Friday, October 23, 2020

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 …

Will ASEAN survive the new geopolitical competition between the US and China?

Will ASEAN survive the new geopolitical competition between the US and China?
By Kishore Mahbubani

US-China relations were always destined to end in difficult territory. Whenever the world’s number two power (today China) is about to overtake the world’s number one power (today USA), relations inevitably get difficult. However, the inherent difficulties are likely to be aggravated by the election of Donald Trump. He has shown virtually no diplomatic restraint …

Terror is the dark side of globalization, where people, alliances and old institutions are losing their base

By Elmar Thevessen

What is the difference between the West and the terrorists of the Islamic State (IS) and Al Qaeda? They want to save the world, but the West only wants to save itself. Sounds far-fetched? Provocative? Insulting? None of the above. It is a realistic analysis, as long as the West allows it to be seen …

When is a cyber attack an act of war?

By Georg Mascolo

If foreign soldiers attack Germany, Berlin would more or less know how to react. Responses in such situations often involve familiar political procedures, trained armed forces and regulations dictated by international law.

However, if Germany becomes the target of a cyber attack, things would look a bit different. It could be that no one really …

Five forces that are making global security “liquid”

Five forces that are making global security “liquid”
By Mark Leonard

As the liberal order frays and geopolitical competition returns, it is natural that people turn to Henry Kissinger. No one has a more finely grained understanding of power politics, and his latest treatise, World Order, sits on the bedside tables of many global leaders, even if few have actually read it. But Kissinger’s ideas of …

Africa’s progress is a global common good. Investment in its future is a matter of security – and economic opportunity

By Horst Köhler

On the evening of President Trump’s inauguration, I was having dinner with a group of friends and colleagues, many of them from Africa. There was a sense of disbelief, of defiance, but also of sadness in the room – sadness that a nation whose very strength was built on openness and optimism would now slam …

Making states responsible for their activities in cyberspace

Making states responsible for their activities in cyberspace
By Annegret Bendiek and Ben Wagner

Cyberwar continues to serve as a hot topic in many of the discussions on the future of war. Yet despite the persistent debate about warfare on the internet, it is questionable whether cyberwar has actually taken place in the past or is likely to occur in future. Ever since states engaged in international security policy, …