The West does indeed face a high risk of becoming overstretched. But what is the alternative, other than accelerating chaos, mushrooming security risks and serial humanitarian disasters? For the West, this dilemma cannot be avoided. Today's accumulating crises, accompanied by America's strategic fatigue, are forcing Europe to define what role it will play in the future of Western -- and global -- stability. If the U.S. can no longer bear the burden of Pax Americana, Europe must do more for collective security.
After weeks of fighting, an Islamist and jihadist alliance led by Ansar al-Sharia--a group with ties to Islamic State (formerly ISIS)--has taken control of Benghazi and declared an "Islamic Emirate."
Abd al-Wahhab argued that all Muslims must individually pledge their allegiance to a single Muslim leader (a Caliph, if there were one). Those who would not conform to this view should be killed, their wives and daughters violated, and their possessions confiscated, he wrote. The list of apostates meriting death included the Shia, Sufis and other Muslim denominations, whom Abd al-Wahhab did not consider to be Muslim at all. There is nothing here that separates Wahhabism from ISIS.
Is it time to recognize a Chinese equivalent of the Monroe Doctrine in East Asia -- accepting that China is now the preeminent regional power? There are essential caveats to such a dramatic policy shift. At a minimum, Beijing would need to embrace not only the original logic of the Monroe Doctrine, but also the so-called Roosevelt Corollary. The latter, adopted during Theodore Roosevelt's administration, promised Britain and the other European powers that the United States would maintain order in the Western Hemisphere and discipline irresponsible governments in the region -- especially North Korea.
On Thursday, Abdullah Gül, Turkey's last indirectly elected president, will leave office after seven years. Between now and the elections, the most critical question for Turkish democracy is what kind of role Gül sees for himself in the "new Turkey."
Sen. Bob Corker told the Wilson Center last June that, looking back on more than a decade of armed conflict with al-Qaeda, Congress finds itself left with "no ownership whatsoever" of U.S. counterterrorism policy. He called the hands-off congressional approach "totally feckless" -- and he's right.
We know that war itself is brutal, rarely glorious, or even necessarily effective in the resolution of long-festering problems. The question is how we break our participation in this endless cycle of violence that has now consumed huge areas of the Middle East. Things are not getting better. They are getting worse.
Deng believed that the most urgent task was to improve people's livelihood. In his view, all other reforms, including political ones, had to serve this primary goal. He believed that copying the Western model and placing political reform on the top of the agenda, like the Soviets were doing at the time, was utterly foolish. In fact, that was exactly Deng's comment on Gorbachev after their meeting: "This man may look smart but in fact is stupid."
The Indian government should end “manual scavenging” -– the cleaning of human waste by communities considered low-caste -– by ensuring that local officials enforce the laws prohibiting this discriminatory practice, Human Rights Watch said in a new report. The government should implement existing legislation aimed to assist manual scavenging community members find alternative, sustainable livelihoods.
Pope Francis' best asset is his lasting popularity outside his own Church. His limits are his own physical capacity. He told reporters he gave himself "two or three years" before death. He does not rule out retirement before then.
Various forces bigger than ourselves -- perhaps most of all marketing and pop culture -- shape our goals without us realizing it, guiding our lives for us, often in directions that, were we to think about it, we would want to resist. Life becomes, for instance, a series of consumer decisions based on our preferences for this or that experience, or a mad race for some vaguely-defined "success."
As everyone at GlobalPost and the larger community of journalists who cover conflict struggle with the news, there is deep soul-searching going on about what we do, how we do it and whether the risks are worth it.
Since independence, Pakistanis have been told that their country is a "citadel of Islam," that its destiny is to be an Islamic state and its army is "the sword of Islam." Advocates of modern, secular values, even pluralism, are denigrated as "enemies of the ideology of Pakistan." Pakistan's establishment, led by its military, also seeks parity with India, not only in the legal sense of sovereign equality between nations but in military and political terms. This ideological milieu has helped religious-political groups exercise greater influence on national discourse than is justified and led to the outgrowth of jihadi groups, one more extreme than the other.
The U.S. has ensured that ISIS can reinforce its fighters in Iraq from Syria and vice versa. So far, Washington has been successful in escaping blame for the rise of ISIS by putting all the blame on the Iraqi government. In fact, it has created a situation in which ISIS can survive and may well flourish.
Beijing's sparring with Abe has produced underwhelming results. An international public relations blitz following Abe's Yasukuni trip -- to remind the world of Japan's past aggression and warn of resurgent militarism -- resulted not in a chorus of condemnation of Tokyo but in wariness of excessive Chinese rhetoric. Nor did harsh criticism of Abe undermine his standing at home.
Over the centuries, a rich China invariably brought prosperity to all of East and Southeast Asia. Therefore, while Asian countries might value the U.S. as a friend, no one wants China as an enemy. There is a spot that is sweet for everyone. If the U.S. moves closer to China and to other countries of Asia, all will benefit. If the U.S., in response to China's rise, moves too close to some as a move against others, everyone is caught in a lose-lose situation.
What happened to James Foley is the unthinkable. But he is not gone: The memory of him, and those like him, drives me to be a better journalist, a better person. The task of bearing witness to conflict can be fatal, but it is important. And anyone who thinks intimidating or killing journalists will stop the truth from coming out is sorely mistaken.
There is no doubt that all the great powers, especially the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, will oppose any move for global tracking of flights. They have had a long track record of weakening, rather than strengthening, global multilateral institutions. They have even weakened multilateral institutions like the World Health Organization and the International Atomic Energy Agency, even though we have a global interest in strengthening them to prevent pandemics like Ebola and nuclear proliferation.
The idea that America had reached some level of post-racism with the election of Barack Obama was always delusionary. But it was true that great strides had been made in the half-century or so that followed the civil rights movement. Now, because of the persistence of racism and a relaxation of the fight against it, we are moving backwards.