Browsing All Posts filed under »Matt Finucane’s Work«

What’s in a Speech? Putin’s Address to the United Nations Decoded

October 5, 2015 by

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In the bumper week for Russian foreign policy just gone, we’ve seen war in Ukraine de-escalate and a new intervention in Syria—neither of which were particularly implied in President, Vladimir Putin’s speech to the UN General Assembly on Monday. Indeed, according to Samuel Greene, “it doesn’t really matter what [Putin] says.” Most of what we know derives from paying attention […]

After Riga: How Can Europe Promote a More Peaceful Neighbourhood?

June 23, 2015 by

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But a few weeks after the Riga Summit of EU and Eastern Partnership members quietly assembled and published its tentatively worded declaration, it is worth examining what Europe must really do to produce a peaceful neighbourhood. Reticence is understandable—diplomacy over Ukraine is ongoing, and has been demonstrably sensitive to ill-judged pronouncements. Accordingly, this post will not call for an escalation […]

Ukraine after Debaltseve: Appraisal and Prognosis

February 25, 2015 by

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With news of another “planned and organised” retreat, this time from the strategic hotspot of Debaltseve, it’s time for a reappraisal of the conflict raging in Eastern Ukraine. What follows is a summary of events, a survey of the relevant actors’ interests, activities, and likely courses of action, and a suitably damning prognosis for where this […]

Peace in Ukraine: Weighing Russia’s Latest Trophy

September 21, 2014 by

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Ukraine’s recent signing of the EU Association Agreement had all the hallmarks of a great political triumph—from President Petro Poroshenko’s “Slava Ukrayini!” (Glory to Ukraine) on Twitter, to the bouts of anthem-singing in Ukraine’s parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, every impression that Ukraine had finally prevailed in its year-long political crisis was given. In reality, however, […]

The End of Iraq: How The West Still Pays for 2003

July 20, 2014 by

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The seemingly unstoppable march of ISIS/ISIL (now the Islamic State) through much of Iraq and some of Syria has quickly rekindled the vociferous debate surrounding the invasion of 2003. While today’s crisis is the product of many factors, the war in Iraq and its subsequent management not only predestined this conflict, but foreclosed any potential […]

Ukraine and the ‘New Cold War’: The Return of Neutralism

June 4, 2014 by

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Whether the Crimean crisis heralds a new era of international relations (or not), it has clearly been a pivotal moment in Russia’s relationship with the West. The world over balances of power are shifting, and though the United States remains unrivalled in sheer power, close to the borders of rising China and the increasingly-assertive Russia […]

Power vs. Interest: Ukraine’s Dwindling Options

March 2, 2014 by

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Predictions regarding Ukraine’s future following a Russian invasion (in all but name) abound, and while almost all expect bloodshed, some go as far as to predict the forthcoming apocalypse. Amidst such exclamations there have been few moderate voices, Stephen Walt and Medhi Hassan represent an inconspicuous minority. But, if one is to forgive the generalisation that most […]

Hanging in the Balance: Ukraine’s Russian Republic

March 1, 2014 by

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Over the past four or so months, Ukraine has witnessed protest and rioting that dwarfs its 2004 Orange Revolution in every respect. Beginning as a protest against what was seen as undue Russian influence in Ukraine’s last-minute withdrawal from an Association Agreement with the European Union, this volte-face in favour of closer Russian association soon came […]

Two Very Different Wars on Terrorism: How the Cold War Haunts Collaboration

February 3, 2014 by

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On the 29th of December, at 12:40 Moscow Time, an explosion gutted the entrance to Volgograd’s central train station leaving eighteen dead and forty-four injured. The explosion was recorded on CCTV, the shockwave rocking the camera while those civilians visible scatter from the blast. The very next morning a trolleybus erupted in the Dzerzhinsky district, killing […]

China’s ADIZ: A Political Skirmish

December 3, 2013 by

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China’s declaration of an Air Defence Identification Zone has prompted much debate around American strategy in the region, and how long-term interests must be served in light of the ambitions of this rising power. This has detracted somewhat from the edict itself—it’s dismissed as a fulfilment of our preconceptions of China (an expansionist power), and as […]