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Tag Archives: United States

A gutsy pick

The very least that everyone can admit about the Nobel Committee’s pick for this year’s Nobel Peace Prize was that it is a gutsy pick.  However, that may be the only thing that everyone can agree on.  News that Barack Obama will be this year’s recipient of the world’s most distinguished humanitarian award led to […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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Chavez Speaks of Hope Instead of Sulfur at UN, Though Distrust Remains

Yesterday Hugo Chávez, President of Venezuela, gave a more tempered speech to the United Nations General Assembly. He said the smell of sulfur (his reference to George W. Bush in 2006) had dissipated, and that instead he sensed new hope with President Barack Obama in office. Further description of the speech by the Associated Press […]

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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 […]

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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”. […]

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As War on Drugs Continues, So Too Does the Battle of Perceptions

Last week Venezuela’s Minister of the Interior, Tareck El Aissami, publicly denounced a July 20 report released by the US Government’s General Accounting Office (GAO) which labeled his country as “one of the major drug transit countries in the Western Hemisphere”. The struggle over public perception between Washington and Caracas continues. The US government states […]

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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 […]

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Imports to Venezuela Plummet During First Half of 2009

El Universal reported that a decline in revenue from oil sales caused imports into Venezuela to drop by 49% during the first six months of 2009. Despite a recent increase the value of petroleum, Venezuela has experienced a sharp reduction in available funds since the price of a barrel of oil is just over $65, […]

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In the Shadow of the Dragon: Vietnam

In the Shadow of the Dragon: Vietnam

Shawn W Crispin has an interesting article in Asian Times concerning the Vietnamese government’s  latest freedom of speech crackdown that has specifically targeted bloggers who had publicly expressed anti-Chinese sentiment.  Hanoi fears it cannot control the more than two million Vietnamese based blogs, a common source of uncensored news.  While a general fear of the […]

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Venezuelan Public Sector Now Employs One in Every Five Workers

When he first ran for office, Hugo Chávez declared that he wanted to reduce the size of government, and to make it more efficient. However, Venezuela’s National Institute of Statistics released figures showing that there are now 2,372,587 government workers, an increase of 70% during Chávez’s time in office. The percentage of all persons employed […]

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Is Chavez's Influence in Decline? (and Lessons for US Policy with Potential Adversaries)

In an editorial within today’s Washington Post, Edward Schumacher-Matos presents a nice summary of what might be considered a waning in the power of Venezuelan President, Hugo Chávez. As Schumacher-Matos describes, on a number of fronts other South American nations have been acting counter to Chávez’s wishes. Ecuador, though considered an ally, has reached out […]

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Secy. Clinton Officially Confirms: The Eagle Has re-Landed

Secy. Clinton Officially Confirms: The Eagle Has re-Landed

At the recent ASEAN Regional Forum in Thailand, U.S. Secretary of State Clinton, before the the 25 nations present, officially confirmed a substantial shift in U.S. foreign policy when she stated: ‘On behalf of our country and the Obama administration, I want to send a very clear message that the United States is back, that we […]

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U.S. Expands Trade in Southeast Asia to Check China

U.S. Expands Trade in Southeast Asia to Check China

The United States maybe  in the initial stages of a Southeast Asian foreign policy overhaul; the Obama Administration is not only reconsidering its sanctions against Myanmar, but also reevaluating America’s policy toward the entire Southeast Asian region.  Brian McCartan has an informative article on the recent removal of Cambodia and Laos from the United States’ […]

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