Opinion: What kind of Russian meddling?
Russian “meddling” in other countries is so much a part of our political discourse that it has become fodder for jokes. But what is behind this interference, and who is doing the interfering? Visions of a centralized command center in the Kremlin ignore the freestyle nature of Russian politics in the Putin era, where teams of players tussle like bulldogs under a rug. But now the world is the playing field, and spy hysteria may only make a bad situation worse.
Opinion: Political implications of terminating the INF Treaty
President Donald Trump’s decision to pull out of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty is one in a series of withdrawals from contractual security arrangements. For the U.S., this step changes little in the bilateral relationship with Russia, but among European policymakers and media it has stirred up outrage. Paradoxically, this comes at a time when nuclear missiles – which are political weapons par excellence – have lost much of their significance in Europe.
GIS Dossier: The Italian case
Politically and financially, Italy has come to be regarded as a weak link in the European Union. Its shaky banks and enormous public debt almost blew apart the euro area during the debt crisis of 2010-2012, and could still do so. Its government, a marriage of populists on the left and right, claims to be the precursor of a protest wave that will sweep this year’s European Parliament elections. But as usual, it is hard to tell whether Italy is headed for disaster or more of the same.
2019 Outlook: U.S. foreign policy to stay the course
Unconventional as his leadership style may be, President Donald Trump, succeeded in 2018 in getting both U.S. allies and competitors to pay serious attention to his foreign policy agenda. His administration is undaunted in pursuing U.S. policy goals despite replacements of key officials in the president’s national security apparatus. Mr. Trump will remain focused on crushing transnational terrorist threats to the U.S. and its allies, and dealing with great power competition in Europe, the Middle East and Asia in 2019 before he turns his attention to his bid for reelection.
2019 Global Outlook: India turns inward
Ahead of parliamentary elections this spring, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has reinvented himself. Putting aside earlier economic reforms, his talk is mostly about social welfare. While the Indian leader focuses on wooing small-town voters, his government has put most foreign policy initiatives on hold. Whether Mr. Modi’s ruling BJP wins or loses, India may be due for a period of weaker government.
Japan’s new outreach in Asia
China’s rise as an economic and military colossus has transformed the geopolitics of East Asia. Its most powerful neighbor, Japan, has embarked on a more self-reliant course, even as it continues to lean heavily on its alliance with the United States. Tokyo is expanding its contacts, both economic and strategic, with Southeast Asia, India and Australia.
Opinion: In the U.S., the 2020 presidential race is on
For U.S. President Donald Trump, Republican defeat in the 2018 midterm elections at least turned the GOP into his party. With economic successes to his credit and growing constraints on his power imposed by a Democratic Congress, the question is whether he will tone down the polarizing style that has worked so well for him. On the domestic front, this seems unlikely, but international policy may provide an arena where Trumpism’s theatrical conflicts could yield constructive solutions.
U.S.-India ties are still strengthening
India imports oil from Iran and buys arms from Russia, while trying to mend fences with Beijing. All this seems anathema to American policy, and now President Donald Trump has turned down an invitation to visit India in January. But reports that the U.S.-India relationship is on the rocks are premature.
GIS Dossier: Europe as a global player: The Maghreb and sub-Saharan Africa
The most important part of Europe’s security perimeter in the 21st century may be its southern rim. The migration crisis of 2015 was only a foretaste of the demographic, economic and political pressures that are building up in the Maghreb and sub-Saharan Africa. Yet the approaches tried by European powers in this vital and growing region have generally failed. They need to get it right as new rival enters the neighborhood – China.