Spotlight on Geopolitics

Archives for Security

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

Other people’s secrets

The secret US intelligence files and diplomatic correspondence released by WikiLeaks have not stirred my interest enough to read them in detail. To me, most of them are other people’s secrets. Important as some of these might be, I find it somewhat indelicate to take advantage of the opportunity of studying them this way. At… » read more

Posted by Florian Pantazi

In a recent post appeared on his Foreign Policy blog (“The United States is too secure for its own good“), Steven M. Walt, a Harvard professor of International Relations, blasts the American conservatives’ obstruction of the Start II ratification. As nuclear arms reduction seems to be at the core of the Obama administration’s foreign policy… » read more

Posted by Florian Pantazi