EA August 2015

The British Referendum on the EU: Brexit Fiction or Reality?

jacquelinegrapin2015cBritish diplomats and politicians have always been admired for their ability to cultivate ambiguity. It is a French politician, François Mitterrand, a master in the field in his own right, who used to say,  “Getting out of ambiguity is always at your own expense.” Ambiguity had afforded the United Kingdom the possibility to secure a comfortable position, half inside the EU by obtaining numerous exceptions to regular European rules and policies, and getting access to the European Market without paying the full price for it.


The Billion Dollar Spy by David E. Hoffman, New York Doubleday, 2015, 312pp.

JerroldSchecterA new hero has been added to the Pantheon of spies on  Russia who detested the  Soviet system and volunteered to serve the  United States. Adolf (nickname Adik) Tolkachev was a Russian scientist whose  wife’s  father and mother were “eradicated” by Stalin in  the 1937 purges. His burning anger against the Soviet system simmered for years until, influenced  by the bravery of H-bomb inventor Alexander Sakharov and novelist Alexander Solzhenitsyn speaking out against the abuses of Soviet life, he  sought revenge by “walking in” to work for the CIA Moscow Station.


Perspectives: Presidential Candidates Follow Polls and Ignore Important Foreign Policy Issues

BarrettViewed by America’s allies in Europe and Asia, the opening round of discussion of international security threats among 2016 presidential wannabes must rank somewhere between unserious and scary. One would hardly know, listening to the candidates’ major pronouncements, that the next president will face stern challenges from most points of the compass, just as Barack Obama does.


Ireland Moves Ahead on Marriage Equality

sarah geraghty1Since I began to write the wedding column in The Irish Times last February, three of the 70 couples featured were gay.
All were Irish people living abroad who didn’t have the right to marry the ones they loved in their native country.

Reflections on “The Unraveling: High Hopes and Missed Opportunities in Iraq” by Emma Sky

BarrettAnwar al-Assi, paramount sheikh of the Obeidi tribe, was among the many personalities Emma Sky cultivated during her three duty tours.  In their final conversation, as she departs in August 2010, he asks: “Do you leave Iraq with a clear conscience?”