In short, if it wasn’t one thing, it would have been another.
It didn’t have to have to be a gas attack. It could have been a stray Russian shell in some Ukrainian city, a dead exiled opposition leader on the streets of a Western capital city, a major hacking attack against a critical American target, a crucial NATO ally “flipped” by a Russian disinformation campaign or a released set of Trump e-mails.
It could have been Donald Trump waking up one day to realize the Russians aren’t interested in destroying the Islamic State so long as IS distracts the Americans and grinds down anti-Assad rebels.
It could have been when Trump tried to rally Moscow to support a new round of sanctions or military threats against North Korea.
Perhaps Trump’s bromance might have ended with a shooting incident over Finnish skies or maybe he’d have changed his mind if Russian troops showed up in Libya to prop up Moscow’s increasingly favorited local strongman, Khalifa Haftar.
The fact is, on a long enough timeline, he would have changed his mind or faced an all-out revolt from his cabinet, his generals and his party. Read more
Brexit Is an Opportunity to Take Back Control — For Spain
When Brexiteers said leaving the EU would be a chance to “take back control”, they presumably weren’t thinking of Spain. But Spain has been thinking about them.
Now that the United Kingdom has formally triggered its exit from the bloc, the Spaniards smell an opportunity to take back control of a territory they lost to Britain over 300 years ago: Gibraltar. Read more
How Climate Change Will Be the Biggest Geopolitical Crisis of the Century
America is out of the environmental protection businesses; so says the haughty God-Emperor Donald Trump, whose word is apparently law.
Too bad even god-emperors cannot change facts. Too bad, especially, for the billions who are almost certain to be disrupted, displaced and decimated by the looming geopolitical effects of climate change.
That basic truth is denied heartily by many who have incentive to play games for short-term gain. These are old-school industrial concerns, for whom environmental regulation hammers a bottom line; alt-right, alt-truthers, for whom simple science is a threat to their incoherent worldview; and shattered working classes, seeking a simple scapegoat for the complicated story of their economic dissolution and disenfranchisement. Read more
Donald Trump’s disinterest in the transatlantic alliance, and Vladimir Putin’s attempts to undermine it, have left Europe with little choice but to turn the world’s fourth center of power: China.
The two aren’t natural allies. The EU has long irked the Chinese with its lectures on democracy and human rights. The EU insists on dealing through multilateral institutions when China would prefer to throw its weight around in bilateral talks.
But the world’s second and third economies are condemned to work together in the era of “America First”. Read more
There Are Reason to Be Cautious About Breaking Up Bosnia
Daniel Berman, who occasionally writes for the Atlantic Sentinel, poses an interesting question at his blog, The Restless Realist: Why not break up Bosnia?
The current situation seems untenable. Bosnia is divided in two: an autonomous Republika Srpska for the (mostly Orthodox Christian) ethnic Serbs and the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina for the (Muslim) Bosniaks and (Catholic) Bosnian Croats.
The federation is itself divided into ten autonomous cantons, five of which are Bosniak-ruled, three Croat and two mixed. Read more