On Friday, Tsai Ing-wen will be sworn in as president of Taiwan, having won by 25 percentage points over her nearest competitor. In addition to being the first woman to hold the office, Tsai will be the fourth president selected by popular vote. Her inauguration will also mark the third time the presidency has been passed from one party to another. By virtually any reasonable standard, the Republic of China has become a normal democratic country. Yet its relationship with the United States is anything but normal.
Indeed, if you were to try to explain Washington’s Taiwan policy to someone from another planet, you surely would get a puzzled look.… Seguir leyendo »
CNN Opinion asked a range of contributors to give their take on Britain’s election, what it means and what we can expect moving forward. The opinions expressed in these commentaries are solely their own.
First surprise of Britain’s election on Thursday — everyone was WRONG. So it’s time to really dissect opinion polls — any kind of polling, really, and the media herd mentality. Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron won, securing an overall majority. No one even came close to predicting that.
So, was it the 40% undecided that caused the tsunami?
Continuity wins — change loses. It was a victory for traditional party politics that has dominated the United Kingdom for centuries.… Seguir leyendo »
Sweden’s chase for what is widely suspected to be a submerged Russian submarine operating within its territorial waters can’t help but remind older Swedes of the fact that, during the Cold War, Swedish waters were thought to be regularly covertly probed by submarines belonging to the Soviet Union.
Indeed, back in 1981, the «Whiskey on the Rocks» incident saw a Soviet attack submarine carrying nuclear-tipped torpedoes run aground on the shoals not far from the Swedish naval base at Karlskrona.
Fast forward more than three decades, and Vladimir Putin’s Russia is by no means the threat — materially or ideologically — that the Soviet Union was during the Cold War.… Seguir leyendo »
A year ago, whenever the NATO summit meeting that starts in Wales this week was mentioned, the question of what the agenda should be elicited near-universal head scratching. With the end of combat operations in Afghanistan, a quiet Europe on the security front and a lack of enthusiasm in Washington and Brussels for any deeper involvement in the Middle East, the list of possible topics was anything but headline-grabbing.
What a difference a few months make. Russia has invaded a neighboring European country, Ukraine, and forcibly annexed part of it, Crimea. Meanwhile, on Europe’s periphery, the Middle East grows increasingly unstable, violent and dangerous for America and Europe.… Seguir leyendo »
What do President Obama’s decision to authorize airstrikes against the Sunni militants of the Islamic State and his previous commitment to send American military advisors and trainers back into Iraq have to do with his «pivot» to Asia? Everything and nothing.
Nothing in the sense that the battle in Iraq has little bearing today on what China might do in the South China Sea tomorrow. But everything in the sense that the underlying assumption that drove Obama to pivot away from the Middle East toward Asia — to «rebalance,» as it was later called — is very much in question.
When the rebalance toward Asia was officially confirmed as administration policy in January 2012 by the Pentagon’s release of a new strategic policy guidance, the underlying impetus was clear: Defense resources could no longer support the long-standing U.S.… Seguir leyendo »