The new Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, will be meeting with President Barack Obama on the 30th of September. Prime Minister Modi is arriving at a moment when India-America relations have been worse then ever in recent memory.
For decades, the United States has been the world's pre-eminent status quo power. The U.S. fought wars to reverse acts of aggression and restore the status quo in Kosovo and Kuwait. Now new aggressors believe they can threaten the status quo with impunity because the U.S. seems unwilling to stand up to them.
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.
What happens when the strategic fatigue of the West meets an energetic jihadist surge aimed at setting up a Syriaq Caliphate? That is the question The WorldPost asked our contributors to address this week. Writing from Beirut, the legendary former MI6 agent and "middleman of the Middle East," Alastair Crooke, examines the link between ISIS ideology and the puritanical Wahhabi sect of Islam that dominates Saudi Arabia. Graham Fuller, who was CIA station chief in Kabul at the time of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979 and later Vice-Chair of the CIA's National Intelligence Council, draws from his long experience to warn against a "tit for tat" response to the ISIS beheading of James Foley that would perpetuate instead of break the cycle of violence. Writing from Berlin, Joschka Fischer, who was Germany's foreign minister from 1998-2005, calls on Europe to help fill the vacuum in a brutal world as the U.S. tapers its power. Jane Harman, who for many years headed the House Intelligence Committee, laments a "feckless" U.S. Congress that has gone AWOL on American security policy. (continued)
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?
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.
It may remain true that there is much the two countries could do together, particularly over the long term. But shared interests will not be enough to bring the two countries together again. For the problem in relations is grounded in each country's sense of itself and its role in the world.
The swift and dramatic rise of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and the group's de facto transformation from a terrorist organization into a terrorist government with a potent army is daunting and scary. But it's not totally unexpected.
"Wake up," my wife shouted. "We are at war!" A few moments earlier, she met Vladimir Simagin pacing back and forth in the lobby of the Polish hotel...
Following in the footsteps of Jesus Christ who overturned the money-changer's table in Biblical times, Pope Francis has regularly hurled the gospel against the "idolatrous economies" of contemporary global capitalism "that sacrifice man at the feet of the idol of money." This week in South Korea, he took aim at the temple of consumerism. Riding around town in a more-than-modest Kia Soul, he chastised his famously shopaholic flock in the land of Samsung for the "tendency to toy with the latest fads, gadgets and distractions rather than attending to the things that really matter." He also criticized, "the spirit of unbridled competition which generates selfishness and strife." To track the Pope's impact over what he says are his two or three [more] years before death," The WorldPost this week inaugurated a new blog, "Following Francis", by Sébastien Maillard, Vatican Correspondent for La Croix. (continued)
The EU and the United States need to adopt extended, better defined, and more comprehensive energy technology sanctions with urgency, especially if Putin decides to invade Eastern Ukraine under the pretext of humanitarian assistance.
Keeping to his credo of "don't do stupid sh*t," President Barack Obama sent in fighter planes to prevent ISIS from its genocidal assault on fleeing Yazidi refugees in northern Iraq, while also making it clear that the U.S. can just do so much. Only "inclusive" and "non-maximalist" governments in the Middle East, not deeper American intervention, he said in interviews this week, can ever stabilize the region. Peter Galbraith hailed this move against genocide as "The Obama Doctrine." Adel Guindy, an Egyptian Copt leader, called on the UN to live up to its pledge of "never again" to protect religious and ethnic minorities persecuted by those practicing ISIS' brand of Sunni fundamentalism. And WorldPost Middle East Correspondent Sophia Jones recounted the harrowing stories of Yazidi families that found their way to the Turkish border. (continued)
Certainly it is not in the best interest of the U.S. for its allies to be dangerously dependent on monopolistic imports from Russia or anywhere else. However, instead of sending a clear message that LNG export licenses and American energy leadership are coming, the U.S. Senate has put off addressing legislation on LNG exports until September.
After imposing a "full embargo" on imports from the West, Russia has made it clear that the latest sanctions are politically motivated. Russians are likely to lose access to certain items that have long stopped being viewed as Western luxuries.
There seems to be a new Cold War brewing and it's not between the U.S. and Russia, but between Canada and Russia. The contentious issue is the North Pole, or more specifically, the seabed under the Arctic.