22 January 2018

The changing world order and President Trump: year one in review

Matthew Crandall

The 2016 United States presidential election elevated a temperamental populist to the presidency during a volatile time in world politics. The United States had not seen a president like Trump since perhaps Andrew Jackson (1829-1837). As a presidential candidate, Trump destroyed common norms for a prospective president with blustering tweets and inappropriate speech. The world hadn’t seen such turmoil since the breakup of the Soviet Union: a nuclear North Korea, resurgent Russia, lingering conflicts in Africa, war in the Middle East and the accompanying great wave of migration. Critics of Trump warned of doomsday scenarios and the need for calm, steady leadership in a time of turmoil. The world is still in turmoil and Trump continues to tweet whatever comes to his mind, but none of the doomsday scenarios have come to pass. With one year already having gone by, it is a good time to evaluate President Trump’s presidency and its impact on the world order and transatlantic relations in particular. Continue reading >

14 September 2017

NATO and its partnerships in the Asia-Pacific vs. China’s “marching West”: a new international system in the making? *

Vlad Alex Vernygora

Global multi-polar redesign has already become an ordinary attribute of the actuality – a good number of serious scholars consider it independent variable in their research on international relations. The framework that was established by Stalin, Roosevelt and Churchill in February 1945 is increasingly looking like an atavism of the ancient past. The San Francisco Conference, which had almost precisely followed the geostrategic ‘recipe’ prescribed by the three ‘healers’ at Yalta, wanted the world to believe that it was up to 51 countries to establish the United Nations (UN). Definitely, it was not up to them, but an excellent myth was created. From then on, every single General Debate of the UN General Assembly has been featured by dozens of statements delivered by different political leaders on how proud their respective nations are to be known in history as inaugural members of the mighty UN. In such situations, there is always a temptation to ask a regular Ukraine, for example, a set of simple questions: “Hey, Ukraine! Did the fact that you were admitted to the UN on 24 October 1945 help you to stop the most recent Russian aggression? Why did the “other peace-loving states”, which, according to the UN’s main document, “accept[ed] the obligations contained in the […] Charter and, in the judgment of the Organisation, […] [were supposed to be] able and willing to carry out these obligations”, do very little to prevent the appalling tragedy of Ilovaisk in August 2014? How could it happen that one of the major “peace-loving states” is the actual aggressor? Please do not answer, these were rhetorical enquiries.”  Continue reading >>