Archive for March, 2015

Arming Ukraine: What Are The Stakes?

March 14, 2015

New York Times, International, Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Obama Said to Resist Growing Pressure From All Sides to Arm Ukraine, by Peter Baker

WASHINGTON-As America intelligence agencies have detected new Russian tanks and artillery crossing the border into Ukraine in recent days, President Obama is coming under increasing pressure from both parties and more officials inside his own government to send arms to the country.  But he remains unconvinced that they would help…

The Obama administration has committed to sending Ukraine $118 million in nonlethal aid, like night-vision goggles and counter-mortar radar…The administration also expects to send $120 more million worth of aid in the next year, but not lethal aid Ukraine has sought like antitank weapons.

…Mr. Obama is adhering closely to European allies like Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, who has strongly opposed sending arms to Ukraine.  A senior administration official confirmed on Tuesday an Associated Press report that Mr. Obama told Mrs. Merkel when she visited Washington last month that he would hold off sending weaponry during negotiations for a cease-fire.  After that meeting, European, Russian, and Ukrainian leaders meeting in Minsk, the capital of Belarus, crafted a cease-fire…

Mr. McKeon said the administration was wrestling with the consequences of sending weapons to Ukraine.

‘Does this raise the ante? he asked. ‘And then what would Ukraine feel that the United States owes them in terms of additional assistance?  So it’s trying to see down the field to the second third and fourth move on this chessboard.  That’s part of the conversation.”

Up the ante is used in card games to raise the stakes of the game.  In terms of international games stakes, such as arms to Ukraine, it makes the game or the war more difficult.

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The Bar Has Been Set Much Higher For Human Rights Litigation

March 6, 2015

The New York Times, Friday, March 6, 2015

Business Day

Companies Turn Tables on Human Rights Lawyers, by Barry Meier

“Terrence Hollingsworth is one of a band of lawyers who have targeted multinational corporations for mistreating workers abroad. Now they find themselves on the defensive…

The problems engulfing Mr. Hollingsworth underscore the mounting difficulties facing a small group of plaintiff’s lawyers who have carved out a niche suing multinational corporations on charges that they violated human rights overseas.

‘The bar has been set higher, for human rights litigation’ said Susan H. Farbstein, a law professor at Harvard.”

The bar being set higher for this litigation makes it more difficult to sue multinational corporations.