Category Archives: Nick Ottens

Whatever Germany’s Global Ambitions, Its Interests Lie Close to Home

Germany’s new coalition government says it is willing to take on more responsibility for peacekeeping around the world. But its interests lie closer to home. “Europe can’t leave France on its own” in the Central African Republic, said Frank-Walter Steinmeier, … Continue reading

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The World is Still Becoming More Peaceful

With the civil war in Syria due to enter its third year and violence breaking out in the Central African Republic and South Sudan, it may be hard to think of the world as a particularly peaceful place at the … Continue reading

Posted in English, Nick Ottens, Security Policy | Tagged , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Ukraine’s Westward Turn Delayed, Not Blocked

Ukraine shocked many in the West last month when it announced it would “renew dialogue” with Russia a week before it was due to sign an association agreement with the European Union that could have been a first step toward … Continue reading

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Dutch-Russian Relations Reach Low During Friendship Year

2013 was supposed to be a year of celebration in Dutch-Russian relations, marking cultural and trade ties that go back centuries. It is turning out to make a low in the bilateral relationship instead. The festivities, which started April 8 … Continue reading

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Ukraine Likely to Choose Europe Over Russia, At a Cost

As Ukraine prepares to sign a trade agreement with the European Union later this year, Russia is ramping up pressure to draw its former satellite state into a trade area of its own. If Russian president Vladimir Putin’s “Eurasian Union” … Continue reading

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Russia Expanding Middle East Influence at America’s Expense?

When President Barack Obama canceled a joint military exercise with the Egyptians earlier this month in response to the army’s violent suppression of Muslim Brotherhood demonstrations, Russia was quick to announce that it would arrange for such a drill instead. … Continue reading

Posted in English, Nick Ottens, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Syria | 1 Comment

Syrian Kurdish Autonomy Has Regional Implications

Since Syrian government officials and troops abandoned the northeast of Syria to concentrate on preserving the regime in the west of the country, the Kurdish minority population there has been able to virtually govern itself. Elections are even planned to … Continue reading

Posted in English, Iraq, Nick Ottens, Syria | Leave a comment

“Inconsistent” Asia Pivot Could Exacerbate Sino-American Tension

If the United States fail to adequate communicate their “pivot” or “rebalancing” to East Asia and emphasize its military component at the expense of necessary economic cooperation, it risks heightening Chinese fears of encirclement, the nation’s former ambassador to China … Continue reading

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What If China Takes Its “Responsibility” in North Korea?

The United States have long urged the Chinese to take their “responsibility” and rein in their client state, North Korea. But would America really be better off if they did? A recent strategic simulation run by the crowd-sourced online consultancy … Continue reading

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After Boston Bombings, Putin Tells West: I Told You So

In the wake of last month’s Boston Marathon bombings, Russian president Vladimir Putin chastised Western powers for underestimating the Chechen terrorist threat in the Caucasus from which the two suspected perpetrators hailed. “I have always felt outraged when our Western … Continue reading

Posted in English, Nick Ottens, Russia, Terrorism | Leave a comment