The Year of Living Dangerously
Was 2014 a Watershed?
Business in a Changing World
Stewarding the Future
The Return of Geopolitics
The Revenge of the Revisionist Powers
The Illusion of Geopolitics
The Enduring Power of the Liberal Order
How to Respond to a Disordered World
What the Kremlin Is Thinking
Putin’s Vision for Eurasia
Why the Ukraine Crisis Is the West’s Fault
The Liberal Delusions That Provoked Putin
Who Started the Ukraine Crisis?
A Broken Promise?
What the West Really Told Moscow About NATO Expansion
Why the Kremlin Is Betting on Escalation and Isolation
China's Imperial President
Xi Jinping Tightens His Grip
Keep Hope Alive
How to Prevent U.S.-Chinese Relations From Blowing Up
Asia for the Asians
Why Chinese-Russian Friendship Is Here To Stay
A Meeting of the Minds
Did Japan and China Just Press Reset?
The End of Realist Politics in the Middle East
The Middle East's Durable Map
Rumors of Sykes-Picot's Death are Greatly Exaggerated
Staying Out of Syria
Why the United States Shouldn't Enter the Civil War—But Why It Might Anyway
The Hollow Coalition
Washington's Timid European Allies
This is What Détente Looks Like
The United States and Iran Join Forces Against ISIS
Measuring the Threat from Returning Jihadists
Welcome to the Revolution
Why Shale Is the Next Shale
New World Order
Labor, Capital, and Ideas in the Power Law Economy
The Strategic Logic of Trade
New Rules of the Road for the Global Market
Three months since U.S. bombs first struck Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) targets in Iraq, the Obama administration has touted its 62-country coalition as a crowning achievement. Although this number might seem impressive, however, it is misleading. Of the 62 nominal allies for Operation Inherent Resolve (as the campaign is now called), only 16 have actually committed military forces, and only 11 have conducted offensive operations to date. Many appear willing to pay lip service to U.S. President Barack Obama’s condemnation of ISIS, only to ignore his subsequent call to arms.
Most disconcerting is the meekness of Washington’s supposedly stalwart European allies. The European countries that have deployed forces to fight ISIS are contributing less today than they did three years ago in Operation Unified Protector in Libya—and even in that conflict, the United States was indispensable to the mission. France is a case in point. It fired the opening shot in the Libyan campaign and sent to the front 29 planes and six warships, including an aircraft carrier. Today, however, it has devoted only 11 planes and one warship to fighting ISIS. Similarly, the United Kingdom sent 28 planes to Libya in 2011 but only eight to Iraq this year. And whereas a total of 13 European countries had contributed either ships or planes to the struggle against the Muammar al-Qaddafi regime, only five have done the same in the war on ISIS.
Nowhere is European reticence more apparent than in the share of airstrikes. In Libya, 90 percent of the air raids were carried out by Washington’s coalition partners, destroying more than 6,000 targets. This percentage puts the U.S. allies’ current share—approximately 10 percent of over 800 strikes conducted so far in Iraq and Syria—to shame. The share of the EU is even smaller, since some strikes were conducted by other coalition partners: Australia, Canada, and five Arab states. And this time around, the European countries are openly admitting that their contribution would be mere window-dressing. As British Foreign Secretary
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