“Remain” or “Leave.”
That is the choice for British voters Thursday in a referendum on the European Union.
Ripples from vote’s impact will be felt for years to come. If Britain pulls out, trade and financial agreements will have to be rewritten. Social compacts will be revisited. If Britain stays in, the restiveness will not abate. Irritation about being subjected to policies from Brussels will only grow. Thursday’s murder of Jo Cox, a pro-“remain” member of parliament, put a quiver in the British stiff upper lip.
Two months ago in London, President Barack Obama said the U.K. “is at its best when it’s helping to lead a strong Europe.”
Many of the themes and positions of the Brexit campaign echoes in the U.S. presidential election campaign: immigration, border security, trade, manufacturing jobs, “Britain First.”
Betting odds shifted over the weekend from “Leave” to “Remain.” But most experts still say the vote is too close to predict.
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“Remain” or “Leave.”
They are both calm, cool and collected. Neither are prone to melodrama; rather, they look for practical solutions. And they have both demonstrated maturity by getting past a nasty spat prompted by revelations that the U.S. government was listening in on German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s telephone conversations for several years. Shortly after arriving in Germany on Sunday for his final visit, Obama praised Merkel for sticking to a welcoming policy towards migrants even as Europe capitals have been shaken by deadly terrorist attacks carried out by ISIS: “What’s happening with respect to her position on refugees here, in Europe. She is on the right side of history on this,” he said. In return, officials say Obama hopes to get more support to fight ISIS militants, and for a trade deal with the European Union. As the president winds down his two-terms in office, he seems driven to secure America’s best friends and raise the public discourse during a particularly pugilistic American election season that will determine his successor.
“We [are] reinforcing the imporance of us staying focused on ISIL (ISIS) and countering the terrorism that has seeped up into Europe and around the world,” President Barack Obama
Republican front-runner Donald Trump would go farther, having described the 28-state alliance as “obsolete” more than once during his push for the GOP presidential ticket. Members don’t pay up their fair share, or at all, and the clunky security organization is ill-suited for the war on terror, according to Trump. After the deadly terrorist attacks on Brussels, which just happens to be NATO’s homebase, and moves by Russian President Vladimir Putin in Ukraine and elsewhere, others have also raised questions about the relevance of the alliance in a shifting world order.
But this week while hosting NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at the White House, President Barack Obama declared NATO “…a linchpin, a cornerstone of our collective defense and U.S. security policy.” Still, influential pundits and columnists have raised legitimate concerns about NATO’s lack of agility, bloated bureaucracy and lopsided financing that leaves the military bills largely in the hands of the United States.
There have been other public figures (former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates for one) to voice dim views of NATO, originally created in 1949 after the Second World War—a time when the Soviet Union was fully intact and on a mission to expand. Which raises yet another set of questions: has NATO evolved along with the world? And is the alliance equipped to respond to modern threats?
Surveillance in Muslim communities is indispensable for defeating terrorism.
Whatever one’s view of the Cold War…the world was united then in containing and defeating an ideology whose publicly stated goal was to displace the liberal values of the democracies. That unity was a “remnant” worth preserving. Instead, the world today is disunited in its opposition to the ideology of radicalized Islam.
By Barbara Slavin In the aftermath of the terrible bombings in Brussels, the knee-jerk reaction among some American politicians is to close borders to immigrants and hit harder at the Middle Eastern enclaves of the Islamic State. Thinking aloud as his wont on Twitter, Republican frontrunner Donald Trump vowed, “This madness must be stopped and I will […]
Merely killing passers-by serves no warlike purpose in itself. The explosive force derives from our reaction to it, from the public attention awarded to it and from the response of the political community. Publicity and response are the terrorists’ “useful idiocies”.
[A] series of active Islamic State plots have been disrupted all across Europe in the last year …The individual identified as the “mastermind” of the Paris attack, Abdelhamid Abbaoud, was connected to another plot in Belgium that was foiled by the Belgian police in January this year,