Wednesday, October 20, 2021

The EU will survive Brexit. But will NATO?

The EU will survive Brexit. But will NATO?
By Daniel Keohane

The United Kingdom is leaving the European Union. Is the EU fragmenting, or will EU governments consolidate while finally getting their act together on defense? Donald Trump is the president of the United States. Is NATO increasingly obsolete, or will Europeans contribute more and convince Washington not to scale back its military commitment to European …

No German foreign policy interest is more vital than fortifying a stable Europe

By Wolfgang Ischinger

When Germany’s President Joachim Gauck, Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen and Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier argued at the Munich Security Conference in early 2014 that Germany would need to assume greater responsibility in foreign and security policy, the world was still comparatively stable and European security relatively intact.

Since then, however, with the annexation …

Fighting in Eastern Ukraine is worse than it has been for a long time – time for Kiev to act generously

By Frank Hofmann

At the end of January, fighting in Eastern Ukraine escalated again. On that weekend, newly elected US President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke by phone for the first time. Many in Ukraine saw a connection between this call and the fighting for the town of Avdiivka. But this renewed escalation in the …

What NATO and the EU can do to contain the threat

What NATO and the EU can do to contain the threat
By François Heisbourg

During the first two decades of the post- Cold War era, nuclear weapons as a factor of European security disappeared from the public eye. They only gained intermittent prominence as part of a broader discussion of non-proliferation, the Iranian nuclear program, or of abolition after President Barack Obama’s speech in Prague in 2009. Nukes had …

Old alliances in the age of “America First”

Old alliances in the age of “America First”
By Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg and Ulf Gartzke

America’s political pendulum has swung back once again – and this time in a “huge” and unparalleled way. GOP Congressman and Donald Trump supporter Tom Cole put it succinctly when he commented on the 45th president’s inauguration: “It really is a leap into the dark. And I think that’s true for the country and that’s …

Europe reacts to “America First”

By Jean-Marie Guéhenno

It is unclear whether US President Donald Trump is aware of the history behind the expression “America First,” the term he uses to describe his foreign policy vision. The catchphrase was first used just before World War II by isolationists who opposed any American engagement in the mounting European crisis. The echo of that dark …

We can – and must – build on the unity of the transatlantic alliance

By Sigmar Gabriel

The paradigm of a world in crisis is dominating the international debate. “Post-truth?”, “Post- West?”, “Post-order?” are questions certain to be raised at the Munich Security Conference. In the echo chambers of the “every nation for itself” ideologists, it sounds as if we are already on the slippery slope towards a Hobbesian system in which …

An unorthodox view of the Israel-Palestine problem

By Michael Wolffsohn

First, the thesis: The twostate solution is not a solution. It only creates new problems. “Israel here, Palestine there” sounds good, and was recently repostulated by the United Nations, Barack Obama and John Kerry, but it won’t bring about the desired peace.

The goal: Individual and collective self-determination.

The premises: The configuration of states in …

An isolated Turkey is turning towards Russia and away from Europe and the US

By Özlem Topçu

Just a few years ago, observers and commentators could barely contain their enthusiasm. Turkey was long regarded as the only Muslim democracy in the Middle East, a “model state” proving that a predominantly Islamic country could in fact develop into a democracy. Its unique geographical situation also made it a great advantage for Western governments, …

The Trump administration adds uncertainty to the standoff in the South China Sea

By Carlyle Thayer

A new phase of strategic uncertainty has emerged in relations between China and the United States under the Trump administration on a number of issues, including maritime security in the South China Sea. Rising tensions create the prospect of a downturn in bilateral relations or, worse, a confrontation at sea or in the air over …

How can India raise the costs of Pakistan’s troubling actions towards its neighbor?

By Shashi Tharoor

Following the terrorist attack in Uri in September of last year, Indian commentators, in understandable outrage, suggested a number of rather dramatic courses of action against Pakistan. These ranged from “surgical strikes” against terrorist training camps in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK) or even at Muridke, near Lahore, to the abrogation of the Indus Waters Treaty, …

Is the Middle East becoming a zone full of half-forgotten, widely misinterpreted wars?

By Dan Smith

When Lord Louis MountbatteDn became Supreme Allied Commander, South East Asia Command in 1943, he visited various units of the 14th Army that later retook Burma from Japanese forces. On these visits, it is said that he made the same joke time and again: “I understand you believe you’re the forgotten army. That’s not true. …

US-China relations in the year of living dangerously

US-China relations in the year of living dangerously
By Kevin Rudd

Chinese New Year in the Middle Kingdom is a time for celebration and relaxation with family and friends. Yet this year, many of Beijing’s decision-makers begin the Year of the Rooster with a deep sense of unease about the future. This is in part the product of uncertainty about future policy directions of the new …

The Middle East in flux

By Volker Perthes

For decades, at least through the Cold War and into the US-led invasion of Iraq, the Middle East formed a highly conflicted, but rather durable “regional security complex” (Barry Buzan). It was defined by the geopolitical conflict between East and West, the region’s oil-dependent political economy, and rather stagnant political systems. Change was limited, but …

Assessing the state of the Iran nuclear deal

By Seyed Hossein Mousavian

There has long been much handwringing in Washington over Iran’s ballistic missiles. They are portrayed as a threat to regional security developed with the aim of one day being armed with nuclear warheads. Yet those missiles form an integral part of Iran’s defensive military posture, which is fundamentally geared towards deterring attack.

When it comes …