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December 5, 2012 | The First European to Meet Obama after his Reelection

Georgi Ivanov: Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov visited President Obama on Monday and brought also the ministers of foreign affairs, defence and interior to Washington. Bulgaria is located at the crossroads of three continents and transit country for two strategic natural gas pipeline projects. Relations with the US are perhaps the best in their 110-year history.

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December 4, 2012 | Transatlantic Security in Obama II: Gray Clouds, Silver Linings

William C. Fleeson: President Obama won a second term one month ago this week. Transatlantic security experts have predicted everything from the dismal to the miraculous. Here’s a cautiously pessimistic assessment of what the next four years could hold for defense in the Atlantic sphere.

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November 2, 2012 | America's Drone Strikes Setting Dangerous Precedent

Peter J Fusco: The Obama administration is setting a very dangerous global precedence for sending drones over borders to kill enemies (sometimes innocents). These drone strikes lack the congressional oversight of the executive branch. At the same time, employing drones qualifies as a “moral hazard.”

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October 15, 2012 | Obama vs. Romney: Fighting to Be Different

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.

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October 3, 2012 | US Foreign Policy After the 2012 Election

Omar El-Nahry: Today marks the first US presidential debate between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. This article looks back at the foreign policy enacted under Obama’s presidency and its differences to the previous administration. Going forward, what foreign policy challenges will the new (or old) occupant face?

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July 24, 2012 | Reexamining Obama's Berlin Speech This Article contains Flash-Video

Editorial Team: Four years ago today, the Democratic Party presidential candidate rocked Berlin. Over 200,000 people attended Barack Obama’s speech at the Victory Column. We take a look back at that moment, and what people said at the time. Where do we find ourselves today?

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June 22, 2012 | Who's the Cowboy Now? Obama and Drone Strikes

Joshua Clapp: Obama has rapidly escalated the drone campaign. Meanwhile, his administration has not been shy in advertising the use of drones. The White House should be careful however. Increased drone strikes do not actually help America. In fact, these attacks weaken Washington’s position.

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May 28, 2012 | NATO Summit Disappoints Despite Rosy Rhetoric

Joshua Clapp: With the Chicago Summit wrapped up, the pundits are weighing in about what they think the Summit accomplished and what it means for NATO. If most of the commentators are correct about the Summit, then the Alliance should not be congratulating itself too much.

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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 13, 2011 | Israel's Old Road is Rapidly Fading as Times Change in Middle East

John Taylor: While the Jewish state remains the strongest military power in the Middle East, it is increasingly isolated in a region undergoing dramatic political change. Israel needs to adopt a policy of engagement and dialogue with its neighbors in order to safeguard its position in the region.

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October 7, 2011 | Lost Illusions: Dealing With a Stagnant Russia

Dustin Dehez: Despite Russia’s posturing as a resurgent global power, the Russian oil-based economy is vulnerable and the absence of the rule of law stands in the way of any development. Putin’s return to power will further strain Russia’s relations with the West. Now is the time to develop a new approach to Russia.

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August 12, 2011 | Hot Issue: How will the Debt Crisis End? This Article contains Flash-Video

Editorial Team: “Armadebton” and “Debtocalypse” are terms Jon Stewart has used to describe the US debt crisis. European commentators have not yet coined a name for their continent’s debt troubles as eurozone pessimism reaches new depths. Share your thoughts on the on-going sovereign debt crisis.

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June 9, 2011 | Angela Merkel: Friend or Free-Rider?

Editorial Team: The media in the United States and Germany has been awash with speculation over the future of transatlantic relations as Obama tries to charm Europe’s strongest leader with a Medal of Freedom. Can Obama’s charm offensive convince Germany to show more global leadership?

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November 5, 2010 | Obama Needs to Court Syria in the Levant

Baudouin Long: While Obama is trying to revive the Israeli-Palestinian peace-process, Damascus has been kept on the sidelines. Yet, US engagement with Syria is the key to making progress in the region.

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November 2, 2010 | Midterm Elections: What Should Europe Expect from Obama 2.0?

Alexis Leigh Serfaty: The results of the US Midterm Elections will see a Congress comprised of invigorated Republicans and ‘Tea Partiers’. European leaders would be well advised to reach-out to Obama and listen to US political realities more closely than has been the case during the last two years.

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September 16, 2010 | The Limited Power of Presidential Popularity

Editorial Team: President Obama’s popularity in Europe does not translate into more support for US policies. According to Transatlantic Trends 2010 differences in public opinion remain on Iran and Afghanistan. Europeans are much more pessimistic than Americans regarding the ISAF mission, but they share US support for NATO being prepared to act outside of Europe.

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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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April 13, 2010 | Fight Not Flight for US-EU Strategic Dialogue

Tobias Fella: Atlanticists hoped that Barack Obama would be the savior of transatlantic relations, but dashed expectations have strained the relationship. The US and the EU should not be afraid to engage one another to save the alliance. The partners need to promptly engage in a strategic dialogue on transatlantic issues including trade and the Middle East.

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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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January 4, 2010 | Is Obama too Soft on Terror?

Editorial Team: President Obama has moved away from his predecessor’s ‘War on Terror,’ which is now coming under fire. According to conservative’s in the United States, these new, ‘weaker’ policies are to blame for the attempted Christmas Day bombing.

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December 7, 2009 | The Post-9/11 Era: A Lost Decade

Fabian Martin Lieschke: With President Obama’s announcement to start withdrawing troops from Afghanistan in 2011, we may be tempted to think that the post-9/11 period is giving way to a new era. Yet, it is precisely such thinking that has turned the years after 9/11 into a lost decade. We should not repeat this mistake.

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December 2, 2009 | And 30,000 it is This Article contains Flash-Video

Thomas Rausch: President Obama’s West Point speech heralds the next transatlantic rift. The American president is in a tight spot: he needs his transatlantic allies to support this new strategic endeavor. All the while, the German government must decide if it will go along with the plan or develop its own way forward to do right by Afghanistan.

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November 12, 2009 | Maintain Strategic Flexibility

Greg Randolph Lawson: Obama needs to maintain military flexibility by repositioning its “Af-Pak” policy. The US can encourage lasting stability in the region, and indeed protect its own strategic sustainability, by rethinking its nation building efforts and allowing regional actors to grow into a more effective anti-Taliban force.

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October 21, 2009 | Afghanistan is not Vietnam and the US is not the USSR

Abbas Daiyar: Comparisons between the Afghanistan conflict and the Vietnam war are completely unfounded as they have little in common. Obama has no choice but to agree to General McChrystal’s request of sending more troops into Afghanistan.

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October 15, 2009 | Wanted: A Campaign for Global Technological Innovation

Melissaratos/Slabbert: As global challenges become increasingly technocentric, a concerted campaign to usher the world into a new technological era is sorely needed. Thus, the US and other governments should invest in a global campaign for technological innovation.

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October 9, 2009 | Is Obama a Worthy 'Nobel Peace Prize' Winner?

Editorial Team: Barack Obama has just been declared the winner of the ‘Nobel Peace Prize’ beating other nominees such as Chinese dissident Hu Jia, Ingrid Betancourt and Colombian activist Piedad Cordoba. Is it too soon or are you happy with the committee’s decision?

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July 17, 2009 | A Nightmare: Obama Wants Nuclear Disarmament

Thomas Speckmann: The nuclear disarmament talks between Obama and Medvedev have been much celebrated, but the reality is not so rosy. Instead of a reduction in overall weapons, the talks signal a shift from nuclear to conventional weapons that could be much more dangerous in the long run as conventional rearmament could increase the number of bloody conflicts.

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June 26, 2009 | Could Distance Between Obama and Merkel Impair US-German Relations?

Editorial Team: Prior to Chancellor Merkel’s trip to Washington DC both US and German journalists described a strained personal relationship between President Obama and Chancellor Merkel. Do you believe the two leaders’ different personalities and rhetorics have a negative effect on US-German relations?

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June 4, 2009 | Is Apologizing a Sign of Weakness or Strength?

Editorial Team: In his Cairo speech, US President Obama attempted to heal US relations with the Muslim world. But there is increasing controversy surrounding his outreach-focused approach to foreign relations with some commentators claiming that apologizing for past wrongs is dangerous and weakens the US.

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June 3, 2009 | State-Backed Opel Deal Poses Threat to Free Markets

Jens F. Laurson & George A. Pieler : The recent deal to save Opel in Europe, which was backed by the US, German and Russian leaders and included a 1.5 billion euro investment from Germany, is not the end of the story. The deal blithely gave the state control of a major industry - putting free markets themselves at stake.

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May 29, 2009 | Two State Solution Only Option for Israel and Obama

Marco Vicenzino: Despite Benjamin Netanyahu being a reluctant peacemaker, the Israel-Palestinian conflict cannot be allowed to continue and a two state solution is the only viable solution for all parties. Despite early expectations, President Obama may not have the political capital to solve the dispute on his own.

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May 15, 2009 | Taking Gitmo Inmates Would be a Dangerous Gamble

Ulf Gartzke: The SPD’s candidate for chancellor, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, is risking public backlash and is taking a reckless gamble with the security of the German nation by supporting an Obama administration plan to resettle Guantanamo Bay prisoners in this country. Steinmeier previously opposed the plan when it was suggested by the Bush Administration.

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April 9, 2009 | HOT ISSUE: The Verdict on Obama's European Trip

Editorial Team: Does one achievement stand out as a significant development at the infancy of the Obama presidency’s foreign policy, or have the early signs of progress been exaggerated out of context? Take part in our poll and vote what you think Obama’s greatest achievement has been.

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April 6, 2009 | Will the Armenian Genocide Issue Shape Future US-Turkey Relations?

Marie Grunert: Ahead of his visit to Turkey, there has been much speculation as to whether President Obama would carry out his intention and recognize the Armenian genocide. In doing so, whilst he would be carrying out an intention stated in his campaign, it could have a lasting impact on US-Turkey relations

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April 2, 2009 | How to Extend NATO's MAP to Ukraine and Georgia

Fabian Martin Lieschke: US leadership can respond to the more imminent challenge of Iranian nuclear ambitions and extend NATO’s Membership Action Plan (MAP) to Ukraine and Georgia. Here is a recommendation to President Obama.

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March 26, 2009 | Obama Needs the Unusual Suspects to Pacify South-Central Asia

Parag Khanna: President Obama’s administration may need to look outside of its traditional set of allies in order to secure stability in Afghanistan, Pakistan and the surrounding regions. There will be a cost attached to this cooperation, but the cost of failure may be higher.

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March 13, 2009 | A Compromise Energy Policy Is Within Reach

Tony Hayward: The new American energy policy should be a mixture of alternative energies and drilling. Only a compromise will succeed to tackle climate change while guaranteeing energy security and efficiency.

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March 6, 2009 | Time is Running Out

Jordan Michael Smith: In yesterday’s speech, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton described Afghanistan as “NATO’s biggest challenge”. NATO has agreed to resume high-level contacts with Russia on this issue, but President Obama also has a key role in ensuring that Afghanistan is transformed into a liberal democracy.

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February 23, 2009 | Europe and Iraq: A Re-Connect

Markus Drake: Europe has spent the time since it was split into “old” and “new” Europe avoiding engagement with Iraq, ignoring its large interests in the country and in the region. This, according to a new publication by the Heinrich Böll Foundation, must change. For reasons of moral obligation, if nothing else.

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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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February 2, 2009 | Making Europe's Relationship With Obama More Than a Flirt

Jordan Michael Smith: The unprecedented enthusiasm with which the election of President Obama has been received in Europe is destined to sink when European and American interests conflict. Measures can, however, be applied on both sides of the Atlantic to secure the positive development of the Euro-American relationship.

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January 29, 2009 | The New Feel of Washington This Article contains Flash-Video

Rüdiger Lentz: Inclusiveness, openness and transparency are the key experiences of the early Obama administration, according to Rüdiger Lentz, President of Atlantic Initiative U.S. in his new video message.

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January 29, 2009 | German Political Parties Must Inspire Grassroots Online

Marcel Reichart: German political parties were no doubt transfixed by the campaign revolution executed by Obama via the internet. To stay abreast of changing social dynamics, German political parties must harness creativity and expertise, inspiring the internet savvy to political participation.

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December 19, 2008 | Young Atlanticists' Views on NATO, Russia and Obama This Article contains Flash-Video

Interviews with YATA Delegates: Youth Atlantic Treaty Association delegates interviewed at their General Assembly held in Berlin in November 2008. The topics range from Russian relations to what Obama will ask Europe to do.

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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 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 8, 2008 | Overcoming Mistrust is the Key to Afghan-Pakistani Partnership This Article contains Flash-Video

Interview with Abdul Naeemi & Imtiaz Gul: Afghanistan and Pakistan have been close allies, but their current relationship is driven by mutual mistrust. The international community should help open diplomatic channels and promote Afghan-Pakistani negotiations to collectively succeed in fighting terrorism.

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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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December 2, 2008 | US Agenda for Renewable Energy: Will it Benefit Europe?

Markus Drake: The opportunity for structural change that the economic crisis offers cannot be overlooked. With climate change no longer a “left” question, but rather in the center of society, business is realizing that there is profit to be made. But is it European companies that will benefit from Obama’s policies?

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December 1, 2008 | US Elections Boost Initiative to Reopen Amerika Haus Berlin This Article contains Flash-Video

Editorial Team: A civil society initiative is working to reopen the Amerika Haus Berlin, where permanent activities were suspended in 2006. A two month series of panel discussions about the US elections of 2008 brought the house back to life, and showed the potential of this open meeting space.

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November 28, 2008 | Obama's Multipolar Moment

Wess Mitchell: President-elect Obama will be the first president facing the reality of global multipolarity. In view of the intricate international agenda that is challenging US policy, Obama must break with the unipolar mentality of President Bush. He must distance himself from his predecessors bipolar approaches and adjust US foreign policy to the actuality of a multipolar world.

