Is French President Nicolas Sarkozy negotiating with Don Corleone?

Sarkozy, leading the European Union effort to secure a Russian withdrawal from Georgia, has returned from Moscow with another agreement. This time, Russian troops are to withdraw from the so-called “buffer zone” after the placement of 200 EU monitors in the regions outside South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

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One of the most embarrassing, counter-productive moments in soccer is when a player trying to defend against a score accidently kicks the ball into his own goal. Sadly, well-meaning politicians, in a misguided attempt to restore America’s image and clout abroad, may be committing the political equivalent of an Own Goal.

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As Europe redefines its security interests vis-à-vis Russia in the aftermath of Vladimir Putin’s war against Georgia, both sides have reverted to the kind of geopolitical thinking that, while reasonably accurate during the Cold War, is devoid of reality today.

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Mark Mardell, the BBC's resident Euroblogger, is quite pleased with Moscow's concessions to Nicolas Sarkozy and his EU delegation.  While hedging his bets, he writes, "If this first superficial take is as it appears then Sarkozy has done rather well and those who insisted on both unity and a firmish line at the EU summit a week ago will be patting themselves on the back."

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One reliable Washington axiom is: When ideologues of the Left and Right agree on a policy idea, hold on to your wallet.

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The recently completed Summer Olympics extravaganza in Beijing was a monumental and spectacular undertaking that is unlikely to be repeated for a long time to come.

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Thomas Friedman, who it's safe to say is no isolationist, argues in his Sunday column that the United States is devoting too many resources to the outside world.

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Russia's war against Georgia has forced Europeans to ask where their true interests lie and which country they'd be willing to defend if and when a Russian push ever comes to shove.

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NATO and the Near Abroad:  Beyond Bucharest

Those predicting that the Russian incursion into Georgia will rejuvenate transatlantic solidarity might be overly optimistic.

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