Opinion: How not to resolve the Venezuelan crisis
Venezuela’s constitutional coup has cleared the way from President Nicolas Maduro to suppress the opposition. But with the economy in tatters, the death toll in street protests rising, and the officer corps on the verge of splintering, the government may be more open to international mediation than first appears. The only way this works, however, is if the United States stays out.
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.
The Trump presidency – will the system keep working?
Donald Trump has complained about a cloud hanging over his presidency. To a considerable degree, it is of his own making. But the relentlessness and intensity of the Trump-hunt in the media has also been without precedent, and has served to disguise the weakness of the Democratic opposition and a growing split within the Republican party. Perhaps the only way the U.S. government can continue to function is for President Trump to reach across the aisle.
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.
Macron and the German project
After Brexit, the European Union is composed of two sorts of countries – those willing to recognize German leadership, and those reluctant to do so. With the project of an ever-closer union now defunct, the EU’s internal debate has shifted to what Germany wants and how much it is willing to compromise. A lot depends on the position of France and its new president.
Opinion: The United Nations – missing in action
Dag Hammarskjold was one of the great secretary generals of the United Nations. The Swedish economist-turned-diplomat died in a plane crash in 1961, while trying to negotiate a ceasefire in the Congo. More than half a century later, his courage is missed. Is there any way for Hammarskjold's successors to reconnect the UN with its mission?
Kim Jong-nam murder challenges China
For decades, China has put up with the antics of the Kim family in Pyongyang to keep the Korean peninsula divided. But the spectacular murder of dictator Kim Jong-un’s half brother may have stretched Beijing’s patience to the breaking point.
Return of shale? Scenarios for the Trump administration
The first shipments of what promises to be a flood of shale gas from the United States have reached Asia. These exports could dramatically increase U.S. political leverage in the region. Most importantly, they have the potential to forge new bonds with China in a time of stress and help check Russian expansion.