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Analysis by Walter Russell Mead & Staff
September 17, 2014
Crude Calculus

What Offshore Oil Might Mean for an Independent Scotland

Though oil production in the North Sea is on the decline, tomorrow’s historic independence vote in Scotland will both affect and be affected by those offshore reserves.

Scot Free?

Will Scottish Independence Create a Bandwagon Effect?

Scotland’s referendum to break away from the UK might increase demands for independence across Europe.

The Middle East and Beyond

The Coalition That Isn’t

President Obama’s anti-ISIS coalition-building effort isn’t going very well so far.

Education Innovation

Could the Apprenticeship Model Work Here?

Policy makers are looking to solve the U.S. skills gap by importing German-style apprenticeship into the U.S. Employers, however, are wary about investing in a vocationally mobile population.

Scottish Canary

Spain to Catalonia: Don’t Expect to Follow Scotland’s Example

Spain is taking a hard line against a planned referendum on Catalonian independence, while warning of the bad example that Scottish independence would set.

Reforming Delivery

Virtual Doctors’ Visits Go Mainstream

UCLA’s health system is normalizing telemedicine by giving patients 24/7 access to online consultations. Reforms like this are desparately needed, because they save the health care system money as well as saving patients time

Rise of Xi

China’s Anti-Corruption Purge Hits Energy Projects Hard

The anti-graft campaign has so reduced the leadership of CNPC, China’s biggest state-owned energy company, that operations have ceased at many drilling sites in shale-rich Sichuan province.

Putin & Al-Baghdadi

Genocidal Murders and Ordinary Thuggery

There is no moral equivalence between the Islamic State and Putin’s Russia—the first is a genocidal totalitarianism while the second is brutally authoritarian, but not genocidal. But both want to carve out new or enlarged states across internationally recognized borders, both threaten international stability, and both ultimately legitimate themselves in religious terms.

Asia's Game of Thrones

China Woos Sri Lanka, Wins New Port City

China is paying for a host of Sri Lankan infrastructure and developing projects as part of Xi’s plan to secure a “maritime Silk Road” for Chinese trade. China’s economic might gives it lots of leverage in the Game of Thrones.

Energy Weapons

Sanctions Threaten Future of Siberian Shale

Russia claims the most recent round of energy sanctions—targeting partnerships with foreign companies to extract unconventional oil and gas reserves—won’t have an effect on future production. Moscow’s creation of a crisis fund for sanctions-hit companies suggests otherwise.

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