Middle East

The geopolitical implications of the COVID-19 pandemic and the role of the EU in the world

What will be the geopolitical impact of the COVID19 pandemic? And what should be the role of the EU in the post pandemic “new normal”? These are the questions that a recent report prepared by Florence Gaub, Deputy Director of the European Institute for Security Studies, for the European [...]

A new kid on the block? China in the security conundrum of the eastern Mediterranean

The eastern Mediterranean, a strategically important region both in terms of connectivity and geopolitics, is plagued by inherent political instability and a long history of intractable conflicts, either ongoing or frozen ones –Palestine, Cyprus, Syria and Libya readily spring to mind. And there has been quite a bit of [...]

Global Spectator, by Andrés Ortega The dangerous politics of humiliation

One of the expressions that has cropped up in various analyses of Donald Trump’s foreign policy is ‘humiliation’, whether in the context of Mexico, Iran, Europe, the UN or even for a period North Korea, although his meeting with Kim Jong-un, scheduled for 12 June in Singapore, represents a [...]

Contrasts between the realism of Kennan and Obama

Was George F. Kennan a diplomatic historian rather than a diplomat who wielded influence in government circles? The answer must be in the affirmative because, despite the kudos he garnered as the strategist who advocated containing the USSR from the outset of the Cold War, Kennan faced consistent problems [...]

Global Spectator, by Andrés Ortega Saudi Arabia vs Iran: the real rivalry in the Middle East

Without it, nothing makes sense, and it has now emerged into broad daylight following the execution of the Shiite cleric Nimr al-Nimr alongside 46 other prisoners –43 of them convicted of al-Qaeda terrorist activities– and the subsequent riots and assault and torching of the Saudi Embassy in Tehran. The [...]

Global Spectator, by Andrés Ortega Paris: a war over an essential not an existential threat

Yesterday the French President François Hollande, before the two parliamentary chambers sitting together as Congress in Versailles, said that ‘France is at war’ and that the coordinated terrorist attacks in Paris have been an ‘act of war’ of the Islamic State (ISIS or Daesh). And indeed, we are involved [...]

Global Spectator, by Andrés Ortega Syria: thank you, Putin

Due to the authoritarian nature of his regime (a format now known as ‘illiberal democracy’, since he actually wins elections), to the way he annexed Crimea and intervened in the Eastern Ukraine, to his homophobia and other similar traits, Vladimir Putin is the object of widespread distaste in the [...]

Global Spectator, by Andrés Ortega Syria: tell me what your legal basis is and I’ll tell you who you are

In their approach to bombing Syria, the different major powers are by no means pursuing the same strategic or political ends, or even justifying themselves on the same legal basis. The latest is Russia, which has been accused by the US of ‘throwing gasoline on the fire’. Although one [...]

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