The narrative that U.S.-Russian relations are set on a downward path with the return of Russian President Vladimir Putin to the Kremlin has received a major shot in the arm with this week’s “summit-gate” saga. Aware that the inability to reach any accord between Russia and the United States over the contentious issue of missile defense would overshadow the NATO summit in Chicago, the Obama administration deliberately changed the location and timing of the G-8 summit, originally scheduled in Chicago immediately after the gathering of the Atlantic alliance, to the presidential retreat at Camp David the weekend before. This change [...]
Advocates of the G-8, what few are left of them, might be forgiven for having a case of the “told ya so’s” this year. The importance many observers have attached to tomorrow’s gathering of G-8 leaders at Camp David in Maryland seems to vindicate those who defended the summit format against charges of irrelevance over the past few years. Certainly, the G-8 is no longer the control room of the global economy that it once was. The shift of the global economy’s dynamic center of gravity to Asia, unlocked by globalization and accentuated by the global financial crisis, has made [...]
The United States is training a growing force of African troops as part of a wider strategy to fight al-Qaida-affiliated militants in Somalia. Boot camps where contractors hired by the U.S. State Department provide training to Ugandan soldiers made headlines earlier this week. According to recent reports, U.S. contractors will train three quarters of the 18,000 African Union troops deployed to Somalia, and the U.S. government has spent $550 million over the past several years on training and equipment. Politics is what leads to the use of private contractors instead of the military in many African conflicts and crises, such [...]
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