Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Tom Rogan Thinks..

1) The FIFA scandal is a disaster for two reasons. Firstly in the suggestion that the World Cup wins for Qatar and Russia may have been bought. Secondly in that the allegations were not made prior to the World Cup allocation, through fear of defamation suits being brought in English courts. In one example we see the true cost of England's disastrous defamation laws. By the perceived absence of a public interest protection and the heavy burden of evidence that publishers/speakers must present to support their story, speech is avoided and the chilling effect becomes real. Sepp Blatter needs to resign, this should be the final nail in his already heavily nailed coffin. FIFA also now needs to conduct a major investigation into the allegations. If proven, the bid process should be reconstituted and Qatar/Russia stripped of their tournaments.

2) The debate on Afghanistan that is following Bin Laden's death is to be expected, but for me it is also problematic. the Obama counter-insurgency surge (a strategy I wrote in support of - ) has produced major security and governance gains across Afghanistan. These successes are creating space for political reconciliation by building local empowerment that increasingly rejects the Taliban. While the corruption of the Karzai administration is  a major issue and while local governance is no where near the level of proficiency we would hope to see, I would argue that with a little more time (2-3 years) we can and we will reach a point in which violence and meaningful political stability; stability characterized by a just, albeit basic democratic peace will emerge. This evolution will allow an orderly and meaningful withdrawal of forces. We have lost much blood and treasure to the effort in Afghanistan and in a situation where a positive outcome is increasingly possible, we have a strategic and moral responsibility to stay and finish the mission.

3) It is a tragedy that HAMAS still does not accept that they cannot win. There will be no peace until they change their outlook towards Israel or they become politically isolated. I suspect the later will happen. People are tired of the cycles of violence.

5) Finally.. Roberto Mancini successfully navigates the Sea of Egos - Good for him.

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