February, 2016 Europe

<p>Now, get me out of this.</p> Photographer: Jasper Juinen/Bloomberg

BLOOMBERGVIEW, By Marc Champion

The European Union is a strange beast, a 28-sided push-me-pull-you that Britons never loved, but needed. They still do, perhaps more than ever. Yet it is very possible that Britain will vote to leave on June 23, in pursuit of a fantasy.

Cold War lessons on the promise—and nuclear peril—of escalation
Robert Farley

A recent RAND wargame on a potential Russian offensive into the Baltics brought talk of a “new Cold War” into sharp focus. The game made clear that NATO would struggle to prevent Russian forces from occupying the Baltics if it relied on the conventional forces now available.

 Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev giving an interview on the sidelines of the 2016 Munich Securit Conference (Photo: EPA)

Ronen Bergman
Op-ed: The general atmosphere at the 2016 Munich Security Conference was one of despair, confusion and belligerence. The Russians bickered with NATO on every topic, with Russian PM declaring the situation has deteriorated 'to the level of a cold war'; meanwhile, no one talked about the Palestinians, and Iranian FM Zarif failed to draw the same crowds he did in the past.
On stage in Munich, in an almost formal manner, the renewal of the Cold War was announced.

Bataclan, cc Flickr PROERIC SALARD, modified, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

John Rosenthal

Three months after the November 13 terror attacks in Paris that took 130 lives, the world’s media appears to be more convinced than ever that the root of the evil that struck the French capital on that day is to be located some 300 kilometers to the north in the Belgian capital of Brussels. The idea that the Paris attacks were a “Belgian” operation has indeed become so ubiquitous and ingrained that Belgian authorities have felt compelled to mount a campaign to defend the country’s reputation and the mother of one of the victims who died at Paris’s Bataclan theater has even threatened to file suit against Belgium.

 

By Joseph S. Nye Jr
Moscow may try to link cooperation in the Syrian crisis to relief from sanctions.
For the last fifty-two years, leaders from around the world have gathered in Munich for an annual review of world security problems. This year’s discussion focused on the civil war in Syria. Not only is Syria a political and humanitarian crisis in the Middle East, but the refugee flows from that war are causing a political crisis in Europe.

 

NATO secretary general Jens Stoltenberg has announced the deployment of the alliance’s standing naval force in the Aegean Sea to help tackle the refugee and migrant crisis. Apparently triggered by a joint Greek/Turkish/German request, the deployment is ostensibly meant to assist international efforts to stem illegal migration.


We “liberated” it into chaos, by Justin Raimondo
In Pristina, the capital of the make-believe country of Kosovo, there is a street named after Bill Clinton, and a statue of Bill – done in the Socialist Realist style – towers over the main square. They also named a boulevard after George W. Bush, perhaps to hedge their bets after the Republicans took the White House. You couldn’t ask for a more “pro-American” country than this one: but that’s just on the surface. Undercurrents of rabid nationalism – and real resentment of the Americans and Europeans who have been baby-sitting the Kosovars all these years – is now breaking out that threatens whatever modicum of stability Kosovo has ever known.

By Luke Baker
JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israel, Cyprus and Greece have agreed to deepen their energy, security and tourism ties in the Eastern Mediterranean, a deal that may have implications for Israel's testy relationship with the European Union, too.

Nikolas K. Gvosdev
As expected, the Russian government has reacted to U.S. plans to quadruple its planned military spending. The spending increase, announced this week, is intended to support greater U.S. deployments in eastern and central Europe by expanding the equipment stationed there and by rotating American troops in order to maintain, at any given point, the equivalent of a full armored combat brigade in the area.


By BEHLUL OZKAN 

Last month, more than 1,200 Turkish and foreign academics signed a petition calling attention to the continuing humanitarian crisis in many Kurdish-majority towns in southeastern Turkey, which are the site of fighting between the Turkish Army and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or P.K.K. The petition decried the Army’s shelling of urban areas and the imposition of weekslong, 24-hour curfews, which have left many civilians unable to bury their dead or even obtain food. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan publicly denounced the signers as “so-called intellectuals” and “traitors.” Within days, antiterror police had detained and harassed dozens of the signatories.