As this year's presidential election illustrated, Afghanistan’s key problem is its lack of a credible government; while most Afghans do not want the Taliban back, they see the government of Hamid Karzai as entirely corrupt.
The reality is that many Afghans see Kabul as part of the problem, and a runoff election is unlikely to change that. If the new Afghan government is to earn public support, and NATO is to find a way out of Afghanistan, a civilian surge will be vital.
When Anders Fogh Rasmussen, NATO's secretary-general, addresses an audience at Carnegie Europe on Friday, 18th September, he will speak about the possibility of a new dialogue between two former foes – NATO and Russia. Dmitri Trenin suggests that these discussions could initially take place through the NATO-Russia Council of 2002, but in time, that they might spawn a new framework altogether.
The EU should commit itself to a ‘civilian surge', but with Afghan rather than European civilians.
Both the U.S. and French Presidents, Barack Obama and Nicolas Sarkozy, have brought key opposition figures into their administrations. As Fabrice Pothier argues, in both cases their policy influence has been minimal.
The EU-Pakistan summit should mark the beginning of a new strategic partnership that helps Islamabad deal with its immediate crisis and helps transform a weakened state into a modern Muslim democracy.
Fabrice Pothier explains the scale of the the opium problem in Afghanistan and argues for a decoupling of counter-insurgency and counter-narcotics operations.
The Dalai Lama problem has been in the way of an EU-China "strategic partnership" for a long time, and there continues to be miscalculations on both sides about each other's stand on this issue.
NATO's new war on drugs in Afghanistan will put troops in greater danger for a venture that may not even work. It just might be the straw that breaks the alliance's back.
Governments across Europe have failed to engage public opinion and win voters’ support for their military involvement in Afghanistan. They need to adopt plans for review commissions that would redress the situation.
New leadership in Moscow and Washington will soon face decisions that will reshape the U.S.-Russia agenda and set new priorities. The governments both countries should not succumb to the political inertia that has followed the Caucasus conflict. Instead, they must show reflection and restraint.
Almost undetected, Russia is regaining much of the influence that it lost in the Middle East after the Soviet Union collapsed. Ever since Russia invaded Georgia in August, Arab satellite television and websites have been rife with talk about the region's role in an emerging "new cold war." Is the Arab world's cold war patron really back, and, if so, what will it mean for peace in the region?
The next president of the United States will inherit the challenge of persuading the Pakistani leadership that it needs to continue prosecuting an unpopular, but necessary, war. Two fundamental changes need to be made by the next administration - it will have to strengthen the civilian government in Islamabad, while still maintaining a cooperative relationship with the Pakistani military.
<P>The small steps achieved in the last year and a half through negotiations with North Korea in dismantling its nuclear program prove that, at least in the North Korean case, diplomacy and the path toward normalization should be given a chance.</P>
On my way out of Moscow on the day when George Bush and Vladimir Putin met for the last time in Sochi, Russian blogs were alight with complaints about how Putin had lost big at the NATO summit meeting in Bucharest the day before. As I flew across the ocean a few hours later, I sat next to a well-placed Washington operative on his way back from Bucharest. "Bush lost big at the summit," he said."
Carnegie President Jessica T. Mathews appeared on BBC Radio 4’s <EM>The World Tonight</EM> to discuss the effectiveness of the “surge” in meeting its objectives in Iraq. Mathews argues that while a departure of U.S. troops from Iraq would likely increase violence in the short-term, it remains unclear whether the consequences of staying are better for the U.S. and Iraq in the medium- and long-term.
About a year ago Fidel Castro started blogging. Every week or so he posted his “Reflections of the Commander in Chief”. While not strictly a blog, in his internet musings “El Comandante” does what bloggers do: he comments on the news, chastises enemies (Bush, Aznar), extols friends (Hugo!) or rambles on subjects he cares about (sport and politics).
Since communism failed as an economic system, Russia and China have had to embrace free markets. But hopes that reform of communist economies would produce western-style democracies have been shaken.
Carnegie Senior Associate Michael McFaul takes on the conventional wisdom that Vladimir Putin's tight-fisted rule has been behind the economic growth and stability over the past seven years. "The emergence of Russian democracy in the 1990s did indeed coincide with state breakdown and economic decline, but it did not cause either," McFaul writes.
The intense personal conflict between Putin and Belarussian President Lukashenko has deepened. The underlying causes have existed for some time. There are two explanations as to why problems have erupted now. One is that the Kremlin lost patience with Lukashenko's insolence. The second is that Russian leaders want to eliminate this obstacle before Putin's successor comes to power.