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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 18, 2008 | A European Briefing Book for Barack Obama

Bertelsmann Foundation: Written with a distinctly European perspective, this Trans-Atlantic Briefing Book for the Obama administration is a policy blueprint that offers strategies for cooperation between Europe and the new US leadership.

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November 17, 2008 | Bretton Woods Revisited, Again

Luke A. Nichter: With this weekend’s G-20 meeting in Washington, calls for the return to a Bretton Woods-like system can be heard around the world. However, before getting caught up in the momentum of “reform,” the incoming administration of President-elect Obama should carefully heed the lessons of history.

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November 10, 2008 | What if President Obama Asks for German Combat Troops? This Article contains Flash-Video

Interview with Andrew Hammel: US calls for German troops in southern Afghanistan primarily have a “symbolic meaning,” says Andrew Hammel, who teaches Anglo-American Law at Heinrich Heine University and runs the popular blog “German Joys.”

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November 6, 2008 | "Country First" to Be Obama's Motto

Simon K. Koschut: President-elect Obama faces a tough challenge once he takes office. The world is expecting change from America, but they shouldn’t hope for too much, too fast. Instead, in countries like Germany, the question needs to be “what can we do for the United States?” Likely topics of discussion will regard burden sharing in Afghanistan and possibly even Iraq.

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November 5, 2008 | A New Day Rising After Election Night

From the Editorial Team: We spent the election night at a number of parties throughout Berlin. In light of the blithe atmosphere surrounding these events, we decided to ask fellow revelers a few questions regarding their election thoughts.

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November 5, 2008 | Excited About Obama, Realistic About Transatlantic Cooperation This Article contains Flash-Video

From the Editorial Team: German and American policy pundits and exchange students celebrated Obama’s election and look forward to a new era in transatlantic relations, but they also recognize the limits of further US-European cooperation.

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November 3, 2008 | Europe Needs a Strong American Partner!

Eckart von Klaeden: No matter whom the American voters elect, a radical change in US foreign policy towards its European allies is unlikely. Both McCain and Obama would generally continue to follow the multilateral course pursued by President Bush in his second term of office and before him by President Clinton.

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October 29, 2008 | McCain Only Has Himself to Blame

Matthias Stephan Fifka: McCain is likely to loose the US presidential election. Though his bad luck of having to follow the current Republican presidency is also a factor, he has made fatal mistakes in his campaign. Abrupt strategy changes, his pick of Sarah Palin for VP, and negative campaign ads were all part of his own demise.

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October 27, 2008 | Obama Will Win Back Europe's Support This Article contains Flash-Video

Interview with Charles Kupchan: Europe is the United States’ best partner. An Obama administration will work hard towards a renewal of transatlantic relations and pursue a more liberal internationalist agenda, but also ask Europe for greater assistance.

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October 24, 2008 | American Foreign Policy Bids Farewell to Neoconservatism

James Joyner: Colin Powell’s endorsement of Barack Obama is simply the final scene of an act long in coming: neoconservatism is dead. The Foreign Policy Establishment is composed of realists, and neocon ideas are being pushed to the margins. For the GOP, the sooner it can re-embrace pragmatic foreign policy, the better.

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September 11, 2008 | Presidential Elections Will Not Shape US Foreign Policy This Article contains Flash-Video

David Neil Lebhar: While the race between Obama and McCain is too close to call, US voters and the world must realize that the two candidates’ foreign policy positions are not especially different. Furthermore, due to economic instability, domestic concerns, and a shifting geo-political balance, the next president will have to react to international issues through re-defined multilateralism.

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September 11, 2008 | Obama and Biden: No Fundamental Change on Iraq Policy

Reidar Visser: US presidential candidates, Democrats and Republicans alike, continue to ignore the shifting political realities in Iraq. Obama and Biden consistently portray the principal dynamic of Iraqi politics as a struggle between Shiites and Sunnis, whereas the main front in Baghdad is between two essentially cross-sectarian coalitions.

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August 29, 2008 | Obama Stresses Security Policy Differences with McCain This Article contains Flash-Video

From the Editorial Team: In his nomination speech, the Democratic presidential candidate reiterates his commitment to direct diplomacy with Iran and his hawkish position on Pakistan. What do you make of Barack Obama’s security policy positions?

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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 5, 2008 | The Shadow of Serious Transformation in US Foreign Policy

valentine anatolevich akishkin: The economic downturn and the rise of new centers of power will lead to a shift in US foreign policy doctrine, allowing the country to readjust itself to new world challenges by employing more agreeable and less costly means.

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July 30, 2008 | Only the Younger Generation can Bring Obama's Promised Change

Richard Wales: The presidential election campaigns are shaped by corporate interests. Barack Obama is part of the same institutionalized political elite as Bush. The promised change can only be achieved by a new generation.

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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 25, 2008 | Obama in Europe: Continuity We Can Believe In This Article contains Flash-Video

E. Ben Heine: The majority of Germans support Barack Obama for the US presidency, not because they believe he will radically change US policy, but because he is expected to return it to the familiar pre-Bush trajectory.

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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 16, 2008 | Withdrawal from Iraq and Reorientation of National Security Priorities This Article contains Flash-Video

Barack Obama Speech: “I will give our military a new mission on my first day in office: ending this war. (…) Let me be clear: We must be as careful getting out of Iraq as we were careless getting in. We can safely redeploy our combat brigades at a pace that would remove them in 16 months.”

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July 14, 2008 | America Votes, but Europe Decides on the Future of Transatlantic Relations

Jan Techau: Europe’s approach to the US will be decisive for the future of transatlantic relations. Though Bush will leave, the US will not be in a position to radically change its foreign policy. It is time for Europeans to become more American and acknowledge that the era of justifiable disagreement with America is over.

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June 16, 2008 | Democrats Good, Republicans Bad?

Thomas Speckmann: Examining the foreign policy of US presidents since Kennedy reveals that Germany is generally better off with the conservatives and that German military involvement will always be expected, regardless of who is elected.

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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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June 6, 2008 | Europe's Hope for Obama Presidency Likely to be Dashed This Article contains Flash-Video

Rüdiger Lentz: In US presidential elections, Europeans tend to overwhelmingly support the Democratic candidate. Yet, Europe misplaced its bets in both 2000 and 2004. The qualities that Europeans value in a US president are not the same ones that matter to Americans. Europe should tone down its expectations, and come to terms with the possibility of another GOP presidency.

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March 26, 2008 | What Europe Could Expect from an Obama Presidency

Julianne Smith: If elected, Obama will attempt to reestablish a strong partnership with Europe. He should come closer to his European partners on issues such as climate change and international law, but will expect greater cooperation and support for US policies in the Middle East and Afghanistan.

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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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March 3, 2008 | Obama or Clinton? Showdown in Texas and Ohio

Rüdiger Lentz: As Obamania continues to sweep the nation, it appears as if the Republicans’ worst fear will come true.

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January 31, 2008 | Obama and Clinton: Who Would be Best for Europe?

Christian Andreas Morris: References to transatlantic relations by the front-runners to the Democratic nomination are quite vague and generic. Clinton has shown more interest in Europe than Obama.

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Global Must Read Articles

October 18, 2012 | Muslims Must Support US Leadership on Syria

Of the choices presented to Obama over the Syrian conflict, the president gets to choose between a bad decision and a worse one – he chose the wrong one. ++ In the upcoming US elections, we are seeing two Obamas: the one of the Cairo speech in 2009 and the other of a “terrorist-slayer”. ++ The latter has taken over, while ignoring the deeper roots of American security that the former

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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 2, 2012 | Divided State of America on Foreign Policy

China remains a status quo power avoiding anything in its way to economic growth, while Russia too is a status quo power (of 30 years ago, that is). ++ Europe is a status-seeking power with only one serious politician left, Merkel. ++ But what of the US? ++ For Obama, America is in the “status-management business”, adjusting foreign policy in a changing world; he removed the country from a

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September 27, 2012 | US Election = Reckless Foreign Policy Debate

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

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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 | Pragmatism or What? The Future of US Foreign Policy

Obama’s foreign policy and the one that Romney promises are not too far off from one another. Both men are results-oriented pragmatists, emphasizing achieving results over pursuing agendas. Yet, according to David Milne, where they differ most concerns the foundations to their foreign policy approaches. Obama attacks the dogma behind the policies of the Bush administration as stepped in passion

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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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June 25, 2012 | Making a Difference by Not Making a Difference

Much of the Arab Spring has been a mess. ++ Violence continues in Yemen, Libya, Bahrain, and in Syria, while the victory of the Islamic Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt has led to a power struggle with the military. ++ Although Obama is definitely not the prime cause for the mess, he is at fault for waffling back and forth between the sides instead of choosing one. ++ By not supporting the start of

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April 23, 2012 | Obama Wastes Time As Syria Bleeds

The violence in Syria will never be ended through diplomacy. ++ The Obama administration must accept reality and work with options that could end the bloodshed. ++ More unarmed observers and sanctions will not work. ++ An arms embargo only reinforces the regime’s military advantage. ++ Any new proposals should emphasize safe zones or humanitarian corridors, which could be enforced with a small

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April 16, 2012 | Obama's Delay Defense

As this year’s American presidential election looms closer, Barack Obama’s foreign policy strategy has been simple: put off policy solutions until after the elections. ++ Obama has been willing to delay arms control negotiations with Russia and avoid military action against Syria and Iran. ++ Although buying time might serve his electoral needs, the number of civilian casualties in Syria has been

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March 21, 2012 | Let the Drone Strikes Continue

Obama’s drone strikes are actually embedded in the rule of law. ++ Critics have questioned the legality of targeted killings via drone strikes. ++ The US Congress has authorized and reaffirmed the president’s authority to use such force. ++ Under international laws of war, targeted killings can be legal. ++ The current system of executive deliberation guided by judicial precedent and subject to

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March 6, 2012 | Obama Now Gets Iran Right

After the election of Iran’s parliament, there is a new political climate that augurs well for talks on the nuclear issue. ++ It is unlikely that Ayatollah Ali Khamenei will now attempt to oust President Ahmedinejad, who has renewed his influence. ++ Obama correctly perceives the shift in the locus of power and sees the consolidation of authority as a window of opportunity. ++ Obama will

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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 21, 2012 | Europe Should Vote For the Republicans

Europe’s most powerful leaders are now aligned with the Republicans on major international issues. ++ European states disagree with Obama on the appropriateness of his stimulus package. ++ In opposing the quantitative easing program, Romney and Gingrich align with a tight European monetary policy. ++ Europe would benefit from Mr Romney’s opposition to reducing America’s military footprint

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February 8, 2012 | Drones vs. Democracy

Traditional warfare is being replaced by intelligence agency operated drone strikes in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia. ++ Americans won’t see a debate about the war on terror because the details are secret. ++ Conservative estimates suggest that hundreds of civilians have been killed in Pakistan. ++ Secrecy is beneficial in international relations but citizens can no longer decide whether their

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January 30, 2012 | Iran is a Distraction From Palestine

President Netanyahu has turned the Iranian threat into a convenient distraction away from Israel’s settlement policy. ++ He has taken advantage of President Obama’s preoccupation with the presidential elections. ++ Both Israel’s center and left parties have now adopted a policy of unilateral disengagement from Palestinian issues. ++ The end of negotiations for a two state solution is a “badge of

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January 23, 2012 | Bomb-Bomb-Bomb Iran?

A preemptive strike represents one pole of the debate on Iran, the most abused foreign policy topic this election. ++ Best indicators suggest that Iran’s nuclear program is moving fully ahead and could produce a weapon within one year. ++ Obama’s policy promises to be tougher than US policy under Bush as he gathers global support for a crippling boycott of Iranian oil. ++ There is a long-term

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January 13, 2012 | Hillary Clinton Should Run for Vice President

It is time to consider that the current US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, should be on the ticket as Vice President in 2012. ++ She was the most admired woman in America for the 10th year in a row. ++ The Obama administration believes it can be reelected without her but she would both guarantee his victory and potentially increase the number of Democratic seats in Congress. ++ A possible

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December 9, 2011 | The US, Turkey, and a Budding Relationship

Obama and Turkish PM Recep Erdogan have become unlikely partners as the Arab Spring has evolved. ++ After a blunt confrontation at the G-20 in Toronto, they have found common ground on Afghanistan, Iraq, and the fight against terror. ++ The relationship will now be key in pressuring for a peaceful change of power in Syria. ++ The “Turkish model” has become the hope for many Western

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November 28, 2011 | America is Back in the Pacific

The Obama administration is working closely with eight regional economies to realize “a Trans-Pacific Partnership, an ambitious, high-standard trade agreement.” ++ “Security in the region requires that international law and norms be respected, that commerce and freedom of navigation are not impeded.” ++ The United States will have to reduce defense spending over the next 10 years, but not at the

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November 23, 2011 | Trench Warfare Rages in US Congress

The failure of the US congressional “super-committee” to agree on a comparatively small amount of budget cuts is both embarrassing and dangerous. ++ As parties now gear up for election campaigns, the public disgust with the battle line of Congress risks turning “poisonous.” ++ Both parties know that a balance of cuts and tax increases is the answer, but they are too

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November 1, 2011 | Europe Threatens Obama's Reelection

The biggest danger to Obama’s re-election bid is the possibility of the European crisis spilling over to the US. ++ While the US economy is starting to show signs of gradual recovery, mounting European debt could send the American economy in a downward spiral. ++ Republican presidential candidates will use this opportunity to chastize Obama as ‘too European’ for trying to bring the US closer to a

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October 25, 2011 | US Retreats From Unstable Iraq

As Obama announced the completion of the Iraq War, doubts remain on whether any of the goals originally mapped out by the President have been attained. ++ Iraq remains volatile and unstable, the Iraqi government is looking increasingly authoritarian and the local military cannot provide security for the country. ++ Instead of using its leverage to negotiate a truly inclusive Iraqi government, the

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October 10, 2011 | Obama Should Test Iran's Nuclear Offer

Three times during September’s UN General Assembly, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad made an offer to stop weapons-grade uranium enrichment in exchange for access to specialized fuel for its research reactor. ++ President Obama should move quickly to take Iran up on their offer. ++ Though this will not solve the problem of a nuclear Iran, President Obama should ask himself the same

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October 5, 2011 | Obama Must Explain Drone Strike Policy

The recent killing of al-Qaeda cleric and US citizen Anwar Al-Awlaki raises questions about the legality of using drone strikes. ++ Drone strikes have increased dramatically under the Obama administration as a weapon against terror groups, but their legal standing under US and international law is uncertain. ++ US allies and human rights groups are now having their attention drawn to this policy.

