In his WPR column on Monday, Andrew Bast wondered which word Americans least wanted to hear regarding Afghanistan: state building or war? If our alternate supply routes are any indication, we might not really have much of a choice. So far, we’ve got the state-building angle covered: Uzbekistan freight routes and Turkemenistan airspace have now been added to the Russian and Kazakh “northern corridor” for non-lethal supplies. But if we’re going to escalate the war effort, we’re going to have to get some guns in there somehow.
CHILDREN APPEAL FOR END TO CHILD SOLDIER USE — Children from more than 100 countries recently appealed to world leaders to do more to end to the use of children as combatants in armed conflicts. Despite international protocols preventing the practice, an estimated 250,000 children around the globe are fighting as soldiers. Former child soldiers and young activists personally delivered their plea in the form of a petition featuring 250,000 red handprints to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Feb. 12, the fifth anniversary of the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Child soldiers are still […]
The Neo-Eurasianist movement has been a curious feature of the Russian intellectual landscape throughout the post-Soviet years. It is dominated by a single figure, the monk-bearded Aleksandr Dugin, who argues that Russia is not a European country but an Asian one, and advocates a grand alliance with the Turkic and Arab worlds, India, Japan, Iran and even Israel, to counter American influence, which it regards as an existential threat to Russia. Dugin’s theories are larded with a significant amount of the occult, are complex and often contradict each other. But their anti-American emphasis and open call for return to empire […]
A funny thing happened over the weekend, besides me getting knocked for a loop by a bad chest cold. Friday it seemed as if the Obama honeymoon was over. The Iranians were lobbing satellites into space, the North Koreans were trucking ICBMs cross-country, Russia was strong-arming Kyrgyzstan into shuttering our air base, and the Republicans were doing the bipartisanship approach to economic stimulus like Tyson did Marvis Frazier. Now it looks like the Russians love us again, the Iranians are willing to talk, Kyrgyzstan is willing to deal, and the big winner on economic stimulus is Obama. Anyone got a […]
Recent news reports indicate that the Obama administration is having second thoughts about whether it wants to double the size of the U.S. military presence in Afghanistan. The president has directed the Pentagon to think very clearly about the specific strategy and purposes involved with any troop increase. Independent defense experts continue to debate the wisdom of applying a variant of the troop surge policy that has apparently stabilized the security situation in Iraq to Afghanistan, with its very different local conditions. One weighty constraint on the proposed force increases concerns logistics. Recent developments in Pakistan and Central Asia in […]
ROHINGYA FIND MORE CRUELTY AFTER FLIGHT FROM BURMA — Thailand’s indifferent and criminal response to the plight of hundreds of Rohingya refugees has stunned the human rights community and highlights the world’s continued failure to effectively protect the rights of refugee and asylum seekers. In the course of the last month, three boatloads of Rohingya males have washed ashore in Indonesia and India telling similar tales of beatings and abandonment by Thai authorities. Thailand has admitted rounding up the men and dragging them out to sea, but says its army did not torture them, and supplied food and water. Over […]
Russia has experienced a remarkable resurgence in recent years. Despite its strategic resurgence, however, the country’s new status rests on shaky foundations that will limit Moscow’s capacity, and perhaps ambitions, to become a peer competitor of the United States. Richard Weitz examines the country’s recent history, foreign and military policy, and national strategy in the first WPR Strategic Posture Review. The Russian Federation has experienced a remarkable resurgence in recent years. Following a decade spent managing the collapse of the Soviet Union while watching its global influence decline, Russia has once again become a world power. With the use of […]