GIS Dossier: Turkey and Europe
Europe can no longer take Turkey for granted or ignore its vital interests. Many in the West are rightfully displeased with the weakening of important institutions that the country has seen under the leadership of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, but realpolitik dictates cooperation in mutual interest. Europe and Turkey are in urgent need of each other in an increasingly unstable world.
Opinion: Turkey changing the dynamics in the Horn of Africa
Late last year, Turkey secured the lease of an island on Sudan’s Red Sea coast. The location of this ancient port – situated on one of the world’s most important trade arteries – will put Ankara in a position to exercise much greater influence from the Nile to the Persian Gulf. The Turks scored this success because they took a broad strategic view, which must now be reconciled with their obsessively narrow focus on a single issue – the Kurds – in their immediate neighborhood.
The Balkans’ next challenge: curb corruption
Decades of stabilization policies prevented new wars in the Western Balkans, but democratic governance is hardly flourishing in the region. Under the guise of promoting stability, corrupt oligarchies have rigged political systems, effectively capturing states and making them unfit to join the European Union and NATO. Geopolitical concerns have prompted Brussels and Washington to target this rotten system for dismantling.
Options for European defense
After three decades of continuous decline, European defense budgets are again on the rise. What kind of military capabilities will these investments provide? Money will only go so far without the right strategic choices.
2018 Global Outlook: North Korea and the U.S.-China-Russia triangle
Tensions between the United States and North Korea are having a big impact on the relationship between Moscow, Beijing and Washington. China has every incentive, but few options, to rein in its neighbor, while pressure on the U.S. to escalate increases. Russia is playing a double game by which a conflict in Northeast Asia could help it attain its goals in Ukraine. Any major shock to today’s delicate balance could have drastic consequences.
2018 Global Outlook: The Euro-Atlantic relationship
The transatlantic relationship can be described as a family matter – with the United States as the mostly benevolent patriarch and Europe as the dependent relatives. Relations had been cooling for at least a decade, but this process is being expedited by the presidency of Donald Trump. Both sides seem to agree that Europe needs to grow up and take charge of its own destiny. If so, we could be headed for a stormy late adolescence.
Siberia, a European issue
Tensions between East and West are mounting, but Europe could gain strategically and economically from assisting in the development of Siberia. Helping Russia shore up its eastern border with China this way would be also in the long-term interest of NATO and the United States.