Well, euphoria in Germany is certainly on the rebound, with a sudden surge in the ZEW investor confidence index and newspaper articles all over the place predicting the imminent renaissance of European economic growth, despite the fact that in 3 of the 5 big European economies - the UK, Italy and Spain - there is little in the way of evidence to back this view up.
Two events over the weekend have dominated news from Afghanistan. One involves voting in the presidential election, results of which will not be final for several weeks but which have aroused much passionate rhetoric anyway. The other is the not very surprising conclusion by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff that the situation is going from bad to worse and that the only apparent solution is–gasp!–more American troops to save the day. In both cases, attempts to put the best possible face on events has borne a strong resemblance to lipsticking the pig.
Americans' limited interest in foreign affairs has long been lamented. But surely, the war in Afghanistan deserves more press coverage than the death of a pop star?
Afghanistan is not only President Obama's war, but it's also what he now calls "a war of necessity." But for Richard Haass, the head of the Council on Foreign Relations who was head of policy planning at the State Department in the run-up to the Iraq War and who voted for Obama, Afghanistan is a "war of choice, not of necessity," which he fears we shall learn to regret.
David Rothkopf argues that, while the commentariet is distracted by Hillary Clinton's celebrity, the new secretary of state is "overseeing what may be the most profound changes in U.S. foreign policy in two decades -- a transformation that may render the presidencies of Bill Clinton and George W. Bush mere side notes in a long transition to a meaningful post-Cold War worldview."
With the upcoming Quadrennial Defense Review and the looming debate over the Waxman-Markey bill, securitizing climate change is in vogue. However, proponents of securitizing climate change, particularly on the grounds of the Responsibility to Protect concept, are mistaken.
A wise man once said "we can't kill our way to victory" in Afghanistan. And, I might add, we can't keep shooting behind a moving target either. If you want to hit a moving target, you have to lead it.