U.S. security policy toward Europe: The next phase
One of the most frequently asked questions about President Donald Trump’s foreign policy is what it plans to do about Europe. The answer to that is now clearer, though not necessarily the disaster for transatlantic relations that the G7 summit in Quebec appeared to be. What Washington has in mind is unsettling enough – regional stability and security, yes, but through bilateral engagement, and with much more combative economic policies.
GIS Dossier: Turkey and the Middle East
Ankara is still groping for the right policy mix in dealing with complex challenges to Turkey’s vital interests in the Middle East, North Africa, the Mediterranean and the Black Sea region. A paradigm change, however, diverting its geopolitical attention away from Europe and NATO and toward its historic neighborhood, is already evident.
Pitfalls and dilemmas of arming Ukraine
Washington’s decision to sell modern U.S. anti-tank missiles to Kiev means that a red line in the West’s involvement in the Ukrainian crisis has been crossed. Whether the delivery of this expensive weapon system to the embattled nation serves U.S. national security interests or brings Kiev closer to reclaiming the territories it had lost to Moscow-backed insurgents is highly debatable.
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.
The strategic implications of China’s Arctic Road
China has proposed building a link to Western Europe through the Arctic as part of its huge Belt and Road Initiative. Beijing insists its intentions are purely economic and scientific, but such a pathway dominated by China would tip the strategic balance in the region. So far, the Western response has been mixed, but as Chinese influence grows, so will concerns about its potential role in the Arctic.
Italy – the West’s weakest link?
There is growing concern in Europe and the United States that Italy could turn out to be the weakest link in the chain of resistance to Russian misconduct. Its rising parties of protest, the Five Star Movement and La Lega, want sanctions against Russia dropped. But Italy has always fancied itself a bridge between East and West. When push comes to shove, it has generally toed the line set by NATO and the EU.
Turkey and the West – distant yet inseparable
Turkey’s growing estrangement from the West stems from its domestic and regional ambitions, as well as from a feeling of being unwanted in the European Union. There is also a deeper undercurrent, present since the founding of the Turkish Republic, that questions the Kemalist strategy of a radical alignment with Europe. Even so, a total break with its Western partners is not on the cards.
GIS Dossier: NATO’s strategic dilemmas
NATO’s expansion into Central and Eastern Europe following its Cold War victory touched a raw nerve in Moscow, as, historically, the vast Russian empire protected itself by maintaining a buffer zone of dependent or client states along its perimeter. Russia appeared to have swallowed the “loss” of the Baltic states in the 1990s, but it drew the line in Ukraine two decades later. The prospect of an independent Ukraine joining Western structures has triggered a Russia-West conflict that NATO finds among the toughest challenges it is facing anywhere today.
A sad centennial: Unfinished peace in the Balkans
The approaching anniversary of the end of World War I is a reminder that the place where that conflict started, the Western Balkans, has still not achieved a lasting peace. Three big political, legal and financial processes must still be carried through – reconciliation of former enemies, settlement of war reparations, and division of the former Yugoslavia’s assets among its successor states. It is unlikely any of the three will be completed in the next decade.
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.