TCF fellow, Thanassis Cambanis, has been quoted in a Salon article about the discourse surrounding the Ukraine crisis.
One of the weirder side effects of the Ukraine crisis and the West’s heated confrontation with Vladimir Putin’s Russia has been the reappearance of all kinds of complicated ideological rifts and conflicts left over from the Cold War. It’s as if the disease that afflicted and divided the world between 1946 and 1991 went into remission for 20-odd years but was never cured; given the right combination of rising temperatures, demagoguery and widespread confusion, the virus woke up and spread in all directions.
Another way of looking at this question is that Cold War fever never abated in America but was diverted to other purposes, most notably the unsatisfying and amorphous “war on terror,” in which the goals, the tactics, the strategy and even the enemy were never entirely clear. In that context, the rise of a renewed Russian imperial power was almost a relief to the powers that be. It was like encountering a high school sweetheart who’s still looking foxy at the 20-year reunion dance.
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While diplomacy aimed at halting the violence in Gaza quickened worldwide on Monday, the continued lack of a viable mediation path highlighted an increasingly problematic question: Is there a state capable of mediating a cease-fire?
The only thing virtually all parties seem to agree on in the midst of the current violence is that the status quo is undesirable, but there is almost no agreement on how to move forward. “It’s a pretty disastrous game of chicken at the moment,” said Michael Wahid Hanna, a senior fellow at The Century Foundation in New York.
Both Israel and Hamas went into the current conflict with broader goals compared to the last Gaza conflicts and “that makes the opening positions of all these actors more difficult to bridge,” he said.
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Some analysts said that Egypt had laid a trap for Hamas and that Mr. Sisi saw a confluence of interests with Israel in battering a mutual enemy. The Egyptians “probably knew that the Israelis are not willing to deal any concessions,” said Michael Wahid Hanna, an Egypt analyst at the Century Foundation in New York. “If you know that both sides are going to be intransigent, you can’t be a broker.”
Read the article here.
Ever since seizing Crimea earlier this year, the Russian president has been offering tacit – and sometimes more direct – support to pro-Russian separatist groups battling the Ukrainian government. Although Putin seems to have backed off the idea of a cross-border military invasion and has been trying, half-heartedly it appears, to disengage himself from the conflict, he’s yet to make a full break with the rebels. After Thursday’s shoot-down of a Malaysian Airlines flight over rebel-held territory in Ukraine’s volatile east, killing 295 people, he may no longer have much choice in the matter.
Read the article here.
In the first years of the new century, an assertive foreign policy took a toll on the cultivated role of the U.S. as a responsible global leader. The Century Foundation's work in this area provides perspective on the international difficulties the U.S. is facing today, while providing policy recommendations to promote the nation's security interests. Our research and analysis focuses on effectively responding to challenges in the Middle East and Pakistan, as well as responding to international crime.
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