Middle East: Prospects for Peace and Risks of Protracted War
Although it’s difficult to predict when Israel will decide it has done enough to ‘neuter’ Hezbollah as a military force, that moment may provide the international community with the opportunity to offer a long-term solution to the ‘border issue.’ But what will be the components of that solution, and will it be sustainable? Or are we now entering a more volatile era in the Middle East that makes a settlement highly unlikely despite the international community’s best efforts? An era in which Israel faces enemies who are better equipped, better organized and more resolute than its old nemesis, the PLO? [...]
No ‘Harmonization’: A G8 Post Mortem
Taking a cue from comedy duo Laurel and Hardy or, perhaps more accurately, Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum, Pootie-Poot and Dubya’s foibles took center stage at the Group of 8 (G8) summit. Between Putin’s jabs and Bush’s FCC violation and unsolicited shoulder rub on German Chancellor Angela Merkel, much of the G8’s purpose, to allow world leaders “to harmonize attitudes to acute international problems,” was lost. Russian President Vladimir Putin, who U.S. President George “Dubya” Bush nicknamed Pootie-Poot back in 2002 when he gazed into his eyes and got a “sense of his soul,” set the tone of the G8 [...]
China’s Fast-Track to South Asia
China’s new railroad linking the city of Golmud in Qinghai province with Lhasa, the capital of Tibet, is a $4.2 billion engineering feat. Stretching 710 miles at an average elevation of 13,000 ft, it is the highest railroad in the world. Technological excellence was not the only reason why President Hu Jintao called the line a “magnificent feat” while flagging off the inaugural run on July 1. The railroad is a powerful instrument with which Beijing hopes to complete the full integration of Tibet with the mainland. Ever since Chinese communist forces overran Tibet in 1950, the region has undergone [...]
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