The Dutch Disaster

Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 and the Future of Dutch-Russian Relations

Mitchell A. Orenstein
A Dutch flag hangs at half-mast as a sign of respect for those killed in the downed Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, July 19, 2014.
A Dutch flag hangs at half-mast as a sign of respect for those killed in the downed Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, July 19, 2014. (David van Dam / Courtesy Reuters)
Out to earn a dollar on the Russian natural resource trade, European nations such as the Netherlands have long kept smiling as the Kremlin has continued to humiliate them. But now the airline disaster, combined with Moscow’s attempts to cover up its role in the tragedy, will likely force Europe to get real about its eastern neighbor.
Essay

Bombs Away

Barry Blechman and Russell Rumbaugh
U.S. tactical nuclear weapons in Europe had little military value during the Cold War and they have even less today. Instead of giving these aging weapons a costly upgrade, Washington should begin phasing them out.
Snapshot

How Hamas Won

Ariel Ilan Roth
Israel's tactical achievements against Hamas can't be minimized. But they do not equal a strategic victory. War, as Clausewitz famously taught, is the continuation of politics by other means. Wars are fought to realign politics in a way that benefits the victor and is detrimental to the loser. But the Israelis have lost sight of this distinction.
Capsule Review

Today's Book: The Shadow World

Lawrence D. Freedman
Until 2001, Feinstein was a member of South Africa’s parliament for the African National Congress. He resigned in disgust at the bribes paid by arms manufacturers to senior party figures as the country modernized its military.
The site of a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 plane crash is seen near the settlement of Grabovo in the Donetsk region.
Snapshot
Alexander J. Motyl

This week saw a major escalation of Russian military involvement in Ukraine, which, until yesterday, had gone relatively unremarked in Western media. But now, no matter who fired the missile that brought down Malaysia Airlines flight 17, things are set to change. And that is bad news for Putin.

Snapshot
Hussein Ibish

Netanyahu's entire career has been defined by careful calculation, caution, and a steadfast commitment to the status quo. But since the onset of Israel's ongoing war with Hamas, he has found himself in a situation well outside of his comfort zone.

Snapshot
Sulmaan Khan

On the grasslands of the Tibetan plateau, one sometimes hears a strange chattering -- an excited buzz that seems to emanate from the earth itself. Anyone who stops to look for the source will quickly realize that the ground is marked by a series of holes, from which small, shy creatures are likely to be watching. The labyrinthine burrows made by these mammals, called pikas, provide them security. But they also ensure China's water supply. Here's what their plight says about Chinese conservation efforts.

Snapshot
Johannes Haushofer

Poverty has psychological consequences, including stress, sadness, and anger, which may create a trap that keeps people mired in destitution. To make aid more effective, then, donors and policymakers should start considering whether their programs address mental as well as physical well-being.

Indonesia's presidential candidate Joko Widodo smiles during a speech in Serang, Indonesia, July 16, 2014.
Snapshot
Jonah Blank

Preliminary tallies suggest that Jokowi won Indonesia's July 9 presidential election, but his competitor, Prabowo, is not guaranteed to go quietly. The stakes could hardly be higher: Since the fall of Suharto in 1998, Indonesia has been a showpiece of democracy in Asia. The final count will either solidify this narrative, or toss it right out the window.

Israeli armored personnel carriers drive outside the Gaza Strip, July 15, 2014.
Snapshot
Benedetta Berti and Zack Gold

The similarities between this month’s hostilities between Hamas and Israel and those during their last major confrontation, in November 2012, are striking. Yet one thing has changed: the relationship between Hamas and Egypt.

Discussion