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Open Think Tank Articles

October 25, 2012 | The West Should Not Give Heavy Arms to Syrian Rebels

Ievgen Vorobiov: The US and the EU should tread carefully in their policy on Syria, as an increase of weapon supply to rebels advocated by some Arab countries and American politicians might turn the horrible status-quo into an irreversible geopolitical disaster. Decision-makers across the Atlantic should resist supplying heavy arms to the rebels, amplifying their efforts for a diplomatic solution instead.

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October 10, 2012 | How to Reduce Green on Blue in Afghanistan?

Shafiq Hamdam: The increasing number of insider attacks have been a serious issue for the coalition forces in Afghanistan. However, there are a number of reasons behind these attacks, which are known as green on blue. The issue of cultural sensitivity is one of those major elements.

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October 1, 2012 | End of Summer Reading List

Editorial Team: With summer already over, at least in the northern hemisphere, atlantic-community.org takes a look at some of the many issues that have been written by our community of 7,000 members over the summer break.

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September 14, 2012 | Optimism for US-China Interdependency This Article contains Flash-Video

Foreign Affairs: Editor Gideon Rose interviews Columbia University professor Andrew Nathan on China’s global perspective and the current state of US-China relations. Nathan discusses US government policy towards Beijing and how transitions in Chinese leadership will affect the country’s assertiveness.

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September 13, 2012 | Iran and the Bomb: US and Israeli Responses

Aaron Thomas Walter: This paper considers the relationship between the United States, Israel and Iran. The primary finding of this study suggests that the actions of all three countries are anchored in the realist realm and will continue to be bound to the concepts of power and security.

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September 5, 2012 | Did Obama Really Abandon Central Europe?

Daria Wiktoria Dylla: Romney has attacked current US security policy for a missile defense plan unfavorable to NATO allies in Central Europe. Especially Poland may be in a vulnerable position without the external security balance provided by the US, but the removal of troops will be compensated for by the positioning of missiles. Thus, Poland has nothing to worry about.

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August 30, 2012 | Immigration Policy Needs Penalties and Incentives

Edward Alden: Increased internal and external border enforcement as well as economic crisis has decreased the population of unauthorized immigrants in both Europe and the US. Policies should provide incentives to encourage legal migration rather than just disincentives against illegal migration. Guest worker programs are a good place to start.

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August 30, 2012 | Towards More Strategic Immigration Enforcement in Europe

Elizabeth Collett: The deportation of unauthorized immigrants can be enacted through various policy initiatives, each with its own challenges. European governments should adopt a more ‘nuanced’ approach to enforcement policies - both return and regularisation - based on an understanding of risk, effectiveness and need.

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August 23, 2012 | What Germans Want to Know Most About the US

Karsten Voigt: Fifteen frequently asked questions Germans often have about political and social developments in the US and fifteen answers from the former Coordinator for German-American Cooperation in the German Foreign Office.

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August 17, 2012 | Balancing a Rising China: The Future of Transatlantic Relations

Editorial Team: Atlantic-community.org has received numerous outstanding articles from its community of over 7,000 members in the past several years. Our members have contributed to the think tank’s debates, theme weeks, and policy workshop competitions. A recurring discussion in our community revolved around a rising China and the challenges it poses to the West.

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July 13, 2012 | Securities Trading with India

Brianna Marie MacGillivray: The United States and India need each other considering that both countries have significant stakes in the future of the Asia-Pacific region. However, the two nations have not allowed their relationship to reach its full potential. There is much to be gained from warmer relations.

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July 9, 2012 | Editors' Picks for Your Summer Reading

Atlantic Insights 2 + 3: You can download for free two new eBooks based on our Iran theme week and other atlantic-community.org member articles selected by the editorial team. Enjoy stimulating summer reading on your eReader or a PDF printout.

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June 25, 2012 | Failure to Launch?

Andrew Walker: NATO hopes to have its anti-ballistic missile defense in place by 2018. Any future system will bring with it high financial and diplomatic costs. The question is whether NATO wishes to actually pay those costs for a system that is still unproven and will never be 100% effective.

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May 25, 2012 | Keynote: A New Generation at "Your Ideas, Your NATO"

Philip Murphy: The US Ambassador to Germany spoke at atlantic-community.org’s event in Berlin about transparency for NATO in the 21st century, how the Atlantic Memo provides a “good solid policy report” on this important issue, and the value of youth engagement in transatlantic relations.

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May 23, 2012 | The Baghdad Talks: Setting the Pieces for the Next Round

Sami Kronenfeld: Representatives from the US, Europe, Russia, and China are meeting with their Iranian counterparts to discuss Iran’s nuclear program. The talks can only be successful if Europe and the US reach an agreement with Russia and China on what to do if Iran does not follow international agreements.

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April 8, 2012 | Smart Defense and Venal Interests

Dmitry Lifatov: NATO has never been an exclusively military organization. But its pretension to playing a political role has also never been particularly appealing to the European NATO members. In this vein, Smart Defense is just another attempt to make the EU a convenient tool for American foreign policy.

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February 27, 2012 | January & February's Best Debates

Editorial Team: Great policy recommendations emerge from the collective intelligence of the community. That means your articles are not only important in themselves but as a platform for debate in the comments below. Here are the best debates from January and February, they’re still open to read and add your thoughts!

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February 2, 2012 | Hungary: A Test Case for EU Relevance

Jack Bicker: The diplomatic turmoils surrounding domestic politics in Hungary are a chance for EU institutions to define their effectiveness at a moment of significant flux. They also confirm that a potentially consolidated EU could be a strong and valued partner in a continuing transatlantic alliance.

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February 2, 2012 | Recess is Over: Europe and Systemic Crisis

Asle Toje: It now seems clear that the economic crisis that started in 2008 is both deeper and more lasting than first thought. While leaders threat about the crisis bursting into the real economy, this specter is manageable compared with the dangers we will face if the economic crisis turns into a full-blown systemic crisis.

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January 30, 2012 | Chicago Summit Preview: NATO Sharpens Its Focus

Mathew Shearman: Alongside the launch of the “Your Ideas Your NATO” competition we are previewing the NATO Chicago Summit in May. It is becoming increasingly clear that the Chicago agenda will be focused on Afghanistan, smart defense, developing partnerships, and strengthening common NATO values.

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January 17, 2012 | Turkey as a NATO Partner: Reality vs. Rhetoric

Yurter Ozcan: The Turkish government uses an often negative rhetoric vis-à-vis Turkey’s NATO membership that correlates with public opinion towards the United States. Yet these trends are at odds with the major decisions that the governing party has made, which instead point towards a growing cooperation with NATO partners.

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January 13, 2012 | An International Event Calendar for 2012

Editorial Team: Elections and transfers of power look set to dominate world events in 2012. Will Chinese leadership adopt a more aggressive stance? Will Egypt develop into an Islamist regime? Here is a brief look at these and other events likely to shape the new year. Feel free to share any events you think will also be important.

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October 31, 2011 | Overcoming the Paradox of Iranian Sanctions

Sascha Lohmann: The ever increasing use of sanctions against Iran reveals their actual function as a policy substitute. An engagement strategy based on concrete reciprocity should be used to fill this strategic void.

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October 17, 2011 | Iran's Nuclear Buildup Now Faces Tough Future

Paul Smyth: Away from the headline grabbing conflicts in North Africa and Syria and the recent convoluted assassination attempt, Iranian progress toward membership of the atomic club has continued with little international attention or fanfare. But recent events point to Iran having a much more difficult road ahead.

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October 6, 2011 | The American Biofuel Strategy: The Curious Case of Ethanol

Ben Wells: US policy towards bio-fuel production has always heavily leaned on the use of ethanol. However, with the advent of newer alternatives and the problems of corn production, perhaps it is time to re-assess its effectiveness in the face of growing environmental problems.

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September 30, 2011 | It's Too Early to Write an Obituary for Al Qaeda

Shanthie Mariet D’Souza & Bibhu Prasad Routray : As more high-ranking Al Qaeda leaders are eliminated, officials in Washington appear increasingly confident about their progress in dismantling the terrorist network. Contrary to this assessment, Al Qaeda remains far from defeat. The US cannot afford to get complacent.

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September 22, 2011 | Europe Losing Ground

Asle Toje: Recent events in the Middle East have highlighted the EU’s inability to develop a strong common defense and security policy. The EU has the interests and aspirations of a global power, but the capacity and mindset of a mid-level player. Europe needs more cooperation and integration on security and foreign policy.

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September 19, 2011 | Security Despite Austerity: Europe's Defense

Editorial Team: Drastic cuts to defense spending put Europe’s security at risk. As budgets bend to economic pressure, defense ministries urgently need to reform in order to cut waste, improve capability and maintain security. What can European states do to make defense spending more efficient?

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September 18, 2011 | US Should Invest in European Militaries

Jason Naselli: Direct US investment in European militaries would complement joint defense interests and strengthen logistical and political cooperation across the Atlantic. It would also encourage burden-sharing, advance specialization and reduce costs by increasing competition in an industry where it is sorely lacking.

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September 18, 2011 | Open Markets, Better Arms

Dmitri A Titoff: Without an agreement on a common defense policy, European states are letting market forces play a larger role in shaping their defense industries. Open markets could increase the risk of proliferation, but would also lower arms prices and improve military procurement across European borders.

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September 9, 2011 | Lessons That Smug Europe Should Learn from Asia

Kishore Mahbubani: It has taken Europe’s leaders some time to adjust to Asia’s rise, and the implications of that for EU policymaking. Unrest in the Middle East points to some lessons the Europe could learn from Asia. Kishore Mahbubani remembers Brussels’ condescensions and counsels a fresh EU approach.

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September 6, 2011 | Security Policies 2.0: Can Facebook, Twitter and Co Make an Impact?

Stefanie Babst: NATO has embraced the power of social media. The Alliance engages thousands in discussions on defense and security and these open, online debates have already borne fruit. Transatlantic policy is no longer the realm of an isolated elite: all citizens now have a chance to make an impact.

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September 2, 2011 | A New Track Against a Nuclear Iran

Felix F. Seidler and Niklas Anzinger: The Arab uprisings have opened new avenues for change in Iran. To slow Tehran’s military and nuclear ambitions, Western leaders must find a resolution to the Syrian conflict, while activists should harness the social power of the internet to force the Iranian regime to reform.

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August 30, 2011 | Energy and Terrorism are Dangerously Intertwined

Alexandra Dobra: The world’s eight biggest oil exporters are ripe for a terrorist attack. Any disruption of the energy supply chain could devastate the world economy, so a new set of policies combining hard power (to secure energy) and soft power (to dismantle terrorist networks) must now be implemented.

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August 24, 2011 | EU Should Back US in Sanctioning Syrian Oil

Johnny West: The West has bemoaned the lack of democracy in the Arab world for decades. Now, as the slaughter continues in Syria, it is time for the West to back its values with action. The recent US ban on purchasing Syrian oil has a good chance of debilitating the Assad regime. Europe must do the same.

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November 29, 2010 | Identity, Incentives and Action: A New Approach to Climate Change

Salvador Santino F Regilme: For the EU and US to tackle global climate change, they need to adopt a three pronged approach: Revive their identities as normative powers, incentivize companies toward cleaner technology and act upon their soft power to convince the developing world.

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November 25, 2010 | Behind the Skirmish: North Korea's Dynastic Succession

Niall Mulchinock: Recent belligerent actions on the Korean peninsula are the result of the ongoing succession process in Pyongyang. Kim Jong-il is trying to to give his inexperienced son some credence. In response, the US and its allies need to begin to put real pressure on China regarding this issue and NATO needs to deepen its partnership with the Republic of Korea.

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October 29, 2010 | Political Concessions Prevent Nuclear Weapons

Alexander Pyka: War rhetoric and demands for the suspension of the Iranian nuclear program clearly do not work. It is time to make concessions to Tehran in order to move forward and prevent the accession of another country into the nuclear weapons club.

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October 19, 2010 | Tariffs on Chinese Goods Will Not Solve US Jobless Woes

Eric Maurice Fung: If the US Currency Reform for Fair Trade Act becomes a law, trade war between China and the US will be inevitable. Thus, USA’s economic reengagement with China is the most viable solution for the progress of both the countries.

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September 17, 2010 | Eliminating the Nuclear Threat Is Not a Pipe Dream

Klaus Naumann: To achieve a nuclear free world a “No-First-Use” declaration should be collectively agreed. The US-Russia treaty on the reduction of strategic nuclear weapons should be followed by further measures to reduce the global nuclear stockpile to 2,000, or less than 10% of today’s number, by 2025.

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August 20, 2010 | Five Lessons to be Learned From Afghanistan

Felix F. Seidler: NATO’s expected withdrawal from Afghanistan is the result of a loss in focus. The country will hardly be stable in 2014 and beyond. The aims proclaimed by the international community were not realistic in the first place. Decision makers have to take the long view, if they wish to succeed.

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August 9, 2010 | Responsible Leader or Immature Superpower?

Editorial Team: The Chinese and American press have expressed new concern about the relationship between the two superpowers. Let’s weigh in: Is China overestimating its power and on the road to war with the United States? Or will economic interdependence ensure that China and the United States stay on a peaceful path?

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August 5, 2010 | Whither EU-US Relations?

Lukas Linsi and Mustafa Kutlay: It is quite clear that US-EU relations are far from being satisfactory. More worrying than the cooling down of transatlantic relations in itself, however, is the fact that it is the result of an absence of clear vision and political will on both sides of the Atlantic.

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August 3, 2010 | US Can't Look to NATO or the EU to Support its Russia Strategy

Stephen Szabo: Europe is proving a foreign policy disappointment to the Obama Administration as it struggles to propound a clearer strategy toward Russia. Washington now recognises that only Berlin has the key to a new relationship with Moscow.

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June 28, 2010 | Permanent Alliance: Is There an Alternative?

Stanley R. Sloan: For NATO to survive, the US must be convinced that political and military cooperation with the Europeans contributes to its security. Meanwhile, it is important for the Europeans to feel that their contribution to US efforts gives them some say in US security decision making.

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May 27, 2010 | NATO's Center of Gravity: Political Will

Jorge Benitez: If NATO starts to lose the battle for the political will of its people, it will slowly fade into history. A major public diplomacy effort is needed to convince the democratic constituencies in NATO countries of the alliance’s salience. This is essential to the funding of military efforts in difficult economic times.

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April 16, 2010 | International Law Is Critical for Alleviating Arctic Tensions

Memo 23: Altantic Community’s experts agreed in the Polar Politics week that military conflict over resources in the Arctic is unlikely. The Arctic Council and the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea can ease tensions.

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March 16, 2010 | The New Arctic World Order

Robert W. Corell: Science and traditional/local knowledge can play invigorating roles in tackling these Arctic challenges relating to climate change - coupled with the impacts of globalization towards collaborative efforts within and among the Arctic states

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March 10, 2010 | Sea and State Change

Klaus Dodds: The Arctic is in a state of interregnum. The opening of new shipping routes and possible resource exploitation are points of contention. While it is overblown to suggest inevitable geopolitical disorder, tensions will run high.

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March 10, 2010 | Taking the Temperature of Arctic Governance

Editorial Team: The Arctic region tops the agenda at atlantic-community.org for the next week. As the melting ice cap reveals unprecedented commercial and resource exploiting opportunities, we invite our members to reflect on and debate how to make the fight against climate change prevail over states’ interests and consider the need for transatlantic leadership in Arctic governance.

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March 4, 2010 | Biomass, an Energy Source of the Future?

Jean Pierre Schaeken Willemaers: The current European energy scheme is not sustainable. In that perspective all technological options must be considered and energy savings must be the top priority. Among the current renewable energies, biomass is not given the importance it deserves.

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February 23, 2010 | Is Obama Reading the Soviet Guidebook?

Osama Bin Javaid: The current Western involvement in Afghanistan and Pakistan is only embedding deeper extremism. Let real democracy develop, as opposed to Karzai’s version, allow the Taliban to run and win elections. Empowering and educating the Afghan masses are the only ways out of NATO’s disarray.

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December 9, 2009 | Seizing Opportunities from Turkey's Growing Influence

Memo 21: Amid growing fears of Turkey moving away from the West, atlantic-community.org presents the findings from its special analysis week on Turkey. Members agree that Turkey’s foreign policy should not be misinterpreted as a shift East and call upon the US and the EU to start embracing Turkey’s growing influence.

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December 1, 2009 | A New Reality for the United States

May Hu: President Obama’s recent visit to China demonstrated that the dragon has awoken and is able to resist outside pressure and does not feel the need to conform to any western models or values. The US can no longer ignore this rising giant, and will become more reliant on soft power and persuasion in this new world order.

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November 25, 2009 | The EU's Identity Crisis

Mensur Akgün: Recent media reports on Turkey’s alleged foreign policy fail to acknowledge major positive achievements on behalf of the AKP government, notably Ankara’s attempts at reconciliation with its neighbors. Western pundits should ask themselves what this “western identity” that Turkey is supposedly moving away from, really is.

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November 23, 2009 | The US Needs Turkey for its Middle East Agenda

Brian Katulis: Turkey and the US need to coordinate their efforts in South Asia, Iraq, Iran and the Arab-Israeli conflict, towards common goals. In order to make progress on his ambitious policy agenda for the Middle East, Obama needs Turkey. To this end, improving US- Turkish bilateral ties is a first crucial step.

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November 19, 2009 | Turkey: Still a Bridge Between West and East?

Editorial Team: Turkey tops the agenda at atlantic-community.org for the next week as fears of a shift away from the West become more widespread. We invite our members to reflect on and debate Ankara’s ‘alleged’ shift and consider the importance of Turkey as a regional player to the US and Europe.

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November 6, 2009 | The Changing Face of Diplomacy

Stefanie Jennifer Tetenburg: In the post 9/11 era hard power has been priortised over soft power to deal with the ‘new’ terrorist threat. In this dissertation I therefore investigate whether traditional diplomacy is still relevant. I argue that traditional diplomatic tools remain important, but need to be complemented by new diplomatic tools.

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November 2, 2009 | Europe is Wasting its "Obama Moment"

Jeremy Shapiro & Nick Witney: Europe needs to start acting as a unified collective if it is to become a credible and strategic partner for the US. If Europe does not step up, the US will look for other partners.

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October 28, 2009 | Stakes are Higher in Pakistan than Afghanistan

Harlan Ullman: As Hillary Clinton visits Pakistan the state is quickly becoming the most important strategic issue confronting the US in the fight against jihadi-backed violence. The Obama Administration should recognize this and take effective action to deal with Pakistan’s problems by providing more economic and military aid to Islamabad.

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September 29, 2009 | Upgrading Support for Afghanistan

Marco Vicenzino: The deployment of international troops in Afghanistan must be transitional. Thus, the further strengthening of the Afghan National Army (ANA) has to be a crucial task for NATO. Amongst others, important issues are to increase the army’s manpower, to better train the security forces, and to modernize ANA’s weaponry.

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September 24, 2009 | How Web 2.0 is Changing Politics

Bohnen & Kallmorgen: The political decision-making process, and thus our very democracy, will change rapidly in the next few years. New technologies will make participation among citizens and other actors much more common and important.

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September 21, 2009 | Deadly Divide: Sunni-Shia Conflict Determines Iraq's Future

Urs Schrade: Sectarian tensions continue to threaten civil war with large Sunni and Shia Muslim populations throughout the Middle East, particularly in Iraq. The current war in Iraq will play a prominent role in determining the future of the Sunni-Shia conflict. The ethno-religious conflict will in turn determine the future of Middle Eastern relations and security.

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September 15, 2009 | The Road to Tehran Does Not Run Through Moscow

Jeffrey Mankoff: It is a priority of the USA to gain Russia’s support for a new round of UN sanctions against Iran. However, due to a number of economic, diplomatic, and strategic factors, it is very unlikely that Moscow will take meaningful steps against Tehran. Thus, the Obama Administration should circumvent Russia and find a way to solve the Iranian nuclear problem alone.

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August 31, 2009 | AfPak: Europe's Politicians Lack the Support of Public Opinion

Raffaello Pantucci: Greater coordination on Central-South Asia would be a boon to European and US interests in the region. Unfortunately, such coordination is still lacking and we are unlikely to see a greater push from the EU. More European involvement in any sort of “civilian surge” would be welcome, but will be unrealistic until the security situation is stabilized.

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August 26, 2009 | Weak Russia, Dangerous Russia

Donald K. Bandler and Jakub Kulhanek: A weak Russia constitutes a liability for the future as a scenario of political and economic upheaval becomes likely. Consequently, Moscow’s weakness domestically could then become a global crisis and pose a major threat to international peace and security.

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August 25, 2009 | Pakistan and the Taliban: Leaders Caught Betwixt and Between

Shuja Nawaz: Following the death of Baitullah Mehsud Pakistani leaders face a number of challenges. Will they be able to make an offensive against the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP)? Will they be able to resist US pressure to “do more” against the Afghan Taliban? Will they muster the troop strength and the resolve to move against the TTP in South Waziristan?

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August 25, 2009 | Nuclear Disarmament: Safeguard or Threat?

Dieter M Dettke: Germany must take on more responsibility to shape a global system without nuclear weapons as it is in Berlin’s national interest to do so. Beginning with European & US disarmament the West can gain the moral authority it still needs to enforce the NPT regime.

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August 24, 2009 | Slow Steps! Not All at Once!

Leon V. Sigal: The world needs to focus on first steps toward abolition, not the ultimate goal. Most importantly, before moving to Zero, the West has to achieve major efforts in its relations with North Korea and Iran.

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August 18, 2009 | The Road to Zero: Just Look Down

Tom Z. Collina: The three prerequisites to stable nuclear reduction must be pursued consistently by both Russia and the US. Only after we achieve real success can we begin to judge whether Global Zero is truly possible. Our map to disarmament makes the beginning clear but our choices will define the path.

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August 14, 2009 | Carrots for Pakistan, Sticks for the Gulf States

Shazad Ali: The US led ‘War on Terror’ should not only focus on Pakistan and Afghanistan but also on the Gulf states, including Saudi Arabia. Even though the Taliban receive more funding from these states than from both Pakistan and Afghanistan, the US only threatens Saudi Arabia with more privileges. To fight terrorism effectively the US must cut off the Taliban funding lifeline from the Gulf.

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July 27, 2009 | International Law Begins at Home

Jakob Stenfalk: Solving the problems of the 21st century requires broad international cooperation. Having glaring double standards is fundamentally destructive of the trust that such cooperation requires.

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July 21, 2009 | American Success in Iraq Shuts Europe Up

Christoph Suess: If someone had said two years ago that the US would have largely withdrawn its forces from Iraqi cities by now, he would have been called naive. Nobody here in Europe believed that the Iraqis would be able to handle their own security so soon. Given that, Europe’s silence on the latest US move is suspicious.

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July 7, 2009 | New NATO Concept a Chance for Europe to Recommit to Alliance

Jan Techau: Drafting a new strategic concept for NATO provides a great chance for Europeans to get real about what it means to be allies and stop the great threat to the continent’s defense - the decoupling of the transatlantic alliance. But this means more and smarter spending on defense and most certainly more casualties.

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June 24, 2009 | Realism: The Solution to Establishing NATO-Russia Relationship

Luca Ratti: Expansion of NATO membership into Eastern Europe has provoked Russia. NATO must attempt constructive dialogue with Russia to solve this problem. The future and continued success of NATO will depend on either including Russia, or ceasing its open membership policy.

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June 23, 2009 | The West Cannot be Haunted by Guantanamo Wrongs

Gesine Palmer: The Western world is wracked with anxiety over the fate of the Guantanamo Bay prisoners who have been detained without basic human rights. The US has built up an unrealistic fear of their release, but closing Guantanamo is paramount. We should treat prisoners with generosity rather than anxiety.

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June 15, 2009 | Economic Crisis not Severe Enough to Change Kremlin Policy

Editorial Team: In the third part of our survey, experts agree that the economic crisis is a small window of opportunity for enhanced Western-Russian cooperation, but not (yet) severe enough to make Moscow more amenable. The Kremlin might continue with its assertive foreign policy to deflect from increasing social tensions.

