Peace in Europe and the importance of NATO
Tensions are rising as global power shifts toward China and Russia. Europe’s security is at risk. The countries on this northwestern edge of the Eurasian-African landmass must understand their special position in limiting incursions from the east toward the North Atlantic. This means providing for a robust defense and establishing a credible deterrent. If Europe fails to do this, it could become the battlefield in the next great global war.
Surprising evolution in U.S. policy toward Ukraine
In no time, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko was elevated from Donald Trump’s doghouse to the status of an honored guest at the White House. The U.S. president has discovered reasons to demonstrate to his NATO allies, and the world, his tough stand on Russia. As East-West tension mounts, the conflict over Donbas, a portion of eastern Ukraine captured by Moscow-backed secessionists, may quickly degenerate into a U.S.-Russia proxy war.
GIS Dossier: Nuclear energy
The 2011 Fukushima disaster brought nuclear energy development programs around the world to a screeching halt – temporarily. Though Germany plans to fully phase out nuclear power production, Japan has brought several reactors back online, and other countries have restarted construction on nuclear plants. These developments have had huge geopolitical effects: Germany’s fossil fuel imports from Russia have grown, while China has found an opening to increase its sway on four continents by financing nuclear projects.
Protectionism undermines European principles
Emmanuel Macron came to office promising to liberalize the French economy and reduce the role of the state. But his government is already turning protectionist, threatening to “temporarily nationalize” a shipyard. The move undermines European and liberal principles.
What Russia gains from militarizing the Arctic
Russia’s military buildup in the Arctic continues apace, complete with a state-of-the-art forward base not far from Norway. The moves are meant to protect strategic nuclear submarines and tactical nuclear weapons – and put NATO in a tight spot. The alliance has yet to come up with a clear, decisive response.
Outlook improves for Latin American economies
The economic news coming out of Latin America is finally somewhat positive. Stagnation seems to be turning into growth. However, most of this is due to a recovery in commodity prices. Underlying structural problems, especially inequality, persist. Sustainable economic growth in the coming years will require smart domestic policy choices and lowering barriers to intra-regional trade.
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.
Brexit and the sunset of European influence in Asia-Pacific
Though the Asia-Pacific region seems too far away to be affected by Brexit, the UK’s departure from the EU will have a profound impact on the region. While it will reduce the bloc’s significance in the region’s affairs, the UK’s status may suffer as well. Asia-Pacific states will likely look to countries such as Germany to act as a new counterweight to China and the United States.
North Korea crisis reveals true nature of Russia-China relationship
Many people seem to believe that China and Russia have a close relationship and can work together to solve issues the United States struggles with. But Moscow’s failure to inform Beijing of a U.S. strike in Syria and Russia’s energy exports to North Korea tell a different story.
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.