Emile Simpson

The Moral Tragedy of Scottish Independence

The injustice of watching from England as the Scots destroy the United Kingdom.

To misquote Winston Churchill, this is not the end of the beginning. But it is, perhaps, the beginning of the end. The United Kingdom might have days to live. The polls in advance of the Sept. 18 Scottish independence referendum show a neck and neck contest. After a collapse in the "No" vote over the last month, the "Yes" to independence campaign's momentum was only halted days ago after sterling tumbled on news of their temporary lead in the polls.

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Give Putin a Way Out

With Russian troops massing on the Ukrainian border, the talk of war is getting louder. But it doesn’t have to happen.

Massed on Ukraine's border today stand 20,000 Russian troops, some apparently wearing a blue peacekeepers' uniform with the "MC" insignia. This could be seen as a replay of April, when Russia positioned 45,000 men on the frontier, which after a tense stand-off was reduced to only 1,000 personnel by June. But today the pro-Russian separatists aren't ascendent; they're losing badly to the Ukrainian military. With the rebels' backs to the wall in the almost-encircled cities of Luhansk and Donetsk, there plainly is a risk of a Russian "peacekeeping" intervention, as Moscow's request for an urgent meeting of the U.N. Security Council on the humanitarian situation in east Ukraine suggests.

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The U.S.-Led International Order Is Dead

Long live a new era of America's halting involvement in a world not of its own making.

As ISIS forces sweep through Sunni Iraq, whether or not the United States will help Baghdad to bring back its provinces has overtaken "bring back our girls" in Nigeria as the central public concern of U.S. foreign policy.

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It's Not a Russian Invasion of Ukraine We Should Be Worried About

That's just a game Putin's playing. And it's a game we're losing.

The West is fixated on what Russian President Vladimir Putin really intends to do in eastern Ukraine: Will he invade or not? But strategy in conflict situations does not easily lend itself to identification of clear goals on either side, because the activity is reciprocal. Each side reacts to the other, so intentions and goals evolve.

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Snoozing in the Backseat

Britain has been irrelevant in Ukraine's crisis. If it leaves the EU, it will only become more insignificant.

Britain's Foreign Secretary William Hague turned up in Kiev on March 3, stating that the situation in Ukraine is the biggest European crisis of the 21st century. Historians can argue about whether Britain realized that too late, or better late than never. Because by March 4, Russian President Vladimir Putin already seemed to have achieved the optimal level of Western humiliation without over-extending his position: He had done enough to make his point about Russian influence in the Ukraine by sending troops into Crimea, but avoided any genuinely tough Western response, which a full-on invasion of eastern Ukraine might have triggered.

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