Johanna Mendelson Forman: Speech on UN Reform

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Dr. Mendelson Forman is speaking today at the United Nations Association of the National Capital Area meeting. Here’s an advance look at her speech. The drumbeat of reform at the UN has grown louder each day as the Bush administration continues it ongoing saga of having it both ways. On the one hand, the UN is a perfect scapegoat for an international system that has rejected U.S. adventurism in Iraq. On the other hand, the UN is the deus ex-machina…

Merrill Goozner: Industrial Policy for Big Pharma

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I first met Steve Clemons in Japan in the early 1990s when industrial policy was the subject du jour for up-and-coming policy wonks like him and sympathetic journalists like myself. How to resuscitate America’s manufacturing base to compete against the Japanese threat, we wondered. Times change. These days, most Democrats wouldn’t be caught dead uttering the “IP” word while yesterday morning I attended a session in Washington sponsored by the free-market Manhattan Institute that was promoting a government-led industrial policy…

Bruce Schneier: The Value of Privacy

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My essay on privacy: The most common retort against privacy advocates — by those in favor of ID checks, cameras, databases, data mining and other wholesale surveillance measures — is this line: “If you aren’t doing anything wrong, what do you have to hide?” Some clever answers: “If I’m not doing anything wrong, then you have no cause to watch me.” “Because the government gets to define what’s wrong, and they keep changing the definition.” “Because you might do something…

Charles Kupchan: A Reply to Andrew Moravcsik

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I agree with Andy that the EU, despite the constitutional crisis, has scored several successes of late. To his list, I would add the EU’s ability to hang together on Iran and take the lead in searching for a diplomatic solution. Not only are the EU 3 generally moving in lock-stop, but they have been pro-active and creative. However, I think it is both inaccurate and dangerous to dismiss the EU’s current troubles as just another passing moment of reflection….

Chuck Pena: Bombs Away

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The Associated Press reports that the U.S. Air Force has increased bombings of Taliban and insurgent targets in Afghanistan, surpassing air operations in Iraq. According to Air Force officials, U.S. aircraft conducted 750 air strikes in Afghanstan during May, an average of 24 a day. The problem with trying to kill the Taliban (which, by the way, is not necessarily the same thing as al Qaeda) from above — even with precision weapons — is that collateral damage is inevitable,…

Robert Schlesinger: Quick Hits

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Incoherence at the UN. Stephen Schlesinger (my brother, who has written a book on the founding of the UN) has a good take on the Mark Balloch Brown/John Bolton kafuffle over at HuffPo. China has cracked the Da Vinci Code. Or more precisely cracked down on it. According to Reuters the Chinese government has banned the blockbuster flick, instructing theatres to pull it and instructing the state media services not to even mention the film’s name any more. There’s no…

Andrew Moravcsik: Rumors of Europe’s Demise are Greatly Exaggerated

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It’s been exactly a year since cranky French and Dutch voters rejected the European Union’s draft constitution, and pundits can’t resist hyping an EU “crisis.” A steady stream of copy is provided by die-hard federalists in Brussels, ever disappointed by slow movement toward a “United States of Europe.” But Anglo-Americans seem particularly prone to mood swings from Euro-enthusiasm to Euro-skepticism. Citing the failed constitution, anti-immigrant sentiment, and economic performance, Charles Kupchan of Georgetown (who used to be bullish on Europe)…

Jim Lobe: The Implications of Somalia

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Is what happened in Mogadishu during the past week a microcosm of how badly the Bush administration has fundamentally mishandled its “global war on terror?” Superficially, at least, it would seem so. By all accounts, the administration’s single-minded obsession with seizing suspected al Qaeda and associated Islamist terrorists without any regard for the political context not only undermined ongoing indigenous and international efforts to rebuild a shattered nation, but it also boosted popular backing for of local Islamic militias against…

Chuck Pena: Public Enemy Number One in Iraq

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I woke up this morning to the breaking news that Coalition forces had killed public enemy number one in Iraq, Abu Musab al Zarqawi, in an airstrike. This is certainly good news. The United States has one less excuse to linger in Iraq and should re-focus its attention on the real al Qaeda threat: bin Laden and what remains of the al Qaeda leadership thought to be hiding in Pakistan — we need to remind ourselves that it was bin…