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The Broken Intervention Calculator: Syria

The Broken Intervention Calculator: Syria

When U.S. President Obama sat down with Russia’s President Vladimir Putin at the latest G-8 Summit in Fermanagh, Northern Ireland, the evolving civil war in Syria dominated the conversation. The push had been for a negotiated political settlement under the guise of the …

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Rich Debates

Rich Debates


As questions of economic inequality elbow their way from the classroom to the headlines of the evening news, the question of tax has become ever more prescient. It was also the topic of the latest installment of the Munk Debates. The simple …

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The Intervention Calculation: Mali

The Intervention Calculation: Mali


Brussels was the scene of an international donor conference last week to pledge €340 million in support of stabilizing Mali. The conference comes after a recent United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolution calling for a 12,600-strong peacekeeping force in Mali and offers …

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Enough.

Enough.

Syria is deteriorating before the world’s eyes. What is being done to stop this?
At the U.N., a new crisis appeal entitled “Enough” features the heads of U.N. humanitarian agencies appealing for support in alleviating the humanitarian situation …

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Brave New Bailout

Brave New Bailout

Writing in 1931, Aldous Huxley used Cyprus as the setting for a social experiment gone wrong in his dystopian novel “Brave New World.” The failed experiment sent a warning to future generations regarding the perils of excessive social tampering. Fast-forward nearly a century and …

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Narayangonj-gate?

Narayangonj-gate?

The eyes of the nation were glued on the Narayanganj City Corporation elections these past few days. Many wondered why this particular mayoral election of a newly formed city corporation near the capital was of such great significance. The reason for this election’s socio-political significance was it …

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The Libyan Struggle

The Libyan Struggle


After Gaddafi Libya may not find what it is looking for. As I write this, the majority of pro-Gaddafi forces have lost, or are in the process of losing their resistance against the mostly civilian rebels. The pictures and stories coming from Libya are not incomparable to …

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New White House Strategy for Countering Extremism

New White House Strategy for Countering Extremism


On August 3rd the White House released an eight-page strategy for countering extremism entitled “Empowering Local Partners to Prevent Violent Extremism in the United States.” The strategy, which took over a year to produce, lays out three areas …

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Into the Void on Greece

Into the Void on Greece

We now have a deal from France, Germany and the ECB: bending European Financial Stability Facility rules to allow recapitalization of banks and create easier credit terms for Euro countries; and debt rollover into longer-term (some might argue “indefinitely long” given Greek debt of 140 percent of GDP) maturities.
Most …

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What Flipped the Switch on Italy?

What Flipped the Switch on Italy?

No, it was not a bunga bunga party (not this time at least). Rather, the bond vigilante feeding frenzy recently let loose upon Rome was triggered — depressingly — by the resolution of the (immediate) crisis in Greece. Basically, investors are playing whack-a-mole with Europe sovereigns. This July 6 piece …

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Arabic Dreams of Turkish Ways

Turkey’s foreign minister Ahmet Davutoglu visited Benghazi last week, where the Libyan opposition is getting stronger every day. Davutoglu was welcomed, as any other AKP official in a Muslim country, and the crowd cheered for him holding interesting posters with the words, “Thank you Erdogan, Turkey and Islam” written on …

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Boualem Sansal: An Open Letter to Mohamed Bouazizi

I found this letter today. It comes from Words Without Borders. The author, Boualem Sansal, is an Algerian novelist, and Mohamed Bouazizi set himself on fire in Tunisia on December 17, 2010. The letter is beautiful, and worth a read.
Dear Brother:
I write these …

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Bosnia fading

Unemployment at 42 percent. A “negative” credit rating from Moody’s. Widespread corruption. And now without a government for nine months. Nearly 16 years after Dayton, the New York Times reports that the country is facing its worst crisis since the war.
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If we can overcome in Greece…

If we can overcome in Greece…

In many places — here for instance — news outlets have conflated protests against austerity in Greece with European-wide discontent. This is a mistake. There is discontent in Europe, but what people are unhappy about differs from country …

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Palestinian U-Turn on Settlements

A senior Palestinian official told the Associate Press today that the Palestinian leadership is ready to drop demands for Israel to completely halt all settlement building in the Occupied Territories. So if negotiations are restarted, a full settlement freeze would no longer be part of the Palestinian preconditions. I wonder …

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