Friday Headlines

2015 Will Be Pivotal Year For Europe
Joschka Fischer, who served as Germany’s foreign minister and vice chancellor from 1998-2005 writes in Project Syndicate that 2015 will be Europe’s “make or break” year.

The biggest challenge is economic, he argues, because the debate over austerity policies could become politically explosive.

“[T]his is happening at a time when anti-European, nationalist forces are establishing themselves in Germany’s national and state parliaments – and on the streets – thereby substantially reduce Chancellor Angela Merkel’s room for compromise. The battle between austerity’s defenders and opponents thus threatens to tear apart not just the eurozone, but the EU as a whole,” he says.

North Korean Hack Was Not An Act Of Cyber Vandalism
When President Barack Obama denied the hacking of Sony Pictures as an act of terrorism, but was an act of cyber vandalism, he may have done so to avoid being legally boxed into a particular response.

However, by doing so, Foreign Policy’s David Rothkopf asserts Obama has shown the utter lack of policy the US has to such attacks.

“Equating the attack with vandalism pushes it into the realm of criminal behavior to be left to lawyers and the courts. This is consistent with the U.S. response to a Chinese hack earlier this year in which we identified the perpetrators and indicted five of them on charges that they too hacked U.S. businesses. This action was seen as largely symbolic and toothless because, of course, none of those perpetrators will ever go any place where we would actually be able to apprehend or prosecute them. It was an empty threat. And that’s just the problem.

“Despite years of discussions of the growing importance of cyber-risks, the United States still does not have an effective or even very clear stance on how it will deal with cyberattacks, particularly those against private targets,” he writes.

Russia Reveals New Military Doctrine
According to Voice of America, Russia has identified in a new security document NATO and the US as “top threats” to its security.

Among the military threats the new doctrine lists are new “strategic antiballistic missile systems,” which the Russia contends undermine global stability and the nuclear missile balance of power.

The military strategy also views as threats the instability occurring in nations  bordering Russia or its allies, as well as the possibility of foreign forces being deployed there in response.

After a meeting last week, the Russian Security Council announced in a statement (in Russian) that the new doctrine would take account of “the emergence of new threats for Russia, which became evident in the situation in Ukraine and around it and the events in Northern Africa, Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan”.


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