120 votes

Why is the British government so determined to arrest Julian Assange?

The UK government is not above the law. UK law requires the government to pursue fugitives. There is no tradition in the UK of allowing fugitives to go free if they are able to remain free for a long ...
James K's user avatar
  • 119k
116 votes

How did Russia retain the UNSC veto power of the Soviet Union?

Essentially, you got a permanent seat on the Security Council if you were one of the major powers who won WW2 and went about setting up the post-war peace organisation, i.e the United Nations. When ...
SleepingGod's user avatar
  • 8,437
113 votes

Why does the United States call Japan an ally?

Japan and Australia are both MNNAs (major non-NATO ally) Japan allows the US to have large bases on its territory, that alone makes it a major ally. The ability to station troops, aircraft and ...
James K's user avatar
  • 119k
113 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 ...
o.m.'s user avatar
  • 108k
112 votes

Why was President Trump heavily criticized for congratulating Putin on winning the election?

After the Crimea annexation, the social media trolling during the US election and the recent Skripal incident, the public image of the Russian government in the western world turned from bad to worse. ...
Philipp's user avatar
  • 76.2k
101 votes

Why does Russia see NATO as an aggressor when the Istanbul document signed by Russia grants each participant the right to chose its allies separately?

Russia (the Russian government) claims to believe that Ukraine and Europe are not sovereign actors, but rather controlled by the US. I do not know if they actually do believe that, but considering ...
o.m.'s user avatar
  • 108k
99 votes
Accepted

Is there a country (apart from Israel) where all of its land neighboring countries consider it an enemy?

South Korea. Its only neighbor (by land) is North Korea.
Questor's user avatar
  • 1,660
95 votes
Accepted

Does the U.S. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff have any means to force Ukraine into negotiating peace with Russia? Does the U.S.?

I think at least one answer should point out the elephant in the room: It's not really Ukraine that is blocking negotiations for peace, it's Russia. Russia stole Crimea from Ukraine, had a frozen ...
haxor789's user avatar
  • 3,787
89 votes
Accepted

How does North Korea prevent their ambassadors/diplomats living abroad from defecting?

There have been a few high-profile ambassadors who did actually defect, the highest being the deputy ambassador in London in 2016. As user4012's answer speculated, the regime does hold family members ...
Bobson's user avatar
  • 24.3k
89 votes

Why is the British government so determined to arrest Julian Assange?

Ok, let's get this down straight. The Guardian, 2017-04-21: The US attorney general has explicity said that getting Assange is a priority. Sydney Morning Herald, 2012-09-27: The US military has ...
Thorsten S.'s user avatar
  • 4,692
86 votes

Why are the Brexit trade talks held up by the divorce talks?

This might be described as an "eat your vegetables" strategy by the EU27. The three preliminary issues are not palatable to the UK government: It is reluctant to discuss the divorce bill. Paying any ...
Royal Canadian Bandit's user avatar
85 votes

Why does the US not just accept North Korea's nuclear ambitions and attempt to mend relationships?

From the USA point of view there are two types of arguments. The first ones are those that state that the fewer nuclear capable countries there are, the better1: Fewer nuclear warheads at risk of ...
SJuan76's user avatar
  • 31.6k
82 votes

Why does the US need to spy on its allies?

Everyone realistically spies on everyone else. The US spies on Germany, Germany spies on the US, every marginally powerful country spies on every other marginally powerful country. The fact that two ...
Justin Cave's user avatar
  • 6,203
81 votes

Why would a Western country sanction Saudi Arabia over Khashoggi's possible killing?

It's especially an issue for the US because Jamal Khashoggi is an immigrant and permanent resident to the US. The Washington Post reported on 9 October that "US intelligence intercepted ...
CrackpotCrocodile's user avatar
80 votes
Accepted

Why is Cuba still leasing Guantanamo Bay to the US?

So why has the Cuban government not asked them to leave? The simple answer to that is that they have. From Wikipedia: The United States assumed territorial control over the southern portion ...
Brythan's user avatar
  • 89.6k
80 votes
Accepted

Is it unusual for foreign leaders to congratulate US presidential candidates before their opponents have conceded?

It is conventional for foreign leaders to congratulate a newly elected leader soon after victory becomes obvious. Like most diplomacy, this is a somewhat fussy matter of form. Congratulate too early, ...
Ted Wrigley's user avatar
  • 69.1k
78 votes
Accepted

Why does Germany ban RT but not France24 or Voice of America?

First a little clarification: It's not the original English-language RT which is banned in Germany. The English version of RT is actually available via satellite and in some regions of Germany via ...
Philipp's user avatar
  • 76.2k
75 votes
Accepted

Can a country be only de jure sovereign ? (Such as Andorra)

In a way you are doing word games. International law has developed as customary law. There is no nature-given or God-given definition of sovereignty, it is merely a verbal shortcut to describe a whole ...
o.m.'s user avatar
  • 108k
74 votes

Why is the British government so determined to arrest Julian Assange?

The UK courts have issued an arrest warrant for Julian Assange - for failing to surrender whilst on bail. Assange took this matter to Westminster Magistrates’ Court relatively recently. It's well ...
James Wood's user avatar
  • 1,719
74 votes
Accepted

What do those Iranians who say "Death to America!" mean by it?

"Death to <whatever>" is to some extent one of those ritualised phrases whose actual meaning is separate from the literal meaning of the phrase. It is a statement of disapproval that ...
PhillS's user avatar
  • 7,483
74 votes

What is the motivation for the expansion of NATO in Eastern Europe, including Ukraine, at the risk of starting a hot war with Russia?

However, what NATO was doing in the recent years seemed to raise the risk of hot war with Russia. For example, NATO tried to build missile bases in Eastern Europe and even trying to include Ukraine, ...
JJJ's user avatar
  • 39.1k
66 votes

How does the expelling of diplomats work to create pressure on the diplomats' home country?

It is an open secret that most diplomatic missions all around the world are also involved in intelligence service operations. This isn't a Russian thing. Everyone does that. So forcing another ...
Philipp's user avatar
  • 76.2k
64 votes

Why is the USA able to damage the Russian economy by imposing sanctions but Russia can't do the same?

Top five trading partners for the United States by imports: China Mexico Canada Japan Germany If we replace Germany with the European Union as a whole, the EU would be second. Top five trading ...
Brythan's user avatar
  • 89.6k
64 votes
Accepted

Can European countries bypass the EU and make their own individual trade deal with the U.S.?

They cannot. It's an exclusive competence of the EU. So much so that the point played a major role in the Brexit negotiations. The reason there are two phases in the Brexit deal (leave first, then ...
Denis de Bernardy's user avatar
62 votes

Why is Biden's "(Putin) ...cannot remain in power" widely considered a gaffe to be walked back while previous US presidents have said similar?

It's often said that "a gaffe is when a politician tells the truth", and that's very much what's happening here. For the most part, the pushback isn't because people think Putin should stay ...
divibisan's user avatar
  • 25.9k
60 votes

Why are the territories gained by Israel in 1967 not internationally recognized?

The general philosophy of post-WWII international order is that the inhabitants of a territory are entitled to self-determination. While there are still many political and historical obstacles to the ...
Erwan's user avatar
  • 17.5k

Only top scored, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible