23 November 2014   Leave a comment

One would be hard pressed to find a better example of what structural realists (neorealists) call the “security dilemma” than the situation in east Europe before and after the recent activity in Ukraine.  Prior to the Russian intervention, there were four NATO jets tasked to defend NATO borders.

After the crisis, there are now 18.

NATO clearly regards the build-up as a purely defensive move; Russia undoubtedly regards the build-up as provocative.   What NATO believes is defensive, Russia regards as offensive.

China is building military facilities on a reef in the disputed area of the Spratley Islands.   Other countries, including the Philippines, claim the Spratley Islands, and there has been a lot of activity by all sides in the disputed area.  The Chinese are quite literally building new reefs for these facilities which could be extensive enough for airstrips and harbors large enough to berth military vessels.

The Israeli cabinet has approved, by a vote of 14-7, a new law that would enshrine Israel’s identity as a Jewish state.  Israel’s constitution and its Basic Laws refer to Israel as a “Jewish and democratic” state, but the new law would guarantee national rights only to Jews, although 20% of Israel’s population is either Muslim or Christian.  According to The Guardian:

The bill, which is intended to become part of Israel’s basic laws, would recognise Israel’s Jewish character, institutionalise Jewish law as an inspiration for legislation and delist Arabic as a second official language.”

The bill now goes to the Israeli Parliament, the Knesset, and it remains to be seen whether it will actually become a law.

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Posted November 23, 2014 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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