Pakistan's Islamic parties have long wielded influence through street politics; political and, at times, ideological alliances with the army; and support to militant groups. They are key players that merit continued study. Vying for Allah's Vote examines their origins, ideologies, bases of support, and relationship with extremism and civilian rule.
Open borders, open markets, open McDonald's, Prada and Ferrari in Moscow, and one would think the melt and merge was complete. But any attempt at East-West assimilation stopped right there. What I understood more than anything is that the thaw relies on the West just as mush as the Russians themselves.
The deteriorating security situation throughout much of the Arab world underscores the need to urgently search for nonviolent methods of achieving stability. At the heart of the current unrest are not only political issues but also economic failures that are wiping out the vestiges of hope that remain after the region's recent revolutions.
The annual Baltic Conference on Defense took place in Tallinn last week, with principal focus on how soft power and hard power might be combined as smart power. As one of the few Americans participating, I realized quickly that the physical distance between the U.S. and Russia has made us nonchalant about Russian power and intentions.