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: Will the Super Committee Strike a Deal?

by James M. Lindsay
November 17, 2011

Members of the U.S. Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, otherwise known as the super committee. (Jonathan Ernst/courtesy Reuters)

Members of the U.S. Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, otherwise known as the super committee. (Jonathan Ernst/courtesy Reuters)

The World Next Week podcast is up. Bob McMahon and I sat down to discuss the debt reduction super committee, the Egyptian parliamentary elections, and the anniversary of the Nuremburg Trials.

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The highlights:

  • The congressional super committee is fast approaching put-up-or-shut-up time. The rule in Washington is that nothing gets done until the last minute. But the fact that it is the last minute doesn’t mean something will get done.
  • Egyptian political parties are positioning themselves for the upcoming elections, and Islamist groups are likely to do well. The question is whether they have answers to one of Egypt’s biggest problems, its economic woes.
  • The Nuremberg trials opened sixty-six years ago this weekend and ushered in the practice of holding national leaders accountable for war crimes. The International Criminal Court is now in operation, raising questions about whether accountability is best achieved at the national or multilateral level and whether ICC indictments encourage leaders to hang on to the bitter end.

The Washington Post reports that 50 percent of Americans are not even aware that a debt reduction super committee exists, and the Christian Science Monitor profiles the committee’s twelve members. The New York Times describes the different Egyptian political groups vying for power, and Foreign Policy asks whether Egyptian liberals even have a chance at winning. The BBC announces that Hosni Mubarak’s trial has been postponed, and Reuters covers Zine Ben Ali’s conviction in Tunisia for drugs and weapons trafficking.

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