Asia

Getting Bin Laden

  • By
  • Nicholas Schmidle,
  • New America Foundation
August 1, 2011 |

Shortly after eleven o'clock on the night of May 1st, two MH-60 Black Hawk helicopters lifted off from Jalalabad Air Field, in eastern Afghanistan, and embarked on a covert mission into Pakistan to kill Osama bin Laden. Inside the aircraft were twenty-three Navy SEALs from Team Six, which is officially known as the Naval Special Warfare Development Group, or DEVGRU. A Pakistani-American translator, whom I will call Ahmed, and a dog named Cairo—a Belgian Malinois—were also aboard.

Hearts, Minds, and Murders

  • By
  • Fred Kaplan,
  • New America Foundation
July 18, 2011 |

Gen. David Petraeus stepped down as commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan on Monday, just as the Taliban's strength seems to be on the rise. The militants' growing power comes not from conventional military victories—on that score, Petraeus has racked up considerable advances in the past year—but, rather, from what may be a shift in the real war that's going on: the war for the favor (or at least complicity) of the Afghan people.

Erdogan's Star Is Still Rising — and Turkey Is Willing To Follow

  • By
  • Afshin Molavi,
  • New America Foundation
June 14, 2011 |

In the spring of 1999, the mayor of Istanbul, a rising young politician with Islamist leanings, was sentenced to 10 months in jail after falling foul of Turkey's powerful generals. This military elite, often referred to as "the deep state", had deposed four prime ministers since 1960, so taking on a mayor - even in a city as important as Istanbul - was routine business.

They charged him with "inciting religious hatred" for quoting a century-old poem with Islamist themes. Defiant, the mayor vowed to his supporters: "This song is not yet over!"

The People's Republic of Rumors

  • By
  • Christina Larson,
  • New America Foundation
July 11, 2011 |

Last Friday, July 1, one familiar face was missing from the usual lineup of past and present Chinese Communist Party leaders at the CCP's 90th-anniversary parade: Where was former President Jiang Zemin? Was he very ill, recently deceased, or for some reason not wanted there? No explanation was given for his absence -- not even an official acknowledgment of his nonattendance.

The Green Leap Forward

  • By
  • Christina Larson,
  • New America Foundation
July 7, 2011 |

Among the most important high-tech endeavors at Shanghai Jiaotong University -- widely considered to be China's No. 2 engineering school -- is a cavernous showroom that resembles nothing so much as a futuristic Home Depot.

Green Activists Feel Sting of Chinese Government Crackdown

  • By
  • Christina Larson,
  • New America Foundation
June 30, 2011 |

Seven years ago, China’s grassroots environmental activists won arguably their most remarkable victory. After a nationally coordinated, media-savvy anti-dam campaign, Premier Wen Jiabao responded in April 2004 by personally stepping in to suspend plans to dam China’s last free-flowing river, the Nujiang. With a nod to concerns that Chinese environmentalists had raised about the dam’s impact on local ecosystems, Wen asked that the plans be “seriously reviewed and decided scientifically.”

Kabul Bombing’s Political Fallout

  • By
  • Peter Beinart,
  • New America Foundation
June 30, 2011 |

"If they give the security responsibilities to the current government at 10:00 a.m., the government will collapse around 12 noon. They cannot live without foreigners." Those are the words of Nazir Amini, a car dealer caught in Kabul's Intercontinental Hotel when it was besieged this week by Taliban fighters. We need to take them to heart.

A Brand-New Plan for Afghanistan

  • By
  • Fred Kaplan,
  • New America Foundation
June 23, 2011 |

President Barack Obama's decision to pull 33,000 troops out of Afghanistan by the end of next summer—10,000 of them by the end of this year—reflects a scaling back of U.S. goals and strategy in the war. Either that, or it doesn't make much sense.

Military Experts Scrutinize Obama's Drawdown Plan

  • By
  • Douglas Ollivant,
  • New America Foundation
June 23, 2011 |

This speech is a welcome step toward a sustainable Afghanistan policy, one that realizes that our interests in that country are real, but limited. This speech puts us on a path that aligns our commitment to Afghanistan with these limited interests -- a foreign policy one might almost call "humble."

Ducking Afghanistan in the Afghan Speech

  • By
  • Peter Beinart,
  • New America Foundation
June 23, 2011 |

President Obama's Afghanistan speeches are never really about Afghanistan. George W. Bush wanted his presidency to be about Iraq. From the beginning, President Obama has wanted his presidency not to be about Afghanistan, and so whenever he brings up the subject, he ends up talking about the other things for which he'd rather be remembered.

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