Articles and analysis

Extracts from a speech delivered by Rt Hon Des Browne MP,UK Secretary of State for Defence at the Twenty-Fifth International Workshop on Global Security: An Efficient and Effective NATO on 20 June 2008.

Need for International Institutional Reform

We have been well-served by the institutions founded shortly after the end of the Second World War. The immediate post-war years spawned a remarkable new era in co-operation with the foundation of the United Nations, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, NATO and others.

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by Dr Ariel Cohen

U.S. President George W. Bush and Senator John McCain have called for an expansion of U.S. domestic oil drilling to Alaska, federal lands and the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) off the U.S. East and West coasts. This could not be more timely, if only it was realistic.

The biggest roadblock on the way to more U.S.-produced oil is the Democratic majority in the Congress and its fellow travelers. Oil-rich rulers, from King Abdullah I of Saudi Arabia, to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to Hugo Chavez are probably opening champagne.

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By Peter Zeihan

Fear is a powerful motivator, even getting results when the threat is exceedingly remote. It makes us cross at crosswalks even when traffic is thin, pay more over time for fire insurance than our homes are worth, and shy away from snakes even when signs clearly inform us they are not poisonous. Humans instinctively take steps to prevent negative outcomes, oftentimes regardless of how likely -- or more to the point, unlikely -- those unpleasant outcomes are.As with individuals, the same is true for countries.

Anyone can blithely say Cuba or Serbia would not dare ignore the will of their more powerful neighbors, or that Brazil's or Egypt's nuclear programs are so inconsequential as not to impact the international balance of power. But such opinions -- even if they truly are near-certainties -- cannot form the foundation of state power.

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