RealClearWorld Articles

The Fall of the Sahel: A Generational Foreign Policy Failure

Ned Rauch-Mannino - July 18, 2024

U.S. troops just withdrew from Niger’s Air Base 101—the latest phase in an ongoing complete evacuation of U.S. forces that began following a coup in the African nation one year ago. As an isolated incident this would be troubling enough: however, Niger joins neighboring Sudan, Mali, Chad, Burkina Faso, and Guinea in seeing military forces replace a standing government in less than four years.   These states make up the Sahel, a half dozen nations that stretch from the Atlantic Ocean to the Red Sea between North and sub-Sahara Africa. Their collapse is a historic failure, one...

Ukraine's Kidnapped Children Return as Russian Soldiers

Mitzi Perdue - July 13, 2024

Whether you’re a parent or not, can you imagine a more agonizing situation? It’s 2006, you’re living in Ukraine’s Donetsk Region, and you have a baby boy.  (You’ll see in a moment why we’re talking about a boy and that this isn’t a gender-neutral story.)We’ll call him Maksym, and the little guy is everything to you. During his childhood, you read stories to him, you rejoiced when he took his first steps, and you remember fondly how you carefully helped him put his first lost tooth under his pillow, so the tooth mouse would bring him a...

A Proxy War of Diminishing Geostrategic Returns

Thomas Cavanna - July 11, 2024

As Western leaders gather in Washington, D.C. for the 75th anniversary of the NATO alliance on July 9-11, 2024, the pressures for deeper American involvement in Ukraine’s War against Russia have continued to build up. The Biden administration, which immediately signed the $61 billion aid package approved by the US Congress in April 2024 and recently authorized Kyiv’s use of American weapons for limited retaliatory strikes within Russia’s territory, is expected to pledge additional assistance to Ukraine, enhance NATO’s...

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Ivan Delgado - July 6, 2024

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Forgotten Wars: The Civil War in Myanmar

Matteo Balzarini Zane - June 29, 2024

After the Myanmar army (Tatmadaw) overthrew the government of Aung San Suu Kyi in a coup on February 1, 2021, the country was plunged into chaos and violence. Peaceful protests against the government were violently suppressed, resulting in thousands of arrests and hundreds of civilian deaths. Minority militias have been fighting for partial or full independence from the central government for decades, increasing the resistance of the army and making internal conflicts more comfortable. The United Nations and various human rights organizations have repeatedly reported human rights violations...

Why Palestinians Are Not Welcomed by Their Neighbors

Tom Copeland - June 28, 2024

Hospitality has been a sacred duty in Arab culture for over a millennium. One must always welcome strangers into your home, providing them with food and protection. Roughly 75% of the population of Gaza is now internally displaced by war. Why won’t their Arab neighbors show hospitality and take them in? Immediately after the horrendous October 7 Hamas attack on Israel, Egypt’s President Al-Sisi and Jordan’s King Abdullah II insisted publicly that Palestinian refugees would not be allowed into their countries, ostensibly because they do not want to give in to ‘ethnic...

America’s Suez Moment

David W. Wise - June 27, 2024

History, as the familiar saying goes, does not repeat, but often rhymes. Do the crises in Gaza and Ukraine impose a “Suez Moment” on the United States – the events of 2022-24, a refrain to 1956-57? October 1956 featured two major international crises. In that month, Israel launched an assault on Egypt to reopen the Suez Canal which had been nationalized. Coordinated with that action, France and the United Kingdom launched an attack to topple Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser, a strong Arab nationalist. The same month, the Soviet Union sent tanks to suppress the...

Déjà Vu All Over Again? Appeasement Then And Now

Josef Joffe - June 21, 2024

“Munich” again? Hold the angst. Historical analogies are treacherous because “like” is not “same.” Still, the disastrous appeasement of the Thirties does yield insights into our era. Hitler et al. are safely buried. But today, a new cast of characters has moved onstage. Putin’s Russia, Xi’s China, and Supreme Leader Khamenei’s Iran are chopping away at the longest great-power peace of all time. So, a quick look at the past – at the deadly drama titled “A Balance of Power Unhinged and Deterrence Lost.” In Europe, the...


Renewed Violence Puts Petro’s Colombia to the Test

Joseph Bouchard - June 20, 2024

Gustavo Petro, Colombia’s first leftist president, ascended to power with a clear and resounding campaign promise: to bring "total peace" to a nation marred by decades of conflict. Petro’s vision has involved engaging in peace talks with various armed groups, notably Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) dissidents and the National Liberation Army (ELN), which were tabled aside during the 2016 peace talks. Almost two years into his term, however, this vision appears increasingly elusive. Instead of moving closer to peace, Colombia finds itself in the throes of renewed...

What U.S. Democrats Can Learn From UK Labour

Tressa Pankovits - June 17, 2024

British voters go to the polls in less than a month. All signs point to a crushing defeat for Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and his Conservative Party after 14 chaotic years in power. The Labour Party, ably led by Keir Starmer, is leading the Tories in polls by more than 20 points and appears poised for a strong victory. Like here at home, U.K. voters say the economy is their most important issue. Unlike here, however, K-12 education — known as “schools policy” in Britain — is expected to be a key flashpoint. Labour is leaning into the issue, knowing that it’s...

