Top 30 Countries for Broadband Internet Access

UPDATE, Jan. 21, 2013: The original post on this page featured charts we put together with data from a June 2007 report of the Information Technology Innovation Foundation. However, the original images of the charts were lost due to a technical problem. At any rate, since 2007, there has been a lot of new research into the question of broadband speeds across countries, and much of it has been devoted to debunking the idea that the United States lags significantly behind other countries. The best recent post we could find on this subject comes from Entropy Economics, a research firm […]

Playing the Interagency Game

This week’s Corridors of Power excerpts an interesting interview with former British Ambassador to the United States Sir Christopher Meyer, which provides just one example of the often dysfunctional relationship between agencies of the U.S. government. The turf battles and policy fights between arms of the U.S. national security apparatus — State, Defense and CIA, to name three — were reportedly particularly vicious during the run up to the Iraq war. Critics often cite this as one reason why post-invasion Iraq policy was so poorly coordinated. Rather than drawing on all the strengths of the U.S. government to develop a […]

Iran’s Central Asia Strategy

Two WPR articles from yesterday provide a good overview of the competition between the United States and Iran for allies and influence in Central Asia. In “Iran Again Fails to Secure Shanghai Cooperation Organization Membership,” Richard Weitz says Iran is interested in cultivating economic and political ties with Central Asia to counterbalance U.S. efforts to isolate the Islamic Republic’s regime: For several years, Iranian officials have sought to strengthen their ties with the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). . . . In the case of the SCO, a primary Iranian objective has been to keep other Eurasian countries from aligning themselves […]

The Messy Truth in Darfur

The truth about the conflict in Darfur, write Julie Flint and Alex de Waal in today’s Washington Post, no longer resembles the uncomplicated, good-vs-evil struggle depicted by many NGOs and activist groups. “In Darfur today, knowing who is on which side is not straightforward,” they write, continuing: For the past three years, Darfur has been descending into this murky world of tribes-in-arms and warlords who serve the highest bidder, with some community leaders of integrity trying to carve out localities of tranquility. Many Arab militias are talking to the rebels; many erstwhile rebel leaders have struck bargains with the regime, […]

Promoting the Surge on the Daily Show

Word is that no current television show better boosts sales of serious books than Jon Stewart’s Daily Show on Comedy Central. And they manage to book a pretty wide range of guests — from Pervez Musharraf to Robert Dallek. And yet it was still somewhat astonishing to see Lt. Col. John Nagl appear recently to talk about the Army and Marine Corps Counterinsurgency Field Manual, and how its tactics are being applied in Iraq. It wasn’t necessarily surprising that the typically anti-Iraq war and anti-administration daily show would book such a guest, but more that the Pentagon would be so […]

Back Online and Coming Redesign

You may have noticed some difficulty accessing the site Monday morning. The technical problems also caused an interruption in site updates. But we want to ensure our readers the problems have been resolved and we’re catching up with publishing planned articles. Also, now seems like a good time to announce that we’re planning to launch a redesigned site within the next 10 days. Stay tuned for the new World Politics Review, with a new look, a new video section and more. As always, thanks for reading. Have any comments or questions about WPR or its content? Drop us a line.

Commentary Week In Review

The Commentary Week In Review will return to this space next week. It is normally posted on the blog every Friday by World Politics Review Senior Editor Guy Taylor, who is on vacation this week. Drawing from more than two dozenEnglish-language news outlets worldwide, the column highlights ahandful of the week’s notable op-eds. You can read last week’s installation by clicking here. The installation from two weeks ago is here. The columndraws from links aggregated every weekday morning in WPR’s MediaRoundup, which you can receive by email for free by registering now.

McCain: Cyberspace Paramount in Terrorism Battle

John McCain had an interesting appearance on the Charlie Rose show earlier this week. His knowledge of the various U.S. national security issues was impressive and, as Rose pointed out, it is indeed strange that in the race for the Republican nomination Rudy Giuliani has somehow managed so easily to steal the mantle of the candidate with national security bona fides from McCain. (With the way she so deftly pounced on Obama’s recent perceived gaffes on foreign policy, it’s clear Clinton is establishing herself as the “national security candidate” on the Democratic side). At the very beginning of the interview, […]

