Kimberly Marten

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A Finnish Border Guard ship patrolling near Helsinki, April 2015. Mikko Stig / Lehtikuva / Reuters

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has destroyed the 30-year post-Cold War order in Europe. Among its most significant and unexpected geopolitical effects is that Finland, long a nonaligned country, will likely soon join NATO, probably followed by its similarly nonaligned neighbor, Sweden. Finland shares an 830-mile border with Russia, and the Finnish capital of Helsinki is closer to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s hometown of St. Petersburg than it is to Stockholm. A NATO that includes Finland will more than double the alliance’s land borders with Russia.

Fear of Russia isn’t new for Finland. The country spent a century inside the Russian empire before gaining independence in 1917.  …  Seguir leyendo »

The resignation of two Palestinian prime ministers in quick succession has left the Palestinian Authority leadership in limbo even as U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry seeks to accelerate negotiations toward a two-state settlement.

But naming a new prime minister will accomplish little in furthering a settlement unless the Palestinians can also overcome the patronage, corruption and infighting in their security forces. This would require a change not only in the way the Palestinian Authority operates, but also in the approach of Israel, the United States and others involved.

Building a Palestinian state requires real reform of the Palestinian defense, intelligence and police forces.…  Seguir leyendo »