The sense and nonsense of economic sanctions
Economic sanctions are occasionally useful in trade conflicts, but they work poorly when employed as a political tool. The United States and the EU would have accomplished more had they responded to Russia’s 2014 aggression against Ukraine with immediate increases in defense spending and kept their military options open.
Border conflicts in the Balkans
Nearly three decades after the breakup of Yugoslavia, the borders in the Balkans are still up for debate. Eight unresolved border disputes are dividing countries in the region, pitting European Union and NATO members against each other and threatening the integration of several EU candidates. Some of these disputes will likely last for years to come, as the enmity of past conflicts gets in the way of negotiations.
U.S. security policy toward Europe: The next phase
One of the most frequently asked questions about President Donald Trump’s foreign policy is what it plans to do about Europe. The answer to that is now clearer, though not necessarily the disaster for transatlantic relations that the G7 summit in Quebec appeared to be. What Washington has in mind is unsettling enough – regional stability and security, yes, but through bilateral engagement, and with much more combative economic policies.
In Western capitals, shifting attitudes on China
Washington and Europe’s major capitals are taking a more critical view of China, and concern about the implications of Chinese investment is on the rise. The question is whether these governments can align their policies to formulate a coordinated response to the challenges posed by China’s rise. The international rules-based order is at stake.
Is the North Atlantic partnership in danger?
Over the past couple of decades, Europe has been quick to criticize the United States – especially when the man in the White House was not someone to European leaders’ liking. Nevertheless, Europe has not shied away from accepting U.S. protection. This hypocrisy is taking a toll on the Western alliance and undermining European and American interests around the globe.
The fragile German-French axis heads toward isolation
Germany and France want to lead the European Union, but their leaders, Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Emmanuel Macron, have adopted policies that endanger the bloc. Calls for greater centralization will alienate other member states, while hypocritical criticism of the U.S. and Russia will leave the Union isolated.
The new German government: a political shambles
The coalition agreement between the CDU-CSU and the SPD in Germany is the result of broken promises and abandoned principles. If the government comes about, its policies will be tilted even further to the left. The only tangible result will be more government spending. Germany is facing a crisis of leadership, and the only way to solve it is through new elections or a series of “coups d’etat” within the established parties.
Europe and Germany’s coalition of ‘losers’
Germany’s Christian Democrats and Social Democrats were the biggest losers of September’s federal elections, and yet they are about to form a coalition government. This bodes ill for the country and for Europe, as both parties have consistently chosen the road of expediency and populism, rather than addressing the country’s or the continent’s real problems. It has all the ingredients to break Europe’s fragile cohesion.
2018 Global Outlook: The Euro-Atlantic relationship
The transatlantic relationship can be described as a family matter – with the United States as the mostly benevolent patriarch and Europe as the dependent relatives. Relations had been cooling for at least a decade, but this process is being expedited by the presidency of Donald Trump. Both sides seem to agree that Europe needs to grow up and take charge of its own destiny. If so, we could be headed for a stormy late adolescence.