173

If we extrapolate from the historical record, it looks like the U.S. couldn't care less if there is a dictatorship or not in Venezuela or anywhere else. What the U.S. seems to care about strongly is that a regime does not intrude on their trade interests. Communist and socialist regimes have a tendency to nationalize industries and push land reform, thereby ...


113

That's not what he said. John Kerry said: But here is a fundamental reality: if the choice is one state, Israel can either be Jewish or democratic – it cannot be both –and it won’t ever really be at peace. So what he is trying to say here is that In his opinion, Israel should embrace a two state solution. If Israel does not split off Palestine ...


86

Israel has a complicated relationship with Russia, which it doesn't want to hurt. Russia is a major supporter of Assad's regime in Syria, which is aligned with Iran and Hezbollah, Israel's bitter enemies (see here). Yet, Russia does not interfere when Israel operates in Syria against them. Russia is also a significant importer of Israeli produce, as well ...


78

In January 2010, a team of Israeli government agents travelled to Dubai, UAE and, in a highly-sophisticated operation, assassinated a senior official of the terrorist organization Hamas. Dubai police were able to describe the operation by piecing together surveillance videos, which were released to the public. Israel was subject to widespread international ...


72

I think the most useful framework to use to view US foreign policy is the one set out in Walter Russel Mead's Special Providence. The thesis is that there are essentially 4 schools of foreign policy, continually jockeying for getting their own way. Their primary motivations are roughly: promoting US business, protecting the US from foreign threats, ...


71

For many countries, the decision to allow visa free travel is based on the likelihood of abuse of the immigration system. In the case of Mauritius, the judgement is that Mauritian citizens do not represent a significant risk of overstaying. Mauritius has a stable democratic government and a successful economy, so Mauritian citizens are happy to return home. ...


52

The question rightfully points out the democratic issues in such a process. It's worth mentioning that the concept of a territory transaction between two countries is quite out of date under modern standards. This was a common practice in history when land was considered as a commodity, often incidentally considering the inhabitants themselves as a ...


39

"The establishment" and "the elite" are just disparaging terms used to refer to people who have built up a political career by engaging with the established parties and systems. The accusation is that these organizations represent a kind of club that politicians want to join for the benefits they will receive (power, money, access, that kind of thing) and ...


38

The action against Russian Diplomats is being led by the UK, not the US. UK and Israel are not particularly close. The other countries that have supported the UK are Countries with a close relationship with the UK: EU allies, Commonwealth allies or Nato allies. Israel is none of these. Israel has a complex relationship with Russia. It's not clear that the ...


33

Rather than focus on Greenland, it may be helpful to focus on a previous case where the US purchased a significant piece of land from another country. A nice example is the Alaska Purchase. From the linked Wikipedia page: The Alaska Purchase (Russian: Продажа Аляски, tr. Prodazha Alyaski, Sale of Alaska) was the United States' acquisition of Alaska from ...


32

Think back 50, 60, 70 years. There used to be something called the Cold War. Belief in their own system. Various free market economies are convinced that some from of Capitalism is right for people worldwide. Communists are convinced that Communism is right for people worldwide. Each wants to convince the rest of the world, and to save the people ...


31

I love this question, if simply because so many people have misinterpreted Kerry's statement. He is stating that if Israel commits to a one-state solution, they will have to choose between being democratic and representing all of the people within the country, or remaining a state in which only Jewish people (and a small minority of Arab Israelis) are ...


30

Bottom Line Upfront: If you don't allow the military to plan for maintenance, but keep them working, then it will cost more to fix them when you start giving them money. Part of it is most certainly about pandering to his base. 67% of Republicans believe too little is spent on defense. Though, there is room for universal appeal, where this could be an ...


29

This answer is largely going to be based on Richard Goldstone's New York Times Op-Ed, in which he criticizes those who call Israel Apartheid. Richard Goldstone was a South African judge who helped dismantle Apartheid, so he's somewhat an expert on the matter. First, people confuse the situation of Palestinians living in the West Bank and Gaza with Israeli ...


29

I'm not sure there is much benefit to the United States. It won't increase Israel's reliablity as a military ally or trading partner, since they already filled these roles without any US recognition of their possession of the Golan Heights. As the question noted, it will likely only score negative foreign policy points. However, it's not the US in some ...


