Foreign Policy Blogs

Defense & Security

Turkey's Constitutional Court Decision on the AKP

Six members of the Turkish Constitutional Court have voted to close down the AKP (the ruling Justice and Development Party). However, four others voted only to deprive the party of half of its government financial assistance. Closure of a political party requires seven votes. The court chairman, according to one news report, said that the […]

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Violence in the Past Few Days

The past few days have seen terrible acts of violence (terrorism) in Iraq, Turkey, and India , and threats in China. On Saturday, according to news reports, 17 explosions went off one after another in Ahmedabad, India , with two further blasts at hospitals. 49 people were killed. The attacks were probably "attempts to provoke […]

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A Stillborn Debate?

Good day everyone, I am Patrick Frost, the FPA blogger for Central Asia, and Karin has been kind enough to let me do a post on this site from time to time. Please feel free to send me comments, critiques, and questions at [email protected] or just post them on this site. Today, I would like […]

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The New Deliberate Terror Campaign in Somalia

Somalia has now faced 17 years of bloodshed and chaos. This past week news agencies have been reporting on and questioning the ongoing power struggle (between the Western-backed government and armed "Islamist militias") and the effects of Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys' proclamation that he is the leader of the country's opposition. Aweys is designated a […]

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Tolerance or Preventing Extremism?

The Kyrgyz government is now discussing a new draft law on "Freedom of Religious Practices and Religious Organizations." An article by Erica Marat, Religious Authorities in Kyrgyzstan Play Politics, discusses the politics of the new law. She says that the political discourse in Kyrgyzstan is concerned with the spread of "Islamic fundamentalism" and that the […]

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The Thai-Cambodia Dispute Continues

The Thai-Cambodia Dispute Continues

UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization, recently named (in early July) the Preah Vihear Temple a World Heritage Site. The temple dates back to the early 11th century AD, is dedicated to Shiva, and is located in Northern Cambodia very close to the border of Thailand. In 1962, the International Court of […]

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Describing the Size of Islam in America

The article, Figures on Faith, discusses new efforts to gather information about the actual number of Muslims living in the United States. For many years, there has been a debate about the size of the Muslim communities in America. Past surveys put the numbers quite low, worrying Muslims that they may not have a substantial […]

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The RAND Study on Insurgency in the Muslim World

Earlier this year, the RAND Corporation issued a study of the threat of “Islamist” insurgencies: “War by other Means – Building Complete and Balanced Capabilities for Counterinsurgency.” The press release for the new study is also a summary of the main idea: “U.S. Lacks the Capability to Counter Insurgency in the Muslim World.” The language […]

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Did the New Yorker Insult Muslim Americans?

It is rather incomprehensible that the New Yorker actually intended to insult Muslim Americans , despite showing the Obamas as flag-burning militants in the White House. The fact that the cover of the July 21, 2008 issue of the magazine has offended Barack Obama and countless Americans may speak precisely to what the New Yorker's cover […]

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Nuclear Swords and Shields

Last week, the Polish government raised the ante to allow the US to place its missile defense shield in their country. Why all of a sudden would Poland renege on hosting the shield at the last minute when talks have been going on for years? Were they successfully pressured by Russia?   And is the same […]

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The Dalai Lama Defends Islam and Tells Americans Like It Is

On Sunday, July 13, the Dalai Lama gave a public talk at Lehigh University as part of a "series of teachings," which takes place from July 10-15. The public talk, held yesterday (on the topic of "Generating a Good Heart"), also allowed the Dalai Lama to answer questions from the audience, which had been earlier […]

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China, The Olympics, and Religion

China, The Olympics, and Religion

There have been two interesting news stories related to China's "religion policies' in the weeks leading up the Olympics. One development concerns Sino-French relations, and the Chinese Ambassador to France's warning that "there would be serious consequences" for their relations if President Sarkozy meets the Dalai Lama. Apparently, just meeting the Dalai Lama is an […]

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Women Bishops

On June 23, this blog discussed the Anglican divide over homosexuality. Now, this week has seen another contentious issue resurface in the Church of England. The General Synod met this year from July 4 to July 8 and voted on Monday, July 7 to approve the appointment of women bishops in Britain. The BBC News […]

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The ICG Report on Egypt's Muslim Brothers

In June of this year, the International Crisis Group published a report titled, "Egypt's Muslim Brothers: Confrontation or Integration?" , particularly looking at confrontation in the context of long-term stability. In the world of politics and religion, the question always seems to come back to "confrontation" and whether domestic politics can tolerate the religious foundations […]

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THE OTHER WARS WE ARE ENGAGED IN: PART TWO – AFGHANISTAN

It's gotten to the point that Afghanistan is no longer "the other war," but is starting to claim more of the spotlight from Iraq with each day. Consider these developments: In the months of May and June, more Americans died in Afghanistan than died in Iraq. On June 13th, the Taliban successfully staged a well-planned out […]

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