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June 8, 2009 | Russian Mindset is Barrier to Improved Relations with the West

Editorial Team: Experts from Europe and the US polled by Atlantic-Community.org believe that despite current tensions, Russia and the West have more common than diverging interests. But decades of mistrust have clouded the Russian mindset, and Moscow can’t yet see all that they have in common with the West.

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June 1, 2009 | Russia Should See NATO as Friend Not Foe

Heiko Pääbo: Changing perceptions of the world order have influenced NATO’s open door policy. Russia believes that relations with NATO should be based on mutual respect and is reluctant to see the Alliance as a partner. NATO must maintain its shared values and consider Russia’s interests for a successful partnership.

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May 27, 2009 | Russia-West Partnership Hurt by Moscow's Paranoia

André Budick: Russia has an ongoing fear of being encircled and slowly pushed back by the West, making it difficult for other nations to have valuable relations with Moscow. Should the West even pursue a partnership with such a paranoid regime, even though the alternative is very unpleasant?

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May 22, 2009 | NATO Alone Cannot Tackle Global Instability

Prosper Thuysbaert: NATO requires assistance in order to facilitate democracy and peace across the world. The United Nations Security Council needs to be reformed and made more globally representative, and smaller regional organizations need to be set up and work alongside NATO to assist failing states.

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April 29, 2009 | The Next Steps for NATO

Karsten Voigt: The transatlantic Alliance enters a modern era with different global challenges requiring new and innovative approaches. NATO must reassess its geopolitical position in addressing these issues and, if necessary, adapt accordingly.

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April 1, 2009 | US-UK Relationship: Not so Special Anymore

William Wallace and Christopher Phillips: The “special relationship” between the US and the UK has been characterized as the preeminent transatlantic bond. But the relationship differs as presidents and prime ministers change. The Obama administration is interested in a partnership with the major European states collectively more than with the UK alone.

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March 31, 2009 | The European Union on the "Way to Hell?"

Matthias Stephan Fifka: Recent comments made by Mirek Topolanek concerning the US approach to the global economic downturn have cast a shadow ahead of the G20 meeting in London. Finding solutions to the current crisis will not be easy, and Topolanek’s remarks may make future agreements even harder to acheive.

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March 17, 2009 | Priorities for the Transatlantic Agenda

Editorial Team: Atlantic Community members have voted: NATO, Russia and the international trade order are at the top of the transatlantic agenda. We will use these results as the map for our thematic focus in 2009.

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February 16, 2009 | The End of Bipartisanship?

Fabian Wendenburg: The stimulus package has been the first real test of Obama’s promised bipartisanship. But after it attracted only three senators and no congressman of the GOP, last week was a vivid reminder that it will be hard to overcome differences of principle and culture.

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January 20, 2009 | Time to Start Transatlantic Relations Afresh

Memo 10: In this new era under the Obama White House, it is high time for a transformation of transatlantic relations. The US must distance itself from the unipolar policies of the past and come to terms with a multipolar world. The EU has to develop more proactive policies.

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January 12, 2009 | A New Strategy for Afghanistan

Assem Akram: It is time for strategy overhaul in Afghanistan. The size of the Afghan army must be dramatically increased; foreign troops should lock down borders; Pakistan must become a partner in providing solutions in Afghanistan; and the Afghan government needs top-to-bottom reform. Progress can only come with security.

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December 17, 2008 | Obama Can Win Back the Arab World

Brian T. Edwards: Since the invasion of Iraq, young Arabs have become more skeptical of US intentions. As Americans are putting hope into the new administration, many in the Arab world have less reason to trust democracy. Obama’s ability to excite Americans puts him in a perfect position to inspire young Arabs to expect something from America beyond business as usual.

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December 12, 2008 | How And Why Did NATO Survive the Bush Doctrine?

Stanley R. Sloan: The hegemonic behavior of the Bush administration during its first term almost led to the end of the transatlantic partnership. The US will not be able to face the challenges of this century without its allies and NATO. A closely coordinated US-EU-NATO cooperation is essential to attain shared interests.

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December 9, 2008 | Georgia and Ukraine: Circumnavigating the MAP

Jeffrey Mankoff: Washington and London have proposed dropping the NATO MAPs for Georgia and Ukraine, favoring an open-ended development plan for both countries. Germany and France protest such unorthodoxy, but this more flexible approach might allow NATO to balance its Russian interests with eventual expansion.

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December 5, 2008 | How to Repair Our Relationship with Europe

Matthew Yglesias: US relationships with EU countries have been marred not only by our disastrous military engagements but also by a lack of actual diplomacy from the Bush administration. A return to the hallmarks of a liberal society coupled with the simple measure of common courtesy would go a long way.

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December 4, 2008 | Institutions and State Actors in Transatlantic Cooperation This Article contains Flash-Video

Interview with John C. Kornblum: The former US ambassador to Germany outlines the role of states, institutions and high-level political leaders in the transatlantic relationship at a conference hosted in Berlin by the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies (AICGS).

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November 25, 2008 | Winning Over Tribes is the Way Out

Bernhard Lucke: The US and NATO should develop exit strategies instead of increasing their military presence in Afghanistan. Winning back tribal leaders’ allegiance is the key to successfully drawing down troops. Western policy makers can learn many valuable lessons from the Soviet failure in Afghanistan.

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November 24, 2008 | EU: Upholding Human Rights, Yet Still More to Do This Article contains Flash-Video

Interview with Lotte Leicht: The director of Human Rights Watch in Brussels says that the EU must fulfill its role in upholding human rights. But before it can credibly promote human rights throughout the world, the EU must first hold its allies accountable for human rights violations, particularly the US.

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November 19, 2008 | Priorities for German-American Cooperation This Article contains Flash-Video

Interview with Jackson Janes: The executive director of the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies tells Atlantic-community.org that Russia, energy security, climate change, Iran, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and the financial crisis are all pressing issues to be addressed jointly by Germany and the United States under an Obama administration.

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November 14, 2008 | Reconstructing Kabul: The EU's Task

Daniel Korski: EU engagement in Afghanistan will affect Washington’s perception of its strategic partnership. The best way for the EU to stay a strong partner is to extend the aid-and-security approach of its Provincial Reconstruction Teams and take the concept to Kabul. Diplomacy with Pakistan will remain important.

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November 12, 2008 | Renaissance of Protectionism

Jens F. Laurson & George A. Pieler: The first dangerous results from governmental overreaction to the financial crisis are beginning to show. Bailout bills have counterproductive effects as political pressure is even brought on institutions that do not need the governmental help. Following protectionist approaches could lead to a harmful and tragic economic outcome.

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November 11, 2008 | Afghan Police and Economy: Lynchpins for Success

Memo 9: Afghanistan needs a continued international commitment to ensure its security and assist in economic and social development. The US, EU and Germany must focus on training local authorities. Cooperating with Iran and the Taliban remains a point of debate.

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October 20, 2008 | "Weblogistan" Key to Democratization in Iran

Sepideh Parsa: The Islamic Republic is strangling the media landscape, crippling the democratic pillar of free speech. Censorship has given rise to the Iranian blogosphere. These blogs pave the way for democratic progress. The West should provide technological expertise to help Weblogistan flourish.

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October 17, 2008 | The United States: Heroes of the Retreat

Jan Ross: America’s superior power position has long begun to crumble. The faith of the American people in the US mission has been shaken by the politics of an unpopular president and threatening economic developments. The US does not only need “change” right now. America needs healing.

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October 16, 2008 | Too Much Political Meddling Will Only Prolong the Financial Crisis

Jens F. Laurson & George A. Pieler: The economic crisis has brought harmony to trans-Atlantic affairs. Europeans might secretly blame the calamity on US “Casino Capitalism,” but they know they are rowing in the same boat and so cooperation is the order of the day. The stock markets treat this as good news now, but it could easily do more harm than good.

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October 15, 2008 | Europe Can Help in Afghanistan with More than Just Troops

Julianne Smith: The next US president will ask NATO allies for more troops in Afghanistan. Europe should respond by at least providing more police trainers, civilian reconstruction experts and new diplomatic initiatives.

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October 13, 2008 | Redefine American Foreign Policy

Joel Kotkin: Presidential candidates concentrate on relations with Pakistan, Russia, China or other troublesome and distant places. Instead, they should first consider building stronger relations with countries who share America’s values as well as demographic vitality, e.g. Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

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October 10, 2008 | How the US and Germany Can Win in Afghanistan This Article contains Flash-Video

David Neil Lebhar: Ahmed Rashid argues that the conflict in Afghanistan needs a regional solution, including US-Iranian cooperation. The German military must intensify operations in northern Afghanistan, and the government has to educate the public about the mission’s importance.

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October 9, 2008 | Shared Interests

Mark Brzezinski: It is unlikely that there is a Kremlin “master plan” guiding Russia’s actions toward her neighbors - her actions are driven variably by ambition and nostalgia, confusion or misinterpretation, irritation or resentment. The West’s goal should be to make Russia understand that working together with the US and EU will make it more prosperous, secure and free.

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October 6, 2008 | US, EU, Russia: Not a Zero-Sum Game

Francisco J. Ruiz: It is time to examine relations between Russia, the US, and the EU. With emerging global threats, there are areas in which these three can cooperate in defense and security. All three actors must change their policies enabling more collaboration on these issues.

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September 26, 2008 | HOT ISSUE: <br />How to Respond to the Financial Crisis?

From the Editorial Team: The current financial crisis has sent economists, politicians, and citizens alike scrambling to find solutions. In the US and Europe, expert opinion is divided on how to revamp the economy. How should the United States, the EU, the private sector, and others respond to this international situation?

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September 23, 2008 | The EU Can Mediate Georgia Conflict

Memo 8: Atlantic Community members conclude that the EU, acting in coordination with the UN, is in the best position to negotiate a peaceful solution. The US, Russia, Georgia, NATO, and others must consider their future strategies carefully.

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September 22, 2008 | It is High Time for Coordinated Transatlantic Action

Atlantik-Brücke’s Young Leaders: The Atlantic partners must jointly address the economic slowdown, competition over scarce resources and energy dependence. Moreover, the transatlantic relationship faces an immediate, critical test in Afghanistan. Success there is needed as a demonstration of our ability to effectively address common security threats.

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September 15, 2008 | It is Time to Withdraw From Afghanistan

Bernhard Lucke: It is not lack of civil investment, but the occupation that is the problem in Afghanistan. The “war on terror” is creating terrorism instead of controlling it. We are getting used to eroding morals and rising brutality, a way which may lead to new big wars.

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September 10, 2008 | The Shift in Global Power Calls for More Burden Sharing

Anna Wojnilko: Institutions for global governance must become more balanced; the United States and the European Union cannot continue to carry the onus of global decision-making on their own. The emerging economic powers must be given more say in multilateral organizations and also take on more international responsibility.

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September 9, 2008 | The Georgian Flaw in Transatlantic Security

Colette Grace Mazzucelli: The US, acting in coordination with the EU, should address the crisis in Georgia with a strong humanitarian effort and a firm, yet non-isolating, stance toward Russia. As foreign policy concerns are compounded by domestic challenges, the next US administration must prudently tackle economic problems and re-define America’s role in world affairs.

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September 3, 2008 | Repairing America's Image Abroad Will Take Time

Mark Brzezinski & Lanny A. Breuer: The US government abuses the law and ignores human rights in the name of security; this shapes the American image abroad and undermines strategic US objectives. American credibility as a standard setter in human rights suffered a major setback. It will take time to repair this damage.

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August 29, 2008 | Pakistan's New Commitment to the War on Terror This Article contains Flash-Video

Interview with Hussain Haqqani: Pakistan’s ambassador to the United States reaffirms his country’s democracy and promises better cooperation with the United States and Afghanistan in an interview with Steve Clemons of the New America Foundation.

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August 28, 2008 | Weapons of Mass Destruction and the World Order

Herbert Maier: The unilateral approach to nonproliferation is commonly tied to President George W. Bush, but in fact it was already visible in the early 1990s. The Bush administration was more a catalyst than an initiator of this change in US strategy.

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August 26, 2008 | Spanish Engagement in Afghanistan: An Undefined Mission

Eva Diez: The Spanish government asserts its soldiers are only involved in humanitarian operations. But in Afghanistan their main mission is to enable the US to realize its own strategic plans. Now is the right time for Spain to define and press for its own interests.

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August 21, 2008 | A Security Policy of Free Riding

From the Editorial Team: Former German foreign minister Fischer criticizes the attitude of German politicians who refuse to send troops to the south of Afghanistan. He accuses Germany of conducting a security policy of “free riding.” What do you think? Is he right?

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August 4, 2008 | Iran's Strategy is Working

Fabian Martin Lieschke: Iran’s nuclear strategy – one that allows it to buy time and improve its negotiating position – seems to be working. The US policy shift has come too late - Iran has already wrapped Germany, Russia and China around its little finger. The next US President will be faced with a tough choice.

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July 28, 2008 | By Giving a Speech in Berlin, Obama is Playing with Fire

David Francis: Obama’s popularity should not be interpreted as a shift in German policy towards the United States. Many officials I spoke with while reporting from Berlin earlier this year said Germany will continue to act in its own interests no matter who is in the White House.

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July 28, 2008 | Obama's European Voters

Matthias Stephan Fifka: Even if Obama enjoys much more sympathy abroad and is being received like a rock star by the public, his foreign policy would not differ essentially from McCain’s. The biggest discrepancy between the candidates are the expectations of the Europeans, who are likely to be disillusioned with Obama as president.

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July 28, 2008 | A New Political Messiah?

Rüdiger Lentz: Obama’s speech at the Victory Column in Berlin, impressive as it was, contained more empty slogans than substance. This was not the radical change he promised during his primary campaign. His charisma might not be enough to win the elections.

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July 22, 2008 | Europe Needs to be More Assertive in Transatlantic Relations This Article contains Flash-Video

Wolfgang Ischinger: The transatlantic relationship will benefit from a kind of renaissance when the next US president is elected. Rather than sitting on the sidelines and waiting for US demands, Europe should actively develop strategic initiatives and explain European priorities to the US.

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July 21, 2008 | The Most Popular American in Europe Since Elvis

Anne Applebaum: Obama’s visit to Europe signifies a change in America’s political culture – it shows American voters are aware of the damage the current administration has done to America’s image and are not indifferent to how their country is perceived abroad.

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July 14, 2008 | John McCloy Journalism Fellowship Report: Energy Insecurity in the EU

David Francis: Germany is not only comfortable with Russia as an energy partner, it is comfortable with Russia as a strategic partner. This is at odds with the Bush administration, which views Russia with suspicion. Germany’s position has exposed an ideologically divide in Europe.

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July 8, 2008 | Dead End in Sight for Poland's Missile Defense Site

Marek Swierczynski: Commotion and despair are in the air after Poland rejected the US bid to host ballistic defence system. The government is evasive in public statements and sends opposing signals in diplomacy. The MD project, once regarded as a unique historic opportunity, seems to be drifting away.

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June 11, 2008 | Farewell to Bush, a Friend in the End

Marek Swierczynski: The farewell trip of the 43rd US president shows who and what really matters for America in Europe. George Bush visits America’s traditional allies and friends but emphasizes the role of the EU as the main transatlantic link and one that may play an important role during the next presidency.

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May 20, 2008 | Why the West Lost the Financial War against Terror

Loretta Napoleoni: The truth is that terrorism is a political phenomenon and, as long as it remains in the domain of politics, there are few chances to win.

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May 13, 2008 | Human Trafficking: A Global Malady

Samantha Ferrell: Combating Human Trafficking requires systematic worldwide action. In a rapidly globalizing world, organized crime groups are operating transnationally. Unless there is an increased effort on the part of international agencies, the US, and the EU, to coordinate efforts, human trafficking will only continue to expand.

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May 9, 2008 | Poland-US: Drifting Apart on Missile Shield

Marek Swierczynski: The NATO-isation of missile defense at the Bucharest summit paradoxically carried away the Poland-US agreement on the issue. The once all-uniting idea of placing the interceptors on Poland’s Baltic coast is losing political support and negotiations are reported to be close to a stall. The current round of the talks is not expected to push things forward.

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May 8, 2008 | The Right NATO for the Right Afghanistan

Péter Marton: Afghanistan needs an external security guarantee for the long term. NATO should provide that guarantee against clashing external influence-seeking endeavours, but it can only do so it if it sheds its geopolitical identity for the Afghan mission. That is how a neutral strategic identity could be secured for Afghanistan.

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April 30, 2008 | Gazprom Hardens Its Grip on Europe

Marek Swierczynski: Greece and Russia signed an agreement to build the southern branch of the South Stream natural gas pipeline. President Putin’s last victory hardens Gazprom’s grip on Europe and makes any energy diversification projects more difficult. Unless the EU looks at the map and acts.

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April 21, 2008 | The West Needs Russia as a Partner This Article contains Flash-Video

Hans-Ulrich Klose: Mistakes have been made on both the Russian and the Western sides. Russia should now be approached as an equal rather than looked down upon or scolded for non-democratic ways.

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April 18, 2008 | Yes, We Can! Our New Transatlantic Agenda in a Changing World

Frank-Walter Steinmeier: For the past 60 years the transatlantic relationship has been the world’s transformative partnership. America’s relationship with Europe - more than with any other part of the world - enables both of us to achieve goals that neither of us could achieve alone.

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April 7, 2008 | The $100 Barrel: Long Term Gains, Short Term Costs

Memo 5: Members of the Atlantic Community are more concerned about the short term consequences than the potential long term benefits of the current high oil price.

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March 27, 2008 | After Bali: A Shift in Climate Policy Leadership

Sascha Müller-Kraenner: The EU and the US have the responsibility as well as the financial and technological means to address the climate challenge. Yet their approach needs to be internationally orientated so that it also offers a platform to the new assertive voices of China, India, Russia and others.

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March 19, 2008 | Strengthening the EU to Strengthen NATO

Ambassador Victoria Nuland: “Europe needs, the United States needs, NATO needs, the democratic world needs – a stronger, more capable European defense capacity.”

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March 11, 2008 | Iran Just Won't Stay Isolated

Charles Kupchan and Ray Takeyh: Rather than continuing to pursue strategies which isolate and attempt to contain Iran, the US needs to follow the lead of its Arab Allies, practice diplomacy, and encourage regional integration.

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March 10, 2008 | A New Era for EU-US Relations?

Daniel Rackowski: As many Europeans ponder about the putative blessings of the post-Bush era, it is only opportune to ask how the at-times strained transatlantic relationship might evolve in the future.

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February 11, 2008 | Iran is Still Dangerous: The US Must Negotiate

Ralf Fuecks: The United States must offer Iran direct negotiations regarding its nuclear program. There needs to be a higher level of political and energy cooperation.

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February 5, 2008 | Missile Defense: Poland Has Less Room to Maneuver

Wess Mitchell: I outline recent developments between the United States and Poland regarding the US missile defense program. Relations between Poland and Russia are likely to deteriorate and Tusk may have compromised himself by acting so decisively this early in his term.

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January 21, 2008 | Kosovo: Avoid US Unilateralism, Encourage EU Leaders

Memo 4: Members of the Atlantic Community are mostly optimistic about the future of Kosovo and conflict resolution in the Western Balkans. The EU has a key role in this region and policy is in the right track, but, of course, big challenges still lie ahead.

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Global Must Read Articles

December 3, 2012 | Shada Islam, Friends of Europe

Shada Islam is the head of the Asia Programme at Friends of Europe - a Brussels-based European think-tank promoting discussion and debate on the future of the EU.
For over 25 years, she has covered Europe-Asia relations as a correspondent for the Far Eastern Economic Review and the German News Agency. As an expert on Asia, she has broadcast experience with the BBC, Radio France, Deutsche Welle

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October 31, 2012 | American Troops Should Not be Stationed in Europe

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

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October 29, 2012 | Asia Rises, Pax Americana Fades

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

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October 11, 2012 | Failed Attempts to Curb Taliban's IED Campaign

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

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October 8, 2012 | The US Doesn't Get to Choose its Areas of Concern

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

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October 4, 2012 | The United States' Wrong Economic Medicine

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

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September 26, 2012 | America's Incomprehensible China Policy

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

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September 25, 2012 | Full Transatlantic Agenda No Matter Who's Elected

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

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September 14, 2012 | Russia: A Friend When the US is in Need

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

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September 11, 2012 | Eleven Years Later and the US Hasn't Learned

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

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September 3, 2012 | Obama's and Romney's Differences on Foreign Policy

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

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August 24, 2012 | The US Has Learned, the UK Has Not

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

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August 15, 2012 | If Europe Can Do It, So Can the Islamic World

Can Islamism reorient its extremist wings into a moderate force for modernization? ++ Europe’s history, especially that of the Christian Democratic parties and Germany who we thought could never accept democracy, shows that it can. ++ US policies toward the Arab world need to distinguish between potential friends and enemies. ++ The US should promote cultural exchanges, attempt to build bridges

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August 14, 2012 | Put an End to NATO Expansion

With the end of the Cold War, the justification for NATO expansion is gone and the new members bring more costs than benefits. ++ Georgia’s inclusion into NATO is a dangerous liability for the US. ++ It is a geopolitically aggressive move and can provoke nuclear confrontation with Russia over matters of little importance to the US. ++ Furthermore, Saakashvili’s government does not act

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August 8, 2012 | Why Israel (and the US) Exaggerate the Iran Problem

Israel’s “bomb Iran fever” is based on lies and what if’s. ++ Iran does not even have nuclear weapons and has offered concessions beyond its obligations under the NPT, but still Israel is foolishly convinced that it is a threat. ++ In part, it is a public relations stunt the Israeli government plays off of. ++ Israel would not attack Iran without consent from Washington and the others anyway.

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August 7, 2012 | The Folly of Forgetting the West

In the 20th century, even in the face of wars and the collapse of the entire European state, the West dominated. Today, with over 200 countries in existence and each with a voice, usually in some sort of organization, it is easy to say the West’s power is declining. For Serfaty, what we are seeing is more of an “intermission” than a “transition”. The stale descriptions of America as ‘new’

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July 11, 2012 | Who Defines the World Order?

Russia will not change its position on Syria unless the conflict’s internal dynamics shift. ++ Moscow does not view Syria as Middle Eastern geopolitics. ++ Rather Russia sees it as about who defines the world order. ++ Moscow consistently opposes military force without a clear UNSC mandate and rejects regime change. ++ Russians are also much less optimistic about the Arab Spring. ++ For these

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July 9, 2012 | Strengthening Europe's Ability to Act

The Euro crisis has been all consuming; German politicians have put all other policy priorities to the side. However, two members of the German parliament have stepped forward into this policy vacuum, and therefore their ideas are highlighted here in the Best of Think Tanks. In a concise nine-page paper, Dr. Andreas Schockenhoff and Roderich Kiesewetter offer concrete proposals for strengthening

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July 6, 2012 | Routes and Access are Just the Start

The politics of routes and access in the Pak-Afghan region has muddled US-Pakistan relations. ++ Following a 2011 NATO attack in Pakistan, Islamabad closed roads to the Afghan border. ++ Consequently, the US had been relying on a longer ground route through Central Asia at a cost of $100 million more a month. ++ Washington responded by holding $1.2 billion in reimbursement for counterterrorism

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July 2, 2012 | Asia and China's Ascendency

Despite the global economic shift to Asia, America’s focus for some time has been elsewhere. ++ Critical issues are coming to a point. ++ For example, there are competing territorial claims in the South China Sea. ++ China’s rise is at the root of such troubles. ++ China sees itself as a new ‘Middle Kingdom’ allowed to treat neighbors like vassal states. ++ The best solution is for the US and

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June 8, 2012 | Making a True Friend in Turkey

President Obama has invested much time and effort to cultivate a friendship with the prime minister of Turkey and it’s beginning to pay off. ++ Turkey’s preeminence in the region, although apparent today, was less so in 2009. ++ Obama impressed Ankara when he argued for Turkish membership in the EU, while Turkey installed a US missile defense radar system. ++ Despite a few minor hiccups,

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June 4, 2012 | The Transatlantic Economy 2012

Europe and the US remain each other’s most important markets despite the recession. The transatlantic economy generates close to $5 trillion in total commercial sales a year and employs up to 15 million workers in mutually “onshored” jobs on both sides of the Atlantic. The transatlantic economy is the largest and wealthiest market in the world: over 50% of world GDP in terms of

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June 2, 2012 | Jonathan Granoff, Global Security Institute

Jonathan Granoff is currently the president of the Global Security Institute, an international organization dedicated to nuclear disarmament. As a lawyer and international advocate, he has been a vocal opponent of nuclear proliferation, serving on the advisory boards of the NGO Committee on Disarmament at the United Nations and the Lawyers Committee on Nuclear Policy as well as being the UN

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May 29, 2012 | Not Making the Case for Open Trade

Public support in the US for open trade has fallen. ++ One of the causes for this drop is that politicians make unconvincing mercantilist arguments for free trade: we open our markets so they open theirs. ++ This kind of free trade mercantilism dominates American rhetoric, in which the focus is on ‘fair trade’. ++ Most economists think nations should lower their trade barriers to promote

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April 25, 2012 | Yuan Not to Blame!

