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Gates Sheds New Light on Obama’s Afghan Dysfunctions

Gates Sheds New Light on Obama’s Afghan Dysfunctions

My last post noted how the blockbuster memoir by Robert M. Gates reinforces the points many observers have made about the defects of the Obama administration’s national security process.  The revelations also bolster 

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Obama Should Take Bob Gates’s Criticism to Heart

Obama Should Take Bob Gates’s Criticism to Heart

In earlier posts (herehere, and here), I argued that the Obama administration’s national security process is plagued by extreme insularity, centralization and politicization.  This is a widely held criticism, regularly repeated not just by …

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Time for Some Realism in U.S.-India Relations

Time for Some Realism in U.S.-India Relations

In a piece on Foreign Policy’s website the other week, Tim Roemer, the immediate past U.S. ambassador in New Delhi, urged Washington officials to pay closer attention to India as a geopolitical and economic partner.  In his view, the country needs to be at the center of …

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Sorry China – The U.S. is the One Making Space History

Sorry China – The U.S. is the One Making Space History

This past weekend, China became the third country to land a spacecraft intact on the moon.  The unmanned Chang’e-3 probe subsequently deployed a robot rover that will explore the lunar surface for the next three months, while the landing vehicle will conduct scientific experiments for the coming year.  Beijing’s accomplishment …

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The China Hype is now being tested in Asia

The China Hype is now being tested in Asia

Criticizing the conventional wisdom about the inevitability of China’s global ascendancy and American strategic decline is a regular preoccupation for this page.  Indeed, a recent post took aim at the prevailing notion, subscribed to by a wide-ranging group that includes Barack Obama and Sarah Palin, …

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Obama: Can the “Lonely Guy” Be an Effective Foreign Policy Leader?

Obama: Can the “Lonely Guy” Be an Effective Foreign Policy Leader?

In earlier posts (herehere,here and here), I’ve argued that the Obama administration’s national security process is plagued by extreme insularity, centralization and politicization.  Ultimately, however, these institutional problems …

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The Conventional Wisdom is Schizoid about U.S. Power

The Conventional Wisdom is Schizoid about U.S. Power

The conventional wisdom about America’s global standing wants to have it both ways.  The narrative about last month’s fiscal melodrama in Washington emphasizes how wildly dysfunctional domestic politics are quickening the country’s strategic decline and how China is emerging as the beneficiary.  Yet at the same time the outrage over …

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Common Problems Subverting Obamacare and U.S. Foreign Policy

Common Problems Subverting Obamacare and U.S. Foreign Policy

The management flaws now coming to light in the implementation of the president’s signature domestic achievement have long been evident in the foreign policy realm.  As I argue in a new essay on Fair Observer’s website, the White House’s policymaking machinery is …

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U.S. Smart Power is Taking a Beating

U.S. Smart Power is Taking a Beating

In his journey to the White House, Barack Obama made much hay railing against his predecessor’s supposedly go-it-alone mindset and penchant for foreign policy unilateralism.  With memories still fresh of the spectacular rupture between Washington and its traditional European allies over the Iraq war, Obama’s claim to be the “anti-Bush” …

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U.S.-India Relations: The Overshadowed Summit

U.S.-India Relations: The Overshadowed Summit

The U.S.-India relationship is enveloped these days by grand rhetoric.  But for a reality check on the state of bilateral affairs, look no further than the summit meeting between President Obama and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh two weeks ago.  The get-together was designed …

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Missing the Real Story about Miss America

Missing the Real Story about Miss America

I have a commentary piece in today’s San Jose Mercury News that argues:
Much of the focus since Nina Davuluri’s crowning as this year’s Miss America has been on the racist attacks on social media directed at this …

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Private Enterprise and the U.S.-China Power Contest

Private Enterprise and the U.S.-China Power Contest

A central focus of this blog is handicapping the global power sweepstakes between the United States and China. And a regular theme here is the role private enterprise is playing in revitalizing U.S. strategic power – whether it’s in the

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China and the Dangerous Shoal of Reform

China and the Dangerous Shoal of Reform

Two recent news items out of China have raised expectations that the new leadership in Beijing intends to push ahead with major market-oriented policies.  The first is an announcement that a key Communist Party conclave will gather in November to set out an economic …

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India Should Not Leave Nawaz Sharif Hanging

India Should Not Leave Nawaz Sharif Hanging

Renewed military tensions in the disputed Kashmir region are once again underscoring how even localized incidents there can subvert important diplomatic initiatives between India and Pakistan.  Skirmishes this past January put the brakes on the détente process that picked up steam last year.  …

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Will China Miss Out on the Shale Energy Revolution?

Will China Miss Out on the Shale Energy Revolution?

Consider this striking paradox: Just as the Energy Information Administration announces that new shale discoveries are driving record increases in U.S. proved oil reserves and near-record additions in proved natural gas reserves, huge energy companies are reporting 

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About the Author

David J. Karl
David J. Karl

David J. Karl is president of the Asia Strategy Initiative, an analysis and advisory firm that has a particular focus on South Asia. He serves on the board of counselors of Young Professionals in Foreign Policy and previously on the Executive Committee of the Southern California chapter of TiE (formerly The Indus Entrepreneurs), the world's largest not-for-profit organization dedicated to promoting entrepreneurship.

David previously served as director of studies at the Pacific Council on International Policy, in charge of the Council’s think tank focused on foreign policy issues of special resonance to the U.S West Coast, and was project director of the Bi-national Task Force on Enhancing India-U.S. Cooperation in the Global Innovation Economy that was jointly organized by the Pacific Council and the Federation of Indian Chambers & Industry. He received his doctorate in international relations at the University of Southern California, writing his dissertation on the India-Pakistan strategic rivalry, and took his masters degree in international relations from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies.

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