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Contributor PerspectivesNov 14, 2019 | 16:20 GMT
Konigsberg Cathedral and the Pregolya River are seen in this nighttime shot in Kaliningrad.
Kaliningrad: Measuring Up Against Europe, Not Mainland Russia
Sandwiched between European Union members Poland and Lithuania, Kaliningrad, Russia's westernmost outpost, has always been of great interest for many -- and not just because of its military significance and motley, centuries-old history. Indeed, the territory that is now Kaliningrad has been ruled at various times by the Teutonic Order, Prussia, imperialist Germany, the Soviets and, finally, Russia. For many who recall the Soviet past and live just a hop, skip and a jump away, the exclave is magnetic for its proximity and the preservation of the relics of the Soviet past. But once you're in Kaliningrad, "Russian" isn't quite the description that many want to hear, as it's a territory that looks more toward Europe than Russia.
Contributor PerspectivesNov 13, 2019 | 16:40 GMT
An illustration of an aged world map.
Lessons From the Past for Trump's Transactional Foreign Policy
One of the Trump administration's hallmarks has been its transactional approach to foreign policy. Writing in Foreign Policy magazine shortly before the 2016 presidential election, the strategist Rosa Brooks suggested that "To Trump, U.S. alliances, like potential business partners in a real-estate transaction, should always be asked: 'What have you done for me lately?'" Since entering office, President Donald Trump has repeatedly threatened to walk away from alliances that no longer seem to be paying dividends, regardless of old friendships or cultural affinities. The U-turn in American foreign policy seems to have baffled many observers. However, the Trump administration is anything but the first to pursue a transactional foreign policy. It might be worth taking a look at the experience of the most important comparison case, 18th century Britain.
AssessmentsFeb 23, 2018 | 08:00 GMT
A woman uses an aid to walk along Berlin's Lake Tegel in June 2017.
People: France's Advantage Over Germany
In the last several centuries, no two countries have left such an impact on continental Europe as Germany and France. The giants have long jockeyed for position, often determining the fate of their neighbors in the process. In their battles for influence, demographic advantage has often proved telling, with greater population frequently translating into greater influence. And as it was in yesteryear so it is today: With the demographic momentum swinging from Germany back to France in the 21st century, profound changes are in store for both countries -- as well as for Europe at large.
AssessmentsJun 27, 2016 | 09:30 GMT
China is one of the few credible challengers to U.S. political, economic and military supremacy.
What Prussia's Rise Can Teach China
Between 1864 and 1871, something extraordinary happened in the heart of Europe. In three short wars, each following hot on the heels of the last, the Continent's great powers failed to unite to contain an ascendant Prussia. The failure to build a coalition against Prussia -- during the Danish-Prussian War of 1864, the Austro-Prussian War of 1866 and the Franco-Prussian War of 1871 -- resulted in the unification of Germany under Prussian dominion in early 1871. A few decades later, Germany was the leading power on the European continent, rivaling Great Britain for influence in global economic and political affairs. Its power would continue to grow, virtually unchecked, until 1914. How it managed such a feat is important when considering China's ambitions today.
AssessmentsNov 2, 2015 | 10:30 GMT
China is one of the few credible challengers to U.S. political, economic and military supremacy.
China's Delicate Political Position Amid Reform
In the second installment of a series on China's transformation, we turn our attention inward and to the present, examining the Chinese Communist Party's efforts to retain its legitimacy by creating a highly effective, centralized government. As Stratfor has written before, the beginning of a slowdown in China's property sector in March 2014 ushered China into a new stage in its evolution. The question is no longer whether its longtime growth model, based on low-cost exports and investment, is sustainable. Rather, it whether and how the government can maintain political order as the economy shifts, as Beijing hopes it will, from one growth model to a new one. In short, can the Chinese government adapt quickly and effectively enough to China's new economic reality to stay in power?
AssessmentsOct 18, 2015 | 13:00 GMT
The Geopolitics of Bavaria
The Geopolitics of Bavaria
Bavaria's main geopolitical imperative is to be part of larger institutional frameworks for protection, while also trying to keep as much autonomy as possible. The German region is a fascinating example of a territory that is powerful enough to demand special treatment from its neighbors, but not strong enough to completely control its destiny.
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