Showing posts with label Europe. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Europe. Show all posts

20 February 2018

U.S.-Turkish Relations Continue to Rapidly Deteriorate

Robbie Gramer
Foreign Policy

The Trump administration appears to have pulled relations with NATO ally Turkey away from a “crisis point” after a slew of high-level meetings over the past week. But sharp disagreements on everything from the war in Syria to Russia’s role in the Middle East make it unlikely that the United States can restore warm ties any time soon with a country long seen as the southern flank of the Western alliance in Europe.

“We’re not going to act alone any longer. We’re not going to be U.S. doing one thing and Turkey doing another,” Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said at a press conference on Friday in Ankara after meetings with Turkish officials, including Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan .

19 February 2018

Changing Europe revives interest in an EU military

Early plans for a European army failed in the wake of World War II. EU states have since taken numerous small steps to integrate their armed forces, bringing the idea of a Europe-wide military ever closer to reality.

Military treaties for a joint European army were signed just a few years after the end of the Second World War. A defense cooperation pact laid out the details, from acquiring new uniforms to implementing a clear command structure. France, Germany, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg would supply the European Army with soldiers. A European commissioner's office made up of nine representatives would send the troops to the front line, but officials would be monitored by a European assembly of MEPs from participating states.

16 February 2018

Assessing the Conventional Force Imbalance in Europe Implications for Countering Russian Local Superiority

by Scott Boston, Michael Johnson, Nathan Beauchamp-Mustafaga, Yvonne Crane
PDF file 2.9 MB 

This report outlines how NATO and Russian force levels and capabilities have evolved in the post–Cold War era and what recent trends imply for the balance of capabilities in the NATO member states that border Russia in the Baltic Sea region. It is intended to inform debate over appropriate posture and force structure for NATO forces to respond to the recent growth in Russian military capability and capacity and to increased Russian assertiveness in the use of force. Given NATO's current posture and capability, including European battalions and a rotational U.S. armored brigade combat team, Russia can still achieve a rapid fait accompli in the Baltic states followed by brinksmanship to attempt to freeze the conflict. Nothing about this analysis should suggest that Russian conventional aggression against NATO is likely to take place; however, prudence suggests that steps should be taken to mitigate potential areas of vulnerability in the interest of ensuring a stable security relationship between all NATO members and Russia. NATO has sufficient resources, personnel, and equipment to enhance conventional deterrence focused on Russia; a more robust posture designed to considerably raise the cost of military adventurism against one or more NATO member states is worthy of consideration.

14 February 2018

There's a Crack Between the U.S. and Europe Over China

In several new strategy documents, the Trump administration argues that America needs to gear up for prolonged geopolitical competition with China. This shift in U.S. policy is welcome -- even if it so far remains mostly rhetorical -- because it reflects the growing threat that a revisionist, authoritarian China poses to American interests in the Asia-Pacific and to the liberal international system more broadly. Yet even though U.S.-China competition is primarily a transpacific matter, a transatlantic divergence may hamper American strategy on how to handle Beijing. America’s European allies have long been its most important partners, but today, Europeans and Americans often see the China challenge in very different ways.

Piketty Thinks the EU Is Bad for Eastern Europe. He's Half Right.

Leonid Bershidsky 

Rock star economist Thomas Piketty's view of eastern European countries as "owned" by their wealthier Western neighbors has helped nationalist parties in that part of the world make a case for economic decolonization. But Piketty's arguments as he frames them are rather easy to dismiss -- which is a problem: There are stronger ones to be made.

Last month, Piketty used his blog on the center-left French daily Le Monde's web page to argue that European Union membership may not have been net beneficial for countries such as Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia. He compared these countries' net outflows of profits and incomes from property with the net transfers they have received from the EU and finds that the outflows have been higher. "Of course, one might reasonably argue that Western investment enabled the productivity of the economies concerned to increase and therefore everyone benefited," Piketty wrote. "But the East European leaders never miss an opportunity to recall that investors take advantage of their position of strength to keep wages low and maintain excessive margins."