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October 4, 2011 | Why Europe Shouldn't Listen to Obama

Obama’s recommendation for Europe to increase spending as part of a wider-reaching economic stimulus is ill-advised. ++ Cheap credits and low interest rates have been at the heart of a failed US economic strategy. ++ Instead of promoting sustainable growth, the US government has been encouraging economic bubbles to form over the past several decades. ++ The US must bring competitive

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September 28, 2011 | Russia Will Maintain Status Quo With Western Partners

The West should not expect any major changes in Russian foreign policy upon Putin’s return to the Kremlin. ++ Russia will continue to enforce its present agreements and maintain a pragmatic partnership with the US and Europe. ++ Putin’s rhetoric may resonate with Soviet nostalgia, but Russia will remain committed to expanding commercial ties with the West. ++ The upcoming power shuffle will not

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September 26, 2011 | Russia Reveals Its True Face

Vladimir Putin’s return to the presidency removes the illusion of any real political competition in Russia. ++ As president Putin is likely to aggravate relations with Russia’s neighbors and do little to tackle rampant corruption domestically. ++ This could be a major setback to Russian-American relations, which appeared to have improved slightly during Medvedev’s tenure. ++ The US and Europe

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September 12, 2011 | Obama: Leading From Behind The Scenes

Despite being perceived as a liberal politician, Obama is surprisingly comfortable running US military operations. ++ As president Obama has increased drone attacks in Pakistan, eliminated Osama Bin Laden and worked more closely with intelligence agencies. ++ Obama has strengthened intelligence while withdrawing troops from Afghanistan and Iraq. ++ Praised by the intelligence community for his

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August 2, 2011 | "Too Dysfunctional To Lead"

Washington finally reached a debt-limit deal to avert a calamitous default. But the deal, which “strained and nearly snapped American politics,” was the easy part. ++ The compromise avoided reforming America’s massive entitlement spending and failed to increase tax revenues. Effectively, the bargain “addresses a liquidity problem; it does not resolve the debt

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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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December 8, 2010 | Plan B for Obama: 14 Points as a Way out of the Crisis

Things do not look good for Obama in the wake of the congressional elections in early November. Yet all is not lost. If the White House was to adhere to the following plan, it could still save the day:
• Economy: Allowing Bush-era tax cuts for the rich to expire could finance the reduction of payroll taxes on employees and employers over the next to years. This would encourage consumption

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November 23, 2010 | Obama's Afterthought: Is the EU Getting Short Shrift?

The recent EU-US Summit has generated an interesting debate among observers. ++ For some, Republicans increased power after the US mid-term elections may threaten transatlantic coordination on major issues such as “climate change and trade”. ++ For others, the summit was not as exciting as others as EU and the US tend to agree on everything. ++ Yet, President Obama’s stress on

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November 17, 2010 | Obama's Transatlantic Challenges

President Obama will shortly meet NATO and EU leaders in Lisbon where he will be presented with urgent, complex challenges. ++ There are a number of things that need to be made clear. ++ An unambiguous determination to prevail in Afghanistan. ++ A reaffirmation of Europe’s centrality in US global strategy and the reestablishment of a “greater Europe” concept including Georgia and Ukraine. ++

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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 5, 2010 | A Chastened Obama Faces the World

Obama’s domestic political agenda is increasingly hamstrung by Republicans’ control of the House and their veto power in the Senate. ++ Therefore, the temptation will grow to seek presidential achievements abroad. ++ However, Republicans may well wield influence on this front as well. ++ Anti-Beijing sentiment featured prominently in GOP campaign ads, as did a more hawkish pro-Israel, anti-Iran

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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 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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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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March 8, 2010 | Obama Has Few Foreign Friends

Obama has been unable to form a personal bond with a foreign leader since assuming the Presidency. ++ A series of snubs have cooled Obama’s relationship with Pres. Sarkozy, Chancellor Merkel, and PM Brown. ++ “In this he is the opposite of George W. Bush, who was reviled among the foreign masses but who forged close ties with a host of leaders.” ++ Obama has been more concerned

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February 24, 2010 | Is the Grass Greener on the Other Side of the Pond?

US Liberals tend to think the grass is always greener on the other side of the pond. ++ These intellectuals look to other countries as evidence of America’s shortcomings. ++ The problem is that these people only see what they want to see and ignore each country’s unique context. ++ “The Soviets are in the dustbin of history; Japan Inc. is in its second “lost decade”; Europe is in an

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January 6, 2010 | Time To Act

The wait and see attitude of Europe and the US towards the Iranian revolt is morally unacceptable. ++ Ashton has yet to make a statement and Obama only last week called on the Iranian leadership to stop violating human rights. ++ Ashton’s lack of action based on a fear for harming business interests and Obama’s unsuccessful policy of engagement need to be reconsidered at this crucial phase of the

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January 4, 2010 | Taking Charge of National Security

With the attempted terrorist attack on Christmas Day, two things are clear: Bush is officially retired as the default fall-guy, and Obama’s grace period is over. ++ If Bush could be blamed for the run-up to 9/11, then so too can Obama for the inadequacies that allowed a disaffected jihadist to walk his explosives onto a plane. ++ Ultimately, this administration has had enough time to tweak

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December 9, 2009 | Why Obama's Giving Europe the Cold Shoulder

As Obama recognizes that we are moving into a post-America world he is bypassing Europe in favour of a multi-partner strategy with powers such as China and Russia. ++ Europe’s infantile attention seeking and complacency is placing it as increasingly irrelevant. ++ The problems can be “addressed only when Europeans take stock of the way the world is changing [and] decide that allowing others

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December 7, 2009 | Obama Needs to Inspire

One thing that was regrettably missing in Obama’s address to the nation was the moral dimension of the troop surge. ++ This is part of a larger trend in which the principles of democratic values are too often set aside. ++ By focusing on listening instead of lecturing, this administration is giving the impression that its commitment to spreading democracy has diminished. ++ Although there is no

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December 4, 2009 | "Iran Left Out in the Cold"

Apart from Pakistan, President Obama did not talk about the role of any other stakeholders in the region in his speech. ++ It was an unwise decision not to mention Iran, considering the role it has to play in tackling regional drug traffic. ++ Afghanistan’s narco-economy should be considered as important a problem as terrorism. ++ With the majority of the Afghan drug trade passing through Iran, a

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November 24, 2009 | Nice Guy Finishing Last

Obama rode to power with the promise of improved diplomacy to counter eight years of Bush-style international relations. ++ However, the recent trip throughout Asia has revealed the limits of the new administration’s approach. ++ No real concessions were made by Beijing, and even old friends in Israel have not heeded the word of the American President. ++ Obama is losing leverage. ++ Perhaps the

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November 23, 2009 | Obama, Don't Neglect India

Whilst Obama has been busy developing strong relationships with China and Russia, India, seems to have been lost out of focus. ++ The Obama administration’s focus on South Asia, has led to a disproportionate reliance on Pakistan. ++ Whilst India’s objectives in Afghanistan are aligned with those of the US, Pakistan has not made any efforts to disrupt the leadership of the Afghan Taliban. ++

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November 23, 2009 | Pointing a Finger at Climate Change

The United States Senate stands in the way of a binding agreement in Copenhagen. ++ The US must take responsibility for its own emissions, which the Senate has manifestly failed to do. ++ The lower chamber passed legislation on both climate change and health care reform, but a preoccupied White House has put almost no pressure on the Senate. ++ This sends a bad message to the rest of the world.

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November 20, 2009 | Engaging Self-Interested China: Mission Impossible?

The minute planning of Obama’s public meetings demonstrated that China still avoids “hemming” by outsiders at any cost. ++ China does not believe in the notion of an “international good” and only acts out of self-interest. ++ Beijing has been ignoring calls to revaluate the renminbi, as it has judged that it will cause a short-term disadvantage. ++ “The only way to nudge China towards common

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November 20, 2009 | No Plan for Procrastinators

Have Obama’s comments in China killed the chances that Copenhagen might deliver? ++ With the United States and China responsible for 40 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions, there can be no effective agreement with out them. ++ The best case scenario: we can expect a political commitment to reach a binding agreement before the end of next year. ++ Regardless, “as our procrastination

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November 19, 2009 | Obama's Perfect Ambassador to China

Obama’s decision to go “across party lines” and select Jon Huntsman Jr. as US Ambassador to China is a fine decision. ++ “Handling the rise of China may be the biggest challenge facing Washington today” and it needs Huntsman’s powers of persuasion. ++ It also represents a subtle slight of hand as the offer has removed a potentially promising Republican candidate from the 2012

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November 17, 2009 | Obama and Karzai: Endlessly Entwined

Obama and Karzai may be “hopelessly at odds” but they are “condemned to the mutual pursuit of success in Afghanistan.” ++ US policy now depends on how well Karzai can stabilize his country and not only on military impact. ++ Despite pressure Obama cannot afford to reduce aid as a sanction as this would “delay the timing of a US withdrawal even further.” ++

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November 16, 2009 | Obama Needs to Show Commitment

Obama’s prolonged deliberation about Afghanistan risks undermining his commitment to whichever decision he ends up making. ++ As there is unanimity in the Pentagon and considerable agreement in Congress and among NATO allies about the need for additional American and NATO troops, it is remarkable that Obama has requested yet another study. ++ “It is not enough for a president to be seen as having

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November 13, 2009 | Obama's Asian Odyssey

“Barack Obama sent a forceful message about his foreign policy priorities” by preferring to prepare for his 9-day Asian visit then join the celebrations in Berlin. ++ Although China has been the focus of successive US Presidents its current economic role and its currency reserves mean it has “sped up” the list of concerns. ++ In order to contain the dragon Obama is

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November 6, 2009 | Morality First

The Obama administration needs to balance its approach towards Iran, by taking up its moral responsibilities. ++ Whilst the West has been placing the nuclear issue above all other concerns, Tehran has been establishing an “infrastructure for repression.” ++ Ahmadinejad only sporadically agrees to discuss the nuclear issue, to shift the attention from his regimes’ human rights abuses. ++ The US

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November 4, 2009 | Clock is Ticking for Obama

Since Afghan elections have ended with Mr Karzai securing another five-year term, the doubts about his legitimacy should be put to rest. ++ The key problem now isn’t Afghanistan’s President but the uncertainty about Mr. Obama’s commitment to his own counterinsurgency strategy. ++ As long as doubts exist, NATO, Pakistan and Mr. Karzai will use this vacuum to hedge their bets. ++ “If Mr. Obama

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November 2, 2009 | Obama Needs to Match His Words With Deeds

Although Obama has a great vision on the Arab-Isreali conflict, as his phenomenal speech in Cairo demonstrated, he has failed to translate his promises into “concrete accomplishments.” ++ Obama will have to be tougher, and put equal pressure on both sides in close cooperation with its European allies and Russia, if he wants to reach a peace agreement in the Middle East. ++ This approach could

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October 27, 2009 | Obama, Make Up Your Mind

Mr Obama must choose a strategy on the war with Afghanistan and persist with it, as delay and indecision will prove dangerous in the face of public opinion. ++ The latest excuse for delay, namely that a decision cannot be made without a legitimate partner in Kabul is “puzzling”, as the administration did nothing to ensure that the vote was clean. ++ “Whatever the administration decides, it must

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October 27, 2009 | Obama Needs to Stop Covering Up

The Obama administration recently threatened to halt its intelligence-sharing with Britain, to block the release of seven paragraphs of American intelligence documents relating to torture allegations by a former prisoner at Guantanamo Bay. ++ In doing so, justice is denied to the victims of his predecessor’s “wayward government policies” and officials are shielded from accountability. ++ Mr Obama

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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 12, 2009 | US, Not Obama, Deserving of Nobel Prize

“The Nobel committee did President Obama no favors by prematurely awarding him its peace prize.” ++ The President has not yet done anything deserving of such an award but was right to accept it with the humility he did. ++ The Nobel Peace Prize comes as an award for the greater US ideal of maintaining global peace and subsequently for the military that have served around the world,

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September 23, 2009 | Obama's Afghan Indecision

Obama looks to be uncertain if his grand strategy for Afghanistan will work. ++ Even though the US does not have vital interests in the Middle East it still has an obligation to stay until the end and support Kabul. ++ “Democrats have to realize that more time is needed, and Republicans must acknowledge that America’s combat commitment cannot be indefinite.” ++ “Defeat for

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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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August 25, 2009 | Middle East: A Peace Guide for the Muslim World

Months after President Obama’s speech in Cairo, it is still upon Muslim states to react. ++ Being the first US President credible enough to be accepted by the Palestinians, Obama called on Muslim countries to finally implement true democracy. ++ They must: 1. Convene an Arabic special summit offering Israel full diplomatic acceptance in exchange for the end of settlements; 2. Support Iraq

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August 10, 2009 | Obama Knows: Cameron Is More than Just Sizzle

Obama said to favour Brown’s substance over David Cameron’s ‘sizzle’ although the White House denies the claims. ++ The private meeting between Obama and Cameron earlier this year shows how important the President sees ties with the British opposition. ++ “Cameron’s growth on the job has enabled Obama to stamp him ‘substantive’.” ++ US priorities

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July 7, 2009 | US House Votes for Energy Law: Time for an Energy Revolution?

