Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump during a news conference, Tampa, Florida, July 27, 2016 (AP photo by Evan Vucci).

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump shocked the U.S. foreign policy establishment last week when he told the New York Times that he might not come to the rescue of a Baltic state, all three of which are NATO members, if the Russians invaded. While Trump later explained that his hesitation stemmed from concerns over NATO members paying their dues, it is evident that when it comes to the Atlantic alliance, Trump’s misgivings go beyond dollars and cents. Trump’s most recent statements were consistent with other comments he has made regarding Russia, Russian President Vladimir Putin and NATO, the bloc created […]

German Chancellor Angela Merkel arrives for a statement on the Munich attack, Berlin, July 23, 2016 (AP photo by Michael Sohn).

Since 2009, the European Union has faced a nonstop string of major crises, from Greece’s debt and Ukraine’s separatist fighting, to the refugee influx and now Brexit. Throughout each one, Germany has found itself leading the EU as it muddles its way to a response. But Germany’s leadership hasn’t always been welcome, and Germany’s own relationship with its role in Europe is complicated. Berlin has always had an important role in the EU, but historically it was the partnership between Germany and France that drove European policy. However, as the eurozone crisis grew into a pressing emergency and France was […]

Smoke streams from the chimneys of a coal-fired power station, Gelsenkirchen, Germany, Nov. 24, 2014 (AP photo by Martin Meissner).

Editor’s note: This article is part of an ongoing WPR series on countries’ risk exposure, contribution and response to climate change. Earlier this month, the U.N.’s special envoy on climate change accused Germany of going against the Paris climate agreement by financing the fossil fuel industry through subsidies. In an email interview, Daniel Klingenfeld, the head of the director’s staff at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, discusses Germany’s climate change policy. WPR: How big of an issue is climate change domestically in Germany, and what role does Germany play in EU and international efforts to address climate change? […]

A Russian SU-24 jet making a close-range, low altitude pass near the USS Donald Cook in the Baltic Sea, April 12, 2016 (U.S. Navy photo via AP).

Editor’s note: This is the first in a series of articles inviting authors to identify the biggest priority—whether a threat, risk, opportunity or challenge—facing the international order and U.S. foreign policy today. A war between Russia and the United States is more likely today than at any time since the worst years of the Cold War. This may sound implausible or exaggerated to policymakers, journalists and the wider public. Yet the fact remains that increasing deployments by both sides, coupled with severely constrained direct dialogue, mean that dangerous incidents will become far more likely and will be far harder to […]

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, third left, visits the Hemeimeem air base, Syria, June 18, 2016 (Russian Defense Ministry photo by Vadim Savitsky via AP).

While the world focuses on the so-called Islamic State, the other main jihadi group in Syria—the one still affiliated with al-Qaida—has been biding its time. The Nusra Front has extended its footprint in northwestern Syria as the civil war has dragged on, embedding itself in the patchwork of rebel groups there and, more recently, dreaming of a statelet of its own. The Obama administration, apparently alarmed at those prospects, is now moving to work more closely with Russia to attack the Nusra Front. In a phone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin earlier this month, U.S. President Barack Obama discussed […]

Protesters hold banners during a demonstration against domestic violence, London, U.K., March 5, 2013 (AP photo by Kirsty Wigglesworth).

Editor’s note: This article is part of an ongoing WPR series on the status of women’s rights and gender equality in various countries around the globe. Theresa May became the second-ever female prime minister of the U.K. earlier this month, but a speech she gave in 2013 calling for the Human Rights Act to be scrapped has many wondering how women’s rights might change under her leadership. In an email interview, Andrea den Boer, a senior lecturer at the University of Kent, discusses the state of women’s rights in the U.K. WPR: What is the current status of women’s rights […]

A Syrian woman fries eggs in front of her tent at Ritsona refugee camp, Greece, July 14, 2016 (AP photo by Petros Giannakouris).

Hungarian President Viktor Orban announced in early July that Hungary would hold a referendum in October on the European Union’s plan to redistribute 120,000 refugees from Greece and Italy throughout the union through a quota system. Orban, who has clashed with EU leaders in Brussels since he came to power in 2010, has been a vocal critic of the EU’s response to the migrant and refugee crisis since its onset. Hungary was the first country to close its borders to migrants and refugees at the height of the influx, and the planned referendum is his latest rebuke of EU policy. […]

People gather at a new memorial in a seaside park on the Promenade des Anglais, Nice, France, July 18, 2016 (AP photo by Claude Paris).

The July 14 massacre in Nice, in which a Tunisian-born man living in France, Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel, drove a truck through densely packed crowds celebrating Bastille Day along the waterfront, came just one week after a parliamentary committee called for an overhaul of the French intelligence services. That call followed an investigation by a nonpartisan parliamentary commission into the response to the two attacks France suffered in 2015: first at the offices of satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo and a kosher supermarket that killed 17 in January; and subsequently at a number of sites in and around Paris, including the Bataclan […]

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov after a news conference, Moscow, Russia, July 15, 2016, (AP photo by Alexander Zemlianichenko).

Winston Churchill once quipped that the only thing worse than fighting a war with allies is fighting one without them. Looking at the Middle East, U.S. President Barack Obama might wish he could get rid of his regional allies anyway. His efforts to stabilize the region have been persistently weakened or derailed by America’s supposed friends. Israel tried hard to block last year’s Iranian nuclear deal. Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states have deliberately stirred up the Syrian war, even as Washington has been doing its best to try to end it through diplomacy. Now the turbulence in Turkey threatens […]

Argentine President Mauricio Macri with EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini at a press conference, Brussels, April 7, 2016 (EU photo by Georges Boulougouris).

