LONDON — British Prime Minister Gordon Brown might have been excused for savoring the sweetest moment of his political career yesterday evening. By the time the final slaps on the back had been delivered and the G-20 world leaders had left London, Brown’s stock had never been higher. It had been his crisis summit. And at first glance, it was a success, as summits go. For 24 hours, Brown had enjoyed what for him has become the unusual comfort of high praise, luxuriating in the warm words of fellow leaders. And none were warmer than those of the undoubted superstar […]

The 2012 London Olympics may still be several years away, but yesterday, the city played host to a different type of games altogether — the G-20 summit on the global economic crisis. This time, the competitors were not the world’s premier athletes but rather political leaders representing the world’s most powerful economies. By the end of the conference, though, no single country emerged atop the podium. Instead, the clearest winner appears to be the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which received another boost in its quest to reassert itself as the protector of global economic stability. Still, if the world’s rising […]

WPR on France 24

World Politics Review managing editor, Judah Grunstein, will appear as a guest commentator on France 24, from 9-12 EST, during live coverage of President Barack Obama’s arrival at the 60th anniversary NATO summit in Kehl, Germany and Strasbourg, France.

Know When to Fold ‘Em

French President Nicolas Sarkozy got a side meeting in London with Chinese President Hu Jintao after all. France, like Britain before it, reiterated its longstanding Tibet policy — which amounts to public relations stunts to burnish human rights bona fides, while officially giving Tibetan aspirations for independence the shaft. For its part, China agreed to take the diplomatic high road and let bygones be bygones. Meanwhile, President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev got acquainted in a very lawyerly way during their side meeting. They have agreed to agree on what they agree on (START negotiations), while reserving the […]

The Changing Political Calculus of Transatlantic Relations

Three posts about the upcoming summits (G-20 in London, NATO in Strasbourg) got me thinking about the politics of President Barack Obama’s transatlantic diplomacy: James Joyner wonders whether European Obamamania will survive the week, Heather Hurlburt points out how the diffusion of global power has diluted and complicated diplomacy, and Art Goldhammer scolds French President Nicolas Sarkozy for his threat to walk out of the G-20 summit. A few scattershot thoughts: My sense is that for a number of not necessarily coherent reasons, European Obamamania has already faded significantly since the election, and even a bit since the well-received Munich […]

The Changing Political Calculus of U.S.-Israel Relations

I thought I’d dash off a quick and breezy morning post on an issue that’s about as quick and breezy as a hand grenade. Any trouble I get myself into is entirely Matt Eckel’s fault: So, we’re now in a position where if the Israeli government does whatNetanyahu is hinting it might do [i.e., bomb Iran’s nuclear installations], the Obama Administration will have toeither be blamed by association and throw its whole Middle Easternagenda to the dogs, or publicly and severely sanction Israel and openup a political s%&! storm in Washington that could derail anynumber of other projects. Support for […]

The Obama administration’s emphasis on “smart power” is by now well known. To most observers, that has meant the need to “balance and integrate all elements of our national power” in order to deter and defeat emerging threats, as President Barack Obama himself put it in a speech at National Defense University in Washington on March 12. Many have focused on Obama’s insistence, in the same speech, that “we cannot continue to push the burden on to our military alone” and his commitment to “comprehensive engagement with the world.” What has gotten less attention is the central role Obama foresees […]

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