TOP NEWS: Nat’l Security / Foreign Affairs: June 25, 2012

More news and excerpts below

 EGYPT: Named Egypt’s Winner, Islamist Makes History

David D. Kirkpatrick, NY Times – Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood moved Monday into the presidential office last occupied by Hosni Mubarak, claiming a symbolic triumph and a potent weapon for the Islamists in their struggle for power against the country’s top generals.

SYRIA/TURKEY: Syria Defends Shooting Down Turkish Plane

Rod Nordland, Sebnem Arsu and Alan Cowell, NY Times – Syria on Monday defended its shooting down of a Turkish jet fighter but said that the action was not premeditated and that Syria bore “no hostility” to Turkey despite rising tensions between the two neighbors.

AFGHANISTAN‘Little America’: Infighting on Obama team squandered chance for peace in Afghanistan

Rajiv Chandrasekaran, Washington Post – The infighting exacted a staggering cost: The Obama White House failed to aggressively explore negotiations to end the war when it had the most boots on the battlefield.

GREECERelief, but little hope in Greece

Economist – Greece has given birth to its first proper coalition government in modern times. The three-party deal, routine by north European standards, emerged smoothly after just 48 hours of negotiations.

MIDDLE EASTEgypt, Syria: Take a Deep Breath, America

Leslie H Gelb*, The Daily Beast – Only American foreign-policy experts who know only “policy” and nothing about actual countries would dare to choose sides in Mideast killings and turmoil. Only such experts would dare to suggest U.S. military intervention as the solution. And they do. But to stare Mideast realities in the face is to understand that we don’t understand where events are leading—save toward more conflict and more blood.

*Leslie H. Gelb has been a guest speaker at The Common Good. Upcoming events listed here.

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EUROZONEG-20 Differs Over Euro Zone

Sudeep Reddy, Carol E. Lee and Christopher Emsden, WSJ - The Group of 20 advanced and developing economies, after a two-day summit, pushed European nations to integrate their banking systems quickly to calm the financial turbulence hitting Spain and threatening to ricochet around the world.  But the gathering produced no acceleration in the timeline for financial integration, such as guaranteeing bank deposits across the 17-nation currency union.

ISRAEL: What Israel knows, and doesn’t know, will change the world

Niall Ferguson, Newsweek Magazine – Israel is the land of argument, and laughter. And, looking at the history of the region along with its current perilous geopolitical currents, it’s easy to get confused between the two reactions.

EGYPT: Challenges Multiply for Presidential Winner in Egypt

Kareem Fahim, NY Times – As his supporters in Tahrir Square were chanting on Sunday for the end of military rule inEgypt, the country’s president-elect, Mohamed Morsi, had glowing words for none other than the army, saying he regarded it with a “love in my heart that only God knows.”

IRAN: ‘Huge Gap’ Frustrates Iran Talks

Ray Takeyh Interviewed by Bernard Gwertzman, CFR - After meetings concluded in Moscow between six world powers and Iran over its nuclear program, fundamental disagreements remain going into a lower-level July 3 meeting in Istanbul, says CFR Iran expert Ray Takeyh. The United States, Britain, France, Russia, China, and Germany (P5+1) have insisted during three rounds of negotiations that Iran suspend its nuclear enrichment program, particularly enriching uranium to a 20 percent level, in return for sanctions relief, says Takeyh.

ISRAEL/PALESTINE/RUSSIA: President Putin’s Middle East Gambit

Jonathan Marcus, BBC - Russian President Vladimir Putin’s two-day trip to Israel and the Palestinian territories may be brief but it is full of symbolism. Mr Putin will unveil a memorial to Russian soldiers of the Second World War at the coastal city of Netanya, a little north of Tel Aviv.

ARAB SPRINGIs Obama to blame for the Arab Spring’s failures?

Jackson Diehl, Washington Post – A year ago Barack Obama described the epic wave of revolution that had begun in Tunisia and Egypt as “a historic opportunity” for the United States “to pursue the world as it should be.” He said America must promote “change that advances self-determination and opportunity.” And he asserted that “we can make a difference” in how the uprising turns out.

FREE TRADE: Free Trade and Regulation: Making Both Better

Edward Alden, CFR - The United States and the European Union are considering the launch of bilateral free trade negotiations, and the issue of what to do over divergent – or unnecessarily duplicative — consumer and environmental protection standards will be perhaps the toughest issue in the negotiations. The long-standing trans-Atlantic dispute over the safety of genetically-modified organisms in food crops is only one of a long list of issues.

TURKEY/SYRIA: Turkish-Syrian Tensions Rise

Joe Parkinson and Nour Malas, WSJ - Turkey raised the stakes in a confrontation over a military jet shot down by Syria on Friday, saying the plane was over international waters when the incident took place—contrary to accounts by Damascus. Ankara also said it plans to formally consult with its allies in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization on how to respond.

ENVIRONMENT: Overcoming Rio+20’s ‘Summit Fatigue’

Thomas Bollyky Interviewed by Toni Johnson, CFR - The Rio+20 conference on sustainable development is unlikely to deliver the sweeping international environmental mandates that followed the original high-level environmental summit of 1992 in Rio, which set the international agenda for the next two decades.

NORTH KOREA/CHINA: North Korea Tests the Patience of Its Closest Ally

Jane Perlez, NY Times -  As Kim Jong-un, the young leader of North Korea, consolidates his grip on power, China is showing signs of increasing frustration at the bellicose behavior of its longtime ally.

GUADALAJARAThe KingpinsThe fight for Guadalajara

William Finnegan, The New Yorker – Mexican President Felipe Calderón has pursued a “kingpin strategy,” like the “deck of cards” that the  United States used in post-Saddam Iraq to track down drug capos. They have so far caught or killed  twenty-two of them, and some cartels seem to have withered after losing their leaders. But organized crime controls more resources today, and sows more terror, than  ever.

EUROZONEThe euro should now be put to the sword

Jeff Randall, The Telegraph – At the heart of the Eurozone disaster is the reluctance of Europe’s self-deluding elite to admit that the single currency was launched on a false premise and shored up by deceit. As long as its members insist that there can be a politically contrived solution to what is essentially a financial crisis, the cost of failure will continue to soar.

MEXICOU.S. and Mexico: Ties That Bind

Larisa Epatko, PBS - As Mexicans move to elect a new president on July 1, whoever wins the keys to the official residence, or Los Pinos, will be tied to the United States in a number of ways: on border security, as trading partners, and as a top energy supplier to its northern neighbor.

WAR ON DRUGS: Man Is Killed by U.S. Agent in Drug Raid in Honduras

Charlie Savage, NY Times – A United States Drug Enforcement Administration agent shot a man to death in Honduras during a raid on a smuggling operation early Saturday…