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Human nature being what it is, we tend to cooperate more in economically favourable times than when there is a recession. And yet, such cooperation is needed more in the latter case. Worse still, we tend to adopt selfish policies. The Founding Fathers of the European Union were determined to put an end in Europe… » read more

Posted by Stanley Crossick

Buy American

The Obama €825 economic stimulus package, as approved by the House of Representatives, contains a “Buy America” steel provision. Public works projects funded by the bill may only iron and steel made in the US. This is most unfortunate as it could influence the stimulus plans of other countries. A widespread protectionist, beggar-thy-neighbour approach would… » read more

Posted by Stanley Crossick

Whither Afghanistan?

A column by Gwynne Dyer, “Obama’s Vietnam?” prompted me to think about Afghanistan in the context of the change of administration in Washington. The first air-strike under President Obama has taken place in Pakistan, inevitable killing citizens as well as terrorists. It also violates Pakistani sovereignty. Obama is in an unenviable position. His predecessor ignored… » read more

Posted by Stanley Crossick

Following Defence Secretary Robert Gates attack on China for manipulating its currency, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton appears to be criticising the policy of the previous administration (of which Gates formed part). “We need a comprehensive dialogue with China,” Clinton said, not just an economic one She said that the Obama administration is working to… » read more

Posted by Stanley Crossick

Democracy at its best

Most European comment about the United States during the last eight years has been critical, but what a pleasure it was to watch yesterday’s Inauguration of Barrack Obama. On display was participatory democracy at its best, with a crowd of several times the population of Washington DC, braving below zero weather for many hours. The… » read more

Posted by Stanley Crossick

Secretary of State-designate Hillary Clinton did not mention the EU in her statement at her 13 January Senate Hearing from which it has been deduced by some in Europe that this is an indication that the new administration will downgrade the EU in favour of the Member States. The relevant paragraph reads: “Our traditional relationships… » read more

Posted by Stanley Crossick

Ending the Cuban Revolution

Thanks largely to US policy, the Castro régime is still in power after 50 years. Barack Obama has a special opportunity to end it peacefully. He is free to reverse American policy as he has no political debts that would prevent him from so doing: the Cuban exile community did not back Obama. The new… » read more

Posted by Stanley Crossick

Less than three weeks to Inauguration, President-elect Obama already faces the Middle East in renewed turmoil. His first priorities will necessarily be domestic (see post of 5 November), and it will take some considerable time to see a coherent foreign policy emerge. The post of 21 July took as its starting point his ‘national security… » read more

Posted by Stanley Crossick

This is the time for reflection, rather than deep analysis. With the cancellation by Beijing of the Lyon EU-PRC summit because “the Dalai Lama will be visiting several EU countries and will meet with heads of state and government as well as presidents of European institutions”, it would have been reasonable to assume that EU-China… » read more

Posted by Stanley Crossick

My post of 5 November sought to identify influences behind Barack Obama’s thinking, particularly in foreign policy. The main conclusions were: George Marshall for his inspiration for the renewal of the global order Rheinhold Niebuhr, the American theologian I have just carried out a similar exercise for Hillary Clinton, only to discover that she too… » read more

Posted by Stanley Crossick