“Fair Winds And Following Seas” For Post-Brexit Anglo-French Military Relations


The French and British Chiefs of Staff, Général d’armée Pierre de Villiers and Air Chief Marshal Stuart Peach planted a symbolic tree at the French Defense Ministry to celebrate Anglo-French friendship in 2016

Britain’s decision to leave the European Union could be compared to France’s departure from NATO in 1966. Paris left the integrated military command structure “but not the Atlantic Alliance” just as London intends to leave the EU “but not Europe.”

But in defense terms virtually nothing is changing about how Britain works with France, with NATO or the European Union.

13 February 2018

There is a new cyberspying power in the world: The Netherlands

Max Smeets
Washington Post

There’s a new cyberpower in the world. Last month, Dutch reporters from Nieuwsuur and de Volkskrant revealed that in mid-2014 the Dutch Joint Sigint Cyber Unit (JSCU) infiltrated the computer networks of the infamous Russian hacker group “Cozy Bear.”

By sharing information with their U.S. counterparts, JSCU helped oust the Russian government-linked group thought to be responsible for the Democratic National Committee breach during the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign.

11 February 2018

17 reasons why we should love Brexit Imagine all we can do once we’ve left the EU

Anthony Browne
‘But what are you going to do with the powers?’ the minister asked, while I negotiated devolution of powers to London when Boris was mayor. The government wouldn’t grant powers unless we explained how we would use them.

And that is what is missing in the Brexit non-debate. We are ‘taking back control’ — but we haven’t really thought what we will do with that control once we have it. It is true there has been discussion of trade deals, transforming the Common Agricultural Policy and the colour of our passports. But if that was all we could do, even most Brexiteers wouldn’t have considered it worth it.

Merkel Makes Painful Concessions to Form New Government

Despite extremely tough talks, Angela Merkel's conservatives and the center-left Social Democrats reached an agreement to form a coalition on Wednesday. If the SPD doesn't veto the deal in a vote of the party base, a new German government could be in place before Easter.

Late Wednesday morning, Peter Altmaier stood in front of the conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party's national headquarters in Berlin with his blazer thrown over his shoulder and his long sleeves rolled up. Temperatures were at the freezing point, but the winter sun appeared to have kept the Chancellery chief warm. "There is a good chance that we are going to get a new government," said Altmaier, who is Angela Merkel's chief of staff.

10 February 2018

Muslim Voters and the European Left

By Rafaela M. Dancygier

Over the last few years, well over two million mostly Muslim refugees have arrived in Europe, a fact that has come to dominate headlines and elections across the continent. This large-scale inflow has bolstered right-wing populism and pushed some mainstream conservative parties to the right on migration in order to protect their share of the vote. But while the refugee crisis has led to shifts on the right, it has also highlighted a strategic problem for the left: how to approach immigration and immigrant voters without driving away their working-class base.

8 February 2018

Argentina and Brazil Race the Clock on Reform


Argentina's government will prioritize economic and trade liberalization reforms this year with an eye to reducing the cost of doing business in the country.
Brazilian President Michel Temer will use his remaining time in office to conclude trade negotiations and push through economic proposals such as a major privatization plan and pension reform.

7 February 2018

France's Geographic Challenge

France's Geographic Challenge

France is a country in Western Europe bound in the south by the Alps, Pyrenees Mountains and the Mediterranean Sea. To the west and north is the Atlantic Ocean,

6 February 2018

Enhanced Deterrence in the North A 21st Century European Engagement Strategy

February 5, 2018

Twenty-five years of relative calm and predictability in relations between Russia and the West enabled European governments largely to neglect their military capabilities for territorial defense and dramatically redraw Northern Europe’s multilateral, regional, and bilateral boundaries, stimulating new institutional and cooperative developments and arrangements. These cooperative patterns of behavior occurred amid a benign security environment, a situation that no longer obtains. Following Russia’s annexation of Crimea, its military incursion into eastern Ukraine, its substantial military modernization efforts, heightened undersea activity in the North Atlantic and Baltic Sea, and its repeated air violations, the region’s security environment has dramatically worsened. The Baltic Sea and North Atlantic region have returned as a geostrategic focal point. It is vital, therefore, that the United States rethink its security approach to the region—what the authors describe as an Enhanced Northern Presence.

