Posts From Alexander Brotman

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Middle East/North Africa Politics

US troops withdrawal from Syria and the threat of Islamic State

President Trump’s decision to withdraw troops from Syria has infuriated allies and strengthened adversaries on the ground. This has allowed Turkey to potentially eliminate a key Kurdish fighting force. This article assesses who stands to win and lose from this decision and the long-term impact for relations in the Middle East.

Europe Politics

Yellow Vests and the threat to Macron’s Presidency

Protesters labelled the ‘yellow vests’ have challenged the fuel tax policy put forth by President Macron, resulting in riots and violence. What is the outlook in the near term?

Middle East/North Africa Natural resources and energy

The Special Purpose Vehicle and the future of the Iran deal

In yet another sign of the US’ waning global leadership role on the Iran nuclear deal, the EU, Russia and China have set up an alternate payment mechanism called the Special Purpose Vehicle or SPV as a means to bypass any additional US sanctions.

Europe Politics

Matteo Salvini and the risk of populism

Recent disputes between Italy’s interior minister and the EU are symptomatic of the failure of member states and the EU as an institution to live up to their ideals.

North America Politics

The US abdicates a key role at UN Human Rights Council

In another sign of its abdication of global leadership, the US has decided to withdraw from the UN human rights council, citing the latter’s hostility to Israel and favorable treatment to regimes with unsavory human rights records. What are the consequences for the world – and the Council’s future?

Europe Politics

Turkey’s elections: the long term risks of an Erdogan win

The result could be the final straw in a fractured relationship with the West that moves Turkey ever closer to Russia and illiberalism and away from its NATO allies and EU membership aspirations and might make Erdogan the most powerful leader since Ataturk.

Europe Politics

The populist coalition in Italy and its impact on European politics  

The populist coalition of the Five Star Movement (M5S) and League is likely to rattle Italian and European politics with a new approach to governance, and risks fracturing relationships with the dominant powers on the continent – namely France and Germany.

Europe Security

US antitank missiles risk escalating the Ukrainian conflict

The recent delivery of US antitank missiles to Ukraine risks escalating the ongoing conflict with Russian-backed forces in the east of the country. If not accompanied by a concrete strategy, US support also risks driving a wedge between Ukraine and the EU, generating weaknesses which Moscow can then exploit.

International North America Politics Security

The firing of Rex Tillerson and the future of US diplomacy

After Rex Tillerson was abruptly fired last week, all eyes are on new appointee Mike Pompeo. Trump and Pompeo are aligned on many issues, and the Iran deal in particular is at risk under the new Secretary of State. But there is still scope for Pompeo to assert himself on North Korea and Trump’s unconventional diplomacy.

Europe Security

The state of Germany’s military readiness

The German military is dramatically under equipped to meet pressing international security challenges per a recent watchdog report.