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China's Links to North Korea's Nukes

FT: A European meltdown could trigger a global crisis. GlobalPost: The US is likely to dramatically shift its Afghan war strategy. Globe and Mail: WikiLeaks will cause even greater secrecy.

China should be punished for supporting North Korea’s nuclear program

Columnist Bret Stephens writes in the Wall Street Journal that there is good reason to believe that China has actively supported North Korea’s efforts to build its nuclear program. The North would not have been able to come as far as it has without China’s assistance.

QUOTE: This is not the behavior of a status quo power, but of a revolutionary one supporting activities and regimes that represent the most acute threat to global security. If it continues unchecked, it is China that should be sanctioned—and the North's facilities destroyed.

European meltdown could trigger global crisis

Columnist Gideon Rachman writes in the Financial Times that an “economic meltdown” in Europe would rattle the entire world. Given that the European Union as a whole is the world’s largest economy, if it fell apart, it could trigger phase two of the global financial crisis.

QUOTE: The historically-minded point out that the Great Depression began in the US with the crash of 1929 – but was gravely worsened by the outbreak of a banking crisis in Europe two years later.

The global community needs the US-Russia arms control treaty

Bruce Blair, the co-coordinator of the nonproliferation group Global Zero, and Damon Bosetti and Brian Weeden, former launch-duty officers at a Minuteman missile base in Montana, write in the New York Times that the global community needs the New Start arms-control treaty. It could lead to even more cuts in nuclear arsenals in the United States, Russia and eventually around the world.

QUOTE: The initial goal of these multilateral talks should be the phased reduction of their arsenals. The longer-term goal is elimination of all nuclear weapons.

The US is likely to dramatically shift its Afghan war strategy

Executive Editor and Vice President C.M. Sennott writes in GlobalPost that the United States might be drastically changing its policy in Afghanistan soon and shifting away from one of winning hearts and minds and towards intense urban warfare. He states that the Soviets tried this as well – and failed.

QUOTE: The struggle between the effectiveness of armor and the threat it poses to civilian populations is as old as mechanized war, but it is a moral dilemma that the United States is likely to face head on in the coming months.

The global community neglects North Korea’s people

Columnist Jonah Goldberg writes in the Los Angeles Times that the global community vigorously debates how to force North Korea to end its nuclear program, but it virtually ignores the plight of the North Korean people themselves.

QUOTE: Stopping Pyongyang's nuclear weapons program is rightly a priority because of the threat it poses to the US and our allies. But it should also be a priority because, if we don't, the regime may stagger on for another half-century of barbarous cruelty.

If Europe falls apart, it will no longer be a positive global influence

Moisés Naím, a senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, writes in the International Herald Tribune that if the eurozone breaks up, it will have terrible effects on not only Europe but also the entire world. Europe’s decline would cause it to stop having a positive political and economic impact on other nations.

QUOTE: I do not know if the ambitious project of European integration will survive the enormous obstacles it currently faces. But I do know that if it fails, the entire world will pay the consequences.

WikiLeaks will cause even greater secrecy

Paul Heinbecker, a former Canadian ambassador to the United Nations, writes in Toronto’s Globe and Mail that WikiLeaks has forever changed diplomacy. He argues that the leaks will ironically lead to greater secrecy as nations try to prevent this from happening again.

QUOTE: The irony of the WikiLeaks attempt to force openness is that it is very likely to increase secrecy and decrease accountability. The public’s right to know, and historians’ ability to explain, will both be casualties.

One Washington official has the courage to try to fix the economy

Columnist Eugene Robinson writes in the Washington Post that US Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke is the only US official with the courage to try to fix the nation’s economy and the decency to be honest about the country’s economic state.

QUOTE: After last month's election, Republicans are in a mood to strut and Democrats in a mood to fret. But one official in Washington, at least, is focused on using all the powers of his office to try to make the economy grow and put Americans back to work.

Obama loses tax cut negotiation

Author John Avlon writes in the Daily Beast that President Obama’s decision to extend the Bush tax cuts has disappointed the left and delighted the right. Avlon argues that it showed both sides that Obama’s preference for resolving conflicts with reasoning between all parties fails during this sort of negotiation.

QUOTE: His opponents are playing remorseless politics, and this leaves Obama at a tactical disadvantage. He is by nature a bridge-builder and the margins keep getting moved as he strains to make a deal.

Don’t blame poverty on the ‘resource curse’

Charles Kenny, a senior fellow at the Center for Global Development and a Schwartz fellow at the New America Foundation, writes in Foreign Policy that the widely held belief in a so-called resource curse – the idea that nations with great natural wealth become plagued by poverty – may actually be false. The world’s resource wealthiest nations per capita actually have higher than average per capita income, and recent economists have found that countries with higher resource wealth have grown faster than those with less.

QUOTE: It is true that many countries that rely heavily on natural resource exports are poor and unstable. That's because poor and unstable countries are rarely globally competitive in banking or computer design.