– Over at Politico, Ben Smith has more news about the Secretary of State’s big foreign policy speech, to be delivered today at the Council on Foreign Relations. Placing the last six months of US diplomacy into perspective, it will also offer Hillary the chance to begin putting her own distinctive stamp on policy. As Smith comments:
Clinton appears increasingly comfortable expressing her views. State Department officials have suggested that she’s been a hawkish internal voice, pushing Obama toward more confrontational stances toward adversaries from Iran to Cuba.
– The NYT has an interesting article highlighting the importance of water, as well as land, to Middle East peace. “[W]hen it comes to water”, Stanley Weiss suggests, “every nation is in the same boat”.
– Elsewhere, the FT’s Brussels blog identifies five priorities for the next European Commission – defending the single market; reforming financial regulation; clarifying climate change and energy security policy; unifying a foreign policy voice; and finally the small matter of appointing a new President. Deutsche Welle, meanwhile, has an interview with Hans-Gert Pöttering, the outgoing President of the European Parliament.
– Finally, a veritable slew of polls – well ok, two – on British defence spending. A PoliticsHome poll suggests 66% of voters feel defence should be protected from inevitable cuts in public spending (79% among Conservative supporters, 64% for Labour supporters, and 49% among Lib Dems). Details here. The Guardian, meanwhile has an interesting ICM poll (pdf) indicating that 54% of British voters now support nuclear disarmament, with only 42% in favour of replacing Trident.