Saturday Headlines

US Has Not Lost Its Leadership Role, Says New Book
Michael O’Hanlon of the Brookings Institution reviews a new book by his colleague Bruce Jones which asserts that America has not lost its place as a global leader. In Still Ours to Lead: America, Rising Powers, and the Tension Between Rivalry and Restraint, Jones recognizes America’s weaknesses, such as an inability to reform immigration, the US remains “the world’s most alluring melting pot, and arguably have the healthiest demographic profile of any major power (modest real population growth, and a population that is not aging nearly as fast as Europe’s, Japan’s, Russia’s or China’s)” and that the US military is still the most powerful force.

“But Jones really hits his stride when discussing the multilateral aspects of today’s world that are so organic to how it functions—and so inherently favorable to reinforcing America’s position within it. He emphasizes that our strength today depends largely on alliances and coalitions, not just simple accounting ledgers showing our national power—and we are actually fairly good at coalition management, for all our flaws and foibles in particular cases,” O’Hanlon writes, adding that economically, the US is “arguably among the countries most comfortable with, and naturally suited to, globalization in a world increasingly dominated by interconnectedness.”

Russia Faces New Sanctions From G7
The G7 nations have agreed to impose additional sanctions on Russia in response to its actions in Ukraine over the Ukraine crisis, and the United States could unveil its new punitive measures in the next week, although individual nations will decide which targeted sanctions to implement.

“We believe that these sanctions will have a significant impact,” US Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communication Ben Rhodes said on Saturday. A senior US official said each G7 country would decide which targeted sanctions to implement.

The announcement of coming sanctions comes days after Secretary of State John Kerry addressed reporters at the State Department to take Russia to task, and warning that if “Russia continues in this direction, it will not just be a grave mistake, it will be an expensive mistake.  Already the international response to the choices made by Russia’s leaders is taking its toll on Russia’s economy” and that if Russia does not choose a path of de-escalation, “the world will make sure that the cost for Russia will only grow.  And as President Obama reiterated earlier today, we are ready to act.”

Jeffrey Mankoff of the Center for Strategic and International Studies has a new analysis on how Russia won Crimea, but lost Ukraine.

Renewed Activity At North Korean Nuclear Facility Reported
According to Lebanon’s Daily Star, the Institute for Science and International Security reports that new satellite imagery shows heightened activity at a North Korean nuclear test site.

“The images show in particular activity at the South Portal of the site, a possible site for North Korea’s next nuclear test, and in the main support area,” ISIS said.

The Obama administration, however, dismissed the idea North Korea would go forth with another test and warned of more sanctions if it did. “The commitment that the United States of America has made to the security of the Republic of Korea only grows stronger in the face of aggression,” Obama warned.

In Brief
In Commentary magazine, Michael Rubin believes it is time to rethink the basic logic of the Middle East peace process.

Matt Ridley says fears of diminishing global natural resources are overblown.

Ian Morris, a professor of classics at Stanford University, writes in The Washington Post that while it might be contrary to logical thinking, wars make the world safer and richer.

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