6 October 2015   Leave a comment

I’m back from Belgium.  The Conference was spectacular and it was wonderful seeing so many former students who are busy saving various parts of the world.  My speech was well-received at the University of Leuven.  I’m tired, but very happy.

The relations between the West and Russia are becoming highly problematic, even dangerous.  The Russians have apparently invaded Turkish airspace (Turkey is a member of NATO) and has stepped up aerial bombardment in Syria, apparently against anti-Assad forces supported by the West and not the forces of the Islamic State.  Along with Russian provocations in Ukraine and the Russian probing of allied defenses in the Baltics and eastern Europe, the Russian flexing of military power is presenting a considerable challenge to the West.  As of now there is little to suggest that the Russians are interested in outright war.  But the lack of a coordinated Western response leaves open the possibility for miscalculation or accident.

Borders are an intrinsic part of the nation-state system.  The delimitation of territory is both a solution to and a cause of war.  In one of the most contested areas of the world, the Indian-Pakistani border, the border is so well-illuminated that it can be seen from space, one of the very few borders that are so obvious.  The lights make the border easier to patrol and prevent people from passing through undetected.  But the lights are also symbolic of a deep divide.

The British Home Secretary, Theresa May, gave a speech in which she argued that immigration into Britain was harming the economy and displacing British workers.  She argued for tightening immigration rules to limit offers for asylum.  Ms May is clearly positioning herself for a stronger position within the Conservative party, but her comments reflect the growing opposition to immigration in many parts of Europe.   The Guardian did an analysis of her claims and found that many of them were not accurately portrayed.

 

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Posted October 7, 2015 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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