Nick Ottens is a journalist, former political risk consultant and former research manager for XPRIZE, where he designed prize competitions to incentivize breakthrough innovation in agriculture, food and health care. He has reported from Amsterdam, Barcelona and New York for various Dutch- and English-language media, including the Atlantic Council, EUobserver, NRC, Trouw and World Politics Review.
Nick writes about the politics of France, the Netherlands, Spain and the United States in Atlantic Sentinel and Wynia’s Week. In his spare time, he edits the online magazines Never Was and Forgotten Trek.
He is a member of the board of Liberal Green, the sustainability network of the Dutch liberal party VVD.
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 […]
One might not be too much impressed anymore with reports about Iranian missile tests, seeing as Iran is still wrecked by student uprisings while their president uses his UN podium time to deny the Holocaust. Fortunately there is John Noonan at The Weekly Standard to explain why they are something to worry about nevertheless. First, […]
The Israeli newspaper Haaretz has revealed the peace plan that former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert offered the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in September of last year. “Abbas did not respond, and negotiations ended,” according to Haaretz. The peace plan encompassed an exchange of land, with Israel gaining Jerusalem and a little over 6 percent of […]
Europe’s massive deficit spending is finally catching up with it. As Stefan Theil writes for Newsweek, markets reacted sharply this week “after rating agencies downgraded the public debt of Greece and warned about the outlook for several others.” With a deficit running at over 12 percent of GDP, Greece runs a serious risk of becoming […]
“Deadly labor wars hinder India’s rise,” wrote The Wall Street Journal last month. In spite of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s efforts to reform India along free-market lines, the country’s long history with socialism continues to keep it from truly embracing capitalism. Battle lines are being drawn in labor actions across India. Factory managers, amid the […]
Pressure is building on German chancellor Angela Merkel and her defense minister, Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg, to account for the German-ordered NATO attack in Afghanistan last September that killed 142 people, many of them civilians. Guttenberg, formerly minister for economics, took charge of the Defense Department last October as member of Chancellor Merkel’s second cabinet. The […]
“The bear still has teeth,” notes Robert D. Kaplan, writing for The Atlantic. The Obama Administration’s decision to scrap the Eastern European missile defense system has left some former Soviet satellite states at the mercy of Moscow once again — or at least, that’s how they see it. Understandably, some Poles and Czechs reacted to […]
It is a conflict that has been going on for several years but one that receives little attention in our Western media: the war in Yemen. Since 2004 the Shiite Zaidis of North Yemen have been in rebellion against the country’s central government. The Zaidis, a minor sect within Shī‘ah Islam, are one of the […]
It’s not good to be rich in Britain. One is properly punished there for making too much money as becomes a welfare state. From every Briton that earns over £150,000 (or $243,000) a year, the government takes half of that in income tax. The well-off now face a further cut to tax relief on their […]