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)
Russia and North Korea make up the latest international odd couple. President Vladimir Putin reached out to one of the poorest and least predictable states on earth. So far the new Moscow-Pyongyang axis matters little.
In a world where brother battles brother, and Russia and Ukraine find themselves in a virtual state of war, Only One Man could restore peace and harmony. One Man. Sandwiched between two bleached blondes. Riding an inflatable dolphin. And wearing nothing but a jockstrap.
MOSCOW -- Today's Russia rejects Western-style competition, the rule of law and independent institutions while allowing capitalism and certain changes to economic and social policy under strictly controlled limits. The result is an attempt to strengthen the Soviet experiment and take it to its logical conclusion. Thus, the Putin regime defines "better" not in absolute terms, but as improving upon the performance of former Soviet leaders.
We discover, laid bare by an expert, the inner workings of the staggering extortion scheme that is the heart of Putin's system, and we understand that the act of revealing those workings is the most unforgivable crime in the country.
Whether in Russia, Venezuela or Israel, the ugly politics of polarization may work in winning elections -- but it always ends badly. Netanyahu's scaremongering against Arab voters and dashing of a two-state solution (his bad faith post-election backtrack notwithstanding) dispels two long-held illusions at once: that Israeli democracy would be inclusive or that Palestinians would have their own state. If there is no room for Palestinians anywhere, then what? In an exclusive interview with the Huffington Post, (full interview to be released Saturday), U.S. President Barack Obama addresses the Israeli election, Iran and other issues. Writing from Amman, prominent Palestinian journalist Daoud Kuttab draws the logical conclusion from Israel's election results that Palestinians must now pursue their own unilateral path and that the world community should no longer feel bound to defend Israel in international institutions. (continued)
ISIS is on the march again; see what other ominous things are happening by taking our latest Week to Week news quiz. Here are some random but real hi...