C Shannon



The world can change dramatically in a week. Sometimes one writes something, only to have it vindicated within months or weeks. Sometimes you write an article about taking a calculated risk in de-prioritising ISIS to publish on the morning of the attack on Paris.

Fate is, indeed, a fickle mistress.

In the past two weeks, there has hardly been a moment to catch one’s breath. The downing of a Russian fighter along the Syrian-Turkish border is but only the cap to a very long two weeks of sabre-rattling and escalations.

The world can change dramatically in a week; however, I am not convinced that it has. NATO and Europe still have a neighbour who aggressively violates their neighbours territory (and national integrity), who is using the conflict in Syria to prop up a ruthless dictator and attack Western backed rebels, like they attacked the Pro-Western Ukranians. Only a fool would trust Putin’s benevolence.

As we reformulate our foreign policies around revenge against ISIS, it would be easy to lose sight on state of the board. The deaths in Paris were tragic. However, The real danger lies ahead. If decisions are made rashly in emotion, they will likely be the wrong decisions.

I stand by the sentiment of my previous article on strategy on Russian aggression. It was poorly timed, to say the least, but after the smoke has cleared, it is evident that nothing has really changed. Putin is still Putin. Let’s not call him a partner just because the people he’s beating into submission are the same people that we want to beat into submission.


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