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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UN Headquarters Geneva

It was no surprise that that international discussions on the security and stability arrangements in Abkhazia and South Ossetia broke down on October 15.

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In the wake of UN Security Council Resolutions 1160 and 1199 of March and September 1998, the international community grappled with how to deal with the atrocities being perpetrated in a little known province of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY) called Kosovo.  A decade later, Kosovo, an independent state in Europe, has been moved from the front pages above the fold of the global press to the back section of the world’s collective consciousness.

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A top secret National Intelligence Estimate leaked to the papers earlier this week portrays the situation in Pakistan as "very bleak," with one drafter saying the country has "no money, no energy, and no government." 

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The folks at Reuters have compiled several tools to help us keep track of developments in the world financial crisis, including news roundups, videos, a timeline, and some graphics.

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Bret Stephens notes that there has been a steady stream of American decline commentary, especially from our friends in Europe, in recent weeks and that  much of it brims with "ill-disguised glee." 

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