America’s trade deficit with China mounted to a hefty US$295 billion in 2011. ++ China has been accused for allegedly manipulating its currency, thereby driving the US trade deficit. ++ In reality, however, China’s trade surpluses can be explained by an increase in Chinese household savings rates, an East Asian production sharing network revolving around China, and an increase in US

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March 16, 2012 | Follow New Delhi to Tehran

Iran and India are developing a warmer relationship. ++ In light of renewed sanctions, India hopes to step into the Iranian markets vacated by European firms. ++ Iran could provide India not only with oil, but also with chemicals, polymers, and plastic materials. ++ The US does not want to see a closer relationship between Iran and India. ++ In contrast to the US, India supports Iran’s right to

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March 13, 2012 | The Perils of Austerity

Greece’s troubles have been used to promote a false narrative about deficits and austerity. ++ Greece has officially defaulted on its debt, even if in a negotiated manner. ++ But the story of Greece shows that while deficits are bad, slashing budgets in bad times is even worse. ++ Europe’s periphery is now experiencing depressions caused by austerity. ++ Short of leaving the Euro, nations like

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March 5, 2012 | America and the Next Phase of the Eurozone Crisis

The common denominator in the Eurozone crisis today is a lack of individual economic statesmanship and not simply the embeddedness of banking institutions. ++ Contrary to popular belief, America could afford to both pivot towards Asia and intervene in Europe. ++ It is likely that the US believes that these are problems pertaining to democracy, governance and sovereignty, and must be solved

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February 22, 2012 | Netanyahu's Failures Endanger Israel

Defense Minister Ehud Barak has three conditions for war: it must delay Iran’s nuclear program; there must be minimal harm to Israel; and it must receive US and international support. ++ The Netanyahu government has had 20 months to prepare the home front but has not even built a respectable fire service. ++ Netanyahu is seen by Obama as seeking to ruin the Democrats’ reelection bid with an

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February 20, 2012 | Cyber Wars Could Spark Real War

Arab-Israeli tensions are being played out by citizen hacktivists on both sides. ++ If a hacker causes real physical damage to critical systems it could quickly involve governments in the real world. ++ There is no operations center that a nation can call to compel another nation’s citizens to stop online attacks. ++ Washington and Moscow are beginning to explore using their direct channels to

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January 27, 2012 | The Impact of Iran Sanctions on China and India

The impact of Western sanctions on Iran goes further than “market plays, fire sales and opportunism” for India and China. ++ The long term role Iran plays in their energy security policies has been missed. ++ Iran has sought to lock both countries into 25-year contracts for its oil. ++ Ideological positions may factor domestically in India and China but they are an outgrowth of energy interests.

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January 25, 2012 | US Arms Won't Create Middle East Stability

The US and Britain have just concluded weaponry deals to Saudi Arabia worth $53 billion. ++ These deals are a short term solution to ease their recession hit economies presented as an opportunity to promote stability in the Middle East. ++ The real dangers faced by Arab countries are domestic religious extremism and militant terrorism. ++ Allowing the free market to flourish, protecting

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January 20, 2012 | Speak with the Taliban

The Afghanistan conflict is moving into a complex period and the US must make greater diplomatic efforts. ++ Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has described US strategy as “fight, talk, and build.” ++ A bipartisan statement from US leaders must include all elements of society, including opposition groups, non-Taliban Pashtuns and ethnic minorities. ++ As part of a full diplomatic effort the

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January 17, 2012 | Strategic Partnerships: The Indian Case

A New Delhi based think tank has studied the term “strategic partnership” through India’s agreements. ++ India has signed over a dozen partnership agreements in the last decade ++ The Russia-India partnership was rated the most valuable overall; trade relations with the US hold the most potential. ++ The benefits are threefold: political-diplomatic ties, defense ties, and economic relations. ++

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January 16, 2012 | Turkey Balances East-West Interests Over Syria

Turkey is now spearheading a joint Western-Arab-Turkish policy of forcing President Bashar Assad to cede power in Syria. ++ Previous good relations with Syria and Iran were part of a “zero problems with neighbors” policy. ++ Turkish attempts to mediate between the US and Iran have been wrongly interpreted as an “Islamic” foreign policy; their turn to the East is in fact based on solid strategic

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December 14, 2011 | A Real Chance for Energy Security

The practice of “fracking” in domestic production has reversed the trend of US dependence on foreign oil; for the first time in decades, petroleum imports are dropping. ++ While there are environmental concerns, shale oil has the potential to lower energy dependence further and generate thousands of desperately needed jobs. ++ Despite impressions, US imports also come from

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November 26, 2011 | Nina Hachigian, Center for American Progress

Nina Hachigian is a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress, and co-author of The Next American Century: How the U.S. Can Thrive as Other Powers Rise.
Ms. Hachigian’s research interests include great power relationships, international institutions, the US-China relationship, and US foreign policy. She has published essays in Foreign Affairs, The Washington Quarterly,

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November 10, 2011 | No Compromise on Cluster Bombs

In 2008, Britain led 22 other NATO allies in signing a ban on the use of cluster bombs. ++ Now the US, a notable holdout of the treaty, is trying to water down the ban to the point of near worthlessness. ++ Cluster bombs are an indefensible weapon, endangering civilian and combatants indiscriminately and designed to cause the maximum amount of carnage. ++ Britain and others are considering

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October 26, 2011 | More Productivity, Less Austerity Will Save Europe

The lack of a common fiscal policy is what allowed the Eurozone debacle to occur. ++ Europe has at the same time experienced extremely low levels of growth compared to the US and emerging markets, forcing it to accrue debt to prevent living standards from deteriorating. ++ Germany’s austerity plan will do little to stimulate growth in Southern Europe. ++ Europe requires wide-reaching structural

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September 1, 2011 | Smiles on Surface, but Distrust Between US and China

The US-China relationship suffers from a mutual lack of trust. ++ A zero-sum view of the world sees any Chinese economic or military gains as “expansionary” at the expense of the West, just as Beijing is suspicious of a dysfunctional and “trigger-happy” US. ++ Despite decades of interaction, “increased interdependence has not led to better understandings”

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August 30, 2011 | "Libya's Impact Will Shake the Assads"

Libya will have a “tremendous” effect on the Syrian uprising, boosting the morale of protestors and casting doubt on the Assad regime. ++ The EU must intensify pressure by banning oil imports from Syria, while Lebanon should join other Arab states and Turkey in condemning Assad and strive to prevent cross-border trafficking of weapons and money. ++ To seize the momentum, the

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August 29, 2011 | Japan Must Overcome Political Dysfunction

Japan’s prime minister resigned Friday, becoming the sixth Japanese leader to step down in the past five years. ++ Already beset with $200 billion in reconstruction costs after the terrible March earthquake, Tokyo also faces a looming demographic crisis and now a leadership vacuum with implications reaching across Asia. ++ As the world’s third largest economy, Japan must stop

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August 25, 2011 | Endgame in Libya a Victory for US Leadership

Despite the domestic assault on his Libya policy, President Obama’s strategy to depose Gaddafi has worked, with US support for NATO combat operations proving critical to the rebel forces’ success. ++ The Libyan case shows that US global leadership remains “indispensible” but also that countries with deeper ties to Libya such as France, Italy and Spain must lead in assembling

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August 24, 2011 | China Must Rethink Economic Growth Model

China has criticized the US for its debt problems, but Beijing’s own growth model is “fraught with difficulties”. ++ Since US and EU debt issues leave its export-driven economy vulnerable to market fluctuations, Beijing must bolster domestic demand. ++ It can do so by relocating industry to cheap-labor inland provinces and encouraging coastal regions to focus on service and

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August 23, 2011 | Libya Needs International Boots on the Ground

With Libya on the verge of ousting Gaddafi, the rebels cannot allow tribal divisions to tear their leadership apart. ++ To support a peaceful transition of power, the outside world should be prepared to send, “at the very least”, military and police advisers and perhaps “several thousand” troops to Libya. ++ This would be “costly and risky”, but far less so

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August 12, 2011 | US and Europe Must Support BRIC Recovery

The world economy now depends less on the leadership of the US and Europe, and more on the domestic consumption of large developing markets. ++ Western policymakers should be wary of new monetary stimulus, as a weaker dollar could raise inflation rates in the BRIC countries, slowing the growth of their domestic demand. ++ To support high consumption in emerging markets, Western leaders should

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August 10, 2011 | US Must Back Palestinian Bid for Statehood

With Israel evidently unwilling to negotiate, a UN vote on Palestinian recognition is the only road to creating a state. ++ Statehood alone will not resolve Israeli-Palestinian tensions, but the “long overdue” recognition would bring a level of equality to Palestinian negotiations with Israel and a measure of stability to the region. ++ Moreover, “the recognition of group identity is

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August 8, 2011 | Doomed to an Economic Double-Dip?

The world economy risks a double-dip, a second severe recession, thanks to an EU debt crisis, fiscal instability in the US, and slow manufacturing seemingly everywhere else. Policy makers are quickly running out of options to trigger recovery. ++ Now, economies that still have market access should “introduce new short-term fiscal stimulus while committing to medium-term fiscal

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August 4, 2011 | China and US Must Cooperate in Afghanistan

Chinese and US interests in Afghanistan are unlikely to ever align perfectly, but both states have a stake in the stability of the region. ++ Beijing has long been wary of American troop presence near Chinese borders, and disagreements on topics ranging from Taiwan to human rights have led to a “structural ambivalence” between the two powers. ++ But cooperation, especially in the

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July 28, 2011 | Self-Inflicted Crises Plague EU and US

Dysfunctional politics have turned financial challenges into crises on both sides of the Atlantic. ++ In Europe, officials have “dithered and argued at national, intergovernmental and pan-eurozone levels” as Greece’s credit spreads widened. Washington, meanwhile, is “convulsed by the…spectacle of a voluntary sovereign debt crisis” resulting from the failure of

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July 19, 2011 | Europe Has Obama's Attention

As the eurozone crisis groans on, a German-led Europe regains the stage as America’s most important foreign partner. ++ But this is more a matter of necessity than choice. “Openings to China and India have produced little. Relations with Russia, if improved, remain quixotic. And Obama now plays defense on the Middle East in this season of Arab revolt.” ++ Hoping to avoid a

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July 15, 2011 | How to Solve the US Debt Crisis

The US political elite is responsible for the country’s current debt-ceiling crisis, a direct result of public spending that has skyrocketed to its highest levels since World War II. ++ President Obama has failed to create jobs and improve the economy despite massive spending projects that have increased federal debt to a staggering 72% of GDP. ++ The US is now in danger of losing the AAA

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February 4, 2011 | Annette Heuser, Bertelsmann Foundation

Annette Heuser is executive director of the Bertelsmann Foundation Washington DC, a private, nonpartisan operating foundation, working to promote and strengthen transatlantic cooperation. Before launching the Bertelsman
Foundation in Washington DC, Ms. Heuser served in the corporate sector as Vice President of
International Relations at Bertelsmann AG in Guetersloh, Germany, and as the

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December 16, 2010 | Siegfried Fina, Co-Director of the Stanford-Vienna Transatlantic Technology Law Forum

Professor Siegfried Fina is the Co-Director of the Stanford-Vienna Transatlantic Technology Law Forum. He focuses on the business-related and technology-related law and policy of the European Union, as well as on the legal aspects of the EU-US trade and the economic governance of the transatlantic marketplace.
1. What are the current priorities in your work as Co-Director of the Stanford-Vienna

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November 26, 2010 | The Real Threat to America

“America is a nation of openness, boldness and risk-taking… close this nation… constrict it and you unravel its magic.” ++ Recent over zealous measures taken to increase airport security, including full-body scanners, completely exaggerate the threat faced from terrorists. ++ Such is the danger posed to individual freedom by the Department of Homeland Security, that it is greater than

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November 23, 2010 | Global Tasks and Summit Solutions

Transatlantic Relations formed the center of discussion at the recent annual summits of NATO, the United States and the European Union in Lisbon. ++ NATO set out a clear future plan for itself in Afghanistan and endorsed an improved relationship with Russia. ++ Furthermore, during the EU-US Summit, better understanding of EU-US interdependence in the world economy was highlighted. ++ However, the

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November 11, 2010 | Pakistan Looks Toward China

President Obama’s visit to India validated what Pakistan has feared for some time - the emergence of stronger trade and strategic ties between Washington and Delhi.++ The Pakistani government and military are now considering adjusting their alliances, with China as a counter-balance. ++ President Zardari’s visit to China this week is a first step down that road. ++ US troop withdrawal from

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November 8, 2010 | Accommodating Pakistan's Interest in Afghanistan

President Obama’s visit to India offers an opportunity for both the United States and India to revise and readjust their roles in Afghanistan. ++ The US has fuelled Pakistani paranoia by encouraging India to become the region’s major economic player in Afghanistan. ++ If India limits its profile inside Afghanistan, Pakistan might agree to stop harboring extremists. ++ The US should

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November 5, 2010 | Obama's Success Hinges on Pro-Israel, Anti-Iran Policy

The losses experienced by the Democratic Party present an opportunity for President Obama to learn from his foreign policy failures. ++ Polls have consistently shown that Americans want their president to be pro-Israel and that many Americans and Israelis do not believe the policies of the Obama administration thus far have fit that description. ++ Moreover, If Obama succeeds in preventing

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November 4, 2010 | Lessons to Be Learned from the Midterm Elections

The US midterm elections have brought a huge victory to the Republicans. ++ However, they also carry a lesson for both Democrats and Republicans. ++ Representing the Democrats, President Obama now needs to come up with a strong projection of his party’s policies and its successes achieved so far. ++ For Republicans, the now is the time to get started with the real business of fulfilling

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November 3, 2010 | US Elections: Following in Clinton's Footsteps?

President Obama needs to follow in Bill Clinton’s footsteps if he wants to succeed. ++ By compromising with the conservative Newt Gingrich, Clinton was able to secure re-election, despite Republican control of the House. ++ However, today’s situation is far more complex than it was in 1994. ++ The opposition is not united, as evident in the rise of the Tea Party, therefore striking

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November 2, 2010 | US Midterm Poll a Tough Referendum on Obama

The US midterm polls are a challenge for the incumbent administration. ++ There are many disillusioned voters out there and President Obama’s party is expected to lose, with continuing high unemployment levels a deciding factor. ++ The Obama administration has done “a pitiful job” of taking credit for the things it has done right. ++ Optimists believe that a divided government would

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November 1, 2010 | Osama: a Reality or a Mirage?

Osama Bin Laden is again talk of the town with the latest release of his audiotape. ++ US intelligence agencies, along with the military muscle of the entire NATO alliance, have been in search of Bin Laden. ++ Yet, why even after a decade they have remained unsuccessful in their efforts to find the “culprit” is a question asked by many. ++ Some suspect Pakistan’s intelligence

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October 29, 2010 | Russia's Agenda in Afghanistan

Gorbachev recently gave the US valuable advice on the war in Afghanistan that Putin would rather not hear: “Victory is impossible”. ++ Yet, Russia’s post-Soviet leaders have long seen eye-to-eye with the west on Afghanistan. ++ In fact, they also consider the Taliban and al-Qaida to be greater regional and global threats than Iran. ++ Nevertheless, Medvedev and Putin will not send their own

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October 28, 2010 | Karzai and US Uncertainty in Afghanistan

America’s longest war in Afghanistan is now being waged with doubt and uncertainty. ++ The current Afghan government, considered to be pro-US, seems to have taken a new turn in its relationship with America. ++ Iran’s increased involvement in Afghanistan and President Karzai’s latest acknowledgement of this “relationship” are clear indications of this. ++ Is the

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October 26, 2010 | Will China Keep Rising or Succumb to its Paranoia?

China’s gradual ascendence as a globl power has given rise to a new kind of debate among observers. ++ On one hand, China’s economic boom has awed the world while on the other, political fragility beholds uncertainies about its future. ++ The biggest issue of concern is the likelihood of a Sino-US rivalry exceeding conventional warfare to those in space and cyberspace. ++ If China wants to

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October 25, 2010 | Talks with the Taliban Still Face Many Hurdles

Media reports these days are full of the news about negotiations with the Taliban. ++ For many, the USA’s decision of troop withdrawal from Afghanistan, international support for dialogue and the recent establishment of the peace council by president Karzai, indicate that something is brewing. ++ Nevertheless, there is little evidence to back these claims. ++ If the Taliban were serious for a

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October 7, 2010 | Terror Warnings Reveal Limits of Power

Recent warnings from the US government towards its citizens travelling in Europe against an expected Al-Qaeda attack have created quite a stir in the international media. ++ The US and western powers can take all the necessary steps to avoid the threat of terrorist attacks, but they cannot possibly eliminate it unless the underlying radical ideology is defeated. ++ The US should continue with its

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October 5, 2010 | A Damaging Climate of Fear

The decision by the US Department of State to issue a warning to its citizens traveling to Europe is an unhelpful overreaction, as Americans were not specifically targeted. ++ The warning shows a lack of solidarity between the US and Europe, as terrorism is a common danger to be faced together. ++ If Europeans warned against travel to the US, Washington would undoubtedly be irritated. ++

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October 4, 2010 | 'Winning' in Afghanistan Would Include Some Failure

Having spent $ 2 trillion already in Iraq and Afghanistan, President Obama’s policy to put a limit on more spending in Afghanistan is a rational decision. ++ It is not possible for the US to achieve complete victory in its counterinsurgency efforts in Afghanistan. ++ The real competition is with the Taliban, who are deeply entrenched in the region and challenging the institutions built

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September 21, 2010 | Bullets Trump Ballots in Deciding Afghanistan's Future

The latest Afghan elections saw the lowest turnout since 2001. ++ The rise of the Taliban followed by the worsening law and order situation are crucial issues for the future of the US-led NATO alliance in Afghanistan. ++ In addition, issues like managing corruption and revising US political goals will be decisive factors in the coming years. ++ There is a  likelihood of a settlement which

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September 21, 2010 | China: Energy Superpower

China is on its way to changing great power politics in the near future. ++ It has already superseded the US in becoming the biggest energy consumer in the world, a growing matter of concern for America. ++ It also seems that it will soon determine the type of energy system the world will depend upon in coming years. ++ China has already strengthened its ties with the energy rich countries. ++The

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September 7, 2010 | Differences in European and American Islamophobia

Islamophobia looks different in Europe than it does in the US, where it gained traction only after 9/11. ++ In Europe, its roots are deeper and “Islamophobia is less thinly veiled.” ++ Demographics however do not lend support to the fear that the continent will soon turn into “Eurabia,” since birth rates for Muslims in Europe are not that high. ++ While the heated debate may be part “of a

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August 24, 2010 | A Currency Battle with China Cannot be Won

The growing US trade deficit with China should not be blamed on the exchange rate – de-linking the two currencies would have a minimal impact at best. ++ There are more effective ways for the US to benefit from China’s growth. ++ Obama’s goal of doubling American exports in five years is a step in the right direction. ++ With federal support, small, competitive firms could move into the

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August 19, 2010 | Political Populism is the Real Threat in the Gulf

The Gulf oil spill is the latest example of state terror, hyped by Obama as a national disaster for political ends. ++ In reality, oil has reached only 10 percent of the coastline, but the economic consequences stemming from the media blitz are devastating. ++ Obama’s populist rhetoric, backed up by “dial-a-quote scientists howling blue murder,” has emptied clean beaches of tourists,

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August 17, 2010 | $460 Million Requested for Pakistan: Let's Give It

More than 20 million people in Pakistan are now homeless as a consequence of the devastating flooding. ++ A dearth of clean drinking water will likely cause the death toll of 1,500 to rise. ++ The West must use this opportunity to show solidarity with the Pakistanis and improve its image in this volatile region. ++ A generous American response is necessary in order to keep Pakistan on its side in

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August 12, 2010 | Rules Needed to Curtail Collateral Damage

Existing international law does not adequately protect civilians during wartime. ++ Governments are not held accountable for collateral damage – clearly, an ethical tragedy. ++ Coalition forces are responsible for 35 percent of civilian deaths in Afghanistan. ++ New rules need to be adopted in order to fit the nature of today’s wars. ++ “As the Afghan war logs suggest, collateral

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August 11, 2010 | Obama Fails to Meet Expectations Set in Cairo

President Obama’s Cairo speech was intended to set a new tone in Arab-American relations. ++ A year later, the disappointment in the Arab world is tremendous: a recent poll of six Arab countries shows that only 16 percent of the Arab population remains hopeful about US policy. ++ Additionally, 57 percent of respondents believe a nuclear Iran would be a positive development. ++ The US media shares

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August 10, 2010 | Wikileaks and the End Game in Afghanistan

The Wikileaks affair led to a particularly “vitriolic” reaction in Pakistan, where commentators cited it as evidence that “blood-thirsty Islamophobes [and] think tank irredentists [plan to] continue their blood-fest in …Afghanistan.” ++ The war has led to “a feeling of imperial revival.” ++ By targeting the Taliban, NATO has turned unwelcome foreigners

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August 5, 2010 | Moralisation of Capitalism: The New Enlightenment?

