While the world doesn’t yet face a food crisis on par with the summer of 2008, it’s clear that the drought currently affecting the Black Sea trio of Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan — all big-time global exporters of wheat and barley — has suddenly made food inflation a primary threat to the somewhat fragile and decidedly uneven global economic recovery. At the very least, it reminds us just how tight global food markets are, due to the contradictory combination of rising middle-class demand and the enduring commitment by brittle governments around the world to keep prices low — at whatever […]

After the Obama administration shifted gears in its strategy to stop Iran’s nuclear program, moving from diplomacy to sanctions, a sense of skepticism about its chances for success emanated from all corners. From top American generals saying they did not think the sanctions would work, to a wide variety of politicians, analysts and journalists — including your humble correspondent — a growing consensus emerged that the weak United Nations sanctions obtained by Washington with enormous difficulties would simply fail to deter Iran’s defiant push in pursuit of nuclear know-how and, most likely, nuclear weapons. Since the latest resolution’s passage, however, […]

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United States Assistant Secretary Rose Gottemoeller delivered a statement before the Senate Armed Services Committee on the new START treaty. Gottemoeller was the lead United States negotiator on the new treaty. She highlighted the fact that there were no backroom deals during negotiations, despite rumors of the contrary, and emphasized the treaty’s importance.