Greek Voters Reject Bailout Deal, Greece Still Largely Screwed

Greek voters rejected the latest bailout package, but that only seems likely to make things even worse for them.

Greek Prime Minister Appears To Concede, But Europe Holds To A Hard Line

Greece’s Prime Minister seemed to give in to some of Europe’s demands today, but bankers are continuing to hold to the strict conditions they set last week.

Russia Imposes Sanctions Of Its Own

In response to the multiple rounds of sanctions that the West has imposed in response to Russia’s actions in Crimea and eastern Ukraine, Russia has banned the importation of a broad range of Western food and agricultural products: MOSCOW — Russia announced on Thursday that it was banning the import of a wide range of […]

World War One And Ukraine

History matters.

Is Europe Turning Right?

Parties described as “far right” or “extreme right” have done very well in Europe’s most recent elections.

Who Needs Europe or the US?

A thought-provoking piece from Pyotr Vlasov, originally published in Gazeta, and conveniently translated by But even if the inconceivable happens – and it’s hard to imagine the West ripping the shirt from its chest and suddenly demolishing all trade ties with Moscow, no economic apocalypse will occur. There will be no repetition of the […]

Trump Bows to Radical Islam!

Apparently the new Miss USA is a Muslim.  To Debbie Schussel this means that Donald Trump is a “dhimmi” (which means, “a non-Muslim subject of a state governed in accordance with sharia law”):  “Donald Trump, Dhimmi: Miss Hezbollah Rima Fakih Wins Miss USA; Rigged for Muslima? Miss Oklahoma’s Arizona Immigration Answer.” Now, I do not […]

Europe’s War Against The Veil And The Burqa: Liberation, Or Assault On Religious Freedom ?

Last month, French President Nicolas Sarkozy became the latest European leader to take the lead in an ongoing fight against Muslim women wearing Islamic garb, specifically the full-face veil, or niqba, and the burqa, in public when he promised to introduce a bill that would ban both items in France. But, it’s not just France […]

Volcanic Ash Clouds Close European Airports, Again

Just over a month after the first ash clouds from Iceland’s erupting Eyjafjallajokull volcano are once again playing havoc with air travel in parts of Europe: Thousands of passengers were facing further travel chaos today as a new ash cloud covered large parts of the UK and forced the closure of a number of airports […]

Europe’s Nadir?

“It is more than a little ironic that NATO has committed itself to defining a new strategic concept at precisely the moment the transatlantic relationship counts for less than at any time since the 1930s.”  So begins an FT op-ed by CFR president Richard Haass. I assess this argument in “Goodbye to Europe?,” a lengthy […]

American Troops In Red Square

It’s been more two decades since the Cold War ended, but that doesn’t make the sight of American troops marching through Red Square any less jarring for those of us old enough to remember the days when such an event would have been unthinkable: U.S. troops marched through Red Square for the first time in […]

Euro Trillion Dollar Bailout: Is Too Much Enough?

After months of dithering on a Greek bailout that no one thinks will work, European leaders — seemingly out of nowhere — agreed to a €750 billion reserve fund to bolster the Euro. In my New Atlanticist piece, “Trillion Dollar Bet on the Euro,” I round up the expert commentary and wonder whether this stunning […]

Americans Fat . . . But Not THAT Fat

Adam Ozimek, Alex Tabarrok, Andrew Sullivan, Miss Cellania, and others post this picture of “Human Freight Car” Chauncey Morlan (1869-1906), one of the freak show fatties who traveled with the Barnum & Bailey Circus: Alex wonders, “What would the circus goers of 1890 have thought if they were told that in the America of 2010 […]

Obama Golfs: How Dare He?

When I saw the Washington Times headline “Obama skips Polish funeral, heads to golf course” via Memeorandum, I had to laugh. After all, Obama was unable to fly to Europe because of the massive volcano ash cloud that has grounded flights across the continent. But, to his credit, Joseph Curl acknowledges that in the first […]

America: Economically Unfree?

