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AssessmentsSep 4, 2018 | 09:00 GMT
Why Efforts to Build Bridges Could Threaten Peace in the Western Balkans
Just under the surface of the relative calm that has endured in the Western Balkans over the past decade, ethnic tensions and nationalistic fervor continue to bubble. In the final months of 2018, the region's peace will be tested in negotiations between Serbia and Kosovo as they work to normalize their relationship, especially by a controversial idea for swapping territory that could have destabilizing effects in the region. Meanwhile a referendum on officially changing Macedonia's name in an effort to put a long-running dispute with Greece to rest could stir up nationalist sentiment and political opposition in both countries.
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Contributor PerspectivesJul 9, 2018 | 10:00 GMT
Swiss player Xherdan Shaqiri's celebration after scoring a World Cup goal against Serbia included flashing the Albanian eagle. Shaqiri was born in Kosovo, whose ethnic Albanian population fought a destructive conflict with Serbia in the 1990s.
The Balkan Wars Revisited at the World Cup
Watching the World Cup abroad is a special experience. For the monthlong duration of the event, whole cities come to a standstill, especially as their countries' teams compete. Waiters at cafes at times seem almost unable to take orders because they are so transfixed on what's taking place on the field of play. In Lausanne, my favorite spots to watch the matches were inevitably communal in nature: The terrace of a bar at the base of the nearly 800-year-old Lausanne Cathedral called the Great Escape or a craft brewery in an industrial section of the city called La Nebuleuse. Indeed, it was here that my teaching assistant Austin Duckworth and I watched what surely will be remembered as the most politically meaningful match in the group stage of this year's competition, the one pitting Switzerland and Serbia. Nationalism and the memory of Balkan conflict were on strong display.
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SnapshotsJan 16, 2018 | 19:11 GMT
Kosovo: Prominent Moderate Serb Politician Oliver Ivanovic Is Assassinated
Serbian politician Oliver Ivanovic was gunned down outside his office as he arrived for work in the Kosovar city of Mitrovica on Jan. 16, Agence France-Presse reported. Ivanovic was struck at least five times and was pronounced dead by the time he was brought to the hospital. His attackers used tried-and-true tactics that bear the hallmarks of a professional hit. The media has described the attack as a drive-by shooting. Images from the scene, however, suggest that the attackers' vehicle was pulled up close to the curb and stopped, or that the attackers stepped out of the vehicle before firing at Ivanovic at close range.
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AssessmentsMar 28, 2017 | 09:00 GMT
In January, conflict almost erupted in the Balkans after the Kosovar government dispatched special police forces to stop a Serbian train headed into Kosovo's majority-Serb northern territory, emblazoned with the slogan "Kosovo is Serbia" in 21 languages.
Russia Stirs the Hornet's Nest
Today, as the European Union's divisions deepen and uncertainty prevails among NATO, Moscow has turned its focus to the Balkans once more. The region's stability has been such a hot topic in Russian President Vladimir Putin's meetings with the Kremlin Security Council this year that the council's chief even said it was a top priority for Moscow. Incidents of Russia's meddling in the Balkans have been on the rise, meanwhile, raising questions about whether it will the next theater in Moscow's struggle against Western power and unity. After all, stoking tensions in Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Macedonia offers the Russian government a convenient means to increase its influence and further distract the West.
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AssessmentsJul 4, 2016 | 09:49 GMT
With large oceans to the east and west, America's geography often allowed the United States to develop in isolation.
The Geopolitics of the United States, Part 1: The Inevitable Empire
Stratfor covers the globe from its headquarters in Austin, Texas. As a result, many of the company's staff celebrate the Independence Day holiday on July 4. Today, we are sharing this geopolitical overview of the United States, explaining how the country's geography made the nation uniquely capable of becoming a global power.
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AssessmentsApr 11, 2016 | 09:30 GMT
Serbian members of parliament attend the National assembly during of a parliamentary session in Belgrade on July 26, 2012. AFP PHOTO / ANDREJ ISAKOVIC (Photo credit should read ANDREJ ISAKOVIC/AFP/GettyImages)
In Serbian Politics, Current Problems Hail From the Past
Serbia will hold parliamentary elections April 24, but they will do little to change the country's domestic and foreign policy. According to opinion polls, Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic's Serbian Progressive Party will be re-elected, an outcome of which Vucic is fairly confident. In fact, parliamentary elections were not due until 2018, but Vucic called for early elections to consolidate his party's position in parliament. Opinion polls also show that nationalist parties will perform relatively well, which is a reminder of Serbia's complex political landscape. Regardless, the next government in Belgrade will have to operate within Serbia's traditional geopolitical constraints.
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AssessmentsNov 30, 2015 | 09:30 GMT
Newest Cyberterrorism Display
Examining the Islamic State's Cyber Capabilities
The Islamic State probably is not capable of carrying out spectacular acts of cyberterrorism, such as targeting critical infrastructure. The group would welcome such capabilities, but so far its use of cyberspace principally has been psychological operations and communications. These capabilities carry even less significance on the battlefields in Iraq or Syria. Nevertheless, the Islamic State likely will continue to incorporate the use of information technology and attempt to expand its technical capabilities in cyberspace.
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AssessmentsOct 27, 2015 | 09:16 GMT
Kosovo's Long Road to EU Membership
Kosovo's Long Road to EU Membership
Kosovo is approaching a symbolic juncture in its short history. On Oct. 27, the young country will sign a Stabilization and Association Agreement with the European Union, a document that formally begins the long process of joining the continental bloc. Kosovo will be gradually given tariff-free access to EU markets, and the government will need to begin to comply with EU requirements by implementing economic, social and political reforms.
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