Argentine President Mauricio Macri was in Brussels earlier this month to push the European Union on finalizing a free trade agreement with the South American trade bloc Mercosur. In an email interview, Inmaculada Martinez-Zarzoso, a professor of economics at the University of Goettingen, discusses the state of the free trade negotiations between the EU and Mercosur. WPR: How extensive are trade and political ties between the EU and Mercosur, and what is standing the way of a free trade agreement between them? Inmaculada Martinez-Zarzoso: Mercosur—and especially Brazil, Mercosur’s largest economy—is an important market for EU goods and services. The main […]

Personal belongings of slain Italian graduate student Giulio Regeni, March 24, 2016 (Photo released by Egyptian Interior Ministry).

In late June, Italy’s Senate voted to suspend the export of spare F-16 parts to Egypt, in the sharpest rebuke yet to Cairo over its poor handling of an investigation into the killing of an Italian student in Egypt earlier this year. Nicola Latorre, a senator from Prime Minister Matteo Renzi’s Democratic Party, called the move a way to pressure Egyptian authorities to help “the truth emerge more quickly” over the brutal murder of Giulio Regeni, a 28-year-old researcher from Cambridge University who disappeared in Cairo on Jan. 25, the fifth anniversary of the popular uprising that ousted former President […]

The empty beach next to the famed Promenade des Anglais, scene of the truck attack, Nice, France, July 15, 2016 (AP photo by Sinan Baykent).

In this week’s Trend Lines podcast, WPR’s editor-in-chief, Judah Grunstein, and host Peter Dörrie discuss the recent ruling by the Permanent Court of Arbitration on the Philippines’ case against China over the two sides’ conflicting South China Sea claims, as well as China’s role and influence in South Sudan. For the Report, Judah Grunstein talks about the recent terrorist attack in Nice and the security situation in France. Listen: Download: MP3Subscribe: iTunes | RSS Relevant Articles on WPR: Understanding Tribunal’s Rejection of Beijing’s South China Sea Claims A Reluctant China May Be the Last Hope for South Sudan France Takes […]

Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi speaks during an EU summit, Brussels, Belgium, June 29, 2016 (AP photo by Geert Vanden Wijngaert).

The Italian word for “stormy” is burrascoso. It is a word that foreigners who live in Italy soon learn, if they have any linguistic skill at all, since the outlook for the economy, politics, society, or relations with Europe is invariably one where dark clouds loom on all fronts. For 40 years now, since the mid-1970s, Italy has indeed been weathering a continuing series of political storms. On at least two occasions, in 1992-1993 and 2011-2012, the country teetered on the brink of a systemic crisis of Greek or Argentine dimensions. In the meantime, the absence of coherent political leadership […]

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, Council President Donald Tusk, EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini and NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg at the NATO summit, Warsaw, Poland, July 8, 2016 (AP photo by Czarek Sokolowski).

Leaders from NATO, its partner countries, the European Union, the United Nations and the World Bank met in Warsaw last week for the alliance’s largest-ever summit. Among the key outcomes from the gathering, NATO leaders agreed to deploy four battalions to the Baltic countries and Poland in order to counter the growing threat from Russia; resolved to continue funding Afghan security forces and keep NATO forces in Afghanistan beyond 2016 for training purposes; and offered continued support for Ukraine’s military modernization efforts. Perhaps the most overlooked agreement to emerge from the Warsaw summit was the joint declaration between the EU […]

A NATO miiltary exercise north of the capital Vilnius, Lithuania, June 16, 2016 (AP photo by Mindaugas Kulbis).

The tenor of NATO’s summit in Warsaw late last week focused overwhelmingly on deterring Russia’s military adventurism. While it was a positive turn for members of the alliance’s eastern flank, such as Poland and the Baltic states, longstanding NATO aspirants like Georgia are unlikely to see any genuine relief from their extended membership limbo. This is largely a consequence of NATO’s increasingly fraught internal politics, but Tbilisi itself cannot escape some blame. NATO’s shift from retrenchment and reassurance to deterrence in response to Russian aggression in Eastern Europe was evident in its plans, announced in Warsaw, to deploy four multinational […]

Moscow's new financial district, known as Moscow City, June 23, 2016 (Photo by Flickr user Syuqor Aizzat, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license).

In late 2013, in a highly publicized address to the Chinese Communist Party’s plenum, Chinese President Xi Jinping announced that his newly elected government would unleash the private sector after decades of gradual economic reforms that left many of China’s biggest industries in the hands of state-owned giants. Market forces, rather than the state, would now play a “decisive role” in the Chinese economy, Xi declared, a line touted by Chinese and foreign media. The declaration represented a major shift: State-owned enterprises consumed the majority of lending from China’s four big banks, and dominate the list of the largest corporations […]

An advertisement urging U.K.-based start-ups to move to Berlin, London, July 5, 2016 (AP photo by Matt Dunham).

The result of the United Kingdom’s referendum on its membership in the European Union was a shock, even to leaders of the “leave” campaign, exposing a lack of planning for the new British relationship with Europe. Amid the turbulence of Brexit, less attention has been paid to its geopolitical effects. But on the key issues of Russia, Syria, China and trade, Brexit will have direct and significant impacts. Russian President Vladimir Putin’s purported desire for Britain to leave the EU was a debating point during the referendum campaign. While Putin’s public statements on the outcome suggest mild approval, private sources […]

Showing 1 - 17 of 211 2 Last