I didn’t get to enjoy a full-fledged media fast during the three weeks I was away, as I managed to do last summer. But I did limit myself to urgent e-mails, the occasional online news item, and some print magazine reading. And I consider that kind of break from the information onslaught a vital exercise for the way it allows you to focus back in on the big stories that are sometimes obscured by the radio static of day-to-day international news and debate. Not that the latter is unimportant, just that the former is essential. The first thing that struck […]
Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, and President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy met at a summit in Brasilia in July to discuss the development of bilateral and regional ties. In an e-mail interview, Dr. Mahrukh Doctor, lecturer in political economy at the University of Hull and visiting associate professor at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, discusses Brazil-EU relations. WPR: What issues are driving the current relationship between Brazil and EU? Mahrukh Doctor: The key drivers of Brazil and EU relations are trade and investment. Brazil is the largest […]
Trend Lines will return on August 30th. During this publishing hiatus, we will be taking time to think of new ways that we can better serve and inform our readers and perform routine site maintenance. Is there something you’d like us to discuss more on Trend Lines? Want to give us feedback? E-mail our Assistant Editor, Kari Lipschutz, at Kari@worldpoliticsreview.com. Check back in at http://www.worldpoliticsreview.com throughout the hiatus for limited time only content.
South Korea and Indonesia will jointly develop a 4.5-generation fighter, according to a memorandum of understanding signed last month. In an e-mail interview, Stephanie Neuman, an adjunct professor at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs and a senior research scholar the Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies, discusses the advantages and obstacles of an Indonesia-South Korea joint fighter project. WPR: What is the history of this joint fighter project? Stephanie Neuman: Beginning in 1980, development of domestic defense industries was encouraged by the Indonesian government and by the early 1990s various domestic companies were capable of producing […]
Syrian forces detained 400 people last month in connection with the separatist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). Meanwhile Syria, Turkey and Iran have seemingly stepped up their coordinated response to the militant group. In an e-mail interview, Aliza Marcus, a writer based in Washington, and the author of “Blood and Belief,” a book on the PKK, explains Syria’s,Turkey’s, and Iran’s fight against the militant group. WPR: Historically, what has been the level of cooperation between Turkey, Syria and Iran in fighting Iraq-based PKK and PJAK militants? Aliza Marcus: Turkey, Iran and Syria historically have been at odds when it comes to […]
The foreign ministers of Chile and Bolivia met in La Paz last month to begin negotiations on an agenda that includes Bolivia’s request for Pacific Ocean access. In an e-mail interview, Council of the Americas Senior Director of Policy Christopher Sabatini — with historical research by COA policy associate Nina Agrawal — explains the context for the Bolivia-Chile maritime dispute. WPR: What is the origin of the dispute? Christopher Sabatini: The Bolivia-Chile maritime dispute is actually over landlocked Bolivia’s access to the Pacific Ocean. It goes back to colonial times, when viceroys had competing claims over the area — the […]
Turkish President Abdullah Gül met with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak late last month to discuss bilateral relations and the Middle East peace process. In an e-mail interview, Paul Salem, director of the Carnegie Middle East Center, discusses Turkey-Egypt bilateral relations. WPR: How would you characterize Turkish-Egyptian relations historically? Paul Salem: For most of the 20th century, Egypt and Turkey were effectively part of different “regions.” Until recently, Turkey was generally orientated toward the West — with its inclusion in the NATO alliance — and had fairly tense relations with the countries of the Arab East. Turkey was viewed suspiciously by […]
In his assessment on how things could have been different in Afghanistan, David Sanger in Sunday’s New York Times repeats one of the fixed assumptions about America’s longest war to date: we wouldn’t be in the current mess in Afghanistan “if only [the Bush administration] had not been distracted by Iraq, or averted [its] eyes from the Taliban’s resurgence.” That’s almost certainly the case. But it turns out that without the Iraq war, the U.S. could well have found itself fighting in Afghanistan without NATO. It was the rapid U.S. advance across Iraq, particularly the fall of Baghdad, that turned […]
Britain and France are launching a joint effort to examine possibilities for defense cooperation in the face of shrinking defense budgets. In an e-mail interview, Nick Witney, senior policy fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations and former chief executive of the European Defence Agency in Brussels, explains the context for current France-Britain military cooperation. WPR: What are some of the historic differences between Britain and France’s defense postures? Nick Witney: We’ve won more times than they have! Think Agincourt, Trafalgar . . . More seriously, since World War II, the main differences have stemmed from France’s independent, Gaullist […]
In a speech delivered yesterday to the national convention of the Disabled American Veterans, U.S. President Barack Obama reaffirmed his intentions to stick by his plan for withdrawing troops from Iraq. World Politics Review senior editor and senior fellow at the Hudson Institute, Richard Weitz, discusses Obama’s announcement, Baghdad’s readiness to take over operations in Iraq, and the possible ramifications for withdrawal in this CSPAN interview.