The financial crisis has marked the start of a new chapter in history: the post-western world. ++ The global balance of power is shifting, and the traditional responses of denial from America and soul-searching from Europe will not alter this reality. ++ The western comparative advantage is not found in its demographics, economics, or military, but rather in its ideals: democracy, the rule of

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August 3, 2010 | Embracing the Myth of Structural Unemployment

The American governing elite has begun to define high levels of economic distress as the new normal for workers. ++ Politicians are in the process of repudiating their responsibility to create jobs by labeling high unemployment as “structural” and permanent. ++ The Federal Reserve is complicit in defining success down, which will quickly become a self-fulfilling prophecy. ++ “A

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July 27, 2010 | Turkey Turning East but Looking West

Western opinion holds that Turkey is turning East, but Ankara is actually pursuing a policy centered on its economic and geographic power. ++ Europe remains a key goal, but Turkey has diversified its alliances and no longer depends on the will of its American and European partners. ++ It has isolated the PKK by cultivating relationships with its neighbors, and this peace pays extra dividends in

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July 22, 2010 | Missile-defense Cooperation is a Joint Priority

North America, Europe, and Russia should work together to create a Euro-Atlantic security system based on trilateral missile-defense cooperation. ++ Political rather than technical obstacles have been the main stumbling blocks. ++ The design and implementation of the new security architecture must be based on a joint assessment of threats and shared equally by the three partners. ++ This moment

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July 20, 2010 | The Special Relationship is No Longer So Special

David Cameron’s first visit to the White House will be accompanied by the usual pomp and circumstance, but the special relationship between the UK and the US is devoid of any real substance. ++ Obama and Cameron do not share common ground on domestic or economic issues, and the UK has lost its significance in trade to the EU. ++ With the legacies of 9/11 and Iraq fading, the relationship

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June 22, 2010 | Getting a Handle on Leaks

The recent attempt to prosecute a suspect in the WikiLeaks video posting on the Baghdad helicopter shooting incident demonstrates how difficult it is for the government to get a handle on classified information leaks. ++ The biggest problem remains the “inability…of the referring agency to identify everyone in the government who had access to the [leaked] information.” ++ The

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June 10, 2010 | More than a Million Still Homeless in Haiti

With the summer heat and the start of the hurricane season, the plight of those who are still without shelter in Haiti continues to worsen. ++ Tensions are escalating among Haitians in the camps without any hope of employment, “making security a growing concern.” ++ The Haitian government does not cooperate sufficiently with aid organizations. ++ Relief agencies are busy “trying

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March 3, 2010 | The EU Has a Voice, Finally

EU’s President Herman Van Rompuy gave his strongest speech to date last week. ++ Economic governance and strengthening ties with emerging powers were identified as the main areas to improve Europe’s role in the world. ++ Surprisingly enough, Europe’s difficulties as well as challenges were mentioned, including the damaged EU-US relationship ++ “In spite of current impressions,

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November 30, 2009 | The Looming Narrative

The Narrative, “the cocktail of half-truths, propaganda and outright lies about America,” has become omnipresent in the Arab-Muslim world, although most of the Muslims killed today are being killed by jihadist suicide bombers. ++ The majority of the media sending out such messages are government owned, as the Narrative serves as an escape for leaders to honestly look at themselves. ++ Obama

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November 30, 2009 | Turkey Comes First

Turkey, rather than Iran, is emerging as the real beneficiary of the US misadventures in the Middle East. ++ America sits on the sidelines as Turkey expands its regional influence. ++ The souring of Turkish-Israeli relations has been watched with great anxiety in Washington, where it is feared that Ankara’s new foreign policy is driven by “thinly concealed Islamist ideology.” ++ But

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November 26, 2009 | Police Force is Afghanistan's Weak Spot

The planned expansion of the Afghan police force from 80,000 to 160,000 officers will make infiltration by Taliban insurgents easier. ++ Recent reports note that the Afghan police force is still suffering from weak leadership, incompetence and a lack of motivation. ++ After 7 years of reform and investments worth over 6 billion dollars, only 7 percent of the police forces are able to operate

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November 12, 2009 | Disarmament: The Need to Engage all Nuclear Powers

Differences between the United States and the Russian Federation since the end of the Cold War have bogged down the nuclear disarmament process. Since 96% of all nuclear weapons remain in the hands of the former adversaries, Washington and Moscow must once again take the lead in opposing nuclear proliferation worldwide. The largely bilateral disarmament process to date must be expanded

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November 12, 2009 | Berlin and Washington Disagree on Russia Policy

From arms reduction to Afghanistan to Iran, it is in Washington’s best interest to ensure cooperation with Moscow on a wide range of issues. Policy-makers in Washington now have to choose between different options for dealing with Moscow: rely on either the EU or on Germany as a focal point for dealing with the Russians, or conduct relations bilaterally.
Washington, however, is unlikely to

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November 12, 2009 | Asia Should Focus on its Own Markets

Asia faces dramatic economic change in the coming decades. In order to preserve economic growth, Asian markets need to abandon their excessive export orientation and reliance on foreign markets such as the American and European ones. As a result of the global financial crisis, demand for Asian products has fallen worldwide, in particular in the United States. Asia must find new arenas to market

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November 12, 2009 | American Jews to Assist Middle East Peace Process

Within the United States, the Gaza War has led not only to renewed calls for peace by the U.S. government, but also to the emergence of numerous pro-active, public peace movements. The American Jewish community is no longer monolithic in its stance on Israel. Independent peace groups are receiving increased support. Rabbis of Reform Judaism are applauding Obama’s initiative to curtail settlement

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November 9, 2009 | Wait Until They Get Serious

Until the Israelis and Palestinians are serious about reaching a peace agreement, the US should get out of the picture. ++ The US has only been successful in furthering peace when both parties perceived to be in a mutually hurting stalemate and invited diplomacy ++ The Israelis and Palestinians are not feeling enough pain yet, as “the Palestinian leadership wants a deal with Israel without

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October 29, 2009 | US in Desperate Need of Domestic Nation Building

The US needs to reduce its footprint in Afghanistan and start focussing on nation-building at home. ++ The US “does not have the Afghan partners, the NATO allies, the domestic support, the financial resources or the national interest to justify an enlarged and prolonged nation-building effort in Afghanistan.” ++ Although withdrawal may create new threats, so will staying and a stronger America

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October 23, 2009 | Engagement With Islamists Pays Off

Nuclear talks with Iran have progressed slowly but show that engagement is the best strategy. ++ Although Iran’s acquisition of advanced nuclear technology is inevitable, talks can assure that Iran’s program is brought under IAEA supervision. ++ Although “engagement may seem to play to the hand of Islamist foes in the short term, in the long run it guarantees the de-radicalisation of Islamist

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October 22, 2009 | Nuclear Weapons Must Be Tested

President Obama’s intention of ratifying the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty is “a profound mistake, as a ban on testing nuclear weapons would jeopardize American national security.” ++ The reliability of US nuclear weapons cannot be guaranteed without testing them ++ As the world has so far been unable to enforce the NPT, there is little reason to believe that it would be effective in enforcing

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October 14, 2009 | Obama, Pick Your Fight

Mr Obama’s presidency is plagued by accusations of weak leadership. ++ Although rightwing assaults on a liberal president are to be expected, Obama’s supporters are now also starting to question his ability to get things done. ++ Therefore he now “needs to pick a fight in public and win it with a clean knock-out.” ++ In particular his promise to make bold policy changes on the Middle East and

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October 13, 2009 | The Renminbi Needs to Float

The key cause of the current financial crisis is a lack of balance in the world economy. ++ Whilst China has built up immense financial reserves, the US has seen its account deficit grow and grow on the back of infinitely increasing interest payments on its foreign debt. ++ The US needs to become more competitive thereby increasing public and private saving, whereas China should boost its

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October 8, 2009 | US-Containment Policy is Main Hazard for Peace in the Middle East

The Obama administration’s middle east policy is largely unsuccessful due to its containment policy towards Iran. ++ The „US’ moves meant to contain the power of Iran, are the main stumbling block on the path to a US-brokered two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.“ ++ In order to reach sustainable peace in the greater middle east, and particularly in Israel and

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September 21, 2009 | Missile Defense System Still On

Contrary to current reports, the missile defense system in Eastern Europe will be strengthened and not scrapped. ++ The previous proposal would have been delayed until 2017 whilst the current one will see an active defense from the Iranian threat ready by 2011. ++ Russia’s attitude and possible reaction played no part in the decision making process. ++ Europe will be protected with better

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September 16, 2009 | "Obama is Just a Slave"

Despite “Yes we can!” Obama’s presidency brought no change for the better so far. ++ Barack Obama has no power at all, but is taking orders from anyone except from those who voted for him last year. ++ Like most of his predecessors he is the henchman for Wall Street, the Fed the Pentagon and the defense industry. ++ “With Obama president, all those poor, uninformed people, all those voters who

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September 15, 2009 | Syria: Less Carrots, More Sticks

Obama’s approach to shift away from the Bush policy of isolation and reestablishing dialogue with Syria proofed not successful yet. ++ Despite the good intentions, the current US Administration’s behavior has not convinced Damascus to change its ways. ++ Syria holds still main responsibilities in destabilizing the Middle East, particularly Iraq. ++ “If Syria’s current behavior in Iraq persists it

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September 14, 2009 | Iraq: The Withdrawal of the US to Decide the Future of the Country

In contrast to the events in Afghanistan, German media pays little attention to Iraq. The envisioned withdrawal of US troops by the end of 2011 will become a historical turning point with consequences for the entire region, Already, Iran is steadily expanding its sphere of influence and Turkey fears that the northern part of Iraq will turn into an asylum for Kurdish insurgents. A well managed

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September 14, 2009 | US Director of National Intelligence: Security Threat to the US Growing

In a report released in August for the Senate Select Committee on National Security, the Director of the National Intelligence, Dennis C. Blair, made statements that question previous assumptions of security threats:Iran: According to Blair, the country will have the technical means to produce highly enriched uranium in 2013 at the earliest. Also there is no evidence that Tehran is trying to

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September 14, 2009 | US Prepares for a Future Without Oil

America’s hunger for oil is increasingly difficult to satisfy.. Oil is the most in demand resource, covering 40% of the total US energy needs and 95% of fuel consumption. However, the US needs to rethink its position: forecasts predict a 25% rise in worldwide fuel consumption by 2030. The era of cheap petroleum is over and the US is now intensively looking for alternative transportation fuels and

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September 14, 2009 | Cleantech: Sino-American Cooperation Could Provide a Breakthrough

The world’s two largest CO2 emitters, the US and China, are working hard to find a solution to climate change. In addition to drastically reducing oil imports and improving environmental protection measures, the two countries are heavily focusing on the development of clean technologies. However, instead of accepting the challenge on their own, the two states should instead cooperate with each

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August 28, 2009 | Iran's Regime Loses Ground

Although “the protesters have been routed from the streets of Tehran, the political turmoil in Iran continues unabated behind the scenes.” ++ The leaders authorities are challenged by a group of religious and secular elites. ++ It is doubtful that the regime will respond meaningfully to the Obama administration’s deadline to discuss the nuclear issue. ++ The biggest challenge for Washington is of

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August 27, 2009 | The Fed: Obama's Good Choice

The US President’s decision, to nominate Ben Bernanke for another term as head of the Federal Reserve Bank was right. ++ Bernanke remains the most qualified for the position, as the Princeton Professor is an expert in theory and praxis. ++ Although, Bernanke’s decision to let the Lehman Brothers crash proved to be a serious mistake, he accurately reacted in the immediate aftermath. ++ If there

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August 21, 2009 | Burma: Too Early to Stop Sanctions

Myanmar’s new friendly attitude towards the US hopefully means that the junta is willing to change its authoritarian policy. ++ To be sure, the Obama administration should “test that proposition”, but for now it remains “far too early to lift sanctions.” ++ Any change in the US policy towards Burma should begin with the junta’s commitment to stop persecuting its own people. ++ “The United States

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August 17, 2009 | How the US Can Replace Saudi Arabia's Black Gold

American reserves of natural gas could easily substitute Saudi Arabian oil as an energy resource. ++ “Harnessing this large supply—plus developing wind, solar and biofuel energy sources—is essential to achieve energy, economic and climate security.” ++ From an economic and environmental point of view, it is imperative to prioritize energy independence and cut carbon

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August 17, 2009 | Will US Recovery Go Global?

Despite the current economic improvement in the US, global prospects still leave room for scepticism. ++ “The world can no longer rely [on] growth [for] free-spending Americans, because the US needs export-led growth.” ++ Developing countries could replace America globally, if they increased domestic spending and imports. ++ Worldwide trade imbalances are rooted in Asian states’

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August 14, 2009 | Why Does the US Play Risky in Africa?

The “moral capital” of the US remains high in Africa and yet Secretary of State Hillary Clinton did little more than berate African leaders. ++ This visit was supposed to demonstrate the US aim to increase bilateral collaboration and to condemn Chinese policy towards human rights. ++ Clinton characterized Nigeria as the “most corrupt sub-Saharan country” and referred to

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August 14, 2009 | China and India Must Seal the Border Deal!

After the 13th round of border talks, India and China have still not found a solution to their territorial dispute. ++ Despite the ongoing conflict China has become a crucial trading partner for India, even surpassing the US. ++ Failure to develop lucrative economic ties is the major consequence of heated confrontation. ++ While China demands Aksai Chin, the Chinese-controlled Arunachal Pradesh

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August 6, 2009 | Bill Clinton's Double Mission

Bill Clinton’s so called “private mission” in North Korea was definitely in alignment with the Obama administration’s objectives. ++ The off-the-record character of the meeting between the former US President and the North Korean leader Kim Jong Il allowed them to talk about highly sensitive issues behind closed doors, while still complying with UN sanctions. ++ The current US government likely

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July 30, 2009 | US-China Talks: Towards a Better Understanding

The US-China talks held over the last two days can be seen as a good start for a better Sino-American relationship. ++ “There is a clear perspective from this meeting that the US and China will cooperate closely on climate change.” ++ The summit helped the two states to develop a “greater mutual understanding of their economic interdependence” and to progress on the question “on how to broaden

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July 30, 2009 | How to Win Afghanistan

If the western coalition wants to win the war in Afghanistan in the long term, they have to let the Afghans do their own fighting. ++ “The Taliban are Afghans, to be dealt with by Afghans” and the West “shouldn’t make this a NATO war, allowing the Afghans to stand back.” ++ To make the Afghans properly deal with the situation, local forces need to be built up even more. ++ To this end,

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July 29, 2009 | Data Security: Why the US and Europe Cannot Agree

The EU Commission’s willingness to allow the US to access European bank data must be questioned. ++ “How much should personal rights be constrained for anti-terror investigations?” ++ No solution to this matter of principle will satisfy both Europe and the US. ++ Washington wants a faster, less bureaucratic access to vital data, while EU members plead for more data security

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July 24, 2009 | US Must Change Pakistan Policy

Pakistan should be President Obama’s top foreign policy challenge. ++ It would be terrible if Afghanistan or Iraq collapsed, but it would be unthinkably catastrophic if Pakistan were to fall into chaos. ++ “America has to change its policy towards Pakistan and to stand up for its its own values.” ++ To stabilize Pakistan the US should cut tariffs on manufactured imports from Pakistan and

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July 24, 2009 | US Should Stop Apologizing

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was wrong to apologize to India for contributing to “most significantly to the problems that we face with climate change.” ++ The United States can be proud of its contributions to mankind’s efforts of “inventing, creating, building and adapting to cope with climate and the broad forces of nature.” ++ US leaders would serve their country much better by

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July 23, 2009 | US Should Support Iranian Opposition

Obama should continue to make clear that the United States stands with those seeking peaceful and democratic reform in Iran. ++ Although street demonstrations are fewer, Iran’s political crisis appears to be intensifying. ++ “Several of the Islamic Republic’s most senior leaders openly disputed the attempt by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the supreme leader, to end debate about last month’s

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July 16, 2009 | US Cannot Force Poor Countries to Curb Emissions

Obama could not get developing countries to accept the idea of binding emissions cuts. ++ Poor countries are unwilling to act on climate change because it would require them to abandon plans to ever conquer poverty. ++ “The Waxman-Markey climate change bill that just passed the House of Representatives wants to force developing countries to
accept this fate by resorting to the old and tired

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July 14, 2009 | Taliban Will Let the Guns Talk

Britain and the US seek dialogue with the Taliban but the Taliban are not in the mood to talk. ++ Taliban leader Mullah Omar’s wants military victory and nothing can stop the war in Afghanistan except a clear defeat of the occupation armies. ++ He set up a coherent fighting strategy amongst different Taliban groups that aims to launch attacks on NATO. ++ Additionally, al-Qaeda will continue to

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July 10, 2009 | The US' "Reset" with Russia Is Not Enough

President Obama’s visit to Moscow must not be taken as a serious reset with Russia. ++ It “was a mix of visionary kitsch, caviar and feckless horse-trading.” ++ Russian-American agreements made this week are short sighted. ++ Obama failed to show support to the Kremlin’s opponents and understated US merits during the fight against Soviet communism. ++ His “packaging and marketing skills” detract

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July 10, 2009 | How to Overcome (Iranian) Dictatorship

History has shown that there are similar scripts utilized by authoritarian regimes to manifest dictatorship. ++ “Invoke a threat…establish a surveillance apparatus…subvert the rule of law.” ++ This procedure applied by Iranian and Thai regimes can be defeated. ++ Pro-democracy movements in the US, France and Estonia provide the example. ++ “The counter-script… consists of more mass

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July 6, 2009 | US Needs to Put its Own Interests First in Russia

President Obama’s visit to Moscow is supposed to foster “a more substantive relationship with Russia” - particularly on Iran’s atomic ambitions, Afghanistan and a replacement arms treaty - but Russia hardly looks “inclined to forge a partnership, except on its own terms.” ++ The US must remember its own aims - to expand freedom in Eurasia - and not pander to Putin.
++ President Obama’s

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July 2, 2009 | US Misinterprets Asian Power Equilibrium

With its focus on China, the Obama administration loses sight of India’s importance as a strategic partner in Asia. ++ The US’ Asia policy “lacks a distinct strategic imprint.” ++ Obama looks at India primarily in terms of India-Pakistan engagement even demanding that New Delhi “come to aid of terror-exporting Pakistan.” ++ Asian geopolitical transitions are vital for international strategic

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June 22, 2009 | History Shows Abandoning Pakistan Not an Option

The US cannot abandon Pakistan and Afghanistan. ++ If the Taliban and al-Qaeda are allowed to triumph, their destabilizing alliance will spread. ++ To ensure that the forces of fanaticism are defeated, we have to succeed not only militarily but politically, economically and socially. ++ “The West, most notably the US, has been all too willing to dance with dictators in pursuit of perceived

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June 22, 2009 | Stopping Rogue States will Take More Than Words

“President Obama took office loudly promising to be the anti-George W. Bush of foreign policy,” but what he has received instead is “an education in the reality of global rogues, and how he responds has become a major test of his Presidency.” ++ The US is currently tracking a North Korean ship with suspected weapons towards Burma - will Mr Obama act to inspect the ship even though Pyongyang has

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June 17, 2009 | Europe is no Longer a Role Model for the US

Eventually, Europe and the US must be seen as two gravely different societies. ++ America shouldn’t look up to the “bureaucratic powerhouse of the EU” as it was unable to cope with recent crises. ++ There is an essential link between the countries’ different need for economic growth and strongly varying demographic expectancies. ++ In order to maintain living standards, “America’s… emphasis

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June 16, 2009 | EU Must See America as Role Model

Europe’s outdated ideology led to the low voter turnout at the EU Parliamentary elections. ++ “Today, people don’t care about the European Union.” ++ Citizens must be reminded of the actual balance of power between their nation state and the EU as well as the failure of other peace treaties before this long period of peace. ++ The EU has to become more transparent and find its cultural borders.

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June 15, 2009 | US can no Longer Call All the Shots

The meeting of the six-nation Shanghai Co-operation Organisation this week will discuss the creation of a new type of financial institution that will challenge the dominance of US-style free markets. ++ This is an opportunity for China, Russia and India to “build an increasingly multipolar world order.” ++ These countries argue that the root of the global financial crisis is that the US makes too

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June 8, 2009 | Social States: The Myth of the Atlantic Divide

Everyone is familiar with the idea of a “wide
Atlantic” and the alleged fundamental differences between the US and Europe:
the Americans believe in the unbridled free market, while the Europeans only
accept it against their will and try to curtail its excesses; true social
policy exists only in Europe; lack of universal health insurance in the US
causes many to die young or spend the

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June 8, 2009 | Is the US Giving Tacit Approval for Korean Nukes?

Despite overtures from the Obama Administration, Pyongyang
refuses to return to the nuclear non-proliferation negotiating table. ++ The US’diplomatic process is on the verge of legitimizing North Korea’s weapons program which “would fly in the face of American foreign policy” since 1967, undermine the prospects of the proposed negotiations with Iran. ++ “Nuclear proliferation could run out of

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June 1, 2009 | Democratization of Belarus Vital for Europe

The US and the EU must take a coordinated approach when trying to bring around reform in “Europe’s last dictatorship,” Belarus, which will be a slow and tough process. ++ The US should consider lifting sanctions only on the basis of strict conditionality. ++ Belarus must be pressured to have more independent media, to investigate the cases of missing dissidents, and to end the practice of jailing

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May 27, 2009 | The US Owes Pakistan an Explanation for its Strategy

The Obama Administration’ acknowledgement that the US has not been consistent in its policies towards Pakistan and has engaged selectively to attain specific interests rather than to develop a reliable partnership means nothing when they continue drone attacks within the tribal belt and offer no strategic plan for this “intervention”. ++ The statement “is a very costless diplomatic gesture to

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May 27, 2009 | World Powerless to Stop North Korea

There are no realistic means to punish North Korea’s second nuclear test. ++ The test could see other powers in the region take up arms because they believe nothing can be done to persuade Pyongyang to denuclearize. ++ After the first test fizzled, a second was needed so that North Korea could get the US’s attention and prove that it had fixed its technical issues with the missile. ++ But

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May 25, 2009 | Inflation Not the Answer to US Financial Crisis

There are increasing calls from economists to use inflation to solve the financial crisis by keeping US interest rates artificially low. ++ They say it would reduce the real level of debt, and allow a faster recovery. ++ But inflation is “not some lightbulb that a central bank can switch on and off - it works through expectations.” ++ Using it in this way could lead to a double dip recession;

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May 20, 2009 | US Must End Cold War Trade Hangover

The Obama Administration must get rid of a “cold war fossil” - the Jackson-Vanik amendment - which makes normal trade relations with Russia contingent on free emigration. ++ Russia has allowed such freedom for years, but the law remains
in force despite attempts by former Presidents Clinton and Bush to get rid of it. ++ Obama will struggle to remove it too. ++ Congress retains it as leverage for

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May 18, 2009 | US Diplomacy Failure Risks Middle East War

If the US and Europe cannot peacefully convince Iran to stop developing nuclear weapons, Israel may consider using force - a move that could trigger a war worse than that in Iraq and make or break both Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s leadership and that of Barak Obama’s. ++ For the Israelis, Iran has become an unrivalled threat. ++ “Never before have the Israelis had to confront a rabidly

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May 15, 2009 | US Demands Pakistani Action Against Extremists

President Zardari thinks the Taliban is a monster created by Pakistan’s ISI and the CIA. ++ President Obama’s policy on South Asia is very different from that of his predecessors. ++ His focus on Afghanistan and Pakistan demonstrates their importance on stabilizing the region. ++ US monetary support is also dependent on Pakistan taking action against extremists. ++ The new approach is a

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May 15, 2009 | US - China Relationship has Long Term Importance

The US - China relationship remains the most important in world politics. ++ “China’s response to the financial turmoil has been forthright” and has impressed governments across the world. ++ The US supports China’s membership in the reconstituted Financial Stability Board, as well as giving China more influence within the IMF that reflects their presence in the global economy. ++ The US and

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May 13, 2009 | Obama Key to Peace Between Arab World and Israel

Dialogue between the US and Syria is alive even though President Barack Obama renewed sanctions on Damascus, which were due to expire. ++ Syria immediately dismissed it as a routine procedure. ++ The key to removing sanctions is peace between the Arab world and Israel which should be approached at a regional level, otherwise war could break out within two years. ++ Only Obama will be able to make

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May 8, 2009 | The US Must Be a Friend to Georgia and Russia

The US must improve its relationship with Russia as well as supporting the fledgling democracies on its border. ++ Introducing a free-trade agreement with Georgia is a good first step and will not hurt Washington-Moscow relations. ++ Georgia needs help to weather the economic crisis and its best bet is through increased trade and investment. ++ Trade talks would provide impetus for economic and

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May 8, 2009 | Iraq Cannot Afford Any More Mistakes

Retaining the Iraqi army in 2003 and less punitive measures against former Ba’ath party members would have allowed the earlier withdrawal of US troops from Iraq. ++ This “alienated Iraq’s Sunni Arabs and opened the door for a strong al-Qaeda presence in Iraq”. ++ Treatment of Sunnis as potential enemies by the Iraqi government would be a further mistake. ++ As a result the Sunnis could “choose

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May 6, 2009 | Major Indicators Show Recession is Over

Economic indicators show that the recession in the US could end as early as this month. ++ Consumer spending has increased, and claims for unemployment insurance have peaked. ++ Container imports and exports are both up at two major ports. ++ A bottom has most likely been reached forhome sales and housing starts. ++ More jobs may be still be lost, and there will be more defaults,foreclosures and

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May 5, 2009 | US Vaccuum Sees Iran in Power Play for Middle East

As the US retreats from the Middle East, Iran has a sophisticated, multi-level strategy to step in and take control of the region. ++ Iran-controlled groups and “front” companies have been caught actively destabilising six nations - all of whom are experiencing economic and/or political crises and are close allies of the US. ++ Lebanon could succumb first as Iran is spending “massive amounts of

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May 1, 2009 | World Needs to Help Pakistan and Afghanistan

The global community is slowly realizing the magnitude of the dangers the current problems Pakistan and Afghanistan carry for the world. ++ France has taken an active role, “committed to contributing its full weight to help settle these conflicts.” ++ Efforts to stabilize Afghanistan will fail if Pakistan does not participate fully in the fight against terrorism. ++ The solution

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April 29, 2009 | Iranian President Considering Obama's Olive Branch

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad may have softened his stance on Israel after saying his country would recognize the State of Israel - if Palestine signed a two-state peace deal. ++ The Obama Administration has extended an olive branch and the jailing of an Iranian-American journalist on spy charges last week may have been a maneuver by the regime to manufacture a crisis in order to test

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April 21, 2009 | China on Track to Be Global Financial Leader

The global financial crisis has highlighted both the decline of the US and the dependence of the world on China’s economy. ++ Given that reform is inevitable, China will be a central player in whatever new global financial architecture emerges from the present crisis. ++ Five years ago, China was not even included in discussions on such matters. ++ Apart from reform to the IMF and the World

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April 17, 2009 | US Must Keep Its Reputation for Risk

A push for Wall Street banks to be turned into heavily regulated, “talent-deficient” public utilities would see them take fewer investment risks, leading to lower economic growth and higher long-term unemployment. ++ A no-risk system fails to support start-up innovators and small businesses. ++ A push for simplified capital markets ignores the fact that today’s system solved a decade of

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April 17, 2009 | Call for Commission into US Torture Decision

Forgiving agents who may have used torture techniques against detainees accused of terrorism was a wise move by President Obama. ++ The Administration yesterday said such acts could never again be condoned by the US. ++ A 9/11 style commission should be created to investigate who in the Bush Administration was responsible for the decision to use torture. ++ It has become clear that common sense

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April 10, 2009 | Don't Focus Iranian Dialogue on Nuclear Issues

President Ahmadinejad saying that Iran “welcomes a hand extended to it should it really and truly be based on honesty, justice and respect” is a significant response to recent US overtures. ++ Iran has announced that its nuclear productive capacity had increased, and talks to persuade Iran to suspend its nuclear program are ongoing. ++ Iran sees its nuclear program as a vital sign of its

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April 2, 2009 | Nuclear Stress: From Iran to North Korea

The period between April 4-8 will be characterized by tension given North Korea’s plans to launch a rocket and the suspicion that it might be a long range missile. ++ The US spoke of a defensive response if the rocket heads towards the US. ++ Yesterday’s meeting between President Obama and Hu Jintao could be crucial given China’s role as North Korea’s main oil supplier.

