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Weekly Roundup
Schrödinger's Bank, Middle-Class Myopia, and the Fruits of "Smart Diplomacy"

Good afternoon, TAI readers! We trust you’re enjoying what’s left of your weekend. As you gear up for the week ahead, take the time to look back on what you may have missed on the site over the week behind:

A “job well done” in Libya? As the North African country implodes, the so-called “smart diplomacy” behind the 2011 intervention is becoming a punch line, writes Walter Russell Mead. The Libyan afterparty has become something of a nightmare, and if President Obama was a Republican, Mead muses, the press would be having a field day.

Is the US-Africa Leaders Summit all about China? Many analysts see the upcoming event as such—as a way for the US to counter China’s extensive investments and keen recent interest in the continent. But Dane Erickson believes this narrative misses both geopolitical realities and commercial opportunities, alike.

So why is this Gaza war different from all the other Gaza wars? Adam Garfinkle asks and answers this question, and points out that the solution to this “recurring nightmare” is the same as it’s been in the past, but that this solution remains unlikely.

Schrödinger’s bank is ready for business. On July 15, policymakers met in Fortaleza, Brazil to sign an agreement to start the BRICS Development Bank. As Bruce D. Jones observes, with this new endeavor it appears that the BRICS are attempting to exist both inside and outside of the liberal international order.

The costs of America’s middle-class myopia: Peter Augustine Lawler argues that a cultural fascination with the welfare of the American middle class is blinding our nation to a deeper understanding of freedom and flourishing.

Russia, Ukraine, and the Rule of Law. Russian operatives ought to be dragged before the International Criminal Court for their role in downing flight MH17, argues Ruth Wedgwood.

We were waiting for a verdict. Indonesia’s General Election Commission released the official results of the country’s presidential elections this week. Catriona Croft-Cusworth outlines the reasons why this contest isn’t over yet.

The Gaza conflict is not the product of accidents and misunderstandings. Rather, it is a clash of strategies between Israel and Hamas, and with “essential interests” at stake, we’re likely in for a longer and uglier war than usual, writes Walter Russell Mead.

Are we on our way to another “frozen conflict” in Ukraine? In the aftermath of the MH17 crash, many Western policymakers have agitated for an immediate ceasefire and a political solution to the Ukrainian conflict. Svante E. Cornell sees this as a path towards another frozen conflict along Russia’s periphery, and argues that the West needs to throw its weight behind Ukraine and its bid to restore full sovereignty over its territory.

Is American power in terminal decline? Many polled in recent surveys seem to think so, but Ali Wyne thinks that this somewhat pessimistic take on America’s standing in the world reflects an outdated conception of power.

Does Moscow respect the value of a human life? The downing of flight MH17 gives a clear indication of Russia’s view of human life as expendable, writes David Satter. The West’s response needs to show Putin that these actions, and the values they represent, have consequences in today’s world.

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  • Andrew Allison

    Re: Schrödinger’s bank. A bit catty?

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