Foreign Policy commissioned Gallup to conduct a worldwide poll about the U.S. presidential election as part of its "If the World Could Vote" series. 

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Russia and Iran

Russia’s Gazprom recently announced plans for the formation of a ‘gas troika’ along with Iran and Qatar. Initially proposed by Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in 2007, the development has raised fears in the West that a gas cartel will destabilize energy supplies and pose a security threat to Europe.

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Russia in Global Affairs editor Fyodor Lukyanov recently proclaimed, “[O]ur long effort to integrate with Western institutions, to become part of the Western system, is over.  The aim now is to be an independent power in a multi-polar world in which Russia is a major player.” 

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Ilan Goldenberg, policy director for the National Security Network, argues that Colin Powell's endorsement of Barack Obama for president sounds the death knell for "the Republican foreign policy establishment as we know it. The final break between traditional pragmatic foreign policy conservatives and Neocons."

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British Foreign Secretary David Milliband responded to increasingly gloomy predictions concerning the fate of Afghanistan by declaring the NATO campaign there a "mission possible."

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As the world gears up for the UN Climate Change extravaganza (UN Framework Convention on Climate Change or UNFCC) in Copenhagen in December 2009, achieving a serious accord to establish post-2012 commitments that could slow or halt global warming increasingly appears a mirage.

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A Russian diplomatic landmine exploded international talks on the future of the Georgian territories of Abkhazia and South Ossetia last week in Geneva.

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NATO Commander Issues Call to Action

General John Craddock, the Supreme Allied Commander, gave a talk this morning to RUSI, the UK's Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies, issuing his boldest pronouncements to date on the problems besetting NATO.  He details the problems with cooperation in the mission in Afghanistan that are familiar to regular readers of this site and then moves on to the longer-term strategic and political issues, boldly declaring:

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There has been a good deal of  talk about the Kosovo precedent in discussions about what to do next with regard to Georgia, Russia and the status of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

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The ongoing global financial crisis has truly turned a war that NATO can’t afford to lose, the ongoing struggle against the forces of extremism in Afghanistan, into a war that it may not be able to afford.

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