Views:3381
josh alex 1

  Hopefully, this will not be my last Bulgaria Analytica article. But with the current state of media you never know.   So I think it’s an opportune time for me to reflect on my time as a correspondent for Bulgaria Analytica and the Center for Balkan and Black Sea Studies (CBBSS), and more so, on the past five-plus years — a period I’ve spent almost entirely outside of my native United States.   As necessity is the mother of invention, it could be said travel is the mother of an expanded worldview. I’d like to think my worldview has expanded significantly as I’ve spent most of the past five years traveling and doing a lot of reporting along the way.   Journalistically, I typically neither write in first person,

Views:3117
russia_nato

  NATO’s London Summit on 3-4 December will enable Alliance leaders to reassert the importance of the Alliance after recent attacks on its effectiveness by French President Emmanuel Macron. Macron’s assertion that NATO is “brain dead” was reminiscent of President Donald Trump’s election campaign statements that the Alliance was obsolete. Trump’s attacks led to a refocus on NATO defense spending and Macron’s dismissal can encourage the Alliance to strengthen its mission.   It is important to remember that NATO was formed to prevent Europe’s domination by any expansionist power and is the cornerstone of the trans-Atlantic alliance. A secure Europe is vital for American security and its military presence enables the U.S. to project power to deter threats and respond decisively if common security interests are challenged from any adjacent

Views:5148
borissov

  There has been much talk recently of a return to the balance of great power interests and spheres of influence. President Trump’s transactional foreign policy is an epitome of this return to two centuries old doctrines and the paradigm of interests before principles.   President Macron has joined and suggested a restart of the geostrategic partnership with Russia, to balance off China and the US, calling for dropping sanctions and a return to business as usual. The French President seems not only to be seeking to lead post-Brexit EU but also to step in the shoes of his great predecessors De Gaulle and Napolean. He has managed to veto opening up accession talks with Albania and North Macedonia, disregarding prevailing EU common ground.   Paris is engaging in the

Views:3750
sarbiya-kosovo

  The victory of Vetevendosje, the Movement for Self-Determination, in Kosova’s October elections has generated concern about the future of the planned talks with Serbia. However, the new government in Prishtina may actually provide much needed realism in the revived American approach to the most persistent frozen dispute.   The White House is seeking results in the Prishtina-Belgrade dialogue before the 2020 presidential elections. President Donald Trump wants to claim a historic foreign policy success in the Balkans and lay the groundwork for the withdrawal of remaining American soldiers. Together with troop evacuations from Syria and Afghanistan, he can then declare during the election campaign that he is finally ending America’s “endless wars.”   In addition to the responsibilities of Matt Palmer, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for the West

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lng_vessel

  The effect of LNG and newly sourced gas in the Southern Gas Corridor will spread across the CEE and the SEE and put the heat on Russia’s gas monopoly. In other words, if hidden and overt preferential treatment for Gazexport is revoked, this will result in lower prices or market shares for the incumbent monopoly. Reverse supplies via the Trans-Balkan Pipeline could start as early as January 1st, 2020, bringing gas from Turkey, Greece, and the Southern Gas Corridor to clients in Romania, Moldova, Ukraine, and Slovakia even before Turk Stream gas crosses the Bulgarian border.   Demand for Nord Stream-2 south and eastbound gas exports via Opal and Eugal gas pipelines should wane with lower price differentials amid rising competition from the Southern Gas Corridor and LNG.  

Views:5353
elections 2020

  Democratic presidential hopefuls in the United States are finally beginning to get serious. By serious I mean they’re starting to drop out. The crowded field that featured over 20 candidates at the beginning of the year lost five in the past two months due to inadequate support and inability to reach necessary donor requirements to appear in the democratic primary debates. This is the only measure of the party getting serious however, the candidates who still believe they have a chance at running against Donald Trump continue to make normal people scratch our heads with bizarre stories about run ins with gang leaders like “Corn Pop”, praise for parents who use a nine year old transgender child to virtue signal, promises to “tell the public about aliens,” and claims

Views:5567
erdogan_trump

  The presidents of the United States and Turkey are finding common ground where seemingly there is none.     There could be many reasons why Donald Trump and Recep Tayyip Erdogan are not meant to be friends. For one, the U.S. is protecting Erdogan’s archnemesis, Fethullah Gulen. Another is that Washington and Ankara have fractured relations over Turkey’s purchase of a Russian missile defense system.   Several other issues pit NATO allies Washington and Ankara against one another, though none larger at the moment than the matter of the Syrian Kurds. To Washington, the Syrian Kurds were the most trusted ally in the fight against the Islamic State. To Ankara, the Syrian Kurd military branch, the YPG, is one and the same with the PKK, which has long waged

Views:6289
Cartoon by Rebel Pepper
Photo: RFA

“Without meaning to say that the foreigners harbor such destructive intentions in their hearts, we yet positively assert that from their inordinate thirst after gain, they are perfectly careless about the injuries they inflict upon us! And such being the case, we should like to ask what has become of that conscience which heaven has implanted in the breasts of all men?”   The full text of Lin Tse-hsu impassioned open letter to Queen Victoria imploring her to intervene in the illegal smuggling of opium onto the shores of mainland China is a profound plea to morality. Delivered in 1839 in the months preceding the escalations that would result in the first Opium War, the letter fell on deaf hears by the time it was received in England. However, 180

Views:7401
Photo: Wikimedia Commons/ Michael Vadon

Somebody should remind him why he won in the first place. The recent bout of mass shootings that took place in El Paso, Texas and Daytona, Ohio have further illuminated the depths of Donald Trump’s disloyalty to his own constituency. In the aftermath of the two mass shootings Trump addressed the public and called for increased tech censorship as well as the implementation of a nationwide red flag gun law, an interesting strategy for a president who won a majority vote with gun owners in 49/50 states.   Red flag gun laws can vary depending on what county and state you’re in, but the general idea is to give family members and close acquaintances the ability to petition a judge to temporarily remove the firearms from a person that they