More than any other official, Vice President Biden has helped define the Obama administration approach to Europe. While the President has made an unprecedented three trips to Europe during his first six months in office (including heavy lifts in Turkey and Russia), his visits were built around obligatory summits more often focused on global issues (G8, G20) or symbolic stops (WWII sites in France and Germany). Secretary Clinton has visited the continent twice, with a third trip was scrubbed after she injured her arm.
The China-U.S. relationship for the 21st Century is being forged in a new, strategically interdependent world—a globalized world no longer characterized by the zero-sum strategic competition among the major powers that dominated the Cold War and preceding eras. The United States and China are not strategic competitors but rather face common strategic challenges that can be met only through cooperation of the international community, especially China and the United States. This strategic interdependence is likely to deepen in coming decades in the face of growing economic interconnectedness, increasing threats of environmental degradation affecting the entire planet, especially climate change, global pandemics and resource depletion as well as on-going threats to global instability resulting from terrorism and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
New NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen has wasted no time in signaling that the war in Afghanistan is the Alliance's top priority, holding a teleconference on the conflict, reorganizing the mission's command structure and calling for more EU help in his first days on the job.
On 5 May 1946, People’s Age, a communist newspaper, noted in a commentary that granting the right to complete self-determination to all the nationalities living in India would eliminate the possibility of a constitutional solution along communal lines. The right, it continued, could be conceded after a territorial re-division of provinces, done on a scientific basis keeping in mind linguistic and cultural homogeneity. And all such units, the commentary concluded, should be allowed to decide whether or not to join the Indian Union. On 6 January 1950, the Cross Road, another communist paper, condemned Kashmir’s accession to India as “treacherous” and demanded the “withdrawal of Indian troops”. In the 9 September 1950 issue of the New York Times, a Soviet journalist named Oleg Orestov took Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah to task for having proved impotent in the face of Indian reactionaries.
When U.S. President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev signed a Joint Understanding on July 6 on a treaty to follow the 1991 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START), this first press of Obama's reset button launched U.S. negotiators into a time warp to circa 1969 Cold War-style negotiations against an artificial deadline. The result is unlikely to be in the interest of the United States.
Denmark's Anders Fogh Rasmussen officially takes over as head of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization tomorrow. A Guardian editorial muses that he may be "The last NATO secretary general."
Recently the European Commission urgently recommended that all European Union member-state governments begin filling natural-gas storage facilities in preparation for energy cutoffs from Russia. If Russia's Kremlin-controlled energy monopoly Gazprom gets its way, such emergency measures may also become a reality in the United States.
The reaction in much of the world was muted, or less. But in some countries that have racial tensions similar to the U.S., the coverage was less muted — and looked familiar.