Foreign Policy Blogs

Archive by Author

South Africa As Regional Broker

Over at the Council on Foreign relations website Francis Kornegay, a senior researcher at the Center for Policy Studies in Johannesburg, and Tom Wheeler, a research fellow at the South African Institute of International Affairs, discuss whether South Africa is living up to its responsibility as Africa's leader in an edifying exchange. Meanwhile other observers […]

read more

Mbeki To Sudan

One of the biggest problems that African policymakers face is the risk of being reduced to one or two usually failing policies. The majority of Americans pay Africa virtually no heed as it is, and so complexity gets lost in favor of simple, and thus simplistic, renderings of African leaders. Ask even educated Americans (or, […]

read more

The Aral Sea Disaster, part 3: Living the climate change prophecy

The Aral Sea Disaster, part 3: Living the climate change prophecy

Until writing these posts, I visualized desertification as an encroaching edge.  Climate research shows, though, that desertification works on a pocket approach: a little desert here, and a little desert there, like brush fires, gradually grow into one very large swathe of hostile landmass.  This pocket-to-pocket desertification is occurring in the Gobi Deserts of Mongolia […]

read more

Gourevitch On Zimbabwe

Philip Gourevitch has a fine piece in the latest New Yorker about the plight of Zimbabwe. There is not a lot that will be new to readers of this blog, but it provides a nice summary of Mugabe's treachery and South Africa's laissez faire response.

read more

Actions count: New gas cartels, old friends, etc

Actions count: New gas cartels, old friends, etc

A UPI report announcing the potential formation of a new world gas cartel has political and economic implications for Central Asia: High oil prices have lent Putin's Russia an apparent  power in the world market, and fears of a new Russia-led gas cartel have been fanned over the past year.  A meeting in Doha, Qatar between Russian, Venezuelan, Iranian, and other […]

read more

The Aral Sea Disaster, part 2: Soviet irrigation

The Aral Sea Disaster, part 2: Soviet irrigation

100-plus years of accelerating irrigation, destruction Though the Environmental Justice Project blames the Aral Sea disaster upon Karimov's regime, this is not strictly correct (or even useful).  The Aral Sea disaster is a mostly ignored but challenging legacy to Central Asia's leadership as a whole.  Uzbekistan is the prime violator of sustainable water regimes, but Karimov […]

read more

Thabo Mbeki and South Africa’s Regional Reputation

In some ways these ought to be salad days for Thabo Mbeki and South Africa. The country's continued growth rate has been in the black for something like one hundred straight months, a claim that few countries in the world can stake. South Africa, already arguably Africa's hottest tourist destination, is poised to show the […]

read more

Uzbekistan Update: EU effaces, journalist charged

Last week, April 2-5, EU representatives visited Uzbekistan to discuss sanctions after a cool meeting on March 28.  Uzbekistan's Minister of Foreign Relations said that Uzbekistan would not be lectured to, nor would it countenance any interference in its domestic affairs.  Despite these strong words, the EU's Ferrero-Waldner has said that Uzbekistan is “re-thinking” its […]

read more

The Aral Sea Disaster, part 1: Count the cost

The Aral Sea Disaster, part 1: Count the cost

Three ways to measure degradation: Micklin (2000) writes that the Aral Sea is a surface-fed rather than groundwater-fed lake: it relies upon water contributions from the Amu Darya and Syr Darya.  Since it is located between Central Asia's Kara-Kum, Kyzyl-Kum, and Baetpakdala deserts, its evaporation rate is relatively high. Lake evaporation contributes, however, to the atmospheric and […]

read more

Afghanistan: IMU in Pakistan's Waziristan region

I’ve been remiss in failing to note Joshua Foust's ongoing analyses of events concerning Central Asia's most notorious terrorist group, the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU).   Supposedly, Pakistan's troops have annhiliated the IMU in Waziristan–but–  Today, Mr. Foust reports at Registan from a careful look at news sources and analysts, that the Waziristan conflict may not be going as advertised.   The whole thread […]

read more

Mbeki Moderates

Thabo Mbeki is worried that eleven months is not enough time to provide a climate for Zimbabwe to hold free and fair elections. SADC appointed Mbeki to serve as mediator between Robert Mugabe's ruling ZANU-PF, which put the old tyrant up as the party's candidate to serve another term in office, and the Movement for […]

read more

Africa And Oil

One of the many reasons why Africa ought to matter more to the United States than it does is because it will continue to provide an important source of oil imports. This week Slate has been running four excerpts from John Ghazvinian's book Untapped: The Scramble For Africa's Oil. The excerpts include: Does Africa Measure […]

read more

Casual Friday: Rumi at the Freer-Sackler

Another event celebrating the life and work of Jalal al-Din Rumi: If you are going to be in Washington, D.C. on April 12, you might consider getting a ticket to the Freer-Sackler's upcoming concert of Rumi's music and poetry.  Neva Ozgen, a master of the Turkish kemanche (a kind of fiddle) will be accompanied by Bansuri flutist […]

read more

Casual Friday: Where is Afghanistan again?

Casual Friday: Where is Afghanistan again?

Now here's something to talk about when you are out at dinner tonight: The Foreign Policy Association (yes, This Foreign Policy Association) recently cited some unhappy statistics.  Ninety percent of the schoolchildren in the United States cannot identify Afghanistan on a map, despite the fact that our troops and reconstruction teams have been there since just […]

read more

Central Asia & Climate change: Overview

Central Asia & Climate change: Overview

In order to understand the issues of climate change in Central Asia, one has to understand the nature of water distribution in the region.  First of all, Asia is a large continent, with less shoreline per land mass than other continents.  This has profound effects on its ability to obtain water, particularly in the Central […]

read more

About the Author

FPA Administrator
FPA Administrator

Blog updates from the FPA online editorial team and op-ed publisher for special contributors.

americasdiplomats_socialmediaasset

Blog Authors

FPA Administrator