camillegrand1More than three months after the beginning of the military campaign in Libya, the outcome remains unpredictable, at least in its final shape and its aftermath. Already, however, the transatlantic partners are starting to draw some first lessons from the intervention.

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Cheered in the EU and the U.S., the “Arab spring” also raised the specter in Europe of a destabilizing wave of Arab and African refugees across the Mediterranean seeking to settle in Europe. That surge of fear turned out to be alarmist, at least in terms of actual numbers. So far, comparatively few of the refugees in the exodus from Tunisia and Libya have actually turned up on European soil.

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Official uneasiness about the state of Internet governance is rising as governments on both sides of the Atlantic have come to recognize how limited their ability is to control it. The latest public symptom of this anxiety surfaced in a leaked official letter from European Commission Vice President Neelie Kroes who is also the Commissioner for the Digital Agenda, to U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke in which she sought U.S. help in stopping the deployment of a new Internet “suffix” -- ".xxx" –- to identify pornography sites on the web. “This is a major public policy concern,” she wrote, “not only because of the unknown effects it may have in terms of internet stability, but also because of the implications such blocking may have for internet censorship and freedom of expression.”

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On both sides of the Atlantic outflows of development aid are slowing. The reasons are similar everywhere: pressures to reduce deficits by cutting government spending, especially on foreign aid – a cutback that is relatively painless for these governments because it does not affect any significant part of the electorates in EU nations or in the U.S.

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george friedman imageThis bold and deliberately provocative book on geopolitical forecasting has smart and suggestive points to make about the whole geopolitical scene, especially the U.S. and Europe.

According to the author George Friedman to manage its "unintended empire," Washington will need to learn the doctrine of playing off new regional contenders against each other. He advocates this "Machiavellian" strategy -- sometimes called "off-shore balancing" -- because it seeks to avoid getting U.S. "boots on the ground" and getting sucked into future wars that might resemble Iraq.

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