Uniting democracies has been the key international political trend of the last hundred years. Understanding this trend and enabling it to continue is the key to world political development.
The Streit Council's Statment on the Brexit Referendum Outcome
On June 23rd, the British people voted to leave the European Union in a close 52%-48% referendum outcome that few predicted. As an organization committed to deepening integration among the world’s established liberal democracies as a means to expanding individual freedom, the Streit Council views this development as a step backward. Since joining the European Community in 1973, the United Kingdom has shaped European integration in a direction consistent with its liberal values and interests, making all Europeans freer. This has been experienced in many forms, including the freedom to live in peace, greater financial freedom, and freer movement across borders. While these benefits have not accrued evenly across the Union, they nonetheless accrued. Read the full statement.
Streit Council Advisory Board Member Stanley R. Sloan on "Rebuilding Washington's Transatlantic Alliance"
In an article for the National Interest, Stanley R. Sloan argues that the next president of the United States will need to rebuild the transatlantic relationship to address threats to Western security and fundamental values. In Ukraine, NATO and the EU need to support the reform of the country's political and economic system while holding off on the provision of lethal arms. To ensure a lasting defeat of ISIS, Western allies should engage Middle Eastern states and the broader international community to stabilize and govern retaken territory. While the next president must remember that the Russian agenda often runs contrary to that of the U.S., cooperation on managing strategic arms, promoting a peaceful end to the Syria conflict, counterterrorism and other issues is in America's interest. Click here for the full article.
New Book by Streit Council Advisory Board Member Kenneth Weisbrode
In Old Diplomacy Revisited: A Study in the Modern History of Diplomatic Transformers, historian Kenneth Weisbrode asserts that Old Diplomacyis not really that old—many of its concepts and methods date to the mid-nineteenth century—while the practices of New Diplomacy emerged only a couple of generations later. Moreover, "Diplomacy 2.0" and other variants of the post-Cold War era do not depart significantly from their twentieth-century predecessor: their forms, particularly in technology, have changed, but their substance has not. In this succinct overview, Weisbrode reminds us that to understand diplomatic transformations and their relevance to international affairs is to see diplomacy as an entrepreneurial art—and that, like most arts, it is adapted and re-adapted with reference to earlier forms. Diplomatic practice is always changing, and always continuous. To read more about this book, click here.
Kenneth Weisbrode, Ph.D., joins the Streit Council's Advisory Board. He is an Assistant Professor of History at Bilkent University, Turkey and has written and edited several books, including Old Diplomacy Revisited: A Study in the Modern History of Diplomatic Transformers; Churchill and the King: The Wartime Alliance of Winston Churchill and George VI; and The Atlantic Century: Four Generations of Extraordinary Diplomats who Forged America's Vital Alliance with Europe. He is also the co-founder of the Toynbee Prize Foundation's Network for the New Diplomatic History, and holds a Ph.D. in History from Harvard University.
New Book by Streit Council Board Member Richard Rosecrance
In The Resurgence of the West: How a Transatlantic Union Can Prevent War and Restore the United States and Europe, Richard Rosecrance calls for the United States to join forces with the European Union and create a transatlantic economic union. A U.S.-Europe community would unblock arteries of trade and investment, rejuvenate the West, and enable Western countries to deal with East Asian challenges from a position of unity and economic strength. Through this great merger the author offers a positive vision of the future in which members of a tightly knit Western alliance regain economic health and attract Eastern nations to join a new and worldwide international order. To read more about this book, click here.
At the Washington D.C. Summit on Cross Continental Cooperation,held by the Institute for Cultural Diplomacy from November 4-7, Streit Council President Richard Conn Henry reviewed the history of the Streit Council, starting with Clarence K. Streit's self-publication of Union Now just prior to World War II, and continuing with the passing of the Atlantic Union Resolution in 1964. Henry also expounded his idea on a possible Amendment to the U.S. Constitution that, if adopted, would lead to a federal union with the European Union. His proposal can be found here.
