Neruda’s saga marks one of the 20th century’s greatest literary chase scenes, and the Cold War’s first global manhunt. It wasn’t a hunt for a nuclear engineer, a spy, or even a dissident journalist but for a poet—a poet!—whose love poetry had won him acclaim and book sales around the world, and later earned the 1971 Nobel Prize.
The Holy See has played an important but understudied role in intelligence and diplomacy through its diplomatic service, which is one of the oldest in the world. The extensive presence of the Holy See’s diplomats combined with their neutrality provides them access to unique information in the far corners of the globe.
As a foreign policy story, Martin’s tale is far less conservative and far more transformative than meets the eye. A parable about the consequences of unchecked realpolitik, it does not celebrate power and the powerful but challenges and interrogates them. Society is complex, roles and identities are varied and contingent, and division risks disaster. Hic sunt dracones indeed.
Low Earth orbit (LEO) is becoming increasingly cluttered after 60 years of continuous rocket and satellite launches. Even the tiniest piece of debris, orbiting at speed, can pose a major threat to the International Space Station and active satellites. China is one of the many countries responsible for the mess.
The idea of “strategic autonomy”, at once vague and central to Indian foreign policy discourse after the Cold War, appears to be traveling and quite far. Countries — ranging from Britain to Japan and France to Australia — that once looked with much amusement at India’s prickly obsession with autonomy are now beginning to embrace it.
What made democracies different and more restrained in warfare, according to Kant’s theory of democratic peace, was that the costs in both blood and treasure were passed along to the public, which then imposed pressure on leaders to keep wars short and low in cost.
The key feature of a non-principled, fast-alternating foreign policy is that no one knows exactly what you are going to do next. That makes it hard for your enemies to plot against you. Russian President Vladimir Putin has used a version of this strategy to great effect. Almost no one anticipated the invasion of Ukraine. Even fewer thought that Putin would seek to make Russia into a Middle Eastern player again by intervening extensively in the Syrian civil war.
The international pecking order is usually defined by economic and military might. That puts the U.S. at the top of the pile, with China gaining fast in second place. But when it comes to tackling long-term global challenges such as climate change, poverty or peacemaking, it’s also vital to identify which leaders are likely to stick around.