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Must Reads of the Week: Sikorski and the EU, Conflict in CAR, Nigeria's Kidnapped Girls, and More

Author: CFR.org Editors
May 2, 2014

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Can Radek Sikorski Save Europe?
By Michael Weiss
Foreign Policy

"Sikorski is seen as a possible successor to Catherine Ashton, the EU's foreign-policy chief, when her five-year term ends this year. But has he been pleased with how Brussels has responded to the Ukraine crisis as compared with Washington, which has passed more stringent sanctions against Russia and has taken a generally more combative diplomatic line? It would be an unfair comparison, he said, to expect the European Union to act like the United States—or Russia, for that matter."

Joaquin "Shorty" Guzman, known as El Chapo, is escorted by soldiers during a presentation at the Navy's airstrip in Mexico City February 22, 2014.Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, Mexico's captured drug kingpin, is escorted by soldiers during a presentation at the Navy's airstrip in Mexico City on February 22, 2014. (Photo: Henry Romero/Courtesy Reuters)
Nigeria's Stolen Girls
By Alexis Okeowo
New Yorker

"The circumstances of the kidnapping, and the military's deception, especially, have exposed a deeply troubling aspect of Nigeria's leadership: when it comes to Boko Haram, the government cannot be trusted."

The Hunt for El Chapo
By Patrick Radden Keefe
New Yorker

"[Joaquin] Guzman has been characterized by the U.S. Treasury Department as "the world's most powerful drug trafficker," and after the killing of Osama bin Laden, three years ago, he became perhaps the most wanted fugitive on the planet. Mexican politicians promised to bring him to justice, and the U.S. offered a five-million-dollar reward for information leading to his capture."

To Save the Pivot, Obama Must Disown It
By Nikolas Gvosdev
World Politics Review

"We've already seen that the U.S. cannot pursue the pivot—undertaking the painstaking steps needed to resolve disputes, build up cooperation and lay the foundations of new regional organizations—while key personnel in the national security establishment remain distracted by crises and events in other parts of the world. By the time a crisis in Asia puts it at the top of the agenda, it will already be too late to play catch-up; the goal has to be to have understandings and mechanisms already in place."

Hell Is an Understatement
By Graeme Wood
New Republic

"About 15 percent of Central Africans are Muslims, and for much of the country's 54-year history, they lived in relative harmony with the Christian majority. But in the last year, CAR has collapsed—first in a spasm of political violence and now in a grisly carnival of factional and religious slaughter that has left it one of the very worst places on Earth."

Turkey's Erdogan: One of the World's Most Determined Internet Censors
By Joe Parkinson, Sam Schechner, and Emre Peker
Wall Street Journal

"Mr. Erdogan's shake-up, a rapid-fire response to a power struggle with political enemies, has left Internet companies and government officials from Washington to Brussels worried that Turkey could become a template for other countries where leaders want to rein in the Internet without cracking down with as much force as China or Iran."

The Falafel Index: A Way to Assess Purchasing Power in the Middle East
By Adam Heffez
Forbes

"While the complexities of purchasing power cannot be wrapped up in a sandwich, the Falafel Index offers an insight into the underlying economic problems that confront a strategic region."

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