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April 2, 2009 | Lack of Unity Lies Behind Palestine's Sufferings

If anyone thought that the Arab League Summit in Doha would end in success, their expectations were shattered. ++ The summit did little but reflect the vast disunity among Arab states and thus, condemn any possible development towards settling the Arab-Israeli conflict. ++ Issues like criticizing Saudi Arabia for allying with the US were emphasized and the fact that the Egyptian president was

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March 31, 2009 | Still Not Ideal But Better Than Before

Despite Mugabe still being in power after losing the election last year, there are some reformers holding ministerial offices. ++ It is vital that the US and Europe provide aid to such reform figures while at the same time keeping in check the few that support the decadent Mr. Mugabe. ++ The provision of humanitarian aid might offer Zimbabwe the opportunity to use its own funds through which to

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March 26, 2009 | Obama's Nuclear Disarmament Plans

Obama stated that he would restart talks on arms controls. ++ The upcoming meeting between Obama and Medvedev on April 1st offers an opportunity to negotiate a successor to START I. ++ Similarly, Obama’s next moves should be to eliminate US nuclear weapons in Europe and push for the ratification of the CTBT. ++ The Cold War is long gone and the US and Russia should end Cold War attitudes

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March 24, 2009 | Realism Still Carries the Day

The election of President Obama created hope that realism will cease to determine US foreign policy. ++ But the changing attitude of Obama towards the Armenian genocide prioritizes American-Turkish relations—and American national interest—over human rights and international justice. ++ The emphasis on the strategic interest reveals that it would be “naive” for the Greek

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March 24, 2009 | Iran and US Share Their First Words

Obama used television to address the people and government of Iran. ++ The President invited Iran into the “community of nations” but reminded them that rights come with responsibilities. ++ Iran replied by saying that actions speak louder than words. ++ Given a tempestuous bilateral relation such words are unlikely to make a breakthrough. ++ Obama can foster some diplomatic ties by

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March 19, 2009 | US Congress Vetoes NAFTA Provisions

Another obstacle was placed in the way of free trade last week as the US Congress abolished the US-Mexico trucking demonstration system. ++ This is not a new development; in 1995 the US Congress unilaterally vetoed NAFTA’s cross-border trucking agreements and in 2002 demanded that Mexican trucks met an additional 22 safety requirements. ++ As Mexico is a “steadfast supporter of free

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March 17, 2009 | Quick, Sell Arms to India

India’s reliance on Russia for defense equipment is largely ineffective and increasingly dangerous. ++ The entire Russian fleet of MiG-29 is seen to suffer structural defects and adds to the fact that “Russia’s defense manufacturing base is facing shortfalls in capabilities and capacities.” ++ This effects India in terms of missed deadlines, greater expense and harms

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March 13, 2009 | France Re-Discovers NATO

After 43 years of abstinence France is returning to NATO. ++ President Sarkozy decided that France should “reintegrat[e] into all structures of the Atlantic alliance.” ++ The move brings France closer to the US and undoes de Gaulle’s refusal “to allow the French armed forces to submit to US command,” stirring criticism from both “old-guard Gaullists”

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March 12, 2009 | Russia is Out Scheming Again

While a US victory in Afghanistan would benefit Russia in terms of controlling the spread of Islamists in Central Asia and the Caucasus, Russia needs to be prepared for potential failure. ++ Given that the potential of a Russian led military force is unlikely, the back up plan is to do it the “Chechnya” way; establish a “sphere of influence” in North Afghanistan given

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March 10, 2009 | Hillary Resets the Start Button

Secretary of State Clinton’s European trip set out the seriousness of the Obama administration’s commitment and marked a new era of transatlantic relations. ++ The tête à tête between Clinton and Lavrov — symbolized by a button representing the resetting of soured relations given to the Russian Foreign Minister — confirmed that both countries want to cooperate on the Iranian,

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March 10, 2009 | Rethinking Strategy In Afghanistan

According to US envoy Holbrooke, Afghanistan is tougher than Vietnam. ++ The Taliban have the advantage of operating on their terrain and have a network of supporters providing them superior intelligence. ++ Thus, the mechanism of operation ought to be rethought in order to minimize the disadvantage. ++ Countries bordering Afghanistan plus the US, Britain and Russia should share intelligence to

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March 5, 2009 | Don't Criticize the President, He Knows Better

The small glimpse of hope of potential Russian-US cooperation on curtailing Iran’s nuclear plans disappeared after an unsuccessful meeting between Russia and the US. ++ Obama stated that Russia would not determine America’s missile defense plans. ++ Although a setback, the statement is not without purpose; if not said Russia would have achieved its aim of creating a wedge between

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March 3, 2009 | Financial Crisis Constricts US Defense Budget

Recently arrived in office,
US President Obama has
announced an increase of 17,000 American troops in Afghanistan. Experts consider at
least twice this amount necessary for progress. At the same time US Defense
Secretary Robert Gates is realizing that the Pentagon will not be spared from
the effects of the financial crisis. Indeed, the highest departmental cuts in
expenditure are looming in

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March 3, 2009 | The Ones Behind the Scenes are Equally Important

From the time of Machiavelli to today, academics were present in politics. ++ Kennan is seen as the “father” of America’s policy of “containment” in his theory that communism has an innate need for expansion. ++ Huntington’s “Clash of Civilizations” strengthened the “axis of evil” rhetoric. ++ Nye’s ideas of “soft and

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March 2, 2009 | A New "Hot" Spot in the Middle East.

Pakistan is the place where the US should concentrate, given the Taliban’s dominance in the Swat region and the recent ceasefire based on the adoption of sharia law. ++ Similar past agreements did little to prevent extreme Taliban regimes and risk the creation of a “haven” for Al Qaeda. ++ Obama now has a chance to be influential. ++ He should provide Pakistan with the

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February 26, 2009 | Lure France Back into NATO

When France left NATO’s permanent command structure 43 years ago, it was confident in its decision. ++ Contemporary realties —the financial crisis and the need for transatlantic cooperation in light of a slowly emerging multipolarity— combine to call for a stronger French presence. ++ France’s return to NATO would better serve French domestic interests, advance the

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February 24, 2009 | Human Rights Are Important, Hillary

This weekend US Sec. of State Hillary Clinton visited China and let down human rights activists when she “downplayed” the significance of US pressure on China’s dismal HR record. ++ Yes, Chinese cooperation on global climate change and security issues is of utmost importance, but not so if the opportunity cost is to forgo US pressure on human rights. ++ Such pressure has

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February 24, 2009 | Don't Rush to Bash Iran

The IAEA caused fury when it revealed that it had underestimated the percentage of enriched uranium in Iran. ++ Exaggerated Western media reports coupled with alarming comments about Iran’s closeness to the bomb from “anonymous” IAEA officials presented a dire situation. ++ While the report seems to threaten Obama’s new policy of gradual engagement, the Western media

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February 20, 2009 | Extend a Hand and Hope for the Best

The US’ response to Burma’s suffering under a military junta has been strict economic sanctions. ++ The limited effectiveness of this policy led the US to consider an alternative which will deliver practical benefits to the Burmese people, but this is also met with skepticism. ++ Increased trade will be exploited to benefit the military regime and do little for the people. ++

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February 20, 2009 | Aloha, China and Japan!

Leaders of the three largest economies should meet up in Hawaii. ++ There has never before been a summit for the US, Japan and China, but the time has come. ++ Japan needs to break its political marginalization towards China, Americans must stop trying to divide Asia, and China is ready to take its place on the world stage. ++ In this crisis, nationalistic tendencies must be resisted. ++ Take

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February 12, 2009 | Russia Should Learn the Rules in Ukraine

The Russian ambassador to Kiev has stated that Russian influence in the region is diminishing due to changed attitudes within the country and the large US presence there. ++ While the Obama administration will continue to lure Ukraine to the US — through the provision of free education for instance — Russia has not “learned” the rules of the American game and is thus losing

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February 5, 2009 | Iraq; America's Unexpected Ally

The US finds itself involved in most of the regional conflicts in the M-E. ++ When the US looks for a friendly face in the region it is confronted with hostile regional states (Iran), strategic liabilities (Afghanistan), and allies which speak of preemptive responses (Israel). ++ Amidst the havoc, Iraq emerges as a new strategic asset. ++ The success of the latest election in terms of turnout,

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February 4, 2009 | Steinmeier Turns the Page on the Bush Years

Prior to his trip to the US, German FM Steinmeier has stated that he wants to start a new disarmament initiative, a cornerstone of the Obama administration. ++ Russia should also be addressed and the NATO-Russia Council revitalized, as dialogue is the only constructive approach in tense times. ++ As for Iran, the unprecedented chance the US government offers to discuss the nuclear program with

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January 30, 2009 | Somali Pirates and Rising Naval Powers

Last year
125 vessels were attacked by Somali pirates in the Gulf of
Aden, one third of which were successfully boarded. Among them was
a hijacked Saudi super tanker laden with oil and a Ukrainian ship carrying 33
Russian armoured vehicles. Both incidents intensified international concern
over the possible capture of more “sensitive cargo,” such as radioactive
material The Somali pirates

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January 30, 2009 | Obama Must Maintain Flexibility With Iran

It is crucial that Obama stays true to his promise of a fresh approach towards Iran, as the country wields significant influence over the wider Middle East region. ++ Persuading Iran to end its uranium enrichment program through dialog should begin as soon as possible. ++ Some important foundations for transparent democracy are in place, despite the country’s theocratic rule: the sizable body

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January 29, 2009 | Join America in the New Green Revolution

Will the massive clean energy investments made in the US over the last couple of years be able to make it through the financial storm? Current perspectives are very encouraging: President Barack Obama seems to be committed, as is highlighted in the framework of his stimulus package.++ Since “the US has proved that it has the will, the capabilities and the courage to invest in innovation -

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January 29, 2009 | Don't Forget the Torture Debate

The US President’s focus on the economy — although sensible — may compromise the opportunity to examine and condemn the use of torture. ++ Obama should create a non-partisan committee responsible for investigating torture cases under President Bush, attempt to balance the quest for security with individual rights and create consensus on the implications of such acts. ++ Finally, the US

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January 27, 2009 | What's With the Republicans?

Republicans are very slow to understand that their policies have worked against America. ++ Their illusions are reflected in their doubts over the President’s stimulus plan: they argue that it legitimates excessive spending at a time when the continuous shedding of labour requires conservative spending. ++ G.O.P policies which redistributed wealth to those on the top of the income ladder

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January 27, 2009 | Finally, the End of Immigration

The financial crisis may produce an “automated” solution to migration: as jobs lessen immigration currents are reduced. ++ In the US, the numbers of those “caught trying to sneak in […] from Mexico is at its lowest level since the mid-1970s.” ++ While many are sighing with relief, it should be remembered that it is thriving nations which attract immigration flows. ++

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January 26, 2009 | US-Germany: Time To Reawaken the Relationship

Iraq has only confirmed the souring of German-US relations. ++ The golden years of friendship following WW2, characterized by the Marshall Plan and lasting until German reunification, seem distant. ++ Even Obama does not appear to have Germany as a priority: “that’s a pity. Germany is important to the US right now.” ++ A strong Europe is indispensable to help the US recover from the current

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January 23, 2009 | Enough With Coal

The collapse of one of Tennessee Valley Authority’s containment ponds poured toxic coal out in the open causing huge environmental damage. ++ However, there may be something to be gained from the catastrophe as the accident is ringing alarm bells and points to the need for federal level regulation as state level regulation is proving largely ineffective. ++ Coal production contributes to

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January 21, 2009 | A Surprising Inauguration Speech

Now that the long-awaited inauguration of Barack Obama has been and gone, it is time to evaluate the first words of the new US president. ++ The speech appears poor in terms of language and one is surprised that “Obama the writer” would make repeated use of such clichés as “rising tides” and “nagging fears.”++ But the speech is rich in substance. ++ Indeed,

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January 16, 2009 | Obama to Revive Relations With Turkey?

The US-Turkey bilateral relation is under strain due to disagreement over policy under the Bush administration and many hope that the change of Presidency will bring a change of feeling. ++ However, this might not be the whole story as the Turkish governing party also shares part of the blame. ++ Under AKP, anti-Americanism has been growing stronger in the media, with false and inaccurate

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January 15, 2009 | Congress to Stop Bank Bailout Plan?

The US Congress is critical of the way money from the Trouble Asset Relief Program has been used, and adds that the remaining amount should be made conditional on more loans being granted. ++ However, analysts argue that as the financial crisis was caused by a liquidity crisis due to mortgage losses, loan provision will remain depressed for some time. ++ While Congress’ goal of directly

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January 14, 2009 | Anxiety as China Responds to Global Challenges.

China’s deployment of two Chinese destroyers in Somalia as a response to the piracy threat opens a new chapter in Chinese security policy. ++ Although at face value the move is not threatening, it portrays China’s commitment to develop its naval capabilities and reveals a growing access to important trade routes. ++ The new development cannot be ignored by the US, which should seek

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January 14, 2009 | US - China Bilateral Relation; Force For Peace?

The bilateral relation between the two states, fostered 30 years ago, is strengthened as it evolves to cover an increasing range of issues - from the war on terror to climate change - and to produce a global impact. ++ This impact is evident in the Asia-Pacific region where the US and China have worked to establish peace and development opportunities. ++ Closer ties will become a symbol of the

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January 13, 2009 | Outcome of Return to Keynesianism Is Uncertain

The Fed’s decision to pour tons of new dollars into the US economy has not staved off recession. ++ The government is in fact the main beneficiary of the huge increase in the monetary base: deposits which the public are too uneasy to borrow have been put into the Treasury to be spent by the government. ++ This is Keynesian economics, characterized this time by unparalleled government

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January 9, 2009 | Obama: Big On Words, Small On Action?

When President Obama speaks of the current state of the US economy, his rhetoric reveals the gravity of the situation. ++ Yet, his actions fall short of his words, with US analysts arguing that his stimulus plan will do little to address the fast forming “output gap” and the expected upsurge in unemployment rates that will follow from lost production. ++ Whatever the reasons for his

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January 8, 2009 | Japan Creates Stronger Ties to Asian Neighbors

Samurai-philosopher Fukuzawa’s longstanding notion that Japan should “leave Asia and enter the West” is likely to fade in 2009. ++ “Tokyo needs to diversify diplomatic and economic relations.” ++ Ruling party LDP may soon be replaced by opposition Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ), who advocate multilateral cooperation. ++ “Japan’s efforts to establish the East Asian Community - a proposed economic

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December 19, 2008 | America's Future Place in the World

Global power is increasingly spread-out and is tipping towards Asia. ++ This shift will shape Obama’s political agenda, forcing him to distance himself from unilateralism. ++ Asia is planning an alternative to the IMF and the US must acknowledge that it is losing economic decision-making power. ++ China can help to stabilize Afghanistan as it has close economic relations with the country.

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December 18, 2008 | A Four-State Solution Is Needed In Israel-Palestine

To settle the Israel-Palestine conflict, a four-state solution should be considered. ++ Israel would be surrounded by the West Bank, ruled by secular nationalists Fatah, and Gaza, ruled by Islamist Hamas. ++ With regard to the current events, a third state called “Judea” might be considered. ++ The Arab world must support Palestine in order to give Israelis incentives to negotiate.

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December 18, 2008 | Obama Must Take War On Terror to Pakistan

Two attacks against US and NATO convoys near Peshawar in Pakistan have taken place in the last week. ++ The Pakistani army appears to be testing Obama’s will. ++The US and NATO must take adequate steps to respond to these incidents. ++ It is an opportunity for them to acknowledge that the recent attacks in Mumbai were of global proportions and that it was a major mistake to fight the war

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December 17, 2008 | Turkey Knows How to Mediate In the Middle East

Over the last year Turkey has accomplished more in the Middle East than the entire transatlantic contingent. ++ Last week Erdogan negotiated with the Afghan and Pakistani presidents over economic projects, in which both countries are interested. ++ The Turkish Parliament is not only preparing further projects in the Gaza strip, but is also promoting talks between Israel and Syria regarding the

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December 17, 2008 | "A Green Growth Engine"

To achieve low carbon emissions and green growth, an “eco- efficient, information technology-based approach” is needed. ++ The US believes that a 7% increase in broadband services will “reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 1.45m tons.” ++ The US and Korea should cooperate to develop a national knowledge infrastructure, which can secure future growth engines that do not

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December 15, 2008 | China's Great Depression

The myth of decoupled markets is all but shattered. ++ Asian countries, especially China, who benefited from trade imbalances and western overconsumption, will have difficulty adjusting. ++ In reaction to these new economic conditions trade deficit countries could absorb the production imbalance through government spending; trade surplus countries could attempt to increase domestic consumption to

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December 15, 2008 | "Why 'Energy Independence'?"

Energy independence, a US policy from Nixon to Obama, “is not so much a mistake as it is a muddled concept and a red herring.” ++ Security is the reason for energy independence, yet bans on oil from Saudi Arabia and Venezuela, as with Iran, would not affect the net global oil market; such countries would maintain political leverage through oil sales. ++ “The only way the United States alone can

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December 11, 2008 | British Power Lies in Culture

Britain’s culture commands admiration from around the world; more so than its politics or economic power. ++ Football, leading universities and an elegant command of the English language are among the most iconic of Britain’s cultural offerings. ++ In order to maintain this “magnetic power abroad,” the state must play a limited role in cultural affairs. ++ However, increased public

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December 10, 2008 | Owing Security to Iraqi Interpreters

For months Iraqi interpreters were not allowed to wear masks to conceal their identities, although insurgent groups put enormous effort into identifying and killing them. ++ However, the security of US troops as well as American strategy depends on their knowledge. ++ They bridge the language gap but also “serve as cultural advisers, and make crucial introductions.” ++ The US must

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December 9, 2008 | Terrorist Attacks Directed at Pakistan

The terrorist attacks in Mumbai were also directed at Pakistan’s democratic government, which is trying to advance the peace process with India. ++ Accusing Pakistan of complicity is wrong. ++ Pakistan is willing to take action against non-state actors, who are threatening the international security. ++ Pakistan, India and the US have to coordinate actions to counteract terrorism. ++ The

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December 9, 2008 | A Global European Union is Possible

We now have an opportunity for a world government - a global currency, supreme court, law, civil service, and military force, as in the EU, is possible. ++ Global warming, the financial crisis and the war on terror offer reasons for such global governance. ++ China and the US are becoming more open to global solutions. ++ Susan Rice, US ambassador to the UN, shows a commitment to international

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December 5, 2008 | Asia Reverting to Authoritarianism?

In the 1990’s Asia was considered the pioneer in democratic renewal. Out of Asia spread a democratic wave from southern Europe through Latin America and into Africa. In recent times, however, democratization in Asia has experienced significant set-backs. Quasi-authoritarian regimes in Sri Lanka, Cambodia, and the Philippines set the military against political opposition and profit from declared

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December 4, 2008 | China: "Western Institutions Cannot Be Trusted"

China Investment Corporation, a fund that manages foreign exchange reserves for China, says it does not dare invest in western financial institutions. ++ When “government policies change every week, how can you expect that to make me confident?,” said Lou Jiwei, head of the fund. ++ US officials are trying to convince China not to let its currency, the renminbi, devalue, as this would give China

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December 3, 2008 | Sino-US Dialogue Essential to Solve Financial Crisis

Tomorrow the fifth Sino-US Strategic Economic Dialogue will start and will focus on how the two economies will face the ongoing financial crisis ++ Other topics on the agenda include energy, environment, trade and investment. ++ Such a dialogue is essential as both countries are critical to counter the economic slowdown. ++ The US needs China to “tackle the current financial crisis as the

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December 3, 2008 | "Try Tough Love, Hillary"

In view of the upcoming Israeli elections next year, PM Olmert has stated that disputes with Palestine and Syria need to be settled by giving up parts of Jerusalem and the Golan Heights. ++ In return, Palestine must compromise on the right to return to a “new viable Palestine” and must be willing to renounce terrorism. ++ A two-state deal close to the 1967 borders will not be accomplished without

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November 25, 2008 | Solving the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict

Obama’s administration should continue President Bush’s efforts to resolve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. ++ The US could benefit from such a solution by regaining Arab governments support in dealing with regional challenges. ++ President-elect Obama should push for “1967 borders, with reciprocal and agreed-upon modifications; compensation in lieu of the right of return for

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November 24, 2008 | How to Repress the Pakistani Threat

President-elect Obama’s toughest international challenge will be Pakistan. ++ To avert rising threats, financial support for Pakistan’s government and military should be limited. ++ Cutting tariffs on agricultural products would be an effective measure to strengthen the economy and provide new jobs. ++ The peace process in Kashmir must be advanced, with more pressure placed on India.

