article card

Here are a few of this week’s highlights from WPR’s video section: – This Al Jazeera video breaks the story that Taliban leaders held a secret meeting in the Maldives to discuss Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s reintegration plan. – Two members of the Russian media discuss perceptions of President Barack Obama in Russia as well as U.S.-Russia relations in this WorldFocus video. -Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s Internet freedom speech at the Newseum raised eyebrows in China.Our video sectionis updated daily. I’ll highlight videos we post there from time to timeon this blog. Got a tip for where we can […]

President Barack Obama is under increasing public pressure to alter his strategy on Iran. Instead of diplomatic engagement with the current regime to end the nuclear stand-off, many feel he should encourage its collapse — or at least its fundamental modification — at the hands of the Green Movement. According to this line of reasoning, it makes no sense for Washington to negotiate with a government that might be on the verge of being overthrown altogether. The risk of the alternative approach, of course, is that Iran might cross the nuclear finish line before the regime has been forced to […]

Two weeks ago, while discussing last November’s tragic events at Fort Hood, Defense Secretary Robert Gates proclaimed that the Pentagon “is burdened by 20th century processes and attitudes mostly rooted in the Cold War.” This acknowledgement by a wartime defense secretary is yet another stark reminder that the broader U.S. national security system was also designed for a much different era, and stands in need of a holistic review and systemic modernization. When the National Security Act of 1947 was enacted, the national and global security environments were exceedingly different from those that exist today. Responding to the costly inefficiencies […]

article card

WorldFocus’ Daljit Dhaliwal talks with Vladimir Lensky of Russia’sChannel One and former Soviet foreign ministry official SergeyShestakov. Both Lensky and Shestakov say that though Russia and theU.S. have yet to reach a final decision on a post-START treaty,relations are much more amicable now than they have been in recenthistory. Regarding Russia’s neighbors, Shestakov says “influence is thename of the game.” And as far as Russia backing international sanctionsagainst Iran, Shestakov says observers should take a wait and seeapproach as Moscow is being very “opportunistic” with respect tomounting tensions.

PRAGUE, Czech Republic — With all eyes on London and the high-profile Afghanistan Conference, a quieter gathering that took place this week in Prague might have shed more light on the opportunities, challenges and uncertainty that lie ahead for the war-torn country. The conference, co-sponsored by the Prague Security Studies Institute and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, brought together military and civilian practitioners of reconstruction and development work in Afghanistan, ostensibly to discuss the future of Provincial Reconstruction Teams in Afghanistan. But the wide-ranging panel discussions also addressed the broader challenges of reconstruction, as well as the urgent need for overcoming […]

HELMAND PROVINCE, Afghanistan — Marine Capt. Scott Cuomo of Fox company, 2nd battalion, 2nd Marine regiment, must have felt very confident. How else to explain his climbing into an armorless Afghan army truck — a coffin on four wheels — next to Haji Abdullah Jan, the Afghan district governor, with only a few Afghan army soldiers for protection, to speed down empty dirt roads almost certainly mined by the Taliban? But Cuomo’s confidence is not misplaced. The men make it safely to their destination: a destroyed compound beside which the barren, twisted remains of three dead trees point grotesquely to […]

Just four months after the world’s navies all but declared victory in their war on Somali pirates, hijackings have spiked. In the span of just one week in early January, sea bandits seized four large commercial vessels off the Somali coast. Captured vessels can be ransomed for several million dollars apiece. Piracy’s dramatic resurgence has accelerated a profound change of heart among the shipping companies whose vessels ply East African waters. No longer content to entrust their safety to naval forces, shippers are mulling the wide adoption of seaborne private soldiers — in a word, mercenaries, either sailing aboard targeted […]

DENPASAR, Indonesia — Under the leadership of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, U.S.-Indonesia ties have progressively strengthened since he first took office in 2004. Yudhoyono earned a masters degree in the U.S. and has never hidden his liking for the States. So it came as no surprise when, in November 2008, the former general-turned-president called for a U.S.-Indonesia strategic partnership, later renamed a comprehensive partnership. The move was in turn welcomed by U.S. President Barack Obama, who himself is sentimentally attached to the archipelagic nation where he spent a part of his childhood. Soon after Obama’s inauguration, U.S. Secretary of State […]

