As Euro Central Bank boss Trichet exits, will debt crises taint his legacy?

October 10, 2011 by

As the Eurozone trembles at the prospect of Greece defaulting on its debt, the winds of change are at work at the European Central Bank (ECB). ECB President Jean-Claude Trichet will step down in November after an eight-year term, leaving the institution at a time of great uncertainty for the 17 Eurozone member countries. Headquartered in Frankfurt, the ECB has had exclusive control over Eurozone members’ interest rates since 1999, when the euro was introduced as a currency.

Mitt Romney recasts himself as a Neocon

October 10, 2011 by

Mitt Romney, the presumptive GOP frontrunner, gave his first major foreign policy address at The Citadel military academy in South Carolina last Friday. He mentioned President Ronald Reagan twice, and although his speech largely portrayed policies and positions that closely resemble those of George W. Bush, he neglected to mention the latter. Despite the severe budgetary woes, which will force the scaling back of defense programs at the Pentagon, Mr. Romney sought to portray himself as a hawk and argued for increased military spending, especially for the U.S. Navy.

Food Prices Set to Rise Further

October 10, 2011 by

Food price volatility featuring high prices is likely to continue and probably increase next year, making poor farmers even more vulnerable to poverty and food insecurity, the global report on food insecurity released Monday by the United Nations’ three Rome-based food agencies predicts. Small, import-dependent countries, particularly in Africa, are especially at risk. “Many of them still face severe problems following the world food and economic crises of 2006-2008,” the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the World Food Programme (WFP) said in preface to The State of Food Insecurity in the World 2011 (SOFI).

‘Men at some time are masters of their fates’ - Timing and Political Leadership

October 10, 2011 by

Amid the worsening economic picture, political leaders across the globe are under attack for their lack of leadership and failure to inspire confidence in their constituencies in the face of mounting global problems. President Obama especially has been criticized as too aloof and lacking direction, particularly from rightwing commentators. During the recent CNN Tea Party debate, Mitt Romney stated that, if elected president, he would have a bust of Winston Churchill in the White House.

Putin’s New Vision of Eurasia

October 10, 2011 by

Many western politicians have harbored deep suspicions of Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Vladimorovich Putin since he first emerged on the Russian political stage in 1999. This is hardly surprising, given his KGB background, though those with longer historical memories will recall that Yuri Andropov came from the same organization and that the West grudgingly found a way to work with him.

Is this a Global Gandhian Moment?

October 10, 2011 by

Mahatma Gandhi has been dead for more than 63 years, and yet his relevance to the politics of our time has never been greater. It is a tribute to the power of Gandhi’s inspirational ideas and life that his current influence is far greater than that of any other leader of the past century. We recall such names as Churchill, Franklin Roosevelt, Mao Tse-tung, Lenin, and Nehru as individuals who were great leaders in their time and remain historic personages of lasting importance, but they do not speak directly to the political circumstances of the 21st century.

India and Bangladesh: calculus of territorial dispute settlement

October 10, 2011 by

On 7 September 2011 in Dacca, the prime ministers of India and Bangladesh signed a landmark protocol to their 1974 Land Boundary Agreement, providing for final settlement of their long-pending boundary issues. Given that instances of territorial dispute settlement in this sovereignty-conscious region have been few and far between, this exercise in statesmanship is both commendable and long overdue.