After 30 years of military state of exception (the Emergency Law), Egypt’s transition from dictatorship is unsurprisingly still negotiating its institutional destination regarding the delicate equilibrium of a democratic political regime, as this is evident in the present talks concerning the powers of the new president, the new Constitution, the structure of the legislative and the role of the judiciary. Most dramatic is the very process of demolishing the old regime while it’s key-players still hang on to their self-assumed prerogative of “protectors” of the “Revolution”. Even if this meant until now torture and murders in the streets and the state prisons, sexual harassment and rape, encouraging religious clashes between Muslims and Copts or between pro-Mubarak youth and the people in the public squares of Cairo, Alexandria, Suez, Port Said, Al-Mansoura, Qena, Minya etc. To get rid of the past is very much different than trying to look into the future and in all probability this will be the long-term institutional and public deadlock for Egyptians and other people caught in the “Arab Spring”. They are not the firsts to find themselves in such a collective nightmare. More…
Tag Archives: Middle East
Don’t leave the streets! Egypt’s revolutions still to come 1
Those of us Eastern Europeans, who did not witness the 1989 revolutions, are nevertheless the children of a revolution. If we were too young to discern for ourselves the communist fall, we grew up during the making of the narratives of the revolution, in which innumerable stories and actors fought hard in the streets, in the media and inside the newly crafted institutions to convince us of their truth. More…
Statecraft is stagecraft 2
At the behest of my good friend and colleague, Octavian Manea, I am very pleased to re-publish on this blog his posting from Politică Externă. I hope you will find this post as useful and insightful as I did.
On October 8th, the Center for European Policy Analysis (a DC think tank dedicated to the study of geopolitical trends in Central Europe) launched a timely sensitive report on the topic of the Hingepoint Allies: Bolstering U.S. Alliances with Exposed States in Central Europe, East Asia and the Middle East. The authors – A. Wess Mitchell, Jakub Grygiel and Robert Kron – highlighted the strategic commonalities and the linkages facing small and mid-sized U.S. allies at global faultlines in Central Europe, East Asia and Middle East. The ongoing shifts in the regional power balances and the strategic choices made by local actors in these new settings point out to a possible medium term trend: ”the subtle but steady unraveling of U.S.-centered security orders at three of the world’s historically most strategically-vital regions”.
The blue-print of the future NATO Strategic Concept: Some comments and views 2
NATO has released last week a report containing the outline of the future NATO Strategic Concept that will be adopted at the Alliance summit this year in Lisbon. Although this is not even a draft of the new Strategic Concept, it is a blue print that offers a glimpse of NATO’s strategic thinking. Following its publication consultations and heated negotiations between member states will follow in order to draft the NATO’s new Strategic Concept. This article is first in a series dedicated to analyzing the outline of the Alliance’s future strategy. In this part I will summarize and analyze the chapters dedicated to the threat environment, core tasks of NATO and partnerships.
Central and Eastern European fears 2
A group of Central and Eastern European intellectuals and former chiefs of state have published on July 16 an open letter to the President of the United States of America, voicing their concerns regarding the current state of relations between the countries of this region and the United States. The letter comes after the US-Russia summit and is signed by Vaclav Havel, Lech Walesa, Emil Constantinescu, Valdas Adamkus, Martin Butora, Matyas Eorsi, Alexandr Vondra and other important figures who have played a part in the recent history of Central and Eastern Europe. In the letter they emphasize the role played by the United States in Central Europe’s (CEE) transition from authoritarianism to democracy, remind Washington of the contribution made by the countries of this region to the American war effort in Iraq and Afghanistan, while deploring the fact that the CEE is no longer a priority for US foreign policy. The letter criticizes the new “realist” foreign policy of the Obama Administration concerning Europe and Russia, with the shadow of Yalta looming large in the minds of the signatories.