Unrest in Hong Kong and the Implications for US-China Relations

Picture courtesy of Rueters Photographer Tyrone Siu In 1997, the United Kingdom formally handed over the sovereignty of Hong Kong to the People’s Republic of China under the legal framework of the Sino-British Joint Declaration. As per the agreement, Hong Kong would become a Special Administrative Region of China under a policy of “One Country,…

Adrift! Why Brexit Signals the End of Atlantic Unity

In September of 1988, Margaret Thatcher, Prime Minister of Great Britain, spoke at the European University in Bruges on the role of Britain in the European Community (now the European Union). The Bruges Speech, one of the most famous speeches in modern European politics, outlined a vision of independent European states cooperating on common European policies,…

Losing Iran: Why Rapproachment is Desirable

Nearly 50 years ago, Henry Kissinger made one of the most prolific observations of global affairs that changed the course of American foreign policy in the 20th century. During the years before becoming  National Security Advisor and Secretary of State, Kissinger was an astute advisor to Lyndon Johnson’s state department on Vietnam, and immersed in…

The New Europe? Regionalism, Refugees & Atlantic Unity

The Scottish National Party (SNP) held their long anticipated referendum on independence from the United Kingdom in 2015 coming within eight percentage points of realizing an independent Scotland. The first of its kind in the EU, Scotland’s challenge to secede from the United Kingdom is based on ownership of its oil resources, control of welfare…

Why Spain is Europe’s Powder Keg

Foreign Policy’s Democracy Lab writer Christian Caryl described in his article The Age of Disillusionment that both western democracies and the world’s largest autocratic regimes are undergoing a period of strong disillusionment. Economic stagnation, the threat and visibility of global terrorism, and lack of a clear global leader among states has left many countries struggling…

Bahrain: In the Middle of Sunni and Shia

The first week of 2016 saw sectarian tensions in the Middle East reach dramatic, new heights when Saudi Arabia executed 47 people, including Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, a prominent Shia cleric critical of the regime. What followed was  a series of escalations that will have dire consequences for Middle East stability and any prospect for peace…

Flawed Containment: NATO’s Strategy to Contain Russia

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization is one of the bedrocks of peace and security throughout the world, bringing together some of the most powerful countries to provide collective security against outside threats. NATO in the post-Cold War world provides peacekeeping missions across the world in conflict zones, and has played prominent roles in Bosnia, Kosovo,…

Answering the Kurdish Question

At no time in the last 100 years have we come closer to see the disintegration of the modern Middle East. The civil wars that have torn apart Iraq, Syria, and Yemen are a product of violent sectarianism, exported by the Iranian 1979 Revolution and the Wahhabist teachings of the Saudi’s to the Islamic community….

GeoStrategizing Peace: Ending Syria and It’s Cold War

The Syrian Civil War is reshaping the Middle East, as the Islamic State’s influence and shadow is cawing Europe and the United States into inaction, and Saudi Arabia and Iran polarize the region into armed camps. The latest move to execute prominent Shia cleric Nimr al-Nimr by Saudi Arabia and the retaliatory burning of the…

Dayton: Bosnia to Syria

The Syrian War is entering its fourth year, and a new year with promises that negotiations for peace are on the way, and action against the Islamic State is coming. The challenges of such negotiations will be manifold, but primarily will consider how to piece together a broken state, with groups whose antagonism towards each…

A Tempest in the Taiwan Straits

With the current foreign policy dialogue being dominated by ISIS and the Middle East, the Obama administration’s “Pivot to Asia” seems like a discarded pipe dream.  While we have seen some ambitions of the strategy announced in 2012 actualized, such as the negotiation of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, developments of the last three years have mired…

Heir to Discord: What Star Wars Can Show Us about Keeping Democracy

George Lucas conceived Star Wars and its characters from experiences in his lifetime and observations of the world around him, using them to inspire the famous space opera. One such figure was Emperor Palpatine, the force-wielding Sith Lord who took over the Old Republic and created the tyrannical Galactic Empire, known for its white clad…