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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.

Obama's and Romney's Differences on Foreign Policy

Jackson Diehl, The Wahington Post | September 03, 2012

Obama and Romney have avoided serious debate on US foreign policy in the lead-up to the presidential elections. ++ Obama seeks to reach a deal with Russia for the two sides to cut nuclear stockpiles; a compromise on missile defense will likely occur. ++ Romney opposes Obama’s “reset” policy, promising instead to boost missile defense spending. ++ On the topic of withdrawing forces from Afghanistan, Obama will order a reduction, while Romney will likely side with the generals and keep the post-September numbers through next year.

Romney's Discomforting Foreign Policy Stance

John Norris, Center for American Progress | August 31, 2012

Many believe that foreign affairs will play a small part in the upcoming US elections. ++ This is unfortunate, especially when considering that Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are proposing some disturbing changes to American foreign policy. ++ In a 2012 budget resolution, Ryan wants to cut 30 percent on international affairs spending. ++ Consequently, the State Department and USAID will have to close embassies and missions. ++ Romney will also be willing to increase defense spending by more than $2.1 trillion over the next decade.

The Next Four Months are Crucial for Europe

Editorial, The Irish Times | August 30, 2012

As European countries embrace themselves for yet another recession, political leaders of the eurozone are faced with the challenge of saving the Euro from fragmentation while harnessing support from their respective publics. ++ Although the politicians are well aware of steps needed to resolve the economic problems, they fear that they will not be reelected if they take such measures. ++ European leaders must not be intimidated and come up with bolder initiatives despite economic uncertainties.

Mursi: Supporter of Democracy and Autocracy?

Thomas Friedman, The New York Times | August 29, 2012

It is not only disturbing but also hypocritical that one of Mursi's first trips abroad is to Iran. ++ He is there for the outdated Nonaligned Movement, but the world is now split between democratic and undemocratic states. ++ He is signaling his support for Iran's autocratic government, although he himself was brought to power with the same kind of democracy movement Tehran tries to crush. ++ He should have traveled to Europe and Asia instead, reassuring investors and tourists that his country is headed in the right direction.

German Leadership at Home and Abroad

Sanjaya Baru, IISS | August 28, 2012

Merkel has taken bold initiatives at home and overseas. ++ At home, she opposed Greek's exit from the eurozone, thereby preserving the unity of the union. ++ Abroad, she represented not only Germany, but the EU in her visit to China where she signified the need for the Chinese government to utilize its markets and funds to purchase German and European bonds. ++ Merkel will now have to seek short-term economic interests, while not losing sight of Europe's interest in having China respect human rights and the environment.

Setbacks for Women Rights After the Arab Spring

Hoda Badran, Egyptian Feminist Union | August 27, 2012

As the Arab Spring opens up the political process, those who stood side by side in opposition to tyranny are finally taking part in political life. ++ But women are increasingly having less of a say in the decision-making process. ++ This is especially true in Egypt, where conservative forces in the country are pushing for family legislation and are cutting off opportunities for women to take on leadership roles. ++ All who seek a regime where women equality is entrenched must unite to reach the democratic promise of the revolution.

The US Has Learned, the UK Has Not

Martin Woods, Financial Times | August 24, 2012

The approach that encouraged the financial crisis has still not been replaced and sufficient regulation is lacking on both sides of the Atlantic. ++ The US recognizes this, but the UK does not. ++ Some wrongfully claim the regulations of the Financial Services Authority are detrimental to the banking system. ++ On account of the multiple regulatory authorities in the US, bankers are deterred from running scandals or "mis-selling". ++ Contrarily, in the UK, where there is only one regulator, financial misbehavior is more likely to occur.

Pussy Riot: Freedom of Speech Only When We Agree

Rory Fitzergerald, Irish Times | August 23, 2012

The West's free speech affirmation following Pussy Riot's sentencing reveals its own hypocrisy. ++ The West, just like Putin, only supports free speech when it's convenient. ++ If four white men stormed the East London Mosque and offensively performed a song mocking Islamic religious beliefs, they wouldn't be considered martyrs. ++ Indeed, Pussy Riot shouldn't have been jailed, but they aren't the poster girls for political freedom the shallow western media portrays them to be. ++ The result: a distorted picture of the tragic demise of Russian democracy.

Non-Intervention in Syria: A Shot in the Foot

Christopher Reuter, Der Spiegel | August 22, 2012

The West and most Arab countries naively hope for orderly regime change but fail to realize that there cannot be any transition without overthrowing Assad first. ++ The negotiations with Assad were a farce from the start; he only ever had intentions of violently crushing the resistance. ++ The lack of foreign intervention may lead to the same situation the West and Syria's neighbors want to prevent. ++ The longer they wait, the more likely the regional spillover of conflict becomes and the more likely that terrorist groups will fill in the stability gap.

Wikileaks Founder is a Pawn in Ecuador's Plan

Anita Isaacs, The New York Times | August 20, 2012

Ecuadorian President Correa's decision to grant Julian Assange asylum has nothing to do with freedom of the press or Britain and everything to do with regional politics in the Western Hemisphere. ++ After expelling the US ambassador to Ecuador for accusing Correa of intended corruption, he sees this as an opportunity to get even. ++ With the declining health of Chavez, Correa sees a potential opening in Latin America for leftist, populist, and nationalist opposition to the US. ++ He is using Assange's misfortune to put Ecuador in the limelight.


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