As the ten-year anniversary of the 2008 Russian invasion of Georgia approaches, there will be a brief spike in policy suggestions and attention paid to the small Caucasian nation. The reality, unfortunately, is that the five-day war in August 2008 is now mostly cited in the context of being the event that took place prior to Russia’s seizure of Crimea and incursion into Eastern Ukraine, which should have warned the Western world that Russia had returned as a fully-fledged revanchist power.

Though there are now a number of other pressing issues facing the United States and Europe—from the fallout of the US decision to withdraw from the nuclear deal with Iran to ever-increasing trade tensions—it is in the transatlantic community’s strategic interest to continue supporting Georgia.

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The assault by the United Arab Emirates’ forces and their local allies in a Saudi-led coalition on the Yemeni port city of Hudaydah that began last week and remains underway rightly raised concerns once again about the potential humanitarian consequences of Yemen’s ongoing war. Hudaydah is one of the impoverished country’s most important ports, the channel through which most international aid and imports reach Yemeni families in dire need of food, medicine, and fuel. But the discussion surrounding humanitarian aid in the Yemen war has become badly entangled in geopolitics, and it has become difficult to separate posturing on the part of the belligerent parties and wishful thinking on the part of international powers from the actual needs on the ground.

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With hints that the DETER Act [the Defending Elections from Threats by Establishing Redlines Act of 2018] may be under some consideration in the National Defense Authorization Act process going on in Congress, we would like to highlight our analysis from earlier this year for consideration by any involved in the negotiations and potentially affected parties.

While we frequently advocate for tough action to deter Moscow from its many aggressions, our analysis in this piece still stands: the DETER Act is the wrong way to address concerns about Russian President Vladimir Putin’s aggression.

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As we contemplate the promise and peril of the possible upcoming meeting between US President Donald J. Trump and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, past US-Russia summits can provide a guide to what can go right and what can go very, very wrong when American and Russian leaders meet.

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This much is predictable.

The world’s most successful and enduring alliance, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, is facing a potential transatlantic train wreck of American making when it meets in Brussels July 11-12, its first full-fledged summit of the Trump administration.

Unless President Donald Trump shifts his thinking and actions before then, a toxic political division is growing that could undermine the summit’s fundamental objectives of demonstrating unity and projecting readiness, around which diplomats and commanders have arrayed an impressive set of “deliverables.”

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In the wake of US President Donald J. Trump’s June 12 summit with North Korean leader  Kim Jong-un, R. Nicholas Burns, an Atlantic Council board member who served as US undersecretary of state from 2005 to 2008, discussed the tough work that lies ahead and lessons from a not too distant past.

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Institutions and fora such as the United Nations, the Bretton Woods Institutions, the World Trade Organization, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, and the G-groups are based on the organizing principle of multilateralism. After World War II, they have helped nation states coexist in a peaceful and relatively prosperous environment. Nowadays, they face criticism for being inefficient and lacking transparency. Some governments are withdrawing from these institutions altogether and reaffirming their individual power, which has led to a more fragmented world order.

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From now until July 15, one million soccer fans will descend on Russia for the twenty-first Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) World Cup, 3.4 billion people will watch from virtually every country and territory on Earth, and Russia will profit from immense global attention, an economic boon, and the fame that comes from hosting the premier mega-event.

Such reach puts a great deal of power and influence in the hands of soccer's global governing body. While FIFA has long used its influence to encourage governments to make the quadrennial tournament safer, more profitable, and more successful, its relative inaction in protecting and advancing fundamental human rights—specifically those of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and/or intersex (LGBTI) community—around this year’s World Cup is disappointing.

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The author and political thinker George Orwell was many things, but a soccer fan he was not.

In an essay titled “The Sporting Spirit,” written in 1945 during then-Soviet soccer club Dynamo Moscow’s Cold War British tour, Orwell called soccer “a game in which everyone gets hurt and every nation has its own style of play which seems unfair to foreigners.”

He then extrapolated that sport “is bound up with hatred, jealousy, boastfulness, disregard of all rules, and sadistic pleasure in witnessing violence: in other words it is war minus the shooting.” Orwell recognized the political symbolism inherent in sport and resented it for being one of many drivers of the nationalism fueling international rivalry.

Today’s fans might disagree with Orwell’s joyless characterization of sport as “an unfailing cause of ill-will,” but there is no denying that this World Cup, set in Vladimir Putin’s Russia, is politically charged.

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Speaking to the National Assembly of France a month before the French Revolution of 1848, Alexis de Tocqueville declared; “Beware, the wind of revolutions is arising; don’t you feel it?”  Those gathered that day did not feel it. 

Today, the winds of political revolt are sweeping through the West: in the United States, Italy, Britain, the Netherlands, Austria, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Denmark, Sweden―and in even France, where Emmanuel Macron, the gifted child of the elite has ridden the anti-establishment wave and won what could be just a reprieve.

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