The modern UN Refugee Convention is now so flea-bitten it’s been put out to the garbage tip of history. At least the enthusiastic fleas think so, given their conduct as political representatives across a range of parliaments keen on barbed wired borders and impenetrable defences. Across Europe, the issue of […]
On 4 April, NATO turned 70 years old. The atmosphere at the celebrations was quarrelsome, as often happens with the elderly when they start losing their marbles. It was a sign of profound schizophrenia. Some NATO members are still faithful to the old Cold War policy, while others don’t quite […]
In his initial remarks with the NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg at the White House on April 2, US President Donald Trump charged straight into his pet grievance that America “alone accounts for the vast majority of NATO defense spending ’s spending”. Trump failed to congratulate NATO on its 70th birth […]
Twenty-five years ago, on 24 March 1999, Operation Allied Force began – the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia that led to the country’s dismemberment – and the independent state of Kosovo was proclaimed. Yet these events were far from historically contingent, as some people claim. So who orchestrated the breakup of […]
The Algerian government has offered a compromise: Bouteflika runs for the presidency now for the last time as a symbol of stability with his cadence limited for one year only. Later another elections are held without pressure from barricades and Molotov’s. Though it seems that the funds have already been disbursed between the captains of the future uprising, so the show must go on.
This is an extremely serious matter – under the appearance of uniting their efforts to work for peace, Paris and Berlin are linking their foreign policies, and will soon be linking their Defence policies. In reality, this evolution is proceeding from the top down, without consulting the population, and is destroying their democratic acquisitions.
The Japanese-German alliance might backfire on those Great Powers if Trump decides to punish them instead of patiently try to strike a pragmatic deal with them instead. Their freedom of strategic maneuverability is already largely limited as it is, and the US’ support of their regional rivals could make matters even more complicated for them.
What are the options available with Paris and Berlin over Ukraine vis-à-vis Russia? The faultlines in their relations with Trump seriously weaken their capacity to cope with Russian resurgence.
The way in which Germany and France are refusing the right of the United Kingdom to leave the European Union demonstrates the fact that the EU is not simply a straight-jacket – it also goes to show that the Europeans still care as little about their neighbours as they did during the two World Wars.
Ironically, Trump’s evident hatred for Europe and calls by his neocon Praetorian Guard for the US to dominate the entire globe have made Europe turn away from its old subservience to Washington and talk about real independence. But building true Euro-armed forces will be frightfully expensive and politically fraught.
Amid all the usual patriotic cant from politicians, imperialists and churchmen about the glories of this slaughter, remember that World War I was a contrived conflict that was totally avoidable. Contrary to the war propaganda that still clouds and corrupts our historical view, World War I was not started by Imperial Germany.
Unfortunately, Heiko Maas’ plan to strengthen arms control is poorly thought out and does not take adequate account of the true state of affairs in this area. His proposal puts the diametrically opposed military and political policies of the United States and Russia on an equal footing internationally and is also unbalanced with regard to China.