Categories
Foreign policy

Too Close for Comfort: European Geostrategy and the Transatlantic Alliance

Image courtesy of the European Council President/Flickr. (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

The question for Europe now is whether it needs to de-couple its strategy toward regional great powers from that of the United States.

Geopolitical competition has made a roaring come back in recent years. Russian President Vladimir Putin, always on the cutting edge of new fads, welcomed the new era with flair last week by introducing an entire new generation of nuclear weapons aimed at the United States.

Categories
International Relations Defense

China-Russia Security Cooperation: Geopolitical Signalling with Limits

Image courtesy of padrinan/pixabay.

This article was originally published by the Finnish Institute of International Affairs (FIIA) on 16 January 2018.

Summary

China-Russia enhanced security cooperation is a form of geopolitical signalling. Despite closer relations, the coming years will tell whether such cooperation is sustainable as the relationship is expected to turn increasingly asymmetrical due to China’s continuing rise. It is unlikely that China’s relationship with Russia would turn into an actual military alliance in the future, however. China’s strategic partnership with Russia is the most comprehensive among its strategic partnerships. The two countries have also enhanced coordination in internationally topical issues. In June 2017, China and Russia signed a general plan for bilateral military cooperation for the years 2017–2020.

Categories
International Relations Security

Behind North Korea´s Olive Branch: An Alternative View

Image courtesy of (stephan)/Flickr. (CC BY-SA 2.0)

This article was originally published by the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS) on 5 January 2017.

Synopsis

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un’s conciliatory gestures towards South Korea are a welcome move. But they should not belie the high possibility that it will continue ballistic missile and warhead testing in 2018.

Categories
International Relations Security

New Geopolitics in the Middle East?

Image courtesy of tetracarbon/pixabay

This article was originally published by the Foreign Policy Research Institute (FPRI) on 27 November 2017.

The possible creation of a new geopolitical reality in the Middle East may have snuck under the radar this holiday weekend. The continuing spectacle of the investigations into Russia’s possible involvement in the 2016 Election and the continued naming and shaming of corporate leaders and politicians involved in sexual harassment (as well as Thanksgiving), may have overshadowed the summit in Sochi between the Presidents of Russia, Turkey, and Iran, shortly after Syrian President Bashar al-Assad visited President Putin in the same city (and thanked him for “saving Syria”).

Categories
Security Defense Politics

In Praise of NATO’s Dysfunctional, Bureaucratic Tedium

Image courtesy of Websubs/Pixabay.

This article was originally published by War on the Rocks on 7 November 2017.

A year after Donald Trump’s election to the presidency, the furor around his approach to transatlantic security has predictably calmed. Part of the reason is saturation. Like antibiotics, provocation of one’s allies loses its potency when used excessively. Part of the reason is that the president has found a more willing and compelling foil, in the form of Kim Jong Un, than those buttoned-up European leaders he accuses of freeloading. Certainly, part of the reason includes the administration’s Russia-related scandals and Robert Mueller’s investigation. The president’s hostility toward NATO has always felt more like a sop to Moscow than a matter of principle and thus not a good look with indictments swirling.