Politics, propaganda and the Bayeux Tapestry

French President Emmanuel Macron has loaned the historic depiction to Britain for public display. Is he taunting the English about Brexit?

Politics, propaganda and the Bayeux TapestryThe Bayeux Tapestry popped into the news a couple of weeks ago when French President Emmanuel Macron announced it would be loaned to Britain for public display. Immediately, people imputed political meaning. That’s nothing new. Indeed, it’s fair to say that the tapestry has been political from the get-go. Created in the late 11th century, the…

Lithuania a country caught between two worlds

A letter from Lithuania: Its history is one of struggle and compromise. Now it's looking to the future and its options with caution

Lithuania a country caught between two worldsVilnius, the capital of Lithuania, is a charmingly historic European city that tells a chilling tale of sorrow. Our hotel, directly across from Lukiškės Square (formally Lenin Square and, yes, the statue is gone), stands opposite the Genocido aukų muziejus, a museum dedicated to preserving the memory of the many victims of Soviet cruelty. This…

Turmoil in Europe puts union at a crossroads

The next few years will determine whether Europe’s current problems represent bumps in the road or a fundamental turning point in its grand vision

Turmoil in Europe puts union at a crossroadsImagine perusing your local newspaper one morning to discover the Province of Alberta had voted to secede from Canada and was in increasingly tense talks with the federal government over the terms of its departure. At the same time, the lower mainland of B.C. had voted to leave the province in a bitterly contested election…

West complicit in North Korea’s 21st-century slave trade

Hundreds of thousands of World Cup soccer fans will buy tickets to sit in stadiums being built in Russia and Qatar with slave labour

West complicit in North Korea’s 21st-century slave tradeOf all the egregious forms of modern slavery, none is more despicable or far-reaching than the export of labour by North Korea. It’s estimated that North Korean slave labour is used in more than 45 countries, including in the European Union, and entails the exploitation of 100,000 to 200,000 individuals. The government of North Korea…

Saving the euro: Why Germany must bring back the mark

Germany must exit the increasingly dysfunctional eurozone to allow its other members to benefit from a cheaper euro

Saving the euro: Why Germany must bring back the markIt’s time for Germany to abandon the euro – to save the European Union. The euro is the official currency of the eurozone. It’s used by the institutions of the European Union (EU) and by 19 of its 28 members. It’s the currency of around 400 million people – the second most traded money and reserve…

Putin’s risky Syrian gambit is not serving him well

While former KGB agent Vladimir Putin no longer reports to anyone, that doesn’t mean a demotion might not be in his future

Putin’s risky Syrian gambit is not serving him wellRussia intervened in the Syrian Civil War in September 2015, with the deployment of a range of 65 bombers and fighters, 16 attack helicopters and roughly 4,000 personnel, including a contingent of Russian Special Forces. At the time, the Assad government was experiencing significant losses to the Syrian rebels and seemed on the verge of…

Can Russia and the United States be allies?

Expanded co-operation with the West and an increase in Russia’s role in combatting jihadism would come at a steep price — for both sides

Can Russia and the United States be allies?During the 2016 presidential election, Donald Trump roiled the foreign policy establishment by praising Russian President Vladimir Putin. He suggested it was time for a comprehensive re-evaluation of U.S.-Russian relations and broader co-operation between the two countries, especially in the fight against jihadists. In doing so, Trump raised political and strategic issues. By praising Putin…

Ireland braces for fundamental change

Tectonic shifts may be in the offing in the wake of a startling Northern Ireland election result and with Brexit hanging menacingly over Ireland

Ireland braces for fundamental changeThe Chinese curse “May you live in interesting times” may be apocryphal but it fits the circumstances facing Ireland. In a way few would have imagined 12 months ago, forces are loose that could dramatically upend the status quo. One of these is the result of the election for the Northern Ireland Assembly held earlier…

NATO needs to rebuild its capabilities

NATO needs to return to the basics, dust off the old manuals from the Cold War, and think through what is really required to successfully defend Eastern Europe

NATO needs to rebuild its capabilitiesThe North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is heralded as the world’s most successful military alliance. However, it finds itself under pressure from within and without. Some people in NATO countries do not understand the importance of its goal: to safeguard its members’ freedom and security by political and military means. This goal is executed through…

NATO urgently needs to redefine its mission

NATO needs to redefine the kinds of threats it is designed to oppose to reflect the current tactics in the Kremlin’s playbook

NATO urgently needs to redefine its missionFounded in 1949, the 28-member North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) aimed “to keep the Russians out, the Americans in and the Germans down.” Those were the words of Lord Ismay, its first Secretary General, and those goals largely defined NATO’s mission over its first 40 years. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1989, however,…