Foreign policy & defence

Israel's dark view of the world

13 November 2009
The Guardian
The official explained to Bibi Netanyahu that if there was a peace settlement, extra investment would push Israel's longterm growth rate from 5% a year to 7%. The Israeli prime minister responded that if the country had 5% growth, it did not need peace.
Netanyahu was joking, according to the official...

Germany owes Afghanistan an explanation

Tomas Valasek
09 September 2009
The Guardian
Finger pointing is the defence of the concerned and the cornered. So it reflects very poorly on Nato that allies are bickering with one another over an attack that killed an unknown number of Afghan civilians last week.

Is Ukraine fit for the EU?

Tomas Valasek
24 August 2009
The Wall Street Journal
The European Union just helped put together a consortium of international banks to offer Kiev up to $3.6 billion in loans to buy Russian gas.

How to make Europe's military work

16 August 2009
Financial Times
The European Union is justly proud of its "soft power" – its prosperity, stability and commitment to multilateral institutions have won admirers the world over.

Logic in Europe's military could check spending

Tomas Valasek
16 July 2009
Financial Times
When an unstoppable force meets an immovable object bad things usually happen. And so it will be next year when spending cuts imposed by the deepest economic crisis since the Great Depression meet the rising demands of the Afghanistan and Iraq wars. The UK government may have to cut non-defence...

Europe and Russia's continental rift

Katinka Barysch
13 July 2009
Time Europe
Russia's economy - until recently one of the fastest growing in Europe - is in dire straits. In the first three months of this year, output fell by 10% compared with a year earlier.

The unravelling of the EU

03 July 2009
Prospect
Divided on foreign and defence policy, the EU seems to be slipping backwards. It must learn to speak in one voice, or others will shape the new world order, writes Charles Grant, director of the Centre for European Reform.

Will the recession make Europe's militaries weaker?

Tomas Valasek
12 June 2009
Foreign Policy
Governments across Europe are about to slash their defense budgets - but they need to ensure they cut correctly.The economic crisis has wracked government budgets across Europe, as revenues have fallen and spending on stimulus and bailouts has soared.

The EU can ignore Eastern Europe at its own peril

Katinka Barysch
17 April 2009
Yale Global Online
The glow of the G-20 summit and some less-than-awful economic data have brought some faint signs of optimism to Europe. But in the European Union’s Eastern member-states, the risk of economic turmoil and political backlash is still tangible.

Turkey's future lies with Europe

Katinka Barysch
07 April 2009
The Guardian
Barack Obama would not have needed to say it. The fact that he is visiting Turkey as part of a European – not a Middle Eastern – tour shows where he thinks Turkey's future lies: in the EU.

Why can't Europe and Turkey get along

Katinka Barysch
02 April 2009
Time Europe
Now that Turkey's local elections are out of the way, the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) is free to focus on economic and political reforms.

Fighting the leaderless jihad

01 March 2009
E!Sharp
The planned closure of the controversial US interrogation centre and prison at Guantánamo Bay should usher in deeper transatlantic cooperation in the fight against terrorism and other common security threats.

Belarus: An artful balancing act

23 February 2009
International Herald Tribune
Compared with most former Soviet states, Belarus has a lot going for it. The government is less corrupt than in neighboring Russia and Ukraine. Belarus has no oligarchs, since the state never sold its big companies, and social inequalities are low.

Pipe down, price up

Tomas Valasek
06 January 2009
The Guardian
The Russian-Ukrainian gas dispute is turning from a bilateral spat into a regional crisis. EU countries that share a border with Ukraine have reported dramatic drops in the volume of gas deliveries.

Defending European defence in partnership with NATO, strengthening the EU's military muscle is the right idea

Tomas Valasek
09 December 2008
The Wall Street Journal
Ten years ago in St. Malo, Tony Blair and Jacques Chirac launched the European security and defence policy, or ESDP. They had the right idea: The European Union needs a defence arm if it is to play a global role, and with the demand for peacekeepers rising, ESDP could give a needed boost to the efforts of NATO and the United Nations. Or at least that was the theory.

The new Russia and how to deal with it

18 September 2008
Open democracy
Dmitri Medvedev compares '8/8', the date of Georgia's attack on South Ossetia, with 9/11. The Russian president is right that the war in Georgia, and the way the West reacted, have fundamentally changed the worldview of many Russians.

Europe must bring Ukraine into the fold

Tomas Valasek
07 September 2008
In a spectacular case of bad timing, Ukraine’s government all but collapsed last week. President Viktor Yushchenko withdrew most of his deputies from the ruling coalition with Yulia Tymoshenko, the prime minister.

Can the west help prevent an all-out war between Russia and Georgia?

Tomas Valasek
08 August 2008
The Guardian
This week, Georgia made a bold gamble: it moved forces into South Ossetia; a province of Georgia that broke free in the early 1990s, in an attempt to re-assert its authority over parts or all of it.

Russia-China: Axis of Convenience

Bobo Lo
20 May 2008
Open democracy
The China threat looms large in the Russian imagination, but is not justified by the facts suggests Bobo Lo, writing for openDemocracy's new collaboration on Russia and the world.

Turkey: The constitutional frontline

Katinka Barysch
14 April 2008
Open democracy
A legal case against Turkey's ruling party reopens the secular-Islamist argument over the country's future. It's time for wise leadership, says Katinka Barysch.