Barack Obama’s
entrance into the White House awoke all manner of hope for a fundamental
turnaround in US energy policy. Yet this is not the first time that the world
has looked to Washington in hope that the US would finally show the world how
to be free of the fetters of fossil fuels. This was in 1977, as Jimmy Carter,
shortly after assuming office, installed solar panels on the roof of

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July 2, 2009 | Obama Must Approach Turkmenistan and Belarus

In times of international competition for energy resources and strategic partners, the US must move more quickly to embrace a relationship with Turkmenistan and Belarus. ++ China is constructing a gas pipeline to Turkmenistan. ++ Moscow aims to include Belarus in a military pact. ++ “The longer the West stays on the sidelines […] the harder it will be to achieve anything in the region.” ++

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June 26, 2009 | Peace in Gaza: Principles, Not Preconditions

Any chance at Middle East peace requires recognizing that Hamas, labeled a terrorist group, remains a popular force. ++ Historical conflict regions such as South Africa and Northern Ireland teach us that even “terrorist groups” can and must be valuable parties in peacemaking. ++ During my interviews with Hamas, they stated their desire to heal rifts with Fata and establish a state alongside

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June 24, 2009 | US Response Betrays Obama's Promised Principles

Obama’s caution vis-à-vis Iran betrays the promises he made in Berlin during his election campaign. ++ The excuse that his only choice is between feeding views that America is “meddling” or virtual silence is unfounded. ++ He should seek a global statement which condemns the violence and supports the protesters, uniting the diverse nations already speaking out. ++ Obama, you spoke of

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June 16, 2009 | Israel Comes Around to Two-State Solution

For the first time, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has mentioned the Palestinian state as a solution for the Middle East. ++ Some commentators have labelled this as “a great step for Netanyahu.” ++ “He wants to appease Obama by joining his peace mission.” ++ Although Netanyahu is prepared to accept the possibility of a two state solution, he has refused to back down on Israeli

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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 5, 2009 | Obama's Speech Courageous, but is it Legendary?

Obama has delivered a complaisant speech in the Middle East. ++ “No Western leader before him has been as empathetic and obliging” when addressing the Islamic population. ++The reciprocal dimension of his approach must not be underestimated, but the response of the Arab world remains to be seen. ++ Whether his speech could join predecessors like King, Reagan or Brandt and initiate a grand step in

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June 2, 2009 | Obama's Apologies Undermine US Power

Barack Obama should stop apologizing for his country because it’s weakening the US and making it more vulnerable to attack. ++ Obama wants to engage enemies through the application of “smart power” but recent missile tests by Iran and North Korea show there’s nothing smart in “appeasing rogue states.” ++ The US is increasingly “jeered rather than feared” by enemies.  ++ The world needs a

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May 26, 2009 | Jonathan Laurence, Transatlantic Academy

Jonathan Laurence is a Transatlantic Academy fellow at the German Marshall Fund, non-resident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and an assistant
professor of political science at Boston College. He has received his Ph.D. (2006) and M.A. (2003) from Harvard University’s department of government. See www.jonathanlaurence.net for
more info.
1.
What are your main priorities at

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May 20, 2009 | The US Should Lead by Example with Democracy

Under the Obama Administration the promotion of democracy in foreign policy is likely to take a back seat to defense, diplomacy, and development. ++ In previous administrations democracy took on an “imperialist connotation,” but there “is a danger in over-reacting to the failures of Bush’s policies.” ++ Democracy is not in retreat, but it is “important to distinguish the goal from the means used

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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 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 6, 2009 | Bailouts for Banks: Unjust and Very Expensive

In
an attempt to control the economic crisis and stabilize global financial
institutions, the world has quickly become tied up with billions of dollars in
bailout packages.  In the meantime it
seems things are almost back to normal, even though experts continue warning
about the risks of financial spread sheets of large banks.  The US is by far the most entangled in
bailout plans.

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May 6, 2009 | Obama's Middle East Strategy Starts with Syria

When
the Israeli campaign in the Gaza Strip ended in the middle of January, it
seemed at that any hope of Israel
and Syria
reaching a peace agreement in the foreseeable future had ended as well. However,
now senior government officials believe that Intelligence officers and
diplomats from the US will
soon meet at new peace talks with Syria
and Israel.
The reason: the new

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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 23, 2009 | Diplomacy Key to Finding Common Ground

Challenges facing the world offer President Obama a “moment of unique opportunity”. ++ Negotiations are being held with a number of countries on various strategic and political issues. ++ Action is required following this “concert diplomacy and this will only result out of shared convictions”. ++ Diplomatic processes with North Korea and Iran are ongoing, and their successful outcome will be

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April 23, 2009 | Don't Make Journalists Pawns in World Politics

Journalists can become embroiled in geopolitical conflict not of their own doing. ++ Iran
should overturn the conviction of Iranian-American journalist Roxana Saberi if they “wish to earn the respect President Obama has accorded them in recent overtures”. ++ President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has called for Saberi to be able to defend herself properly on appeal. ++ Should Saberi not be released, it

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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 | Keep Nuclear Weapons to Maintain Peace

In response to the North Korean rocket launch, President Obama committed to reducing the US supply of nuclear weapons. ++ This is not an effective strategy and gives other states an incentive to increase their nuclear capacity. ++ The only means of deterring rogue states from using nuclear weapons once they have acquired them is to threaten a larger response, and secondly, an effective program of

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April 6, 2009 | The Clock Ticks on US - Iran Relations

As the US reaches out to Iran inch by inch, the concern exists whether this “incremental, seemingly ad hoc approach is best.” ++ Serious efforts are being made to find common ground and dispel the “Bush-era threat of regime change.” ++ Evidence suggests that Iranian people are eager for contact, while Iranian officials downplay the US outreach plan. ++ Obama has to decide whether to continue upon

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March 30, 2009 | Obama's Promising New Afghan Strategy

Obama’s long awaited new strategy in Afghanistan has finally been presented by the President last Friday March, 27th. ++ The delivered strategy has proven to be comprehensive in understanding the wide dimension of the challenge — for instance that Pakistan is also part of the problem — and viewing it in more than solely military terms. ++ This is an important step towards victory in

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March 30, 2009 | Beware of the Bear!

The approaching G20 will also be the first meeting between President Medvedev and President Obama. ++ Recently, the US has shown increased willingness to reconstruct their relations with the Kremlin whose cooperation is much needed on the Afghan and Iraqi Dossiers. ++ Yet, the US ought to move with care; Russia is not only eager to maintain influence in its “near abroad,” in addition “Moscow also

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March 23, 2009 | He Sounds Too Much Like Bush

Obama’s clear rhetoric on terrorism and the rule of law contrast his stance on state secrets and detainees with that of the previous administration. ++ President Obama ordered Guantanamo’s closure and abolished the “enemy combatant” terminology, but his remarks that the war on terror is “global” and has the world as its battlefield “sound a bit too close for comfort to the Bush team’s benighted

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March 16, 2009 | Perhaps Guantanamo Is Good After All

The decision to shut Guantanamo Bay led to an outcry of joy. ++ What will follow is unknown because “no acceptable alternatives exist.” ++ The issue of unlawful enemy combatants puzzles both law and state. ++ As Guantanamo Bay is a prison where detainees receive humanitarian treatment and whose high security makes escape impossible, Obama should stop wooing Europeans and focus on

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March 11, 2009 | Talks with the Taliban Possible in New US Approach

Sober assessment of the situation in Afghanistan and Pakistan has prompted a recasting of policy from President Obama. ++ Reconciliation with moderate aspects of the Taliban should be considered. ++ The need exists to combine “force with talks” while also working toward economic development. ++ Peace with the Taliban must not mean that they are allowed to enforce extreme measures, such as the

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March 9, 2009 | An Empty Special Relationship

Gordon Brown, like several of his predecessors, is incapable of admitting how unbalanced the UK’s special relationship with the US really is.++ But has it ever been a relationship amongst equals? ++ Even Churchill, who coined the phrase, was aware of how uneven the relationship was. ++ The disequilibrium reached its peak with Blair; his behavior towards the US highlighted “how much of a satellite

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March 9, 2009 | Obama's Mortgage Plan is the Solution

Since the economic downturn began as a mortgage crisis, the focus should be on mortgages in order to find a solution to the financial crisis. ++ Mr. Obama and his administration seem to be aware of this; the Homeowner Affordability and Stability Plan announced last month is an effective strategy to tackle the mortgage problem. ++ Critics claim that this plan fails to punish those responsible by

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March 6, 2009 | A Fair Bargain Will Make Tehran Cooperate

Changing tone does not suffice, the US ought to consider Iran as a truly equal partner to reset the relationship with Tehran: “In Iran there is no willingness to co-operate with the US without being paid back,” as happened in the past. ++ Mr Biden’s message in Munich has not been welcomed on the Iranian side and was perceived in other words, as a continuation of Bush’s carrot and stick approach.

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March 6, 2009 | The Dawn of Socialism in the US

Obama’s election worried those who fear creeping socialism. ++ Today’s democratic socialism has little interest in nationalization and abolishing the private market. ++ It aims to humanize and democratize capitalism, allowing free education, state funded health care and better financial regulation. ++ Conservatives scrutinize Obama’s stimulus plan because his vision for a more

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March 5, 2009 | Obama Sets Out to Make New Friends

Obama decided to send two high level US officials to visit Syria and participate in “preliminary conversations.” ++ The decision is a complete shift from the Bush attitude. ++ It comes as a pleasant surprise to those who believe that the US should support Syria-Israel talks and use it as a stabilizer in the region, luring Syria away from Iran and into American arms. ++ Syria is also

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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 | US - Africa Relations: Agenda 2009

Obama fever has also not escaped Africa.
The African population has been greatly anticipating the new US administration. However the
challenges are big: armed conflict, humanitarian crises, escalating food
prices, enormous problems in the world economy, the consequences of climate
change and so on. To cope with the high expectations, the US must focus on the following
areas:

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February 27, 2009 | Don't Ignore History

Faced with a choice between staying and winning or withdrawing and ending the war in Vietnam, Nixon chose the former. ++ The outcome of his policy was complete failure. ++ Obama is now faced with a similar decision. ++ In choosing an exit policy for Iraq and deciding upon future policy in Afghanistan he should let history carry the day. ++ In this way he will avoid making Nixon’s mistakes

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February 27, 2009 | Japan Must Find its Place in the 21st Century

Japan fears abandonment. ++ The US has tried to reassure it by making it the first stop on Clinton’s tour and receiving PM Aso as the first foreign dignitary in Washington, but this does not suffice. ++ Tokyo has difficulty in adapting to the evolution of the international system and cannot cope with China’s rise and the Sino-American rapprochement. ++ The economic crisis and the

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February 27, 2009 | Bring on the New Center-Left

The UK Tories will be back in power within 15 months, it seems almost certain. ++ In hand with this, Thatcherism is being revisited 30 years after it began. ++ But too stark a comparison between now and then is foolish. ++ Thatcher was a product of her union-power, high-taxation time; Cameron, on the other hand, fails to reflect the center-left movement taking hold which rightly chastises the

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February 26, 2009 | A Fine Line Between Hope and Fear

The White House’s comparisons between the US’ current financial situation and the Great Depression have created a necessary climate of fear in the country. ++ This crisis is both alarming and systemic and America must face up to its bad habits if it is to make it through to the other side. ++ However, if Obama is to honor his campaign promises, this anxiety-discourse must also be

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February 25, 2009 | West, Stuborness Doesn't Pay Off!

Albeit at a slow pace, Iran is proceeding with its uranium enrichment program. ++ Unless the West completely reconsiders its diplomacy tactic vis à vis Iran, it is difficult to imagine a changed scenario: “years have been lost to ineffective approaches.” ++ Obama’s initiative to have direct negotiations with Tehran should have been opted for earlier. ++ An alluring option could be

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February 23, 2009 | Obama, If You Play with Fire You Get Burned

Hit hard by the financial crisis, now is no time for Russia to make enemies and the Kremlin should be content that Obama opted for an extended-hand diplomacy. ++ Yet, “even if Medvedev goes for detente, he may not be able to deliver it: “policy is still dictated by Putin who is eager to convince the world that Russia is back. ++ Thus, Obama’s openness is a sign of hope but also of great

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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 19, 2009 | Khamenei Holds The Keys to Iran's Future

Whilst he does not possess absolute authority, on Iran’s political stage nothing can be done without the green light of Ayatollah Khamenei: “he can no more be bypassed than the Great Recession.” ++ The relevance for the US is that dealing with Tehran begins with dealing with this “supreme leader.” ++ Obama must promise Khamenei that the US has discarded its goal of regime change, his worst

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February 18, 2009 | Afghanistan: Achilles Heel of Transatlantic Alliance

The pledge for a new era of cooperation made by Joe Biden during the Security Conference in Munich has been received with great enthusiasm worldwide. ++ Europe is, however, slowly realizing that the cost of Obama’s multilateralism outweighs the benefits. ++ Caught in an unprecedented economic tempest, the European partners will be forced to concentrate on domestic matters instead of sending

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February 17, 2009 | President Chavez for Eternity


Chavez’s victory at a national referendum that will end presidential term limits is no big surprise considering that he controlled all aspects of the electoral process. ++ This success does not however mean that Chavez’s position will remain immune; the economic situation is grim, the murder rate extremely high and “the only certainty is more political turmoil in the months ahead.” ++ In

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February 16, 2009 | India Misses Mr. Bush?


