Daily Archives: May 30, 2013

President Barack Obama’s speech last week on counterterrorism may have proposed the end of one open-ended war for the US but it also signalled the start of a new war – albeit more restrictive and contained. The use of drones in the first got out of hand, but there is no guarantee yet that they will not do so in the new one.

The fallacy and danger of the use of drones is not that they kill terrorists covertly. It is a good thing, after all, that they have decimated al-Qaeda. It is that, rather than being just one tactic in a wider US counterterrorism strategy, drones have become the strategy itself. Read more

The transmission mechanism of the euro area monetary policy is not working properly, as interest rates charged by the banking system vary widely across countries. This hurts small businesses in particular, as they have to rely on bank credit much more than large companies which can issue debt in the capital market. As a result, countries which are implementing fiscal restriction cannot fully benefit from the monetary policy easing implemented by the ECB. Under these conditions the adjustment risks being self-defeating. Read more

In the past few days, we have seen groundbreaking news out of Syria that has not so much transformed the nature of the crisis as confirmed it. It is clearer than ever that the Syrian war will be a long and protracted fight with neither side capable of toppling the other. With Hizbollah and Russia publicly doubling down on supporting President Bashar al-Assad – and Israel reacting with equal and opposite statements – the battle lines are bolder in what is becoming a full-fledged proxy war. Read more