Alex Alexiev

Alex Alexiev is chairman of the Center for Balkan and Black Sea Studies and the editor of the geopolitical website bulgariaanalytica.org. He tweets on national security at twitter.com/alexieff and could be reached at alexievalex4@gmail.com.
Views:760
pakistan

The article first published in americanthinker.com on 01/15/2018.   President Trump’s threat to cut US assistance to Pakistan because of its duplicitous policies has elicited relatively few angry denunciations from the normally unhinged Trump haters in the foreign-policy establishment. They have been limited to accusations of endangering American soldiers in Afghanistan because of lack of logistic alternatives to Pakistan. This essentially implies that the current failed and counter-productive policies are preferable to Trump’s calls for change.   To understand why this is a recipe for continued failure in which the Pakistani people are the main victims some history is in order. Ever since its violent separation from India in 1947, Pakistan has been an army with a state attached to it. Its quarrel with India, a vastly more powerful state, became a

Views:1606
Laffer-Curve

  In 1974, economist Arthur Laffer in making the argument for cutting taxes to top Ford Administration officials (Dick Chaney and Donald Rumsfeld) drew on a restaurant napkin a curve showing that at low rates of taxation the government could receive greater revenues, while at higher rates it received progressively less going to zero at a 100% tax rate. This then became famous as the basis of President Ronald Reagan’s tax cuts when he slashed taxes from a top marginal rate of 70% to 28%. True to the Laffer Curve, government revenues increased from $517 billion in 1980 to $909 billion in 1988, even though the population had grown by only 10%. Laffer also popularized what became known as ‘dynamic’ scoring, which took into account changes in taxpayer and business

Views:936
trump

The article first published in americanthinker.com on 12/24/2017.   With just a few days left in 2017, President Trump has signed the tax legislation that marks his first major legislative victory since becoming president. It is undoubtedly his biggest achievement to date, but by no means the only one. After two consecutive quarters of over 3% GDP growth, the New York Fed is now predicting a fourth quarter rate of 4%. It is worth remembering here that no less an authority than the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) predicted economic growth of 2.2% in 2017, 2% in 2018 and 1.5% thereafter. Democratic pundits have, of course, long ridiculed as utterly impossible Trump’s election promises of 3% growth. Add to this the lowest unemployment rate (4.1%) in 17 years, 1.7 million new jobs, 12

Views:2272
europa

The article first published in americanthinker.com on 12/1/2017.   The inability of Angela Merkel and her putative partners to form a government has given rise to persistent calls, including from the chancellor herself, that what Europe needs now is a strong Germany. In fact, it is Germany’s unquestioned strength and willingness to throw its weight around that are to blame for much of Eastern Europe’s unhappiness with the EU at the moment. A case in point is the growing rift between Berlin and its eastern EU neighbors on some of the issues discussed by Merkel and her potential government partners.   Take for instance Merkel’s position claiming that the Russian Nord Stream 2 pipeline is simply a commercial project. To most of her eastern neighbors this is nothing if not crass German

Views:1228
merkel

The article first published in americanthinker.com on 11/25/2017.     The failure of German chancellor, Angela Merkel, to form a coalition government in her fourth term of office has, for the first time, given rise to speculations as to her possible demise as the long-time and seemingly indispensable fixture of German and European politics. Such is the respect bordering on  veneration, of ‘Mutti’ Merkel in the European mainstream press, that few bother to look critically at her policies and accept without question her assurances that she “will make sure that her country continues to be well governed.” Yet, there is by now overwhelming evidence that her policies have neither been very successful, nor marked with a great deal of “democracy, freedom, respect for the rule of law and human dignity,” as she

Views:2094
Mohammad-bin-Salman

The article first published in americanthinker.com on 11/17/2017.   The dramatic events in Saudi Arabia of the past few days portend a game change in the Middle East not seen in decades. Predictably, the mainstream media, desperate as they are to find something, anything to blame on Trump, have completely missed it. Instead, they have babbled about the market implications of the arrests of Prince Alwaleed and Co, Saudi Arabia ‘emerging’ as an arms manufacturer, conflict with Hezbollah, palace intrigue etc. etc. Few have put their finger on the actual events – a palace revolution in Ryadh that could change the Middle East in profound and possibly positive ways. For the logic of what’s taking place in the  House of Saud is a revolt against the medieval obscurantism that has been the

Views:3530
Photo: tass.ru

  This article is based on Alex Alexiev’s presentation to the “Russia After Putin” conference of the Bulgariaanalytica.org on Oct. 2. 2017 in Sofia. All citations are from the “Russia in Decline” publication by the Jamestown Foundation, edited by Enders  Wimbush and Beth Portale, March 2017.     Vladimir Putin came to power in Russia in 1999, a period of time which in many ways determined the course of his rule. The major, if not decisive reason for that, was that 1999 and the eight years that followed, were a period during which the prices of oil and gas rose dramatically from an average of $12-$14 dollars per barrel (USD/bbl) in 1999 to $147/bbl in 2008. This increased Russian export earnings nearly tenfold over this period and led Putin to

Views:1714

The article first published in americanthinker.com on 10/23/2017.   Though Western Europe and Washington are reluctant to fess up to this unfortunate fact, Turkey under Recep Tayyip Erdogan has long ago given up even the pretence of being a democratic polity and is openly pursuing policies detrimental to democracy, the rule of law and Western security considerations.  In short, Turkey has become an Islamist dictatorship every bit as inimical to Western interests as Iran, except for being allowed by the West to maintain the charade that it is still a member of NATO and the western community of nations. This is a dangerous charade that would inevitably come back to haunt us. For the reality is that Erdogan the Islamist, has ambitions that go beyond Turkey and even the Middle East.  Well

Views:1399
Merkel

The article first published in americanthinker.com on 09/25/2017.   As expected, Angela Merkel has convincingly won her fourth term as chancellor of Germany and unofficial, but no less real, leader of the European Union. The mainstream media will again erupt into an orgy of adulation for the new leader of the free world, the slayer of populism and last, but most, the anti-Trump. While the adulation-cum-EU-triumphalism is a given, few will notice that it is taking place as both Merkel and the EU are entering a period that will bring ruin to both Merkel’s reputation and the fantasy of a EU super state that will finally prove the superiority of Europe over Trump’s America. For her reputation is built on the fake assumptions of the European socio-political model which is doomed.  

Views:3347
Smyrna-massacre-refugees-1922_1

  There are historical events that are just that, vaguely-remembered memories of events past that are of interest mostly to professional historians. And then there are momentous events that shape a nation’s consciousness for better or worse for generations to come. One such event for the Greeks is the massacre at Smyrna at the end of WWI nearly a 100 years ago. Just in time to remind us of this consequential tragedy is a new book by the German historian, Heinz A. Richter, a rare impartial look at one of the events that colors Greek national identity like few others.[1] Nor is this reminder of historical significance alone. For it is the case that Turkey’s Islamist dictator, Erdogan and the subservient to him Islamist press, ever more openly question the

This entry was posted in Europe, The Region and tagged , by Alex Alexiev.

About Alex Alexiev

Alex Alexiev is chairman of the Center for Balkan and Black Sea Studies and the editor of the geopolitical website bulgariaanalytica.org. He tweets on national security at twitter.com/alexieff and could be reached at alexievalex4@gmail.com.