Middle East

Without International Law, “anarchy is loosed upon the world.”

The Second Coming (published 1921) Turning and turning in the widening gyre The falcon cannot hear the falconer; Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;…




Foreign policy without International Law

Since the Thirty Years War (1618-1648), the Peace of Westphalia (1648) and the foundational writings of Hugo Grotius, nations have paid attention to international law in…






50 Years Ago: The Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia, and its enduring significance

See “August 20, 1968 — “Dubček, Svoboda!” The Trenchant Observer, August 10, 2010. 50 years ago, the Soviet Union and its Warsaw Pact allies invaded…





Dénouement: Details on make-up and advances of pro-Assad forces closing in on last insurgents in Aleppo; Russia and China veto Security Council resolution

Extraordinary details regarding the composition of pro-government forces supporting Bashar al-Assad and their advances in Aleppo are contained in the following article published in Le…


Watch the ball move: Obama moves attention to Mosul, distracting from abject appeasement by Merkel, EU, and U.S. in response to ongoing Russian war crimes in Aleppo and Syria

Developing Appeasement has many colors and takes many forms. In the last few days, it has taken the form in Europe of shifting the focus…


Syria: Aleppo and the shame of the world

For background, see (1) Roger Cohen, “America’s Syrian Shame,” The New York Times, February 8, 2016. (2) David E. Sanger, “Russian Intervention in Syrian War…


2016: Fateful time for a conversation about international law

Does any of this matter? Do we care any more about whether one country invades another by military force? Does it matter how we respond?…


REPRISE: Crumbling world order: Power politics and international law

First published on September 10, 2015 See Stefan Kornelius, “Putins Machtspiele; Ruhe in der Ukraine, Druck in Syrien. Russlands Präsident sendet rätselhafte Signale. Sucht er…


Obama-Putin meeting at UN: The resurgence of pacifism and appeasement toward Putin and Russia in Europe and the U.S.

See Julia Smirnova, “Die wundersame Rückkehr des Wladimir Putin In der New Yorker UN-Woche drängt Putin ins Zentrum der Weltbühne. Durch die aktive Rolle im…



Kerry and Obama’s strategy on Syria: Work through the Russians and thow a “Hail Mary” pass on negotiations

See MICHAEL R. GORDON and ERIC SCHMITT, “Russian Buildup in Syria Raises Questions on Role,” New York Times, September 19, 2015. Stefan Braun, Berlin, und…