Pres. Bush has always been relatively popular in India, this is mainly due to his revitalization of the US-India alliance which has a nuclear deal at its core. ++ New Delhi would have preferred a Republican successor to Mr Bush, fearing that a Democrat would go back to the “pre-Bush binary in which American diplomacy with India was always calibrated for the effect it might have on American

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February 16, 2009 | The Cost of Change

A lot has happened recently, but the event which still steals the thunder is the election of President Obama and the new foreign policy he has designed for the US. ++ The Munich Security Conference offers confirmation; Biden came to Europe and promised that the US will “listen” and “engage” Europe and also attempt to improve relations with Russia. ++ But in promising a

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February 13, 2009 | As Time Passes, Obama Learns How to Fight Terror

The anti-antiterror lobby is as dangerous now as before the election, but Obama is not following its lead. ++ He has disguised the fact that his policies on terror are the same as Bush’s. ++ The administration under Obama says it will keep less secrets than its predecessor, but it has realized that opening up on intelligence operations lets terrorists know what to expect. ++ As the left

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February 13, 2009 | New Bail-Out: Go See Obama!

The curious case of Henrietta Hughes shows American attitudes towards social assistance. ++ Before, she was unemployed and homeless, living in a small car with her adult son. ++ Now, she lives in a spare home of a Republican representative and has a job. ++ Her life changed in front of Obama, and the TV-cameras. ++ This shows “Yes, we can”-attitude, but also miserable American social support,

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February 12, 2009 | Mr. Obama, Safety Should Preceed Speed

Obama seems to be certain that “disaster” and “catastrophe” will materialize should the stimulus legislation fail to be adopted promptly. ++ How can he be so sure? Overconfidence is not an unfamiliar trait in Washington: Kennedy and Johnson were plagued by it. ++ This time, a little more prudence would not hurt; $789 billion are at stake and ineffective spending would be unpardonable. ++ After

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February 11, 2009 | Obama Lays Down Demands For Germany

The Munich Security Conference revealed to Germany the price it will have to pay if it wants to be America’s dear friend: increased troop deployment in Afghanistan and a preparedness to stand by the US if Iran remains uncooperative. ++ But while the US is extending the hand of cooperation to Germany, the latter seems nostalgic for the “era before the fall of the Berlin Wall.”

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February 10, 2009 | Israel Shows Suspicion of Obama

Israel is going to the polls today yet there is little feeling that the election will be a watershed on Israel’s Gaza policy. ++ The outcome of the election will most probably result in the formation of a right of center, status quo government. ++ If the new US president is more moderate in his Arab-Israeli policy he can show Israel its real options: “two states; one state without a

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February 6, 2009 | Obama's Stimulus Plan: the Right Medicine This Article contains Flash-Video

The response to an economic crisis which is very reminiscent of the Great Depression needs to reflect the urgency of the situation. ++ The stimulus plan now standing before Congress will bring the change hoped for because it is “more than a prescription for short-term spending — it’s a strategy for America’s long-term growth and opportunity in areas such as renewable energy, health care

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February 6, 2009 | Welcome to the Quagmire, al Qaeda

No-one in their right mind would go up against the combined forces of Gen. Petraeus, Amb. Holbrooke, Defence Sec. Gates, Sec. of State Clinton and the Iraq-hardened US military. ++ But a US victory still needs coherence of military and regional strategy, increased civilian capacity and improved cooperation with allies. ++ Add Afghani hatred for Taliban-imposed tyranny and poverty and Obama’s

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February 5, 2009 | A Herculean Task: Middle East Policy for the New US President

There is much more to the Middle East than Iraq, and US foreign policy must quickly widen its foreign policy focus in the region. A successful Middle East policy strategy must simultaneously address Iraq, Iran, Syria, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as well as renew diplomacy throughout the region. The Obama administration is advised to act immediately, appointing special envoys and beginning a

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February 5, 2009 | Obama Must Stop Protectionism or See It Spread

Protectionist measures, like the proposed Buy American provisions in the US stimulus package, will not be taken lightly by other countries. ++ Even if measures followed WTO rules, China and India can retaliate. ++ Americans will “learn history, which they do not study enough at school, by seeing it repeated in their own lifetime.” ++ US accusations of Chinese currency manipulation are popular

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February 5, 2009 | Russia As New Supply Line to Afghanistan? No Thanks

A recent Taliban bridge bombing in Pakistan which cut off supply lines to NATO forces in Afghanistan has once again highlighted the vulnerability of passing through Pakistan. ++The US is, however, running out of luring alternatives; considering Russia as a substitute would require the US “to pledge that it will respect the Russian sphere of influence in the former USSR,” a guarantee Obama is

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February 4, 2009 | Now Is No Time to Cut Defense

News that the Pentagon wants to cut defense spending by 10 percent should be met with resistance by Obama. ++ Defense offers a clear means of stimulating the economy in tough times. ++ A reduction in spending would only fuel fears among allies about America’s decline and simultaneously feed enemies’ confidence that the moment is right to strike. ++ Anyone who thinks Obama ran his

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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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February 3, 2009 | Obama's Green Plan Revolutionizes Business

Obama’s plan to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050 and obtain 10% of US electricity from renewable sources is great news for companies that provide climate change solutions. ++ “Three well-established socially responsible fund managers,” Amy Domini (Domini Social Investements), Daniel Beneat (Calvert Investments) and Ingrid Dyott (Neuberger Berman Socially Responsive Fund) whose

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February 3, 2009 | To Follow or to Abstain?

Obama’s presidency is causing political divisions in Berlin. ++ Merkel is patiently waiting to see Obama’s actual policy plans before giving her unconditional support. ++ FM Steinmeier, on the other hand, has enthusiastically joined “Obamania,” perhaps thinking that this attitude might gain him popularity votes in the 2009 election. ++ But at the end of the day,

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February 2, 2009 | Tax Payers Pay for Stockholders' Mistakes

The Obama administration’s plan for rescuing the banking system is not the appropriate response to saving the financial system. ++ The problem goes beyond fairness considerations, “where taxpayers bear the cost if things go wrong, but stockholders and executives get the benefits if things go right.” ++ Times have changed, Greenspan is no longer the Maestro and bankers are no longer

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February 2, 2009 | Personal Chemistry No Solution to US-Israeli Division

The Netanyahu-Clinton relationship in 1996-99 was seen as a clash of personalities. ++ Clinton campaigned for Peres, and Netanyahu retaliated, supporting Christian conservatives in the US. ++ All this affects the elections in Israel, with Livni pushing a line that she would be better for talking to Obama. ++ But the clash was mainly on politics, and the gap between Israeli and US policies will

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January 30, 2009 | The USA and the Myth of Small Government

The long proclaimed transatlantic divide
between bloated European welfare states and a lean US government is mythical at best. A
closer look at the facts shows that the social expenditures of the United Sates
and Europe are very similar on healthcare and
education. The Reagan revolution and subsequent “small government” are
illusions, and indeed the only significant difference between the US

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January 30, 2009 | The Realities of Nuclear Disarmament

Under Pres. Bush non proliferation efforts suffered a devastating blow: he did after all exit the ABM, ignored the NPT and saw the whole issue as anachronistic. ++ The result has been nuclear testing from North Korea and further proliferation in Iran. ++ The new President seems determined to restore non proliferation to its rightful place and has so far acted on his words. ++ But, for this

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January 30, 2009 | Davos: Towards Unity or Towards Division?

Davos’ opening speeches have highlighted the opposing attitudes of the two orators. ++ They share only one thing in common, the target audience of their words: the absent USA ++ Putin heavily criticized the US for being the source of the crisis whilst China’s Wen Jiabao only indirectly alluded to it, instead stressing the importance of collaborating with the Obama administration to find a way

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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 28, 2009 | Davos: a Message of Hope

The annual appointment in the Swiss mountains to discuss the future of the world economy arrives just in time to get to the heart of the financial crisis. ++ Unfortunately newly elected President Obama will not be present ++ At his inauguration speech, however, Obama reiterated his strong commitment to a market economy. ++ The same spirit ought to accompany the experts and politicians who

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January 28, 2009 | Fighting Talibanization of Pakistan

A ban on educating girls: one of the latest atrocities imposed by the Taliban in Pakistan. ++ “Radio announcements warned girls that they could be attacked with acid if they dared to attend school, and teachers have been threatened and killed.” ++ As a nation topping Obama’s war on terror, generous monetary concessions are scheduled to flow into the country. ++ These much needed moral and

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January 28, 2009 | "Obama the Imperialist"

Barack Obama is revealing himself to be a foreign policy hawk. ++ After just one week, his stance on Sudan, Pakistan and Gaza shows bellicosity. ++ To pursue such a stance, he will need the support of the pro-war left, “voracious defenders” of a 21st C brand of liberal imperialism. ++ In spite of the Iraq catastrophe, humanitarian intervention in Darfur and escalation in Afghanistan

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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 26, 2009 | The Dawn of Liberalism

US liberalism has enjoyed popularity in cycles. ++ In the 1980s, liberal ideas were at a low as social unrest and low wages reflected “liberal governance [as] demanding far too much sacrifice.” ++ Obama is eager to revive the pre 1970s conception of liberalism and to that end he needs the stimulus plan to work, energy plans not to shed labor and the American hegemony to be revived

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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 | Iraq: Test For President Obama's Pragmatism

US troops need to withdraw from Iraq, on that the US and Iraq are agreed. ++ The 16-month withdrawal timetable ought, however, to remain modifiable should military experts decide that conditions are likely to deteriorate. ++ In any event, current improvements in Iraq suggest that a quick withdrawal is not as urgent as before. ++ Obama ought therefore to use his much talked about pragmatism to

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January 23, 2009 | The US Bubble Will Not Be Helped More Debt

Obama spoke of sacrifice, but the only ones sacrificing are the Chinese, Japanese and Saudis who fund America’s debt. ++ These countries are the sole creditor nations able to buy bonds to finance the spending expected by Americans. ++ Once they have invested, these creditors will be trapped, as any attempt to rid themselves of the bonds will collapse their value. ++ America is bloated: 5% of

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January 23, 2009 | Consistency Is Needed To Stabilize the Economy

Soon-to-be US Treasury Secretary Geithner has declared to the Senate that speed and force are necessary to deal with the financial crisis. ++ Meanwhile, Bank of America has faltered. ++ Plans to set up a “bad bank” are advancing in Washington, an institution that would buy up failing assets and free other banks from the burdens, with Geithner’s approval. ++ This will be costly and may in any

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January 22, 2009 | Improving Transatlantic Relations Rests With Europe

There can be little doubt that Obama will work hard to remove the bitter taste which his predecessor left in European mouths and embrace the continent in dialog. ++ Making this a successful reality is the responsibility of Europe. ++ It must overcome its penchant for disunion, it must not allow itself to be hindered by its more fainthearted members and it must proactively enter discussions over

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January 21, 2009 | President Obama: Recipe for Successful Diplomacy

Granted: times are difficult for Obama to take the lead and in his hands lies a combination of high expectations and hope. ++ The US and Europe ought to continue working together and some key ingredients ought to accompany their responses to global challenges: multilateralism, ruled based diplomacy, legitimacy, and centrality of leadership when moments of crisis arise. ++ This last point is

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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 21, 2009 | President of Change or President of Continuity?

Worldwide, the state has recently reassumed a greater role in the economy, including firm sustainers of the neoliberal philosophy. ++ The adoption of Keynesian measures has been seen as an unavoidable step to counteract the undesirable consequences of excessive deregulation of financial markets. ++ These measures are, however, provisional and will disappear as soon as the crisis is tamed. ++

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January 20, 2009 | "An Inauguration for the People"

Barack Obama’s inauguration is shaping up to be a party of unparalleled proportions. ++ An estimated 4 million people will attend, as a watershed in US history takes place. ++ The uniqueness of the occasion goes beyond Obama being African-American: he is also the first President of non Western European descent. ++ This day is likely to be reminiscent of the furor when Jackson, himself breaking

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January 20, 2009 | ''The End of Ideology''

The 1960s were expected to be the period when ideological tensions would ease in the US. ++ However, feminism, the rise of information technology and the Vietnam War challenged social cohesion and introduced ideological politics, which penetrated both the Democrat and Republican fields. ++ Under Obama — and his pronounced pragmatism — America has a new opportunity to end ideological tensions,

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January 20, 2009 | Few Tears Shed Over Bush's Departure

Apart for the brief wave of popularity in the aftermath of 9/11, Bush has ended his mandate leaving Americans disaffected. ++ Among the numerous mistakes he made, one of the biggest was his unwillingness to open dialogue with political adversaries to forge durable consensus. ++ His “my-way-or-the-highway politics” was at the origin of much criticism, including his policy in Iraq. ++”It is

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January 19, 2009 | Is Obama the Next Abraham Lincoln?