When the Heritage Foundation announced this week that it had moved the United States to “mostly free” for the first time in the history of its Index of Economic Freedom, I took it as a flaw in the index rather than a useful statement about freedom in this country. Like many libertarian-leaning conservatives, I frequently […]

Palin on Obama’s Nuclear Policy

Sarah Palin, who was governor of Alaska for a few months before launching a career as a talk show host, objects to President Obama’s new nuclear policy thusly: Now, the president, with all the vast nuclear experience that he acquired as a community organizer, as a part-time senator, and as a full-time candidate, all that […]

Hillary Clinton on NATO’s Future

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gave a speech on the future of NATO to the Atlantic Council last night, kicking off the Washington Strategic Concept Seminar. More often than not, when sitting officials give public speeches, they tend to be incredibly bland, containing little fodder for those of us engaged in the subject matter on […]

EU Whining Belies US Decline Talk

Futurist Joel Kotkin is swimming against the recent American decline tide in forecasting a world where China will still trail the United States as an economic power in 2050.  Then again, as Matthew Yglesias points out, Kotkin thinks previous predictions of European preeminence proved “staggeringly off the mark,” even though the combined EU economy is […]

Euro-Blogging at New Atlanticist

I’ve got two new pieces up at my day blog, both involving the EU. “Obstacles to a European Foreign Policy” riffs off Charlemagne‘s suggestion that “most EU countries do not really have foreign policies. They have neighbourhood policies, which may or may not drag them into some nasty spats that make little sense to outsiders.”  […]

Obama Snubs Europe! Again!

Once again, President Obama has offended some Europeans by “snubbing” them.  This time, it’s the Norwegians, who are apparently “incensed” that he was “rude” in not attending all the festivities Nobel laureates usually participate in, notably lunch with the king.   It’s getting some play in the blogosphere. As I argue in my New Atlanticist essay […]

Anne Applebaum’s Car Explodes! Rumors Follow!

I was alerted via Radio Free Europe’s Twitterfeed to their story “Anne Applebaum’s Car Explodes.”  In it, Luke Allnut excerpts this from a London Times report: The American author Anne Applebaum, wife of Radoslaw Sikorski, the Polish Foreign Minister, has been given special police protection after the engine of her jeep exploded in as yet […]

More Afghanistan Speech Reactions

As promised, “Obama’s Afghanistan Speech: Reactions From Around the World” is up at New Atlanticist. The focus is on European reactions which are rather mixed.  The key players are, with the glaring exception of Germany’s Angela Merkel, all saying the right things.   But there are few indications that the president changed anyone’s mind last night. […]

Europe’s New Leadership in Perspective

My latest for Foreign Policy, “The Eurocrats Europe Needs,” is up.   It attempts to bring some perspective to the negative reactions — my own included! — that accompanied the selection of  Herman Van Rompuy and Catherine Ashton as president and high representative for foreign policy, respectively, of the EU. Many had hoped for a kind […]

EU Presidential Selection

Tomorrow night, the European Union will have its first-ever president.  Time’s Leo Cendrowicz reports that few Europeans much care, perhaps because they have no voice in the selection. In my New Atlanticist essay “Europe’s President Selected, Not Elected,” I both marvel at the fact that Europeans “not only have no direct voice in choosing the […]

Health Care: Better, Faster, Cheaper!