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November 21, 2008 | Quelling Anti-Americanism

The election of Obama could have marked the beginning of improved Russian-US relations, but the “new cold war” will continue. ++ Anti-American sentiment is the result of Russia’s perceived security threats and is fuelled by official propaganda. ++ The next President should demonstrate America’s willingness to support Eastern Europe’s democracies, but he should also

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November 21, 2008 | Closing Guantanamo

Obama has pledged to close Guantanamo, yet critical questions must be addressed: what are the rights of detainees? Is preventive detention justified? Do we need a new detention statute with revised standards of proof? ++ Judge Leon’s release order for five prisoners begs the question: how many others should simply be let go? ++ Some prisoners cannot be sent home for fear of their own government,

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November 20, 2008 | "Three Options for Obama to Engage Iran"

President-elect Obama has repeatedly stated that he is willing to open talks with Tehran. ++ Obama will continue to contain Iran through multilateral mechanisms as well as greater coordination with Arab allies, should Tehran decide to reject US overtures. ++ There are three options in dealing with Iran. ++ Obama could limit Iran’s engagement to issues of common interest, start a

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November 19, 2008 | A More Stable Banking System

By passing an economic rescue package, Congress intended to stabilize the banking system by “purchasing illiquid mortgages and mortgage-related securities.” ++ Rising unemployment, falling house prices and European economies in crisis have averted the desired outcome. ++ However, the next administration will have less trouble dealing with challenges as it will face a “more

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November 18, 2008 | The US Must Rely on Economic and Military Power

The Bush administration destroyed American goodwill abroad. ++ Obama is a welcome change, but there are limits to what “soft power” can achieve. ++ White House glamour will be useless if Asia stops buying US treasury bonds. ++ As the IMF slips out of American hands, so does world economic leadership and we return to a multi-polar world. ++ Soft power counts for little without economic backing,

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November 18, 2008 | "Pass the Colombian Trade Agreement"

In 2006 president Bush signed a free-trade agreement with Colombia that Congress has yet to pass, arguing Colombia’s state of human rights is unacceptable. ++ Most Colombian exports are free of tariffs, in view of efforts to combat the drug economy there. ++ The US would benefit from such an agreement by not having to pay high tariffs on exports to Colombia. ++ With regard to the $600

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November 17, 2008 | Saving Afghanistan Even Means Talking to Enemies

Seven years after the advent of Operation Enduring Freedom, the Taliban, al- Qaeda and various insurgents have regained strength particularly on Afghan and Pakistani soil. The fight for
security in the Middle East has spiralled downward as the Taliban have “established a new “safe haven” in Pakistan. Serious efforts to build a transparent, secure Afghan state with an intact justice system will

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November 14, 2008 | Overwhelming Numbers: Security in Afghanistan

Obama’s proposed “mini-surge” in Afghanistan of some 15,00 troops will not provide enough personnel for the job. ++ Iraq, a smaller country than Afghanistan, required 700,000 soldiers and security forces; there are only 200,000 in Afghanistan. ++ Robert Gates will aid the Afghans in doubling their military size to 200,000, yet more will eventually be needed. ++ Investing American money, beyond

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November 13, 2008 | China Can Rescue the World

China can revive the world economy by strengthening its consumption. ++ Its industrial development has been shaped by US consumer demand and “US consumption has in turn been fueled by Chinese lending that kept interest rates low.” ++ This circle is broken - the US economy is in a recession and the Chinese are failing to fill the gap. ++ China has the resources to undertake stimulus

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November 12, 2008 | Restoring US-Iranian Relations

President Bush will take a first step toward restoring diplomatic relations with Iran by establishing a diplomatic office. ++ The US understands that going to war with Iran would be fatal. ++ Unlike the US, “Iran never tried to overthrow a US government. Iran never invaded America’s neighbors. Iran never stationed aircraft carriers off the US coast.” ++ Dialogue will change the

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November 11, 2008 | How Obama Must Renew US-Russian Relations

Last week, Medvedev threatened to station missiles near Poland if the US administration continued its plans to install a missile defense system there and in the Czech Republic. ++ President-elect Obama has to improve US-Russian relations. ++ He should be “ready to cancel deployment of the faulty missile defense system in Central Europe [and] end the US push for imminent NATO expansion into

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November 11, 2008 | "Bush's Last Bullet: Why the US Attacked Syria"

Russia’s attacks on Georgia have been decried by the US as a violation against international law but recent US attacks on Syria are no less destabilizing to the area. ++ Syria has not only initiated peace talks with Israel and reestablished diplomatic ties with Lebanon, it is also strengthening relations with the EU. ++ US attempts to isolate Syria are failing. ++ The bombings can be viewed

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November 10, 2008 | "Europe in Wonderland"

Actions undertaken by governments and central banks won’t be able to adress the financial crisis as other huge risks are threatening the financial system. ++ The world has benefited from over-consuming America, but the “US engine of growth” can’t be replaced by Asia, pushing the EU into a depression. ++ There is a need for macroeconomic and fiscal coordination at the EU

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November 7, 2008 | A New Deal for America

This election was special; a barrier was crossed and “America’s new deal” will begin. ++ This momentous occasion “will be seen as a miracle which could happen only in America.” ++ Obama, who “embodies the America of today and tomorrow” arrived at the perfect time. ++ Following an epoch of George Bush “go-it-alone belligerence,” Obama can

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November 6, 2008 | How President Obama Can Solve America's Crisis

It is no wonder that Barack Obama has won the presidential elections as he understood the failures of the current administration. ++ To make up for these mistakes Obama must replace Bush’s economic bailout plan by implementing a more transparent and controlled strategy. ++ His administration must take the leading role in adressing issues of climate change and “come up with

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November 5, 2008 | "A New Era for America"

Americans have proven that they are more united than ever, by clearly electing Obama the next president of the US as well as by chosing a strong Democratic Congress. ++ With regard to the political legacy of George W. Bush, Obama is facing the toughest presidency of all times. ++ At this point in history he can “reshape the country’s assumptions, change the terms of debate and transform

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November 5, 2008 | Pre-Emptive Strike Doctrine Abysmal Failure

19 US missile attacks since September on suspected terrorists are unlikely to win any hearts and minds, will promote ill will, and will do little to dry “the pond that breeds the mosquitoes.” ++ Michael Chertoff’s plea, backed by Robert Gates, for international law codifying the legality of pre-emptive strikes against countries “harboring a potential terrorist threat” is only

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November 4, 2008 | Old System of Finance is Kaputt

Germans now lament eschewing the “glorious era” of state ownership of banks. ++ They are missing a cardinal fact, though: The European Central Bank’s independence “enabled it to serve as a corrective to governmental policies and powers,” whereas the US Federal Reserve implemented “interest rate and money supply strategies configured to meet the needs of the US

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November 4, 2008 | Upgrading US Nuclear Weapons Arsenal

America could prevent proliferation ambitions around the world by upgrading its own nuclear weapons arsenal. ++ Congressional funding would allow for building safer and more reliable arms. ++ The proposed “Reliable Replacement Warhead Program,” intends for the US and Russia to reduce their nuclear weapons without having to test replacement warheads. ++ The next president should

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October 31, 2008 | Falling Oil Prices - Key to Negotiations with Iran

The dramatic fall in oil prices could be the key to Iranian willingness to negotiate about their nuclear program. ++ Despite economic sanctions, Iran has managed to compensate for this financial hindrance via high oil prices, but current trends will intensify sanctions. ++ “30 percent inflation and 11 percent unemployment” will contribute to the oil price crisis – threatening

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October 31, 2008 | All Eyes on the Yen

Japan’s central bank has reacted to last weeks rise of the yen as well as to the falling stock market by cutting interest rates. ++ If Japan decides to move towards “zero interest” it would become the “source of almost free money for anyone with an appetite to invest.” ++ The US is faced with a smiliar situtation as the Federal Reserve has also been cutting rates, giving

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October 30, 2008 | From Tiananmen on: What Have We Learned?

There is a lesson to be learned from the West’s decision to integrate China into its fold following Tiananmen Square. ++ While China is still ruled by the same horrific party responsible for the Cultural Revolution, it is “a far cry from the Mao Zedong era.” ++ By applying the same “global liberalizing influences” to Russia, all will benefit from closer “peace

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October 28, 2008 | Syria: Taking First Steps Toward Indirect Talks

The Syrian leadership has denounced attacks carried out by US forces near its Iraqi border. ++ Syria, however, is known for sponsoring attacks on its neighboring countries. ++ The “US is no longer prepared to respect the sovereignty of a criminal regime.” ++ The Syrian government has taken steps to participate in indirect talks with Israel and has “granted Lebanon diplomatic recognition.” ++ The

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October 27, 2008 | Role Model for the US: Indonesia

With much attention being paid to the US elections, it’s time people started to notice the elections in Indonesia, a nation that “clearly refutes the proposition that democracy and Islam are incompatible.” ++ Since 1998 – the year a coup ended three decades of authoritarianism – the country has undergone remarkable change for the better. ++ A thriving civil society must do more to

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October 24, 2008 | US Can Benefit From Indian Know-How

India launched a space probe to the moon, proving that it is on its path to becoming an influential scientific power. ++ India’s progress is the result of “paring back state suffocation of its economy.” ++ By 2014 about two million high-tech jobs will be available in the US. ++ Requests by US companies to get access to the labor pool have been turned down. ++ Congress has to clear the

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October 24, 2008 | Forging Partnerships a Way to Ease World Poverty

The American government leads the way in international aid and development. ++ In the last eight years they have fundamentally changed their approach, adopting bold new principles based on partnerships with host-countries. ++ Instead of creating new aid projects, Americans support partner countries’ own plans for development. ++ This visionary approach channels aid to those countries which are

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October 23, 2008 | US Must Rethink its Approach to Iran

The financial crisis has dominated the US election campaign, marginalizing foreign policy. ++ But it is foreign relations, and especially ties with Iran, that will be at the top of the next president’s agenda. ++ This is not only about Iran’s nuclear capacity; stability of Iraq and Afghanistan, peace in Lebanon and ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict are all inconceivable without

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October 22, 2008 | Cries for Change Are Empty Political Platitudes

Crying to re-found democratic capitalism and create a new global economic order, world leaders are simply trying to divert attention away from their own helplessness and cover the confusion they have been thrown into by a crisis they failed to predict and prevent. ++ These are empty political platitudes – there will be no revolution. ++ The creation of a global financial market watchdog is

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October 22, 2008 | "Super-Sarko's Plans for the World"

National governments of the EU have dealt with the financial crisis, ignoring the power of EU institutions. ++ State aid laws have been neglected aiming to “prevent EU governments from subsidising national companies.” ++ President Sarkozy is calling for tighter “supervision of the international banking systems” and for a “crackdown on international tax havens”

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October 22, 2008 | Crisis Will Reassert Russia as a Global Player

The financial crash will have serious geopolitical consequences. ++ Russia will reassert itself as a global player. ++ As its stock market does not play as crucial a role as in Western markets, and as Russia has a lot of money due to the boom in oil and natural gas markets, it will be the greatest winner in the aftermath of the crisis. ++ The US will also, in the long run, gain as the crisis will

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October 21, 2008 | America's World Role Is Diminishing

The US has to face a reduction in its super-power role and an “era of financially induced isolationism.” ++ Spending on foreign policy challenges has increased, and the times in which a strong dollar used to provide stability to the US economy seem to be over. ++ The US can’t pull back from the world stage leaving a “dangerous power vacuum.” ++ In the past the US

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October 20, 2008 | Banking Crisis Will Erode US Geopolitical Hegemony

It is clear that it was the free-market fundamentalism and reckless stewardship of the US government that led to the current financial crisis. ++ The US will pay a high price for its sins. ++ The bailout, which is likely to end up costing more than the Iraq war, will not only erode US financial hegemony, but undermine its geopolitical domination as well. ++ Financial troubles will prompt American

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October 20, 2008 | Crisis is No Excuse to Dodge Climate Declarations

It’s tempting to use the economic slowdown as an excuse to dodge ambitious declarations for cuts in greenhouse gas emissions. ++ We mustn’t forget that our current economic problems are small compared to the possible long-term consequences of unchecked global warming. ++ The EU should lead the way; it if introduces an aggressive climate plan it will pressure the rest of the world

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October 20, 2008 | When Russia Comes Knocking

Russia’s invasion of Georgia is not an aberration - it demonstrates a pattern of aggression, one that now threatens Ukraine as Moscow embraces PM Yulia Tymoshenko. ++ Russia’s relations with Tehran, Syria, OPEC and most recently Venezuela all threaten US interests. ++ Western weakness, especially in Europe, is not an option. ++ Georgia and Ukraine must be brought into NATO; military cooperation

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October 20, 2008 | Admission Long in Coming: Afghan War Can't be Won

Americans believed that imperialism could trump nationalism but the Afghans proved them wrong. ++ Foreign occupation of Afghanistan is triggering a backlash inside of the country, as well as destabilizing Pakistan. ++ There is a cascading opinion among US allies that this war cannot be won. ++ The Afghans have suffered enough and the US simply cannot afford an open-ended war. ++ Sometimes a war

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October 17, 2008 | Financial Crisis Vindicates the EU

The Brown-Darling rescue package for British banks not only provided a template to follow for the rest of the EU, but was also adopted by the US. ++ The British PM did not rest on his laurels and is leading international action even further by calling for reform of global financial institutions like the IMF. ++ This crisis has had one positive outcome: Europeans finally have their act together.

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October 17, 2008 | Avoid Knee-Jerk Opposition to Government Spending

While reports from stockmarkets dominate the news, what we should really worry about is the shape of our nonfiscal economy. ++ In the US retail sales and industrial production are falling quickly, and it seems like we are in for a much longer period of economic slowdown than we realize. ++ Now is not the right time to worry about the deficit: the only solution to this problem is more government

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October 17, 2008 | Afghanistan: Foreign Troops Are Part of the Problem

Violence, corruption and lawlessness keep pushing Afghanistan into a “downward spiral.” ++ Foreign troops are part of the problem; the US and the NATO focus on air attacks, “putting the life of occupation troops before civilians.” ++ A growing number of civilian victims intensifies the risk of terror attacks and hinders the country from establishing a stable system. ++ An

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October 17, 2008 | No Tinkering with Ukraine's Election

Viktor Yuschenko, president of Ukraine, has called for another parliamentary election in hopes of settling internal divisions symbolized largely by Ukraine’s leading three politicians - Yuschenko, Tymoshenko, and Yanukovich. ++ This must be a Ukrainian election for Ukrainians. ++ Both Russia and the US (NATO) must keep their hands off. ++ Instead the EU should make Ukraine’s membership in the

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October 16, 2008 | Chinese and Western Economies Increasingly Alike

When it comes to the economy, the West and China are becoming more and more alike. ++ The Chinese are moving towards private ownership and crave the kind of dynamism that only a capitalist system can provide. ++ Western economies, on the other hand, are only capitalist in name. ++ They don’t trust the free market anymore; they want a safety net in case of an economic slowdowns or crunches,

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October 16, 2008 | Election Outcome: Affected by Bin Laden?

Obama’s lead in national and global polls might tempt Osama bin Laden to make a public reappearance. ++ Bin Laden wants the US to continue “policies that create the appearance of a clash of civilizations.” ++ An Obama administration might threaten these intentions as Obama is expected to promote a more diplomatic political course. ++ Unlike 2004, when bin Laden threatened the

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October 15, 2008 | China: Rescuer of the Financial Crisis

The monetary meltdown is partly the result of collapsing consumer and business spending. ++ The assumption that banking sytems could be left alone has proven to be false. ++ There needs to be state-financed banking systems. ++ While spending in the West slows, the only way to stop recession is for the Chinese to increase their spending. ++ They hold $2 trillion in reserves that could save the US

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October 13, 2008 | God Save the Queen - She is Saving Us

Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling “have shown us the way through this financial crisis.” ++ The British Prime Minister and his officials lead the world in assessing the financial crisis and quickly enacting an apt solution. ++ The problem: lack of capital in the banking system; Brown’s solution: equity injections, a type of temporary nationalization, with the first commitment of funds coming to

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October 13, 2008 | Russia Strengthens Iran's Hand

Recent developments have greatly reduced the chances of a war against Iran. ++ Washington had planned to conduct air strikes against Iran from Georgian soil. ++ Russian intervention makes it impossible, which has “strengthened Iran’s hand.” ++ Russia undermined US efforts to impose new sanctions against Tehran during the Security Council’s meeting last month. ++ The fact

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October 13, 2008 | American-Chinese Scramble for Africa

China’s demand for raw materials and new markets boosts its appetite for economic and military involvement in Africa. ++ The African continent is increasingly serving as a proxy battleground for Beijing and Washington. ++ China exports weapons to states hostile to the US thus complicating American counterterrorism actions. ++ Chinese involvement in Africa must be countered. ++ Bush took a

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October 10, 2008 | Next Steps in Dealing With Iran

Iran is at most four years away from its nuclear goals - diplomacy is needed. ++ Russia’s offer to provide Iran with enriched nuclear material and US proposals for direct talks in return for the abandonment of nuclear intentions have been turned down. ++ The disapproval of further offers might result in the total isolation of Iran. ++ Using military force is only credible if Iran “can

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October 10, 2008 | Negotiating With the Taliban

The British commander admitted that winning in Afghanistan is unlikely - reducing the Taliban insurgency to a manageable level may be the only realizable goal. ++ Northern ethnic groups, which account for 60% of the population, are backed by the US, but the Taliban are still the major political force for the Pashtuns constituting 40% of the people. ++ Foreign forces are fighting Pashtun

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October 9, 2008 | Unjustified Panic May Lead to Great Depression

The current breakdown in financial markets is driven by unjustified panic. ++ Restoring confidence in the financial systems should be the priority for American and European governments. ++ EU countries should offer a time-limited guarantee of the liabilities of the most systemically important institutions. ++ Coordination on how to proceed is necessary if banking systems are to reemerge healthy

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October 9, 2008 | Anti-Americanism Made by Medvedev

Russian President Medvedev continues the wave of anti-US invective of his predecessor. ++ After 9/11, the US failed to spread democracy around the world, choosing to “consolidate its global domination” instead. ++ Europe should intensify its relations with Russia to “unite the whole Euro-Atlantic region.” ++ The US suffers from a “very dangerous disease” called

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October 8, 2008 | "Building a Stronger US-India Friendship"

The US Congress has approved a deal that offers India access to American nuclear fuel and technology in exchange for safeguards on India’s nuclear program.++ India considers the US the key to great power status. ++ The US views India as essential for solving international challenges. ++ The next administration must improve cooperation that “reflects the shared principles, shared

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October 7, 2008 | US-Taiwan Arms Sales Prod China Toward Peace

The Bush administration announced its intention to agree to a $6.4 billion arms sale to Taiwan. ++ There are more than 1,400 missiles on the Chinese side of the Taiwan Strait that endanger Taiwan’s security. ++ The sale will help to avert the threat and “fulfill the US commitment under the Taiwan Relations Act”. ++ Taiwan will thereby gain leverage against China, who has defined

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October 3, 2008 | The Fog of War, The Fog of Memory

US incursions into Cambodia, which led to its destabilization and the rise of the Khmer Rouge, should be remembered. ++ The same mistake is being made in Pakistan, where the dangers are far greater. ++ Undermining Pakistan does not help Afghanistan. ++ A new soft power approach is needed, as “Afghanistan cannot be transformed along Western lines” - a major factor, along with increased bombing

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October 3, 2008 | Bailouts Work, But the Current Paulson Plan Won't

The Laevan and Valencia study of 42 recent bailouts shows they can work, yet the current Paulson plan may not. ++ “Paulson and Bernanke should use bailout money to recapitalize the banks, not buy bad assets.” ++ Furthermore, the US bailout is likely to cost $2 trillion, not a mere $700 billion. ++ Successful bailouts usually include debt relief for consumers and businesses, which the current plan

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October 2, 2008 | You Lose, I Lose Economics

Asia’s role in the financial crisis shouldn’t be underestimated. ++ Endless liquidity coupled with cheap goods fueled America’s “buy-now pay-later consumption,” inflating the housing bubble in the process. ++ The overextension is as much a story of “Asian prudence” as it is of “US recklessness;” Meanwhile, China and others grew at astounding clips. ++ While there has been a relative shift of

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October 2, 2008 | Pakistani Intelligence Battles Internal Extremism

Pakistan can no longer play its “dangerous double-game”: accepting money form the US while also supporting the Taliban and other extremists. ++ General Kayani has appointed a new spy chief, Lt. Gen Ahmed Shuja, who must work to clean up the intelligence service, root out corrupt officials, and cut ties to extremists that threaten Pakistan’s own fragile democracy. ++ American officials claim that

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October 1, 2008 | The End of US Arrogance

By talking about terrorism instead of the financial crises in front of the UN, Bush has staged himself as “yesterday’s man.” ++ Even Germany - one of America’s closest allies - is distancing itself from the US and blames the state for opposing tighter international market controls. ++ German politicians do not see the US as the “superpower of the global financial system” anymore. ++ The view

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September 29, 2008 | Economics We Don't Understand

We are witnessing the very “bankruptcy of modern economics.” ++ While we have long understood demand-oriented macroeconomics, the current financial crisis does not conform to any previous economic model or known solution. ++ The previous $152 billion stimulus package didn’t help, since the problem lay with financial markets, not consumer markets. ++ The Paulson plan is the most effective solution

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September 26, 2008 | Staying in Space Means Cooperating with Russia

The US Senate must pass a waiver buying seats aboard Russian space vehicles for US astronauts.++ The NASA shuttle fleet retires in two years, and its new space vehicle, the Orion, will not be ready until 2015, essentially leaving the space station to the Russians until that time. ++ The only way for American astronauts to continue at the space station is via Russian space vehicles. ++ Despite

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September 26, 2008 | US: Still the Global "Beacon of Free Enterprise"

It’s a critical question: Is the financial crisis on Wall Street going to damage the US’s image of good finance and business expertise? ++ Actually, the answer is no. ++ The image of the US from a global perspective is still strong, and the US is for many “a beacon of free enterprise.” ++ There is no other financial leader who could replace the US - Europe is divided, while Russia and China have

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September 25, 2008 | Iran Plays up Its Card as a Peacemaker

Ban Ki-moon lauded Tehran’s mediating role in the Caucasus, which surely is music to the ears’ of Iran’s president. ++ Ahmadinejad adopted the language of post-hegemony and portrayed Iran as the leader of a new global alliance for peace and, thereby, as an alternative to the US. ++ Some developing countries’ diplomats appreciate Tehran’s criticism of NATO’s role in Georgia and Afghanistan. ++ The

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September 24, 2008 | Stop Business as Usual for US Arms Sales

The US weapon industry is continuously growing, while more weapons are sold abroad ++ In Iraq, a host of factors, oil revenue included, has created a “loyal new customer,” namely the Maliki government. ++ Some say selling weapons to Iraq will reduce its reliance on Washington, but Pakistan proves that US forces can clash with US-armed adversaries. ++ Hopefully, the next US president decides

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September 23, 2008 | US Bailouts: Socialism is Not the Answer

Washington is bankrupt, fiscally and morally. ++ Socialism is in full swing, proving the free-market Republicans hypocrites. ++ Paulson wants Congress to grant the Fed $700 billion to buy private assets. ++ Such a move will only create more financial turmoil for the US and Europe in the future. ++ Moreover, the entire G8 is a financially “spent force.” ++ Yet, ironically the political landscape

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September 22, 2008 | EU Should Say No to Syria

The EU’s plan to reward Syria with an “Association Agreement” is worrisome for several reasons. ++ Damascus not only sponsors Hezbollah and Hamas, it also follows Iran’s approach to nuclear weapons in spite of its commitment to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. ++ “European leaders should cease all further action toward an Association Agreement.” ++ If the EU ignores the lesson of inaction,

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September 18, 2008 | A Strategic Economic Engagement with China

Given the interdependence between the economic growth of China and the world, it is necessary to integrate China into the global economy system. ++ One option is the US-China Strategic Economic Dialogue (SED), which brings US and Chinese policymakers together to expand the bilateral relations. ++ Due to the long consultation that the Chinese government needs for decision making, the dialogue is

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September 17, 2008 | Zardari's New Vision Dimishes US Role

Republicans may praise the latest series of US forays into Pakistan’s sovereign territory, but they trouble Pakistan’s new President. ++ Therefore, Zardari wants to convince the UK that it is crucial to hold the US back. ++ In addition, he will promote his plan for an intergovernmental counter-terrorist body which would also be backed by other powers. ++ Zardari’s announcement that “the war on

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September 16, 2008 | US Strategy in Pakistan Will do More Harm Than Good

If the US goes ahead with its plan to take the war on terror into Pakistan, Pakistani army will loose its credibility and may end up caught up between American troops and al-Quaeda.++ Weakening Pakistani army would backfire on the campaign against terror and make further attacks inside America much more probable. ++ Only the government in Islamabad has a full understanding of the situation on the

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September 16, 2008 | Russia Trusts Common Sense Will Finally Prevail

If Russia is to believe that the anti-missile base in Poland will not be used against it, US and its allies have to stop making “cosmetic political gestures” and give concrete guarantees. ++ Statements about Kremlin’s imperialist policies are unfair; Russia has always sided with the weaker and, like always, its moral rightness is undisputed. ++ Moscow doesn’t fear isolation, as

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September 12, 2008 | Waiting for the New, New, New, New World Order

This time, the declaration of a new world order does not depend on the next US president. ++ Now, it is the new economies that are shaping geopolitics, not the US. ++ Moreover, the complex matrix of various actors hinders global governance and, right now, any possible order is regional. ++ The successful policy of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and the reorientation of the Persian Gulf

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September 12, 2008 | Learning to Act Like a Nuclear Power

The domestic political culture in India determines whether India will work out in its new role as a nuclear power. ++ So far, suspicion and accusation among the politicians hindered India’s democratic institutions to produce a coherent notion of national purpose. ++ External actors such as China and the US have again and again manipulated the preferences of India’s politicians. ++ But now it is

