Barack Obama will signal yet another break with his predecessor's foreign policy this week when he takes his first presidential trip to Asia. While the Bush administration focused almost exclusively on the big players like China and India, Obama is very deliberately focusing on smaller countries as well.
Perhaps more than anyone else, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden is shaping Washington's Europe policy. As a result of his foreign-affairs work in the Senate, Biden has enormous credibility in Europe, and he has made four trips there this year--more than the president or the secretary of state.
What's so bad about Europe? Consider: the EU has a lower infant-mortality rate than the U.S., with France among the lowest. The life expectancy for a boy born tomorrow in the United States is 78; in most of the European Union, he will live an extra year, and he gets another two if he is lucky enough to be born in France.
Sean Gallup/Getty ImagesMerkel at the Reichstag. Why can't German leader Angela Merkel abide her own peers? She bristles at Nicolas Sarkozy, protests Gordon Brown's widely praised economic-stimulus plan as a "pointless race to spend billions," and appears immune to the charm of U.S. President Barack Obama, whom most other Germans seem to love.
Swine flu. Stock-market implosion. The Taliban advancing toward Islamabad. If it seems to you that every day brings with it yet another potentially earth-shattering event, you're not alone.
Republicans have been trying to link Barack Obama to Jimmy Carter ever since he started his presidential campaign, and they're still at it. After Obama recently shook hands with Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chávez, GOP ideologue Newt Gingrich said the president looked just like Carter—showing the kind of "weakness" that keeps the "aggressors, the anti-Americans, the dictators" licking their chops.But Obama is no Carter.
Not long ago, Russia's state-controlled energy giant Gazprom was among the world's largest companies in terms of market capitalization, and as it grew so did the perception—fervently denied by company executives—that it was an arm of the Kremlin and that its goals were as much geopolitical as commercial.
the guest list at the annual World Economic Forum in Davos is a thumbnail sketch of who holds power—or would like to. Most recently, the big shots were the titans of banking, private equity, hedge funds and sovereign wealth funds—the chief beneficiaries of globalization, and, in a phrase popularized by political scientist Samuel Huntington, examples of Davos Man, the superclass who see national governments as anachronisms "whose only useful function is to facilitate the elite's global...
Possibly one of the clearest public statements ever uttered by the notoriously opaque Alan Greenspan came in late October, when he admitted he had "found a flaw" in the laissez-faire ideology he had promoted for decades. "I don't know how significant or permanent it is," he told a congressional committee, "but I've been very distressed by that fact." That this icon of the financial world should falter, even if only for a moment, will live to be one of the most enduring symbols of the 2008...
When six warships flying the European Union flag began their mission in the Gulf of Aden last week, it marked the first naval operation in EU history—and for good reason: this year Somali pirates have hijacked 40 ships in this key shipping lane, taking 806 hostages.