By launching a broad military campaign against Ukraine today, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has also launched a strong assault against the norms of the sovereignty-based “world order” that has been in place since 1945– or even, one might say, since the Treaty of Westphalia in 1648. Of course, the post-1945 order has been majorly contravened … Continue reading Where to now, the “world order”?
It is just as well that, when he met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in the Kremlin March 5, Turkey’s President Rejep Tayyip Erdogan did not look up to his right. If he had, he would have seen towering over him a lofty statue of Russia’s Catherine the Great, who in the 18th century sheared … Continue reading Two big powers arm-wrestle in Syria. Neither one is the United States.
The New York Times continues its lengthy tradition of covering the story of Idlib as if it were one only of a humanitarian crisis brought about by the Syrian government (which they call a “regime”), and its allies. In yet another lengthy, expensive, lavishly illustrated story about Idlib, the NYT once again failed to make … Continue reading Idlib: A political conflict, not a one-sided “humanitarian” tearjerker
Three weeks after the United States’ January 3 assassination of Gen. Qasem Soleimani, how likely is the eruption of a US-Iran shooting war, what paths might lead to it, and what factors might brake or reverse the trend towards war? Two weeks ago, I wrote about how, despite the extremely sharp escalation in tensions that … Continue reading Barometer: US-Iran war prospects
Yesterday, I had my inaugural post up on the new Responsible Statecraft blog, which is the successor to Jim Lobe’s earlier Lobelog. The editor at RS gave it the (fairly earnest) title, “Can ‘Finlandization’ Help Ukraine Stave Off Conflict with Russia?”. I had earlier proposed something a little snappier. But the subject of how people– … Continue reading Zelensky, his earlier t.v. show, Finland, etc.
I was delighted when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi responded to the whistleblower’s report of Pres. Trump’s fateful July 25 phone call with Pres. Zelensky by swiftly moving toward impeachment. Yesterday, she and her advisers produced just two Articles of Impeachment: One on “Abuse of power”, the other, “Obstruction of Congress.” The first Article deals with … Continue reading Trump’s impeachment: Why include “national security”?
Amb. Robert E. Hunter had a compelling piece on the Lobelog site recently in which he warned that the House Democratic leaders’ choice of the Ukraine issue on which to hang their impeachment hearings for Pres. Trump means that the discussion of both Ukraine and Russia in the U.S. political system has now become seriously … Continue reading U.S. Dems’ dangerous demagoguing on Russia
The United Nations’ Special Envoy for Syria, Geir Pedersen, recently expressed confidence that the Syrian Constitutional Committee (SCC), a key gathering of representatives of the country’s government, opposition, and civil society, can convene as planned in Geneva, October 30. If this does occur-even with, perhaps a slippage of a few days-it could mark the beginning … Continue reading Can the Turkey-Russia Agreement Help Syrians End Their Civil War?
Washington, DC — It took less than a week after President Trump announced the summary withdrawal of the tripwire U.S. force deployed in northeast Syria alongside the Kurdish-dominated “Syrian Democratic Forces” (SDF), before the SDF concluded a new alliance with the Syrian government. What happened between, of course, was the large-scale incursion of Turkish forces into the … Continue reading U.S. forces (and policy) in Syria head south
This week, Mideast watchers have been breathlessly awaiting the arrival in NATO member Turkey of the first of the two batteries of Russian-made S-400 air defense systems that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan purchased from Russia in December 2017. Officials in the State and Defense Departments have warned that, with Turkey’s receipt of the S-400s, … Continue reading Global Power Shifts Sparked in Syrian Hornets’ Nest