Money

"The American dream fell apart at the seams," Willie Nelson sang on CNN as he described the plight of small farmers going bust. Almost everything and everyone is fighting for survival in an economy that continues to defy wallops of government stimulus.

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The underground clash between General Stanley McChrystal and the Obama administration has kicked into high gear, with two more four-stars joining  the fight: CENTCOM chief David Petraeus and National Security Advisor Jim Jones.

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The magnitude of the win of Angela Merkel's coalition, coming on the heels of a center-right romp in the recent European Parliament elections and the ouster of several socialist-leaning governments in recent months, has spawned much hand-wringing about the decline of Europe's Left.

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The Black Sea region could replace Russia as Europe’s primary source of energy in the coming decades. Speaking on October 1 at the Atlantic Council’s Black Sea Energy and Economic Forum (BSEEF), Mehmet Uysal, the Chairman of Turkish Petroleum (TPAO) argued that while the greater Black Sea region is emerging as an important hub for energy transit, its undersea oil reserves hold enormous potential to supply Europe and world markets. Uysal spoke on the Forum’s Executive Roundtable, together with eight other senior energy executives from companies including ExxonMobil, Hunt Oil, Schlumberger and TNK-BP. Dinu Patriciu, Chairman of DP Holding, agreed with Uysal, adding that for European consumers, the Black Sea’s energy resources could replace those of Russia, on which a number of EU countries are currently dependent.

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Stanley McChrystal, the general in charge of the NATO mission in Afghanistan, says the Obama administration needs to make up its mind on quickly on a strategy — and rejected the idea of lowering the bar.

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The UN's number two official in Afghanistan, Peter Galbraith, has been fired after a clash with head of mission Kai Eide over how to handle fraud in the recent presidential elections.  Galbraith alleges that Eide is covering up massive corruption for reasons of expediency.

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As widely anticipated, an EU report on last year's Russian invasion of Georgia finds plenty of blame to go around, finding that Tblisi "triggered" the conflict but that Moscow violated international law by its invasion and with numerous atrocities thereafter.

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Assume for argument’s sake that the war in Afghanistan can be “won”: objectives can be formulated that are acceptable to all parties and through a combination of political and military actions, the opposition can be vanquished. If the war is won, however, will the peace be won or lost?

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On March 23, 1983, in a speech to the nation announcing the Strategic Defense Initiative, U.S. President Ronald Reagan pledged to make "nuclear weapons impotent and obsolete." The left immediately attacked Reagan and his initiative was ridiculed as "Star Wars." Ironically, President Barack Obama is on his way to making good on Reagan's pledge. And for that, he is being roundly criticized by the far right.

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Very rarely are mere students afforded the chance to meet with heads of state. So when invited to dine with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad last week, I accepted.

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