Balkans Could Fall Victim to Putin-Trump Deal

NATO soldiers guard a road in Kosovo, January 5
NATO soldiers guard a road in Kosovo, January 5 (KFOR Kosovo)

Rumors of war abound. The simmering conflict of the Balkans may well grow to war again.

So go the whispers from Bosnia, Kosovo and Serbia. From Reuters to the The Globe and Mail, reports of war-like rhetoric between Kosovo and Serbia have emerged. Read more

Nativist Freedom Party Draws Support from Dutch Periphery

Evening falls in Maastricht, the Netherlands, January 5, 2009
Evening falls in Maastricht, the Netherlands, January 5, 2009 (Bert Kaufmann)

Support for the nationalist Freedom Party rises the farther away one travels from the commercial and political heartland of the Netherlands on the North Sea coast, a recent survey shows.

The anti-EU and anti-immigrant party led by Geert Wilders receives around 20 percent support nationwide, but there are regional differences. Read more

Moldova’s President of Smoke and Mirrors

Presidents Igor Dodon of Moldova and Vladimir Putin of Russia deliver a joint news conference at the Kremlin in Moscow, January 17
Presidents Igor Dodon of Moldova and Vladimir Putin of Russia deliver a joint news conference at the Kremlin in Moscow, January 17 (Presidential Press and Information Office)

Moldova’s new president is no friend of liberal democracy. Igor Dodon, who came to power in December, enjoys basking in the glow of Vladimir Putin and his entourage. Read more

Don’t Look Now, But West Africa Just Took a Huge Leap Forward

Yahya Jammeh, then president of the Gambia, addresses the General Assembly of the United Nations in New York, September 24, 2009
Yahya Jammeh, then president of the Gambia, addresses the General Assembly of the United Nations in New York, September 24, 2009 (UN/Erin Siegal)

“West Africa” should really only be a geographical label, not a geopolitical one. It is a place riddled with ethnicities overlapping tribes cut by religion bisected by language. There is nothing simple about West Africa except in the minds of long-dead imperial geographers.

That hasn’t stopped Nigeria from deciding to reorder the whole region to its liking. But for once in geopolitics, this reordering has not only been largely successful but is also incrementally pushing West Africa to better governance and stronger states. Read more

Trump’s No Good, Very Bad, Absolutely Stupid Comments on the EU and NATO

Businessman Donald Trump speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Maryland, February 27, 2015
Businessman Donald Trump speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Maryland, February 27, 2015 (Gage Skidmore)

NATO is “obsolete”. The European Union will, and perhaps should, lose more members.

Such are the words of the president-elect of the United States and they are unequivocally terrible.

When Trump slams NATO, he is quietly whispering to deadened nightmares Europe thought it had laid to rest.

When he hopes for the EU to dissolve, he is literally trying to roll back civilization.

That’s not hyperbole. Here’s why. Read more

The Russo-Trump Alliance

Russian president Vladimir Putin participates in a videoconference from the Kremlin in Moscow, December 27, 2016
Russian president Vladimir Putin participates in a videoconference from the Kremlin in Moscow, December 27, 2016 (Presidential Press and Information Office)

The Russian hacking scandal of the Democratic National Party continues; accusations that incoming President-elect Donald Trump is a Russian stooge are as steady as the drumbeat of yesteryear’s cries that Barack Obama was not really a citizen. The evidence behind the attack is still thin. Yet it is also irrelevant because it seems the incoming administration has concluded that an alliance with Moscow is just what America’s geopolitical doctor has ordered.

A Russo-Trump alliance is in the offing and it does make a lot of sense in the short term.

Alas for the international system, and for the United States, it’s a deal with the devil that will exact ever-higher tolls the longer it goes on. Read more

2016 in Geopolitical Review

American president Barack Obama listens to a briefing in the Situation Room of the White House in Washington DC, March 23, 2012
American president Barack Obama listens to a briefing in the Situation Room of the White House in Washington DC, March 23, 2012 (White House/Pete Souza)

You’d be hard pressed to find someone who liked 2016. Just about every safe assumption about the future was challenged. To top the year off, the United States even abstained from a veto on the UN Security Council condemning Israeli settlements, rewriting at the last moment the relationship between Washington and Tel Aviv. It has been a roller coaster, but what has it all meant? Read more