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Despite their current animosities, Russia and the U.S. need each other to maintain influence in Eastern Europe. For different reasons, neither side wants the crisis to continue, and each has a different read on the situation.
The ongoing talks between U.S. and Iran politicians over the Islamic state’s nuclear program – and the resulting sanctions – signal a major shift in their bilateral relations. But there is more at stake for the two countries, rather than just these issues. Iran will need the U.S.’s help to repair its economy, while America sees Iran as an opportunity to manage its interests in the Middle East.
The U.S.-Europe “friendship” helped shape the 20th century; but as Europe becomes increasingly fragmented – while showing greater divergence to American foreign policy, as demonstrated with the Syrian issue – does a strong transatlantic relationship still bear any significance in the 21st century?
U.S. missions across the Middle East and Africa will remain closed until the end of the week for fear that terrorist cell al Qaeda will launch an attack to mark the end of Ramadan. Calling it one of the most specific and credible threats since 9/11, U.S. lawmakers say the preemptive move would not have been possible if not for electronic intercepts by the National Security Agency. Do such threats legitimise the need for NSA’s surveillance programme which has become hotly debated since the revelations made by former contractor Edward Snowden?
The mainstream debate on China has shifted from forecasts of how quickly China will overtake the United States to considerations of what the consequences of a Chinese crash would be. Following weeks of financial drama and weak economic data, the signs are now unmistakable: China is in big trouble, and the problems in its economy are deeper and even more fundamental than previously thought.
Since announcing the Cyprus bailout on March 25, the European Union, and by de facto Germany, have been keen to emphasise the uniqueness of Nicosia’s situation – downplaying a repeat for any other eurozone nation. The question, of course, is whether foreign depositors in European banks will accept that Cyprus was one of a kind. Indeed, we must ask ourselves why the Germans would have created this risk in the first place.
As domestic issues continue to weigh heavily on the minds of American and Israeli leaders, the foundations for their alliance have gradually withered ahead of Barack Obama’s first visit to Israel as president this week. There has therefore been a very real, if somewhat subtle shift, in the U.S.-Israeli relationship. Neither party is what it once was; and in the end, each has its own fate, linked by history to each other but no longer united.
Fascism had its roots in Europe, during the 1920s and 1930s, in massive economic failures in which the financial elites failed to recognize the political consequences of unemployment. While history may not repeat itself so neatly, the emergence of new political parties speaking for the unemployed and the newly poor could lead to governments who enclose their economies from the world and manage their performance through directive and manipulation.
For years, North Korea has been using nuclear tests as an existential ‘threat’ against its neighbours and the United States. Yet despite the nation’s weak economy and technologically inferior military, successive leaders have somehow managed to manoeuvre themselves into powerful bargaining positions with the world’s superpowers.
Besides its economic and social implications, the persistent decline of the American middle-class also poses a significant geopolitical threat: Can the U.S. really maintain its status as a global superpower when half of the country is either stagnant or already losing ground to the rest of the world?
For close to three years, the primary focus of European leaders has been to solve the region’s banking and sovereign debt crisis, which have caused a serious weakening of the economy and created massive unemployment in some countries. The same leaders however faces a larger problem in 2013: how to manage the social unrest across the continent as a direct consequence to the [mis]handling of the economic crisis.
Barcelona (in Catalonia) and Gaza (in Palestinian territories) may be roughly 3,000km apart, yet the independence movements rising from both regions share similar roots; The idea of romantic nationalism has driven their inhabitants to challenge the legitimacy of their ruling state, demanding liberation and the right to their own authentic nationalism.