Transatlantic Relations and Global Governance News
UK will agree tariff-free trade deal with EU, minister claims
24 October 2016 – The Independent
The UK’s Transport Secretary, Chris Grayling, claims that the EU will accept a tariff-free trade deal with the UK after Brexit. He also says that the UK’s negotiations with the EU will not encounter the hurdle facing the EU-Canada CETA deal, which was obstructed by a regional parliament of Belgium. This is not likely to occur with the UK-EU deal, as Belgium’s farmers live on agricultural exports to the UK. As a result, Grayling believes that an agreement which eliminates tariff will be in the interests of continental Europe.
Putin aide signals thaw in Russia’s ties with next U.S. president
23 October 2016 – Financial Times
A top Putin aided noted that Russia may be more receptive to improved ties with the next U.S. president following the upcoming election. The official stated that Russian leadership will "wait until the end of the election campaign" to see if a pragmatic U.S.-Russian relationship would prevail, as they had been "insulted" by anti-Russian statements.
British warplanes set for drills in Japan, South Korea
21 October 2016 – CNN
The UK has deployed warplanes to Japan and South Korea for a series of joint exercises. Japan's defense ministry stated that the exercise will strengthen the UK's and Europe's "commitment" and "interest in the security situation in Japan and the Asia Pacific region."
Italy resists EU push for Russia sanctions over Aleppo bombings
21 October 2016 – Reuters
Italy rejected new EU sanctions against Russia over the bombing of civilians in Syria, with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi stating that economic sanctions would not force Moscow to participate in a peace settlement. Britain, France, and Germany recently condemned Russia for airstrikes on Aleppo and seek greater pressure on Moscow over the conflict.
Death Knell for EU Trade Deals if Canada Treaty Collapses, Says EU President
20 October 2016 - Telegraph
EU President Donald Tusk has warned that failure to ratify the Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement (CETA) could result in Europe possibly never being able to sign any free trade deals in the future. CETA has support from 27 of the 28 member bloc, but the Wallonian parliament in Belgium has rejected CETA thus far, blocking Belgium’s approval.
Scottish Government Publishes Draft Referendum Bill that Could Lead to Break-Up of Britain
20 October 2016 - Telegraph
The Scottish government officially published a draft independence referendum bill online asking voters whether or not Scotland should remain a part of the United Kingdom. While this does not necessarily mean that a referendum will actually take place, Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has been quoted as saying that if the UK cannot retain access to the single market, an independence vote is “highly likely.”
Duterte renounces U.S., declares Philippines will embrace China
20 October 2016 – The Washington Post
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte announced an economic and military "separation" from the U.S. during a visit to China, where Duterte met with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping and Chinese business executives. China and the Philippines also agreed to bilateral talks on the South China Sea and plans for closer cooperation in counternarcotics and fishing, though did not reach a deal on territorial disputes.
Finland wants security cooperation to be part of Brexit talks: PM
19 October 2016 – Reuters
The prime minister of Finland, a non-NATO member, expressed hope that security cooperation will be part of negotiations concerning the UK's exit from the EU. Juha Sipila cited heightened tensions in the Baltic Sea in his support for a common EU defense policy.
Support for UKIP Has Halved Since EU Referendum
19 October 2016 - Telegraph
While support for the UK Independence Party has diminished by half since the decision to leave the EU, Conservative Prime Minister Theresa May extended her lead over opposition Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. Recent polls show that if an election were held today, Conservatives would win by nearly twenty points over Labour and win around 47% of the vote. This signals the largest advantage over the opposition since Margaret Thatcher’s 1987 victory. Meanwhile, the UKIP has dropped four points since June’s referendum as PM May successfully appealed to many of its supporters.
Britain Could Miss 2019 Deadline of Leaving the EU, Theresa May Hints
19 October 2016 - The Independent
While British Prime Minister Theresa May promised to invoke Article 50 and launch a two year negotiation period by March 2017, a move which would theoretically mean the UK would be out of the EU by March of 2019, May hinted on Wednesday that negotiations could take longer. While reaffirming that parliament would be included in finalizing the Great Repeal Bill, May cautioned: “There’s going to be lengthy negotiations over the course of those two years and more.”
