Got Nukes, Mr. Dictator? You Hold On to Them!

Muammar Gaddafi of Libya and Saddam Hussein of Iraq – two dreadful dictators who are no longer with us largely because they didn’t get to go far enough in the nuclear weapon development process. Photos: Wikipedia

Are you the feisty dictator of a rogue state? Or the troubled leader of an aspiring democracy with big, bad neighbors? And you’ve gotten your hands on some nukes?

Well, if you want to hang on to your regime, you probably should hold on to them. Continue reading “Got Nukes, Mr. Dictator? You Hold On to Them!”

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The Odd EU Story of Oligarchy-Ridden Bulgaria and Its Post-accession ‘Progress Reports’

Bulgaria has made little progress in its problem areas – fighting corruption and organized crime, and guaranteeing the rule of law – since it joined the EU in 2007. Photo: European Commission

Here is why the EU monitoring reports on Bulgaria’s “post-accession progress” in judicial reform and fighting corruption and organized crime are useless but necessary. Continue reading “The Odd EU Story of Oligarchy-Ridden Bulgaria and Its Post-accession ‘Progress Reports’”

Is North Korea Trying to Bring Regime Change Back?

While enjoying the zombie love of his subjects, it’s not unlikely that North Korea’s communist monarch could be precipitating the end of his regime with his emboldened moves. Photo: KCNA

Short of ensuring its survival, the dictatorship of North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un could be making regime change appealing once again with its incessant provocations.
Continue reading “Is North Korea Trying to Bring Regime Change Back?”

Oliver Stone’s Putin Interviews: How Hollywood Director Can Make ‘Useful Idiot’ Out of Himself

US film director Oliver Stone and Russian President Vladimir Putin viewing a video on a smartphone. Photo: Video grab from The Putin Interviews

Award-winning Hollywood director Oliver Stone has seen a past which has never worked. Continue reading “Oliver Stone’s Putin Interviews: How Hollywood Director Can Make ‘Useful Idiot’ Out of Himself”

Understanding Russia 101: Easy! No ‘Riddle Wrapped in Mystery inside Enigma’

A view of Moscow with the State Historical Museum and the Manezhnaya Square. Photo: Wikipedia

Russia has been especially perplexing to almost everybody in the West, with US Presidents often featuring prominently on the “misunderstanding Russia” list…

Here is the basic model of hundreds of years of imperial history squeezed into a single essay. Continue reading “Understanding Russia 101: Easy! No ‘Riddle Wrapped in Mystery inside Enigma’”

When Trump Is Right: NATO Europeans’ Buck Passing, Free-Riding Shame

The Trump Administration does have a point about NATO member states’ defense spending, if nothing else. Photo: Video grab from YouTube

Hey, perhaps Trump could become the US President to manage to get the Europeans to start paying for their own defense, and build up their own militaries to be able to protect themselves!

Continue reading “When Trump Is Right: NATO Europeans’ Buck Passing, Free-Riding Shame”

The EU That Should Have Pulled Itself Together Long before Trump’s Advent

European Council President Donald Tusk has been outspoken in naming the threats to the EU. But to what end? Photo: Tusk on Twitter

The good people of the EU have had every chance to solidify their supra-national state as a benevolent power but didn’t.

Also, between Donald Trump and Donald Tusk, I like Donald Duck best… Continue reading “The EU That Should Have Pulled Itself Together Long before Trump’s Advent”

Has China Just Made Its Big Geopolitical Break? Or Is It about To?

Probably the best map to illustrate China’s perspective and the geopolitical importance of the Philippines for it. Map: Geopolitical Futures

China might have achieved a major geopolitical breakthrough mainly thanks to domestic shifts in some of the top US allies in the Asia-Pacific region. If it permanently secures them on its side, this might be a game changer for the geopolitics of the entire globe. Continue reading “Has China Just Made Its Big Geopolitical Break? Or Is It about To?”

Macedonia: More Scary Skeletons Are Yet to Break Out of Yugoslavia’s Closet

Dozens of classical-like monuments often criticized as kitschy were built by the Gruevski government in Macedonia’s capital Skopje to boost nationalist sentiment in the so called Skopje 2014 project. Photo: Wikipedia, Raso

The ugly disintegration of the former Yugoslavia is probably far from over. The Republic of Macedonia could be the next time bomb. Continue reading “Macedonia: More Scary Skeletons Are Yet to Break Out of Yugoslavia’s Closet”

Will Trump Let Eastern Europe Be ‘Trumpled’? By Russia or by Turkey?

Is this Cold War sign from West Berlin what’s awaiting Eastern Europe under America’s new President Donald Trump? Photo: Wikipedia

In the past few years, the cornerstone of Eastern Europe’s progress, the US security umbrella, has started to seem increasingly, and dreadfully, shaky. Continue reading “Will Trump Let Eastern Europe Be ‘Trumpled’? By Russia or by Turkey?”