One question many of us have had since the announcement that President Obama's foreign policy team would include Hillary Clinton as State and Jim Jones at NSC was which of these two strong figures would emerge on top.  As I noted last week, "Realistically, one or the other will dominate.  My money's on the general."  A front page story in today's WaPo by Karen DeYoung makes me want to raise my bet.

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NATO secretary general Jaap de Hoop Scheffer today lambasted European members for their meager commitments to the Afghanistan mission, declaring, "Leadership and burdens -- they go together."

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Benjamin Weinthal, the Jerusalem Post's Berlin correspondent, charges in WSJ Europe that European firms and governments, particularly those in Germany and Austria, are actively supporting the regime in Teheran and are at best indifferent to Iran's nuclear program. 

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As NATO approaches the April Kehl-Strasbourg Summit and sets its priorities to conform to the transforming international security environment, the leaders in the Alliance should be focusing on achieving one goal: winning in Afghanistan. 

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While some have touted Canadian defense minister Peter MacKay as Jaap de Hoop Scheffer's successor as NATO's secretary general, precedent makes it highly unlikely. 

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Canada has expressed relief that the U.S. Senate has watered down the "Buy America" provision of the economic stimulus package currently under negotiation but that it will continue pressure to keep trade between the two countries open. John McCrank for  Reuters:

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Jose Manuel Barroso - Vladimir Putin Photo

Leaders of the European Union and Russia are meeting today for the first time since the gas crisis, more for the purpose of testing the waters than achieving any diplomatic breakthroughs, Oleg Shchederov reports for Reuters.

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One disturbing but predictable response to the global financial crisis has been the rise of legislation aimed at protecting domestic industries and jobs by various anti-trade measures.

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One of the great (and ridiculously overused) foreign policy buzzwords of our times is engagement.  Do we “engage” (pick your poison) Iran, North Korea, Hamas, and so on?  We speak of engagement as if it were not a means to an end, but an end in itself. 

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French President Nicolas Sarkozy is offering a very meager increase in French participation in NATO in exchange for command of two prestigious posts.  

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