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Will Italy sink Europe?

Despite political turmoil and emerging risks at the global level, the eurozone has had two years of strong economic growth, at least by its own historically disappointing standards – and even with the United Kingdom lurching toward withdrawa...

Killer politicians

“Will no one rid me of this meddlesome priest?” asked Henry II as he instigated the murder of the Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Becket, in 1170. Down through the ages, presidents and princes around the world have been murderers and ...

The new disappeared

From the military juntas that ruled Argentina and Chile in the 1970s and 1980s to Joseph Stalin’s iron-fisted regime in the Soviet Union, dictatorships have a long history of making their detractors “disappear.” Today, this sinis...

The toll of Putin’s wars

By intervening in Syria, annexing Crimea, and sustaining military presence in Eastern Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin seems to have overextended himself. With an annual growth rate of just 1.5%, Russia is now expending 5.3 % of its GDP o...

China's grand strategy

The first goal of all successive Chinese dynasties throughout the centuries was to gain and maintain control of the heartland (Han), the core of which consists of major Chinese rivers, is abundant with productive lands and is full of people. A fur...

Navigating the Syrian endgame

After a suspiciously sudden conversion, Russian President Vladimir Putin now claims to be worried about the fate of millions of refugees who have fled the carnage in Syria. In a meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Putin expressed his hop...

Trump’s gambling problem

At a summit with US President Donald Trump in Helsinki in early July, Russian President Vladimir Putin proved that he remains a master of the tradecraft he perfected in the 1980s as a Soviet operative in East Germany. Trump wilted under Putin&rsqu...

Good oligarch, bad oligarch

With concern growing in the United States and Europe over Russia’s so-called oligarchs and the money they have stashed abroad, it is worth considering two fundamental questions. First, who qualifies as an oligarch? And, second, does every ol...

Is Europe America’s friend or foe?

Since Donald Trump became US president in January 2017, his conduct has been astonishingly erratic, but his policies have been more consistent than foreseen by most observers. Trump’s volatility has been disconcerting, but on the whole he ha...

Why host the World Cup?

Whom would you trust more, Russian President Vladimir Putin or Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel? Whereas Putin is reveling in the attention that Russia is receiving as host of the 2018 World Cup, Emanuel has informed the US Soccer Federation and FIFA th...

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