The decline of neutrality in world politics has been proclaimed several times over the past century, most recently with Finland and Sweden’s decision to join NATO. Pascal Lottaz, co-editor of a new book assessing global developments in neutralism in the “Post-Cold War” period, writes that neutrality policies are still a staple of international politics and that a new international consensus on what neutrality means could help deescalate the current crisis in Europe.
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In some western circles, there has been a question mark over Turkey’s position on Russia’s war in Ukraine, writes Ambassador Tacan Ildem. Here he outlines the long history of Turkish-Russian relations, and how Turkey’s policy on Ukraine today is a balancing act informed by the geopolitics of the region.
If there is one parallel between the Cuban Missile Crisis and the war in Ukraine, Marion Messmer writes, it’s that decision-making is influenced by myths, enemy images, and beliefs. The fog of war makes miscommunication, misperception, and miscalculation that much more likely, in turn increasing the risk that further escalation might take place. Whether the war in Ukraine will be able to provide a similar motivation for arms control efforts as the Cuban Missile Crisis did will depend on how exactly it will end.
Thanks to the INF Treaty, Russian forces attacking Ukraine have not been able to use ground-to-ground ballistic and cruise missiles of ranges from 500-5,500 km, which could have devastated centres in Western Ukraine. Dan Plesch writes that the process that produced the INF Treaty provides important guidance for a renaissance in disarmament in the present century and calls on civil society to seek a global zero on missiles.
Although it may now be hard to escape a cold war, especially between Russia and the West, countries can still make real choices that affect the course of the confrontation, writes ELN Director Sir Adam Thomson. Here he suggests four axes along which all states involved should be considering their positioning as they pursue their clashing desired outcomes.
ELN Senior Associate Fellow Ilana Bet-El looks at the problems inherent both in the Dayton Agreement and its implementation – and offers recommendations for how they could be avoided in a future post-war agreement in Ukraine.