By Rob Cox
The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.
The West has been unable to develop a coherent strategic policy toward Russia. There is little agreement on what Russia is and how to deal with it, too much speculation about what President Vladimir Putin will or will not do.
As nuclear talks between Iran and the other members of the so-called P5+1 group are extended for another seven months, one issue is sure to remain a sticking point. The most important differences between all sides relates to the size of Iran’s uranium-enrichment program.
History has no on-off buttons. Change is never instantaneous. But President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping’s recent accord on greenhouse gases may allow the world to start dialing down dangerous carbon emissions.
In his original and argumentative history of the Anglo-American domination of the past three or more centuries, Walter Russell Mead writes that both the UK and the United States believed their imposition of a world order served the highest interests of humanity. From Oliver Cromwell’s denunciation of Spanish cruelty in the 1650s to Ronald Reagan’s characterisation of the Soviet Union as an evil empire in the 1980s, the two main Anglophone states have seen their global expansionism as a blessing for the world: what’s good for us is good for everyone.
One irony about the fight against Islamic State is that the nations now striking the extremist group the hardest also dislike each other the most.