In a much discussed post, Ezra Klein produced a series of graphs showing that Americans pay more for office visits, scans and imaging, drugs, and other aspects of health care — often, far more — than is the case in Canada or Western Europe. There is a simple explanation for why American health care costs […]

Obama’s Europe Neglect Could Bring Bush Nostalgia

My first piece for, “Europe’s Obama Fatigue,” is online. Despite George W. Bush’s defiant “you’re with us or you’re against us” public stance, he actively solicited advice and input from his NATO partners. Obama, by contrast, is saying all the right things in public about transatlantic relations and NATO but adopting a high-handed policy and […]

Greece’s Socialists Win

Greece’s Socialist Party has defeated the New Democracy Party in the country’s national elections with enough seats to form a government: ATHENS (Reuters) – Greece’s Socialists, who campaigned on a promise to inject a 3 billion euro ($4.36 billion) stimulus package into the economy, have won Sunday’s national election with enough seats to form a […]

European Left Down But Not Dead

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 conservative governments in recent months, has spawned much hand-wringing about the decline of Europe’s Left. I round up and analyze some of this commentary in my New […]

EU Georgia Report False Equivalency

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. This leads John Cole to quip, “Was the McCain/Palin campaign right about anything?” As I […]

Losing Our Religion

Dan Gilgoff passes on word of a new survey projecting that a quarter of Americans will be atheists or non-believers twenty years from now. If current trends continue, a quarter of Americans are likely to claim “no religion” in 20 years, according to a survey out today by Trinity College. Americans who identify with no […]

In Which I Disagree with Brent Scowcroft

General Brent Scowcroft issued a statement through the Atlantic Council at noon:  “I strongly approve of President Obama’s decision regarding missile defense deployments in Europe. I believe it advances U.S. national security interests, supports our allies, and better meets the threats we face.” Given that I work at the Atlantic Council and have blogged on […]

Obama Abandons Poland

On the 70th Anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Poland, Barack Obama announced that he was abandoning Bush era plans to install ballistic missile defense systems in Poland and the Czech Republic, pleasing Moscow and igniting fear among our Eastern European allies. In my New Atlanticist essay “Obama Abandons Poland and Czech Missile Defense,” I take […]

Andrew Sullivan Goes Off-Grid

Andrew Sullivan has been blogging nearly ten years now and notes “it’s grueling month after month being responsible for up to 300 posts a week.”  So he’s taking a month off to avoid burn-out. Which is fine, of course.  Sully is as prolific as any blogger out there.  Indeed, Jim Henley argues, he likely blogs […]


In a classic Seinfeld episode, a phenomenon known as “shrinkage” was attributed to cold water. Now, a study finds that European fish have been shrinking owing to warm water. Go figure.

Does America Still Love Germany?

My New Atlanticist essay “German-American Partnership in Peril?” answers a question that likely hasn’t occurred to many Americans. Angela Merkel is in town, though, and a spate of pieces in the German press this week have expressed the concern that Asia and “Europe” are getting all the attention while Berlin is becoming an afterthought. There […]

We’re All Iranians Now!

Amidst the blogospheric solidarity for the Iranian protestors, it’s worth pointing to news that has been overshadowed by those events: The UN and OSCE monitors are leaving Georgia. Despite declarations that “we’re all Georgians now,” the fact of the matter has been from the beginning that neither the United States nor Western Europe had any […]

Windows Ships Without IE – How to Download Firefox?

Steven Taylor points to a BBC report that, in response to EU complaints about its monopsony oligopoly power, Microsoft will ship Windows 7 to Europe minus Internet Explorer.  In addition to thinking, as I do, that the whole thing is rather silly, he wonders about the practicalities of this: [O]ne suspects that a new Windows […]

EU Elections: Good Night for the Right

I begin my New Atlanticist roundup essay “European Parliament Moves Right” with, “The weekend’s European Parliament produced good news for the center-right parties, bad news for the center-left, and good news for radical parties of all stripes.” I plan other posts today on the implications for the major governments and smaller states in Europe.  This […]

Poland Celebrates 20 Years of Voting

As the 20th anniversary of the Solidarity movement’s triumph approaches, Poland finds itself divided politically and unhappy with its current state of affairs.   As I argue in my New Atlanticist piece “Poland’s Democracy at 20,” this is a good thing. Unhappiness with the quality of one’s politicians, too, is a sure sign of a maturing […]