29

If both Greenland and Denmark agree to the deal, then the matter would be simple. Simply transfer Greenland to USA, like it happened with the Dansk Vestindien/Virgin Islands. But even without Denmark's approval, this could happen in 3 steps. USA would offer Greenland perhaps 150000 USD to each Greenlander, plus yearly subsidies. Half now, half later. This ...


23

The State Department was originally created as the Department of Foreign Affairs in 1787, shortly after the Constitution was adopted. Later that year, it was renamed to Department of State, and given various State-relationship duties as well. The first of these (defined in that same statute) was the responsibility to pass the decisions of Congress on to ...


23

The premise of this question is questionable. The Mauritian passport is not especially strong. The Wikipedia article quoted in the question is citing the Henley and Partners Visa Restrictions Index 2017 (PDF). While this is a reputable source, it uses consecutive numbers for rankings, even if many countries tied at previous ranking levels. It does indeed ...


22

Israel's prime minister has a thin majority which includes the far-right and Russian-speaking Lieberman, who is minister of defense. His party historically gets most votes from Russians in Israel, who like Putin. Since Lieberman entered the government around 2009, Israel has cozied up a lot with Russia. Some context: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thirty-...


20

Of your countries: Cape Verde Chad Eritrea Niger Togo Gambia These are all very poor African countries. Establishing an embassy is expensive, and frankly Chilean commerce isn't so large a portion of the economy that it makes sense to do so. Now, say, China - yeah - they are investing heavily in these countries, and you want to promote trade, defense, and ...


20

Well you could start by looking at the yearly report on human rights prepared by the US State Department. You find lots of examples of systematic discrimination here, like how - although they may legally have a right to - Arab-Israelis can't obtain building permits or can't buy land. Then of course we have things like how Arab-Israeli easily may lose their ...


20

These are, as far as I know, referring to two different groups that may be of similar purposes but only somewhat overlap. Note please that I'm using the word "group" in the loosest possible sense, it isn't clear at all that these groups act in some sort of concerted fashion as much as they share or have compatible goals/means. The Establishment This refers ...


16

Imagine you have neighbours on either side of you. One is a peaceful, reasonable type who is happy to live in peace and does not bother you, except for the usual little gripes about dogs barking and rubbish blowing about. You know this guy has a large collection of deadly weapons, which bothers you a bit but you know if you had a burglar your neighbour ...


16

Essentially, yes By current precedent from the US Supreme Court, the US president not only has authority to recognize foreign nations, but exclusive authority. The pertinent case is Zivotofsky v. Kerry, where a couple wanted to list the birthplace of their child as "Jerusalem, Israel." At that time the State Department of the United States did not recognize ...


15

As Geobits said, It's generally accepted that Pakistan has had nuclear weapons for over 20 years. The problem with Iran is that their statements to the effect of "We're going to destroy Israel" are well-documented. Pakistan, on the other hand, isn't friendly but isn't overtly hostile. Moreover, their record on this is pretty good- when have you heard of ...


15

The Department of State was originally called the Department of Foreign Affairs, but its name was changed in 1789 when Congress assigned the department some domestic duties. These domestic duties, from the Department of State's website, are: Receipt, publication, distribution, and preservation of the laws of the United States; Preparation, sealing, ...


15

UN Committee on Contributions is in charge of assessments The Committee on Contributions advises the General Assembly on the apportionment , under Article 17, of the expenses of the Organization among Members broadly according to capacity to pay. The Committee also advises the General Assembly on the assessments to be fixed for new Members, and on appeals ...


15

These are decided by the UN Committee on Contributions. UN resolution 70/245 of 23 December 2015, determines the contributions of Member States to the regular budget of the United Nations for 2016, 2017 and 2018. Decides that the scale of assessments for the period from 2016 to 2018 shall be based on the following elements and criteria:   &...


15

Israel (along with North Korea, South Sudan and Egypt) is not a party to the Chemical Weapons Convention. Since the UK is treating this as a CWC issue, Israel might not want to bring attention to its own status.


15

This could also be a way to boost Netanyahu's chances in the upcoming Israeli elections which he's projected to lose. A claim over the Golan backed by the U.S goes a long way into shoring public sentiment in Israel. The same question can be asked vis a vis the recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital. The move displaced decades of U.S foreign policy ...


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