The world spins on….

There is good news today on several fronts.  The Arab League, meeting in Cairo, has stated its intention to stop aid to extremists and cooperate in efforts to fight the Islamic State (ISIS).

Also this week, the European Central Bank borrowed a page from the Fed’s playbook, starting the mass buying of securities to fight deflation in the Eurozone.

Obama is set to announce a comprehensive strategy on ISIS — much better than “no strategy,” we hope.

And in the Ukraine, Russia’s President Putin and Ukraine’s President Poroshenko announced a cease-fire and potential peace agreement.

But at the end of the day, these kinds of good news are of the type “The roof is leaking, but the repairman says he is on the way…”    We don’t really know what the repairman will show up with, or if his efforts will do the job, or at what price.

In the Middle east, we are far from knowing whether Arab states will actively join the West in a coalition against ISIS, or what they will contribute.  Especially  critical is their following through on efforts to stop their private citizens from funding ISIS and other extremists; without starving the radicals of funds they will continue to fight on.

It also is not clear how deep the rot is in the Eurozone.  It was depressing that BOTH Italy and Germany had negative economic growth in the most recent quarter, and that France remains flat.  With the largest economies slowing or in reverse, how can the smaller ones hope to recover?  Draghi’s new playbook is an admission that the old one failed to do the job of reviving Europe’s economy.  A sick Europe doesn’t look particularly frightening to Putin or ISIS.

And for both ISIS and the Ukraine, we are a long way from saying the threat of violence and instability is over.  The war against ISIS is just beginning; and the evolution of Ukraine as a newly democratic state has just started.

So let’s hope the repairs on the world’s problems go well; right now we are waiting to see any hopeful results — and worried about the bill!

About jackgoldstone

Hazel Professor of Public Policy at George Mason University
This entry was posted in The Global Economy, The Middle East Revolts, U.S. Politics. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to The world spins on….

  1. mvasiliou94 says:

    I think this is another example of the US being very adept at ending threats and problems in important regions, but is very poor at solving the underlying problems. ISIS is a result of poor planning for the removal of American troops. Now the US has an opportunity to end the threat, and all other ones down the line, by creating an inclusive government and military organization in Iraq. What are your thoughts on “Winning the Peace?”

  2. russell1200 says:

    Cheer up! In international affairs, there is always a roof leaking somewhere. The bad news is when nobody calls for the repairmen, or their is none to be had. In 1914, key participants didn’t want to call a repairman. Granted, these are some big holes in some pretty big roofs, but the call has been made.

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