Gérard Araud, France's newly minted ambassador to the United States, arrived in Washington this month with a reputation for speaking his mind, a potentially perilous distinction for a career diplomat.

Read the full Foreign Policy article Can Washington Tame France's New Tart Tongued Ambassador?

Sep 10, 2014
Richard Gowan
Europe, United States
Peace and Security

There was fighting talk at last week’s NATO summit in Wales. The alliance’s leaders pulled few punches in criticizing Russia’s actions in Ukraine and agreed on plans to counter future provocations by Moscow. The U.S. corralled a posse of its allies to coordinate the fight in Iraq against the Islamic State. After a summer characterized by global turbulence and ill-concealed uncertainty in both the U.S. and Europe over how to react, the summit signaled that the West has some sense of shared purpose.

Sep 08, 2014
Richard Gowan
Europe, United States
Peace and Security

The violent Basque separatist group ETA took shape in Franco's Spain, yet claimed the majority of its victims under democracy. For most Spaniards it became an aberration, a criminal and terrorist band whose persistence defied explanation. Others, mainly Basques (but only some Basques) understood ETA as the violent expression of a political conflict that remained the unfinished business of Spain's transition to democracy. Such differences hindered efforts to 'defeat' ETA's terrorism on the one hand and 'resolve the Basque conflict' on the other for more than three decades.

Sep 03, 2014
Teresa Whitfield
Europe

Worlds apart, two leaders are planning to intervene in worsening conflicts outside their borders, and citing humanitarian concerns as their rationale. In Iraq, President Barack Obama and his administration are considering how to contain the violent march of radical Islamist militants and provide help to those whom the Islamists threaten with extermination. In the conflict in eastern Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin sent a convoy of 280 trucks with what the Russians describe as “humanitarian aid” for the embattled region.

Aug 18, 2014
Richard Gowan
Europe, Middle East, United States
Peace and Security

Europe’s strategic situation is simultaneously precarious and curiously comfortable. From eastern Ukraine to northern Africa, conflicts crowd in on the European Union (EU). Yet the bloc’s security may actually benefit from the ongoing instability in cases such as Ukraine, Mali and even Syria. The longer these conflicts absorb the energies of potential foes, ranging from Russian President Vladimir Putin to various Islamist radical groups, the less likely they are to menace the EU directly.

Jul 28, 2014
Europe, Middle East, Syria
Peace and Security

There has been a lot of talk about humanitarian interventions over the past week, but much of it has been muddled, misleading or both.

Read the full World Politics Review article U.S., Russia Duel Over Humanitarian Interventions in Iraq and Ukraine

Aug 12, 2014
Richard Gowan
Europe, Middle East, United States
Peace and Security

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov announced last Wednesday that he plans to propose a resolution to the U.N. Security Council to send Russian “peacekeeping” forces to the site of the flight MH17 crash.

Read the full Think Progress article Russia Wants To Send ‘Peacekeepers’ To The MH17 Crash Site

Jul 30, 2014
Richard Gowan
Europe
Peace and Security

U.S. support for Israel has suddenly changed.

Jul 29, 2014
Richard Gowan
Europe, United States
Peace and Security

The pragmatic approach and active diplomacy of Australia’s UN ambassador are paying huge dividends in the wake of MH17.

Read the full The Saturday Paper article here

Jul 26, 2014
Richard Gowan
East Asia, Europe
Peace and Security

The conflicts in Ukraine and Gaza, not to mention the war in Syria, have presented diplomats with emotional testimonies of civilian suffering, even alleged crimes against humanity. Yet the 15-member Council has been unable to end these conflicts. The problem is not that the major world powers don’t care. It is that they care too much.

Read the full New York Times article here

Jul 28, 2014
Richard Gowan
Europe, Middle East
Peace and Security

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