insaneversions), he is Julius Caesar, he is Hamlet, he is the Know-Nothing Party, he is Charles Manson, he is Jimmy Carter, he is Andrew Jackson, he is Herbert Hoover, he is Woodrow Wilson, he is -- wait, what: Woodrow Wilson? Seriously?

15 November 2017

Turkey: An Inconstant but Important U.S. Ally


The United States and Turkey don't fully trust each other, but neither can afford to alienate the other, ensuring they maintain functional diplomatic, security and economic relations. Washington and Ankara will remain at an impasse over certain points of contention as Turkey prioritizes national security goals that clash with U.S. objectives, and as the United States encounters legal barriers to adjusting its stance on Turkish extradition requests. Even greater discord between the two countries lies on the horizon, thanks to Turkey's ties with Russia and violations of U.S. sanctions that threaten to implicate the Turkish government.

The Potential Impact Of Catalan Crisis On Spanish Economy – Analysis

By William Chislett*

The crisis in Catalonia, sparked by the regional government’s illegal proclamation of an independent state last month, is already exacting a toll on the Catalan economy, and threatens to seriously weaken the wider Spanish economy if the situation is prolonged. The region plays a key role in the economy. Its GDP is slightly larger than Portugal’s and it generates one quarter of Spain’s exports.

13 November 2017

A Grand Tour of the Crisis in Europe

By SHERI BERMAN

The collapse of the Soviet Empire left Europe more united than ever before. Most of its countries shared a political (democratic) and economic (capitalist) system; Germany and Russia — the great powers that had caused so much instability in the past — were no longer threats, and the European Union was on the verge of incorporating much of Eastern Europe and creating a single currency. At the end of the 20th century, the view that a “united Europe” was on its way to becoming “the next global superpower,” and the West was at the dawn of a new golden era, was widespread.

10 November 2017

Two Sides of Europe’s Defense Coin

By Daniel Keohane

If Italy and Poland developed a strategic consensus and acted accordingly, it would be a revolution for European defense.

Toward the end of 2015, a few defense experts raised their eyebrows at a Credit Suisse report on the future of globalization. This wide-ranging assessment contained a short analysis of global military power, ranking the top 20 countries in the world. Weighing six elements of conventional warfare, the Credit Suisse analysts considered Poland a stronger military power than Germany, and Italy came ahead of the United Kingdom.

6 November 2017

Turkey and the West: How Bad is It?

By Suat Kiniklioglu

The U.S. suspension of visa services in Turkey is an indication of the depth of the fissures between the West and Turkey. While Turkish bureaucrats are trying to maintain functioning relations with the West, there are growing calls in Washington, Ankara and Berlin to redefine Turkey policy. Is Turkey headed for an incremental divorce with the West?

Background

Since 2011 but more visibly since the 2013 Gezi Park protests, Turkey’s relations with the U.S. and the EU have become increasingly tense. Turkey’s ever deepening authoritarianism, virulent anti-Westernism and recent flirting with Russia and China have made dealing with Ankara a considerable challenge. Interestingly, Turkey’s turn toward authoritarian one-man-rule has come after a period of impressive economic growth, increasing political weight and overall recognition as a regional power house from 2003 to 2011.

3 November 2017

Russia Field-Tested Hybrid Warfare in Ukraine. Why That Matters for US.

By Nolan Peterson

Since 2014 Russia has used Ukraine as a testing ground for its hybrid warfare doctrine, underscoring what some security experts say is a case study for the new kinds of security threats the U.S. and its Western allies can anticipate from Moscow. “The threats Ukraine faces are harbingers of things to come for the U.S. and its other allies,” said Junaid Islam, chief technology officer and president of Vidder, a California-based cybersecurity firm that does work in Ukraine.

The Catalan dream will not be extinguished by force


It’s remarkable what you can learn in Slovenia. At a conference on politics, security and development in Bled earlier this year, I was lucky enough to chat to the Catalan delegates, proudly representing the interests and wisdom of their ancient principality. With considerable poise and dignity, they seemed to me to be channelling Pericles on the Athenians: we do not imitate, but are a model to others.

2 November 2017

*** Catalonia Takes the Independence Leap


The standoff over Catalan independence has entered a new phase of political fragility, economic uncertainty and social unrest. On Oct. 27, the Catalan parliament approved to unilaterally declare independence from Spain. Shortly after, the Spanish Senate authorized a series of measures against the rebellious region, dismissing members of the Catalan government and seizing several Catalan institutions, including the treasury, the interior ministry and the regional police. The central Spanish government in Madrid has no intention of permanently controlling Catalonia. It wants instead to hold regional elections Dec. 21 to elect a new Catalan government, though it will struggle in the meantime to actually enforce its punitive actions.

Up to this point, the Catalan conflict has been characterized by delay tactics, threats and ambiguity from both sides. Catalonia's Oct. 27 declaration of independence makes the conflict more concrete, but no less convoluted. This is the first time since the end of the Spanish Civil War that a region has openly challenged Madrid; it is the first time since Spain's return to democracy in the late 1970s that Madrid has decided to take direct control of an autonomous region's institutions. Whatever happens next, it will be unprecedented.

How Brexit has made Britain the new sick man of Europe


BY GEORGE EATON

In the 1970s, Britain was often more pitied than envied or admired, its economy characterised by little or no growth, high inflation and rising unemployment. This was the era of “stagflation”.

