SAIS Next Europe


October 24, 2008 2:13 PM

Turkey's Task: Dismantling Nuclear Iran

Turkey's recent election to the UN Security Council for a two-year term is--for the rising regional power--both a gesture and a request from the international community. As a result of the vote, Turkey is charged with the task of negotiating the Council's primary agenda: the Iranian nuclear program.

A certain test to Turkey's diplomatic prowess, it must work to maintain productive negotiations as an intermediary between Iran and western countries.while simultaneously receiving pressure from the United States to vote for the expansion of sanctions. Despite the difficulty of the task, Turkey may well provide the best avenue to a solution in this escalating international crisis.

Continue »

October 24, 2008 2:16 PM

Reason Rules in Tussle with Kremlin

The Russian mission to New York gleefully alerted the press this weekend that they had had received an odd fundraising request: John McCain's campaign urged the Russians to "stop the Democrats from seizing control of Washington and implementing their radically liberal policy for our nation." Ambassador to the UN Vitaly Churkin turned down the request and told the media, to illustrate that Russia doesn't try to influence elections abroad.

The solicitation of the Russians was clearly an accident - people receive unwanted fundraising solicitations all the time. But it's somewhat amusing, given McCain's stance on Russia.

Continue »

November 4, 2008 12:39 PM

Body Scanners Raise Privacy Questions

If you are currently planning a vacation to Europe, I advise you to make a few more sweaty trips to your nearest gym or take out that dusty ab-trainer you bought a few summers ago. Otherwise, you might become the center of an unpleasant trans-Atlantic striptease.

The European Commission has been trying to introduce body scanners that can be used in alternative to body searches at airports across the EU by 2010. Body scanners are machines that use radio waves to produce nude-like images of individuals. In a proposal last month, the Commission added scanning to a list of civil aviation security measures. The machines already have been introduced on a trial basis in ten of the busiest airports in the U.S., where there has been little or no public debate on the issue.

Continue »

December 17, 2008 5:39 PM

Kosovo's Plot Thickens

Three German spooks are back home after a nine-day sojourn in a Kosovo prison, and a European rule-of-law mission named "EULEX" is now stationed in northern Kosovo after a nine-month vacuum there. Between them, the two events define the new landscape in the world's newest state.

Continue »

March 6, 2009 11:16 AM

Managing Missile Defense's Demise

Obama's "secret letter to Russia" path could destroy NATO cohesion and undermine pro-Americanism where it is still strong.

By Jan Jires

The U.S. missile defense project has always been a divisive issue both at home and abroad. Domestic critics of the project, which the Bush administration vigorously promoted, have questioned the technical feasibility of the proposed system as well as its cost-effectiveness.

Many critics abroad have been preoccupied with broader political implications of the project. They worry that the delicate parity between the leading nuclear powers and the resulting situation of "mutually assured destruction" established during the Cold War will be ruined by a missile defense system, and that the planned deployment of the system's components on the territory of Central European NATO allies will irritate Russia. It is rather ironic that they have succeeded in presenting their opposition to missile defense as a rejection of the "Cold War logic of arms race" and in accusing the supporters of the project of "Cold War mentality".

The Obama administration is, of course, entitled to review the project it inherited and to evaluate its technical feasibility, economic sensibility and political desirability. It should, however, be aware of the fact that the debate about the project has long ago ceased to focus on its declared purpose (protecting the U.S. and NATO from missiles coming from unstable countries in the Middle East and Asia) and has been transformed into a game heavily charged with political symbolism.

Continue »

May 22, 2009 12:26 PM

Shield of Dreams

The shift in the Obama administration's policy suggesting a freeze in deployment of the ballistic missile defense system in Poland and the Czech Republic has rekindled the debate in the two Central European countries about their future security relations with the United States.

Proponents claim that the suspension of the deployment, together with Obama's attempt to press the "reset button" in U.S.-Russian relations, undermines the security of the region. Opponents suggest that the decision on whether to base elements of a missile defense shield in Central Europe is an internal U.S. matter, and that abandoning the Bush policy could in fact enhance stability in this part of Europe by eliminating a thorny issue in relations with Russia. Moreover, even though the Polish and Czech governments signed on to the plan, neither the Polish nor the Czech parliament has yet to ratify the agreement, and popular opinion is strongly opposed.

Continue »

June 16, 2009 3:21 PM

New Security for America, via Europe

The Obama administration's creation of a new Cyber Czar position is the latest indication that a new emphasis on societal security is taking the place of America's old narrow-minded focus on terrorism. The Czar position breaks down the artificial divide between national security and homeland security, effectively invalidating a major anti-terrorism paradigm dominant since 9/11. Combined with a renewed emphasis on dealing with climate threats, the new position indicates a new direction for the U.S. - and not a day too soon. Now it's time to partner with Europe to continue that progress.

Continue »

August 3, 2009 4:48 PM

Europe Must Help Obama Close Guantanamo

When President Barack Obama pledged to close the Guantanamo Bay detention facility last year, America's European allies cheered. The facility had become a lightning rod for international criticism and a dispiriting symbol of Western hypocrisy on human rights. But with the process of closing the facility now underway, the same allies who once cheered the decision have turned conspicuously quiet.

Continue »

PostGlobal is an interactive conversation on global issues moderated by Newsweek International Editor Fareed Zakaria and David Ignatius of The Washington Post. It is produced jointly by Newsweek and, as is On Faith, a conversation on religion. Please send us your comments, questions and suggestions.