110 votes
Accepted

Is there a strong legal guarantee that the U.S. can give to another country that it won't attack them?

No such guarantee would be meaningful if the US administration and congress change their opinion. Whatever they write in law or sign, they can undo -- if not legally then in practice. The US had ...
  • 87.4k
71 votes
Accepted

Why do Mauritius passport holders have such easy visa access to so many countries?

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 ...
  • 96.4k
49 votes
Accepted

Why did some places with a large population become states within a country when other places with smaller populations became countries of their own?

History. India did consist of many more-or-less sovereign countries before the British came. When decolonization came around and the colonizers left, it split into India and Pakistan, and then ...
  • 87.4k
45 votes
Accepted

Why is Japan trying to have a better relationship with Iran?

The U.S. is likely to become less involved in the Middle East and Asia. Japan will need to secure oil supplies. Peter Zeihan has given many speeches over the last decade about how demographics and ...
  • 6,563
45 votes
Accepted

Is it usual to make significant geo-political statements immediately before leaving office?

It isn't usual, but it happens, especially when the leaving administration doesn't see eye to eye with the following administration. The last time this occurred was only just 4 years ago when ...
  • 5,987
44 votes
Accepted

What does Ukraine gain by having Western countries ban all Russian visa?

Currently the sanctions have much more effect on isolated poor regions and less effect on the more affluent ones. The more affluent regions exercise a strategy of sanction avoidance known as parallel ...
  • 5,117
40 votes

Why and since when did Russia stop integrating itself into the Western community?

There were many preexisting diverging views on international law. The open disagreements about e.g. the NATO intervention in Kosovo don't constitute the main problem, because in such a case the ...
  • 4,489
40 votes

Is there a food crisis linked to the Ukrainian war or a massive speculation?

While it is still winter in Ukraine and Russia, spring will arrive soon. When the situation continues as currently, Ukrainian farmers won't be able to seed much and Russian farmers will probably still ...
  • 69.1k
39 votes

What did Putin do to ensure that he doesn't get overthrown by a military coup or to reduce the likelihood of it?

The President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin protected himself against the possibility of a military coup or a popular uprising by a combination of measures: FSB (formerly KGB) officers ...
38 votes

What makes it hard for Southeast Asian countries (including India) to replace China and become new "world factory"?

(This answer focuses on only the India aspects of this question. Individually, other countries in SE Asia have less people, with smaller internal markets and also have different strengths/weaknesses) ...
36 votes

Why must export of Ukrainian grain go through Russian diplomatic and military approval?

From the Wall Street Journal: Before Russia’s invasion, around 98% of Ukraine’s prodigious grain exports would flow from ports on the Black Sea. But those ports have been shut by a Russian naval ...
  • 6,696
34 votes
Accepted

Why is Saudi Arabia "sitting on the fence" on Ukraine?

Here is a frame challenge to the question: it isn't, necessarily. The linked article moves smoothly from talking about countries that actually abstained from "voting on Ukraine," by which I ...
  • 13k
32 votes
Accepted

Why do governments still assume that "the more land, the better"?

The reasons to contest land vary greatly, and one or more can be applicable in any given situation. Some land has strategic value. High ground, forward staging area, airplane landing ground, fleet ...
  • 89.4k
32 votes
Accepted

Why didn't Japan call for the ICJ to settle the dispute over the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands?

China is unlikely to listen to an ICJ ruling, so it carries risk for Japan if China wins and no gain if Japan wins. From the Spratleys, where the Phillipines brought the case, to the ICJ (aka Hague ...
31 votes
Accepted

Why won't the U.S. sign a peace treaty with North Korea?

The significant misconception is that, from the information I've gathered, the US was never formally at war with North Korea. It and the United Nations intervened in the Korean War on South Korea's ...
  • 1,483
29 votes

Is there a food crisis linked to the Ukrainian war or a massive speculation?

Smart traders anticipate supply and demand and act accordingly. With the Russian invasion, a significant part of the global food supply will be destroyed (or not seeded and harvested at all). Market ...
  • 87.4k
28 votes
Accepted

Is it true that the US has stepped into foreign conflicts mostly under Democratic presidents?

Part of the issue with answering this question is defining what counts as a foreign intervention. The Congressional Research Service has published a report entitled Instances of Use of United States ...
  • 84.6k
26 votes

What has China gained by doing military drills after Nancy Pelosi's visit to Taiwan?

China's military exercises around Taiwan aren't mere posturing. Xi has vowed to retake what he regards as a breakaway province. China is practicing for the upcoming military operation to secure its ...
  • 3,878
24 votes

How exactly are further sanctions meant to prevent North Korea from continuing their nuclear program?

The point of sanctions isn't necessarily, or always, "to prevent" the things the sanctions are based on. More often than not, they can serve at least three other purposes: They are a necessary step ...
  • 89.4k
24 votes

What did Putin do to ensure that he doesn't get overthrown by a military coup or to reduce the likelihood of it?

The question mentions "military coup", but traditionally in Russia (including the Soviet and pre-Soviet times), the military didn't play a significant political role, despite its might. ...
  • 646
24 votes

What has China gained by doing military drills after Nancy Pelosi's visit to Taiwan?

A lot of international politics — not all, but more than one might like — plays out as middle-school level power/status games. More precisely, it comes down to interactions between smart, cagy, ego-...
  • 55.6k
24 votes

What purpose does publishing a white paper serve?

A white paper is an official position statement issued as a guide to others to help them understand a situation and/or make decisions about it. It's meant to be an authoritative statement from the ...
  • 55.6k
24 votes
Accepted

What purpose does publishing a white paper serve?

Short Answer While it is subtle, this Chinese "white paper" is a bigger deal than it seems from a casual reading out of context and without much further analysis. This Chinese "white ...
  • 56.8k
24 votes

What does Ukraine gain by having Western countries ban all Russian visa?

This is because of the opinion that majority of the Russian citizens are not willing to provide any notable opposition to the invasion. The New York Times writes that president Vladimir V. Putin’s ...
  • 5,217
23 votes

Why do Mauritius passport holders have such easy visa access to so many countries?

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 ...
  • 7,619
23 votes

What makes it hard for Southeast Asian countries (including India) to replace China and become new "world factory"?

Let's start with some interesting stories. The Guardian detailed how a Foxconn factory making Apple products worked “It’s not a good place for human beings,” says one of the young men, who goes by ...
  • 39.8k
22 votes

Why has the US not been more assertive in confronting Russia in recent years?

The American electorate is extremely divided over ideological lines at the moment. During the Cold War there were still divisions, but we could generally all agree that Americans were always better to ...
  • 14.4k
22 votes
Accepted

What might be dissuading Russia to sell advanced nuclear and military technologies to North Korea after the economic sanctions imposed against Russia?

That might be done to spite the West, but with significant drawbacks for Russia itself. Russia has a land border with the DPRK. Russia would likely be unable to have full operational control about ...
  • 87.4k
21 votes

Why don't signatories of Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances (except Russia) protect Ukraine with force?

The most accurate answer would be: they do, despite they are not obliged to. The text of Budapest Memorandum says: The Russian Federation, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and ...
21 votes

Why and since when did Russia stop integrating itself into the Western community?

The "when" is simpler and better understood than the "why" part. First articles expressing complete surprice at the turnaround started comming out around 2006-2007. tl;dr (skip to the last ...
  • 6,779

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