EA April 2015

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Financial Markets take Greek Crisis in Stride as Investors Focus on China, Oil Prices, and Political Instability

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spellman

Financial markets have climbed and retreated with each twist and turn of the negotiations to address Greece’s debt burden and implement austerity measures, but these fluctuations – volleying between “Grelief rallies” and “Grexit angst” – in bond, stock, and Euro currency values have remained within a narrow band. Investors’ fears of “contagion” and the EU’s implosion are tempered for now.

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NATO Enlargement? The Case of Montenegro

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Robert Hunter
 
 Should the Republic of Montenegro be invited to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization?  That question has now been posed and the Alliance is expected to answer it sometime later this year.
 
The simple answer is “Why not?” Montenegro is certainly eligible under Article 10 of the 1949 NATO Treaty and it is a member of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe which, since 1996, has defined the group of countries eligible to ask to join NATO. The Alliance is also committed to its so-called “open door” policy, which it regularly reconfirms. And to the extent there are any formal criteria for joining NATO, Montenegro seems to fit the bill. It is a democratic country, it is making economic progress, and it has no territorial claims against neighbors. So, again, the simple answer is “Why not?”

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Perspectives: Understanding Putin —The Bolshevik Code Provides Clue

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JerroldSchecterWho is Vladimir Putin,  and why does he behave the way he does?  Much has been written,  but little has been revealed. It has been said that Putin represents a return to Bolshevik rule.  But what does this mean?  Part of the answer may be found in “The Bolshevik Code,” the operational value system of the Soviet leadership before the fall of communism in 1991.    Putin is a 21st Century incarnation  of The Bolshevik Code,  and his conduct is better understood with reference to this Code.

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The Future of the Euro, by Matthias Matthijs and Mark Blyth

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bill marmon april 2013
 
If the creation of the single currency, the euro, is the crowning accomplishment of the European Union and the high water mark toward union in Europe, what does it say about the future of a united Europe that the euro is, after a spectacular initial success, now in “crisis”?  Has, as Michael Mandelbaum, SAIS Professor, suggested at the recent book launch, the sequence of Eurozone crisis events shown on one hand that political unity is necessary for the survival of the euro and on the other hand rendered political union impossible because of the chasm the crisis has created between Northern Europe and the southern and peripheral states?
 
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Reflections on “The Devils’ Alliance: Hitler’s Pact with Stalin, 1939 – 1941” by Roger Moorhouse

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Barrett--The motherland’s obligation to protect Russian speakers abroad.
--Use of energy exports for geopolitical gain.
-- Propaganda laced with lies to promote nationalist fervor.
--Nostalgia for the territorial grandeur of yore.
--Transgressions against weak neighbors.
--Blaming outsiders – read: Americans – for the tensions.

No mystery as to the sum of these parts: Vladimir Putin’s brutal abuse against Ukraine ever since Ukrainians ousted his ally from power in Kiev. With some variation, Moscow’s earlier bullying of Georgia also fits. Throw in feints that prompt angst among several one-time constituents of the USSR, and the Russian president’s status as Europe’s mischief maker extraordinaire is secure.

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