Is the Obama administration edging quietly towards an historic shift in U.S. national security strategy? Is a change in the works going far beyond the “pivot to Asia” and troop drawdown in Europe announced by the President in January as the first outcome of the Congressionally-mandated need to cut defense spending?
The “liberation of Libya” seems to have brought benefits for most of the participants – the Libyan people as a whole, NATO, President Barack Obama, Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron and, very particularly, French President Nicholas Sarkozy.
On September 22, 2011, The Honorable Christian Syse, Deputy Secretary General of the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs addressed Norway’s unique role within the transatlantic alliance, as a founding member of NATO and as an important partner of the European Union. Just shy of EU membership, Norway’s active role is by no means limited to its’ engagement in the European Free Trade Association and the European Economic Area, as witnessed by the nation’s consistent efforts to further greater social and economic cohesion in Central and Eastern Europe. Mr. Syse also offered insights into the future of Norway’s relationship with the European Union, and the considerable challenges facing both Europe and the United States.
The United States and European Union signed this week an agreement to fight illegal fishing which, according to EU estimates, costs EU fishermen 23 billion euro per year. The agreement calls for cooperation and the free flow of information between the EU and US in combating this growing problem.
The world’s newest country, South Sudan, acquired statehood on July 9 as a result of a partition of Sudan that was strongly encouraged by the U.S. (over many years) and ultimately by the EU as a last resort for ending civil war between the largely-Arab north and the sub-Saharan south.
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