Opinion: The West still needs Turkey
Since the 19th century, Turkey has played a vital role in shoring up European security, but attempts to build a mutually beneficial relationship between its Muslim society and mostly Christian Europe have failed. Tensions continue today, and Turkey is the odd man out in the transatlantic system. Even so, Western leaders should find a way to work with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Realpolitik makes sense when vital European interests are at stake.
Trump’s options in the Afghan-Pakistan divide
The complicated task of stabilizing Afghanistan is made even more complex by the support Pakistan and other countries give the Taliban. The United States will have to navigate this web of interests and alliances carefully. An increase in American troop levels could deter some of the players in the region from destabilizing the country. For now, that scenario seems likely.
Trumping Cuba: back to the future
Donald Trump has rolled back with a flourish one of the signature diplomatic achievements of the Obama administration – the opening to Cuba. While playing to Cuban-American voters, however, the president left key elements of this predecessor's policy in place.
America edges back into the Middle East
The United States is cautiously reengaging in the Middle East. To deal with an explosive situation that threatens world peace, President Donald Trump must first tackle the legacy of the Obama years, which left Russia and Iran well entrenched in some of the region's Arab countries. Forcing them out may not be possible, but the U.S. could restore some equilibrium.
U.S. civil-military relations in the age of Trump
Controversy has erupted over relations between the civilian government and military leadership in U.S. President Donald Trump's administration. The president’s critics derided him first for appointing military officers to top political positions, then for marginalizing them. But a closer look reveals that the national security team agrees on the biggest issues. U.S. civil-military relations will likely remain stable, despite the public furor.
GIS Dossier: Global trade and protectionism
According to the economic law of comparative advantage, the whole world has benefited from the enormous expansion of international trade since 1980. But over the past decade, few countries have acted like they believe it. GIS experts look at the roots and likely future course of protectionism’s global resurgence.
Central America under Trump’s shadow
The Trump administration’s policies will have a huge impact on Central America – even if they are not intended to. A trade dispute with Mexico could end up benefitting the region. But tighter border security measures or cutting of funding for improving democratic institutions will prove disastrous.
Russia’s deeper involvement in Libya changes the game in the Middle East
It seems Western powers have again been caught off guard by Russia’s moves in the Middle East. This time, Moscow is stepping up cooperation with Libya, an old ally. Closer ties with the Tobruk government could give it a pretext to strengthen its presence there, and even potentially to establish military bases as in Syria. That would open a new can of worms for Europe and NATO.
Europe and the potential for a Trump-Putin deal
Given United States President Donald Trump’s praise of Russian President Vladimir Putin, European leaders are worried that a deal to normalize relations between the two countries could be in the works, causing upheaval in decades of value-based Western policies. While there is certainly reason for concern, the obstacles to such a deal being struck are huge.