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Andrew Bast

Andrew Bast has reported from four continents for several publications, including Newsweek, the Village Voice, and the New York Times. In the wake of the 2005 Indian Ocean tsunami, he wrote about the rescue effort from the beaches of Colombo, Sri Lanka. Later, he reported on the youth bulge in the Middle East, backlash against political corruption, and the best way to drink tequila from, respectively, Cairo, Quito, and Mexico City. In New York City, where he is now based, he has published poetry about street saxophone players, profiled literary icons, and interviewed cabinet-rank White House officials.

He earned a master's degree in international relations from the City University of New York Graduate Center, where he wrote his master's thesis about the Army Field Manual on Stability Operations, arguing against the idea that soldiers can readily be employed as effective state-builders. Focusing on the concept of failed states, he studied international law, the United Nations, and revolutions, researching case studies on the International Monetary Fund, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Afghanistan. For a time, he lectured on American foreign policy at Baruch College.

His WPR column, Under the Influence, appeared in this space through most of 2009. You can write to him at andrewcbast ((--at--)) gmail.