A Recast Strategic Landscape from One NATO Summit to the Next

July 4, 2022

G7 met in Elmau, Germany, on 26-28 June 2022. The communiqué issued following the meeting stressed G7’s condemnation of Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine and reiterated that G7 will stand with Ukraine for as long as it takes.

The communiqué expressed concern about the situation in the East and South China Seas and strong opposition to any unilateral attempts to change the status quo by force or coercion that increased tensions. It said there is no legal basis for China’s expansive maritime claims in the South China Sea. It underscored the importance of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait and encouraged a peaceful resolution of cross-Strait issues.

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A World of Incertitude

June 27, 2022

With the war in Ukraine, the “emerging world order” has once again become a current topic even though the use of the word “order” in the global context does not correspond to its Merriam-Webster definition which is “the state of peace, freedom from confused or unruly behavior, and respect for law or proper authority”.

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Strategic or Suicidal Global Competition?

June 20, 2022

On June 15, the New York Times reported that heat waves are becoming more frequent, hotter, and longer-lasting than in previous decades, according to scientists. The US National Climate Assessment noted in 2018 that the frequency of heat waves had jumped from an average of two per year in the 1960s to six per year by the 2010s. The heat-wave season in the United States has stretched to 45 days longer than it was in the 1960s, according to the report. Carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas concentrations are increasing, temperatures are warming, sea levels are rising, and ice extent and glacier mass are decreasing.[i]

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Toward NATO’s Madrid Summit

June 13, 2022

On his first trip to Europe, in June 2021, President Biden arrived at Brussels having mustered the support of the G7 on Russia and China. His principal task at the NATO summit was to put the four troubling years with President Trump behind and rally NATO’s support in the strategic competition with Russia and China.

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West’s Türkiye/NATO Expansion Conundrum

June 6, 2022

Last week, the Turkish government sent a letter to the United Nations formally requesting that henceforth it be referred to as “Türkiye” which was immediately agreed upon. The move was seen as part of a push by Ankara to dissociate its name from the bird, turkey, and some negative connotations that are associated with it. The Turkish word for Egypt is “Mısır”. The word also means corn. Yet, never in my life, not even once, have I thought of corn, popcorn, or genetically modified corn when I heard the word Mısır. For me, regardless of being called Turkey or Türkiye, my country will always be Atatürk’s Republic.

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Moving Toward “No Peace No War” in Ukraine

May 31, 2022

On May 19, in a government statement in the German Bundestag, Chancellor Scholz said, “We all share the same goal: Russia must not win this war. Ukraine must survive.” Putin first has to realize that he cannot break Ukraine’s defense before he would be willing to negotiate seriously about peace, he continued.  “Emmanuel Macron is right to point out that the entry process is not a question of a few months or even years,” the Federal Chancellor added.

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Confronting China

May 26, 2022

On March 26, in Poland, President Biden referring to President Putin said, “For God’s sake, this man cannot remain in power.” Administration officials immediately scrambled to clarify that what he meant was not regime change. “That’s not for Biden to decide,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told Reuters. “The president of Russia is elected by Russians.” Two days later, Mr. Biden said that his comment was an expression of his outrage and not a change in American policy.

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The Unsustainable Cost of Turkey’s Assertive Foreign Policy and Democratic Decline

May 23, 2022

A country’s foreign policy is shaped by its identity, sense of belonging, world outlook, and geographic location. This last one is a constant; the others are subject to evolution, change, and definition/redefinition within the limits of reason. In today’s polarized Turkey, we do not have a consensus on any of the first three and the last one happens to be a double-edged sword. In countries enjoying such consensus, the task of governments is to merge these with national power into policies designed to maximize national interest. This requires realism, calm, poise, prudence, consistency, and determination.

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High Time for Diplomacy

May 16, 2022

Last week, the US House of Representatives approved 40 billion dollars in additional aid for Ukraine by a vote of 368-57. The package of military, economic and humanitarian support was 7 billion dollars more than the 33 billion President Biden had requested. The package is expected to pass the Senate this week.

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War-making vs. Peacemaking

May 9, 2022

9/11 Led to an outburst of international sympathy and support for the US. President George W. Bush vowed vengeance and ordered the invasion of Afghanistan, where al-Qaeda’s leadership was based. Russian President Putin was the first foreign leader to call US President Bush and in a statement of support he said: “In the name of Russia, I want to say to the American people – we are with you.” He coordinated with central Asian countries to allow US forces, for the first time, to use military bases of the former Soviet Union.

Soon after, unfortunately, came the US-led invasion of Iraq under false premises, followed later by the Arab spring interventions.

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