As China establishes a new infrastructure investment bank for Asia and builds out the new Silk Road trading route westward to Turkey, the U.S. Congress is balking at trade agreements and retreating from the very global institutions that have been the pillars of the American-led order. The European project is unraveling as Greece is poised on the brink of default and an exit from the euro. No doubt President Obama's proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership needs some fixing once on the "fast-track," notably concerning the weight it gives to corporate prerogatives. But something more is going on. In Europe, too, there is mounting opposition to the proposed trans-Atlantic trade pact with the U.S., as well as the rise of anti-foreigner and anti-EU parties. Is the West abandoning globalization and the post-war integration of Europe, a mutiny against what has provided its bounty? (continued)
The Afghan security forces are no longer bound to limit their night time raids and to not use heavy weapons in fighting the Taliban insurgency.
For more than a decade and at very considerable expense, the United States has been attempting to create an Iraqi government that governs and an Iraqi army that fights; the results of those efforts speak for themselves: they have failed abysmally.
The military strategies of the United States and its regional allies focused on bombing campaigns, support for local militias, and inherently weak military forces to fight potential ground battles, have failed to defeat rebel forces in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, and Libya.
As one of its barbarous tactics in its war of terror, the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) threatens, loots and destroys symbols of world civilization: museums and libraries; churches, mosques and synagogues; and treasured archaeological artifacts and sites.
The Obama Administration's announcement that it is sending several hundred additional advisors to Iraq is consistent with America's failed policy in the country.
There will be no return to the fragile stability of even just five years ago. U.S. troops are greatly reduced in Afghanistan and Iraq. Humpty Dumpty cannot be put back together again.
Poverty is a pervasive concern in high fertility countries. The world has made progress in reducing severe poverty, but it's been exceedingly slow in countries where population growth rates remain high. While family planning can reduce demographic vulnerability, developing countries also require other forms of assistance.
The political capital invested by the Obama administration and the Rouhani government gives us good reasons to be not only "cautiously optimistic" but "optimistic" regarding the Iranian nuclear crisis.
Obama's decision to launch a major new training cum advising project in Iraq to be augmented by up to 1,000 more American troops is revealing of how his administration's thinking about Iraq/ISIL/Syria is oriented. Clearly, there remains no coherent strategy; clearly, the incongruities and contradictions among of the various bits and pieces of policy.
"Obama Looks at Adding Bases and Troops in Iraq," read the headline in the New York Times. The irony in that headline fairly jumped off the page.
Recently, I came across a young Ezdi, Nasser H. Kassow from Shingal (Sinjar) who is a student of English at a University in Zakho. Kassow had tweeted some of his impressionistic paintings on the state of Yazidis. As we engaged on social media, I interviewed him via Skype to know a little more about his work.
While a strategy for peace in Iraq is still being formed, we already know one ingredient. Food will help write the peace in Iraq. For there cannot be any peace or stability with people starving and malnourished. We cannot abandon Iraqis in this time of great distress.
A year after he was ambushed by machine-gun fire in Fallujah, Iraq, Lt. Jason Redman was still missing his nose. The bullets that showered his body also hit his cheekbone, leaving the right side of his face caved in.
The 85-year-old Grand Ayatollah did not talk to me as if I'm Sunni or Shia, Muslim or non-Muslim but just as a human being. I left his reception fully confident that Iraq is currently in safe hands so long as it continues to have wise men like him. However, what will happen after Sistani departs a fragile Iraq?
Washington's determination to defend much of the globe has made the U.S. an international sucker, especially vulnerable to manipulation by supposed friends.