THE WATERGATE: United we stand, Great Britain’s ambassador to the US insisted today. Despite all the strains on the Atlantic alliance — post-Snowden backlash against American spying, rising anti-EU sentiment in Britain, German dependence on Russian energy — the US, the UK, and their continental European allies stand together against what he called Russian “hybrid… Keep reading →
The Crimean crisis continues to escalate. Ukraine’s interim government in Kiev and every country except Russia refuses to recognize the Crimean referendum. Ukraine’s interim defense minister Igor Tenyukh called on Ukrainian troops based in Crimea — some barricaded on their bases and some now held hostage by Russian forces — to prepare for war just… Keep reading →
As the Defense Department’s budget goes down, the number of contracts awarded without competitive bids is going up. The share of contracts awarded without competition has risen from 39 percent in 2009 to 42 percent in 2012, according to a report I co-authored with Jesse Ellman and Rhys McCormick on DoD Contracting Trends. The news for… Keep reading →
Will Iran’s new president defuse the confrontation with the United States over the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program? Hassan Rowhani, elected with a narrow 50.7 percent of the votes in Friday’s presidential election, inherits a dangerous stalemate. Iran is stonewalling on answering UN inspectors’ questions about possible military dimensions of its nuclear program, while talks with… Keep reading →
UPDATE Keep reading →
A full monty of sanctions has gone into effect against Iran, the toughest regime of punitive measures since the Iranian nuclear crisis began a decade ago.
The goal is to pressure the Islamic Republic to give the international community guarantees it will not make atomic weapons. A European Union embargo on buying Iranian oil became active on Sunday. This followed the activation last Thursday of US sanctions against companies which deal with the central bank of Iran to buy oil. The United States had already convinced such major Iranian oil customers such as China, India, Japan and Turkey to reduce their purchases. Keep reading →