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The news that the Pentagon has cancelled the Air Force’s award of the $35 billion tanker contract, requiring Boeing and EADS to submit new offers, may have unfortunate consequences. Senior Defense Department civilians have for some time lack of confidence in the Air Force’s ability to manage the contract. The new bidding will be overseen… » read more

Posted by Stanley Crossick

The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty of 1968, signed by 189 countries (but not India, Israel, Pakistan and North Korea) has been a dismal failure. Its objective is to limit the spread of nuclear weapons, but at the same time the nuclear powers agreed to reduce their stockpiles (which they have failed to do). Negotiations to stop… » read more

Posted by Stanley Crossick

November-December 2008 Israel launches huge air offensive on Iranian nuclear sites. Iran attacks US shipping in the Gulf. Strait of Hormuz blocked. Widespread attacks on US civil installations in the Middle East and Europe. Oil price passes $200. George W Bush brings air and naval forces into the conflict. ??? Alarmist thinking? No. Ask yourself:… » read more

Posted by Stanley Crossick

Vanessa Mock writes in today’s Independent (UK) about the new, high-speed train between She is, sadly, right that the new service risks giving new meaning to the term “gravy train” with critics likely to seize on it as the latest example of how taxpayers’ money is being squandered amid ongoing scandals and revelations over MEPs’… » read more

Posted by Stanley Crossick

I commend to you this week’s first leader in The Economist, the beginning of which is reproduced below. “Global institutions are an outdated muddle; the rise of Asia makes their reform a priority for the West” CLUBS are all too often full of people prattling on about things they no longer know about. On July… » read more

Posted by Stanley Crossick

Corruption requires at least two parties. There is constant criticism of corrupt Middle Eastern and African governments. However, six EU Member States have still not ratified the October 2003 UN Convention against Corruption, including two G8 members, Germany and Italy. Japan, another G8 member has also not ratified. Transparency International has just published a damning… » read more

Posted by Stanley Crossick

Antonio Brufau, head of Spain’s biggest energy company, Pepsol, lambasted the inability of European politicians to formulate a unified energy policy. During his interview with the Financial Times, he said that “In terms of energy, Europe is not advancing in the right direction.” He criticised Europe’s lack of cohesion when dealing with powerful oil and… » read more

Posted by Stanley Crossick

Much is being written about ratification of the Lisbon Treaty. It might be useful to summarise the current position. The premise upon which it is believed possible that the Irish can be asked to vote a second time early next year is that the other 26 Member States will have ratified the Lisbon Treaty. There… » read more

Posted by Stanley Crossick

Day Two of the French Presidency: President Sarkozy has postponed his trip to Ireland, but unfortunately he has not cancelled it. He will go on 21 July. Will he be there to lecture or to listen? He and Bernard Kouchner have already upset the Irish. He plans to go to the Czech Republic. Will he… » read more

Posted by Stanley Crossick

Day One of the French Presidency increases my worries. From the Schumann Plan to monetary union, the big ideas which fashioned European integration have been mainly French. But the tenor of the rhetoric of the French leadership leaves me incredulous and worried. “No-one understands the European Union, not even me”, says Foreign Minister, Bernard Kouchner.… » read more

Posted by Stanley Crossick