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Showing posts from December 11, 2012

The Israeli Periphery

By Reva Bhalla
Vice President of Global Affairs The state of Israel has a basic, inescapable geopolitical dilemma: Its national security requirements outstrip its military capabilities, making it dependent on an outside power. Not only must that power have significant military capabilities but it also must have enough common ground with Israel to align its foreign policy toward the Arab world with that of Israel's. These are rather heavy requirements for such a small nation. Security, in the Israeli sense, is thus often characterized in terms of survival. And for Israel to survive, it needs just the right blend of geopolitical circumstance, complex diplomatic arrangements and military preparedness to respond to potential threats nearby. Over the past 33 years, a sense of complacency settled over Israel and gave rise to various theories that it could finally overcome its dependency on outside powers. But a familiar sense of unease crept back into the Israeli psyche before any of tho…

EUROPE COMPASS WEEKLY UPDATE DECEMBER 10, 2012

The collapse of Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti's government became inevitable on December 8, when the technocratic leader made it clear to President Giorgio Napolitano that he would not be held hostage by the parties of the centre-right. As a result, Italy will go to the polls early, with national elections looking set to be held sometime in February.This also means that centre-right leader and former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has just over two months to campaign against austerity measures and decry German leadership in European affairs. Monti will still be able to pass his government's budget this December -- the centre-right has committed itself to support it -- but that is about as much stability as Italians can expect. Monti's official resignation will take effect once the budget is passed.Into the abyss?It is not unreasonable to ask, therefore: "Is Italy falling into an abyss?" Indeed, this was the first question European Central Bank (ECB) Presid…