Barack Obama has repeatedly expressed admiration for the man who managed to abolish slavery: Abraham Lincoln. ++ Indeed, the two men seem to have a lot in common given their shared belief in inalienable rights and economic independence, as well as their admiration for the English language. ++ However, what Obama has to learn from the Lincoln Presidency — and in fact from the abolition of

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January 16, 2009 | Obama's Europe

Under Bush, relations between Europe and the US have been tense, with disagreements causing concerns of a break up of the special transatlantic partnership. ++ Pessimism seems to be persisting, despite the coming of a new President. ++ However, the situation might not be as grim as all that. ++ Under Obama, the alliance can be revived if new realities are accepted, if the US gives Europe more

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January 16, 2009 | Power Must Not Put People Above the Law

Just as Clinton did several years ago, Obama has opted to exempt the Bush administration from investigation for the commitment of possible crimes. ++ This is a dangerous precedent; it not only places people holding power above the law, but also and more importantly, it guarantees that abuses of power will be repeated in the future since parties will not be held accountable. ++ The question that

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January 14, 2009 | Ending US Unilateralism

With the changing Presidency comes new thinking on policy; how could the US shift away from Bush’s unilateralism towards cooperation with allies and multilateralism? ++ The policy of ‘going it alone’ is failing the US in Iraq and Afghanistan confirming the point that in a globalized, interdependent world unilateralism is insufficient. ++ In its military operations the US needs

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January 13, 2009 | Obama's Middle East Team

Despite the war in Gaza signaling the need for an urgent change in US policy in the Middle East, Obama’s Middle East team made up of “liberal, Jewish (or half-Jewish) males’’ does not meet the cultural diversity needed for new thinking to emerge. ++ Change cannot wait any longer as rage against Israel is translated to rage against the US and stirs up the fury of the Arab

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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 12, 2009 | Obama Stimulus: A Necessary Paradigm Shift

President-elect Obama’s stimulus package, now roughly $800 billion, includes “politically expedient” tax cuts which “are widely recognized as packing very little bang for the buck” - $150 billion in business tax breaks and the promised tax cut for all families making $200,000 or less. ++ With a projected deficit of $1.2 trillion, a job loss rate of 510,000 per month and the ever increasing costs

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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 7, 2009 | Economic Package: Testing the New Administration

The stimulus package needed to combat the economic downturn is a source of concern as its experimental character deprives it of any guarantee of success. ++ Due to the acuteness of the crisis, measures taken ought to be immediate rather than exhaustive and have a provisional character. ++ The next weeks will be a test for the new Congress and administration that bear the difficult task of

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January 6, 2009 | Obama Should End US Involvement In Afghanistan

Analysts and scholars warn that the problems that the US faces in Afghanistan - continued insurgencies, opium production, a US army demoralized and drained of resources given the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan - will compromise the success of any new deployments in the region. ++ In the midst of the financial crisis and with firm evidence that the US commitment in Afghanistan contributes to the

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January 5, 2009 | Israel Must Acknowledge Futility of War On Terror

Israel, America’s protegée, assigns positive value to the policy of the war on terror. ++ Israeli FM Livni has said the country is “part of the free world and fights extremism and terrorism […] you’re with us or you’re with the terrorists.” ++ At a time when the war on terror is labeled as America’s gravest foreign policy mistake and the world condemns the

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December 19, 2008 | "Empires of the Future"

Barack Obama, financial crisis, resurgent Russia, G20, Western decline, climate change - in the season of global predictions, current discourse is driven by these and other such catchwords. ++ Yet, predictions from December 2007 were of little value: none predicted the financial collapse, none an Obama victory, nor any vastly fluctuating oil prices or governments’ failure to keep pace with global

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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 19, 2008 | One Year Left to Tackle Climate Change

Last week’s UN climate conference at Poznan made it clearer than ever that 2009 will be a crucial year in sealing the fate of the planet. ++ The participants showed an egoism and lack of generosity which is particularly incomprehensible in view of the enormous bail-outs which Western governments have granted their banks. ++ The Copenhagen conference in a year’s time will define the

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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 | Obama's Internet Agenda Will Boost Economy

Having used the Internet with great success during his campaign, Obama has announced plans to build up the US’ Internet infrastructure to boost the economy. ++ The US only ranks 15th in the world in access to high-speed Internet. ++ Better access would “spread knowledge, promote entrepreneurship and make this country more competitive globally.” ++ As a supporter of

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December 15, 2008 | Obama Must Pursue Fresh Policy in Iran

Obama has given early signals that his policy towards Iran will not mark a breakaway from Bush. ++ The “carrot-and-stick” approach is likely to create international consensus for military action should Iran refuse to back down. ++ This approach does not cut to the heart of the problem: Iran’s interest in nuclear weaponry is a reflection of its concerns for its survival. ++ By

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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 12, 2008 | "The Real Obama"

Obama’s recent appointments have led to the conclusion that he intends to govern from the center. ++ His choices, however, are practical rather than ideological. ++ The centrist team will stabilize and pacify foreign policy and the economy so that Obama can focus on domestic transformation. ++ In fact, the recession will give him a carte-blanche to experiment with the economy. ++ Far from

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December 12, 2008 | Obama Should Pursue Friendly Chinese Policy

Barack Obama’s approach towards China is unlikely to be confrontational in view of the current global situation. ++ The US has plenty of conflict to deal with elsewhere and needs Chinese cooperation in dealing with North Korea. ++ However, the increasing trade imbalance between the two countries is volatile. ++ It should be dealt with by lifting trade restrictions on Chinese goods. ++

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December 11, 2008 | Terrorists use Guantanamo Trials as Propaganda

Five accused planners of the 9/11 attacks have withdrawn guilty-pleas, which were not enough to save them from the death penalty. ++ The trials are a farce, not least because they are being held at “Gitmo.” ++ The terrorists are benefiting from the illegitimate process. ++ It is a farce Obama will likely inherit. ++ He should either change the military commissions to grant more transparency and

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December 10, 2008 | The Opportunity for Human Rights

Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo lost the US its position as champion of human rights. ++ As a result, democracy and rights activists face a global backlash. ++ Obama can close Guantanamo and stop torture by executive order. ++ The US undermined the rule of law in Pakistan with Musharraf, and must now help those who would restore it. ++ Activists in Egypt need help, and the Israel-Palestine conflict

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December 8, 2008 | Two Court Cases Test US Justice

The executive excesses and abuses of justice committed by the Bush administration in the name of fighting terrorism are coming to a head in two US court cases. ++ One case, being heard on Tuesday by the US Court of Appeals, involves Maher Arar, arrested by federal agents and shipped to Syria under “extraordinary rendition” where he was tortured. ++ Recent court rulings have portrayed the case as

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December 8, 2008 | Europe Must Embrace New World Order

Globalization has rendered the G-8 increasingly insignificant; a new world order is at hand, in which emerging economies and the G-20 will play a key role. ++ Obama’s election will facilitate the reorientation of US foreign policy towards a more global focus. ++ Europe, on the other hand, will continue to find itself increasingly impotent if it does not embrace this strategic realignment. ++ The

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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 5, 2008 | US Financial Crisis as Kick-starter for Green Technology

Falling auto prices, bank crashes, mass layoffs: the economic crisis has taken full hold of the United States. Current prognoses predict that the crisis will persist for at least another year. In addition, climate change poses one of the biggest challenges that president-elect Obama must address. The influential Center for American Progress, led by John Podesta, wants the new US administration to

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December 4, 2008 | Europe Must Make Multilateralism a Reality

Europe may well come to regret the multilateralism it has been longing for from the US now that it is finally on the horizon. ++ European responses are uncertain should Obama call for funds, troops, and solidarity. ++ The EU should show willingness to intervene in the Congo. ++ Privileged European voting rights in the IMF should be rescinded to better reflect global GDP. ++ By putting into

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December 3, 2008 | Global Carbon Tax Is the Answer

Barack Obama should adopt Al Gore’s proposal for a carbon tax on a global scale. ++ In today’s hyper-globalized economy, cap-and-trade systems that only apply to certain countries are not a viable solution. ++ A harmonized tax would allow for cheaper and cleaner energy in the long term. ++ An incentive for developing countries to participate could come in the form of access to a portion of rich

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December 3, 2008 | Mounting Threat Coming From Pakistan

In light of the attacks on Mumbai, President-elect Obama’s presidency will become even more complex. ++ Indicators seem to show that the attacks originated in Pakistan and point to Lashkar-e-Toiba, a terrorist group based there. ++ A massive retaliation by India can be expected. ++ Pakistan is becoming the most alarming risk factor on the global stage. ++ Should the situation in Pakistan

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December 2, 2008 | Averting the Clinton Challenge

Contrary to his promise to distance himself from the “Clinton political method,” Obama has set up a “Team of Rivals,” assigning Hillary Clinton to the important office of secretary of state. ++ His choice can be viewed as clever as he has managed to avert a potential challenge in 2012. ++ However, Obama should not follow President Clinton’s “era of illusory

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December 2, 2008 | Leave the Kashmir Question to India and Pakistan

“Americans are right to express solidarity with India.” ++ Facing Maoist rebels in the east, separatists in the northeast, organized crime and communal violence, India is a world to itself. ++ Unfortunately, the bloodiest conflict with Pakistan is over Kashmir. ++ The US needs Pakistan to defeat Islamist militants within its borders and in Afghanistan. ++ American mediation over Kashmir would

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November 27, 2008 | Europe's Role Reversal over Russia

In the past, the European right reliably took a hard-line stance against Russian expansionism, with the left playing the role of apologists. ++ “Today, there has been an odd reversal,” with the likes of Merkel, Berlusconi, and Sarkozy – Europe’s right – acting as stalwarts for Russia (the latter having done a phenomenal job of irking Eastern Europe in the process).

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November 27, 2008 | Obama Must Rekindle Climate Debate

The US elected a president to meet the challenge of climate change. ++ Obama has chosen energy experts and supporters of cap-and-trade programs for his cabinet. ++ By 2050 he intends to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 80%. ++ He wants to create jobs and cheap energy through investment in renewable and “clean coal” energy. ++ This is a more optimistic message than what is heard from the rest of

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November 26, 2008 | Syrian-Isreali Peace is the Key to Success

Instead of focusing on an Israeli-Palestinian peace settlement, Obama should invest in Israeli-Syrian negotiations. ++ Talks between Syria and Israel will focus on “withdrawal, peace, security and water - and the gaps are clear and ready to be bridged.” ++ Cementing such a deal would restructure the whole region in favor of US interests, giving Hamas, Hezbollah and Iran less options.

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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 25, 2008 | Getting Ready for a Team of Rivals

President-elect Obama has proved his strength by presumably appointing Hillary Clinton Secretary of State, leaving the conflicts of the primary season behind. ++ His cabinet is going to be one of the strongest in American history, reminiscent of Lincoln’s “Team of Rivals.” ++ In view of the the financial crisis, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, climate change as well as

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November 25, 2008 | "Obama, Dafur and ICC Justice"

The most pressing moral issue the next US administration will have to face, is the genocide that is taking place in Dafur. ++ The International Criminial Court is likely to issue a warrant for arresting Sudan’s president, al-Bashir, “charging him with crimes against humanity and genocide in Darfur.” ++ President-elect Obama should support the legitimacy of the ICC and provide

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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 24, 2008 | US Misunderstands Iraqi Politics, Withdraws

Bush’s desire for a long-term military presence in Iraq beyond 2011 has been precluded by an agreement that embarrasses the US administration. ++ The Iraqi government forced changes to the document that leaves only a complete withdrawal. ++ US troops must leave city areas by June 2009 or sooner. ++ The deal went through only because Bush believes Obama would leave more quickly. ++ The refusal of

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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 20, 2008 | Losing Hearts and Minds

The lessons, as well as the history of Iraq, have been ignored and are now being repeated in Afghanistan. ++ The US and the UK have only succeeded to “reduce what should be one of the world’s richest countries to shambles.” ++ If there is one lesson from Iraq it is that “foreign expeditions undertaken in a spirit of jingoist revenge, with a crazed optimism and no strategic plan,

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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 | Obama's Agenda: 10 Challenges for the New President

Great challenges await the 44th US president, especially economic ones. The Brookings Institution lists the ten most important:

Restoring Financial Stability: Strengthening the global financial system is a priority alongside the task of defeating the current financial market crisis. Such a strengthening includes increased national regulation and decreased dependence on foreign credit.

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November 18, 2008 | "The Remaking of NATO"

One of Obama’s most trying tasks as president will be to redefine NATO, which lacks “a clear mission” and has “outlived its original purpose.” ++ The thorny issue of Ukrainian and Georgian accession will need to be negotiated with other NATO members. ++ NATO’s mission in Afghanistan is an “out-of-area conflict,” allowing members to decide what role,

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November 18, 2008 | Hard Road Ahead for Obama

Obama is going to have a very hard time fulfilling his campaign promises. ++ The heavy financial burden of the market bailout will slow his progress, especially since his tax policy proposals don’t seem to even cover his planned health-care reforms. ++ Obama’s preference for negotiation and economic sanctions might not get results with Iran and N. Korea and Israel’s upcoming

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November 17, 2008 | Realistic Expectations: G20

This weekend’s G20 summit was a mixed bag: Obama did not attend, lame-duck Bush cannot make any serious commitments, and yet, the G20 may be jockeying its way into an important position. ++ National governments promised to focus on macroeconomic coordination, and regulatory standards via the IMF or Financial Stability Forum (FSF). ++ “It would be good if Saturday’s declaration proved to be the

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November 14, 2008 | Young Atlanticists' Views on NATO, Russia and Obama

Youth Atlantic Treaty Association delegates interviewed at their General Assembly held in Berlin in November 2008. The topics range from Russian relations to what Obama will ask Europe to do.
In this series of exclusive videos, atlantic-community.org has interviewed delegates and representatives of the Youth Atlantic Treaty Association (YATA), an association with 39 member organizations on each

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November 14, 2008 | After a Vote for Change, Obama Chose Continuity

Washington’s handling of the Wall Street bailout is incompetent, maybe illegal. ++ The Democrat response is to either defend the Bush administration or refuse to intervene. ++ Bush is violating the conditions of the original bailout, effectively cutting another $140 billion in taxes. ++ Obama’s agenda has turned from “change” to “continuity.” ++ It would do him and his fellow Democrats good to

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November 13, 2008 | Zero is the Goal

Obama’s foreign policy challenges are just that, challenges. ++ Complicating matters, there are many; but none have the same potential upside as the challenge of fulfilling his election pledge to “make the goal of eliminating nuclear weapons worldwide a central element of US nuclear policy.” ++ There are two steps, each equally daunting: recognized nuclear states must eliminate their

