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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan during a rally of his supporters after the country’s abortive July 15 coup, Istanbul, Aug. 7, 2016 (Presidential Press Service photo by Kayhan Ozer via AP).

The West Faces a New Cold War With Democracy Under Threat Again

Monday, Aug. 29, 2016

Editor’s note: This article is part of an ongoing WPR series inviting authors to identify the biggest priority—whether a threat, risk, opportunity or challenge—facing the international order and U.S. foreign policy today.

Just 25 years after winning the Cold War, with the collapse of the Soviet Union and the communist regimes of Eastern Europe, the United States is facing a very different world than the one many had expected. Instead of a world of relative peace, with no proxy wars in developing countries and no major global geostrategic opponents, there is violence and terrorism around the globe, much of it inspired by the self-proclaimed Islamic State. There are major geostrategic conflicts with an assertive Russia and a bolder China, with proxy wars with Russia of varying levels in Syria, Ukraine, Georgia and Armenia and a complex struggle for influence with China in Asia and the Pacific, with possible flashpoints in the South China Sea. But perhaps most dismaying is the decline or even collapse of democratic governance in U.S. allies such as Thailand and Turkey, along with the fracturing of the European Union. ...

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