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Nov
19

Witam Mr. Kerry! Shall we chat?

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry arrives in Warsaw today (4 November) for meetings with “high-ranking” Polish leaders including Foreign Minister Radek Sikorski. Beyond this, both the State Department and Poland’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs have been rather economical with information about meeting topics. State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki suggested on Friday (1 November) that talks would include the economic relationship, Afghanistan, missile defense and U.S. troop basing in Poland. While those items no doubt will be generally discussed, here are some other possible, more specific points on the agenda: • Iran and sanctions. As everyone knows, Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani appears open to negotiations on the nature of Iran’s […]

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Nov
04

America’s Russia Policy – Why a “Reset” Was Needed and Where It Stands

In March 2009, in the first months of the Obama administration, then-fledgling U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton personally met for the first time with Sergey Lavrov, Russia’s highly experienced and articulate Foreign Minister. One of candidate Barack Obama’s themes in his run for the Presidency had been that U.S.-Russian dialogue had worsened under George W. Bush and needed repair. His administration’s new strategy, pushed by current U.S. envoy to the Kremlin Michael McFaul (the campaign’s Russia advisor in 2008 and subsequently Director for Russia at the NSC), was to accept that the countries would have periodic serious disagreements, but to delink them from the overall relationship and focus on […]

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Sep
24

Why did the intervention in Syria not happen?

The turning point in the civil war in Syria was the use of chemical weapons in Ghouta on August 21, 2013, resulting in more than 1,400 people killed. This caused that the whole world has turned its eyes to Syria and has begun, after two years of open conflict, the preparation for an international intervention. The international community had to respond. The U.S. President, Barack Obama as well as the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, David Cameron could have directly initiated a military strike against Syria. Instead, they both chose to seek political backing in their respective parliaments. Does that move reflects the parliaments getting increasing say on military […]

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