Foreign Policy Blogs

Transitional States

2009: The world in transition

It’s been, indeed, a transitional year for the world. In the midst of a devastating global economic downturn, Barack Obama took the U.S. presidency January 20. In many ways, it has been the year of Obama. A strategic review of Afghan policy in March ended with sending more troops—and President Obama doubled down on a […]

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Wednesday round-up

Copenhagen in the news today. 1) The talks are seemingly stalled, and most are pointing at a dispute over climate aid to developing countries. 2) The chief of the climate summit, Danish Climate Minister Connie Hedegaard, has stepped down from her post, after calls for increased transparency. The Danish Prime Minister, Lars Løkke Rasmussen, will […]

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India's separatist problem

I’ve wanted to touch on a major development in Indian politics: the partition of the state of Andhra Pradesh. Residents of Hyderabad and its surrounding environs claimed, in the most basic sense, that the surrounding rural areas were depriving them of its proper share of economic growth/wealth. After a dramatic hunger strike, by K. Chandrasekhar […]

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Tuesday op-eds to read

1) The Nation, Pakistan: Pakistan may be the most talked about country in the world today. Here’s “Pakistan’s Perspective” by Tariq Osman Hyder. Note what he writes about the Afghanistan-Pakistan border. 2) Der Spiegel, Germany: Really, you can’t get more brutal than this, from Klaus Brinkbäumer: The United States is now a republic of bloggers […]

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Monday's news

1) Greece is at serious risk of total economic collapse—Prime Minister George Papandreou is proposing dramatic spending cuts, and tax hikes on banker’s bonuses, to ease the crisis. 2) Dubai has been bailed out by Abu Dhabi to the tune of $10 billion. 3) From FP: “How we invaded Afghanistan” (the Russians) 4) The New […]

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Op-Eds

1) (Dawn, Pakistan) Iran Husain tackles a fundamental issue in South Asian affairs: Pakistan as a security state. 2) (The Daily Star, Lebanon) Saif Nasrawi examines a growing political trend in Egypt. 3) (Hindustan Times, India) The Indo-Chinese climate change axis. 4) (Dar al-Hayat, Lebanon) Abdullah Iskandar on the Kurdish question and democratic government in […]

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Population density in Afghanistan

Where is the COIN strategy going to be centered? A helpful map of Afghanistan’s population density can be found here. Despite my repeated calls to do a better job sealing the border, I’m beginning to think we don’t have nearly enough troops to do even a halfway adequate job. We had a chance to win […]

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Editorial and News dump

2 for 1 on this Friday. We’ll start with the op-eds. 1) The always provocative Gideon Levy, in Haaretz: Let’s face the facts, Israel is a semi-theocracy. 2) Nir Rosen, in the Boston Review, hammers the U.S. strategy in Afghanistan. 3) Hassan Haidar, in the Lebanese daily Dar al-Hayat: The Rediscovery of Afghanistan. 4) FP […]

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"Senior al-Qaeda figure killed"

NBC news is reporting that a drone strike in Pakistan killed a “senior al-Qaeda figure”, but that it wasn’t Osama Bin Laden. Even if it were someone as high up as Ayman al-Zawahiri—al Qaeda’s number two—it would not change the reality on the ground. Capturing or killing Bin Laden or Zawahiri would be a major […]

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Something tells me this won't end well

Take a look at this DOD chart.

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Wednesday news round-up

1) General Petraeus before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee today: Achieving progress in Afghanistan will be hard and progress there likely will be slower in developing than was the progress in Iraq. Nonetheless, as with Iraq, in Afghanistan hard is not hopeless. Wonderful to put to rest any suspicions that the military might be trying […]

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If politics weren't involved …

If politics weren't involved …

One thing that could be considered, but won’t, is scrapping the absurd Afghanistan-Pakistani border. It was demarcated in the late-19th century by Great Britain as part of “The Great Game”, because Britain wanted to establish a buffer zone in between Czarist Russia and India. Needless to say, those political calculations don’t hold any worth today. […]

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Tuesday's opinions

1) Dawn, Pakistan: We must come together—now 2) Dawn, Pakistan: U.S. signaling 3) The Nation, Pakistan: No light in the Afghan tunnel 4) Guardian, U.K.: The U.S. cash behind extremist settlers 5) Hurriyet, Turkey: Pakistan and Turkey’s difficult decision

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Taking police brutality to a new level

Apparently, 11,000 Brazilians have been killed by the police over the last six years. Yikes. Brazil’s future as one of the next major powers—indeed, the B in BIC* stands for Brazil—over the next few decades looks almost assured. It faces no credible threats, possesses a large population and a significant allotment of natural resources. If […]

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News from Monday

Copenhagen climate conference opened today. 1) Mayor of Kabul sentenced to four years for corruption. 2) Russia and India signed a nuclear agreement. 3) Iraq election law dispute resolved—for now. 4) Somalis are protesting the brutal bombing last week that killed three government ministers along with medical school graduates and their families. Al Shabbab, the […]

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