Russia’s intervention in Ukraine and the ensuing Crimea crisis is wrongly seen as the start of Cold War II. The fallout from Russian President Vladimir Putin’s defiance of international law and public opinion will be very different from that of the Soviet Union’s long campaign to defeat capitalism. Still, the geopolitical ripple effects will be just as far-reaching, if not more so.
Russia is set to sideline itself from the global economy, and by doing so, it will usher in a new era in international relations. International sanctions will be only the first consequence. Markets and banks penalize uncertainty, so the Russian economy will progressively be cut off from international trade and investment and consigned to a future of slow or no growth.… Seguir leyendo »
La crisis de Crimea desatada por la intervención de Rusia en Ucrania se ve desacertadamente como el comienzo de una segunda Guerra Fría. Sin embargo, si bien las consecuencias del desafío de Vladimir Putin a las leyes y la opinión pública internacionales serán muy distintas de la larga campaña de la Unión Soviética por derrotar al capitalismo, no hay lugar a dudas de que los efectos colaterales geopolíticos tendrán un alcance similar o mayor.
Rusia va en camino de aislarse de la economía global, y al hacerlo abrirá una nueva etapa en las relaciones internacionales. Las sanciones internacionales solo serán la primera consecuencia.… Seguir leyendo »
Slowly – far too slowly – politicians in Europe are beginning to understand that the deep crisis gripping the European Union is a game changer. Even an eventual resolution of the eurozone crisis will not bring a return to the established political order. Europe’s crisis is about fairness, with widespread and growing discontent over wealth disparities now being highlighted by cases of real hardship.
The pay and privilege gap between Europe’s rich and poor has been widening since the 1980’s. Most EU countries have targets aplenty on which the public can vent its rage – whether bankers’ bonuses in the United Kingdom, or multinational corporations’ tax rate of less than 6% in Belgium, whose citizens are the most highly taxed in the OECD.… Seguir leyendo »
The Arab Spring entered a new phase with the collapse of the Qaddafi regime, but it is still far too soon to pronounce North Africa stabilized. International peacekeeping arrangements may yet be needed in a Libya riven by ethnic and religious cleavages, and policymakers should think about long-term arrangements and consider a new collective security framework for the Maghreb region as a whole. In short, the region needs a new NATO – the North Africa Treaty Organization.
The unrest and instability of the Arab Spring – a term that many Arab political activists reject in favor of revolution or uprising – is far from over.… Seguir leyendo »
In the 18 months since the Lisbon Treaty created the European Union’s diplomatic service – the European External Action Service (EEAS) – there has been more talk than ever of Europe having a “single voice” in world affairs. The service became an urgent necessity with the “Arab Spring” roiling the southern Mediterranean region. But a “foreign ministry” is not a foreign policy, and there is little sign that the EU will devise one anytime soon.
The mixed and even contradictory reactions of different EU governments to the Arab popular revolts have highlighted the lack of a common external policy. But they have also hidden a much more significant shortcoming: no one in Brussels has been charged with setting out Europe’s overall aims and concerns, or with analyzing its strengths and weaknesses in a fast-changing world.… Seguir leyendo »
It took eight years of ill-tempered political wrangling to create the European Union’s new diplomatic service, but its fate – and that of its chief, Catherine Ashton – may well be decided over the next few weeks. The Union’s failure so far to respond adequately to the crisis engulfing the Arab world is sharpening knives in foreign ministries across Europe.
From the EU’s point of view, the turmoil engulfing the Arab world couldn’t have come at a worse time. The European External Action Service (EEAS), which is meant to enable the EU “to speak with one voice,” was launched only at the end of 2010 and many senior positions remain unfilled.… Seguir leyendo »