April 18, 2014
by James Robbins

The four-power deal regarding Ukraine concluded Thursday in Geneva gave hope to some for a de-escalation of the crisis and resolution of the outstanding issues. However, the deal did nothing to change the facts on the ground or to alter Moscow’s strategy to force Ukraine either to acquiesce to losing its eastern regions or face Russian military intervention masked as humanitarian assistance.
Putin Moving Toward Checkmate in Eastern Ukraine
Pro-Russian separatists guard a seized government building in the eastern Ukrainian city of Slavyansk on April 18, 2014. The rebels maintained control of government buildings they have seized a day after Kiev struck a deal with Russia and the West aimed at easing the crisis in Ukraine. (Genya Savilov/AFP/Getty Images)
Focus on Hacking Clouds ‘Existential Threat’ of EMP Attack
July 12, 2013

A recent study by the Pentagon's Defense Science Board concludes that cyber warfare poses such a serious “existential threat” that the United States should be prepared to retaliate against an all-out cyber attack with a nuclear response. At least 33 nations are developing cyber attack and defense capabilities and integrating this new dimension of warfare into their military organizations, according to a United Nations survey.
Germany: A Powerful Economy That Declines to Lead Abroad
July 12, 2013

Germany’s reluctance to advance strong foreign policy positions stands in stark contrast to nations such as the United Kingdom, whose leaders speak with approval of “punching above their weight.” Germans across the political spectrum seem content with advancing modest foreign policy goals, even if Europe loses the benefit of German leadership in global affairs.

Portugal: Regime Veers Toward Collapse Over Bailout Terms
July 12, 2013

Portugal’s government is in disarray over conditions that need to be met to satisfy its 78-billion-euro bailout package. The conflict points to a political breakdown in the near future, despite efforts by President Aníbal Cavaco Silva to secure an agreement with the opposition intended to prevent the rift from widening. 

Egypt: Army Tightens Control: Steps Up Criticism of Morsi
July 11, 2013
10 am EDT Update

The interim government of Egyptian President Adly Mansour, supported by the military, adopted a new tactic in trying to extend its control of the country, accusing Mohammed Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood of trying to incite violence since the July 3 coup. One of the charges is that those protesting Morsi’s rule before he was forced from office were branded “infidels” by the Brotherhood, which its leaders dispute. The military also hinted that it might ban the group, which had been suppressed in Egypt for 60 years before its emergence in 2011 as a major political force. Arrest warrants already have been issued for hundreds of Brotherhood leaders, including its spiritual leader, Mohammed Badie and eight other supporters.
Hungary: A Troubling Anti-Democratic Trend for Europe
July 11, 2013

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán is likely to consolidate his right-wing Fidesz party’s grip on power, ignoring a non-binding European Parliament resolution critical of his government’s actions. The country’s increasingly authoritarian cast is a troubling development, one that could encourage an anti-democratic trend taking root in Europe as the continent’s economic crisis drags on.

Game-Changing US-EU Trade Talks Alarm Chinese Leaders
July 11, 2013
The United States and European Union have embarked upon one of the most ambitious trade negotiations in world history. And while recent revelations about the PRISM surveillance program have momentarily distracted public sentiments, the political will to press forward is present on both sides of the negotiating table. Now China is worried about the future, because a successful agreement would greatly diminish its place in the global economy.
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