RUSI Director Michael Clarke, speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Westminster Hour, suggests that Gordon Brown has the chance to bring European powers together as they readjust to the forthcoming Obama administration.
There are unlikely to be early and major changes to US plans for Missile Defence under an Obama Administration. But as the Russians plan to install missiles in a possible response to the initiative, debates on the controversial European ‘Third Site’ segment of the US defensive shield could well intensify.
As leaders celebrate an Obama victory across European capitals, they should also be prepared to deal with a hard-faced man under pressure who will feel he has the right to expect much more from European partners.
The credit crunch is making people wonder about geo-strategic analogies and think differently about risk. Possibly the main strategic danger is that politicians pre-occupied by financial crises will not respond with adequate speed to potentially explosive strategic issues.
The latest arrests of terror-suspects in Germany highlight the authorities’ success in preventing attacks in that country. But this episode also represents the increasing threat to the country and the difficulty Germany faces in balancing security with civil liberties.
Georgia’s ‘mini war’ may be over, but its implications will reverberate for years to come. Russian-Western relations will nosedive, and the East Europeans will push both NATO and the EU into adopting more hostile policies towards Russia. The US will also start to take the Russian challenge more seriously. A new ‘Cold War’ is not inevitable, but a hostile climate in East-West relations is now a...