The European Union, most often preoccupied with its economic problems over the past few years, grappled with two strategic challenges last week. The first involved a tug-of-war with Russia over Ukraine. The second centered on Geneva, where the union’s foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton, chaired talks on Iran’s nuclear program.

Read the full World Politics Review article here

Nov 26, 2013
Richard Gowan
Europe, Middle East

China, Russia, Saudi Arabia and Cuba won seats on the UN Human Rights Council on Tuesday, despite fierce criticism of their records from rights campaigners.

Read the full Global Post article here

Nov 12, 2013
Richard Gowan

Over the past week, German politicians and the media have grappled with claims that the U.S. National Security Agency listened to Chancellor Angela Merkel’s cellphone calls. Is there a strategic case for the United States to sustain or expand its efforts to eavesdrop on German intelligence targets?

Read the full World Politics Review article here

Oct 28, 2013
Richard Gowan
Europe, United States

Five countries have won two-year terms on the U.N. Security Council, including two potentially controversial countries. Chad has faced U.N. scrutiny for its use of child soldiers among the ranks of its military, while Saudi Arabia regularly faces international criticism for the state of human rights, and especially women’s rights, in the oil-rich kingdom.

Read the full Voice of America article here

Oct 17, 2013
Richard Gowan
United Nations

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov met under the steely gaze of Russian leader Vladimir Putin, whose portrait hung over their negotiating table at U.N. headquarters, and hammered out their latest agreement Thursday on a U.N. Security Council resolution to scrap Syria's chemical weapons.

Read the full Foreign Policy article here

Sep 26, 2013
United Nations

It will now be hard for European leaders to propose – or even hint at – future military interventions without looking to the UN for approval.

Read the full article here

Sep 12, 2013
Richard Gowan

Western powers are heading towards a clash with Russia at the United Nations over how to enforce the surrender and destruction of Syria's chemical weapons arsenal.

Read the full Guardian article here

Sep 10, 2013
Richard Gowan

If the US and her allies launch air strikes on Syria, Irish troops serving with United Nations peacekeeping forces in southern Lebanon could be at risk.

Aug 29, 2013
Richard Gowan
Europe, Middle East, Syria

Will military action by the US, Britain and France against Syria be justified in terms of international law?

Read the full Financial Times article here

Aug 27, 2013
Richard Gowan

The Syrian civil war is becoming simultaneously more brutal and more confusing. As the battle for Aleppo has dragged on and diplomatic efforts to forge a peace deal have been derailed, it has been hard to assess whether Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his regime are close to collapse or able to sustain a protracted war. Yet there is a growing sense that, if and when Assad falls, some sort of international peacekeeping force will likely be needed to prevent Syria from descending into worse chaos.

Aug 13, 2012
Richard Gowan
Europe, Middle East, Syria