Spotlight on Geopolitics

Archives for Security

Nina Khrushcheva has recently written a commentary on Project Syndicate, dealing with the madman theory of international relations. This approach – consisting of scaring one’s enemies and getting one’s allies to fall into line – has apparently been practised in the past by both Nikita Khrushchev and Richard Nixon. Like Trump, Khrushchev brought the world… » read more

Posted by Florian Pantazi

The current North Korean threat highlights one of the most troubling shortcomings facing today’s Western governments : the almost total inability of diplomacy to help solve such crises. For thousands of years, various states in different periods of history have nurtured the development of a special class of bureaucrats, employed exclusively in the diplomatic service.… » read more

Posted by Florian Pantazi

Remember Montesquieu and his “doux commerce” ? “L’effet naturel du commerce est de porter à la paix. Deux nations qui négocient ensemble, se rendent réciproquement dépendantes: si l’une a intérêt d’acheter, l’autre a intérêt de vendre; et toutes les unions sont fondées sur des besoins mutuelles. Mais si l’esprit de commerce unit les nations, il… » read more

Posted by Florian Pantazi

A few days ago while seeing the hundreds of refugees from the Middle East flock on Greek ferries, buses, taxis and trains in their drive north to the Macedonian border, I recalled a 20-page seminar paper I was required to write on the question of frontiers at Sciences po Toulouse. The year was 2010, just… » read more

Posted by Florian Pantazi

The SCO expands

The EU’s expansion into Ukraine obeys the law of unintended consequences. Alliances that were probably decades into the making are starting to take shape in months, if not weeks. Thus, after ten years of protracted negotiation, Russia agreed to sign the huge gas-supply contract with China last June. The two countries have reinforced their diplomatic… » read more

Posted by Florian Pantazi

One hundred years to the day, the multi-ethnic, multi-cultural state model received its first major blow. A few years later in the wake the first world war, the multi-ethnic Austro-Hungarian monarchy collapsed and was replaced by a plethora of new national states. Not all of these states, however, were built as purely ethnic entities. Yugoslavia… » read more

Posted by Florian Pantazi

The tragic accident of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 has shocked the European public – and with good reason. Less justified, however, is the attitude of some EU national leaders who are trying to use this tragedy in order to slap more sanctions on Russia. Dmitri Trenin, director of the Carnegie Endowment for Peace in Moscow,… » read more

Posted by Florian Pantazi

Superficially at least, the ongoing civil war in Syria appears to highlight the West’s inability, unprecedented for decades, to put a stop to it. Adverse to direct military intervention, President Obama has even ruled out Kosovo-style punitive strikes without the endorsement of Congress. Premier David Cameron’s strident advocacy of military action against Syria has been… » read more

Posted by Florian Pantazi

For a few weeks in April, Kim Jong-un has suceeded in making North Korea the hottest flashpoint on the planet. However, even as the international media was focusing on the war of words and the military posturing, inside North Korea significant changes were afoot. According to Andrei Lankov, a Russian specialist on the Korean peninsula,… » read more

Posted by Florian Pantazi

A year ago, a group of superior US officers with Republican credentials were involved in a geopolitical brainstorming session at the National Defense University in Washington. The group was asked to provide answers regarding the US’ place in the world and to outline a ten-year national security plan. Edward Luce was invited to attend and… » read more

Posted by Florian Pantazi