The U.S. Increases the Risk of War With Russia

Daniel L. Davis - June 14, 2024

Last week, U.S. Senator J.D. Vance took to X to warn that when Biden authorized Ukraine to use U.S. weapons to strike targets in Russia, he believes, “the risk of nuclear war is (now) higher now than at any point in my lifetime. Biden is sleepwalking into World War 3.” He’s not wrong. Washington is on a course that is increasing the risk of war with Russia, whether by means of mistake, miscalculation, or misinterpretation. Accepting risk is sometimes warranted. In this situation, however, the U.S. is carelessly flirting with the risk of nuclear war, and...

House Signals a Tough Line for the United Nations if Trump Wins in November

Brett Schaefer - June 11, 2024

When Congress and the White House enact a spending bill for foreign operations, will it contain the sharp cuts in funding for the United Nations and related entities found in the version a House subcommittee passed last week? Highly unlikely. Yet that didn’t stop critics from voicing howls of anguish and warnings of peril.   However, the House bill needs to be seen as a bright warning light for the United Nations if Donald Trump wins in November and/or Republicans gain control of both the House and Senate.   President Biden entered office in 2021...


Myths and Political Realities of the ‘Migration Wars’

Jose Miguel Alonso-Trabanco - June 8, 2024

Immigration is often portrayed as a grassroots phenomenon driven mostly by the spontaneous human agency of individuals in the pursuit of better opportunities and higher living standards. It is believed that the involvement of states in the governance structure of international migration should be limited so that formal migratory restrictions are either abolished or substantially diminished. Based on this logic, the opinions of NGOs, activists and companies that need either cheap unskilled labor or a qualified workforce matter more than what governmental authorities have to say. In...

The Growing Gulf Between the U.S. and Canada on Chinese EV Imports

Jerome Gessaroli - June 7, 2024

Different approaches to Chinese electric vehicle (EV) imports threaten the otherwise cooperative framework between the U.S. and Canada in the auto-sector. On the surface the U.S. and Canada are heading in the same direction, with both countries citing the adoption of electric vehicles as key to climate change mitigation policies; The Inflation Reduction Act offers generous subsidies for EV and battery manufacturing and Canada has responded with matching incentives to maintain a competitive share in the sector. Both countries see the benefit of collaborating over critical mineral mining and...

Will Mexico Having a Jewish President Fix Antisemitism in Latin America?

Joseph Bouchard - June 5, 2024

In 2008, analysts viewed the election of Barack Obama as President of the United States as a sign of the U.S. entering a “post-racial” era, after centuries of dealing with slavery and anti-black laws and discrimination. In 2006, Bolivia, one of the world’s only indigenous-plurality countries, elected Evo Morales, an Aymara coca grower as President, spurring talk of a “second founding” for indigenous rights in Bolivia. Latin America is home to approximately 500,000 Jews, including nearly 60,000 in Mexico alone (out of 130 million people). Now that Mexico...

Forgotten Wars: The Nagorno-Karabakh Crisis

Matteo Balzarini Zane - May 30, 2024

After the intense conflict of 2020 in which Azerbaijan recovered much of the territory lost in the 1990s, the region is still the scene of clashes and tensions. Despite the ceasefire brokered by Russia, a lasting peace still seems far off. During 2023 and early 2024, there were firefights along the front line. The most serious of these (Shusha, March 18, 2024), resulted in the deaths of ten Azerbaijani soldiers and seven Armenian soldiers. Both sides accuse each other of violating the ceasefire, intensifying the war rhetoric, and raising international concerns about a possible resumption of...


A U.S.-Saudi Defense Pact Shows How Warped U.S. Priorities Are

Adam Gallagher - May 23, 2024

It seems like ages ago now, but before Hamas' October 7 attack on Israel, real momentum was building toward an Israeli-Saudi normalization deal. Israel's brutal response in Gaza halted progress on those talks. But the top U.S. and Saudi diplomats said in a recent meeting that bilateral U.S.-Saudi agreements which would be part of a normalization deal with Israel were "very, very close." That Washington is ardently pursuing this deal now shows just how warped its priorities are. Instead, Washington should be laser-focused on two efforts that advance American interests: securing a cease-fire in...

The U.S. Should Oppose ICC Attempts to Target Israeli Officials

Brett Schaefer - May 20, 2024

For more than two decades, supporters of the International Criminal Court (ICC) have urged the U.S. to ratify the Rome Statute and join the court. But multiple U.S. administrations of both parties refused, concerned that the ICC lacks safeguards against political manipulation and violates national sovereignty by claiming jurisdiction over the nationals and military personnel of non-party states. The ICC has just validated those concerns with its decision to seek warrants against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Minister of Defense Yoav Gallant. The politicization...

Argentina and Brazil: New Allies and Illiberal Weeds in America’s Backyard

Eloy Vera - May 17, 2024

In a time when they would like to see a region united against terrorist and authoritarian infiltration, the United States is getting mixed messages from Latin American leaders.  On the one hand, Argentina’s new president Javier Milei is taking a pro-Western stance, declaring his “unwavering commitment” to Israel, applying for NATO’s Global Partnership plan, and inviting the U.S. South Command to build a joint naval base on Argentine soil, amongst a number of other security cooperation initiatives officialized just this last month. A very different...

Rethinking Western Strategies Towards Russia

Jose Miguel Alonso-Trabanco - May 16, 2024

For more than a couple of decades, the Russian Federation has been in the process of reasserting itself as a telluric Eurasian force to be reckoned with, particularly in the post-Soviet space. Although contemporary Russia is far behind the USSR in several respects, the ongoing revival of the Russian imperial ‘passionarity’ has unleashed game-changing shockwaves. In the vicious competitive arena of international politics, this incremental geopolitical progression has clashed with the U.S. post-Cold War hegemonic pretensions, the consolidation of the American tutelage of much of the...