from The Great Debate:

Building Berlin’s Wall helped avoid a nuclear confrontation

By Nina Khrushcheva
November 7, 2014

West Berliners walk in front of the Berlin wall at the Allied checkpoint Charlie in Berlin

Twenty-five years ago Sunday, Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev refused to use force when thousands of people from East and West converged to pull down the Berlin Wall. He taught us all a great lesson: No wall can hold back democracy. Since then, however, Russian President Vladimir Putin has taught another lesson: If a country’s people don’t want democracy enough, no Berlin Wall is needed to keep it out.

from MacroScope:

Franco-German meeting

By Mike Peacock
October 20, 2014

German Finance Minister Schaeuble and his French counterpart Sapin attend news briefing after talks in Berlin

The big question of the week is whether financial market gyrations continue, worsen or calm. European stocks are being called higher at the open.

from Jack Shafer:

Keep your frenemies list short and your enemies list shorter

By Jack Shafer
September 5, 2014

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Compiling an enemies list was a cinch for the United States during the Cold War, what with most of the Soviet Union’s nuclear arsenal targeted its way. Friends of the Soviets immediately became America’s enemies, and Soviet enemies became U.S. friends. That made China a U.S. enemy of the highest order, a ranking shared by the Soviet client-states of Cuba, North Korea, and North Vietnam, against which the United States fought. Muammar Gaddafi's Libya rose to high-enemy status under President Ronald Reagan, a position it maintained until he surrendered its nuclear program.

from Nicholas Wapshott:

U.S. power: Waging cold wars without end

By Nicholas Wapshott
June 26, 2014

U.S. President Barack Obama addresses troops at Bagram Air Base in Kabul

Suddenly, it seems, the world is at war.

In Iraq, armed and angry militants of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) are at the gates of Baghdad. In Pakistan, government forces are mounting a ferocious campaign against the Taliban in North Waziristan. In Syria, the civil war drags on. These are “hot wars” involving the clashing of troops and weapons. Having escaped such “hot” conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, these are the sort of war Americans have made it plain they are not prepared to fight.

from The Great Debate:

Post Iraq, U.S. must rely on covert action

By Jack Devine
June 13, 2014

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Covert actions are now crucial to U.S. foreign policy. After the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, Washington should rely more on CIA-driven covert operations and less on military force in the world’s hotspots.

from The Great Debate:

Brown v. Board of Ed: Key Cold War weapon

By Aryeh Neier
May 14, 2014

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The U.S. Supreme Court’s unanimous decision in Brown v. Board of Education, issued on May 17, 1954, is probably the most important judicial decision in American history.

from The Great Debate:

Cold War warmed over

By Bill Schneider
March 7, 2014

Can we have a new Cold War without a communist threat?  Some important political players seem to think so.

from The Great Debate:

Ukraine: Obama must escape the ‘Cold War syndrome’

By Elizabeth Cobbs Hoffman
February 21, 2014

When it comes to the mounting crisis in Ukraine, President Barack Obama is stuck playing an old role. Since World War Two, U.S. presidents have steadfastly held to the same course when it comes to Russia.

from The Great Debate:

America’s long search for Mr. Right

By Elizabeth Cobbs Hoffman
February 12, 2014

What’s wrong with central casting? It’s a virtual truism: The United States always seems to pick the wrong guy to star as George Washington in some faraway civil war. We sell him weapons for self-defense against his despicable foes -- and then, sometimes before the end of the first battle, we find we are committed to a bad actor who bears an uncanny resemblance to Genghis Khan.

from The Great Debate UK:

The Sochi Olympics: Russia’s Double-Curse?

By Guest Contributor
February 6, 2014

Vadislav Zubok--Professor Vladislav Zubok is Head of the Russia in Global Affairs Programme at LSE IDEAS. The opinions expressed are his own.--