On Nov. 23, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev warned NATO that it needs to address Moscow’s security concerns over its plans for European ballistic missile defense (BMD) or face renewed confrontation. Although Medvedev’s declaration, made in a special televised announcement, may have been designed to boost his party’s fortunes in next week’s parliamentary elections, his position is a widely held one within the Russian government. And since he listed a series of demands that, while not unreasonable, cannot be met by NATO governments, the next Russian and American presidential terms will probably see renewed battling over the BMD issue. Medvedev recalled […]

article card

Portuguese Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho visited Angola earlier this month to promote greater investment from his country’s former colony. In an email interview, Pedro Seabra, a researcher at the Portuguese Institute of International Relations and Security, discussed Portugal-Angola relations. WPR: How have relations between Portugal and Angola evolved in the past decade? Pedro Seabra: Since Angola’s civil war ended in 2002, bilateral relations with Portugal have skyrocketed both in political and economic terms. Overall, there has been a clear political drive from both countries to try to make up for lost time while at the same time seeking to […]

In a speech at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington last Friday, Viktor Ivanov, the director of Russia’s Federal Drug Control Service (FSKN), laid out an ambitious agenda for increased Russia-U.S. cooperation in several counternarcotics areas, characterized by “new thinking” on a variety of issues. Ivanov, who stopped in Washington after attending the fifth meeting of the Counternarcotics Working Group of the U.S.-Russia Presidential Commission in Chicago, proposed creating an integrated command for counternarcotics efforts in Afghanistan that would include representatives from the FSKN, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force […]

The absence of the European Union from the Sixth East Asia Summit (EAS), which will be held in Bali, Indonesia, on Nov. 18-19, is a sign that the EU may play only a secondary role in what many see as the unfolding “Asian century.” Though the EU is the longest-standing partner of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the lead organization for the EAS, EU leaders will be totally excluded from the summit, which will bring together leaders of the 10 ASEAN states, plus Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, Russia, South Korea and the U.S. This exclusion should […]

Successive British governments have stressed strategic continuity, and there appears to be general political support for this among the electorate. But over the past 10 years, and particularly over the past two years, the U.K. has struggled to find the resources necessary to maintain the capabilities that would ensure strategic continuity. It has also found itself forced to reassess its position on a number of key international issues that determine how other powers respond to the U.K. as a global power. As a result, the United Kingdom’s position in the current international system is generally ambiguous. When the Conservative-Liberal coalition […]

Despite expectations, the 10th Meeting of the Prime Ministers of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) held in St. Petersburg, Russia, on Nov. 7, 2011, did not announce the addition of any new full members or full observers. The SCO governments have repeatedly claimed that they need more time to establish the rules and procedures to govern new members. In reality, the existing members have proven unable to overcome their differences regarding which countries should receive membership or observer status. Indeed, some appear to fear that membership enlargement would weaken rather than strengthen the organization. Clearly the SCO remains stuck in […]

article card

The successful launch this week of a Russian spacecraft carrying an American and two Russians to the International Space Station may have eased anxieties about the future of U.S. and Russian space programs. But the reprieve is likely temporary, since it followed two recent Russian space failures — the August crash of an unmanned cargo ship and the malfunction last week of an unmanned Mars probe — as well as a string of failed satellite launches. The failures are attracting mounting scrutiny, since the U.S., which scrapped its Space Shuttle program earlier this year, now depends on Russia to ferry […]

Editor’s note: This is the second of a two-part series on the unlikelihood of a Chinese contribution to a financial bailout of Europe. Part I examined the domestic obstacles to a Chinese contribution. Part II examines the European obstacles to a Chinese contribution. SHANGHAI — Due to multiple ideological and practical obstacles, major Chinese participation in any European rescue plan would require significant material concessions from European leaders to gain any traction among Chinese policymakers and citizens. So far, proposed concessions have been largely symbolic, such as promises to recognize China’s market economy status. Moreover, China prefers to deal either […]

article card

The need to bring order to America’s finances has made defense budget cuts unavoidable, with the question now turning to where and how much to cut. A recent CNAS report offered some granular — and alarming at the high end — details in terms of how various levels of cuts would impact U.S. military capabilities. Now two articles in Foreign Affairs bring into focus a more reassuring view of both defense austerity, which Benjamin J. Friedman likens to “the best possible auditor,” and retrenchment, which Joseph Parent and Paul MacDonald deem to be the most promising way for an overextended […]

Editor’s note: This is the first of a two-part series on the unlikelihood of a Chinese contribution to a financial bailout of Europe. Part I examines the domestic obstacles to a Chinese contribution. Part II will examine the European obstacles to a Chinese contribution. SHANGHAI — Recent optimism regarding possible Chinese involvement in addressing the European debt crisis is misplaced given China’s domestic political and economic conditions, resistance within the European Union itself and the growing international perception that Europe’s leaders simply do not have the capacity to design a sustainable solution for the continent’s economic woes. The disappointing outcome […]

To many observers, with its agonizing lurch toward default accompanied by crippling street protests, Greece in 2011 begs comparison to Argentina in 2001. Facing insolvency and 20 percent unemployment a decade ago, Argentina has mounted a strong recovery since defaulting on its international loans, leading some to think it can offer lessons for Greece’s turnaround. The comparison is misleading, however, for a variety of reasons. More importantly, prescribing policy based on Argentina’s recovery would be disastrous for Greece. Argentina’s economy rebounded from its 2001 collapse primarily thanks to demand for goods that were devalued by 70 percent when Argentina was […]

In the wake of last week’s G-20 Summit in Cannes, France, a number of commentators have weighed in on the U.S. response — or lack thereof — to Europe’s ongoing financial crisis. Most notably, articles in the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times suggested that the lack of a U.S. contribution to Europe’s bailout fund is a clear sign of American decline. As further support for the “decline narrative,” both trot out examples from the 1990s, when the U.S. led the way in bailing out Mexico and East Asian countries as financial crises gripped their economies. Yet, on […]

article card

As Greece teeters on the edge of bankruptcy without a state leader, citizens are living in a vacuum of political posturing. The European Union is turning the screw and from the White House a veiled warning for the country to, “move as quickly as possible to fulfil its commitments.”

Power is the ability to affect others to obtain preferred outcomes, and that can be done through coercion and payment or attraction and persuasion. Generally, people associate coercion with military power resources, but that is too reductive. After all, economic power resources can also be used for coercion. Even in terms of what is considered “normal” economic behavior, the boundaries are not always so clear. As Thomas Schelling has argued, “The difference between a threat and a promise, between coercion and compensation, sometimes depends on where the baseline is located.” After all, once compensation becomes an expectation, withholding it for […]

Showing 1 - 17 of 191 2 Last