Georgia has put down a rebellion at an army barracks near Tblisi, which President Mikheil Saakashvili's government is claiming was "coordinated with Russia and aimed at minimum thwarting NATO military exercises." Moscow says this allegation is "mad."
Last month’s political unrest and violent protests in Moldova have led to an interesting, and controversial, proposition from Romania: the EU nation is offering passports to up to one million Moldovans to prevent the implementation of “a new Iron Curtain” on the border of their historically close neighbor.
One of the standard phrases in the repertoire of U.S. diplomats for more than the last decade have been that the United States does not recognize any sort of "spheres of influence" around the world—and vigorously upholds the right of any sovereign state to choose its foreign policy orientation.
I attended a panel discussion Friday in which the topic of Iran’s nuclear program came up. The two principal commentators on the subject were the dean emeritus of the Center for Naval Warfare Studies (Dr. Robert S. Wood) and a retired U.S. Navy admiral, William Pendley, who has had direct experience by virtue of being a participant in talks with North Korea in the 1990s. They both agreed in essence on four points, as I took it (I apologize to Bob and Bill if I have distorted their views).
In an open letter to the China Daily while on a trip to China last February, Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari described the Sino-Pakistan relationship thusly:
Perhaps no relationship between two sovereign states is as unique and durable as that between Pakistan and China.
Dr. Josef Ackermann, the chairman of Deutche Bank, told the Atlantic Council that the current financial crisis is a "watershed event" that may "reshape our political system." He warned that, "Globalization is not a natural force. It is man-made and can be undone with our own hands."
With many of the world's navies engaged in anti-pirate patrols off the coastal waters of Somalia, it's no surprise to find French, German and Spanish frigates among them. The frigates are there, though, not under their respective national commands, but rather under that of a joint EU naval force, whose mission is to protect World Food Program vessels delivering food aid to Somalia, as well as commercial and other vessels threatened by pirates in the Gulf of Aden.