112

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 harbour battleships in Japan is of strategic importance in the American policy of military superiority in the Pacific. To allow a foreign power to station its ...


109

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 the Soviet Union (which was a union of multiple soviet republics) dissolved, Russia claimed itself as the successor state on the grounds it contained 51% of the ...


108

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 ratified a treaty with Panama about who had control over which part of the Canal zone, yet they deposed Noriega. The US had given security guarantees to Ukraine ...


86

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 money at all to the EU will be unpopular, especially in the wake of false promises by the Leave campaign about money saved by Brexit. It is reluctant to ...


80

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 of Guantánamo Bay under the 1903 Cuban–American Treaty of Relations. The United States exercises complete jurisdiction and control over this territory, while ...


80

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 communications of Saudi officials discussing a plan to capture" Khashoggi. It was not clear whether the Saudi Arabians intended to arrest and interrogate Khashoggi ...


65

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 government to replace personnel also inconveniences their intelligence services. But unless they actually expel the whole diplomatic mission and reappropriate their ...


63

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 negotiate a trade deal) is that the EU cannot legally negotiate a trade deal with one of its own members. That being said, China's Belt and Road in itself is not ...


61

When country A imposes sanctions on country B, both suffer (though the suffering may not be equal). The main reason these sanctions are more damaging for Russia than for the US is that it isn't just the US that's imposing sanctions on Russia. There are also the EU, Japan, Canada, Australia, Norway, to name just a few other countries. Consider the extreme ...


57

It may help to turn it around. Suppose Vladimir Putin is poisoned and Russia suspects the UK as the culprit. How would Russia respond to a suggestion from the UK that they "help" Russia investigate? From Russia's perspective it would probably seem to be a pretty disingenuous invitation as it would do nothing but give the UK leverage over the investigation to ...


56

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 partners for Russia by imports: China Germany US Belarus Italy The US is Russia's third largest foreign supplier, even with sanctions. And two US allies (...


56

From Wikipedia: Under U.S. law, the JCPOA is a non-binding political commitment. According to the U.S. State Department, it specifically is not an executive agreement or a treaty. There are widespread incorrect reports that it is an executive agreement. In contrast to treaties, which require two-thirds of the Senate to consent to ratification, political ...


56

why aren't more of the leading nations of the world stepping in to help make amends between these two countries and try to actively solve the recent Kashmir issue? Many of the “leading nations of the world” have stronger incentives to either not to get involved, or encourage the conflict further. Aside from India and Pakistan, there are several “leading ...


54

Update - WH Statement According to the White House spokesperson Sean Spicer, Trump seemed to have requested the resignation of Flynn due to a "trust issue". President Donald Trump asked for Michael Flynn's resignation after he lost trust in his national security adviser for misleading Vice President Mike Pence over his calls with Russia's ...


54

The Chinese government has spent the last decade and more very actively pursuing the extension of their territorial waters into what is commonly accepted to be international waters, or even the territorial waters of other sovereign nations. Mostly within the South China Sea. They do this by arbitrarily claiming islands, or by creating artificial islands ...


52

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 general application of this principle, it is clear that any kind of military conquest contradicts this principle: it is simply not morally acceptable anymore to ...


50

Mostly true First claim: exaggerated In the three decades before Trump's election, NATO spending declined by two-thirds. On page 4 of this 1987 report(pdf) on NATO military spending, we learn that in 1987 they were globally spending 5.0% of their GDP on defense. More precisely: USA: 6.6% Canada: 2.1% (Western) Europe: 3.4% In 2016, i.e. year 1 before ...


49

There is currently a power-play going on between the EU and Russia concerning the political influence over the countries between them. The most visible struggle is certainly the Ukraine conflict. But there are also other countries in the geographic region of not-quite-Europe-not-quite-Asia which are currently wondering whether they should side with Russia ...


49

One of the perks of membership in the Commonwealth is that new heads of government get to meet the monarch of the United Kingdom (Queen Elizabeth II, as of 2019). Membership in the Commonwealth provides a very weak guarantee against coups d'etat. If your military unlawfully forces your government out of power, you can appeal to the last remnants of British ...


49

The US had five(now four) consulates in China: Chengdu, Guangzhou, Shanghai, Shenyang, Wuhan. The United States also has an embassy in Beijing. They all have their own consular/embassy district, just like this picture quoted from Wikipedia: You can see: Xinjiang is included in the Beijing consular district. Tibet is in Chengdu consular district. If Chengdu ...


47

First, civilization is based on doing things that don't directly benefit them. Sanctions can be based on moral concerns, without reference to interests. Second, acting in support of morality even when it's not directly beneficial encourages others to do the same, which helps the US. Third, there are extended effects of this that can hurt the US. For ...


45

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 fracking affect geopolitics. Many of these speeches are on YouTube. In these speeches, he argues: The U.S. established a world order in 1945. The U.S. paid ...


44

More than "an opportunity", it should read "will be forced to", as it will begin with no trade deals with other countries and will default to the WTO rules. For the answerable part: A country within the EU cannot sign its own, separated trade deals, because the single market would mean that once the goods are in that country they can travel everywhere in ...


42

The point of retaliatory tariffs is to act as a disincentive to countries thinking of imposing tariffs. WTO rules, being agreements between sovereign nations, can't really be enforced. Instead they are a set of rules that set out what countries can and should do, and what responses are allowed. Those rules allow that, in the case that an invalid tariff is ...


42

Sorry, I think you are out of luck here. NATO and EU are open to (constitutional) monarchies, for example Belgium is a member of both. The EU is restricted to democracies, and while there are no explicit requirements on government type for NATO, in practice, all members have been broadly capitalist and democratic. Both organisations have regional ...


41

This is really pretty simple. Putin does not want a neighbor on his western border that is far stronger than Russia. Russia is a country of about 140 million people, and an economy about the size of Germany's. The EU collectively contains about 500 million people, and has an economy that is more than 5 times as large. Individually, no state in Europe is ...


40

Asymmetry The economical relation between the USA and Russia is asymmetrical. Russia depends a great deal on its trade with the USA, while the USA don't depend much on their trade with Russia. Export from the USA to Russia is worth about $13.2 billion. Export from Russia to the USA is worth about $10.2 billion. Those numbers make the USA Russia's 7th ...


40

Soleimani was killed together with the leaders of some Iranian-backed Shia militias, who themselves have been accused of attacking US targets in Iraq, in particular Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis: He was credited with being a key leader in the Shia militias, the Popular Mobilisation Forces, known as the Hashed (al-Shaabi), employed as shock troops in the bloody ...


39

Ireland has had a policy of neutrality as far as international relations are concerned since WWII. Although this has never been formally codified in their constitution, and indeed recently such an amendment was rejected, neutrality is an important part of Irish foreign policy which has also precluded the country from joining organisations such as NATO, where ...


36

Without privileged diplomatic information, it's impossible to answer this question definitively. Diplomatic decisions of this sort are carefully weighed so that they appear as an equal response, not an escalation or capitulation, but no one outside the inner circles knows exactly what factors are being weighed in the decision. However, it is worth noting ...


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