Dutch Ask, Dutch Tell

Retired US Marine Corps General John Sheehan’s testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee of March 18 caused quite a stir on both sides of the Atlantic last week. Sheehan was asked to remark on the proposed repeal of the American military’s infamous “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy which allows gay men and women to […]

Gordon Brown’s Chance at Victory

Just a few months ago, the British Conservatives had this year’s parliamentary election in their pockets. After more than ten years of Labour rule, Britons were tired with Gordon Brown while opposition foreman David Cameron lured as a fresh, “green right” alternative who promised to restore fiscal responsibility and British pride altogether. The Conservatives polled […]

Conservatives for Freer Schools

A novel idea from British Conservatives: allow schools to set their own standards. Tory Politico reports that the party intends to put an end to government interference with so-called A Level certificates: the internationally-recognized standard for entry into British universities. The A Level’s reputation has been on the decline in recent years, leaving the prestige […]

Dutch Government Collapses Over Afghanistan

The governing coalition in the Netherlands was brought down Saturday, unable to bridge a divide between Christian Democrats and socialists over whether or not to keep forces in Afghanistan after 2010. For the fouth time, Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende had to announce that a government of his had come to its end prematurely. His […]

Euro Resentment Demands New Rules

Euroskepticism is abound anew. Where previously economist Paul Krugman argued that Greece could have weathered its fiscal crisis if it had retained its own currency, Judy Dempsey reports that Germans are increasingly nostalgic for their Deutsche Mark. “For Germans,” writes Dempsey, “the mark was more than just currency.” It represented the country’s postwar recovery, the […]

Brown Is Human

In an interview with Piers Morgan broadcast on ITV1 last Sunday, British prime minister Gordon Brown spoke openly about the death of his daughter Jennifer, his son Fraser who suffers from cystic fibrosis, and the leadership deal that was struck with Tony Blair. More than four million Britons watched the show. With his wife Sarah […]

Sarkozy Bids Farewell to Capitalism

Government intervention in the economy is something of a tradition in France. As the the 2010 Index of Economic Freedom published by the Washington-based Heritage Foundation and The Wall Street Journal noted, French business “remains curtailed by the pervasive presence of the state in economic activity.” Government spends more than half of GDP and owns […]

Future Surface Combatant and Other Myths

This is the second part in a series of reports on the current state of the Royal Navy. The first entry focused on the expeditionary tool of the Royal Navy’s future force; the aircraft carrier. This article discusses the Future Surface Combatant and the effectiveness of modular versus “hardwired” vessels. Earlier this week, the blog […]

Europe’s Egg Shortage

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 […]

HMS Queen Elizabeth and the Future of the Royal Navy

This is the first part in a series of reports on the current state of the Royal Navy. This part focuses on the expeditionary tool of the Royal Navy’s future force; the aircraft carrier. The second entry discusses the Future Surface Combatant and the effectiveness of modular versus “hardwired” vessels. Earlier this year, public interest […]

Merkel Government Under Pressure

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 […]