In the age of spectacle, how facts are perceived weighs as much on political decision-making as the facts themselves. This awareness, in the mind of a military hyperpower’s leadership, could upend all our notions
of geopolitical strategy.
Nationalist and identitarian movements are on the rise in the West. Many of those professing more globalist or universalist approaches to politics are worried. And yet, a certain kind of universalism is unwittingly contributing to its own demise.
US-Russian relations are at a low point since the end of the Cold War. President Donald Trump has often expressed the hope of forging a new relationship with Russia. Will the art of the deal lead to a geopolitical grand bargain?
Syria is pregnant with a new world order. Whether the result is stillborn or a thriving new geopolitical arrangement will depend largely on how Donald Trump deals with the ascendant powers that have benefitted from the war.
As if to underscore the demise of ideologies, a presidential campaign focused on self-aggrandizement and character assassination has brought a new kind of leader to power in the United States.
Many reasonable people are dismayed by Donald Trump’s victory in the US presidential elections. But there is more to politics than reason. There is also the much-neglected entertainment factor, which has worked to Trump’s advantage.
The antagonism between Russia and the West keeps building. Any of the world’s many flashpoints can lead to a major confrontation, and everyone is trying to guess what Putin will do next. A close look at the trajectory of his power plays sheds light on what he intends to do in the future.
Just when the United States appeared to have transcended its legacy of racial discrimination, the race issue is rearing its head in the presidential election. What does this mean for the future of American politics?
The fallout from Brexit has many pondering the fate of the EU. Absent any concrete European identity, the continent’s various peoples are falling back on national identities that appear to be assailed from all directions.
Americans are fed up. Now all the focus is on Donald Trump, who is transforming American politics by touching tender nerves and re-exalting a side of the American psyche that has come to be considered taboo.
Russia’s place on the geopolitical chessboard has changed drastically in recent years. The driving force behind this change is the mind of one man who has
the world constantly watching his next move.
The not-quite-frozen conflict in Ukraine has left the country in limbo. Fighting continues in the east two years after it began, but the country is now focused on the war within, between reform and corruption as usual.
Pop-politics is nothing new. But when traditional content is combined with new forms and revolutionary technology, one can expect a sea change. The Trump movement exhibits all the symptoms of such a shift as it taps into America’s hopes and fears.
The prospect of either Trump or Sanders winning their parties’ nominations would signal an anti-establishment turn in US politics. What this means could generate the noise for an eerie soundtrack that risks drowning out the rhetoric of change.
Ethnic cleansing as a viable solution to any geopolitical conflict is something nobody today can advocate.
But the ongoing war in Syria is forcibly shifting its demographics, leaving little alternative to partition.
Ukraine is making slow tumultuous progress in its quest for European integration. While the post-revolution government is generally viewed as more of the same, many people recognize that it is probably better than the alternatives.
The Islamic State has claimed another terrorist attack to back up its declaration of war against the infidel West. Meanwhile, Western countries continue to debate whether IS should really be called a state and who exactly the terrorists in Syria are.
As Russian bombs bolster the Assad regime in Syria, Putin is walking a razor’s edge between the hope of forcing a negotiated settlement and the risk of a proxy war with the United States.
Outliers Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders are making waves early in the upcoming US presidential elections. Yet their very popularity is a strange testament to how solid the establishment really is.
The sheer complexity inherent in the Syrian Civil War makes it seem insoluble. It also raises the distasteful prospect of having to deal with other such pockets of mayhem for the foreseeable future.
Ukraine’s economy has been devastated by years of misrule and now war. Faced with dismemberment, Kiev’s aspiration to become a more European society is dependent on Western support. But is the West committed to helping?
As the fragile Minsk accords get tested on a daily basis, so do Ukraine’s volunteer battalions protecting Mariupol. A report from the front lines takes a look at the vanguard of Ukraine’s revolution.
For the time being, neither side in Ukraine’s war can benefit from decisive escalation. But both sides stand to gain from low-intensity fighting.
Europe’s Jews are getting nervous. In the past, political and economic volatility, combined with the perception that Jews wield more power than their numbers warrant, have proven to be a recipe for catastrophe.
Sometimes death count is less important than the manner in which murder is perpetrated. The increased awareness of what shocks leaders and populations to action is having a huge impact on politics.
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.
Europe is under attack from a homegrown strain of militant Islam that has appeared among its steadily increasing Muslim population. As it shores up its defenses, it will inevitably need to re-examine what it means to be European.
Caught between a resurgent Russia and a non-committal EU and NATO, Eastern European countries must weigh their wishes and ideals against the ineluctable reality of geography.
The rise of IS has made the power balance in the Middle East more precarious than ever. How neighbors and the West deal with the threat will be a bellwether for future conflicts and the validity of Western values.
Russia has focused the world’s attention on its every move, seemingly overnight. Having eliminated any serious opposition to his power at home, Putin can act rapidly when the occasion arises. But speed magnifies impact – of mistakes as well as successes.
Long beset by internal divisions, Ukraine is now struggling against a military invasion by Russia that has forced a frozen conflict and caught the West unprepared. What happens there will inevitably dictate Europe’s course in the 21st century.
