• Politics and Strategy

    Mark Fitzpatrick: Removing Japan's dangerous fissile material

    24 March 2016.  Japan’s shipment this week of 331kg of weapons-grade plutonium to the United States represents a signal achievement in global efforts to strengthen non-proliferation and nuclear security. It shows Japan’s good will and reflects close US–Japan relations.  The plutonium in question was sent to Japan years ago by the US, UK and France, and has been used exclusively for peaceful scientific purposes. Because it was potentially vulnerable to theft or misuse and...

  • Politics and Strategy

    Jonathan Stevenson: Grim business as usual after Brussels

    23 March 2016.  The analytic consensus was that the Paris attacks on 13 November 2015 that killed 130 people signalled a new phase for the Islamic State (also known as ISIS or ISIL), in which it would supplement its attempt to establish a caliphate in the Middle East and North Africa with out-of-area attacks that enhanced its brand and thickened the flow of recruits to the main cause. The question was when the...

  • Politics and Strategy

    Russell Crandall: Mr Obama goes to Havana

    22 March 2016.  Americans perhaps needed to rub their eyes after watching US President Barack Obama and Cuban President Raúl Castro warmly shaking hands and listening to a Cuban military band play ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ yesterday. This was during a welcoming ceremony to the official talks on the American president’s second day of a three-day visit. Obama went over to the bandleader to thank him for the excellent rendition of a song that...

  • Politics and Strategy

    Dana H. Allin: Donald Trump and the American Dream

    04 March 2016.  Last night, on the Republican candidates’ debate stage in Detroit, Michigan, frontrunner Donald Trump assured his supporters and other viewers that there is ‘no problem’ with the size of his penis. And lest we imagine that this unique moment in American political history was the special contribution of our most famous Bronx real-estate-magnate-cum-vulgarian, we should note that the subject was first raised not by Trump but by Senator Marco Rubio...

  • Politics and Strategy

    Dana H. Allin: Trump's loud silent majority

    18 March 2016.  ‘The silent majority STANDS WITH TRUMP.’ For someone who can remember the 1968 United States presidential election, these placards, waved by Donald Trump supporters at his Tampa, Florida campaign rally on Monday, are striking. Trump, too, is more than old enough to remember 1968, and the historical echo is clearly intended. The silent majority was Richard Nixon’s phrase, and he used it with great effect to channel the resentment of middle...

  • Politics and Strategy

    Mark Fitzpatrick: Iranian election results spark cautious hope

    01 March 2016.  Elections were held on Friday that fanned hopes for the reform of two stigmatised regimes. The one of perhaps the most global interest concerned scandal-plagued FIFA. To the surprise of many observers, Gianni Infantino was selected as president to replace the suspended Sepp Blatter. Infantino promised change, but many FIFA fans are to see deeds that back up his words. More significant elections took place in Iran for that country’s 290-member...

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