With the nuclear deal’s finalization, Japan is looking to kick start economic ties with Iran and revive previous efforts at investing in its energy sector. While holding out investment as an inducement for Iran to comply with the agreement, Japan is also keen to resume the flow of Iranian oil imports.
The Taliban scored one of their biggest upsets in Afghanistan when they seized control of the northern city of Kunduz last week. The episode illustrates the depth of the insurgent threat facing the Afghan state, the challenges of mounting its defense—and the diminishing hopes for a cease-fire.
In the wake of the U.S. bombing in Kunduz, there is a natural inclination to be critical of the entire U.S. military endeavor in Afghanistan, and even to want the U.S. to pull back from the fight there. But we should also ask whether such impulses are the best policy for the U.S. and Afghanistan.