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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.

The United States' Wrong Economic Medicine

Stephen S. Roach, Yale University | October 4, 2012

Policymakers have misdiagnosed the ailment of America's financial problems. ++ The prescribed medicine can result in unwanted side effects. ++ The American consumer, the patient, has been spending far less, due to the disease, the protracted balance-sheet recession. ++ The problem is that the Fed is treating the disease by deploying monetary accommodation to compensate for the shortfall in aggregate demand. ++ The side effect: central banks will inject excessive liquidity into asset markets, thereby becoming more vulnerable to destabilization.

Divided State of America on Foreign Policy

Roger Cohen, The New York Times | October 2, 2012

China remains a status quo power avoiding anything in its way to economic growth, while Russia too is a status quo power (of 30 years ago, that is). ++ Europe is a status-seeking power with only one serious politician left, Merkel. ++ But what of the US? ++ For Obama, America is in the "status-management business", adjusting foreign policy in a changing world; he removed the country from a costly war in Iraq and looked for ways to deal with Russia and China. ++ Romney belongs to Putin's camp of foreign policy fearing Moscow above all else.

US-China Relations: Where Superficial is Good

Yan Xuetong & Qi Haixia, The Diplomat | September 28, 2012

The United States and China are 'superficial friends', whereby each exaggerates their bilateral friendship in order to boost future cooperation as well as current ties. ++ But as Chinese power rises, there will be more competition as the US focuses on Asia and hopes to increase its domination in the Western Pacific. ++ This enhanced competition could lead to a Cold War between China and the United States. ++ However, greater conflict can be avoided as long as the two nations maintain their 'superficial friendship'.

US Election = Reckless Foreign Policy Debate

Christopher Hill, Dean of Korbel School Int't Studies | September 27, 2012

Foreign policy has not really shown up so far in the US presidential election, but when it does, it is likely to be an intellectually deficient debate. ++ The Iran question might be reduced to whether or not the US should support an Israeli strike. ++ Any meaningful debate surrounding China is unlikely. ++ The Syrian conflict and its regional implications remain a topic of little interest to either candidate. ++ International leadership will stay in US hands; as such, a serious debate is needed but not very likely.

America's Incomprehensible China Policy

Patrick Smith, The Fiscal Times | September 26, 2012

The United States' new endeavor in Asia comes across as a collection of incoherent contradictions. ++ The US wishes closer ties with China at the same time presidential candidates castigate Chinese trade policies. ++ The US claims the American 'pivot' isn't aimed at China even as the US forges defense ties ringing the Chinese mainland. ++ The US is trying to play honest broker between China and Japan even though the US is legally obligated to defend Japan in case of attack. ++ The stakes are too high to play such political games.

Full Transatlantic Agenda No Matter Who's Elected

Friedrich Merz, Atlantik-Brücke (Article in German) | September 25, 2012

No matter who the next US president is, Europe and the US must work together. ++ The Arab Spring will reveal new conflicts that threaten that region's stability. ++ America and Europe must work as partners on the economic front, especially the mutual recognition of technical standards. ++ Europe should prepare itself for when the US is self-sufficient in oil and gas, something that will effect America's domestic and international policy. ++ The transatlantic partners must also be ready for the continuing rise of Asia.

Too Soon to Make a Call on the Benghazi Attacks

Louis Klarevas, Foreign Policy | September 21, 2012

The incident that has left four Americans including the US Ambassador to Libya dead has been labeled by the White House as a "terrorist attack". ++ The only problem is that according to the statutory definition of terrorism for an attack to be considered an act of terrorism it must be premeditated. ++ The agency tasked to determine this, the NCTC, has admitted to a lack of intelligence proving this. ++ Under fire from the right, the declaration was driven by politics not laws – a correct approach is to wait until the FBI concludes its investigation.

Georgia: From Rose Revolution to Oppression

David Ignatius, Washington Post | September 20, 2012

Following the Rose Revolution and the 2004 Georgian presidential elections, Mikheil Saakashvili is known for his bold stance against Russian hegemony in the region. ++ But today, he is getting attention of a different kind. ++ His government is being charged for its suppression of political challengers at home. ++ The recent cyber attack allegations appear to have escalated the political battle witnessed thus far. ++ His government risks becoming what he once opposed - "the resistance of an entrenched elite to political change".

Syria's Parallel to 1930s Spain

Dominique Moisi, IFRI | September 19, 2012

The conflict in Syria looks very much like the Spanish Civil War. ++ Russia and Iran continue to standby Assad's regime while democracies are reluctant in supporting the opposition. ++ Similar to Spain in the 1930s, established democracies were hesitant in supporting the Spanish Republic at the time Franco's rebellion was supported by fascist Italy and Germany. ++ Though supplying rebels with weapons may run serious risks, it far outweighs the risks of passivity. ++ The lessons learned from the Spanish Civil War must not be forgotten.

A Win-Win: Chinese Banks in the European Market

Patrick Jenkins, Financial Times | September 18, 2012

China’s second largest bank, China Construction Bank, wants to buy $15.8b worth of assets in a European bank. ++ With the rapid growth of the Chinese economy, their initiative makes sense, but the differences in management cultures could be a problem. ++ CCB’s worthwhile options seem to be in the UK, Germany and France with part-nationalized banks like RBS and Commerzbank. ++ It could be a mutual gain; China would have an entry point into the market, and Europe would kick off a necessary reprivatization process.


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