February 27th, 2013
In the last few years—and particularly since Vladamir Putin retook power—Russia has increasingly retreated to Cold War tendencies. Russia’s relationship with the United States has soured over its ban on American adoptions of Russian children, a clash over its missile defense problem, and USAID’s democracy promotion efforts. This week, in perhaps the most obvious flashback of all, President Putin announced his nation requires an immediate and massive military upgrade by 2016. And the former KGB agent plans to spend $750 billion over the next seven years to accomplish it.
Yet Russia’s existential threat is not from the United States. No,...
November 22nd, 2010
“Coffee shops” are causing trouble and increasing crime rates in small Dutch towns that border neighboring countries. To some degree it’s drug tourism, visitors coming from other countries to engage in infamous Dutch, legal pastimes. However, these “coffee shops” that sell drugs are also facilitating the expansion of organized crime and of the underground economies both in the Netherlands and in neighboring states. As the underground economy grows, the government’s ability to govern slowly erodes, and the bigger fish become harder to track and catch.
While drug tourism is a small problem compared to, for example, a corrupt African official...