Longitude #47

March, 2015

Leaders

Greece in the hands of the gods

The great Grexit bluffs
by Stefano Cingolani

Both sides seem to be playing chicken, each with the other’s sword of Damocles. But under the bluster both realize they are condemned to cooperating with each other, even if for Tsipras this means going back on promises that won him the election.

The financial mess
Map by Marie Joveneau
Trouble on the waterfront
by Pietro Guastamacchia

Greece’s unemployed shipyard workers may turn out to be a litmus test for the new government. If prosperity can return to Greece’s biggest port cities, then there may be hope. Otherwise the far right may rise up.

Genealogy of an impasse
by Paul Blustein

In dealing with the Greek crisis, human error has done much to exacerbate the already grave situation. Will a reluctant Europe concede and reflect a sort of divine forgiveness – against its better judgement?

The Great Mediator
by Ubaldo Villani-Lubelli

In the month of February, Angel Merkel met with all the key players in involved in Europe’s precarious security. Combined with her track record in the economic sphere, she is now the point of reference not only as mediator, but also as a leader.

Islam’s Thirty Years’ War

The Middle East’s Thirty Years’ War
by Lanfranco Vaccari­­

If history rhymes, then the current crisis in the Muslim world sounds very much like the upheaval Europe underwent in the 17th century. With religious clashes as an underlying pretext, a new geopolitical order is working itself out.

Shifting sands
Map by Marie Joveneau
Permission to fight the unmentionable enemy
by Christopher Caldwell

While the Obama administration asks permission for what it already has the power to do, it spends an inordinate amount of political capital insisting the Islamic State is not Islamic.

The Islamic State’s franchising strategy
by Shahram Bahadori

The establishment and spread of a contemporary Islamic caliphate was outlined years ago. Now, with the help of social media as a recruitment and propaganda tool, the Islamic State is carrying out a definite strategy.

The Warrior King
by Giancarlo Loquenzi

Initially reluctant to make its fight against IS too public, Jordan has now plunged into the fray. Calls for vengeance at home and the King’s martial upbringing have turned Jordan from mediator to militant. 

Europe

Europe’s perfect storm
by Stefano Stefanini

A convergence of crises combined with Europe’s reluctance to face any of them head on may seriously damage the foundations of the European project. Any solution must in some way revive a seemingly lost political will.

Europe’s perfect storm
by Stefano Stefanini

A convergence of crises combined with Europe’s reluctance to face any of them head on may seriously damage the foundations of the European project. Any solution must in some way revive a seemingly lost political will.

Ukraine crisis

by Stash Luczkiw

Not only is there a war on Europe’s doorstep, but Russia considers itself at war with Europe and its transatlantic allies. The degree to which the West understands this will determine the course of the 21st century.

Before and after Minsk
Map by Marie Joveneau

We the people of Ukraine

Playing with fire
by Massimo Boffa

Arguments for arming Ukraine cannot be made in
a vacuum that does not take into account Ukraine’s geography and history. Nor can the West ignore its own vulnerability and lack of strategy.
 

United States

Myths and reality about the Pivot to Asia
by Luca Gori

Much has been said and written about the Obama administration’s strategy of focusing on Asia. Over time, however, the reality of the approach has been distorted, and events on the ground have forced Obama to adapt.

Venezuela

Under Chávez’s shadow
by Maurizio Molinari

A potential political cataclysm is hovering over Venezuela. The combination of inept leadership cracking down on dissent, an economy solely ­dependent on petroleum, and falling oil prices have conspired to erode the consensus built by the late
Hugo Chávez. ­­­

The Orientalist

On the offensive
by Maurizio Molinari

Outraged by the horrors of IS perpetrated on their subjects, the President of Egypt and the King of Jordan have forged a pact to destroy the jihadists on the other side of their border.

Warming bloopers

Climate financing
by Carlo Clini

Tackling climate change requires investment. But the source of this investment has led to conflict at recent summits to address the issue. One development is the steady increase of developing economies helping other developing economies.

Euro Sisyphus faces jihad

Muslims in Europe
Map by Marie Joveneau