October 2011

The Empire Strikes Back: European Energy and the Return of Gazprom


Compared to the Eurozone’s public finances, European energy policy looks decidedly bright. Capacity margins are high, prices are low, even emissions have dropped of late. The EU's 'Third Package' of gas and power market reforms, which took effect in March, is set to further enhance supply security, increase competition and improve consumer choice and services. It all sounds very good, but the problem is that such 'policy hits' are grounded in weak fundamentals–not silver bullet policy making.  Shale gas developments have turned LNG markets on their head, while deep seated financial frailties and economic slumps have kept fundamentals weak and growth anemic across EU27 states. That's making energy policy look good, and political populism all too easy.

Growing Afghanistan Doubts

By Mark Thompson

Concern inside the U.S. military that Afghanistan is not going to end well is heating up. It's always been simmering, but now seems to be coming to a slow boil. Lately, at least in private conversations with officers up and down the chain, the concerns are becoming louder.