Foreign Policy Blogs

Europe

Charter Politics

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Mixed Signals

What is it about the Caucasus crisis, now submerged below the sightline of international attention, that we need to remember as we close out 2008? For one thing, recall that now there are Russian troops in South Ossetia, where there were none last August. Second, consider that soon there will be no observers from the […]

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Dealing with Russia – a Polish view

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The Truth is Out There

Those who have been following the dueling versions of what happened in South Ossetia last August can find the latest installment of The Truth in today's Wall Street Journal.  In it, Mikheil Saakashvili attacks “misleading reports” by an OSCE observer who was in South Ossetia on August 7.  It was those reports, you may recall, […]

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Czeching Lisbon at the door

Czeching Lisbon at the door

Everybody loves a good feather-ruffling. The European Commission should frankly be thanking Czech President Vaclav Klaus for the disparaging remarks he made on the Lisbon Treaty during a state visit to Ireland. At least Lisbon is back in the press, right? Characterized as a “victory banquet” by the largely Eurosceptic media in Brussels, the anti-Lisbon […]

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Increasing Energy Independence

Increasing Energy Independence

Energy independence become a key buzzword in the US presidential debates. The European Union has now launched a new initiative to reduce its member states’ dependence on Russian oil – a controversial move published just at the conclusion of the EU-Russia Summit, which concludes on Friday. The Financial Times is reporting new EU plans to […]

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US elections: European reactions

US elections: European reactions

Expectedly, reactions to the election of Sen. Barack Obama as the 44th US President were overwhelmingly positive across Europe. But in between the congratulatory lines dictated by diplomatic protocol shown the expectations European leaders have of this new President. Quentin Peel, International Affairs editor of the Financial Times believes these expectations might mean Obama is […]

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The Guns of August

As we pass into October, what has happened to the Guns of August? Those who recall Barbara Tuchman's famous book about the origins of WWI must remember the uncanny way that Europe gives rise to conflict in late summer. In Georgia — or what used to be parts of Georgia — the guns are silent […]

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Georgia at the Brink

The head of Georgia's Parliament, David Barakidze, says his country is being targeted for “regime change — by economic means,” and is appealing to the United States and other countries for major economic assistance. In an interview from Denver, where he is lobbying leading delegates to the Democratic National Convention, Barakidze said Russian forces had […]

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Redlines

Redlines

Now that the bloodshed has stopped in the Caucasus, constructing a new policy approach for the West is imperative. Western, Georgian and Russian sources all agree on the following: Russian forces have largely, but not completely, left Georgia proper. They remain in Georgia in what has been called a "new administrative border" buffering South Ossetia […]

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Balkanization (of the Caucasus)

Today's reports from Brussels and Tbilisi offer disturbing signs that Russia is unlikely to return to the status quo ante in the Caucasus. Instead of withdrawing its military forces to where they were on August 6th, Russia has strengthened its control over South Ossetia, Abkhazia, and a strategic area of Georgia proper extending well beyond […]

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BBC: "Russia Continues to Punish Georgia"

Here's a link to the latest BBC video coverage from Russian positions within Georgia, entitled “Secret Film of Russian Troops.” This footage, from August 15, makes plain that Russian troops remain in the Georgia port of Poti, carrying out military actions.

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Tripwires

A glance at today's coverage of the Georgian crisis in the Washington Post and the NYT reveals the two different ways the Bush Administration's latest moves may be understood. President Bush's announcement yesterday of a “vigorous” program of humanitarian aid was either “modest action,” or the “strongest warning yet of potential [U.S.] retaliation.” There is […]

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More Facts, More Ground

If the Georgian-Russian ceasefire takes hold — and CNN, WSJ and others are reporting right now that Russian troops continue to advance within Georgia proper — resolving who actually keeps the peace will be a challenging issue. Barack Obama called yesterday for “a genuine international peacekeeping force.” This would clearly be a step in the […]

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Facts on the Ground

As of this writing, Russia has declared a halt to its military offensive in Georgia, some 24 hours after Georgia declared a ceasefire of its own. The olive branch was waved in Moscow by President Medvedev, who stated that "the aggressor has been punished." If the ceasefire holds, the outside world may have an opportunity […]

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