Month: May 2013

European pew poll.

The EU has serially failed people. Increased union was forced against people’s will with majorities in the Netherlands and France voting against the constitution that reincarnated undemocratically as the Lisbon treaty. A currency was designed to force political integration for political purposes. In hindsight the Eurosceptic Britons who nevertheless love Europe have been right almost …

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British euroscepticism is European, too.

Good analysis by Gideon Rachman, Janan Ganesh and Quentin Peel over at the ft. Germans and Dutch do welcome British pressure to offset the French interests. Especially since Cameron changed tack late last winter with the budget renegotiations. And indeed with the electorate pressing for change this really is a huge opportunity for Britain to show …

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Assad is winning.

It appears Bashar’s forces are engaging in a relatively successful campaign in the south. The chemical weapons red line is more yellow than red. And the program of ethnic cleansing in the coastal areas isn’t meeting the sort of opposition the regime would be daunted by either. Meanwhile Hezbollah, Iraq and Iran are increasingly taking …

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UK, EU, US and Poland

http://blogs.ft.com/the-world/2013/05/britain-poland-and-the-future-of-the-eu/ Many Poles are disappointed in Britain. The original thinking is that Poland needs the UK and by extension the US to maintain independence from Russia and Germany. The UK’s dithering versus Europe may have made it an unreliable security partner in the eyes of many Polish. ‘How much does the UK really care?’ they …

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Alawite control over Syria

  70% of the career soldiers in the Syrian Army are Alawites. The Republican Guard and 4th mech (total 50,000 strong) elite forces both are exclusively Alawite and commanded by Bashar Al Assad’s brother Maher. In effect the Alawites form a dual command structure allowing for total sectarian control over the entire force. The Syrian …

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My take on the UK’s trident debate

http://blogs.ft.com/the-world/2013/05/the-great-british-nuclear-conundrum/ Seems to me that unnamed US official is more representative than assumed, but they probably don’t want to taint the debate too much. Having Americans say no to something lead many recalcitrants in Europe to want it just for that reason. Trident is based on the UK seeing itself much more divorced from the …

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Who is in control of Chinese foreign policy?

http://blogs.ft.com/the-world/2013/04/india-china-and-yet-another-border-dispute/ It does become increasingly important to figure out who really controls China’s foreign policy. Senkaku/Diaou has lost focus, the South China sea lost focus, the N/S Korean rhetorical war lost focus. Lacking an aggressive response from the other side, without an excuse to follow up, it almost seems like China is here looking for …

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