April 17, 2014
Russian President Vladimir Putin’s annexation of the Crimean Peninsula caught Western leaders by surprise, but it shouldn’t have. The Russian strongman clearly professes a nationalist, authoritarian, expansionist ideology that defines Russia in opposition to the West.
Putin’s Expansionist Ideology Seeks to Fill Post-Soviet Void
Russian President Vladimir Putin looks on during a press conference on Ukraine at his country home, Novo-Ogaryova, outside Moscow on March 4, 2014. (Alexey Nikolsky/AFP/Getty Images)
Hungarian Vote Complicates EU Response to Russia
April 8, 2014
The dramatic re-election victory of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban on April 6 may thwart the European Union’s plan to level tough economic sanctions on Russia for annexing Crimea. After signing a nuclear cooperation pact with the Kremlin earlier this year, Hungary’s Orban is well positioned to defend Russian President Vladimir Putin’s actions in Ukraine.
Anxious for Success Abroad, US Weighs Aid to Syrian Rebels
April 7, 2014
Stung by foreign policy failures in Ukraine and Egypt and struggling to salvage peace talks between Israel and Palestine, the Obama administration is considering changing its policy of limited support for Syrian rebels. While aid is desperately needed by the outgunned, undersupplied fighters, figuring out which factions are pro-Western is not easy to do and the effectiveness of U.S. weapons that eventually reach them is likely to be limited.
Energy-starved Africa Seeks Nuclear Answer to Power Problem
April 7, 2014
Despite Africa’s abundance of untapped oil and natural gas deposits, the continent is plagued by insufficient electricity production. To reverse this trend, Kenya and Nigeria are eager to obtain nuclear power and South Africa appears determined to upgrade its nuclear capacity despite substantial security risks.
Philippines Sues China Over High-Stakes Sovereignty Claims
April 7, 2014
The Philippines has escalated a regional dispute with Beijing over the South China Sea, home to huge potential oil and gas reserves, by seeking UN arbitration over a deliberately beached ship Manila uses to fend off Chinese sovereignty claims. The outcome could affect at least six nations and one-third of global commerce which passes through the waters each year.
With Turkish Aid, Islamists Drive Christians From Syrian Town
April 4, 2014
Al-Qaeda-backed insurgents reportedly aided by Turkey stormed a Syrian coastal town populated by Christians on March 21, driving more than 2,000 ethnic Armenians from their homes and prompting calls for Western governments to intervene. Turkey’s support of radical Islamists imperils regional security and further tests Western efforts to relieve the area’s worsening refugee crisis.
West Finds Some Russian Arms Deals Are Too Big to Fail
April 4, 2014
Despite the urgency to enact tough sanctions following Russia’s taking of Crimea, Western governments are finding that canceling large military deals with Russia is not as easy as it seems. The defense trade with the Kremlin creates jobs and profits for Western contractors, making some contracts so lucrative that they can become “too big to fail.”
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