Ghosts at the Banquet: The Washington NATO Summit

Photo credit: Artem Priakhin / SOPA Images via Reuters Connect.

The Vilnius NATO summit of 2023 was stalked by a spectre. How would the allies deal with Ukraine’s NATO aspirations while its vaunted counter-offensive had gotten off to a sputtering start, amidst nuclear saber rattling by Vladimir Putin and his henchmen, eliciting in turn a focus on “escalation management” by Joe Biden’s national security team. […]

A Freedom Strategy for the Global South

Photo credit: Shutterstock.

In the current cold war, the US and its allies in the Free World bloc are in a sharp contest with the authoritarian, revisionist, and expansionist bloc of China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea. The stakes could not be higher. If the Free World loses this contest, the freedom, security, and prosperity of Americans and its […]

Hidden Discord in the Russia-Iran Alliance

Photo credit: IMAGO/APAimages via Reuters Connect.

When Iran’s President Raisi died in a helicopter crash in May, President Putin expressed condolences and called Raisi a “very reliable partner.” Russian Muslims offered prayers for Raisi at Moscow’s main mosque, and Russian state television provided continuous updates on the funeral arrangements from Iran. Raisi and Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian, who also perished in […]

The Failure of the “Economic Peace” Model in the Middle East

Economic peace illustration

On September 26, 2021, Israel’s then Prime Minister Naftali Bennet took the podium at the UN General Assembly and laid out a grand vision for the Middle East. It was a modernist, advanced, technological future (as befitted Bennet, a former high-tech entrepreneur) in which Israel would play a major role – focused upon a world […]

Southeast Asia’s Growing Importance to Global Trade

ASEAN and Australian leaders at a summit in Melbourne, Australia, March 4, 2024. Photo credit: George Chan / SOPA Images via Reuters Connect.

The world is in the initial stages of an evolution in the structure of global trade. While popular narratives about the era of globalization described a wide dispersion of trade flows and supply chains to all corners of the world, the reality was different. Global trade remained very concentrated. For example, close to 40 percent […]

Israel’s Embattled But Resilient Economy

Photo credit: Shutterstock

I spoke recently with a friend, Sergeant Major Amichai, who was home for a short break after nearly two months of reserve duty in the Israeli army. Amichai owns a small tour-guiding business in Jerusalem, renting Segways and other vehicles, called SmartTours. It relies heavily on domestic and international tourism. Shortly after Hamas attacked southern Israel […]

Egypt’s Economic Decay and its Implications

Construction at Egypt’s New Administrative Capital east of Cairo. Photo credit: REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

In the summer of 2013, Major-General Abdel Fatah el Sisi overthrew the Egyptian government and promised the people a renaissance. Instead, Egypt is decaying. The country has always been poor, but Egypt is now in the worst economic shape in a generation. Poverty and income inequality remain stubbornly high as Egyptians grapple with record inflation […]

Looking Beyond the War: Planning for Ukraine’s Reconstruction

Destruction in Chernihiv, northern Ukraine, following Russian attacks. Photo credit: Kyodo via Reuters Connect

The outcome of Russia’s war on Ukraine and the provisions of a final settlement are as yet unknown. Ukraine may prevail in pushing Russia back to the 1991 borders, as President Zelenskyy intends. The conflict might result in a settlement with a divided Ukraine, both countries exhausted from the effort. It could grind on for years […]

What China Wants in Africa

President Xi Jinping and South African President Cyril Ramaphosa at the China-Africa Leaders’ Dialogue during the BRICS Summit in Johannesburg, August 24, 2023. Photo credit: REUTERS/Alet Pretorius/Pool

Africa struggles to climb American policymakers’ priority list, but it has no such problem with China.  For three decades, the Chinese government has expended immense energy courting African countries. With only two exceptions over the last thirty years, the Chinese foreign minister has made Africa his first overseas destination every year. Other senior Chinese officials […]