May, 2016 International Relations

US-RussiaFlyby, photo credit: US Navy

Geopolitical Monitor, Robert Shines
With the end of the Cold War twenty-five years ago, many in the U.S have taken the country’s continued global hegemony for granted. However, this state of affairs is increasingly being challenged by both Russia and China, exemplified by their aerial flybys and interceptions of the US military within their respective regions.

aid beyond india

Project Syndicate, Mujobu Moyo
WASHINGTON, DC – Imagine you are a parent with a large number of children and limited resources. Your oldest child is mature enough to move out of your home, but he does not want to. So he stays, consuming resources that his siblings desperately need. Is it right to allow your other children to suffer because their big brother is reluctant to strike out on his own?


By Pepe Escobar

 "Information Clearing House" - "RT" - So foreign ministers from the 28 NATO member-nations met in Brussels for a two-day summit, while mighty military power Montenegro was inducted as a new member.

MURAT YETKİN, hurriyetdailynews
In the opening session of the first ever United Nations World Humanitarian Summit, which started in Istanbul on May 23, Turkish President Tayyip Erdoğan strongly criticized the U.N.’s inability to take and execute decisive moves to address man-made crises, giving the example of the Syria civil war.

BURAK BEKDİL, hurriyetdailynews
Under the management of the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) foreign policy, it has been a real challenge to keep a count of the flight itineraries of Turkish ambassadors in foreign capitals. Those who are recalled, resent, then recalled again, then resent or not… But all such punishing diplomatic moves have one thing in common: The extra flight costs have not changed the course of events that Turkey has protested about in the countries where Turkish ambassadors have been on the move.

Dangerous drugs

By Paul Rexton Kan
In 1834, the British Government could not have sent a worse person with the worst set of instructions to China. The British Parliament chose William Napier, a Scottish lord, to be the Chief Superintendent of Trade in East Asia. Lord Napier had no experience with Chinese culture or traditions, but was nonetheless sent to Canton to take-up residence as the King’s representative and to ensure unfettered access to the Chinese market.

 By Maxim Trudolyubov
“Without international revolution, neither the Soviet Union nor any other [socialist] country can triumph... We have to increase the number of our friends,” Vyacheslav Molotov, the Soviet premier and wartime Minister of Foreign Affairs, once said. Such wisdom from the olden days of the Cold War should be held in high regard in todays’ Russia, given the increased official respect for Soviet legacy. But the Kremlin does not seem to follow cold-war blueprints.

Laura Tuck
WASHINGTON, DC – India is currently facing its worst water crisis in years, with an estimated 330 million people – one-quarter of its population – affected by severe drought. Ethiopia is also dealing with its worst drought in decades, which has already contributed to the failure of many crops, creating food shortages that now affect around a tenth of the population. Under such circumstances, the risk of tension over resources is high.


Author Pinar Tremblay

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu is stepping down and the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) will hold an extraordinary congress on May 22 to elect a new chairman and prime minister. Davutoglu will not be one of the candidates on the ballot. Sources in Ankara explain the process as the graceful exit of Davutoglu from a messy situation and preserving the AKP's status. Al-Monitor columnist Mustafa Akyol has provided a succinct account of the May 1 Pelican Brief blog that rocked Ankara and led to Davutoglu's downfall.

Simon Tisdall, theguardian
One of the biggest casualties of the power struggle at the top of Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development party (AKP) may be the critically important deal with the EU on stemming the unprecedented flow of refugees to Europe from Syria’s civil war.

Ian Cobain, Alice Ross, Rob Evans and Mona Mahmood
The British government is waging information warfare in Syria by funding media operations for some rebel fighting groups, in the foreign front of what David Cameron has called “the propaganda war” against Islamic State.

Agencies in Brussels, theguardian
The European commission has urged EU member states and MEPs to back visa-free travel for Turkish nationals, one of the terms of a deal on refugees struck between the Brussels and Ankara in March.

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By Spiros Sideris

AthensIndependent Balkan News Agency

The latest round of talks on Confidence Building Measures between Greece and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia was held in Skopje on April 25, 2016, based on the agreement reached between the two Foreign Ministers in Skopje on June 24, 2015.

MURAT YETKİN, hurriyetdailynews
Most countries, especially in the West, had no awareness of a terrorism threat on their territory until al-Qaeda’s shocking acts on Sept. 11, 2001. In a sense, 9/11 was the opening act of a wave of global guerilla warfare.


By Gilbert Doctorow

The U.S. government doesn’t want to admit that its heady “unipolar” days are over with Russia no longer the doormat of the 1990s, but Washington’s arrogance risks war, even nuclear annihilation, explains Gilbert Doctorow.

By Frida Ghitis
(CNN)

Last Saturday night, the Dutch journalist Ebru Umar was reportedly resting at her vacation home in the Turkish resort town of Kusadasi when she heard a knock at the door. Umar, a fierce critic of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, was about to become an example of the very practices against which she has been fulminating in her newspaper columns and her Twitter account.