US Opinion and Commentary

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Disband the African Union

Posted July 11th, 2016 at 9:17 pm (UTC-5)
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Not surprisingly, the AU has achieved spectacularly little in its decade and a half of existence. It is famous for its annual summits, where unrepentant despots sip champagne and applaud their own longevity while issuing preposterous communiqués that nobody else in the world pays attention to.

Brexit: Britain’s Welcome Revival of Statehood

Posted June 27th, 2016 at 10:53 am (UTC-5)
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The “leave” campaign won the referendum on withdrawing Britain from the European Union because the arguments on which the “remain” side relied made leave’s case. The remain campaign began with a sham, was monomaniacal with its Project Fear and ended in governmental thuggishness.

Millennials, Brexit and the Future of Globalization

Posted June 27th, 2016 at 10:30 am (UTC-5)
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By Barbara Slavin The results of the British referendum on leaving the European Union are another reminder of how much more thoughtful and yes, mature, the millennial generation is turning out to be. By large majorities, Britons under 45 voted to remain in the EU while their elders, with fewer years to bear the consequences, tossed […]

Now, What Does Brexit Mean for U.S.?

Posted June 24th, 2016 at 4:06 pm (UTC-5)
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Uncertainty.
That is what we are left with following Britain’s vote Thursday to leave the European Union.
Financial markets hate uncertainty. So, the precipitous drop in stock markets worldwide should not come as a surprise. Yet it is staggering to see the vote’s outcome resulting in two trillion dollars of lost equity. So far.
Britain voted for the uncertainty of change. The status quo was not working for them. Similar political sentiments are echoed in the United States, personified by the success, so far, of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.
The change Britain voted for will likely bring on other change. Expect Scotland and Northern Ireland to look for ways to stay in the E.U., which may mean leaving the United Kingdom.
Richard Haass, president of the Council on Foreign Relations, questions whether voters understood the consequences. That sentiment seems to be borne out in the British blogosphere, where Google Trends says there was a 250-percent spike in searches for “What happens if we leave the EU?”
Result: uncertain.

The Logic of Brexit

Posted June 22nd, 2016 at 3:17 pm (UTC-5)
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No matter which side wins, a substantial part of the population of one of Europe’s major powers thinks so badly of the European experiment that they want to leave. The mere fact that a large portion of the public in such a country is so disillusioned…is a blow to the idea of a united Europe.

Remain or Leave: Brexit’s Impact on U.S.

Posted June 21st, 2016 at 4:07 pm (UTC-5)
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“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.

Why the West Misunderstands Russia’s Challenge

Posted June 14th, 2016 at 10:34 am (UTC-5)
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Rather than contemplating the actual nature, real risks and final purposes of Russia’s demonstratively aggressive posture, NATO’s generals are fighting the last war – the Cold one – over again….NATO’s/EU’s resulting incomplete and misconceived rebuttals are serving, rather than containing, the Kremlin. And they are increasing insecurity in Eastern Europe, rather than decreasing it.

The Resolve Behind Russia Sanctions Is Weakening

Posted May 31st, 2016 at 11:33 am (UTC-5)
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Each time the European Union’s sanctions against Russia come up for renewal, there’s speculation that some countries might break ranks and vote against the trade and financing restrictions. There will probably be no deserters this time around either; but a softening of the sanctions is on the cards in the near future.

UK and America Can Be Better Friends than Ever, Mr. Obama…If We Leave the EU

Posted April 22nd, 2016 at 12:05 pm (UTC-5)
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The US guards its democracy with more hysterical jealousy than any other country on earth….For the United States to tell us in the UK that we must surrender control of so much of our democracy – it is a breathtaking example of the principle of do-as-I-say-but-not-as-I-do.

As Your Friend, Let Me Say that the EU Makes Britain Even Greater

Posted April 22nd, 2016 at 11:39 am (UTC-5)
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The European Union doesn’t moderate British influence – it magnifies it. A strong Europe is not a threat to Britain’s global leadership; it enhances Britain’s global leadership.

A Trans-Atlantic Role Reversal

Posted April 4th, 2016 at 4:11 pm (UTC-5)
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“Americans are from Mars and Europeans are from Venus.” With one pithy line 14 years ago, the foreign policy theorist Robert Kagan captured what seemed like obvious differences between the U.S. and Europe….in this time of political turmoil on both sides of the Atlantic, it’s so striking to watch Mars and Venus reverse their Bush-era alignment.

Brussels: Our New Normal?

Posted March 23rd, 2016 at 3:15 pm (UTC-5)
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“We have been through this two times last year,” a diplomatic official told a VOA reporter. “We have to get used to this.” The heinous attacks on two soft targets in the heart of the European Union shattered any delusion that acts of terrorism are one-offs. Amid the horror, came a torrent of criticism, targeting the Belgian government, the effectiveness of EU security apparatus and the Obama administration’s ISIS strategy.Perhaps the most pressing question right now is what can be done to stop the massacre of innocent people? In Europe, the French prime minister urged the EU to “invest massively” in security systems. In the United States, Obama called for unity and resolve. Trump once again called for a crackdown on Muslims. And Clinton called for reinforcing America’s alliances and doing away with what she termed “bluster.”

Defeating ISIS Requires Maximum International Cooperation

Posted March 23rd, 2016 at 1:21 pm (UTC-5)
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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 […]

Turkey, Russia Use Syria Refugees to Blackmail E.U.

Posted March 9th, 2016 at 10:33 am (UTC-5)
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By Barbara Slavin As the European Union struggles to find a way to reduce the inflow of Syrian refugees to manageable proportions, it is under pressure to downplay human rights violations by Turkey and Russia. Turkey, which has lost much of its democratic luster in recent years because of a crackdown on political opposition by […]

Brexit? Look at Who Supports Each Side

Posted February 29th, 2016 at 12:42 pm (UTC-5)
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by James Kirchick Sometimes, when judging the merits of opposing arguments in a contentious debate, one can decipher the more just position merely by surveying the contestants on either side. The issue of whether or not the United Kingdom should remain within the European Union – which British voters will decide in a June referendum […]

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