Friday Round-up

Europe Is Not At War, But It Is Not At Peace
Timothy Garton Ash, professor of European Studies at Oxford University, contends that Europe is not “at war,” rather it is “not at peace” as regional conflicts have erupted across the Continent. The first order of business should be, he says, is to recognize that 2014 is closer to 1914 than it is to 1984.

“The first thing Europeans must do is simply to wake up to the fact that we live in a dangerous neighbourhood. Being Greater Switzerland is neither a moral nor a practical option: not moral, because Europeans, of all people, should never be silent while war crimes are being committed; not practical, because we cannot insulate ourselves from the effects.

“Today’s fighters in Syria will be tomorrow’s terrorists in Europe. Today’s dispossessed are tomorrow’s illegal immigrants. Let these little wars burn, and you will be shot down out of the sky on your way from the Netherlands to Malaysia on Flight MH17. No one is safe,” he writes in an op-ed in Canada’s Globe and Mail.

Is NATO Capable Of Responding To Russia
When determining NATO’s ability to respond to threats from Russia, Chrles Crawford, former British ambassador to Saraejvo, says analysts must first work out what those threats are and may become.

“Responding to all this in a principled, measured way (or even analysing it sensibly given the degradation of analytical and diplomatic capacity in Whitehall under successive governments) is hugely difficult. It means accurately working out what Vladimir Putin personally wants to achieve, and how he assesses the costs and benefits of alternative policies. Above all it means being ready to stand up to a Moscow that, like the Isis lunatics wrecking Iraq and quickly putting their war-crimes on YouTube, now seems to project a weird intensity and willingness to win whatever it takes,” he argues.

That “is uncharted psychological territory in modern world affairs.”

Fifth Somali Lawmaker Shot Dead In Last Four Months
Reuters reports that the Islamic terror group Al-shabab has assassinated the fifth Somali lawmaker in the four months.

Sheikh Aden Mohamed Madeer was murdered by the group because he had signed on to bringing African Union troops to Somalia to defend the government, whom the Islamists believe to be “Christian enemies.”

The U.S. has played a role in the war in Somalia by training the nation’s first rapid reaction force, who have engaged in violent battles with Al-shabab in recent days.

The Role Of The Export-Import Bank
The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation recently published an in-depth report on the role the Export-Import Bank plays in supporting US competitiveness.

The paper is partly a response to critics on the left and the right and other groups have made claims that the bank’s export credit assistance distorts capacity in markets such as the global aviation industry. The report aims to shed light on the obscure, yet instrumental role the Ex-Im Bank plays in supporting U.S. manufacturing and services exports.

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