The second-most dangerous thing in international politics is to draw a red line without truly meaning it…[b]ut the very most dangerous thing is to blur a red line that really is there. Donald Trump’s persistent soft talk invites the Russians to misconstrue what’s on the other side of that line.
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NATO will celebrate its 70th birthday in 2019. Its original intent was to protect against a resurgence of Germany and to stymie the Communist bear. Times change and so must NATO. The United States and a new NATO must turn to de-escalating tensions with Russia.
Because of its location, Georgia is an indispensable partner in the fight against the traffic of arms, nuclear materials, biological agents and ISIS fighters. And Georgians have fought in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as in Kosovo, the Central African Republic and the Mediterranean. And Georgia carries its own weight.
Before handing the keys to the White House to Donald Trump, Barack Obama is taking a final, presidential lap around the world.
Obama started his three country trip in the birthplace of democracy, Greece. Then it’s on to Berlin to thank Chancellor Angela Merkel for her support during his term. The pair will also meet with the leaders of Great Britain, France, Italy and Spain. Afterward, Obama flies to Peru for the annual Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit.
In each stop, American allies, and perhaps some foes, will seek reassurance from Obama about the future under a Trump presidency.
With names like former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani, former U.N. ambassador John Bolton, Senate Foreign Relations chairman Bob Corker and South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley floated as possible choices for Trump’s Secretary of State, there is no shortage of foreign policy speculation and suggestions.
Seen through the eyes of a European, it has been more than interesting. It has been, in turn, riveting, appalling, and at times frightening. Assumptions we have long taken for granted, assumptions central to the foundations of the U.S.-European alliance, have suddenly become open for discussion.
As Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan sought to mend fences with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday, the rift between Ankara and Washington seemed to widen a little more.
Turkey’s Justice Minister fired verbal a warning shot to the United States: hand over cleric Fethullah Gulen, who Turkey claims was behind a July coup attempt, or risk sacrificing America’s relationship with its NATO ally.
Gulen has been living in self-exile in the U.S. since 1999. State Department spokeswoman Elizabeth Trudeau says extraditing Gulen is a “legal, technical process…governed by a 1981 extradition treaty.”
Turkey and Russia have been on opposite ends of the war in Syria, magnified in November when a Russian warplane that strayed into Turkish airspace was shot down. Now, foreign policy experts are trying to read the tea leaves from the Erdogan-Putin get together.
by James Kirchick Once again, Donald Trump has unsettled America’s allies and brought joy to its adversaries. In an interview last week with the New York Times, the Republican Party presidential nominee reiterated his shoddy understanding of how international alliances and deterrence strategy work. Asked if the United States would come to the defense of […]
It is only a matter of time before more such dangerous incidents between Russian and U.S. or NATO forces occur. The question then will be how well-equipped both sides are to manage the consequences. Judging by the state of the relationship overall, the answer is not very well at all.
The attempted coup in Turkey demonstrated the practicalities and pitfalls of how alliances work.
Without mentioning him by name, President Obama reiterated his “unwavering support for the democratically-elected, civilian Government” of Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Obama’s paper statement on Saturday specifically mentioned needing Turkey’s cooperation against terrorism (read: Islamic State.)
Erdogan was slow to allow the U.S. to use Incirlik Air Base to launch attacks against ISIS. He has cracked down on human rights, free speech and freedom of the press.
But Turkey is an ally the United States and NATO need if there is hope for peace in the Middle East.
The White House and State Department believe the only way to make progress in Syria is to work with Moscow, even if that means setting the isolation effort aside. That makes some sense, only if Russia actually honors its agreements in Syria and makes progress resolving the Ukraine crisis. But neither of these things is happening.
By Barbara Slavin The results of the British referendum on leaving the European Union are another reminder of how much more thoughtful and yes, mature, the millennial generation is turning out to be. By large majorities, Britons under 45 voted to remain in the EU while their elders, with fewer years to bear the consequences, tossed […]
Russia´s greatest cyber advantage is its wealth of the most important cyber asset: skilled and well-educated people. The government recruits and harnesses individuals with innovation and aplomb — for example, allowing its intelligence services to offer employment to hackers convicted of cyber crimes in lieu of prison.
Rather than contemplating the actual nature, real risks and final purposes of Russia’s demonstratively aggressive posture, NATO’s generals are fighting the last war – the Cold one – over again….NATO’s/EU’s resulting incomplete and misconceived rebuttals are serving, rather than containing, the Kremlin. And they are increasing insecurity in Eastern Europe, rather than decreasing it.
Since the Cold War, the United States has been at a loss to define its national strategy. It attempted to respond to 9/11 as it did to Pearl Harbor, with a multi-theater campaign built on conventional force. It tried to create an alliance structure to support its efforts….But this approach has not worked.
The kind of conventional military conflict that NATO was designed to deter — a Red Army invasion of Western Europe — is more of a danger now that at any time since the fall of the Berlin War. Russia under Vladimir Putin has rebuilt its military and has undertaken a series of invasion of its […]