Benjamin Tallis 🇺🇦 Profile picture
Intl Politics & Security | #NeoIdealism | Snr Fellow @dgapev #ActionGroup #Zeitenwende |🇺🇦🇪🇺🇩🇪🇨🇿🇬🇧 | CoHost #BerlinsideOut pod |T=personal. RT≠agree.
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Oct 29 4 tweets 1 min read
I don’t buy that characterisation of the Cold War & think the problem lies elsewhere.

Legacy ‘crisis management’ & ‘war on terror’ thinking is holding us back.

This lacked victory thinking b/c it lacked an organising principle, clear objective

- & eroded our sense of self

1/ There was no single ‘cold war’ - across either time or space.

But, despite the Sino-Soviet split, Ostpolitik & other muddying aspects, there WAS an organising principle:

Contain & Defeat communism

Substitute authoritarianism for communism & it still works

Jul 13 8 tweets 2 min read
The #NATOSummit failed to meet the historical moment - its heartbreaking for Ukraine, but makes all Europeans less safe & makes it more difficult to make the world safe for democracy.
There were positive steps which we must now transform into a platform for what we need
Short🧵 Washington & Berlin have chosen to make Ukraine's victory more costly in terms of money but also in terms of Ukrainian lives. It sends a weak deterrence signal & seems to concede (on spurious grounds) that Moscow has a veto on NATO enlargement.
Jul 12 18 tweets 4 min read
This tweet from @ischinger points to some of the most serious failings of #Germany’s foreign policy -of which he has helped set the tone. They must to be addressed if there is to be a real #Zeitenwende -& if 🇩🇪is to protect its interests & properly contribute to a safe Europe🧵 The view expressed here
1. Ignores views of non-US allies
2. Shirks Responsibility
3. Continues vicious cycle of inadequate European security provision
4. Reactive
5. Miscalculates interests & ignores values.
Jun 30 25 tweets 10 min read
'Security Guarantees' for #Ukraine are a hot topic - but it's a false debate.
NATO membership is the only viable option - but there's no consensus.
So we need an interim solution:
⏩We should extend the #JEF & transform it into a
'Joint European Defence Initiative' (#JEDI)

In this new policy brief for @dgapev
-I show why #NATO membership for #Ukraine is the only way in the medium-term
& analyse the available options for the interim
Jun 14 18 tweets 7 min read
#Germany’s first National Security Strategy was published today.

A short 🧵 of reflections on what is, overall, a disappointing document (even taking account of lower expectations) - but also has some interesting & positive points to work with.
Many have summarised the content - but thats not my purpose here. For a summary - & also a quite different take, see @RikeFranke's thread here

But, I want to draw attention to some other issues
May 23 13 tweets 6 min read
How to deal with #Russia
- Short thread based on my talk at #LennartMeriConference 2023. #NeoIdealism

1. Ukraine's war is our war - & must be won.
That means restoring UA's 1991 borders & ensuring UA's ability to defend them - & the people within them. Image 2. After victory we have to get #Ukraine into #NATO & the #EU as fast as possible.
- As @SwedishPM has said:
This should be merit based but cannot again be an excuse for going soft or going slow on UA's accession.
- we have to institutionally tie our future to UA's.
Apr 3 10 tweets 8 min read
Is #Germany's #Zeitenwende
a) "a Fundamental Change?"
b) 🇩🇪's emergence as a "Leading Power"?
c) "a mere buzzword"
d) "bullshit"
* its been described as all those things
- but how to judge & why does it matter? A 🧵 1/10…
📷Michael Lucan CC 3.0 Olaf #Scholz' 'turning point' speech in Feb '22 declared #Russia’s full-scale invasion of #Ukraine a 'watershed moment' (#Zeitenwende") -something happening to #Germany & others- but also set out the Zeitenwende as a task for🇩🇪 to develop new capabilities & a new approach.
Mar 13 23 tweets 15 min read
There's been criticism of the detail (esp re #Poland, which has already delivered Leos) - but @JeremyCliffe's main point is right.
▶️I'd actually take it further (it's not about #Germany but about #Ukraine), which is why we need to talk about #Finland🧵… I've repeatedly praised #Finland's approach to standing up #Russia & have written on its own #Zeitenwende in joining #NATO.
I've also repeatedly praised @MarinSanna as a figurehead of #NeoIdealism - who's been wonderfully clear on how & why #Ukraine must win & RU must lose
Mar 12 4 tweets 3 min read
What a silly, one-eyed yet quite indicative article.
The author (who I know a little & respect) is right about PiS’ vile tactics & #Poland’s well documented rule of law issues
- BUT totally blind to #Germany’s own faults re Poland, #Russia & #Ukraine
1/4… Most glaringly
- how #Germany trampled over #Poland’s concerns on Nordstream

- & how it free-rode on security, enriched & entrenched RU & undermined #Ukraine, helping RU enact the very sphere of influence logic he bemoans from far right allies of Morawiecki (eg Le Pen)
Mar 8 30 tweets 11 min read
Ever tried to Global #Britain but ended up accidentally pulling a little #England?
- Turns out you’re not alone.
A🧵on British identity, foreign policy & why we need to properly understand #Brexit to move beyond it.
- based on a new article I have out in @ISQ_Jrnl
1/25 Image The article, which I'm really happy to have in top IR journal @ISQ_Jrnl, challenges a received wisdom about #Brexit – that it both reflected & reinforced a general, almost tribal polarisation of British society.
Mar 1 6 tweets 5 min read
If the #EU & it’s member states really wanted to do something about #Orban’s #Hungary, they would.

