Monday News

German Foreign Policy Comes Of Age
Joschka Fischer, who served as German Foreign Minister and Vice Chancellor from 1998-2005, argues that decades after the end of World War II, Germany finally appears to be finding its way forward.

“Worries about the return of history’s ghosts so far have been unfounded, at least as far as Germany is concerned. Though the global financial crisis and its effects on Europe have de facto turned Germany into an economic hegemon, it is not a role that the government sought or relishes. The reunited Germany remains a peaceful democracy, recognizes all neighboring borders, and remains firmly anchored in NATO and the European Union,” he writes.

2015 Will Be A Crucial Year For Myanmar’s Democracy
Next year, Myanmar will be holding elections and engaging in ceasefire negotiations, which means 2015 will be a year of critical decisions for the nascent democracy.

“Myanmar has a difficult road to travel in the next year, one that requires serious thought and painful compromises on the part of all stakeholders. Looking ahead at Thein Sein’s final year in office, the window of opportunity for concluding the ceasefire negotiations will close in 2015,” argues Hunter Marston, an analyst for The Indo-Pacific Review.

How Russia Went From Potential Ally To Strategic Adversary
Raymond Smith of The National Interest argues that diplomatic mistakes made at the end of the Cold War effectively turned Russia from a potential ally into a strategic ally.

“The end of the Cold War had effects on the international system that were as dramatic as those of any of the major hot wars of the prior 300 plus years. The years 1989-1991 saw the breakdown of one of the two principal military alliances in the system, the discrediting and collapse of one of the two principal ideologies competing for global acceptance, and a significant increase in the number of actors in the system brought about by the dissolution of one of the world’s two superpowers. Negotiating a peaceful end to the Cold War was a great diplomatic achievement. A little over two decades later, however, we can see that post–Cold War diplomacy did not create a stable international system,” he writes.

He contends that a failure to understand Russian political culture led the US to view Russia with wild optimism. We viewed the breakdown of the Soviet Union as an opportunity for democracy, while they saw it as social chaos and economic collapse.

Secondly, the US spent too much time dictating to Russia what was in their best interest, as opposed to listening to them.

“This occurred on issues large and small, but most significantly on the issue of NATO expansion. This is not the place to debate again the pros and cons of the issue, but its impact on Russia’s view of the new international system should not have come as a surprise. Andrei Kozyrev, probably the most pro-Western foreign minister in Russia’s long history, told us both publicly and privately, shortly before he lost his job, what the impact of NATO expansion would be on Russian reform and reformers. Employing diplomacy cannot reconcile conflicting interests without a willingness to hear the other side define its interests,” he adds.

CSIS Forum On Combating Malaria
Today, the Center for Strategic and International Studies hosts a day-long conference on the future of global malaria efforts. The discussion will touch on the strategic long-term goal of elimination, highlighting the political, financial, and institutional requisites.

To watch the panel discussions, click HERE.


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