Monthly Archives: February 2009

MARTIN FELDSTEIN on the GDP

“The fall in share prices and in home values has destroyed more than $12 trillion of household wealth in the United States, an amount equal to more than 75 percent of GDP. Previous reactions to declines in household wealth indicate … Continue reading

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RAMI KHOURI on Syria and Iran

“I have no doubt that the American-Iranian bilateral relationship is the most important issue in the Middle East — and perhaps the world — in which there is room for progress (unlike the equally important Arab-Israeli conflict, where progress seems … Continue reading

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CRISTINE RUSSELL on climate change impact on islands

“The potential hazards of rising oceans because of climate change are not limited, of course, to small tropical islands. Such islands simply serve as a warning sign for vast coastal parts of the developing and industrialized world, from Bangladesh to … Continue reading

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TARIK YOUSEF on Dubai’s economy

“I don’t think Dubai will be allowed to fail neither by the UAE, by Dubai’s neighbors, or by the international community. Much damage would result to the idea of a prosperous, peaceful, globalizing Middle East and there would be a … Continue reading

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KAYHAN BARZEGAR on a strengthening Iran

“From the perspective of the governing elites in Iran, any direct talks with the U.S. in an unequal condition will endanger Iran’s national security and interests, and as past experiences show, Iran would ultimately lose in such talks.” Kayhan Barzegar, … Continue reading

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JUSTIN DARGIN on energy consumption

“Globally, 2.4 billion people utilize traditional biomass – basically energy from the sun captured in organic material derived from plants or animals, such as dung, wood, crops or garbage – as their primary source of energy. Another 1.6 billion do … Continue reading

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AZEEM IBRAHIM on the future of fossil fuels

“The first big problem is that fossil fuels like oil, coal and gas are finite. They will run out. But even before they do, they will get scarcer. That will make them more expensive than many populations can afford, and … Continue reading

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THOMAS NICHOLS on preventive military action

“But now, with changes in technology, and new threats from enemies whose likes we’ve never seen before, like transnational terrorists, states are no longer waiting for actual threats to emerge. They are instead increasingly tempted to act against potential threats. … Continue reading

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DENNIS ROSS named as special advisor

Dennis Ross, a member of the Belfer Center’s international council, was appointed Special Advisor for the Gulf and Southwest Asia on February 23, 2009 by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. According to the press release, “he will provide to the … Continue reading

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ANNE WU on mediating Asian conflicts

“Asia is a conflict-prone region but traditionally Asians confuse mediation with ‘muddling.’ As a result, more non-Asians are trying to serve as mediators for Asia. For more effective conflict resolution, it’s essential for Asians to rediscover their useful mediation skills, … Continue reading

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