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Karsten Voigt: EU decisions have been driven by political motivations with major economic implications. Members were unable to agree on an efficient governance structure. Since some members want less Europe, not more, an improved system of governance cannot include all members for the time being.
In their history, the EU-member states have often taken decisions where the main motivation was political, but the decisions themselves had major economic implications.
The enlargement of the EU by Greece, Portugal and Spain was driven by the desire to stabilize the young democracies after the end of the dictatorship in those countries. The wave of enlargement by east-central and south-eastern states was driven by the same ...More
Tabish Shah: The on-going conflict in Syria, the anti-American nature of protests in the Middle East, increased Green on Blue attacks, among other issues has created a new set of geopolitical challenges. Could these challenges be better pre-empted by channelling smart defence through a more robust Germany-Turkey-United States partnership in order to advance NATO states’ collective interests?
Camp Bastion, a British-managed ISAF camp, was recently attacked: Armed forces personnel dead or wounded and millions of dollars down the drain at a time when it couldn't be more costly. Two casualties, nine wounded, and eight AV-8B aircraft destroyed or severely damaged - according to reports, 7 percent of the total flying USMC Harrier fleet is out of action as a result. Allied forces in the area therefore are now without ...More
Editorial Team: It is the 50th anniversary of the Cuban missile crisis. Occurring during the Cold War, the 1962 crisis was the moment when the world almost faced nuclear disaster. This interview with Graham Allison takes a look back at that incident and what it means for today. Does the past help us understand the Iran situation today?
Fifty years after the Cuban missile crisis, Gideon Rose talks to author and Belfer Center director Graham Allison about the lessons that have been and can be learned from the diplomatic management of the historic confrontation. Can historical analysis yield a wise approach to modern nuclear challenges? How do today's intellectual discourse and public debate on international affairs compare to decades past?
Source: Foreign Affairs' Youtube Channel
Also take a look at Allison's article in Foreign Affairs, "The Cuban Missile Crisis at 50".
Joshua Clapp: Tomorrow marks the second US presidential debate between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. The debate, in a town meeting format, will include not only domestic policy but also foreign policy. How do the two candidates approach the outside world? Here is a look at five main foreign policy issues.
The US presidential race has changed dramatically. In the first debate, Romney decisively changed the narrative of the race when facing a flat and meandering president. The most recent opinion polls show a closer race than ever before, with some even giving Romney a small lead.The second presidential debate offers Obama a chance to regain his footing. Since the format will incorporate foreign policy, the president should emphasize what ...More
Nikolay Shevchenko: The Syrian crisis marks the ultimate test for the responsibility to protect norm. The inability of the UN Security Council to reach a timely consensus does not only harm Syrians, but weakens the concept that shields populations from crimes against humanity. Instead of criticizing the vetoing of resolutions, Western powers must persuade Russia and China to propose their own visions of the norm.
The UN Secretary General recently announced that the inability of the Security Council to come to an agreement on the Syrian crisis harms Syrian civilians and endangers the Responsibility to Protect (RtoP), an international norm adopted with great hope in 2005. While this is true, the major problem is not Russia and China blocking the UNSC but rather unwillingness by the Western states to adapt to the rules put forward ...More
NATO Review: The world looks to have won a brief reprieve from a food security crisis, with grain prices stabilizing in the last few months of 2012 after a mid-year surge that brought back memories of the 2007-08 food riots. Geoff Hiscock looks at how enough food production and water usage for everyone is attainable.
But as the UN's Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) warns in its latest outlook (September 6, 2012), the need for vigilance is ongoing. Volatility is likely to be a hallmark of the year ahead as a combination of water stress, weather extremes, civil strife, population growth, urbanisation, inefficient distribution systems and spiraling demand for more water-intensive food continues to put pressure on global supply capacity.
North Africa and West Africa's ...More
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.
After a decade of the US military being in Afghanistan and while there are thousands of linguists and culture experts working for the US military in Afghanistan, then why is Afghan culture still not understood? There are four categories of linguists and cultural advisors: Afghan residence linguists called local linguists; Afghan US green card holders called category one (CAT I) linguists; American passport holders with secret clearness ...More
Sascha Lohmann: The order of steps undertaken within the West’s coercive dual-track approach has to be altered. In this regard, a lifting of sanctions as well as a recognition of Iran’s right to nuclear energy must both be employed to facilitate a diplomatic solution.
During the latest round of talks held this year in Istanbul (April), Baghdad (May), and Moscow (June) between the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council plus Germany (P5+1) and Iran to solve the nuclear standoff, negotiations always stalled right at the beginning. The P5+1 opening position basically demanded from Iran to halt its ongoing enrichment of 20 percent uranium, export the already ...More
Tornike Zurabashvili: Georgia’s 2012 Parliamentary Election marks an extraordinary continuation of Georgian democratic tradition, with power to be transferred for the first time peacefully and the loser to courteously recognize the defeat. The further consolidation of the democratic process will serve as a catalyst for its spread to other states in the region.
To the astonishment of many Caucasus analysts and followers of Georgia, opposition Georgian Dream Coalition, an eclectic union of nine Georgian political parties, cornered the ruling United National Movement in a landslide victory of 55% to 41% on October 1, when Georgians went to the polls for their country’s 150-strong parliament. In so doing, Georgian Dream Coalition put an end to the 8 years long domination of Mikheil ...More
Aaron Thomas Walter: President Obama’s handling of the unfolding anti-America protests in the Middle East has been derided as weak. At the same time, the president was criticized for not standing up for that most sacred of ideals, free speech. These arguments miss the point of American foreign policy in the region.
As the American presidential campaign enters its final stage, the rhetoric on both sides has been raised. This is true on almost all of the campaign issues, however the recent violence against US State Department personal, the death of America’s ambassador in Libya, and unrolling protests across the Muslim world in the wake of the anti-Islam film produced in the US has allowed American political pundits, political strategists, and former ...More