The Guardian – Julian Borger / Iran denies Donald Trump claim that US destroyed drone in Strait of Hormuz
- Iran has denied that a US warship brought down one of its drones in the strait of Hormuz. The incident was first revealed by Donald Trump, who said that USS Boxer took defensive action after the drone came within 1,000 yards of the warship and ignored multiple calls to stand down.
- “This is the latest of many provocative and hostile actions by Iran against vessels operating in international waters. The United States reserves the right to defend our personnel, facilities and interests, and calls upon all nations to condemn Iran’s attempts to disrupt freedom of navigation and global commerce,” said Trump.
- “We have not lost any drone in the Strait of Hormuz nor anywhere else. I am worried that USS Boxer has shot down their own UAS [unmanned aerial system] by mistake!” countered the Iranian deputy foreign minister, Abbas Araqchi.
- The Pentagon said in a statement that the USS Boxer, an amphibious assault ship, had taken “defensive action” against a drone, but did not mention whether the aircraft was Iranian.
- The New York Times – David E. Sanger / Iran’s foreign minister proposes modest deal to end impasse with US
Project Syndicate – Shlomo Ben-Ami / No economic peace for Palestinians
- Last month, Senior White House Adviser Jared Kushner unveiled an ambitious plan to strengthen the Palestinian economy, in the hopes that billions of dollars in investment will open the way for an Israeli-Palestinian peace settlement. The plan is divorced from reality and doomed to fail.
- Kushner’s plan fails to mention, let alone address, some of the highest barriers to Palestine’s economic development, such as Israel’s arbitrary use of Palestinian natural resources and its security checkpoints, which stymie free movement and raise the cost of transportation.
- But dismantling these barriers wouldn’t even be enough. The Palestinian national movement remains in its revolutionary phase, when economic considerations always come second to political aspirations.
- For the Palestinians, accepting an economic deal that is not an annex to a convincing political solution would be tantamount to betraying Palestinian refugees – and, indeed, the dream of statehood – for a fistful of dollars. But, rather than rejecting such payoffs outright, the Palestinians should make an offer of their own.
Financial Times – Martin Sandbu / It has been a good week for climate change policy
- This week, a joint statement by France’s Council of Economic Analysis (CAE) and Germany’s Council of Economic Experts showed a consensus at the highest echelons of the two countries’ policy economists in calling for a uniform carbon price levied on all economic sectors in all EU countries.
- Both groups have contemplated a radical proposal (clearly in response to the political trauma of the gilets jaunes protests in France): that any revenues from carbon taxes be returned to the private sector rather than enter the government budget to be used for other purposes.
- Moreover, both groups have raised the possibility of linking trade openness to trading partners’ efforts to combat climate change. A report by the German council envisages a “carbon border adjustment”. This would be a tax on the CO2 content of imported goods.
- Even in the political arena, signs are good. In her pitch to the European Parliament, Ursula von der Leyen vowed to expand the coverage of the EU system of tradable emissions permits, to introduce a carbon border tax on imports, and to envisage a “just transition fund” to support “people and regions” most affected by climate change policy.
European Council on Foreign Relations – Ulrike Franke & Tara Varma / Independence play: Europe’s pursuit of strategic autonomy
- The debate on European strategic autonomy remains overly focused on US criticism of the EU.
- EU member states do not agree on the geographical and functional level of ambition they should adopt in pursuing strategic autonomy.
- Member states have a conflicted approach to strategic autonomy: even those that do not fully support the concept argue that the EU should develop more capabilities.
- Member states are unsure how Brexit will affect their strategic autonomy.
- To fulfil its true potential, the EU needs to end its strategic cacophony and focus on capability building.
- European strategic autonomy is – like European sovereignty and strategic sovereignty – one of many concepts that seek to promote a more capable, independent EU at a time of growing geopolitical competition.
The selected pieces do not necessarily reflect the views of Javier Solana and ESADEgeo. The summaries above may include word-for-word excerpts from their respective pieces.