The Obama administration has unveiled a broad set of national space policies that emphasize the President’s desire for a fresh approach to international cooperation in the space community – possibly including arms control accords about space. Until now, the U.S. has been a lone hold-out against the calls for such treaties concerning space and the goal of progress on “demilitarizing” space. Read More

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Ankara Signaled Frustration by Playing "Spoiler" Role between NATO and EU

It’s been a banner few months for Turkish foreign policy:

  • Despite all the weight the U.S., France, Britain, and Germany could bring to bear, Turkey voted against the International Atomic Energy Agency findings sanctioning Iran’s nuclear program, the only NATO ally to do so;
  • Russian Prime Minister Medvedev visited Ankara to initiate a “full-scale strategic partnership,” to include Turkey’s purchase of a Russian-built nuclear power plant and cooperation on an oil pipeline to the Mediterranean;
  • Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu made explicit Turkey’s “multi-dimensional foreign policy” in an article published in the U.S.;
  • In conjunction with Brazil, Turkey negotiated an agreement with Tehran involving reprocessing of some of Iran’s stock of enriched uranium into nuclear fuel – an agreement basically aimed at preventing UN sanctions against Iran.


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General Stéphane Abrial, Supreme Allied Commander Transformation of NATO, discussed key elements of the Alliance’s New Strategic Concept, with particular emphasis on the need for improved cooperation between the EU and NATO. He singled out recent successes in Haiti, Georgia, and Kosovo as examples of effective collaboration and emphasized that no single institution can function effectively on the global stage alone. General Abrial remained optimistic that despite budgetary restraints, the EU and NATO could work more efficiently and effectively to meet common objectives. He highlighted the need for greater and more consistent outreach to the alliance’s stakeholders, and the importance of growing public understanding and support of NATO and its multiple missions. He concluded that if the EU and NATO were to work on a global scale with a unified effort, they would be more capable of achieving success in future endeavors.  The discussion was moderated by Ambassador Robert Hunter, former U.S. Ambassador to NATO and a Senior Advisor at RAND Corporation.

Click here to read the full text of General Abrial's remarks.

The European Institute hosted The Honorable Eric Hirschhorn, U.S. Under Secretary of Commerce for Industry and Security, who discussed the challenges facing the implementation of President Obama’s export control initiative and the implications for the transatlantic trade relationship.  Under Secretary Hirschhorn said that the President’s initiative will not only streamline export control processes but will also cut the number of items protected by current controls and require licenses for fewer components.  The Under Secretary emphasized that the reforms under consideration should not place any additional legal burden on U.S. companies, and that the Administration's goal is to make the process less cumbersome and more hospitable to growing the export market.  Under Secretary Hirschhorn remained hopeful that the U.S. Congress would take up the export control legislation this year, or at the latest, early next year.

Click here to read the full text of Under Secretary Hirschhorn's remarks.

In a drive to prove how serious it is about nuclear disarmament, the Obama administration last week made public the size of the American nuclear arsenal – 5, 113 weapons. This number attests a drastic cut back from cold war levels and is intended to show that the U.S. is complying with its responsibility under the forty-year-old nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) by its own moves toward nuclear disarmament and wants other signatory nations such as Iran to adhere to their commitments to refrain from seeking nuclear weapons.

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