Monday, September 15, 2008
Prioritizing: Baltics and Zimbabwe
First is the ongoing discussion as to whether the U.S. and Europe, when it comes to NATO, ought to retrench and refocus efforts on stabilizing the alliance rather than pursuing further expansion. In particular, getting the "Baltic front" consolidated and getting this consolidation to serve as the basis for a renewed trans-Atlantic consensus--and accepting that Georgia and Ukraine may be, at present, a "bridge too far" for the alliance. How this debate plays out will be interesting to watch.
Second, on the heels of the power-sharing agreement in Zimbabwe. Rhetorically, far short of the regime change it seemed the West wanted. Also, given the pretty harsh criticism South Africa came under from the U.S. for its activities in Zimbabwe, it will be interesting whether the West will accept what is, yes, a flawed agreement (and not possible stable) under the rubric of "African solutions". If so, will the EU and the U.S. begin to scale back their sanctions? Will they decide this agreement is "good enough"?
Just some Monday observations.