Premier League vs. American Team Sports

To illustrate that US professional sports have a lot of “hilariously anticompetitive interferences in the market” compared to the English Premier League, Daniel Davies constructs an artificial sports league based on all major professional teams in “Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, Washington DC” in order to achieve a comparable population […]

U.S. Defense Spending and the Free Rider Problem

My New Atlanticist essay “Australia Prepares for U.S. Decline” discusses a recent Aussie white paper that is generating much discussion in the foreign policy wonkosphere.  Basically, they see a rapidly rising China and a United States that’s overstretched with other commitments and could therefore reduce our commitments to the Asia-Pacific region.  Hence, they’re planning for […]

Pots Call Kettles REALLY, REALLY Black

Bruce Bawer, author of While Europe Slept: How Radical Islam is Destroying the West from Within and Surrender: Appeasing Islam, Sacrificing Freedom, has joined forces with Little Green Footballs blogger Charles Johnson, in excoriating some moderately prominent conservative bloggers as “a bunch of kooks” for their embrace of unsavory elements in the European anti-jihadist community. […]

UN Demands Torture Prosecutions

Manfred Nowak, the U.N.’s special rapporteur on torture, proclaimed yesterday that the United States must prosecute the lawyers who drew up the torture memos and that if we fail to do so it is the duty of other states to step in and bring charges. In my New Atlanticist piece, “UN: United States Must Prosecute […]

Political Appointment Process Broken

H. Rodgin Cohen, “the leading candidate for Deputy Treasury Secretary, has withdrawn from consideration,” George Stephanoupoulous reports.  He adds, “Cohen had risen to the top after the withdrawal last week of expected deputy treasury secretary pick Annette Nazareth.” Something’s wrong with this picture. To be sure, Cohen wasn’t technically an appointee.   Still, as Glenn Reynolds […]

Merging NATO and the EU

Paul Hockenos, editor of Internationale Politik-Global Edition, argues in an intriguing Spiegel piece that the United States should rethink its relationship with NATO and instead focus on the EU. In my New Atlanticist piece “Should Obama Abandon NATO for the EU?,” I argue against his false dilemma and point out reasons why it benefits the […]

Quote of the Day – Bernanke Edition

“Y’know, you can’t wish these things into being.” – Dan Drezner, commenting on Fed chairman Ben Bernanke’s “eliding of the international dimension of policymaking.” Much of the commentary I’m seeing on responding to major crises — whether we’re talking about the global financial crisis, energy, climate change, or Middle East peace — these days ignores […]

Broadband Gap: Why America Lags Behind

Saul Hansell details the fact that broadband Internet access is faster, cheaper, and more universal in most of the developed world, if not as much so as many think.  The explanation as to why is rather obvious but continually overlooked in just about any comparison ever made between the United States and other countries: Urban […]

New Iron Curtain?

The political financial crisis came to a head yesterday in Europe, with Hungary begging for help from its fellow EU members under the peril of a new “iron curtain” dividing the Continent and getting matter-of-factly rejected.  My New Atlanticist piece on the controversy, “Economic ‘Iron Curtain’ Dividing Europe?” concludes: The present crisis has had the […]

Exchange Rates Fluctuate!

In my New Atlanticist piece “Euro Drops Ever So Slightly After Bailout Rejection,” I give a YahooNews headline writer a hard time for turning an insignificant change in the dollar-euro exchange rate into a commentary on Europe’s response to the financial crisis. Hilarity (or, at least, some historical perspective) ensues. Photo by Flickr user Alex […]

Phil Gramm Destroyed Our Economy

I’ve always liked Phil Gramm. He’s a charming, self-effacing fellow and his unfortunately named “Dicky Flatt Test” always struck me as the right approach to federal spending. I was, therefore, chagrined to learn, via Steve Benen, that Gramm almost singlehandedly destroyed our economic system. Time magazine, highlighting some of those most responsible for the economic […]

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