Foreign Policy Blogs

Transitional States

Militant Hubris

For the last eight years, Pakistan has been playing a double-game. Despite considerable US pressure, Pakistan declined to totally give up Al-Qaeda and allied Taliban militants, who had been long supported and used by the Pakistani Army and intelligence services as regional proxies against India. As long as the militants stayed out of the business […]

read more

In Post-Soviet Russia …

There’s been a lot of worry in recent years over Russia’s ‘resurgence’ onto the world scene. The thinking went that Russia was suddenly a major power again because they renewed some bomber flights and sold weapons to places like Venezuela and Iran. Of course, this was all very sensationalist and had very little bearing in […]

read more

Iraq Still Exists

And people are still dying there. The fallout from the invasion has definitely not run its entire course yet.

read more

Create Jobs, Not Sadists

A recent Facebook video has documented prisoner abuse by the Pakistani Army. This, needless to say, will not help Pakistan’s efforts to stem its Taliban insurgency in the Northwest Frontier Province, nor will it help America’s mission in the region. Regardless of the morality of torturing and abusing prisoners of war (and, to put it […]

read more

Will You Still Love Me … When I'm 104?

Meet the new generation of voters—same as the old generation. A British study has concluded that half of all babies born in wealthy countries will live to be 100 years old. This is certainly a good thing—more of the most fleeting resource humanity has (time) is nothing to play down. But for countries with long […]

read more

Don't Reach For The Stars In Afghanistan

This article by David Axe, Malou Innocent, and Jason Reich at Foreign Policy is pretty much* spot on. The Taliban, either Afghan or Pakistani, are not a security threat to America on their own—they have neither the capacity nor the will to strike at American interests. But al-Qaeda has proven itself capable of accomplishing horrific […]

read more

First comes sex integration, next comes …

Saudi Arabia has opened a university where both women and men are allowed to attend and mix together. It doesn’t seem like a big deal, but it certainly is. Social attitudes in the conservative kingdom are some of the most repressive in the world, and women’s rights are few and far between. Women will be […]

read more

AKs for Everybody!

The manufacturer that makes the popular—ubiquitous—Kalashnikov rifle is filing for bankruptcy. The problem is that the Soviet Union granted basically any socialist country a license to produce the assault rifle in order to make “freeing the people” easier. After the Soviet Union fell, the licenses were effectively null. Except everybody kept making the guns. Most […]

read more

Soldiers, Lawyers, and … not much else

Pakistan has a lot of problems. (How’s that for an understated opening?) One of the major problems in the country, however, is the lack of credible state institutions. In fact, the only state institution that is universally recognized and respected is the Pakistani Army. So it comes as a bit of good news that the […]

read more

New Government, Old Chancellor

In an aspect of parliamentary politics that many Americans simply can’t understand, Germany’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) performed worse in general elections than they did four years ago—but this time, get to form their preferred coalition government. The Free Democratic Party (FDP) bested its 2005 total by nearly fifty percent, jumping to 14.5 percent of […]

read more

More on McChrystal

General Stanley McChrystal’s request for more troops is, of course, expected. Military commanders are always going to want more resources to utilize, regardless of whether they know how to use them or not (McChrystal’s insistence on a population-centric strategy in rural Afghanistan seems to make little sense). As reported in today’s New York Times, President […]

read more

Rwanda's Leap?

Kigali is nearing completion of a link to an underseas fiber optic Internet connection, reports the BBC. This is a big development for Rwanda, and the greater region. President Paul Kagame—a leader of the Tutsi rebels that drove the genocidal Hutu militias (and their government sponsors) out of the country—is making an effort to turn […]

read more

McChrystal: More troops needed for Afghanistan

General Stanley McChrystal, the Obama Administration’s guy in South Asia, has warned that without more troops the war in Afghanistan “will likely fail”, reports the Washington Post. President Barack Obama, not surprisingly, is worried about becoming embroiled in an escalating situation, where victory only requires an ever-increasing number of ‘just a few more (thousands) troops”. […]

read more

Weapons for Somalia

Because really, there’s never enough guns in Somalia. If you looked up failed state in the encyclopedia, a picture of a khat-chewing Somali toting an AK-47 he purchased off the street for a hundred dollars—if that—would be plastered front and center. The government controls a few blocks of Mogadishu—at best—while raging Islamist insurgencies have claimed […]

read more

Metrics and Af-Pak

The Obama Administration released yesterday its list of 50 metrics, under three objectives, to designate progress in the war in Central Asia. While it’s important to have a cohesive set of tactics for the war itself—and this document makes our goals much more lucid than before—what strategy does the war itself fit? Are we once […]

read more

americasdiplomats_socialmediaasset