For weeks, U.S. and Russian government representatives have stated that they expect a new nuclear arms control treaty to be signed imminently. Nevertheless, the negotiations continue to drag on. Most recently, U.S. National Security Adviser James Jones and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. Mike Mullen, visited Moscow on Jan. 22-23 to discuss defense issues with their Russian counterparts. Their interlocutors included the head of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces and other senior military officials, and members of the Russian team negotiating a replacement to the 1991 Russia-U.S. Strategic Arms Reductions Treaty (START) that […]

For the last month, Washington has been abuzz with talk about what the United States government should do about Yemen. Should the U.S. give Ye­men more military aid? Should it begin a large-scale economic assistance pro­gram? Should it help Yemen establish a governmental reform program, help implement a de-radicalization program, or boost special forces training? Yemen is a weak and poor nation, and the United States is a strong and wealthy one. With the right package of assistance, most assume, we can work together on shared goals. The reality is messier than that, though. From a Yemeni perspective, the common […]

It’s taken as gospel by most pundits today that we live in an increasingly dangerous, deadly and unstable world — with Haiti’s horrific earthquake serving as the latest, irrefutable data point. We are told that ours is a planet at perpetual war with itself, locked in a global conflict that is not only cast in civilizational terms, but superimposed over a landscape chock-full of never-ending combat and ever-rising death tolls. The end of the Cold War superpower rivalry, rather than pacifying the world, actually unlocked a Pandora’s box of tribal hatreds. In retrospect, the Cold War has even taken on […]

The newly elected government of socialist Prime Minister George Papandreou faces massive pressure from EU member states to tackle its budget deficit and growing public debt. Brussels fears that the Greek economy’s continued slide could create a contagion effect across the eurozone and pose a threat to the stability of the common currency. “The Greek example is putting us under great, great pressures,” German Chancellor Angela Merkel said recently, setting aside her usual diplomatic tone. “The euro is in a very difficult phase for the coming years,” she added. The euro rests on the Stability and Growth Pact adopted in […]

As the dust settles from the first round of Ukraine’s 2010 presidential elections, two things are clear: First, the hero of the Orange Revolution of 2004, Viktor Yushchenko, was decisively defeated; and second, both of the run-off contenders, Yuliya Tymoshenko and Viktor Yanukovych, are likely to follow through on pledges to improve relations with Russia if elected. The last time Ukrainians went to the polls to select a president, the battle between Yushchenko and Yanukovych was portrayed as an apocalyptic clash, presenting a momentous choice for Ukrainians between a bright future with the West and a return to its post-Soviet […]

With 2009 and its economic woes behind them, the world’s major economies share a common goal for 2010: recovery. However, they also share a common problem that could stand in the way: China’s undervalued currency. A G-7 meeting in Canada next month looks increasingly likely to be a forum for discussing remedies for global currency imbalances, with a focus on the yuan. But can outsiders really do anything to influence China’s exchange rate? Or would a better strategy simply be to wait for Beijing to make the decision to revalue the yuan on its own? Before answering these questions, it […]

JERUSALEM — At about 5 p.m. on Jan. 14, a loud blast rang out along the Jordanian road that leads to the main bridge connecting the Hashemite kingdom with its neighbor, Israel. The target of the remote-controlled explosion was a two-car convoy carrying Israeli diplomats posted to Jordan, traveling back to Israel for the weekend. The assassination attempt failed, but it triggered a number of investigations as well as rampant speculation on both sides of the Jordanian-Israeli border. Differing theories point to various possible extremist perpetrators. The most intriguing reports, however, quote insiders in Jordan’s security services who claim that […]

Turkey continues to work along different tracks in its strategy to become the “gas hub” of Europe, as demonstrated by the official visit to Ankara of Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov in late December. Mammadyarov’s visit should set to rest speculation about Turkey’s waning political support for the Nabucco pipeline, as well as Ankara’s supposed reorientation toward Russia. Mammadyarov was received in Ankara by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and President Abdullah Gul before meeting behind closed doors with his Turkish counterpart, Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu. Although the details of the talks have not been disclosed, the enthusiastic declarations of […]

A coalition government formed early last year is seen by many Zimbabweans as the last hope for a country that has long teetered on the edge of open conflict. In February 2009, the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party agreed to form a fragile unity government with the Zimbabwe African National Union — Patriotic Front (Zanu-PF), the party of long-time autocrat, President Robert Mugabe. The two parties’ power-sharing deal, brokered by the Southern African Development Corporation, was meant to head off potential widespread violence following disputed presidential and parliamentary elections in March 2008. The election, in which Mugabe finished […]

Showing 1 - 17 of 531 2 3 4 Last