Yearly Archive: 2016

Contrasts between the realism of Kennan and Obama

Was George F. Kennan a diplomatic historian rather than a diplomat who wielded influence in government circles? The answer must be in the affirmative because, despite the kudos he garnered as the strategist who advocated containing the USSR from the outset of the Cold War, Kennan faced consistent problems [...]

Libya: finding a way out of the labyrinth must be by way of the oil terminals

In recent years the production of oil in Libya has endured a rollercoaster ride reflecting a succession of blockades, attacks, strikes and sabotage carried out on oil and gas installations (some accounts catalogue up to 75 incidents and dozens of fatalities). Output in 2010 was close to 1.6 million [...]

Global Spectator, by Andrés Ortega Europe: too many crises for so little leadership

The EU is accumulating crises without managing to resolve them: weak economic growth; the Greek crisis that continues unsolved and now storm clouds gathering over the German banking industry; the prospect of Brexit; not to mention, of course, the refugee crisis. Too many for a Europe lacking leadership. And [...]

Kennan’s ‘long telegram’: reflections from the past and the present

On 22 February 1946 George F. Kennan, chargé d’affaires at the US embassy in Moscow, sent Washington a memorandum known as the ‘long telegram’, which was 5,000 words in length. A recapitulation of this document, The Sources of Soviet Conduct, written by the selfsame Kennan under the pseudonym of [...]

The terrorist threat in the EU: expect the unexpected

Little more than two weeks after members of Islamic State (IS) carried out a series of coordinated attacks in Paris on 13 November 2015, which resulted in 130 dead and more than 350 injured, police experts from various EU countries especially affected by threat of the Jihadist organisation, as [...]

Climate change and Big Data

Immense amounts of data, from a wide variety of sources, are becoming available at an incredible speed. But what is the link between climate change and Big Data? The Ramón Areces Foundation recently hosted a meeting on this topic. During the meeting we were told that climate change mitigation [...]

Global Spectator, by Andrés Ortega Globalisation: factors of unity or division, depending on the circumstances

There are many dimensions to globalisation and they are constantly changing and varying in their composition: the trade in goods, capital flows (both of these are currently in decline), information flows (on the increase) and the movement of people (also rising, with huge problems). There is also cultural exchange [...]

Global Spectator, by Andrés Ortega Middle classes cut down to size

It may seem contradictory when the middle classes in emerging economies (now going through a slowdown) are growing like never before. But according to some studies, their numbers have been exaggerated. And in a good deal of Europe and the US, the middle classes are in free-fall, something that [...]

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