Nancy Pelosi’s unexpected visit to Taiwan on August 2-3 and the immediate reaction of China’s People’s Liberation Army represents the worst crisis across the Taiwan Strait since 1995.
The war in Ukraine is further diverting US attention from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region where Russia and China have expanded their footprint over the past decade. US President Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s upcoming visit to the Middle East—his first since he took office—provides an opportunity to assess the kind of role the United States will play in the MENA region in the future. The big question is whether the region is entering a post-US era and how the new regional order will be structured.
Russia’s war in Ukraine is impacting security dynamics in the Middle East, exposing fissures and fragile fault lines across the region. These divides, which are not new, have been gradually widening as a result of regional competition and security challenges emerging from the shifting global order. This process has unfolded over the course of three US presidencies—Barack Obama, Donald J. Trump, and Joseph R.
President Joe Biden’s upcoming visit to the Middle East will seek to reassure regional allies at a time when the dominant narrative about the US role in the region, promulgated by Arab capitals, is that the United States is withdrawing from the Middle East and abandoning its allies and security commitments.
The war in Ukraine is further diverting US attention from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, where Russia and China have expanded their footprint over the past decade. US President Joe Biden’s upcoming visit to the Middle East—his first since he took office—provides an opportunity to assess the kind of role the United States will play in the MENA region in the future. Is a post-US era about to begin in the region? What is changing in the regional order?
A revived transatlantic relationship stands as the background for NATO’s new Strategic Concept. After four troublesome years during Donald Trump’s presidency, the Biden administration has actively tried to relaunch the US-Europe dialogue, with partial success. The 2021 NATO summit in Brussels on June 14th was generally regarded as a constructive one, confirming the positive impression of the previous G7 summit in Carbis Bay and paving the way for the US-EU summit on June 15th.
At the NATO Summit
The upcoming NATO Madrid summit at the end of June will be particularly extraordinary and pivotal under many aspects compared to previous ones. Let us have a look.
We all know that international affairs are currently dominated by the war in Ukraine. This, however, forms just part of the agenda of the Madrid Summit, which was planned under very different auspices.
Readers who are interested in these matters, which are nothing other than matters of international security, may remember that a Summit was held in London in December 2019, at which it was decided to reform the organisation, for the first time in 70 years.
The threat from Russia to European security is certain to be the key issue at the Madrid summit. The Atlantic Alliance is perfectly prepared to deal with it in the coming weeks and months, but perhaps less so in the next year and a few after. The 2010 Strategic Concept, for that matter, worked reasonably well in the short term but has become completely irrelevant in the mid-term, where we are now.
Today, as the geopolitical tensions are heating up from the West across the East into the Indo-Pacific, the Cold War sentiments and terminology are getting a new lease of life across regions. Even as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) recognizes Russia as the “most significant and direct threat” to European security, it is China’s dynamic rise – from quiet to ultra-belligerent – that is challenging the US primacy, which it has held since the end of the Cold War ironically.
Unnamed hackers recently targeted servers linked to a Hawaiian submarine cable — and the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS), thankfully, “disrupted” it. The specific target, DHS said, was the servers of a telecommunications company “associated with” an undersea cable that carried internet traffic and other data to Hawaii and the surrounding region. International law enforcement cooperation enabled the US and its partners to arrest those responsible.