Huge Increase in Britons Seeking Citizenship in EU States as Brexit Looms
19 October 2016 - The Guardian
The UK has experienced a 250% increase in British citizens applying for citizenship in other European states since last year. In the first eight months of this year, nearly 3,000 Britons applied to 18 different countries, and it is believed that the Brexit decision has proven to be a decisive factor. Sweden has received the highest volume of citizenship applications from Britain, totaling 1,110 applicants between January and August of this year. Denmark has experienced the most substantial gain in applications from the UK between the first eight months of 2015, where it only received 30, to 300 in the first eight months of 2016. Ireland and Germany have also received sizeable increases from last year.
Major Russian naval deployment to intensify Aleppo assault: NATO diplomat
19 October 2016 – Reuters
A senior NATO diplomat claimed that recently deployed Russian warships are carrying fighter aircraft intended to reinforce a coming assault on the city of Aleppo. Citing Western intelligence, the official stated that the move is "part of Russia's strategy to declare victory" in Aleppo.
Russia Is Moving Ahead With Missile Program That Violates Treaty, U.S. Officials Say
19 October 2016 – The New York Times
American lawmakers warned that Russia is proceeding with a program to produce ground-launched cruise missiles despite U.S. claims that such a move would violate the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) arms control agreement. The accord, introduced in 1987, prevents Russia and the U.S. from making or using such missiles, which are capable of flying 300 to 3400 miles.
EU Keeps Stronger Russia Sanctions in Reserve at Syria Talks
19 October 2016 – Wall Street Journal
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said that additional sanctions on Russia must remain an option due to its role in the Syrian conflict. Merkel spoke during a joint news conference with French counterpart Francois Hollande following talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin, stating that the discussion was "very clear" but "very tough.”
EU Trade Deal With Canada Hits Hurdle in Belgium
19 October 2016 – The Wall Street Journal
The EU’s trade negotiations with Canada to conclude CETA are encountering a major obstacle, as one of Belgium’s regions is threatening to veto the accord. Under Belgium’s constitution, the federal government can only make the decision if it receives the approval of all five regional authorities. A summit with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to sign CETA is expected to take place next week. A failure to finalize CETA would seriously undermine the bloc’s trade policy, which is already faltering due to lack of political support.
Vietnam gives thumbs-up to U.S. regional role as pivot stumbles
19 October 2016 – Reuters
Vietnam expressed support for U.S. "intervention" in the Asia-Pacific to guarantee peace and stability in the region. Vietnam's vice defense minister "affirmed that Vietnam will support the U.S. and other partners" in intervention in order to bring "peace, stability, and prosperity," according to a defense ministry statement.
Wolfgang Schäuble calls for joint EU defense budget
18 October 2016 – Financial Times
Germany's finance minister called for deeper European defense integration during a speech in Berlin. Wolfgang Schäuble stated that the EU will "soon need a common defense budget," and that such a move would make the EU's military budget far greater than Russia's, but noted that aligning military standards among member states would be widely debated.
EU foreign ministers want “swift action” for Global Strategy and defense action plan
18 October 2016 – IHS Jane’s
The EU must translate its recent “Global Strategy” for defense into action in close collaboration with member states, according to a declaration by EU defense ministers. The officials called for EU leaders to indicate "an agreed level of civil and military ambition and concrete action" in developing capabilities, closer cooperation between members, and boosting the EU's defense industrial base.
From NATO to Islamic State, the US Presidential candidates' foreign Policy positions
18 October 2016 – Voice of America
As the U.S. presidential election approaches its end, the foreign policy positions of both candidates have been watch closely throughout the world. While experts believe that Clinton will continue Obama’s multilateral approach, she would be more willing to use force. However, Trump would be more unilateral and isolationist if president. The article further compares and contrasts where Clinton and Trump stand on NATO as well as Russia and China, Iran and ISIS.
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