Weary of being outpaced by its continental competitors, the UK belatedly joined the European Economic Community in 1973. In 1976, the plummeting value of the pound forced Jim Callaghan’s Labour government to humiliatingly accept a £2.3bn bailout from the International Monetary Fund, the largest in its three-decade history. Britain became known as “the sick man of Europe” – a label first applied by Russia’s Tsar Nicholas I to the Ottoman empire in 1853. “Britain is a tragedy,” observed the then US secretary of state, Henry Kissinger, in 1975. “It has sunk to begging, borrowing and stealing until North Sea oil comes in.”

1 November 2017

Warning of the coming “Strange Death of Europe”


Larry Kummer

Summary: Immigration and loss of confidence in its culture and values. Either is survivable for Europe as a society. The combination might not be. Here is the Introduction from The Strange Death of Europe, a controversial book about one of the great stories of our time. This is the second in a series about this book. Europe is committing suicide. Or at least its leaders have decided to commit suicide. Whether the European people choose to go along with this is, naturally, another matter. When I say that Europe is in the process of killing itself, I do not mean that the burden of European Commission regulation has become overbearing or that the European Convention on Human Rights has not done enough to satisfy the demands of a particular community.


30 October 2017

Europe’s Border Problem

By George Friedman

For centuries Europe has fought wars over borders. During the 19th century and the first half of the 20th century, Europe’s borders shifted wildly, as empires fragmented, new nations arose and wars were waged. After 1945 and the beginning of the Cold War, a new principle emerged on the Continent. The borders that existed at the end of World War II were deemed sacrosanct, not to be changed. The confrontation of the United States and the Soviet Union in Europe was enormously dangerous. It was understood that border disputes had been one of the origins of the two world wars and that even raising the legitimacy of post-war borders risked igniting passions that led to violence.

15 October 2017

Turkey Poised to Roll Into Syria


Weeks after Turkish forces started to deploy in large numbers along the border with Syria, adjacent to the province of Idlib, Ankara appears to be on the verge of launching yet another significant military operation into the war-torn country. Unlike Operation Euphrates Shield, which targeted lands occupied by the Islamic State, the upcoming operation into Idlib will be directed toward lands occupied by Syrian rebels. As befitting a convoluted conflict such as Syria, Turkey's advance into Idlib will be assisted by other Syrian rebel groups trained over time by Turkey in neighboring Aleppo province. And according to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's latest statements, they will be supported by Russian aviation.

IN BETWEEN SECURITY ARRANGEMENTS: THE TROJAN HORSE OF MILITARY INTERMARIUM

JACEK SARYUSZ-WOLSKI

“Who rules East Europe commands the Heartland; who rules the Heartland commands the World-Island; who rules the World-Island commands the world.” Every scholar of international relations knows this formula uttered by the geopolitics pioneer Halford Mackinder almost a century ago. While the geopolitical center of gravity may have since moved towards the Asia-Pacific, these words still apply to security and stability in Europe.

If War with Russia Breaks Out, Borders and Bureaucracy Could Slow the West’s Response

BY CAROLINE HOUCK

A 2,200-kilometer road trip across Europe with a Stryker brigade combat team takes a while. It takes even longer if the convoy sits, sweltering under the summer sun, waiting for paperwork to be stamped at border crossings both international and municipal.

14 October 2017

The Ominous, Massive Military Exercises in Eastern Europe

REID STANDISH

On September 14, Russia and Belarus launched a massive military exercise along their western borders and in the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad. It’s meant to mimic war with three invented adversaries: Veishnoriya, the Western-backed aggressor in the scenario, is intent on driving a wedge between Russia and Belarus. Along with its two allies, Lubeniya and Vesbasriya, the imagined countries present a major threat to Russian security. More real, however, is the fear among Russia’s neighbors that such a situation could soon become a reality. 

13 October 2017

A ‘common European home’


Mike Scrafton

For Russia, the great prize is a Europe where it’s accepted on equal terms with other European nations and can share in Europe’s economic and technological progress. A ‘common European home’ was a core element of the Gorbachev revolution and remains an objective today.

12 October 2017

What Makes the Ukraine a Hotbed of Intrigue and Scandal? Or Why You Can’t Trust the Ukrainian Security Service

Andrew E. Higgins and Andrew Kramer

POLTAVA, Ukraine — After four years of investigation by the German police, the F.B.I. and other crime-fighting agencies around the world, heavily armed security officers stormed an apartment in the central Ukrainian town of Poltava. After a brief exchange of gunfire, they captured their prey: the man suspected of leading a cybercrime gang accused of stealing more than $100 million.


8 October 2017

Catalonia's Bid for Independence Is a Zero-Sum Game


When asked about Madrid's potential reaction to the independence process in Catalonia, many Catalans used to say, "as soon as they send the tanks, they will have lost the battle." On Oct. 1, the Spanish

5 October 2017

Chaos in Catalonia An unconstitutional vote on independence turns nasty


THEY were scenes the Spanish government did not want to see. Across Catalonia, in north-eastern Spain, tens of thousands of people turned out to cast votes in an unconstitutional referendum on secession organised by the regional government. Spain’s conservative prime minister, Mariano Rajoy, had vowed that the referendum would not take place. Spanish riot police shut down over 300 polling stations, causing many injuries, though most of them minor. But several thousand others were functioning, albeit slowly, as a cyberwar unfolded in the background over internet access to the voter roll.