Measuring American influence from week to week seems enough of a challenge, as a glance at recent global developments illustrates. The electoral upheaval in Iran, for instance, will almost certainly give the U.S. the upper hand in any upcoming nuclear negotiations. Unless, of course, it doesn’t. Likewise, China’s distancing itself from North Korea will strengthen the U.S.’s position at the U.N. Security Council. Or it might not. The difficulty in knowing for sure arises from the fact that gauging even the nearest term outcomes means making sense of many moving parts. What about the long term? Two recent studies from [...]
SOFIA, Bulgaria — On July 5, Bulgarians voted in legislative elections that seated 240 members of Parliament for the next four years. Although the campaign generated little excitement in this country of 7.2 million inhabitants, the election’s outcome could have a significant impact on an energy tug of war between Europe and Russia. As was widely expected, center-right Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria (GERB), led by Sofia’s Mayor Boiko Borisov, defeated Prime Minister Sergei Stanishev’s Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP). GERB took 40 percent of the vote, while the BSP-led Coalition for Bulgaria came in second with 18 percent, followed [...]
After a protracted election campaign, the 35-member Board of Governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) finally selected Yukiya Amano of Japan as its next director general earlier this month. Amano’s tenure will begin following the retirement of current IAEA head Mohamed ElBaradei at the end of November. Ambassador Amano will certainly face no shortage of challenges when he begins his four-year term. As detailed in a 2008 report (.pdf) by a panel of senior experts, the IAEA must surmount major weaknesses if it is to manage the surge in dangerous nuclear material that will result from the growing [...]
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