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September 11, 2008 | Growing Concerns About Russia

A poll revealed that Americans and Europeans were troubled over the growing power of Russia even before the attack on Georgia. ++ Respondents in Europe and the US were united in concern about the Kremlin providing weapons to the Middle East, Russia’s energy monopoly, and its behavior toward its neighbors. ++ What they don’t agree upon is how to respond to the Kremlin’s new assertiveness;

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September 10, 2008 | Dubai Balances Iranian and American Ties

Dubai seems to be caught between a rock and a hard place: Iran and the US. ++ Recently Dubai has served as a critical trading partner allowing Iran to circumnavigate sanctions imposed by the US. ++ Dubai re-exports many goods it receives from the US to Iran, including computer circuitry that was used in IEDs in Iraq against American forces. ++ With Iran refusing to halt its nuclear program, Dubai

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September 10, 2008 | Harmful Hype Over US-India Nuclear Deal

Washington and New Delhi are guilty of overselling the US-India nuclear deal. ++ The pact will not play as big of a role in bolstering US-India ties and boosting both economies as politicians want people to believe. ++ On the contrary, due to the controversy that surrounds it, the deal threatens to overwhelm the broader dialogue between India and the US. ++ If the partnership between both

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September 10, 2008 | Mexico's Disregarded War

A war very close to home should get more attention in the US: the one in Mexico. ++ Even if Americans soldiers are not among the casualties, US money and arms fuel this dispute. ++ Mexican President Calderón’s efforts to fight the drug syndicates have been rather ineffective so far, because he lacks reliable and well armed forces. ++ Congress announced to give $400 million in aid to the

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September 10, 2008 | Russia and Venezuela are Threatening US Waters

Monday, Russia agreed to joint naval exercises with Venezuela and is making its first major maneuvers off US waters since the Cold War. ++ It is not widely recognized, but the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico and the Panama Canal are vital gates for US energy imports, making them vulnerable choke points for enemies of the US, i.e., a Russian-Venezuelan alliance. ++ Chavez has been buying weapons from

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September 9, 2008 | A Tug-of-War Over Azerbaijan

It is no accident that Dick Cheney visited Azerbaijan last week. ++ Azerbaijan is a core east-west transit country for oil and natural gas. ++ Their pipelines provide energy to Europe, support former Soviet republics, and help keep oil money away from Iran and Russia. ++ Yet, Azerbaijan still wants to maintain good ties with Russia and is not seeking NATO membership. ++ The war in Georgia has

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September 9, 2008 | Why We Are Blind to the Somali Tragedy

The situation in Somalia has gradually become worse since the US and UN withdrew in the 1990s, but most people think otherwise, assuming they would have heard more if problems were escalating. ++ The suffering of nearly 10 million Somalis is publicized less than that of the Darfuris simply because the White House wants to protect its image. ++ The US record in Africa, in contrast to the Middle

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September 8, 2008 | NATO Can't Win the War in Afghanistan, Afghans Can

The war in Afghanistan stands at a critical juncture; the Taliban-led insurgency is gaining in effectiveness and influence. ++ The US troop surge planned to counter this threat is no remedy in itself. ++ NATO should develop a national reconciliation program which would bring ex-Taliban moderates into politics. ++ It is also crucial that the number of Afghan soldiers doubles, their salaries rise,

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September 5, 2008 | Asian Free Trade Agreements Balk at WTO and US

Meeting in Singapore, 10 southeast Asian nations along with India confirmed yet another FTA that clearly indicates the waning influence of the WTO and the US in the region. ++ Many such countries, especially India, prefer small-scale bilateral agreements and FTAs. ++ It was the Asian block that called on Europe and the US to change their farm subsidy policies at Doha, which contributed to

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September 4, 2008 | Biden's Flawed Foreign Policy Judgements

McCain’s vice presidential pick, Sarah Palin, is accused of lacking experience in security and foreign policy issues. ++ She is contrasted to Obama’s running mate, Joseph Biden, chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee. ++ His experience, however, doesn’t translate into expertise: during his 35 years in the Senate Biden has shown that his judgement in national security

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September 3, 2008 | Pakistan's Future Depends on India, China and the US

While
Pakistan is often called a failed state it is more accurately labeled as a flailing
state. The PPP-PML coalition cannot solve every problem alone but needs help
from India, China and the US. These nations, which had once contributed to the
distortion of Pakistani politics, may now play a positive role in assisting
Pakistanis develop a democratic order to cope with several critical

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September 3, 2008 | US Has to Adjust To the Shift in Global Power

Whereas the two last US administrations had a chance to assume American hegemony in economics and security, the chief task of the next one will be to adjust to the global shift in power and gracefully manage diminishing American influence. ++ The US will not be able to show as much arrogance in international relations now that its influence is waning and new powers are emerging. ++ The next

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September 1, 2008 | US Policy on Pakistan Needs to Change

There is no quick fix for Pakistan. ++ Policies need to put the Pakistani people ahead of public figures, and institutions ahead of simplistic solutions. ++ The economy needs to be stabilized and an international plan to improve infrastructure, healthcare, and education should be the next step. ++ US partisan politics undercut democracy and create greater instability. ++ The unaccountable

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August 27, 2008 | US Should Take the War on Terror into Pakistan

The US has to realize that it cannot fight terrorism in Afghanistan successfully without expanding the war on terror into Pakistan. ++ The US should revitalise the coalition of the willing, enhance the cooperation with the Afghan and Pakistani armies, and establish a military bases on Pakistani soil. ++ Furthermore, a supreme commander, with Afghan and Pakistani deputies, should be appointed to

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August 27, 2008 | Russia's Invasion Challenges the World Order

Russia’s invasion is not only a threat to Georgia, it also questions the political order and values of Europe. ++ With American help, the EU has become “one of the greatest strategic achievements of the 20th century.” ++ But now the Russian aggression is drawing a dividing line through Europe and separates the truly independent nations from those which are stuck on Russia’s autocratic

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August 26, 2008 | West Must Forgo Its Arrogance and Embrace China

Beijing Olympics mark a new era: China is opening up to the world and the Western ignorance and fear of the People’s Republic is declining. ++ Many Atlantic leaders see China’s growth as a threat but it might also be a great opportunity, provided we forgo our historic arrogance. ++ Today’s challenges are global and the West cannot face them unless it cooperates with major global

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August 26, 2008 | The US Should Learn From the Byzantine Empire

If America is to continue dominating the world, it must learn from an empire that managed to survive for centuries – Byzantium. ++ Byzantium did not try to annihilate its adversaries but learned from them and skillfully played enemies and allies for its own ends. ++ Similarly, the US must juggle various interests and keep them in balance. ++ The Georgia imbroglio should be a field study for

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August 26, 2008 | "Next Steps on Georgia"

The US should use alternative means to accelerate Russia’s withdrawal from Georgia and to stabilize the country. ++ In addition to humanitarian aid, it could initiate a large reconstruction operation to ensure the vitality of Georgia’s economy during the Russian occupation. ++ Also, the corrupt oligarchs around Putin could be undoubtedly pressured if US agencies pursue corrupt practices of

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August 25, 2008 | Eastern Europe Can Only Count on Itself

Poles, Czechs and Hungarians should be under no illusion that they can count on the US in case of a crisis. ++ In the past the US used to leave its Eastern European allies in the lurch and its recent reaction to Georgia’s plight was no different. ++ The only thing that the frontline states can do is to count on themselves. ++ They should make a larger commitment to their own defense,

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August 25, 2008 | Create a United Nonaligned Caucasus

The conflict in South Ossetia is one of many explosive ethnic disputes in the region. ++ These are especially dangerous because of the absence of a superior security pact. ++ Therefore, the best way to enhance the security situation would be if the European Union, Russia, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, and the US agreed on a pact which would create a nonaligned and neutral Caucasus. ++ This would

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August 25, 2008 | The US Can no Longer be the Importer of Last Resort

At the moment when most of the industrial world is in or near recession, a lot of global economic momentum comes from authoritarian regimes that concentrate on accumulating wealth rather than on raising the standard of life of their people. ++ Rising prices of oil are causing a substantial flow of capital from the emerging countries to the industrial ones. ++ With the economic slowdown it

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August 25, 2008 | China's Struggle for Soft Power

The successful staging of the Olympics is extra important to Beijing as increasing its “soft power” is one of China’s major objectives. ++ Though domestic corruption and lack of democracy makes China attractive in authoritarian and semi-authoritarian developing countries, it undermines its soft power in the West. ++ A recent Pew poll proves that despite China’s efforts, the US continues to

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August 22, 2008 | An Attack on Iran Would Backfire

A strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities, whether by the US or Israel, is a disastrous idea. ++ If Iran is attacked oil prices may rise to $200 a barrel which would be a hard hit for the global economy. ++ Iranian nuclear facilities are too widely dispersed to be fully destroyed by warplanes, which means an attack would only delay the progress towards getting a bomb; it is also likely to harden

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August 22, 2008 | End of Stalemate in Missile Defence Negotiations

Even though both Washington and Warsaw deny it, it was the Russian attack on Georgia that broke the stalemate in negotiations and pushed Polish government towards signing the missile defence treaty on Wednesday. ++ A garrison of American soldiers who will protect the US Patriot air defense battery on the Polish territory is supposed to act as a tripwire - any Russian attack on the MD system

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August 21, 2008 | West No Longer Dictates Terms

The Atlantic view that it’s necessary to protect the underdog from its powerful neighbour is isolated; most of the world is bemused at Western double standards and sees Russia as bullied by the West. ++ Events in Georgia show that the West lacks strategic thinking. ++ Instead of dealing with Russia, Western thinkers should decide what the greatest long-term challenge is – China or the

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August 21, 2008 | Russia's Nuclear Threat

In the discussion of US-Russian relations, one element has been overlooked: the shift in the nuclear balance. ++ After the cold war both powers agreed to reduce their tactical nuclear arsenal, but Russia started from a much higher level and still has 10 times the number of weapons held by the US. ++ This disparity is alarming because the weapons not only play a huge role in the rhetoric of

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August 21, 2008 | The Myth About Musharraf

Musharraf’s resignation ends an exquisite relationship between him and the Bush administration. ++ The latter created the myth that Musharraf had “joined the free world in fighting the terrorists” after 9/11. ++ The truth is, Musharraf neither supported the war on terror, nor stopped making deals with the militants. ++ But the Bush administration chose to hide Musharraf’s policies in order to

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August 20, 2008 | The Comeback of Autocracies

The reemergence of autocracy and great-power politics questions the stability of the international liberal order. ++ Unfortunately, Europe’s postmodern tools of foreign policy are not able to counter Russia in the latest conflict between liberal democracy and autocracy. ++ Facing the rise of great-power autocracies, democracies turn back in the direction of the US. ++ Despite predictions of

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August 20, 2008 | The US Must Choose Between Georgia and Russia

Russia’s use of force in the Caucasus is fully legitimized by its right to self-defense and international law. ++ The US has to acknowledge that brutality against a civilian population is not justified simply because the Georgian government calls itself “democratic.” ++ Russia advocates a peaceful resolution and the implementation of the Medvedev-Sarkozy plan. ++ It also wants good bilateral

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August 20, 2008 | Arab States must Integrate Iraq

There is a trend among Sunni Arab states to revitalize diplomatic ties with Iraq. ++ The growing Shia influence backed by Iran may have alarmed them. ++ But instead of pressuring the US to ensure the Sunni’s reinsertion into Iraqi politics, Arab officials now try to integrate Iraq’s Shia government back into “the Arab fold.” ++ Unfortunately, the efforts can not be successful if Saudi-Arabia

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August 19, 2008 | Poland is a Fall Guy for US Military Lobbyists

By agreeing to host a US missile defence base Poland, like the UK and Czech Republic, became America’s groundbait and exposed itself to a possiblity of a nuclear attack. ++ In turn, the system is supposed to protect Poland as well. ++ Bad news is, MD will not work for at least another 50 years and it is doubtful if ever at all. ++ There is no rationale behind MD: it is only built to

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August 19, 2008 | Maliki May Get "Difficult" for the US

There are voices among US officials that Iraqi Prime Minister Maliki became overconfident about his government’s ability to handle the security situation in Iraq without the US troops and that he wants to portray himself as the national hero who kicked out the US. ++ Domestically, Maliki’s Shi’ite-dominated government no longer depends on the US and seems to be more and more unwilling to advocate

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August 18, 2008 | Burnish Legacies with Intensive Peace Effort

There is a wide gap between declarations that a two-state solution is vital for Israel’s security, and actually doing something about it. ++ Both Olmert and Bush have a few months left in offices: they will not go down in history as great leaders, but can still burnish their legacies by truly engaging in the peace effort. ++ They should freeze the expansion of Jewish settlements, cease

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August 18, 2008 | Hobbled by Iraq

The war in Iraq eroded not only US strength but also its moral authority and sense of purpose. ++ Iraq strains the US army to such a extent that it is not left with forces sufficient to stabilize Afghanistan. ++ Moreover, critics of the US administration emphazise the lack of justification of the US-lead invasion and doubt that the US is still in the position to e.g. excoriate Russia. ++ But as

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August 15, 2008 | Biased US Media Takes Georgia's Side

US journalism was famous for its independence and professionalism, but recent coverage of the Russia-Georgia conflict is unfair and unbalanced. ++ The so-called free press automatically took Georgia’s side and ignored or distorted events in order to portray an “evil” Russia. ++ On the other hand, Russian media reacted with messages that remind Russians that the true evil is the US and that

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August 15, 2008 | US Food Aid is Ineffective

For those who live in hunger, long-term solutions cannot come fast enough. ++ The US, donor of half of the world’s food aid, is highly criticized for its unique practice of monetization that disrupts commercial markets and can cause, albeit temporarily, prices to abruptly plunge. ++ Furthermore, the US is the only country that does not fully accept the framework offered by the Food Aid

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August 14, 2008 | "We Are All Georgians"

Russia claims to protect Ossetians, but its brutal military campaign encompassed the whole of Georgia and therefore a regime change in Georgia seems to be its true aim. ++ In light of these events, Georgia’s reasons for seeking NATO membership are apparent. ++ Hopefully, NATO will move ahead with a membership track for both Georgia and Ukraine. ++ The US and its allies must persuade the Russian

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August 12, 2008 | The West and the Georgian-Russian Conflict

The current conflict is not only about Russia and Georgia, but also represents the US-Russian competition for control over the strategically important transit routes for oil and gas. ++ The Georgian President must have aimed at American involvement when he attacked Russia, because he knows only the US is able to enforce a solution advantageous for Georgia. ++ The West is now challenged by

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August 11, 2008 | It's Time for Musharraf to Go

The Pakistani government finally decided to impeach President Musharraf. ++ The US declared the impeachment “an internal matter” of Pakistan, which demonstrates that Musharraf has lost the support of the US, his biggest advocate in the past. ++ But in the light of Musharraf’s domestic unpopularity, a working relationship with the new civilian order has better chances to serve US interests. ++

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August 11, 2008 | Next US President Must Reverse America's Decline

After 1945, the US was clearly the world’s leader but it took its supremacy for granted and became complacent. ++ Since then, the US has become dependent on foreign oil and relied on debt to finance its economy. ++ American students are behind while universities fill with foreigners. ++ Leadership in technology and entertainment does not provide enough domestic jobs. ++ To reverse this

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August 8, 2008 | "The New Transatlantic Stalemate"

In times when there is no overbearing enemy, the transatlantic alliance is challenged by the geopolitical interests of each partner, which differ from one another. ++ For instance, the EU needs good relations with Russia and the Muslim world because they border on its territory and supply its energy demands, but these protagonists oppose the US hegemonic global pretensions. ++ Balancing the

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August 6, 2008 | Olympics a Chance to Boost China-US Relations

US-China relationship is arguably the most important bilateral tie of our time and its benefits are increasingly recognized. ++ One of the advantages of the Olympic Games is that the attention it generates could create a better understanding of modern China and finally tear down the cold-war perception of the People’s Republic in the US. ++ Washington and Beijing must engage in a

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August 5, 2008 | Only UN Can Bring Peace to Iraq and Afghanistan

The recent escalation of violence in Afghanistan and the calls to divert the US troops from Iraq make the question of ending these long and costly wars even more urgent. ++ There is only one organisation that can provide the leadership necessary to defeat the insurgencies and bring peace and stability to both countries: the UN. ++ US and its allies can never achieve these goals alone. ++ Only the

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August 5, 2008 | Chance for a New Momentum in the War Against AIDS

By denigrating the effectiveness of condoms and demonising sex workers, Bush administration inflicted deadly damage to the fight with AIDS both in the US and abroad. ++ Consequently, global policy-making on HIV prevention regresses just when it’s most needed. ++ Until now, UN has failed to challenge American influence. ++ 17th International Aids Conference which takes place in Mexico City this

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August 4, 2008 | Bombing Iran Would be a Catastrophe for All of Us

His presidency coming to an end, Bush becomes obsessed with his legacy and solving the issue of nuclear Iran is foremost in his mind. ++ If he decides to support Israel in its possible attack on Iran, the economic and political costs would be disastrous: oil prices would soar, terrorist attacks worldwide would follow, and the possibility of any dialogue between Iran and the West would be ruined

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August 4, 2008 | Turkish Democracy Has a Very Narrow Safety Margin

Last week Turkey narrowly averted a catastrophe when its Constitutional Court turned back state prosecutors’ motion to disband the ruling Justice and Development Party by only one vote. ++ Had the prosecutor succeeded in his request the will of Turkish voters would have been disregarded and Turkey’s chances for EU membership ruined. ++ Such a ruling was a victory not only for Turkey, but

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July 31, 2008 | China's New Antimonopoly Law Takes Effect

Tomorrow China’s new antimonopoly law takes effect. ++ At a formal level, it is comparable to the laws in the US and the EU, but its implementation will not be as simple. ++ The US encourages competition in the marketplace; EU, on the other hand, strives to keep booming businesses from being too successful - Chinese law resembles the European system. ++ Moreover, the formulated goals such as the

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July 31, 2008 | Fixed Date for US Withdrawal From Iraq a Mistake

US presidential candidates have been so busy campaigning they lost sight of the changes taking place in Iraq. ++ For the first time in years, the risk of a massive insurrection has diminished and there are realistic prospects for reconciliation among the Kurdish, Shiite and Sunni parts of the country. ++ Establishing a fixed deadline for the withdrawal of the US forces would not only rid the

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July 30, 2008 | Doha's Demise

The global trade negotiations known as the Doha Round broke up yesterday without an agreement. ++ Despite expectations of a new international plan to cut tariffs, members of the WTO proved themselves unready for such a deal. ++ While the US and the EU had made some concessions on farm supports, India and China essentially torpedoed the talks asserting a broad right to raise tariffs to protect

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July 30, 2008 | No Need to Fear Iran

US government has a tendency to “squash mosquitoes with TNT,” which shows in its treatment of Iran. ++ There’s no need to fear Iran: Ahamadinejad is only a figurehead putting on a show of might to gain respect in the Muslim world; the real power is in the hands of religious leaders, many of whom are sympathetic to the West. ++ The fact that Americans don’t see that reveals they

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July 30, 2008 | Prosperity Not Enough to Make China a Democracy

Former German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder stated in his article on China that the economic wealth will advance the democratic transformation of the country ++ But it is not that simple: the Communist party uses the economic success to justify its rule. ++ Therefore, it is necessary to coordinate German policy towards China with that of other Western powers. ++ Schröder in his article

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July 29, 2008 | "The Hour of Europe"

Even if the Bush administration used to neglect it, 2009 can be the “hour of Europe.” ++ If Germany, Great Britain, and France would propose serious new contributions, the new administration would listen and offer the Europeans the “leadership” they so often say they desire. ++ Unfortunately, only few European statesmen look on changes in Washington as an opportunity to propose something new.

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July 29, 2008 | Destructive Double Standards

America declares it stands up for human rights; it condemns the regime in Burma and calls for fair democratic elections in Zimbabwe. ++ However, it is doing so only where it is convenient: human rights infringements in China and Saudi Arabia or the fact that Dmitri Medvedev came to power in fraudulent elections are overlooked. ++ The hypocrisy of condemning one and turning a blind eye to the

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July 29, 2008 | Opportunity to Recast US-Pakistani Relations

Yousaf Raza Gilani, the new civilian prime minister of Pakistan, is visiting Washington this week. ++ Talks between the leaders of Pakistan and the US are an opportunity to recast bilateral relations and start a closer cooperation to promote democracy and fight al-Qaeda. ++ To achieve that, Bush must express his commitment to the cause and declare more economic assistance and carefully monitored

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July 28, 2008 | India Votes for the Nuclear Deal With the US

India just had its first vote of confidence because the government’s communist allies withdrew their support over the civilian nuclear deal, arguing that the pact made India a pawn of the US. ++ Prime Minister Singh’s Congress party-led coalition won 275 votes in its favor and 256 against in the confidence motion. ++ The win means India can now focus on pushing through a long-delayed nuclear

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July 23, 2008 | Al-Qaeda has Found a Safe Haven in Pakistan

Even though it is Afghanistan that is the main security threat to the US, the road to improvement in that part of the world starts in Pakistan. ++ Al-Qaeda has found a safe haven in Pakistan’s lawless region near the Afghan border, where it has regrouped and reached pre-9/11 strength. ++ The critical role Pakistan plays in security policy has been recognized by Washington; last week Congress

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July 23, 2008 | We Are Failing Zimbabwe

Mugabe’s bloody rule will continue for another term unless Russia, China, and South Africa help impose tougher sanctions and an arms embargo on Zimbabwe. ++ Moscow and Beijing’s vetoes against tougher measures in the Security Coucil are to blame for the current situation. ++ US should continue with its bilateral penalties and press others to follow. ++ Only sustained and consistent

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July 22, 2008 | Iran Hasn't Earned a Détente

The Bush administration has recently shifted its approach toward Iran and is treating it with unjustified leniency: the possibility of reopening a diplomatic mission in Tehran and face-to-face meetings are gestures Iran hasn’t earned. ++ Tehran continues with its uranium enrichment program, tests missiles capable of reaching Europe, sponsors terrorism in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, and Gaza and

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July 22, 2008 | US Jews' Views about the Middle East

J Street, which emerged as a counterweight to AIPAC, released a new poll indicating that US Jews’ views about the Middle East are considerably more dovish than frequently acknowledged. ++ Large majorities of US Jews favor diplomacy with Iran and support a two-state solution in Palestine. ++ Furthermore, 64 percent said they were in favor of the withdrawal of US military forces from Iraq, while

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July 22, 2008 | US-Iraq Security Arrangement Serves Common Goals

Although the plans for a long-term security arrangement between Iraq and the US have caused a wave of criticism, such an agreement is in the best interest of both countries. ++ The main objectives of Americans and Iraqis are convergent: a stable Iraq with a modern oil industry, withdrawal of coalition troops from the region and Iraqi security forces that are capable of taking command. ++ In order

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July 21, 2008 | Gore Calls for Carbon-Free Electric Power

Former Vice President Al Gore said that Americans must abandon electricity generated by fossil fuels within a decade. ++ Although his engagement against global warming is well known, Gore argued in this speech that the reasons for renouncing fossil fuels go far beyond environmental concern. ++ He cited military-intelligence studies warning of “dangerous national security implications” tied to

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July 21, 2008 | US Hopes for a New Accord With Moscow are Dead

Hopes for friendly relations with Russia, running high in the 1990s, were ruined by the Bush administration. ++ NATO membership offer to Georgia and Ukraine and plans to install elements of missile defense shield in Poland and the Czech Republic have fuelled Russian paranoia about strategic encirclement. ++ We need to understand that Russian foreign policy is shaped by their hunger for respect

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July 21, 2008 | US Attempts to Defrost Ties With Tehran

Thirty years after cutting off diplomatic ties, the US is planning the establishment of a modest diplomatic representation in Tehran for which it appears to have secured Iranian approval. ++ Though this shift from previous hard-line policies toward Tehran may essentially be an effort on Bush’s behalf to “leave a ‘positive legacy’ behind,” he is thereby also hinting at US engagement to a

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July 17, 2008 | US Decline is a Golden Chance for Russia

With a military budget larger than the rest of the world’s combined, the US is still undeniably world’s greatest superpower. ++ However, there are clear signs that its empire is overreaching itself and the whole system starting to crack. ++ Russia is the only state with a nuclear weapons arsenal that equals America’s. ++ Russia’s political and military leaders should pay attention to

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July 17, 2008 | Poles Will No Longer Blindly Follow America

Failing missile shield negotiations with Poland are a symbol of decline of American influence and attractiveness under Bush. ++ Too much bad blood has been spilled between Washington and Warsaw, and the Poles are no longer prepared to blindly follow their ally. ++ The new Polish Prime Minister, Tusk, is prepared to adopt a much tougher stance in relations with the US. ++ Due to the Guantanamo and

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July 15, 2008 | US Should Help Israel if it Strikes Iran

The situation in the Middle East is past the point when sanctions and diplomatic talks can still make a difference. ++ The Islamic Republic is not going to yield, it is simply playing for time while trying to produce deliverable nuclear weapons. ++ Instead of insisting on the measures which apparently do not work, the US should consider helping Israel if it decides to strike Iran or at least not

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July 14, 2008 | The Fed Won't Solve Fannie and Freddie's Problems

Despite warnings of their imminent collapse, with the help of US government, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac should be able to survive and stock market panic can be avoided. ++ Since the two companies have $5.3 trillion in liabilities, the Fed will need to step in if they become insolvent or consequences could be dire. ++ Their survival, however, is not necessarily good news: governmental intervention

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July 11, 2008 | Does the World Need a 'League of Democracies'?