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November 12, 2008 | Bush, Obama Should Push for Trade Agreements

In the upcoming lame duck session of Congress, Bush and Obama should insist to vote on the outstanding free trade agreements with Colombia, South Korea and Panama. ++ The election put these pacts on the back burner, but the sooner deals are made to beat out competition from Canada and the EU, the more it will benefit US manufacturing. ++ US geopolitics in the “war on drugs” and

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November 12, 2008 | Regardless of Snags, Obama Must Close Guantanamo

Upon taking office, Obama must immediately close the infamous Guantanamo Bay prison that so dreadfully taints the reputation of the US. ++ Bush’s criticism of the prison might have been truthful, but its closure would create several practical problems that he is not willing to face. ++ For example, the release of 50 cleared suspects who face persecution in their home countries. ++ European

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November 12, 2008 | Minimum Target for the G20: Do No Harm

The G20-meeting may harm the economy if conflicts surface and the US is blamed for the crisis. ++ The IMF lacks legitimacy due to an under-representation of Asian powers and over-representation of Europeans. ++ Obama must agree to the results of the summit, even with a lame-duck Bush as host, or markets risk destabilization. ++ Leadership is needed from Europeans who called for the meeting. ++

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November 12, 2008 | India Needs Separate Deals with Washington, Islamabad

Indian elites are showing insecurity over India’s role with relation to Washington. ++ That Obama is courting Islamabad for support in Afghanistan shouldn’t be cause for worry. ++ The lack of criticism of US military action in Syria from the Indian Ministry of External Affairs is a sign of weakness; confidence is required. ++ India’s response to Iran, Afghanistan, and Syria mustn’t be determined

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November 11, 2008 | Sarkozy Against "Polite Conversation"

French President Sarkozy is rushing on with demands for the upcoming G20-meeting, at the expense of diplomacy. ++ His harsh call for multilateral action, blaming Wall Street for the crisis, is explained by a feeling of support from public opinion in Europe. ++ However, the crisis was not fabricated only in the US; Europe’s structures have their own faults. ++ Sensible targets for the summit would

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November 10, 2008 | Iraq: Bon Voyage?

By the end of this year the UN mandate allowing US troops to operate in Iraq will expire. ++ Both countries have agreed to a US withdrawal and G. W. Bush has announced that troops will leave by 2011, “leaving only military trainers and air traffic controllers behind.” ++ The US should ask for an extension of its mandate and American troops should keep operating until a final agreement

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November 10, 2008 | Strengthening US-Indo relations

The next administration might find itself entangled in a dispute over Kashmir as Obama wants Pakistan to cooperate in Afghanistan. ++ Obama strongly acknowledges the importance of a Indo-US partnership, but what “Indians fear is that they are being asked to pick up the political tab for America’s failed policy in Afghanistan.” ++ If Obama wants India to cooperate he should

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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 | War on Terror is Over

Obama must fulfill his promises of withdrawal from Iraq and Afghanistan and those of diplomacy with Iran. ++ He must close Guantánamo and declare the war on terror is over, realizing that terrorism is a technique, not an ideology. ++ Talks, not air strikes, should take place in Afghanistan. ++ Obama’s plan for “residual forces” in Iraq should be abandoned for a total

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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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October 31, 2008 | The UN: Obama's Money Pit

With its dubiously opaque financial practices, “chronic scandals and tyrant-friendly tilt,” the UN is in dire need of reform. ++ While McCain proposes a League of Democracies to provide competition, Obama wants to impose serious oversight on the UN, although previous attempts at such have fizzled. ++ Along with espousing the Millennium Development Goals, he wants the UN to play a

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October 30, 2008 | Racism and Russians in the US Presidential Race

America is forgetful of Obama’s skin color in part because he “placed the race issue beyond the borders of the discourse.” ++ America has changed greatly in the last fifty years - pejoratives and epithets have given way to more emollient euphemisms; racism still lurks, though. ++ In a land where everyone lies “like crazy,” Obama is facing a great obstacle in the form of the “Bradley effect.” ++

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October 29, 2008 | Lipstick on a Scapegoat

In the final week of the presidential election, Obama is ahead in the polls by a double digit margin. ++ Republicans have started to look for a scapegoat, turning out to be none other than Sarah Palin. ++ Palin has publicly criticized McCain’s campaign strategy, giving rise to the impression that McCain’s campaign is falling apart. ++ With the nomination of Palin, McCain tried to gain

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October 28, 2008 | Strategy for A Renewed Russian Relationship

Obama and McCain’s respective stances on Russia evoke a palpable difference in their demeanor. ++ “McCain is prepped for a new Cold War; Obama is looking for a thaw.” ++ The foundations for McCain’s positions were laid forth by the impetuous Bush administration, which balked at the notion of binding treaty obligations. ++ “McCain makes George W. Bush seem like a prudent statesman.” ++ Renewed

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October 24, 2008 | Nationalism Trumps Global Economic Cooperation

Financial turmoil has provoked leading nations to recognize the need for economic cooperation, yet fierce nationalism has reared its head amid the calls for global unity. ++ “Economics and finance may be global, but politics is still local.” ++ Western nations seek to retain power in the world system and emerging nations do not wish to yield their sovereignty. ++ Ideally the next US president

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October 23, 2008 | Effete Germany Cozies up to Russia, Scorns NATO

“Old” and “new” Europe parallel the blue and red state split in the US. ++ In old (western) Europe Obama is viewed as a “ray of hope;” new (central and eastern) Europe raises the question, “Who is Obama?” ++ This can be attributed to a difference in threat perceptions. ++ Nowhere is this exemplified more than in Germany. ++ There, a proto-Kantian

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October 21, 2008 | Powell Endorsement a Fresh Reminder

Colin Powell’s endorsement of Barack Obama has demanded the headlines. ++ While endorsements can be forgotten, his other message should not. ++ Obama is not a Muslim, nor an Arab, but “What if he is? Is there something wrong with being a Muslim in this country?” ++ Where Obama failed - by not knocking down the rumors for fear of giving credence to the idea that if they were somehow true, they

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October 17, 2008 | Next US President Will Determine Iran's Elections

In addition to the development of the Iranian nuclear program and the economy, the choice of the next Iranian president will be determined by this year’s US presidential election. ++ Iranians are afraid of an American or Israeli military strike. ++ Knowing that McCain endorses military options, Iranians might tend to reelect Ahmadinejad in the case that McCain becomes the next president. ++

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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 9, 2008 | America's Red Army

Red states vs. blue states, the red army against the blue, and Palin is the “Katyusha rocket” of the red forces. ++ The culture wars in the US must end fast. ++ The McCain campaign has used tactics that exacerbate the cultural differences of “conservative” and “liberal” Americans. ++ Even if Obama wins, the culture wars won’t end immediately - America needs to recall the true meaning of “liberal”

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October 6, 2008 | McCain Strong, Obama Weak

Osama Bin Laden called Iraq the “central front” in his fight against the US - he was right. ++ Obama/Biden only focus on the past; they still think invading Iraq was a mistake, a distraction from Afghanistan. ++ Their obsession misses the point: “The essence of being a good commander in chief is appreciating the connections among these theaters.” ++ FDR fought the Nazi’s before assailing Japan,

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October 3, 2008 | "GOP - R.I.P"

For Republicans, the financial crash of Sept. 29, as the stock market fell over 700 points, will be remembered as the day which began their “exile” from political power. ++ Republicans in the House voted against their own party’s bailout plan by a margin of 2 to 1, emphasizing their divided and seemingly leaderless state. ++ While the presidential race is still uncertain, it is obvious that

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October 2, 2008 | Obama Needs Foreign Policy Revamp

Obama’s foreign policy proposals are too vapid; far from incipient or novel, we are subjected to his recycled ideas - which, albeit, were fresh when first espoused in the face of Bush dogmatism. ++ “These ideas have lost their oomph among discerning voters.” ++ Catching Bin Laden, sending more troops to Afghanistan, and unconditional support for Georgia are all calls from the neocon playbook.

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September 30, 2008 | Obama Promises a Better Environmental Future

Obama’s overall environmental record is shorter, but looks better than McCain’s. ++ Both want to use technology that is not ready and neither plan is as clear as it should be, but Obama wants to move the country away from oil as quickly as possible while McCain will leave it up to the market. ++ Obama plans to implement a cap-and-trade system and enforce strict transportation

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September 30, 2008 | McCain's Policies Favor Israel

McCain’s perception of the Middle East conflict deems Israel a critical ally. ++ McCain accepts the military facet of the conflict, while Obama considers diplomacy the tool to triumph over a minority of Islamic extremists. ++ The root cause of Islamic terrorism is also disputed: McCain believes it is an ideological conflict, and Obama assumes that it is driven by poverty and despair. ++ Obama

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September 29, 2008 | Presidential Debates: What Are They Worth?

Presidential debates cannot change the fundamentals of an election. ++ Reagan’s poor opening debate against Mondale didn’t keep him from a 49-state landslide, and Kennedy’s strong debate against Nixon didn’t insure his victory - a surge in the Catholic vote did. ++ While McCain performed well on Friday, the fundamentals haven’t changed: unpopular president, more Democratic voter registration, and

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September 23, 2008 | No Money Left for Change

The US has done the right thing when it launched a rescue plan. ++ Those who argue how vast the initiative is are wrong because they underestimate the extensiveness of the US economy. ++ However, the true impact of the expansion of public spending lies in politics, because there is simply not much money left over for areas such as health care or alternative energy. ++ So even if Obama is elected

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September 19, 2008 | Uncle Sam's Unsolved Problem

Immigration remains an open problem in the US and is now on the campaign agendas. ++ Obama still supports the three pillars of extensive reform: tougher enforcement, expanded legal immigration and a path to citizenship to illegal immigrants who are already in the US. ++ McCain, on the other hand, is leading a party whose members mainly oppose the path to citizenship and give priority to border

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September 18, 2008 | Politics of Fear are Bad News for Obama

Due to the financial crisis, the attack on the US embassy in Yemen, and the latest tropical storms, the tone of the US presidential campaign has become nervous and angst-ridden. ++ Even if people who consider the economy to be the most important reason to vote for Obama, there is a “deeper politics of fear that runs against Obama.” ++ While Obama offers a dream of how the world could be, McCain

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September 15, 2008 | US Should Reduce its Dependence on Oil

McCain’s campaign is turning everything into a cultural wedge issue - including energy policy. ++ Republicans who favor the exploitation of more and more oil ignore the need for an energy policy that diminishes the US dependence on this resource. ++ Dependence reduces the US ability to compete in the age of globalization and endangers its economic and military power. ++ McCain had better

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September 10, 2008 | Give the World What it Wants: Obama

A McCain victory could have consequences that reach far beyond party politics. ++ Enormous numbers of young voters support Obama, a generation that could easily become cynical should this seemingly obvious election go sour. ++ Likewise, African Americans could conclude that if Obama can’t do it, no black American ever will. ++ Moreover, the repercussions around the world could be more radical;

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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 1, 2008 | "Obama's Offer: an End to US Stupidity"

“Politics is the art of communicating intimacy to a crowd” and Obama’s latest speech proved that he is very good at it. ++ However, commentators do not ask if he can win, but if he should win and question the US readiness for a black, elitist president. ++ However, to many people outside the US the next American president is the difference between life and death and they clearly

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August 29, 2008 | Biden's Diplomatic Approach is Only Hope for Iran

If Obama is elected, a VP Joe Biden will likely mean positive developments for troubled US-Iran relations. ++ Biden’s experiences with Iranian diplomacy legitimize Obama’s call for direct contact with Tehran. ++ However, Biden’s plans to negotiate with Iran may cost Obama some Jewish votes and Biden may have to give in to a more hawkish stance. ++ But Biden’s more conciliatory approach toward

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August 26, 2008 | Obama Will be Good for Europe

Obama comes from the most ideological and, therefore, most dangerous part of the Democratic party. ++ He supports policies that will aggravate many international problems. ++ Despite all this, he should be president because the probable hiatus of universal US influence that the Obama presidency may bring would mean an unforeseen break for Europe to act as an adult in world politics. ++

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August 1, 2008 | Obama Overlooks Existing Alliances

When Obama visited Europe, he spoke eloquently about needing a US-EU partnership to defeat terrorism. ++ The problem is: the US already have a counterterrorism partnership with the EU and it works efficiently, despite the stereotyping media coverage of aggressive Americans and pacifist Europeans. ++ For instance, the US and the EU succeeded in stopping students in France developing new bombs for

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July 29, 2008 | The Realpolitiker in Obama

Obama’s popularity last
Thursday showed the desire for a responsible global power and the unwavering belief that the US should be that power. ++ But the charisma of the presidential candidate should not blur our view of the other Obama: the Realpolitiker. ++ In his speech, he made clear that neither can the US be an arrogant superpower, nor can Europe neglect its military duties, e.g. in

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July 28, 2008 | Change Germans Cannot Believe In

The German magazine Der Spiegel featured articles about Barack Obama with such satiric headlines as “The Messiah Factor” or “Germany Meets the Superstar.” ++ These examples show that Europeans are far less excited about Obama than Americans, even if they are also looking forward to the end of the Bush administration. ++ The mocking undertone that accompanies most descriptions of Obama in the

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July 25, 2008 | The Lingering Sound of Obama's Speech

The German government welcomes Obama’s call for a renewal of transatlantic relations. ++ The
reactions of the public are heterogeneous: some expected a key speech and were disappointed afterwards while others liked Obama’s decision to speak as a citizen of the world. ++ Political scientist Langguth warned of a transfiguration of the US-German relationship. ++ No matter who will win the US

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July 24, 2008 | The Hope for Change

The need for a renewal of transatlantic relations is widely felt among the German public and the expectations are high regarding Obama’s stance on climate protection, peace, and shared values. ++ But there will also be delicate issues arising such as economic relations between both countries and the German fear that Obama could enhance protectionism in the US. ++ Moreover, the canditates’ plan

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July 24, 2008 | Could Obamamania Cloud Over?

