Foreign Policy Blogs

Transitional States

New feature, and site update

Starting this week, the rough schedule for this blog will follow something along these lines: On Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday, I’ll be accumulating some of the most interesting editorials in foreign newspapers, and linking them here. Too often we look at the world through an American-centric view. Especially with a topic of Transitional States, it […]

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This won't help Germany compete in the 21st century economy

For all the debate over the American immigration system, nothing can compare to the terrible institutional injustice that Germany is putting Mohammad Eke through. Seriously, how could this policy make any sense?

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A Quick Word On Europe's Phone Number

For all the consternation and moaning in much of the European press regarding the selection of Belgian Prime Minister Herman Van Rompuy, and British EU Trade Commissioner Catherine Ashton, for respectively as the President of the European Council and High Representative of the Union for Common Foreign and Security policy, you would think the European […]

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Thursday Tabs

1) Anders Aslund in FP writes that including Russia in BRIC isn’t accurate. I made a similar point here. 2) India is floating withdrawing a “significant” number of troops from Kashmir, a move which could only help the tattered Indo-Pakistani relationship. 3) The EU has been increasingly vocal lately on East Jerusalem, most ominously—in Israel’s […]

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A bit of math, geography and history

The sum of the twelve largest population centers in Afghanistan is 5,649,162—and this is counting rural areas surrounding cities, not just the urban area itself. That total is 21% of the population of Afghanistan (28,150,000). Remind me again how ISAF and NATO forces are supposed to protect the population of Afghanistan by not protecting 80% […]

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Obama on Afghanistan

I’m going to reserve final judgment until I see text of President Obama’s remarks, or the speech itself, but here are a few things to watch for tonight: 1) How many times Obama uses the word “India” or “Indian”—focusing on Afghanistan and Pakistan is fine, but leaving the elephant in the room (the Indo-Pak relationship) […]

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Tabs to read

1) Louis Uchitelle, in the New York Times, despairs about the lack of infrastructure superprojects. I’m in firm agreement. 2) Indian business practices are apparently not up to par, according to this piece on Indian-Americans returning to their home country. Money quote: “Some very simple practices that you often take for granted, such as being […]

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Just a suggestion

Maybe we should use some of those 34,000 troops to safeguard the border? Dealing with the insurgency is hard enough—but letting fighters escape from Afghanistan to Pakistan, or Pakistan to Afghanistan, and then back again, is an insanely stupid thing. You would think this would be the number one reason to put in more troops. […]

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Ex-Taliban Ambassador: "No prior groundwork has taken place"

Read here.

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Oh, die Schweiz

Where to start with this wonderful news? A Swiss referendum banning the construction of minarets in the country passed this weekend, with 57 percent of the vote and 22 of 26 cantons in favor. Europe has been beset by immigration ‘problems’ in recent years, and rising Muslim populations in many countries have caused a backlash […]

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A few Saturday tabs

Focusing mostly on the one-year anniversary of the Mumbai attacks (Nov. 26-29): 1) Interview with Fareed Zakaria in the Hindustan Times. 2) This headline in the Wall Street Journal says it all, doesn’t it? 3) The last thing South Asia needs is a war of words between India and China. India defense minister A.K. Antony: […]

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Pakistan's demographic problem

Over the next 20 years, Pakistan’s population will grow by 85 million people. This raises a multitude of questions regarding the future of Pakistan as not just a stable country—it is clearly not that already—but as a country at all. Pakistan is already overpopulated, with 180 million people—two thirds of which are under 30. The […]

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A Word on Football

This article in the Times about the struggles the Iraqi national football team are dealing with is an insight that should not be overlooked—if the country’s beloved national side is mired in controversy, all is most certainly not well. Transitional States has been closely following international football and next year’s World Cup in South Africa. […]

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Pakistani FM: "I am a child"

OK, that’s not really what he said. But he may as well, choosing to blame India for Taliban attacks inside Pakistan. Dawn has the quote: “India should refrain from such nefarious activities,’ said Mr Qureshi, speaking of India’s alleged support of militants. ‘Unless (India) dispenses with its visceral animosity towards Pakistan, attaining viable peace and […]

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Interest Politics And Foreign Policy

Or, how to scuttle promising international developments with senseless moral posturing. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has agreed to co-sponsor a resolution condemning the Turkish mass expulsion/massacres of 1915-1916, and labeling it a “genocide.”  It clearly meets the definition of ethnic cleansing, and no one is absolving Turkey  of blame. 1.5 million Armenians were […]

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