The Turkish downing of a Russian jet that crossed into its territory while bombing targets in Syria complicates even further the play of contraries in an already bewildering set of Mideast conflicts. The episode introduces a fresh tension that could well pit NATO, of which Turkey is a member, against what Gopalkrishna Gandhi calls a fledgling new NATO, or New Anti-Terror Organization, that French President François Hollande is trying to organize globally in the wake of the Paris attacks. Hollande meets Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow this week. (continued)
MOSCOW -- An ad hoc coalition created for a special purpose to solve one specific task is a modern approach that has been gaining support since the turn of the century when it was first proposed by then U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. Consolidation of efforts against ISIS, proposed by Russia, France and even the United States, is an example. Such a team would need no oath of allegiance or common values, but can be quite effective over a short period of time.
SONEPAT, India -- ISIS' manslaughter in Paris has placed on Muslims across the world the agonizing task of self-definition and self-explanation. It has placed Muslims in India in the doubly agonizing predicament of fearing a local backlash for what ISIS does as part of its global agenda. I do not believe intolerance will prevail in India. The people here are not stupid. But they live in a trapezium of wildly swinging emotions. And there, belligerents want to have their macabre fun, get their bloodied thrills.
KARACHI, Pakistan -- Violence against women and girls goes on every day in every country, including those officially at peace -- but it doesn't make headlines. One in three women worldwide are victims of physical or sexual violence -- a far higher number than people affected worldwide by terrorism. Allowing this to continue is as unthinkable as allowing ISIS to rampage and kill wherever it pleases.
When the Islamic State stormed the city of al-Mayadeen in the eastern countryside of Deir ez-Zour along the Euphrates River, they struck with particular vengeance at the homes of Syrian Sufis. Members of the Sufi order were arrested; their clerics were flogged, their spiritual corners torn down.
The idea that crisis will bring the continent together no longer rings true in Europe. The only way the EU will work is if it, like any other well-functioning federation, has a strong center. For that to happen, individual nations need to give up a measure of domestic sovereignty. Yet, each crisis seems to have had the opposite effect, pushing the union toward a breakup as member states jealously guard their sovereignty.
The United Nations Climate Change Conference, also known as COP21, begins later this month in Paris. There, as Newsweek put it, "leaders and high-level officials from 196 parties have 12 days to reach an accord that could save the planet." That's not an exaggeration. The stakes are huge and we're not going to have many opportunities, with everyone gathered together, to come up with a solution equal to the problem.
Hands up -- who changed a Facebook pic to show solidarity with Paris? Raged about the barbarity of the gunmen? Or even, for those "tragedy hipsters" among us, bemoaned the relative indifference of Westerners to other brutal attacks in Lebanon, Kenya and now Nigeria? What about the World Food Programme's confirmation -- for the umpteenth time -- that 1 in 3 North Korean children is stunted due to malnutrition? Anyone?
The Russians are building new nuclear-armed missiles, bombers and submarines to replace those built in the 1980s and now reaching the end of their operational lives. Their nuclear torpedo, more of an underwater drone, deliberately seeks to turn a city into a radioactive wasteland that would last for decades. It is a throwback to the worse designs of the Cold War, long since abandoned. And the U.S. is rearming as well. The Obama administration is planning to spend over $1 trillion in the next 30 years on an entire new generation of nuclear bombs, bombers, missiles and submarines to replace those built during the Reagan years.
LONDON -- I recently traveled to Paris from London. It takes two and a half hours by train. We are neighbors, our histories and populations intertwined. My 10-year-old granddaughter will go there this week with her parents as a birthday treat. She loves everything she has learned about Paris. So, like other Londoners, and citizens of free societies everywhere, she was horrified by the recent atrocities there. I suppose, she said, it could have happened here.
At 73, Allende still maintains the charm of a youthful Latina Sibylla, a pragmatic intellectual who can tell the future from experience and unabashedly talk about love and heartbreak, in her books or in person, the way young women do in the age of Adele. That's part of Allende's magic: in conversation or in her stories, her personal tales bestow on humanity a sense of hope that is never too far to materialize.
BERLIN -- The refugees, so we must continually remind ourselves, do not come to us because they are globalization's losers, but because they are the victims of those who see globalization as the greatest threat to their narrow worldview.
MOSCOW -- European security is now inseparable from the crumbling Middle East developments, something that poses problems and dictates actions, something almost impossible to control. For Russia, it may mean that its operation in Syria, if not a new model to follow, will make much more sense to many in the West.
Given the alarm in Washington about what is touted as a Beijing quietly pursuing expansionism in the South China Sea, Xi has been remarkably blunt on the subject of late.
The people who broke into my home took a framed picture of my children that had been tucked away out of view and put it face down out in the open. This incident occurred as I'm carrying out an investigative reporting project into Mexico's most high-profile human rights crime.
The fact is, people want live in cities with clean air -- and where people want to live, businesses want to invest. One way to do that is by investing in low carbon transportation infrastructure -- from bus rapid transit to bike share systems -- that help reduce congestion and improve mobility.
The larger fallacy in viewing the attacks in Paris and elsewhere as a shift in strategy is the premise that the ISIS state-building project and the notion of attacking the far enemy are mutually exclusive. ISIS hopes to instill terror in its enemies and reinforce Muslim versus non-Muslim divides in civilian populations. It hopes to sow division and discord on the enemies' home fronts.
"Realpolitik" and "international liberalism" no longer sufficed as diplomatic models to resolve world problems. The Westphalian concept of sovereign nations dealing with each other as states has limited application to a world where networks are the dominant form of organization.
The ISIS attack in Paris was an attack on our global community. We have to take decisive collective action now with the global mechanisms available to us and aggressively meet this existential challenge to our core belief systems and way of life.