The Great Debate

from Data Dive:

Ebola’s spread brings host of other diseases in its wake

By Michael Corones
September 26, 2014

Almost 3,000 West Africans have died from the current outbreak of Ebola virus, and on Tuesday, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned that by January between 550,000 and 1.4 million people could be infected if nothing is done.

from John Lloyd:

Despite Scotland’s choice, a November 9 vote could still tear Spain apart

By John Lloyd
September 26, 2014

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The Scots voted against independence last week, by a fair margin and most commentary from business leaders and financial analysts began with “a sigh of relief” - followed by a wary recognition that serious reform to Britain’s system of government had been promised, and that might again disturb the delicate nerves of investors.

Is there a new crack in the West’s sanctions regime against Russia?

By William E. Pomeranz
September 26, 2014

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President Barack Obama’s speech at the United Nations Wednesday offered to roll back the U.S. sanctions if Russia takes the “path of diplomacy and peace.” This overture comes on the heels of an emerging ceasefire between Russia and Ukraine and continuing discussions in Minsk to find a political solution to the turmoil in eastern Ukraine.

from Anatole Kaletsky:

It ain’t over yet: Last-minute promises to Scotland will scar the UK

By Anatole Kaletsky
September 26, 2014

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron delivers a speech at the Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre in Aberdeen, Scotland

Astonishing as it was to contemplate the breakup of Europe’s most stable nation-state threatened by last week’s Scottish referendum, we now have an even more extraordinary possibility. In the days since the Scottish voters rejected secession 55 percent to 45 percent, a new threat has suddenly appeared to blight Britain’s political and economic prospects for years ahead. It now looks like Britain may be dissolved by one rogue opinion poll.

from Data Dive:

Who’s really dropping the bombs on Islamic State?

By Michael Corones
September 25, 2014

Yesterday's beheading of French tourist Herve Gourdel by an Algerian group prompted France to consider an expanded role in the anti-Islamic State air strikes that began this week.

from Compass:

To build a coalition against Islamic State, U.S. must try a little humility

By Nader Mousavizadeh
September 25, 2014

U.S. President Barack Obama chairs the U.N. Security Council summit in New York

When President Barack Obama assumed the presidency of the United Nations Security Council Wednesday, he summoned the full weight of U.S. power to a cause with seeming universal appeal: defeating the barbarism of Islamic State -- or, as Obama calls the militant group, Islamic State in Syria and the Levant (ISIL).

from Jack Shafer:

War without end: The U.S. may still be fighting in Syria in 2024, 2034, 2044 . . .

By Jack Shafer
September 24, 2014

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This must be what perpetual war looks like.

In a Pentagon briefing yesterday, Army Lieutenant General Bill Mayville called the cruise missiles and bombs flung at targets in Syria "the beginning of a credible and sustainable persistent campaign." How long will the campaign last? "I would think of it in terms of years," Mayville responded.

Air strikes won’t disrupt Islamic State’s real safe haven: social media

By Rita Katz
September 24, 2014
jihad tweet President Barack Obama has pledged to destroy Islamic State and ensure fighters “find no safe haven.” But even as U.S.-led airstrikes are underway in Iraq and Syria, it is clear that bombs alone will not do the job. For Islamic State hides out in the most perfect haven: the World Wide Web.

In June 2014, the militant group that Obama refers to as Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, grabbed the world’s attention after it took over much of northern Iraq in roughly four days. Islamic State accomplished this by building a massive, sophisticated virtual network of fighters in addition to those on the ground. Indeed, its expansion online has been as swift as its territorial gains. It is this virtual power grab that will be most difficult to combat.

When U.S. natural gas is shipped overseas, it will cost the 99 percent

By Charles R. Morris
September 24, 2014

Pier at Dominion's Cove Point LNG plant is seen at Maryland's Chesapeake Bay

The Department of Energy appears to be following a “Nigerian strategy” with respect to the nation’s recent windfall of natural gas.

from Breakingviews:

Is “stranded costs” a euphemism for fat?

September 23, 2014

By Rob Cox

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.