James M. Lindsay

The Water's Edge

Lindsay analyzes the politics shaping U.S. foreign policy and the sustainability of American power.

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The World Next Week: Eurozone Crisis Grows, IAEA Reports, Myanmar Surprises

by James M. Lindsay
November 10, 2011

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi (C) looks on next Justice Minister Roberto Maroni (R) and League North Party leader Umberto Bossi during a finance vote at the parliament in Rome November 8, 2011

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi (C) looks on next Justice Minister Roberto Maroni (R) and League North Party leader Umberto Bossi during a finance vote at the parliament in Rome on November 8, 2011. (Tony Gentile/courtesy Reuters)

The World Next Week podcast is up. Bob McMahon and I sat down to discuss the European debt crisis; the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) board of governors meeting on Iran; the North American leaders’ summit; and surprising political changes in Myanmar.

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The highlights:

  • Anxiety about the spread of the Euro debt crisis to Italy is making international financial markets anxious. European leaders are already talking about the possibility of a long and deep recession hitting the continent. That raises a critical question: If Europe catches the flu, can the United States stay healthy?
  • The IAEA reported this week that Iran continues to pursue a nuclear weapons program. The question now is what will the international community do about it.
  • The North American leaders summit gives President Obama and his counterparts, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Mexican President Felipe Calderón, an opportunity to discuss regional issues. In the case of Canada, a hot top is the Keystone XL pipeline from Alberta to the Texas Gulf Coast. In the case of Mexico, it is drug-related violence.
  • There are tantalizing signs that significant changes may be afoot in Myanmar. The new civilian-led government has released some political prisoners, engaged with opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, and halted a major Chinese-backed dam project in northern Myanmar. The challenge for the Obama administration is to decide whether these changes merit changes in longstanding U.S. efforts to isolate Myanmar.
  • Bob’s Figure of the Week is Silvio Berlusconi. My Figure of the Week is 13. Listen to the podcast to find out why.

The New York Times discusses the spread of the European debt crisis to Italy, and Reuters reports that the crisis is lowering the economic growth outlook for developing economies. The Guardian has the details on how European countries are pushing for tougher sanctions on Iran, and Foreign Policy argues that once again Iran is in the world’s crosshairs. The Globe and Mail describes the upcoming North American leaders’ summit, and USA Today explains how this coincides with a group of bilateral meetings. The Wall Street Journal comments on the possibility of Myanmar chairing ASEAN even in light of human rights abuses, and the Washington Post details the political liberalization within Myanmar.

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