The Racist Attack in Saxony in the German Press

Editor’s note: All links in this text but the first are to German-language sources.At least certain influential parts of the English-language media seem to have problems comprehending racist violence in Germany. Thus the International Herald Tribune’s report on the attack on eight Indians in the German state of Saxony on Sunday bears the headline “Indian visitors attacked in Eastern Germany.” But the eight were not “visitors” to Germany. They live and work there, selling textiles twice a week at the market in the very town of Mügeln where they were attacked. According to a report in the Berliner Zeitung, four […]

Haleh Esfandiari Released

The Associated Press reports: Haleh Esfandiari, the 67-year-old director of the Middle East program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, had been jailed in Tehran’s Evin prison since early May after enduring months of intense interrogations. She was released after her elderly mother used the deed to her Tehran apartment to post bail, relatives said. “I’m very happy. It was unexpected. I thank all those who made efforts to make it possible for me to go home,” Esfandiari told Iranian television. The footage showed her walking out of the prison and meeting family members in a car on […]

Americans’ Ignorance of Latin America

In this week’s Corridor’s of Power, Roland Flamini reports: LULA WHO? SAY MOST AMERICANS — There’s an old journalism adage that says Americans are willing to do anything for neighboring Latin America, except read about it. Nothing much has changed in that regard, according to a new Zogby Interactive poll. Having surveyed 7,362 adults nationwide, Zogby concludes that Americans “show a stunning ignorance” about the region. Only 10 percent of online poll respondents said they were familiar with Luiz Inacio “Lula” da Silva, the second-term president of Brazil. Twenty percent recognized the name of Felipe Calderon, the president of Mexico. […]

The Arab world is watching in disbelief — and growing concern — the recent spate of undiplomatic mudslinging between Syria and Saudi Arabia. Damascus and Riyadh have had tense relations for some time now, but the latest outburst, initiated by Damascus, left many looking towards Iran as the most plausible explanation for the renewed acrimony between these two Arab countries. It all began when Farouk al-Shara, the current Syrian vice president and former long-time foreign minister, gave a speech at Damascus University. Unexpectedly, al-Shara launched a scathing critique of Saudi Arabia’s influence in the Arab world, describing the Kingdom as […]

Blogosphere Remains Political Battleground

Earlier this year, stories about state censorship of blogging and Web-based political activism seemed to be everywhere. Egypt was a particular focus of news about political blogging, as the Islamist and secular opposition to Hosni Mubarak made the blogosphere central to their campaigns. The Arab blogosphere in general was the subject of a steady stream of news and commentary until this spring. Then there are the stories about China and Iran censoring bloggers and the Internet, which go back a couple of years. But this summer seemed strangely bereft of news about state Internet censorship. That is until today, when […]

New Constitution for Thailand

Thailand’s first-ever referendum, held Aug. 19, endorsed a new military-backed constitution for the kingdom, according to The Bangkok Post and other news sources, which indicated the nationwide vote was no landslide victory. Some 57.8 percent voted in favor of adopting the new constitution, according to Ireland’s RTÉ News, which carried a story topped by the headline: “Coup Leaders Backed by Vote in Thailand.” “The new charter prevents a repeat of the powerful single-party style of government that ruled under ousted Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra,” according to RTÉ. The RTÉ story did, however, note that “the 42.2% who rejected [the new […]

Haiti Dispatch: In the Path of Hurricane Dean

JACMEL, Haiti — I attempted to call American Airlines for a good hour before getting through. When I did, they told me the inevitable; all flights out of Haiti had been cancelled due to Hurricane Dean. Earlier, I had spoken with the U.N. camera and video units, and they had all headed to Jacmel on the south side of Haiti to document the incoming storm and potential relief operations. Waiting in Port au Prince would have been the safer option, but Carmen and I decided that since we weren’t flying anywhere soon, we might as well see another part of […]

Egypt Arrests Muslim Brotherhood Leader

In the long-running conflict between Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood and the regime of Hosni Mubarak, the government made another move against the MB this morning, preventing Essam El-Erian, chief of the Brotherhood’s political department, from traveling to Turkey as part of a doctors group, Reuters reports. Now comes news in our email inbox, courtesy of one-time WPR contributor Ibrahim El-Houdaiby, a Muslim Brotherhood member and columnist for, the MB’s English-language Web site, that El-Erian has now been arrested by the Egyptian government. El-Houdaiby wrote the following in an email dispatch sent to multiple recipients: I just received the news of […]

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