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Turkish questions over Libya

After the events, the punditry - and, with the international intervention on Libya, there's an awful lot of punditry going around. Some is good, some, as ever, not so much. The first big problem is trying to sift through to try to find the really valuable information among the tonnes of opinion debris. The second is to track down the angles and issues that the punditry machine has so far missed out on.

This morning, Dimitar Bechev (the head of ECFR's Sofia office) led a policy call that looked at the delicate positioning that is going on in Ankara over Libya. The background is complicated - Turkey is a NATO member with close (and frustrated) links to the EU, yet it is developing a strong independent streak and sees itself as a vital regional power and a model for democratic governments in the Muslim world. There was, as you can imagine, a lot to discuss - and it is also an issue

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Libya and the international coalition

I was about to pack up after a long day in the corner of ECFR's London office when I was approached (and literally cornered) by Daniel Korski and Anthony Dworkin, asking if they we could quickly record a podcast on Libya and the challenges facing the international coalition.

That's the thing about such difficult and interesting times - there's always so much to talk about, to understand, to analyse. So I said yes - click here for the podcast.

I hope you find it interesting. There is undoubtedly much, much more to talk about, so keep your eyes on the blog and the rest of the website as the situation unfolds...

Benghazi, Kosovo and Auschwitz

Germany's attitude to military intervention in Libya provides a striking contrast to its attitude to military intervention in Kosovo in 1999. The decision to send German Tornados on bombing missions as part of Operation Allied Force - the first time German troops had taken part in major combat missions since World War II - was a momentous one, which was preceded by a tortuous debate about German identity after Auschwitz that centred on perceived parallels between ethnic cleansing in the Balkans and the Holocaust. At times, the debate seemed somewhat narcissistic. But at the end of it, the centre-left "red-green" government of Gerhard Schröder and Joscka Fischer not only supported the military intervention but committed German troops as part of a humanitarian intervention even though it did not have a mandate from the United Nations Security Council.

Twelve years later, the

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Black Coffee Morning: Charles Clarke on migration

“Hard hats versus open-toed sandals”: managing migration while protecting rights

Is the fact of having a secure border a breach of fundamental rights by its very existence? Is a cap on the overall number of migrants, or sections of the migrant population desirable, or is it indeed possible under international law? Is an amnesty for illegal migrants a helpful initiative for moving the debate forward and starting again from scratch? How should we handle the close links between illegal migration and serious and organised crime? Which is the greater pressure – overcrowding or serious skills and labour gaps in the UK economy? All the thorny issues were up for discussion in the Black Coffee Morning that ECFR hosted yesterday with Charles Clarke, former UK Home Secretary, and ECFR Council member.

Charles Clarke talked very frankly about the challenges of managing migration in a way

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Bahrain – prospects for gradual reform turn sour

Since the protests across the Arab world began, we have been hurriedly turning our attention from one revolution to the next – Tunisia and then Egypt – and then grappling with the question on whether or not to intervene when the reactions to protest turn very nasty, as in Libya. But there are also a set of countries – Morocco, Algeria - where the results of the protest have been less dramatic, but the governments have indicated willingness for dialogue and potentially reform over the longer term, in the fields of corruption, boosting the economy, increasing opportunity for employment and housing. This set of countries presents a no less complex challenge for the international community than the crisis countries, in terms of whether we could genuinely gear itself up to offer more support where there is more willingness for reform, but for now, this question appears to be on the back

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