Thailand searches for a new balance between monarchy and modernity
Thailand has a wealth of geographic, historical and economic advantages, and yet it lags in terms of political liberalization. It is more monarchy than democracy, an arrangement that worked to its advantage during the Cold War but is now holding it back. At issue is whether the country can find a new balance between the forces of tradition and modernity. If not, Thailand may become too weak to resist China’s expanding influence in the region.
The Visegrad Group and Europe’s security system: a story to watch
NATO and the EU are the leading actors shaping European security, but there are also smaller players performing important roles. The Visegrad Group is one of them. Its member governments, though, are increasingly perceived in some European capitals as euroskeptic. Under adverse scenarios, this could lead to political and security problems for the EU. This report reviews how the V4 has contributed to Europe’s security system and what role it may play in the future.
GIS Dossier: NATO’s strategic dilemmas
NATO’s expansion into Central and Eastern Europe following its Cold War victory touched a raw nerve in Moscow, as, historically, the vast Russian empire protected itself by maintaining a buffer zone of dependent or client states along its perimeter. Russia appeared to have swallowed the “loss” of the Baltic states in the 1990s, but it drew the line in Ukraine two decades later. The prospect of an independent Ukraine joining Western structures has triggered a Russia-West conflict that NATO finds among the toughest challenges it is facing anywhere today.
What will it take to tame Russia?
British Prime Minister Theresa May pointedly accused the Kremlin of attempting to assassinate a former Russian intelligence operative and his daughter in the United Kingdom. Ms. May also managed to persuade the United States and key EU countries to join in a huge retaliatory expulsion of Russian diplomats. Yet, will mere gestures deter Russia from violating the rules of international behavior? Putting real money where the West’s moralizing mouth is still looks far from certain.
The waning Indo-Russian relationship
The Indo-Russian alliance was once one of Asia’s defining geopolitical relationships. While both sides are keeping up appearances, less and less is holding them together. The most important divergence is in geopolitical outlook: Moscow wants to contain the West, while New Delhi is most concerned about a rising China.
No rest for NATO strategists
Nobody – not NATO, not Europe, not even Russian President Vladimir Putin – wants another Cold War. But we have one anyway: a new, 21st century hybrid that has been creeping into our security establishment for almost a decade. NATO is still in the early stages of a necessary strategic adjustment, which may be delayed by elections and new governments in the United States and Europe.
Syria’s future: the losers and winners
For all the confusion about Syria’s civil war, there’s no doubt about the big loser – the Syrian people. But nearly every regional power that has intervened to advance its own interests has also paid a heavy price, as has the European Union, a not-so-innocent bystander. For now, the most likely winners are the former Cold War antagonists, the United States and Russ...
Europe at a crossroads: toward a global strategy
The European Union plans to adopt a “Global Strategy” for its foreign and security policies (EGS) at its June 22 summit. The document is the result of years of reflection on the increasing complexity of Europe’s external relations and interconnections. A fundamental problem for the EU is that neither its individual membe...
El Salvador counts on international help to curb gang violence
El Salvador is Central America’s most densely populated country. With six million people and a gross domestic product of $25 billion, its per capita GDP is $4,100 – not bad for a country generally considered poor by international standards. In the region, only Costa Rica does much better. El Salvador’s potential for further development is strong, but it is being he...
U.S. defense procurement to change after presidential election
For the rest of this election year, the United States military will endure a funding squeeze as politicians try to hold down federal spending. But rising demand for forces to operate against Daesh, (also known as Islamic State or ISIS) in the Middle East and South Asia is putting pressure on the Pentagon. Once the November elections are resolved, persistent public ...