European nations have relatively homogenous populations within their borders, and this has been a source of stability. But homogeneity often came at a horrific price. And not all nations have managed to complete the process.
The internet has blasted open a Pandora’s box of personal space. The EU’s recent decision to allow
Google users the right to be forgotten highlights
ongoing tensions in an attempt to balance freedom
of expression and privacy.
With Europe dependent on Russian gas, what happens in Ukraine will have a lasting effect on both their economies. Channeling ideological disputes through the conduit of gas issues might serve to divert a disastrous war.
After the exaltation of bringing down a corrupt government, Ukraine’s new leaders face existential threats on all fronts: military, economic, and social. To make things even harder, their country’s fate may be determined by outside powers.
China needs to increase its food production and has begun shopping for fertile land beyond its borders. A monumental deal with Ukraine indicates where the future of agriculture may be headed.
Europe and Russia are fighting a tug-of-war over Ukraine, which has been shaken by pro-EU protests that want to depose the president. How the EU deals with its neighbors to the east is likely to affect its strategy for decades to come.
Pope Francis has set out to regenerate the Roman Catholic Church by rekindling the spirit of Christ within it. That spirit, however, may be sowing the very seeds of the Church’s demise.
Having saved Russia from irrelevance, Vladimir Putin will continue his calculated path toward reestablishing his nation as a world power that has to be taken seriously in matters of geopolitical significance.
Is Obama’s foreign policy in the Middle East a comedy of errors or a cunning display of realpolitik? Now that the war in Syria has drawn the US in, the President must show his true colors.
When antagonistic powers can’t seem to agree on the big issues, it might help to look at how they manage the smaller problems and then build from there. The US, Russia and Iran now need to engage with each other despite themselves.
Big data has already changed much more than just the global economy. Now it is rapidly transforming how we experience reality. As the power of computers reaches a critical mass, technologists and those at the mercy of technology will be forced to reevaluate what it means to be human.
Syria is flirting with the growing specter of sectarian massacres. Meanwhile, leaders watching numbly from outside are realizing that one of the victims of this war may turn out to be our very notion of modernity.
Sandwiched between theocratic co-religionists in Iran and a Sunni revolt in Syria, Iraq’s Shia are bracing themselves for turbulence in the near future – especially when their moderate leader, the aging Ayatollah al-Sistani passes away.
There’s nothing like a dose of constructive self-criticism to temper a tendency toward hubris. But what if the examination of conscience is geared toward future ambition?
The Arab Awaking has been a rude one. Al-Qaeda may be marginalized, but its impact on Islamist politics has been indelible. The Muslim world now finds itself caught in the throes of a post-Qaeda reevaluation of its own traditions and its relationship to the West.
In the wake of yet another tragedy, the long dormant gun control debate has now been revived in Washington. But before anything substantive can be achieved, Americans will need to explore the roots of their own love affair with guns.
The Sunni-Shia divide is inflaming a Middle East still staggering from ongoing upheavals. The resurgence of this ancient rivalry makes it imperative to take identity into consideration
as much as ideals.
What will become of the American dream in an increasingly divided America? As a weary population drags itself out of hole, the deep vein of pragmatism inherent in the American endeavor will force a reassessment of the nation’s driving ideal.
Recent protests are seen in the West to reflect Russia’s longing for more freedom. But Russians have long been wondering whether too much freedom, especially the Western variety, might not do more harm than good.
As Americans prepare for the presidential election, their choice will be based as much on an aesthetic vision of how America should be as on the proposals and promises of the opposing candidates.
If the world slips into chaos, India, the perennial underachiever, will be able to embrace the disarray better than other nations. The key lies in her ability to make sense where there appears to be none.
With the rapid “browning of America,” Republicans and Democrats are faced with a new reality on the ground. Both need to understand how the demographic shift will affect voters’ political
center of gravity.
Information is the raw material for spy work. But as information and processing power increase exponentially, will the importance and power of intelligence services follow suit?
Inner cities are hip again, and young people are moving there in droves. But since cities – more than suburbs and the country – need government money to work well, the demographic trend will no doubt effect politics.
Fraudulent legislative elections and growing protests have set the stage for Russia’s upcoming presidential elections. Putin will have to adjust. His choice of tactics should indicate the direction in which Russia is headed.
Since 9/11, religion has become a glaring aspect of political conflict. In the face of upheavals building steam, both the Islamic world and the West will be forced to reexamine their cultural foundations.
The plight of Yulia Tymoshenko reflects not only Ukraine’s often absurd political maneuvers, but how her country’s position as gas transit point can affect Europe’s energy security.
In order not to ruffle the giant’s feathers, longstanding criticisms and suspicions have had to be hushed. But playing the devil’s advocate, one might suggest that not all that glitters is gold.
As water becomes an increasingly precious commodity, even charitable organizations have joined to invest in water’s future.
Twenty years since the coup that terminated the USSR, Russia’s dynamic duo is gearing up for elections, and everyone is waiting to see if it will be Putin or Medvedev to run for president. Ultimately the situation on the ground will determine what suits Putin best.
People naturally expect leaders to shape events. But the will of even the most effective leader might be negligible in the face of history, no matter how hard he tries to bend fate.