Uncertainty in an emerging “new world order” has brought with it new approaches to the provision of multilateral responses. One concept gaining attention in the US is a ‘league of democracies’, an institutionalized body of nations with a strong transatlantic focus dedicated to concerted efforts based on common democratic beliefs. If elected, John McCain has promised to begin discussing the

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July 9, 2008 | US-India Nuclear Pact is Back on the Table

The US-India nuclear pact, declared “almost certainly dead” last month, will probably be signed by the Indian government after all. ++ The onus of getting it implemented is therefore back on the US. ++ Congress must stop pressuring India into backing US policy on Iran. ++ India shouldn’t have to choose between good relations with itself and Tehran. ++ PM Manmohan Singh will not agree to toe

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July 3, 2008 | The Future of Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty

July 1 marked the 40th anniversary of the NPT which provided an opportunity to reexamine its current and future role. ++ Nuclear nonproliferation movement is at a crossroads. ++ It is crucial that the next US president calls for deep cuts in nuclear weapons around the world at the start of his administration in January 2009. ++ He should also appoint a nonproliferation “czar” to help him shape

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June 30, 2008 | Talking to Teheran

“A US willingness to talk to Iran on the full range of issues dividing the two countries offers the best hope of rescuing a failed policy.” ++ If the US does not negotiate with Iran as proposed by Obama, they will be lacking options besides attacking Iran. ++ The Europeans, Russia, and China are already in dialogue with Teheran. ++ After coordinating with the Europeans, the US should start

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June 30, 2008 | Bush's China Policy Will Outlast His Presidency

Sino-American ties are likely to be the most important component of international relations for the next several decades. ++ The question is whether China’s re-emergence can be managed without a conflict. ++ Powerful voices on the right of US politics want a tougher stance against China. ++ But there is no clearer expression of the interdependence that comes with globalisation than between

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June 27, 2008 | North Korea's Denuclearization Succeeds

Six-party framework is our best option to achieve the strategic goal of Korea’s denuclearization. ++ Now North Korea is already disabling its plutonium production facility at Yongbyon under the monitoring of US inspectors. ++ The US has no permanent enemies. ++ After North Korea yields its nuclear production records, US president will remove it from the list of State Sponsors of Terrorism.

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June 20, 2008 | SWF Investments Are Not Dangerous

Gao Xiqing, the president of China’s sovereign wealth fund expressed his frustration concerning the political opposition his fund sometimes faces when it attempts to invest in the West. ++ From the economic point of view, this is frightening. ++ Without SWF investments, the current financial crisis in the US would be much worse. ++ If SWF shareholders no longer feel welcome in the US, they

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June 18, 2008 | Are Second Generation Biofuels a Curse or a Blessing?

In the debate regarding climate change and the shortage of fossil fuels, biofuels were for a long time considered to be the ideal solution. However recently, they have increasingly come under fire. Critics denounce the fact that through production of ethanol and biodiesel, the foodstuffs which are urgently needed in poor countries end up in the gas tanks of Western cars. In addition, the

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June 13, 2008 | US Supreme Court Slams Guantanamo

On Thursday, the US Supreme Court ruled that detainees held at Guantanamo Bay have the right to challenge their detentions in a federal court. ++ This marks the third time the court has made clear that the president has no authority to trash the fundamental principles of American jurisprudence. ++ Since the decision was constitutionally based, it will end Bush’s policy of arbitrary arrest,

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May 30, 2008 | US Must Lead the Global Climate Change Initiative

The climate change bill currently being debated in the US Senate is paramount for actual, sustainable improvement. ++ Not only for the sake of the environment, economies have recently experienced that innovation and emissions reduction can be quite lucrative. ++ In this spirit, one can expect the entrepreneurial character of the US economy to deliver a new age of greener policy and consumption.

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May 29, 2008 | A New Cold War Heats Up the North Pole

Sparked by a recent Russian territory claim at the North Pole, a meeting has been called this week in Greenland over the future of the Arctic. ++ In the midst of a decade old rivalry, the US, Canada, Russia, Norway and Denmark have a huge stake in future development as the region may contain up to a quarter of the earth’s natural resources. ++ Although each nation is committed to a peaceful

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May 28, 2008 | Gulf States do not Require US Assistance Against Iran

The US proposal of a regional nuclear defense shield against Iran is not being met with enthusiasm by its allies in the Persian Gulf. ++ As business ties with Iran deepen, the Gulf States perceive the offer of the US as a short-sighted attempt to divide the Middle East, and as potentially highly destabilizing. ++ It is in the US’s own interest not to force its allies into making an unnecessary

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May 23, 2008 | US Monetary Policy is Responsible for Price Rises

US Federal Reserve officials continue to insist that recent price increases have almost nothing to do with monetary policy. ++ Yet their claim that only global supply and demand for corn and oil are responsible for the soaring of oil and food prices is simply wrong. ++ Oil on global markets is denominated in dollars. ++ When speculators anticipate that the greenback’s value will fall

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May 22, 2008 | Iranian Oil Could Loosen Russia's Energy Grip

Iran, which is the OPEC’s second’s largest exporter, has enough natural gas to alleviate Western Europe’s uncomfortable reliance on Russia’s energy exports. ++ Disputes over pipelines, political blocking, and current US sanctions on capital inflow into Iran stand in the way of exploiting this huge potential. ++ Much depends on the coming elections, both in the US and Iran,

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May 21, 2008 | Europe Becomes Increasingly Secure, and Irrelevant

While enjoying a security the post-Cold War period has afforded it, Europeans are becoming rhetorically more critical of their American protectors and militarily less willing to engage security threats around the globe. ++ A conventional response may warn that this attitude is short-sighted and immoral, however, Gideon Rachman says it might just be logical. ++ Albeit a lack of hard-power options

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May 20, 2008 | US-Polish Missile Negotiations Reach a Stalemate

US diplomats will not exceed their offer - worth billions - to modernize Poland’s armed forces in exchange for the hosting of the anti-missile shield base on Polish soil. ++ Poland’s expectations are higher than what the US is prepared to offer and talks are now threatened with collapse. ++ Poland’s room for maneuver is limited by Russia’s easing of its position against the missile shield, NATO’s

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May 15, 2008 | Financial System Failed the Test of the Marketplace

Former Fed chairman, Paul Volcker, blames this year’s financial crisis on the lenders’ and investors’ attempting to revise the age-old fundaments of finance. ++ Despite the euphoric effect of bubbles, parties involved in the financial system must remember that the further a rubber band is stretched, the harder it will snap back into its former position. ++ Credit rating

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May 7, 2008 | Crisis of Democracy Jeopardizes US-Turkish Relations

While Turkey’s judiciary, with support from its bureaucratic and military elite, threatens to disband the AKP, the US remains reluctant to take sides. ++ The US should realize that these anti-democratic groups are not necessarily more pro-Western, and formulate a clear pro-democracy policy towards Turkey. ++ Staying non-committal will be viewed by the majority of Turks as hypocritical pragmatism,

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May 6, 2008 | The Threat of the New Middle East

The old Middle East and the secular nationalism that went along with it is being replaced by a new, modern Middle East in which political Islam and anti-Western nationalism play a decisive role. ++ There is now a serious threat of “a confrontation between Iran and Saudi Arabia for sub-regional supremacy, and between Iran and the US for regional hegemony.” ++ The entire state system in the

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May 5, 2008 | Iran's Role in Iraq: Complexity and Confusion

According to the US, Iran is a state sponsor of terrorism causing heavy casualties in Iraq. ++ Iranian Hussein Shariatmadari denies this with the claim Iran shares Iraq’s interest in ending US occupation and armed militias. ++ Though the discovery of Iranian weaponry in Iraq suggests Iran is arming Shiite militias, Iranian authorities maintain they would sell weaponry to any party. ++ US

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May 2, 2008 | The European Invasion of the US Market

The US market is experiencing the unprecedented inflow of large- and medium-size European investors. ++ Because of the extremely cheap US dollar, it became affordable for many European companies to relocate their production to the much more attractive American market. ++ While there is nothing that can stop this trans-Atlantic shift, it will have an enormous impact on the structure of the

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April 22, 2008 | Improving America's Image in the Arab World

Recent Arab public opinion polls confirm a “gap between the aims of American policies and Arab public perceptions of the US.” ++ They also highlight that the US could improve its image by brokering peace between Palestine and Israel and by withdrawing from Iraq and the Arabian Peninsula. ++ While US policies are clearly opposed, middle ground could be found regarding democratic values and

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April 21, 2008 | "Financial Industry Needs an Overhaul!"

The mortgage crisis emphasized that even sophisticated market players were “clueless about new financial instruments that emerged” and general reconditioning that needed to be done. ++ Economists distinguish 3 schools of thought: libertarian, finance enthusiasm, and finance skepticism. ++ For each – better or worse, personal benefits, and individual freedom, are balanced against

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April 18, 2008 | Europe's Long Term Geo-Strategic Dilemma

European obstructionism of US proposals at the NATO summit exposes the EU’s division, weakness, and indecisiveness. ++ Energy dependency means that Russia has a de facto veto over EU security. ++ Suggesting the EU could mediate between the US and Russia is unrealistic. ++ A revival of Ostpolitik would impede NATO, increase Russia’s leverage, and lead to a deterioration of

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April 16, 2008 | Non-polarity Will Succeed American Unipolarity

The growing strength of other states, the challenges to US foreign, energy, and economic policy, and globalization, which has diluted state control, have all contributed to ending the era of American dominance. ++ The new distribution of power will lead to multiplied threats, unstable relationships and a leadership vacuum. ++ Maintaining order in a non-polar world will require joint and astute

... More

April 15, 2008 | Atlantic Alliance is an Alliance à la Carte

The traditional role of the state in Europe is diminished, therefore the capacity of EU governments to ask their people for sacrifices is reduced. ++ As the debate over using NATO forces in Afghanistan showed, EU governments are not able to live up to their obligations. ++ The European disillusionment with US policies has structural reasons and will continue after Bush’s presidency.

... More

April 9, 2008 | Local Truces Bring Political Progress to Iraq

A top-down model of political compromise is inapt to restore order and bring peace to Iraq’s tribal society. ++ But now, a balance of truces between hyperlocalized clans and councils is generating optimism, political progress, and a drop in ethno-sectarian violence. ++ If they hold, these networks will prevent terror and genocide, and encourage the US to help with reconstruction, peacekeeping,

... More

April 8, 2008 | Opinion Survey: Germany and US More Popular.

17,000 respondents in 34 countries perceived Germany as the country that has the most “positive influence” on world affairs. ++ 18 percent gave a negative assessment of Germany, the lowest disapproval figure for any of the 23 countries rated in BBC World Service survey. ++ For the first time since 2005, the number of people abroad that view the US as a positive force has increased slightly, to 35

... More

April 7, 2008 | US and Europe at Odds Over Russia's Resources

Europe needs Russia for its oil and natural gas and Russia needs Europe for revenue from these resources. ++ This reciprocal relationship explains Europe’s opposition to granting Ukraine and Georgia NATO membership. ++ The issue of energy security is one of the few issues where central and eastern European countries agree with the US and are in conflict with Germany and France.

... More

April 1, 2008 | NATO Cannot be an Alliance of Equals

NATO has always been a two-tiered alliance in which some countries shouldered more burdens than others. ++ This fact will not change, but it also does not invalidate the significance of NATO. ++ A two-tiered NATO even has certain benefits for the US, especially since the Eastward expansion of NATO serves as a safeguard against Russia. ++ NATO’s future, if centered on sea power and not combat,

... More

March 31, 2008 | Obama's Communication Style: A Lesson for Europe

Obama’s speech on race spoke to Europe and provided insights into the imperfections of US democracy. ++ Obama succeeded in addressing the problems of his nation, something which is rarely accomplished
in Europe. ++ The bureaucratic language which fills European politics fails to clearly discuss or solve societal issues as is made clear in Germany by the mental wall which is being built between

... More

March 28, 2008 | US Financial Crisis: An Advantage for Russia

Russia could benefit from the US financial crisis if Americans transfer their excess liquidity to currencies such as the ruble which are likely to appreciate. ++ Russia is enticing to foreign investors: the ruble is undervalued, Russian equities are cheap, and commodities are scarce. ++ Yet Russia will also face risks as a sudden increase in capital inflow could lead to reduced reform and

... More

March 28, 2008 | Building a Relationship With Iran

Iran and the US are not doomed to remain eternal enemies. ++ The two countries share profound strategic interests such as stabilizing Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan; preventing the spread of Russian influence; and ensuring that Middle Eastern oil flow smoothly to Western markets. ++ A path towards comprehensive negotiations should be adopted as it is low cost and could yield extremely remarkable

... More

March 25, 2008 | Sustaining Western Leadership

The fact that the US and the EU are now responsible for under 30% of world exports indicates a decline of primacy. ++ Discussions held by the elites at the Brussels Forum highlighted the need for a closer transatlantic partnership when dealing with new global “state and nonstate threats”. ++ Internal discord in the EU and the US is hindering the focus on external common interests.

... More

March 18, 2008 | "Fighting Recession With Panic"

As a reserve currency, the US dollar’s value was only sustainable while the economy was growing. ++ As many economists expect a recession, the Fed is moving aggressively to pump more liquidity into the US banking system. ++ This and increasing trade protectionism are adversely sustaining consumption, hindering capital formation and entrepreneurship, and halting the creation of wealth necessary to

... More

March 12, 2008 | US Recession Hurts Everyone

It is wrong to think that China has supplanted America in driving the global economy - the US still contributes 5 times more to the world’s GDP than China. ++ Banks around the world are learning that the US has lived beyond its means and debt may not be repaid. ++ Though a US tax cut may help, it won’t be enough to prevent recession. ++ The extent of the damage may not be known until 2009.

... More

March 7, 2008 | A World Free of Nuclear Weapons

The goal of global nuclear disarmament must not be abandoned. ++ Recent positive developments at the Oslo conference suggest that all nations should continue to work together toward this goal. ++ The disarmament appeal needs to be more universal. ++ Hopefully, the calls for more diplomatic-scientific cooperation, firm commitment from leaders, and expanded education will be remembered.

... More

March 5, 2008 | Sino-US Relations: Fundamental Misunderstandings

The US has failed to understand that China’s objectives do not complement America’s. ++ China does not want the US to play a role in Central and East Asia, and its actions routinely illustrate this. ++ By adopting a tolerant stance, and failing to illustrate its strength, the US demonstrates its continued misunderstanding of Chinese intentions and ensures that existing problems will only worsen

... More

March 4, 2008 | Working With Iran

The US’s current “insistence on zero enrichment of uranium” in Iran is unreasonable. ++ The US needs to encourage Iran to abandon its national enrichment activities in favor of a multilateral program based in Iran. ++ While there would be many risks, such a program would deter Iranian proliferation, help Iran further its nuclear power agenda, and ensure greater transparency regarding its nuclear

... More

February 27, 2008 | A US Exit Out of Iraq Would Benefit All

A Democratic candidate, if elected, needs to end the war in Iraq as promised. ++ US withdrawal would not only allow the US to make progress on domestic issues, but it would also give Iraqis an opportunity to make their own deals and decisions and could create more regional support for Iraq. ++ The idea that leaving Iraq would be “surrendering to evildoers” and simply set the stage for genocide is

... More

February 25, 2008 | Europe and Annapolis: A Focused Agenda

Failure to make the most of the Annapolis process would be fatal for both Israel and the international community. ++ The US needs to be “the major responsible supervisor of the negotiation process.” ++ The EU must move beyond its traditional role of paymaster and focus on state building and economic reconstruction in Palestine. ++ The EU must simultaneously demand concrete results from other

... More

February 11, 2008 | Troops in Afghanistan: A Catch-22 for German Leaders

Jan Techau and Alexander Skiba of the German Council on Foreign Relations criticize the German Government’s rejection of the US request for more German combat forces in south Afghanistan. There are at least three reasons for Germany to re-evaluate its current position: stabilizing Afghanistan is in Germany’s national interest; strategically it makes sense for Germany to carry more of

... More

February 7, 2008 | How do European and US Think Tanks Measure Up?

Ted R. Bromund of Yale University explains that liberal US think tanks (and their budgets) are expanding rapidly and notes that the Brookings Institution “has grown by 50 percent over the past two years.” Conservative American think tanks are not fairing so well, but when compared to similar European institutions, all American think tanks regardless of political affiliation appear wealthy. This

... More

February 4, 2008 | The US Economy: A Deep Concern for the Middle Class

The struggling US economy has become a critical issue for America’s current and future leadership. Robert Reich, a professor of public policy at the University of California at Berkeley and a former US secretary of labour, argues that presidential hopefuls need to recognize that “middle-class families have exhausted the coping mechanisms” which have kept them afloat since the 1970’s.

... More

December 12, 2007 | The US Trails Behind on Humanitarian Aid

A new rating of 22 developed countries (and the EC) puts the United States at 16th on Humanitarian Aid. The new Humanitarian Response Index (HRI), carried out by a Spain-based NGO called DARA, focuses less on total funding and more on how well aid dollars reach their target.

Sweden gets top marks for quickly delivering funds in cash, and consistently following up. The US on the other hand

... More

July 23, 2007 | Time For a Transatlantic Consensus on International Law

William H. Taft and Frances G. Burwell from the Atlantic Council advise the EU and US to coordinate their positions before the ICC review conference in 2009. The transatlantic partners must set an example for the rest of the world.

With the review conference on the International Criminal Court (ICC) coming up in 2009, a concerted transatlantic effort to build global consensus on international

... More

June 8, 2007 | Africom - A New Era in America's Africa Policy

By autumn 2007, US Africa Command (Africom) headquarters in Stuttgart, Germany should be ready for initial operations, reports the International Herald Tribune. Africom is an administrative body that will coordinate US peacekeeping activities, humanitarian aid missions, and military partnership operations with African countries as well as offer defense support in non-military operations.

... More

May 31, 2007 | Bruegel Says Worldwide Exchange Rates Adjustment Would Fight Current Account Deficits

The March 2007 Bruegel Policy Brief reveals that imbalances in global current account positions are not sustainable and need adjustment. A 15% depreciation of the dollar and an appreciation of Asian currencies is needed in order to:

  • reduce the US current account deficit,
  • faciliate China’s focus on domestic demand and reduce its accumulation of foreign exchange reserves, and
    *
... More

Comments

September 16, 2012 | The power of China puts US hegemony at risk....

January 26, 2012 | Marno de Boer nicely describes his point in...

December 1, 2011 | The very existence of the Berlin Plus...

October 4, 2011 | Mr. Bunnik, Developments since the...

September 24, 2011 | "Physical damage and real kinetic...

September 22, 2011 | First of all I like your idea very much which...

September 9, 2011 | That's a fair comment, but how do you convince...

August 29, 2011 | Prof. Colette Mazzucelli You have rightly...

August 23, 2011 | Saba, thanks very much for writing on this...

August 4, 2011 | Thanks, Eva, for your insightful comment. It...

January 30, 2011 | The dis-engagement of the United States (as...

December 4, 2010 | Dear Jan, first of all let me thank you for...

December 3, 2010 | Dear Julia, Jan, sorry for not getting back...

December 3, 2010 | Dear Jan, first of all let me thank you for...

December 2, 2010 | Dear Julia, let me start by underlining...

December 2, 2010 | Dear Santino, I know nothing about climate...

December 2, 2010 | Dear Julia, Thanks for the insightful ideas...

December 2, 2010 | Dear all let me get back to your comments...

December 2, 2010 | Dear Santino, Jan, actually in order to not...

December 2, 2010 | Dear Jan, thanks for your comment. Just a...

December 1, 2010 | Thank you for sharing some your clarifications...

December 1, 2010 | Dear Jan, thank you very much for your...

December 1, 2010 | Hello Jan, Thank you so much for taking the...

December 1, 2010 | Dear Edson, Julia, in order to follow the...

December 1, 2010 | Dear Edson, Julia, thank you for your...

November 30, 2010 | Dear Santino, Ntambaazi, let me clarify a...

November 30, 2010 | Dear Philip, Thanks for sharing us your views...

November 30, 2010 | Dear Santino, funny enough I think we're...

November 30, 2010 | Dear Philip, Thanks for the responses....

November 30, 2010 | Dear Ntambaazi, Santino, let me get back...

November 30, 2010 | Dear Dominik, first of all I would like to...

November 29, 2010 | Dear Julia, Thanks for the clarifications....

November 29, 2010 | Hello Dominik, Thanks for sharing your...

November 29, 2010 | Dear Salvador, instead of focussing on the...

April 6, 2010 | As I wrote in a previous article, Turkey is a...

January 27, 2010 | Ann, as long as Europeans and American share...

January 26, 2010 | Tobias, Thank you for your comments. I think...

January 5, 2010 | One of the more interesting things that come...

November 25, 2009 | Mr. Katulis, thank you very much for your...

November 3, 2009 | The world has got much more complicated and it...

October 27, 2009 | @John You seem to suggest that there is a...

October 22, 2009 | I do think that the United States is better...

October 21, 2009 | In the short-term China will start to exert...

October 7, 2009 | There is a very good book on this: Parag...

September 25, 2009 | I completely agree with Mr. Schirmer on that...

September 17, 2009 | The timing may be unfortunate (17 of September...

August 28, 2009 | Dear contributors, it is very interesting...

August 12, 2009 | Since when is honesty wrong? It takes a...

August 12, 2009 | Since when is honesty wrong? It takes a...

August 8, 2009 | I found the 'Post American World' concise and...

August 3, 2009 | In my humble opinion, the only thing that has...

July 29, 2009 | As a matter of fact, the US is running the...

July 22, 2009 | &#8220;There are some European allies, like...

July 21, 2009 | As an American living in Germany for several...

June 24, 2009 | Governments reflect in large part the nature...

March 10, 2009 | According to Mr. Smith's article the right...

March 6, 2009 | "The war against al-Qaeda in Afghanistan could...

November 22, 2008 | The real world is always very difficult. Far...

November 3, 2008 | Elephants have long memories and Donkeys are...

October 15, 2008 | Don't the Pashtuns comprise some 40% of the...

October 9, 2008 | While agreeing with the Author that realism...

October 6, 2008 | I only can agree with comment of Marek that...

October 6, 2008 | Whereas it's fully agreeable that the security...

September 26, 2008 | Meredith, thank you for pointing out the...

September 17, 2008 | This plan seems like a great idea. The...

September 7, 2008 | Don's comment made me think of Afghanistan....

August 28, 2008 | The US used the opportunity to enter the Black...

July 28, 2008 | It is a pity that Obama is not as excited...

July 19, 2008 | The question in the title may also be...

July 15, 2008 | This article asks if the "league of...

June 24, 2008 | From the energy-gambling point of view...

March 14, 2008 | Not only we did not see a strong declaration...

February 25, 2008 | Economic stability? Agreed, the economy in...

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