June 27, 2013

Summary

Edward Lucas kicks off the June issue of Diplomaatia with an article on divisions in Europe – be they politico-social or security based. He thinks that a reasonable distinction can be made between solvent Europe and the rest of the continent. “It is true that most of the countries in northern Europe are also solvent, and most of the countries in the south are not. But the exceptions are important,” writes Lucas.

Political scientist Igor Yurgens moves on to tackle the partnership between Europe and Russia, claiming that “for Russia other potential partners, meaning first and foremost Asia, will hardly be as close and as predictable as Europe.”
Journalist Ivan Sukhov takes stock of the situation in the North Caucasus against the backdrop of the Boston bombings. He finds that “over the last year, the groundwork for a serious escalation in instability has been laid in the North Caucasus, while corresponding preparations for a state response have yet to be made.”
Erik Männik, a Senior Research Fellow at ICDS, throws the spotlight on Syria where, he thinks, the US-Russian peace initiative does not have much of a chance because neither the parties to the conflict nor their outright backers and arms suppliers have shown – or will show – a willingness to negotiate a meaningful compromise. “And even if al-Assad is removed from power by force, violence and fighting will probably still continue,” concludes Männik.
MP and historian Mart Nutt offers his insight into the political dynamics of the Sahel region, with a focus on Mali. He finds that it is difficult to predict Mali’s future: “The Islamists cannot be allowed to establish their stronghold there because in that case the whole region could fall under the control of international Islamic extremists. It is likely that the Tuareg, once again, will not manage to gain independence. Moreover, there are no signs of a stable democracy emerging there.”
Hannes Hanso, a Research Fellow at ICDS, tracks Turkey’s domestic and foreign policy trends and suggests that Turkey increasingly resembles a Middle-Eastern nation. However, Hanso claims that the EU and, more specifically, certain member states are partly to blame for Turkey’s negative political developments.
Freelance analyst Andres Mäe continues the Baltic energy security debate in Diplomaatia, insisting that Estonia should support the construction of an LNG terminal in Lithuania.
In the book review section, Mikael Laidre looks at a book by Bruce Bueno de Mesquita and Alastair Smith, titled The Dictator’s Handbook: Why Bad Behavior Is Almost Always Good Politics.

Filed under: Paper issue

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