Monday, May 25, 2020

Europe and the US have failed in Syria

Europe and the US have failed in Syria
By Kristin Helberg

After almost nine years of civil war, the crisis in and around Syria has not been resolved. Nonetheless, it is clear who the winners and losers in the conflict are. Among the winners are the Syrian regime, Russia, Iran and even Turkey, to a certain extent. These countries have always known what they wanted, have proven ready to do anything to get what they want, and have been able to …

Angela Merkel’s CDU is in disarray

Angela Merkel’s CDU is in disarray
By Peter H. Koepf

Immediately following this year’s Munich Security Conference, Stefan Kornelius, a commentator for the Süddeutsche Zeitung, reflected a growing concern felt by observers of Germany and many conference attendees regarding the political situation in Germany: “Is the anchor of Europe, the lighthouse of freedom, the savior of the West on the verge of becoming a new Trumpistan?”

Some spoke of what they saw as Weimar-era conditions on the horizon, that is, …

How Europe should counter the rise of illiberal democracies

By Ivan Krastev

On Dec. 10, 1948, shattered by the horrors of World War II, the international community adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Of the United Nations’ 58 member states, 48 voted in favor of the declaration, eight abstained (the Soviet Union and its Eastern European allies plus Saudi Arabia) and two did not vote. The world was far less liberal in 1948 than it is today, and the concept of …

Who is setting the tone in EU foreign policy

By Sylvia Schreiber

One image can speak volumes. The participants at the Libya summit in Berlin take their places on the podium for a group photo. Positioning themselves at the front are representatives of the proxy powers behind the Libyan civil war: Russia, Turkey and Egypt. Alongside them are the neutral conciliators, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres with summit host Chancellor Angela Merkel. The German chancellor sent out the original invitation as an …

Brexit may actually strengthen the EU

Brexit may actually strengthen the EU
By Almut Möller

Among the tectonic shifts in international relations that both analysts and policymakers have been trying to make sense of over the past years, there is one that deserves particular attention. The departure of the United Kingdom from the European Union – Brexit – that took effect on Jan. 31, 2020, marks a turning point for Europe.

In the future, historians may look back at 2020 as the year in which …

Beyond trade: the confrontation between the US and China

By Graham T. Allison Jr.

Could China and the US be stumbling down the path Germany and the United Kingdom took at the beginning of the last century? The possibility will strike many readers as inconceivable. But we should remember that when we say something is “inconceivable,” this is a claim not about what is possible in the world, but rather about what our limited minds can imagine.

My answer to the question of whether …

The US and Europe hold a hand that’s too good to fold

By Joseph S. Nye Jr.

With the end of the Cold War, many believed the West had prevailed. In his 1992 book The End of History and the Last Man, Francis Fukuyama wrote that humanity had reached “the end-point of mankind’s ideological evolution and the universalization of Western liberal democracy as the final form of human government.” A few years later, Samuel Huntington issued a gloomier prognosis in The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking …

Russia is benefiting from its new confrontation with the West

Russia is benefiting from its new confrontation with the West
By Ian Bremmer

In the nearly three decades since the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia’s relationship with the West has undergone a dramatic transformation – from establishing economic ties the 1990s to being partners in the wake of 9/11 to once again being adversaries in the post-Bush era. There’s plenty of blame to go around, not least the absence of even considering true reconstruction of the former Soviet states after collapse. But …

The conundrum of the Washington-Tehran stalemate

By Robert Malley

The United States and Iran have been on a predictable collision course since the Trump administration withdrew from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in May 2018. The drivers of this heightened tension are two fundamentally clashing and self-reinforcing approaches: Washington is convinced that a policy of “maximum pressure” will prompt Iran to succumb to its demands – and should such pressure fail, the US response should apply even …

Our responsibility: Frank-Walter Steinmeier’s speech at Yad Vashem

By Frank-Walter Steinmeier

What a blessing, what a gift, it is for me to be able to speak to you here today at Yad Vashem. Here at Yad Vashem burns the Eternal Flame in remembrance of the victims of the Shoah. This place reminds us of their suffering. The suffering of millions. And it reminds us of their lives – each individual life.

This place remembers Samuel Tytelman, a keen swimmer who won …