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Foreign Policy Round-Up

Iraq vs. Darfur: Foreign Policy Blog

Torture: "The European Court of Human Rights ruled Thursday that two Chechen brothers were tortured in their strife-torn Russian republic and that authorities there failed to investigate their allegations of abuse." The Washington Post

EU Military Capabilities: EU Observer:
Europe says it is ready for more military action under the EU flag in 2007 after its "success" in Congo last year, with the German EU presidency putting Kosovo, Bosnia, Lebanon and Afghanistan at the top of its defence agenda for the next six months. "We begin 2007 ready to take up our responsibilities if needed - which I sincerely hope won't be the case - but we are in a position of readiness," EU top diplomat Javier Solana said in Brussels on Wednesday (17 January), after recalling that the EU's "battle group" structure reached "full operational capacity" on 1 January.
I have not noticed any serious debate about more military and other commitments for Lebanon and Afghanistan. Did I miss anything? (I am not counting the German debate about sending Tornado reconnaissance jets for Southern Afghanistan)

Pakistan: "More Evidence of Taliban Leader Hiding in Pakistan" Christian Science Monitor

Iran: "U.S. officials, who asked not to be identified, say that the Iran policy has expanded from focusing chiefly on Iran's nuclear ambitions to challenging Tehran's suspected misbehavior across the Middle East. Indeed, one source said succinctly that the new policy is geared to 'confront Iran in every way but direct armed conflict, using all means short of war.'" National Journal

Insurgencies: "Vietnam taught many Americans the wrong lesson: that determined guerrilla fighters are invincible. But history shows that insurgents rarely win, and Iraq should be no different. Now that it finally has a winning strategy, the Bush administration is in a race against time to beat the insurgency before the public’s patience finally wears out." Foreign Policy

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Pinkerton on :

" Insurgencies: "Vietnam taught many Americans the wrong lesson: that determined guerrilla fighters are invincible. But history shows that insurgents rarely win, and Iraq should be no different. Now that it finally has a winning strategy, the Bush administration is in a race against time to beat the insurgency before the public’s patience finally wears out." Bush has a winning strategy? What did I miss? I hate to say it, but, the publics patience wore out a long time ago with Bush and his "strategies". I also saw a story today about how the Taliban has gained significant strength in Afghanistan and is prepared to take over their schools, again. I wonder if this is due to another one of the "winning strategies" that Bush put forth in Afghanistan.

David on :

That's right, only John McCain and Joe Lieberman in the senate believe that Bush has a "winning strategy" in Iraq. The only upside here is that the "McCain Doctrine" - ie escalation, has just about tanked John McCain's presidential aspirations for '08. He's finished, as far as I can see.

Don S on :

"has just about tanked John McCain's presidential aspirations for '08. He's finished, as far as I can see." And you vote in the Republican primary (or caucus as may be), David? I thought not. John McCain is not 'finished' until GOP voters do the job. Not before....

David on :

I don't detect a great amount of enthusiasm for escalation among Republicans either. In fact, half of Republicans polled oppose the "Surge". McCain's strength was always with independent voters, but they have soured on Bush's (now McCain's) war. Right now I would guess that Romney and Brownback have better prospects to become the Republican nominee.

Zyme on :

I never understood the reasons for the maximum of two periods for the US president. Here in Germany a chancellor can govern as long as he is winning elections. I´ll never forget the tv-comment at the broadcast of the ceremony of Helmut Kohl´s retirement. "And now these soldiers are saying good-bye to the only chancellor they have witnessed in their entire life." (Kohl governed for 16 years and retired simply because he lost an election in 1998 against a somewhat younger Schröder)

Pinkerton on :

Hi Zyme! The reason we have term limits in our government is to keep those in office from taking on a role as a "king". Look at the amount of damage that George W Bush has done to our country in the 6 years he's been in office, for example. I'm glad we have these limits. If you look at the problems we've had in the last 8 years with the voting machines in the US, you will also see the danger in allowing unlimited terms. It's been almost impossible to get our voting machines regulated to a Federal standard because elections are controlled from state to state. There is no particular method of voting, there are many models of these machines. Without the paper trail needed to be sure there hasn't been cheating at the polls, we can never be sure of the validity of our elections. Hopefully, our new Democratic Congress and Senate will change that before the next election.

JW-Atlantic Review on :

I think it would be great, if we had term limits as well. Maybe not eight years like in the US, but twelve years sounds reasonable to me. Helmut Kohl's 16 years was too much. He was successful in staying in power (,i.e. defeating adversaries within and outside his party), but in my humble opinon (IMHO) Germany would have been better of, if he had started the major reforms, which Schroeder brought. It seems to me Kohl focused to much on party politics and staying in power. Hey, Zyme, do you miss Stoiber already? ;-) He has been minister president of Bavaria for 14 years. I don't follow Bavarian politics, but it seems Bavaria benefited a lot from his leadership. Now he is kicked out because his own party got tired of him.

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