Volker Perthes

For Volker Perthes's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

Commentary / World Aug 29, 2014

Three timelines shaping Mideast developments

To shape an effective strategy in the Middle East, it is essential to understand three distinct timelines that are shaping developments: the short-term timeline of daily struggles, the medium-term timeline of geopolitical shifts, and the long-term timeline of sociocultural transformation.

Commentary / World Jan 20, 2014

Syria could signal farewell to arms at Geneva II

The Geneva II conference on Syria, set to begin in Montreux, Switzerland, this week, is unlikely to achieve its goal of forming a transitional governing authority with full executive powers, but it could produce a ceasefire agreement between government and opposition forces.

Commentary / World Aug 4, 2010

Is another war in the Mideast inevitable?

BERLIN — Fuad Siniora, Lebanon's former prime minister, is a thoughtful man with deep experience in Middle Eastern politics. So when he speaks of "trains with no drivers that seem to be on a collision course," as he recently did at a private meeting ...

Commentary / World Jun 16, 2008

The right options for Iran

BERLIN — With U.S. President George W. Bush in Europe getting EU leaders to agree to toughen U.N. sanctions against Iran, and with the ongoing debate between John McCain and Barack Obama about whether the United States needs to talk with Iran's rulers, the ...

Commentary / World Dec 24, 2007

Why not engage Iranian pragmatists?

BERLIN — The recent comprehensive assessment by America's spy agencies about Iran's nuclear program and ambitions — the "National Intelligence Estimate" — has opened the door to fresh strategic discussions among the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council and Germany. Such ...

Commentary / World Apr 24, 2007

Reviving the Mideast quartet

BERLIN -- Following the formation of a Palestinian unity government between Fatah and Hamas, and the Arab League summit that revived King Abdullah's peace plan of 2002, it is time for the so-called Middle East Quartet, consisting of the European Union, Russia, the United ...