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Top Press Commentary

A careful selection and summary of editorials, commentaries, and analyses from the world’s leading newspapers and magazines to help you stay on top of the latest debates and developments in the transatlantic agenda. See list of monitoring sources.
Readers can also see how the perspectives and priorities diverge in different regions.

Time to Depreciate the Euro

Martin Feldstein, Harvard University | November 2, 2012

"Recent events at the European Central Bank, in Germany, and in global financial markets, make it worthwhile to consider a favorable scenario for the common currency’s future." ++ Interest rates on Italian and Spanish bonds decreased on the international bond market. ++ If the euro were to depreciate and be at parity with the US dollar, Spain, Italy and France will become more competitive to non-eurozone countries and the current account deficits in these countries would shrink and their economies would strengthen.

American Troops Should Not be Stationed in Europe

Doug Bandow, Cato Institute| October 31, 2012

America does not need a military presence in Europe. ++ In the past, collecting allies served as a means to an end, namely security. ++ Today it is an end in itself. ++ The objects of multilateral training and “partnerships” are unclear. ++ The burden continues to remain on Washington to provide foreign charity, while American security is not being advanced. ++ The US must determine how partnerships protect US interests, the role and responsibilities of its partners and the criteria to determine if the partnership is working.

Asia Rises, Pax Americana Fades

David Pilling, The Financial Times | October 29, 2012

Asia has many overlapping organizations, but none have the depth required for the complex area. ++ Pax Americana has traditionally filled the vacuum and enabled Asian nations' economic ascendency, but this becomes less tenable with each passing year as China rises. ++ The region must develop a strong institutional framework to deal not only with economic issues but also security ones. ++ Kevin Rudd has proposed an Asian-based system, Pax Pacifica. ++ This could be a good start, but everything depends on Beijing's response.

Where do Iranians Stand on their Nuclear Program?

Geneive Abdo, Stimson Center | October 26, 2012

In celebration of Iran's "Ten Years of Nuclear Resistance," Deputy Secretary Bagheri depicted Obama's dual strategy as counter-productive, doing little to change behavior. ++ And he may be right. ++ Despite pressure from the West, 87% of the Iranians still consider their nuclear program important. ++ At the same time, 65% blame the economic hardships on sanctions. ++ All this suggests that Iranians will blame sanctions and the United States, not their own government. ++ Sanctions will not trigger a popular uprising as anticipated.

Now it's Afghanistan's Turn Says Rasmussen

Anders Fogh Rasmussen, NATO | October 24, 2012

After returning from Afghanistan, NATO's Secretary General Rasmussen stated that Afghans are prepared to take the lead in providing their own security by the end of 2014. ++ The process of transferring security responsibility is well underway: Afghani police and troops are leading 80% of the operations and 85% of their own training. ++ ISAF will focus less on combat and more on support. ++ The new mission from 2015 onwards of a non-combative nature is a reminder of NATO's continued commitment to the country.

US-German Relations on the Brink of Collapse

Bremmer & Leonard, Transatlantic Academy | October 22, 2012

US-German relations are quickly dismantling, putting the entire Western alliance in jeopardy. ++ There has been a fundamental shift, not so much over Libya in which case Germany's abstention made no difference, but over events that transpired during the G20 summit in South Korea. ++ Obama was surprised to discover Merkel's opposition to his global rebalancing idea, standing instead in unison with China ++ The differences about the global economy and closer Berlin-Beijing ties might challenge the foundation of a liberal world order.

Muslims Must Support US Leadership on Syria

Anne-Marie Slaughter, Princeton University | October 18, 2012

Of the choices presented to Obama over the Syrian conflict, the president gets to choose between a bad decision and a worse one – he chose the wrong one. ++ In the upcoming US elections, we are seeing two Obamas: the one of the Cairo speech in 2009 and the other of a "terrorist-slayer". ++ The latter has taken over, while ignoring the deeper roots of American security that the former understood all too well. ++ It will be up to Muslim countries in the region (Turkey, Saudi Arabia and even the Arab League) to openly call for US leadership.

EU's Single Supervisory Mechanism Needs Work

Michel Barnier, European Commission | October 16, 2012

Five years on, Europe's economic situation remains vulnerable to a mild recession expected this year. ++ Recently, a decision was reached to create a single supervisor for banks in the eurozone, however work still needs to be done in determining: the scope of the new supervisory mechanism (restricting it to systematically significant banks or all of them); the participation of non-eurozone countries in the scheme (and their voting powers); the national supervisors' role; democratic accountability; and the timing.

Failed Attempts to Curb Taliban's IED Campaign

Gareth Porter, Asia Times | October 11, 2012

Although the latest string of "green-on-blue" attacks is becoming the new face of war in Afghanistan, the older face, IEDs, still account for 59% of US casualties. ++ The US military has taken two contradictory approaches: investing in high-tech solutions to detect IEDs (pressuring the Taliban to produce more instead); having more dismounted patrols so as to build rapport with the locals (increasing the number of incidents). ++ The fact remains that it is impossible to win the fight against IEDs; pushing for patrols on foot is not the solution.

The US Doesn't Get to Choose its Areas of Concern

Fred Hiatt, The Washington Post | October 8, 2012

As China becomes more assertive, its neighbors are looking for US support. ++ Obama announced that US foreign-policy will "pivot" toward Asia in 2011, however there is no escaping the importance of the Middle East and Central Asia. ++ There is a growing al-Qaeda presence to the south of Libya, while Syria is embroiled in full-on civil war. ++ Although Romney blames Obama for the mess in the region and Obama blames Bush, no president will be free from events that transpire in the region and the difficult dilemmas that lie ahead.


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