Nick Ottens writes about American and European politics for Atlantic Sentinel and Wynia’s Week. He specializes in the politics of France, the Netherlands and Spain, and is interested in Catalan separatism, drug, energy and housing policy, the future of farming and meat, health care and multiparty democracy. He has been published by the Atlantic Council, EUobserver, Spain’s The Corner and World Politics Review.
Nick grew up in the countryside of North Holland and lived in New York and Barcelona. He wrote opinion columns about Catalan politics and the region’s attempted breakaway from Spain for De Standaard of Belgium, the NRC newspaper of the Netherlands and The National Interest. He worked for three political-risk consultancies and a non-profit, XPRIZE, where he designed multimillion-dollar prize competitions to accelerate innovation, including in health care and meat alternatives.
In his spare time, Nick edits the online (alternate) history magazine Never Was and writes about the making of Star Trek for Forgotten Trek. He is a member of the Netherlands’ liberal party, VVD.
Had we had another man for president this year, Iran’s nuclear facilities might well have been carpet bombed already. Certainly the United States would not have discouraged Israel from undertaking such a venture. But would it have been the smart thing to do? When even The New York Times advocates military action it must seem […]
Year’s end is near so journalists like to look back and beyond to what’s coming especially, it seems, for the Obama Administration. The president has had his fair share of “litmus tests” already: the overanalyzed “first hundred days” in office; his first foreign visits as head of state; the new Afghan war strategy; his Nobel […]
Last time we reported on Japan’s lingering in economic trouble, we identified decades of government interference as the cause of much of the country’s modern-day hardship. With the Democratic Party in power after years of Liberal Democratic leadership, there was reason to hope that the former would undo part of the Keynesian measures the latter […]
The European Union model is an example to many nations across the globe. The South American Mercosur is well underway to become an even more successful game plan for cooperation while in Southeast Asia, ASEAN provides a forum for states that might want to try to compete with their northern neighbors China and Japan. Even […]
It’s difficult to get about some eggs in the eastern parts of the Netherlands these days. Supermarkets are experiencing serious shortages there because large supplies of eggs have been bought up by German wholesalers. The Netherlands has always been one of the world’s greatest exportors of eggs but usually not at a disadvantage to the […]
When we asked here earlier this month whether the Western coalition can win in Afghanistan, the findings were ambivalent at best: while the United States could not appear to be scuttling from the country, President Barack Obama did announce a date for troop withdrawal to commence. Throughout his campaign, the president stressed the importance of […]
Turkey, or in the past the Ottoman Empire, has always been something of a bridge between Europe and the Near East. In recent years, it increasingly turned its attention westward, joining NATO and hoping, some day, to become part of the European Union. Decades of promises and negotiations have left the country frustrated with Europe […]
The ancient Italian city of Venice has slowly been sinking for many years. Early Wednesday morning, an unusually high tide flooded most of the city once again, forcing its denizens to wade through knee-high waters or make use of the improvised, elevated boardwalks set up in St Mark’s Square and other public spaces. The waters […]
The United States Senate sets to vote on a health-care bill over Christmas this Tuesday after what have been months of fierce political debate. As the opposition warned of “socialized medicine” and “death panels”, public support for “Obamacare” and the president himself understandably plummeted. Although America’s health care is among the most expensive yet one […]
Around this time last year, it was Afghanistan that we called the “forgotten war”. Now, with President Obama announcing a troop increase of tens of thousands and an Iraqi-style surge to prepare for the beginning of withdrawal by 2012, no one bothers to report about Iraq anymore. It would seem that the media can only […]
Global warming is rapidly changing the Arctic landscape. In the summer of 2008, for the first time in recorded history, the polar icecap retreated far enough to allow shipping north of Eurasia and North America; by 2013, these sea routes are expected to be completely ice free during the summer. The region promises more than […]
After two decades of almost uncontested American hegemony, the sole superpower of our age is in decline. Or so we are told. The financial meltdown; the rise of China; the failed foreign policies of President Bush or Obama, depending on from which side of the aisle you approach the problem — all seem to indicate […]
Washington’s latest approach to the Iranian missile threat seems to be rather an old-fashioned one: isolating the problem (financially for instance) and attempting to destabilize it from within — in other words: containment. Danielle Pletka, vice president of foreign and defense policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute, writing for The Washington Post, isn’t having […]
Although the Israeli Goverment of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu refused to freeze the construction of settlements in the West Bank altogether, it is imposing a moratorium on the building of new homes in the occupied territories — and it is willing to use force against Israeli settlers who refuse to abide by it. Some Jewish […]