Obama has achieved astonishing levels of popularity abroad. ++ Foreigners, however, had better temper their excitement. ++ A “skilled tactician,” Obama tends to shrewdly adapt his discourse to his audience and since, if elected, he would in any case be constrained by a heavily Democratic Congress, chances are “what they see is not precisely what they will get.” ++ Most importantly, Obama still

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July 23, 2008 | Obama is Just what the Middle East Needs

Over the last few weeks, Obama has confused both Arabs and Israelis with his notes on Palestinian suffering and the status of Jerusalem. ++ But contrary to McCain, Obama shows basic respect for the Palestinians and admits that the Israel-Palestine conflict contributes to the region’s instability. ++ Moreover, he promises to practice active, engaged mediation between Israelis and Palestinians and

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July 22, 2008 | Obama's Iraq Strategy Scarily Stays the Same

Obama has not retracted from his end-the-war stance which dates back to 2003 and was the key to his success over Clinton during the primaries. ++ But in so far as “full withdrawal” from Iraq, such as Iraqis want, never belonged to his aims, he has not changed policy. ++ His plans to maintain residual forces in Iraq and reserve “the right to intervene militarily,” reveal both his

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July 18, 2008 | Controversial Address at the Brandenburg Gate

Although countless events and demonstrations have taken place at the gate, Obama’s intention to hold a speech divides the German political elite. ++ Merkel’s disapproval is thought to be due to her closer ties to the conservatives across the Atlantic and her East German preference for “right-wing and rather gruff figures of American politics.” ++ Most Germans however would gladly see Obama be

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July 11, 2008 | Berlin's Provincial Farce

The planned speech of Presidential candidate Barack Obama in front of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin threatens to turn into a provincial farce. ++ Unlike Washington D.C., where the US federal government decides who can speak at the nation’s political sanctuaries, in Berlin, local and federal politicians use the invitation for political profiling purposes. ++ Berlin’s mayor wants to play in the

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July 7, 2008 | "My Friends, From the Beltway to Berlin, Yes We Can!"

In the end of July, Obama is scheduled to meet with Chancellor Merkel and to hold a speech at Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate. ++ He should consider saying something to the following effect: the lessons of Berlin illustrate “what far-sighted strategy can achieve” and teach shared sacrifice. ++ The transatlantic alliance depends on our shared resolve. ++ “I’m sure I can learn from Europe on universal

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July 1, 2008 | President Carter's Lessons for Barack Obama

Many parallels can be drawn between Barack Obama and Jimmy Carter at the time of 1976 presidential election. ++ Then, as now, war and economic stagnation created fertile ground for leaders who promise a fresh start and a change in how the US is perceived in the world. ++ Obama is in danger of being branded with the mark of Pres. Carter who has gone down in history as a weak president. ++ He

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June 26, 2008 | The Bipartisan Vision of a Nuke Free World

Working towards a nuclear free world is a necessity now that the cold war is over. ++ Both presidential candidates have announced they would commit the US to this goal. ++ The next president should lead the freeze on the production of material for nuclear weapons and work closely with Congress and allies to strengthen the international non-proliferation regime. ++ A nuclear fuel bank, which would

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June 24, 2008 | Europe's "Obama Honeymoon" Could be Shortlived

Obama enjoys astonishing and unprecedented support in Europe. ++ The anti-Americanism fueled by Bush may have subsided, but this international popularity is not necessarily beneficial for a candidate who primarily needs to convince the electorate at home. ++ Europeans would be wise to lower their expectations: “once a President Obama engages with America’s allies, he will also expect them to

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June 20, 2008 | Obama Needs a New Strategy for Iraq

Obama should readjust his Iraq strategy like many other former opponents of the war did. ++ US will be remembered as much for how it got out of Iraq as for how it got in. ++ A precipitous withdrawal may give Iranians the chance to dominate Iraq. ++ Obama should acknowledge the need to stay tough there, even as he continues to claim credit for having been against the project. ++ Democrats may be

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June 12, 2008 | Bush Slowly Fades, as New Presidency Nears

On both sides of the Atlantic, politicians are certain that a new US President will mean big change on a broad range of issues, from climate change to Iraq. ++ In gearing up for a more “enlightened” era of transatlantic relations, governments and media have given little attention to Bush’s remaining days in office. ++ Although public opinion in Europe clearly reveals an Obama preference, Berlin,

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June 12, 2008 | Obama is the Middle East's Candidate of Choice

Perhaps by electing Obama as president, pro-American reformers in the Middle East will no longer feel so alienated. ++ According to expat experiences in Egypt, locals are hoping for an Obama victory because of his ethnicity and Muslim background. ++ Such a groundbreaking turnaround, only seven years after 9/11, would be unthinkable in those Mideastern countries whose futures are buried in the

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June 11, 2008 | Americans Should Vote "McBama"

Official US presidential candidates have been selected but voters now face the difficult task of distinguishing between “the politics of winning”, which shore up popularity, and “the politics of governing”, which focus on ability. ++ Obama’s lack of conviction contrasts with McCain’s stubbornness, but regarding domestic policy neither has made satisfactory suggestions. ++ Assuming Republicans

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June 11, 2008 | Obama and McCain: A Duel of the Generations

Hillary Clinton has admitted defeat, as for Obama, the battle has only just begun. ++ This year’s US Presidential campaign rotates on an axis between character and experience. ++ McCain offers the American people know-how, while Obama guarantees hope. ++ Recent polls have shown that the candidates are neck and neck. ++ What is it the American people want, or rather, need? ++ The message of

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June 6, 2008 | Obama a Figure of Hope, but Not for All

Obama’s nomination as the democratic presidential candidate initiated enthusiasm abroad. ++ Many nations feel Obama as president “could help to reduce anti-US sentiment and even turn it around.” ++ In Europe Obama has strong support. ++ Many Germans see him as a transformational figure like Kennedy or King. ++ Israel is concerned: “in foreign policy toward the Middle East, he’s

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June 5, 2008 | The Primaries are Over so the Race Can Begin

Striking differences between McCain and Obama on issues such as Iraq, the economy, global warming, energy, and the international standing of the US, mean the real debate can now begin. ++ Clinton should rally behind Obama and he should make a place for her supporters, since both would enable him to tone up and substantiate his campaign. ++ Obama needs to counter McCain with concrete suggestions

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June 5, 2008 | McCain: We Should Not be Scared but Prepared

The personality of the US election winner will fundamentally shape transatlantic relations, but the fact remains that today the priorities of the EU and US differ more than ever before. ++ In the multipolar world that has succeeded the Cold War, there is no longer something “inevitable about the transatlantic alliance.” ++ Europeans who are dreaming of Obama as president should both temper their

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June 5, 2008 | For Victory, Obama Needs Clinton

In order to win the presidency Obama must quickly readjust his strategy. ++ The long and fierce battle between the two democratic candidates has alienated supporters from both sides. ++ In the May 20 Kentucky primary, 2/3 of Clinton supporters said they will vote for the Republican candidate or not vote at all if Clinton is not the nominee.++ Though voters now prefer Democratic policy positions

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June 4, 2008 | Obama Won but Clinton is Still Important

Obama has claimed the Democratic nomination, but Clinton will remain an important figure over the next months. ++ Clinton “did well among working-class whites, older voters and women” so her eventual endorsement of Obama will be crucial. ++ Clinton would do little to help balance Obama’s ticket and he cannot afford to offer her the vice-presidential nomination unless he is certain she will

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May 27, 2008 | Candidates' Foreign Policy Differences are Rhetorical

The foreign policy discussion between McCain and Obama has helped portray the former as uncompromising and the latter as visionary. ++ Since US strategy in Iraq has required diplomats to negotiate with Shiite militiamen, Sunni insurgents or Iranian counterparts for years now, the candidates’ debate regarding their respective approach to negotiation is both unrealistic and hypocritical. ++ In any

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May 26, 2008 | McCain is a Better Choice for Europe

Europeans’ support for Obama based solely on his Democratic credentials ignores his resistance to free trade which is something on which Europe depends. ++ “His ‘Invest in America’ policy can hardly be topped as protectionist mindset, and his ‘Fair Trade’ policies would lead to a restriction of world trade.” ++ Despite looming years of economic austerity and the US’s loss of power, both Clinton

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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 | The Costs and Benefits of Negotiation

In foreign policy, both Republicans and Democrats favor negotiation. ++ Yet McCain realizes “where diplomacy is appropriate, and where more fortitude is required” and this creates a distinction. ++ There are real downsides to the unconditional upholding of soft diplomacy. ++ Besides the cost of negotiation in terms of time and resources, it provides terrorists or leaders of state sponsors of

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May 16, 2008 | Dirty Campaign Tactics on Middle East Policy

The campaigning for the US Presidential Election has gotten ugly on Middle East foreign policy. ++ In his speech to the Israeli Knesset, President Bush accused Obama of appeasing with Hamas. ++ It is “hard to remember any president abusing the prestige of his office in as crude a way as Bush did yesterday.” ++ Senator McCain made Hamas a campaign issue in the first place. ++ Practicing

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May 15, 2008 | Obama's Middle East Will be Business as Usual

Obama advocates leading open and direct negotiations with everyone, from Iran to Cuba. ++ His opposition to the Iraq war, his rational stance on Iran, and his “understanding of US imperialism” suggest he will reshape American foreign policy. ++ Yet Obama’s readiness to compromise does not apply to the Middle East. ++ Since Obama’s presidency would provide for high expectations, the predictable

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April 29, 2008 | Visions of Foreign Policy Oppose Candidates

While Obama upholds transformation, Mc Cain’s intentions suggest a great deal of continuity based on American power considerations. ++ Obama emphasizes negotiation and the use of the US “potential for attraction instead of its capacity for duress.” ++ In practice, pressure groups’ and congress’ likely resistance to multilateralism indicate that Mc Cain’s

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April 18, 2008 | Iran Divides Democratic Candidates

Obama and Clinton may agree on many issues, but they champion two very different approaches towards US foreign policy in the Middle East. ++ Obama opposes the notion of a “clash of civilizations” and supports engaging moderates and democrats in the Muslim world. ++ Clinton would follow a path similar to that of the Bush administration and focus on defending US allies and deterring Iran.

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April 3, 2008 | US Elections: What Should Europe Hope for?

Still depending on US hard power, Europe has found a new role in the soft power balance to the US. ++ Europe can’t continue in this role with a new President Obama. ++ Obama’s US would gain international reputation and call in Europe for more hard power burden sharing. ++ But the US remains the indispensable nation so far. ++ Therefore Obama’s US is best for Europe because it will become a strong

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April 3, 2008 | An Obama-Webb Ticket?

While Jim Webb would have many weaknesses on the campaign trail, he could be a great vice president to Obama. ++ Senator Webb’s military experience outstrips that of any other likely democratic VP candidate, his authenticity gains him respect, and he could help Obama win in several red states. ++ He would be viewed as a cultural conservative and genuine democratic, and would symbolically balance

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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

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March 5, 2008 | Obama's Free-Trade Credentials Top Clinton's

In recent years, the Democratic Party has tended to gravitate towards protectionism. ++ The denigration of freer trade is characteristic of Democratic candidates during the primaries. ++ Obama’s trade policy credentials however, suggest he is likely to be a friendlier president to multilateral free trade. ++ “Hope,” “change” and an international outlook are incompatible with protectionism.

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Comments

November 9, 2012 | @Gary Johnson and Jill Stein You're right....

December 2, 2010 | Dear Julia, Thanks for the insightful ideas...

April 20, 2010 | Some short comments: 1. On the European...

April 14, 2010 | Interesting comment. Obma's...

February 10, 2010 | I was struck by Obama's references to "not...

January 28, 2010 | Obama seems to see the future of economic...

January 6, 2010 | Samir- I appreciate the comment. I...

January 6, 2010 | I agree that Obama has clearly used force in...

January 5, 2010 | I agree with Ahmed. Obama is no too soft on...

January 5, 2010 | No, Obama is not too soft on anything, but he...

December 1, 2009 | The toughest thing for Turkey (or any...

November 25, 2009 | Mr. Katulis, thank you very much for your...

November 17, 2009 | Clearly, it is too early to write anything on...

October 16, 2009 | It is true that our natural instinct in the...

October 13, 2009 | When Nobel committee last year selected Mr....

October 10, 2009 | If a Nobel Peace Prize is worth being handed...

August 12, 2009 | Since when is honesty wrong? It takes a...

August 12, 2009 | Since when is honesty wrong? It takes a...

August 3, 2009 | Failure whether great or small is still...

July 29, 2009 | As a matter of fact, the US is running the...

April 11, 2009 | Although the mainstream-media is still not...

April 7, 2009 | I thought it was very interesting how Obama...

March 11, 2009 | This is a really interesting post Natalie....

March 6, 2009 | I thought Secretary of State Clinton's...

March 4, 2009 | Whilst acheiving global agreement on climate...

January 31, 2009 | Afghanistan's majority population are the...

November 25, 2008 | Mr. Barack (Swahili for Benedict) Hussein...

November 23, 2008 | "the resulting [2004] Republican victory at a...

November 4, 2008 | I want to second Herr Broschk's points. The...

August 29, 2008 | "Direct diplomacy" in this context is just a...

July 22, 2008 | I agree with most of Ambassador Ischinger's...

July 19, 2008 | The question in the title may also be...

February 1, 2008 | I think Germany is a much more valued ally...

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