- The mess over ratifying #Sweden & #Finland’s NATO membership is only the latest incident & 🇭🇺‘a continuing presence is a stain on 🇪🇺reputation & effectiveness.
🇭🇺should go. 🧵/1 Image In case anyone doubts the game playing over 🇫🇮& 🇸🇪’s #NATO membership the country’s foreign minister Peter Szijjarto made it clear earlier this week
- Fidesz now says it will support accession but it has been a farce & again cast doubt on 🇪🇺competence /2
Feb 25 25 tweets 21 min read
This is how it started on 24/02/22.

But it was a day later on 25/02/22, a year ago today, that, thanks to @bbcnickrobinson,
I heard a first signal of hope amid the unfolding horror.

I wondered if, for #Ukraine, it could be different this time ...
🧵1/ On 25/02/22 as I was pushing my sleeping daughter in her stroller, listening to @BBCr4today, Nick Robinson spoke from the roof of the hotel where he was holed up in #Kyiv.

And, looking over the city, he said something that stopped me in my tracks.
Feb 17 6 tweets 3 min read
Paying this national security premium is actually an investment in our future: it gives us the chance to make our democracies what we claim them to be - and thus to reactivate our soft & transformative power.…
No longer relying on the cheap shortcuts of (dependencies on) market & fossil fuel on authoritarian regimes should be the spur to transform our own societies to deliver a better future, to revive the hope of progress & share its benefits more fairly.

Feb 17 12 tweets 9 min read
A long, thoughtful article by @jnpowell1 who knows a lot about negotiations. it contains many insightful & useful observations.
But I disagree with its main thrust & key choices he outlines - A 🧵 on why
#Ukraine #Russia #NeoIdealism
1/… My main objection is to this framing of the ‘issues between #Ukraine & #Russia’ as somehow not being clear & clearly 🇷🇺’s fault & 🇷🇺’s problem.🇷🇺 needs to get out of 🇺🇦 & stop menacing it’s neighbours.

There can be no bothsidesing - it is wrong & sets terrible precedent.
2/ Image
Jan 12 25 tweets 14 min read
🔥 🧵s on #NeoIdealism 🧵 🔥

2. Why is 'Neo-Idealism' called 'Neo-Idealism'?

- I outlined this new approach to #IR & Grand Strategy in a previous thread (see linked tweet).
- Now I dig deeper into the name & concept

I first introduced the idea of #NeoIdealism in a piece for @RUSI_org in April '22 but Its fullest elaboration so far is in my book - 'To #Ukraine With Love'
- published last month & available now on kindle & paperback😎…

So why call it Neo-Idealism?

Jan 11 27 tweets 18 min read
With the great news that #Poland will supply a company of #Leopard2 Main Battle Tanks & the #UK set to provide #Challenger2 #MBTs, the spotlight is now trained firmly on Berlin. Will #Germany join the coalition to give #Ukraine the tanks -#Kampfpanzer!- it needs?🧵1/ Happily, that looks increasingly likely.
SPD Chancellor #Scholz' coalition partners the Greens & FDP are insisting that #Germany take part & rumours of a no-confidence vote ultimatum are swirling.
@ABaerbock's visit to Kharkiv with @DmytroKuleba & @Makeiev was no coincidence 2/
Jan 10 5 tweets 4 min read
While researching for an analytical article (see tweet 4) on #Czechia's presidential elections (1st round this week), I conducted an interview with a leading candidate @danusenerudova to find out more about her positions.
Read the full interview here
1/5… @danusenerudova is up against Petr Pavel @general_pavel & oligarch & former PM @AndrejBabis
- While Pavel pledges to restore order, Nerudova has a vision of change.

Either would be far, far better than #Babis who could undermine🇨🇿's intl standing & support for #Ukraine.

Jan 8 25 tweets 15 min read
1. What is Neo-Idealism?
(seeing as many of you have asked)
It’s a new approach to Grand Strategy & International Relations that I think we can see emerging in responses to #Russia’s war & from #Ukraine’s brave resistance.
1st 🧵in a series on #NeoIdealism
1/25 I introduced the idea of #NeoIdealism in a piece for @RUSI_org in April '22. Its fullest elaboration so far is in my book 'To #Ukraine With Love' that came out last month - available on kindle & paperback on all amazon stores 😃
So what is it? 2/25…
Jan 6 4 tweets 2 min read
No surprises here - the ‘restraint’ school of foreign policy (little more than thoughts & prayers for a world they know little about & care for even less.)
- what does consistently amaze me is their failure to see the interconnection of US security with others & with values 1/3… The strenuous effort that Posen makes to shoehorn every Russian move into something that can be lauded is remarkable- and totally transparent. He nods to his own glaringly wrong assessment of the conflict last summer as ‘stalemated’ -yet it doesn’t deter him from repeating it 2/3
Dec 22, 2022 12 tweets 9 min read
“This journey to #Washington from #Zelenskiy, it is an act of desperation."

Disgraceful from #Germany’s main, public-funded news ‘analysis’ show .
-@tagesthemen & Host @HelgeFuhst highlight this view from their Washington correspondent @gudrun_engel
-why? Short🧵 Patronising Ukrainians & underrating #Ukraine's progress on the battlefield has been a consistent feature of Germany's public debate this year. From so-called intellectuals behind the #emmaoffenerbrief to the chief of Germany's military.

Dec 21, 2022 4 tweets 2 min read
So this claim is apparently bullshit. - that #Germany had to spend extra money fitting its Puma IFVs (which failed at the NATO exercise) to meet workplace requirements for heavily pregnant women.
🇩🇪has enough issues to solve without inventing fake ones.
Unhelpful distraction. See eg - responding to my Q as to whether this is true.