George W. Bush
Is the North Atlantic partnership in danger?
Over the past couple of decades, Europe has been quick to criticize the United States – especially when the man in the White House was not someone to European leaders’ liking. Nevertheless, Europe has not shied away from accepting U.S. protection. This hypocrisy is taking a toll on the Western alliance and undermining European and American interests around the globe.
Opinion: Trade wars are bad, and nobody wins them
United States President Donald Trump insists that trade wars are “good” and “easy to win,” but history tells otherwise. His plan to slap tariffs on steel and aluminum imports will hurt U.S. producers and will likely cost far more jobs than they protect. The retaliation for such measures could hit global growth hard and lead to economic nationalism – a similar scenario occurred in the run-up to World War II.
Opinion: Conventional measures give false reassurance on global risk
Conventional measures could be the wrong ones to gauge the risk of a financial shock to the global economy. Imbalances created by cheap money are building up in the economy. A close look at market capitalization, share buybacks, and interest-rate spreads presents a troubling picture.
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.
The West’s leadership crisis as a Russian trauma
Russians are not gleeful about the leadership vacuum in the West. There is a sense that the failure of Pax Americana has left them bereft and vulnerable. Faced with a decaying imperial center, peripheral states such as Russia or Turkey have had to assemble their own, “surrogate” order from the debris.
Next U.S. president must address aging nuclear arsenal
The United States’ nuclear weapons systems are old, and getting older. How – or even whether – the country will take steps to maintain and modernize this force is one of the key unanswered questions for U.S. defense policy going forward. The issue has attracted scant attention from the politicians running for president, but nuclear policy will be a topic that the n...
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...
Africa’s most enlightened despot faces test of third term in Rwanda
As incumbent leaders seek to extend their time in power beyond legal limits, ‘third-termism’ or ‘constitutional coups’ have become a hot topic in African politics. In Rwanda, where leadership changes have always been accompanied by ethnic strife and violence, the constitution is being changed to allow a third term to President Paul Kagame. The country’s brutal hist...
Mariupol in the cross hairs – will Russia escalate?
The armed conflict in eastern Ukraine has moved into an apparent limbo. The ceasefire agreement that was negotiated at Minsk in February (2015) has broken down. Heavy weapons have been brought back into the prohibited zone and heavy shelling has been resumed. While Russia looks to be gearing up for a full on assault, this may just be a distraction to keep the West ...
Putin TV show reveals Kremlin’s thinking on Ukraine
Vladimir Putin’s annual television appearance was a well-choreographed show which provided an overview of the Kremlin’s thinking on the situation in Ukraine. But despite the rhetoric, even those who sympathise with Ukraine must recognise that the Russians can put forward arguments that are troubling for the Kiev government, and which will play an important role as ...