Appearing in the March 15 edition of The Spectator, Matthew Dal Santo's article «In Defence of the Romanovs: the Centenary of the February Revolution« falls short (to my liking) in expressing a good defense (pardon my American preferred English spelling) of the Russian monarchy. Excerpted from Dal Santo's piece...
With Senator John McCain in his last term in the U.S. Congress and Senator Lindsey Graham in potential political trouble in South Carolina in 2020, the neo-conservatives have their high hopes set on freshman Republican Senator Ben Sasse of Nebraska. Sasse is the new face among cheerleaders in the U.S. Senate advocating further sanctions on Russia, a full investigation of alleged links between the Donald Trump presidential campaign and Russia, and full-throttle support for NATO and numerous free trade agreements.
Turkey’s relationship with the EU and NATO appears to have plumbed new lows. Ankara’s agreement with the EU to help hold back a flood of migrants is about to end. On March 13, Deputy Turkish Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus announced the freeze amid an escalating row over Turkish officials' access to the Netherlands. Another Deputy Prime Minister, Nurettin Canikli, also said steps would be taken to reevaluate Ankara’s agreement with Brussels to prevent refugees and migrants from crossing into the EU after they transit Turkey...
There are different views on the significance of the Senate’s conformation of Daniel Coats as Director of National Intelligence (DNI) on March 15. The DNI is charged with facilitating smoother information sharing between the 16 agencies comprising the US national intelligence community, coordinating and integrating intelligence and breaking down stove-pipes. Some believe the appointment is routine, others think it’s an event of great significance. It all depends on how serious the US president is about his pledge to reform the national intelligence community...
There is only one Cabinet-level federal Department that is so wasteful — so corrupt (&/or incompetent) — that its financial records can’t even be audited, meaning that no auditors can be found who will certify its books: the Defense Department, otherwise called «the Pentagon» — it’s 54% of the Fiscal Year 2016 federal budget for all Departments of discretionary (i.e., legally non-obligatory) federal spending...
The geopolitics of US-China tensions over Korea, as well as the other territorial rows in the South China Sea and in the East Sea regarding Japan, are indeed all profoundly fraught. The risk of a war breaking out between the US and China from these multiple tensions is a real danger. Especially because of Washington’s habit of being high-handed in a region that arguably it has no normative reason for meddling in.
Those who support the idea of globalism and strive for closer European integration believe the results of the Dutch election indicate the tide has been stemmed, with Eurosceptics and «populist» forces on the defensive. The buck stops here. This is the end of domino effect. The reshaping of Europe has been prevented. The pro-NATO, pro-EU establishment elites are to see glory days again.
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says the United States will not continue participating in the Human Rights Council unless the UN rights agency undergoes «considerable reform».
President Donald Trump is considering delegating more authority to the Defense Department to conduct anti-terrorist operations overseas, which at the moment require the White House approval. The commanders have the authority to take their own decisions only in declared war zones, but not outside. They must go all the way up to the president to launch a drone strike or a raid by a Special Operations team in the countries hit by crisis, like Yemen, Somalia and Libya.
Since the middle of February, the internal political situation in South Africa has worsened once again. During South African president Jacob Zuma’s annual address to the country’s parliament, the main opposition parties, primarily the Democratic Alliance and the Economic Freedom Fighters, became rowdy and delayed the president’s speech for an hour. For security reasons, the parliament building was surrounded not by the police, as it was last year, but by the SADF staff.