The European Union is touting its deal with Turkey on Monday to realize the Nabucco natural gas pipeline project as a major coup in the quest for alternative energy routes that bypass Russia. The project’s major transit country, Turkey, may have been brought on board, but Ankara’s other energy interests in the Caucasus may still stand in the way of securing producer countries, namely Azerbaijan, for the project.

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Listening to some of the commentary on the signing of the intergovernmental agreement which lays the foundation for the construction of the Nabucco pipeline reminds me of Raphael Patai's famous observation about the political culture of the Middle East.

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Stuart Bowen, the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction, argues that we need an "international FEMA" to coordinate complex contingency operations across the various agencies of the American government and institutionalize lessons learned.

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Back from "resetting" relations with Russia and then conferring with the G8-plus before stopping over in Ghana, U.S. President Barack Obama continues a full court press on resolving concurrently the myriad of crises, dangers and issues facing the nation.

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After years of self-denial, Pakistani society and its government now face the reality of a dangerous – nay, existential – threat to their polity from a home-grown variant of the Afghan Taliban, a movement that was spawned by the U. S. invasion of Afghanistan and grew into a potent political force in the past three years.

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At 9.3 percent, unemployment in the European Union is at its highest rate in more than a decade.  For those under 25, however, the rate is more than twice that.

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From the start of the global economic crisis, it has become clear that a new world order has emerged. While the world is increasingly interconnected, it is specifically the U.S.-China relationship that will determine how and if our leaders can meet the major global challenges of the 21st century.

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The European Union has long been aggressively using its anti-trust laws to go after large companies who may be abusing their marketplace dominance while the United States has been more inclined to look the other way.  There have been recent signs, however, that a convergence is taking place.

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President Obama concluded weeks of travel not in Russia or Italy, but in Ghana. While there less than a day, he outlined four areas of partnership that begins, in his words, "from the simple premise that Africa's future is up to Africans."

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General John Craddock, the outgoing SACEUR, says the caveats that constrain how some countries' NATO forces are used "increase the risk to every service member deployed in Afghanistan and bring increased risk to mission success" and are "a detriment to effective command and control." 

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