While the Middle East is consumed by an orgy of destruction that has devastated ancient cities like Aleppo and Tikrit, Asia, led by China, is building out the infrastructure of the future. While past wounds drive the tribal and religious rivalries in the Middle East, in Asia the contest -- and the cooperation -- is about shaping the future. The most recent scuffle in the contest over the future has been the slew of American allies -- Great Britain, Italy, France, Australia and others -- who have defied U.S. admonitions not to join the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, which it sees as a rival to the World Bank and IMF system. In the "cooperation" column, Zbigniew Brzezinski observes in a WorldPost interview that China signed on as a guarantor of the Lausanne agreement on Iran's nuclear program. This, along with the fact it has also joined with the U.S. to curb North Korean nuclear proliferation and fight climate change, shows China is stepping up to the plate as a responsible global power. Former MI6 agent Alastair Crooke writes from Beirut that the U.S. has been "immobilized" in the Sunni-Shia proxy wars and must settle for "an equilibrium of antagonisms." (continued)
It's finally here. You-know-who is going to do you-know what. You don't know? Take our latest Week to Week news quiz and find out. Here are some rand...
It's time for a confession. I have worked as a "foreign agent."
Russia's economy is suffering from dramatically lower oil prices, a rapidly declining ruble, interest rates that are an astonishing 17 % and western sanctions over Ukraine.
Afraid and powerless is an awful combination, especially when it seems other people, mainly the rich and famous, have all the power. But there is another deep, perhaps less often spoken truth these days: And that is, we still want and need to make a difference.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has a secret fascination with Leo Tolstoy. As a young KGB agent, he purportedly made a pilgrimage to the Leo Tolstoy Museum and Estate at Yasnaya Polyana. But for a guy who says Tolstoy is his favorite writer, Putin is, well, a very bad reader.
As the U.S. resumes chairmanship of the Arctic Council for a two-year term starting on 24 April 2015, the ball is squarely in President Barack Obama's court to provide statesmanship needed for the Arctic as a zone of peace.
Forgive me for wondering whether the daily dealings between President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu are taking a page from the Rocky Balboa vs. Apollo Creed playbook -- without the Marquees of Queensberry Rules.
If reading the next sentence about the bewildering tangle of so many bloody crossed swords in the Middle East makes your head hurt, just be thankful you live somewhere else where decapitation is not a regular occurrence. The intensifying Saudi-led Sunni coalition assault on Iranian-linked Shiite tribes in Yemen this week -- at the very moment when Shiite militia allied with the U.S.-backed Iraqi government were ousting Saudi Wahhabist-inspired Islamic State jihadis from Tikrit -- signaled the onset of a generalized sectarian religious war across the region. And if the current bright spot of the interim agreement with Western powers that curbs Iran's capacity to weaponize its uranium enrichment program should unravel over the coming months, the entire conflict threatens to go nuclear. Graham Fuller, former vice-chair of the CIA's National Intelligence Council and a former station chief in several Mideast countries, deciphers the perplexing labyrinth of the Yemeni conflict, where "the enemy of my enemy is also my enemy." (continued)
Jim Slattery, a self-described farm boy from Atchison County, Kansas, deep in the American Heartland, served six terms in the US Congress. He exudes a calm demeanor and common-sense straight talk on the Iran issue oddly out of place with more strident rhetoric.
Somebody's shrimp is on the barbie at Australia's immigration department after an officer there emailed President Obama's passport number and other personal information to an organizer at the Asian Cup football tournament. And before you think otherwise: Yeah, it matters.
Vladimir Putin canceled a radical production of Wagner's Tannhaüser in Novosibirsk, the good people of my native Queens are in an uproar over public art the public doesn't want, and an op-ed piece proposes a darker version of The Sound of Music, of all things.
VLADIVOSTOK -- The experience of dealing with Pyongyang shows that the more you pressure and penalize it, the more aggressive it becomes. Rather than trying to isolate North Korea, it may be just the right time to engage it
Armenia's President Serzh Sargsyan has invited several world leaders to Yerevan on April 24 to commemorate the Centennial of the Armenian Genocide. Here are 10 reasons why Air Force One should make an auspicious landing in Yerevan's Zvartnots International Airport on April 24.
If it's possible to condense the incomprehensibly complex Russia/Ukraine conflict into one coherent hour, Matthew Rojansky can do it. Rojansky, Director of the Kennan Institute, and an expert on the region, proved that in a recent presentation at San Francisco's Commonwealth Club.
This week, Singapore's founding father, Lee Kuan Yew, died at 91. Though the last remaining of the great figures of post-WWII decolonization, Lee was also the first global statesman. As he himself put it, "when we were pushed out of Malaysia we had no hinterland. So we had to do or die, and the globalization of the world helped us. So we made the world our hinterland." By thinking global, but acting local, Lee was able to vault his small city-state from the Third World to the First World. The WorldPost remembers Lee through his own words from interviews I have done with him over the years. Writing from Singapore, Pranay Gupte focuses on Lee's unique accomplishment of "clean governance." Writing from Beijing, philosopher Daniel A. Bell emphasizes Singapore's meritocratic government as the core of its success with lessons for China. (continued)