For some, nationalism can feel like all they have. Others turn to a gang, revenge, or a twisted form of Islam. None of this, of course, remotely excuses invasions, gang violence, massacres or terrorism. But it may be a warning that we can't just flatten the world. We also have to find ways to fill it up.
The first Cold War was the result of the total opposition of two systems. This likely second Cold War, meanwhile, is simply the result of conflicting U.S. and Russian interests. It is a conflict that has spiraled out of control due to serious political mistakes, arrogance and lack of foresight on both sides. How long will this second Cold War last, and how will it end? There is a widespread belief among Chinese experts that the Ukrainian crisis has given China a 10-year "strategic break" in its clash with the U.S. This view is likely close to the truth.
This dangerous 21st century will be safer if the West is strong together. A strong West means a strong and legitimate NATO built on strong and credible armed forces. Wales is the place and the time to act. It is also the place and the time for NATO to be radical. NATO needs to rediscover a shared level of ambition that has been notably lacking of late, something which Moscow has been all too happy to exploit.
General Valery Gerasimov writes about how "a perfectly thriving state can, in a matter of months and even days, be transformed into an arena of fierce armed conflict, become a victim of foreign intervention, and sink into a web of chaos, humanitarian catastrophe, and civil war." This is achieved, Gerasimov writes, by "the broad use of political, economic, informational, humanitarian, and other non-military measures applied in coordination with the protest potential of the population." The goal is "to create a permanently operating front through the entire territory of the enemy state."
Drones are the natural progression of technology in war. They save lives, and make "safe battle" more of a reality.
It is a given that actions against ISIL and Russia will be undertaken, and each has that ring of "prolonged" to it that indicates it will require both patience and financing.
While NATO membership for Ukraine would almost surely make Russia more cautious in its treatment of that nation, the immediate risk of NATO membership is likely to make Russia much more aggressive in an attempt to prevent that from ever happening.
South American political elites seem to have jettisoned much of the high minded left idealism of past years in favor of crass economic interests. In a somewhat outlandish turn of events, Brazil has embraced Vladimir Putin, a figure who has desperately sought to end his country's political and diplomatic isolation.
President Obama's brief stopover in Tallinn en route to the NATO Summit in Wales this week couldn't have been be any timelier. Showing up in person matters a lot to the Balts who are increasingly feeling the heat after Russia's invasion of Crimea and subsequent aggression in Eastern Ukraine.
Now is the time for the West -- whether NATO, the United States, or individual European states --to provide or sell the high-tech weaponry Ukraine needs to defend itself effectively. The argument against such a move -- that it would provoke a Russian escalation--is no longer valid, now that Russia has escalated. A well-armed Ukraine could stop Putin from embarking on any of these more alarming scenarios.
The United States is arguably the biggest kid on the worldwide block. We've got money, we've got power and lots of smart people -- heck, we've got Google headquarters. Who else has Google headquarters? We have all sorts of great things going for us. But today, the narrative is tainted.
Vladimir Putin appears steadfast in his determination to reclaim large sections of Ukraine -- in particular its industrial heartland -- through intimidation and violence, while denying any but humanitarian involvement there. This raises the question: Is Putin psychotic?
It's not quite 1914, but troops are on the move again around the world. Find out what's happening by taking the Week to Week news quiz. Here are som...
What is a constant here is that there is a Saudi-Egyptian-Emirati strategic relationship with important regional dimensions, and this deserves appreciation, at least for what it represents in the regional balance of power and as a bulwark against the projects led by radical Islamist groups.
The long-term solution everyone's been talking about -- including Merkel and her Foreign Minister, Walter Steinmeier --is "federalization." For Russia, long a champion of federalization in the Donbas (and long a foe of federalization at home), federalization means near-independence. Presumably after having been briefed by Ukrainian officials about why the term is unacceptable, Merkel emphasized that what she really meant was "decentralization."
If western sanctions serve to increase ties between Russia and India, as well as Russia and China, it may be that the sanctions have backfired and strengthen rather than hurt Russia's standing in the world.