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Friday's Links

1) Speculation in Pakistan is increasing over whether President Asif Ali Zardari will survive in office much longer. The constant threat of military coups is the elephant in the room, especially after Zardari attempted to place the ISI under civilian control. Moreover, Pakistani politics are riddled with ever-shifting alliances and corrupt political actors lacking any […]

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Inequality in India

Despite the global recession, the number of Indian billionaires has nearly doubled in just a year. Political science and democratic theorists have long held that the more unequal distribution of wealth, the harder it is to sustain democratic government. Indeed, the Guardian writes that .00001% of India’s population account for a full quarter of its […]

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Wednesday's Tabs

1) To nobody’s surprise, Somalia is the most corrupt country on earth—followed closely by Iraq and Afghanistan. Transparency International wrote in its report, “When essential institutions are weak or non-existent, corruption spirals out of control.” The task, then, for America is institution building—but is it willing to spend the time and effort to create civil […]

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Deep Thought

If the United States is going to criticize Pakistan for not securing their border with Afghanistan, maybe we should be making sure that the other side of the border is sealed, too.

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On The Future Of War

Stephen Walt is spot on with this blog post. COIN enthusiasts are among the many in Washington who believe American foreign policy must maintain an aggressive missionary aspect. This isn’t really a problem—we should be striving to make the world a better place—but it currently manifests itself in ways that are prone to failure and […]

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The Senate Killed Copenhagen

Foreign Policy asks the question: “Who Killed Copenhagen?” FP does list hapless Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev), but the real culprit is the institution itself: the United States Senate. Indeed, the Senate is where bills go to die. American healthcare reform has been slowed and stalled throughout the year in the upper house. But […]

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Monday's Tabs

1) Russian President Dmitry Medvedev’s State of the Nation address sounds good—but Julia Ioffe is skeptical in the pages of Foreign Policy. 2) A free trade agreement between the United States and Pakistan would be a welcome boon in bilateral relations. 3) This is an example of an exceedingly dry headline. 4) Netanyahu decries potential […]

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Seismic Shift? Militants Bomb ISI Headquarters

To the Pakistani military and Internal Services Intelligence: You are reaping what you sowed. But it is not too late to give up the obsessed, crazed determination to retain ‘strategic depth’ vis-a-vis India that has wrought such terrible destruction upon the peoples of South Asia. As I’ve mentioned several times before, the continuation of the […]

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"Al Qaeda Must Live"

So says Gustavo De Las Casas, in an article for Foreign Policy. Basically, the argument is that if the West were to totally decimate the Al-Qaeda network, the global Jihadist movement would disperse, and the local cells that emerged would be that much harder to accurately track, and stop. It’s an intriguing thesis, and certainly […]

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This is shockingly crude

If you’re going to write an op-ed about how Russia has turned away from the liberalization of the 90s, perhaps it would be wise to give a reason why that happened other than “Russians fully deserve Putin’s illiberal leadership …” I mean, really, this is a shockingly anti-Russian hit piece.

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The Berlin Wall and Media Myths

Twenty years ago, the Berlin Wall fell. And all was good throughout the land (not really). That it happened was a great human story—a pinnacle event of freedom (in its most sincere sense) that has brought millions of Europeans into a prosperous, liberal democratic order. The conventional wisdom, in this country at least, is that […]

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Tuesday's Tabs

1) Is Turkey leaving the West, or is media hype driving the narrative? 2) Al-Qaeda terror camps are becoming smaller and more localized, and are thus harder to hit. 3) The MRAP, seen as a key to the effort in Afghanistan, is being targeted—successfully—by the insurgency. 4) Property rights in Russia are weak.

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Martin Indyk: "We are entering a new era"

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is on the verge of resigning his post—and with him will go many top Palestinian Authority officials. While it remains to be seen just what the fallout will be, it is certain to say that this will upend the status quo in the region. Abbas, the quintessential Palestinian moderate, has gotten […]

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Game Changer in I-P?

Saeb Erekat, the longtime chief Palestinian negotiator, has cast doubts on the two-state solution. Erekat is, in my memory, the most senior Palestinian official to publicly argue that two states between the Mediterranean and the Jordan River are not plausible. Coming on the heels of the embarrassing failure (as of now) of the Obama administration […]

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Wednesday's Tabs

1) Two female teachers were gunned down in northwest Pakistan. This is, obviously, an abhorrent crime, and the United States should do what it can to promote the rights of women in AfPak. But women’s rights alone are not a sufficient reason to continue the military effort there. 2) Croatia’s bid to join the EU […]

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About the Author

Andrew Swift

Andrew Swift is a graduate of the University of Iowa, with a degree in History and Political Science. Long a student of international affairs, he is on an unending quest to understand the world better.

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