5 February 2018

Europe’s defining choice on Poland

Pawel Zerka 

Europe’s decision on whether or not to declare Poland in breach with European rule of law standards comes down to a choice between principles and pragmatism. 

The triggering of Article 7.1 by European Commission in December 2017 has forced Poland to seek a new relationship with Europe. Jaroslaw Kaczynski, the leader of Law and Justice (PiS), must have concluded that something needed to be done in order

4 February 2018

Europe's Captains Mull a Course for the Continent

France and Germany hold different views regarding the best way to reform the eurozone and negotiate changes with the rest of the member states. 

Measures that stipulate higher spending at the European Union level stand a better chance of approval than measures that call for greater financial risk-sharing. 

1 February 2018

The Ambiguities of Franco-British Defense Cooperation


French President Emmanuel Macron and British Prime Minister Theresa May will discuss their defense relationship, among other things, at a bilateral summit on January 18. Franco-British collaboration is vital for European defense. This is not only because they are the two leading European military powers at NATO, but also because they have the most ambitious bilateral military relationship of any European countries, based on the 2010 Lancaster House treaties.

31 January 2018

Source Link
 By Kenan Malik

The sun may have long ago set on the British Empire (or on all but a few tattered shreds of it), but it never seems to set on the debate about the merits of empire. The latest controversy began when the Third World Quarterly, an academic journal known for its radical stance, published a paper by Bruce Gilley, an associate professor of political science at Portland State University in Oregon, called “The Case for Colonialism.” Fifteen of the thirty-four members on the journal’s editorial board resigned in protest, while a petition, with more than 10,000 signatories, called for the paper to be retracted. It was eventually withdrawn after the editor “received serious and credible threats of personal violence.” 

Then, in November, Nigel Biggar, regius professor of theology at Oxford University, wrote an article in the London Times defending Gilley. Biggar saw Gilley’s “balanced reappraisal of the colonial past” as “courageous,” and called for “us British to moderate our

Opportunities amid Disorder: Europe and the World in 2018

By Jonathan Hackenbroich and Jeremy Shapiro

According to Jonathan Hackenbroich and Jeremy Shapiro, the global economic picture seems set to improve dramatically in 2018. However, they also predict that a good year of growth will not dampen great-power competition or increase security or stability in the Middle East. But that’s not all. Find out here what other key economic, security, technological and regional trends our authors think could define 2018, as well as what opportunities could open up for Europe.

The liberal world order staged something of

29 January 2018

In Europe, Subtle Signs Of A Softening On Putin's Russia

 Alexei Druzhinin

MOSCOW — European leaders continue to accuse Russia of spreading disinformation, with a recent European Parliament forum billed as a probe into the "efficiency" of Moscow's propaganda efforts. But the Jan. 17 debate also featured some members of Parliament who defended Russia, blaming Brussels for restricting freedom of speech and accusing Western countries of "paranoia.” In light of evolving positions in Europe about the issue, several Russian experts told Kommersant they do not foresee new restrictions of European policy in regards to Moscow. The point of view of most of the European deputies has not changed since November 2016, when the European Parliament adopted a resolution charging Russian authorities with using "a wide range of mechanisms and tools, such as think tanks, foreign language channels, pseudo-information agencies and multimedia services, social networks and Internet trolls to attack democratic values, to divide Europe and make it seem like the EU's eastern neighbors have adopted a failing approach."

UK warned that Russian threat requires increased defence spending

Ewen MacAskill

Britain’s defence chief of general staff, Sir Nick Carter, is to warn that the UK is trailing Russia in terms of defence spending and capability. Carter is to use a speech in London to enter publicly into the debate over defence spending, which military chiefs and Conservative MPs claim has dropped to dangerously low levels. Failure to keep up with Russia will leave the UK exposed, particularly to unorthodox, hybrid warfare of the kind practised by Russia and other potentially hostile states, according to Carter. One of the biggest threats posed is from cyber-attacks that target both the military and civilian life.