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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.

In November, Obama Should Thank Europe

John Quiggin, The National Interest | September 17, 2012

Obama's reelection success will be due to Euopean Central Bank President Mario Draghi. ++ Greece's exit from the eurozone or the collapse of the ESM would have really hurt the EU and US economy, thus giving Romney leverage to win over his opponent. ++ Draghi committed the ECB to unlimited purchases of government bonds, which will stabilize the debt enough to prevent collapse. ++ Full recovery will require a shift in central bank and fiscal policies, but at least the European economic crisis won't cost Obama his presidency.

Russia: A Friend When the US is in Need

M K Bhadrakumar, Asia Times | September 14, 2012

Both Russia and China abhor the Salafist attack on the US embassy in Libya and both resent intervention to force "regime change". ++ Yet, while China's remarks lacked empathy, Russia showed solidarity so as to probe for new thinking in Washington. ++ Russia offers itself as a potential ally because it wants to be taken on equal footing. ++ Putin intends to signal to Obama that they could work together on the political transformation in Syria, one of peaceful negotiations. ++ Hopefully, Obama takes Russia seriously; Bush didn't.

Libya Has Issues But All Hope Isn't Lost

The Economist | September 13, 2012

The assassination of the US ambassador to Libya fits the pattern of a series of attacks carried out by Salafists and directed toward Westerners and other Muslim sects. ++ Although Libya has lingering security problems and local militias are still able to ignore the decree of the central government, the country's revolution and the foreign intervention in it still count as successful. ++ Libya has shown steady political progress towards a functioning democracy, and the extreme Islamists are a minority in congress. ++ Further progress takes time.

Another Wrong Move in Aghanistan

van Linschoten & Kuehn, New York Times | September 12, 2012

The US decision to designate the Taliban-affiliated Haqqani network a terrorist organization will increase tensions in Afghanistan. ++ To suggest that they are enemies ignores their history of pragmatism and cooperation with Western officials. ++ US policy in Afghanistan, based on the ideology of the war on terror, has so far largely been miscalculated and misguided. ++ Blacklisting the Haqqanis doesn't matter to them much, and it won't help bring about a political settlement anytime sooner.

Eleven Years Later and the US Hasn't Learned

Liah Greenfield, Project Syndicate | September 11, 2012

The 9/11 attacks were motivated by an ugly side of nationalism that used religion as its rhetoric. ++ In the Arab Middle East, because of high uneducation, threats to national prestige are presented as threats to Islam to mobilize the masses. ++ The US has been blind to the nationalist factors behind terrorism, so it fought two costly wars that didn't defeat its enemies. ++ Meanwhile, Americans feel threatened by the economic rise of China. ++ If the US doesn't realize the power of nationalism, it may cost it even more when dealing with China.

Avoiding Similar Results to 1980s Afghanistan in Syria

David Ignatius, The Washington Post | September 10, 2012

There are several parallels that can be drawn between US covert support in Afghanistan in the 1980s and in Syria today. ++ CIA officers are helping Sunni insurgents along Syria’s borders, while weapons are coming from third parties. ++ Although limited support is necessary, the US must: avoid dealing with extremists in the opposition, favoring more sensible elements; not endorse the sectarian element of the conflict; be cautious of a strategy driven by Saudi interests only; and garner support from tribal leaders.

Banks are at the Core of the Euro Crisis, not States

Costas Lapavitsas, The Guardian | September 7, 2012

The troika is now calling for Greece to make cuts of nearly €12bn to reduce public dept by 2014. ++ The government agreed to reduce social expenditure, pensions, and public sector wages. ++ Unfortunately, all the suffering as a result will be for nothing. ++ The troika is underestimating the depth of the recession; austerity will fail and lead to the need for more austerity measures in the future. ++ The source of the crisis is not states, but banks. ++ The solution would have been to replace bad banks with healthy ones throughout the euro zone.

A Free Palestine Would Heal Israel-Turkey Relations

Faik Tunay, The Daily Star | September 6, 2012

Two years after the Gaza flotilla raid, the key to fully repairing Israel-Turkey relations is to find a just solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. ++ This conflict is of significance for Turkey's Muslims, not just out of religious solidarity but out of political empathy for the denial of Palestinian statehood. ++ Turkey seeks to be a premier regional power and thus, the key regional dilemma begs its involvement. ++ Building off their historic cooperation, Turkey and Israel should restart the peace process, guiding Palestine to independence.

Overcoming Congressional Paralysis

Mohamed A. El-Erian, PIMCO | September 05, 2012

The US Congress is now returning from summer recess at a time when America needs bold economic leadership. ++ The current congressional polarization and paralysis must end. ++ A multi-prong policy initiative is needed to change numerous critical areas of the economy. ++ Medium reforms of the tax system and entitlements are required to eliminate the looming fiscal cliff. ++ The labor market needs support through improved training. ++ America needs new conduits for credit until banks are adequately stabilized.

Putting All Our Eggs in the BRICs' Basket

Pierre Delage, Forbes | September 4, 2012

There is an illusion that the BRICs can support global growth while Europe and the US falter with debt. ++ Yet, the BRICs have their own Achilles' heel. ++ Brazil struggles with dropping commodity prices; Russia has little investment diversification and will likely fall into recession. ++ China's economy favors bribery and is losing its competitiveness; India looks more promising but is plagued by labor inefficiency. ++ They may experience mild growth, but recall that the name was invented by a banker as a speculative acronym to be marketed.

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