Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Ashraf Ghani: Afghanistan is a failing state. It needs a Marshall Plan

The Obama Presidency provides a second chance to get Afghanistan right. The President-elect has made it clear a stable Afghanistan is his priority. That stability will only come when Afghanistan can govern itself. To reach that point, three key assets must be harnessed: first, American forces and resources; second, the instruments of national and international power; and third and most crucially, the Afghan people, who are as eager to see the restoration of order and justice.
Ashraf Ghani: Afghanistan is a failing state. It needs a Marshall Plan

Scholarly articles for Ashraf Ghani: Afghanistan is a failing state. It needs a Marshall Plan
Closing the Sovereignty Gap: An Approach to State-Building

Criminals rewarded not punished: Ahmadzai

KABUL (PAN): Terming the US backed Afghan government as one of the five corrupt in the world Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai former Finance minister and a likely strong presidential candidate accused the government offered positions for criminals rather then punishment.

Addressing a news conference in Kabul Ahmadzai also declared readiness to nominate himself as candidate in the upcoming presidential polls.
اشرف غني: له فساد سره د دولت مبارزه کمزورې ده
احمدزی: دولت در مبارزه با فساد ضعیف است
از دیگر رسانه ها: اوباما فرصت جدید برای افغانستان
حمایت از احمد زی در انتخابات ریاست جمهوری افغانستان

U.S. plans to expand its Afghan lifelines

WASHINGTON: The United States and NATO are planning to open and expand supply lines through Central Asia to deliver fuel, food and other goods to a military mission in Afghanistan that is expected to grow by tens of thousands of troops in the months ahead, American and alliance diplomats and military officials say.
U.S. plans to expand its Afghan lifelines - International Herald ...

U.S. backs plan for engaging Afghan tribes

KABUL (Reuters) - The United States backs a proposed Afghan government plan to engage tribal elders in the war against the resurgent Taliban, a move seen by critics as reviving militias, its top envoy said on Tuesday.
U.S. backs plan for engaging Afghan tribes - Yahoo! News
U.S. Backs Plan For Engaging Afghan Tribes - Radio Free Europe ...

Gaza diplomatic pressure boosted -- BBC

Some 374 Palestinians have died in Israeli air strikes since Saturday; four Israelis have been killed by rockets fired from Gaza.
Renewed Arab protests at raids
In pictures: Third day of Gaza raids
Trend News : Afghanistan condemns Israeli strikes on Palestinians

Khaleda Zia rejects 'rigged' poll -- BBC

Former Bangladesh Prime Minister Khaleda Zia, defeated in Monday's parliamentary elections, has rejected the results saying the vote was rigged.
Awami's return

Pakistan suspends Afghan supplies -- BBC

Pakistan has blocked a key supply route to US and Nato forces in Afghanistan in order to begin an offensive against militants, officials say.
Afghan attacks 'double' in 2008

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Afghan situation 'has improved' -- BBC

Britain's ambassador to Afghanistan has insisted the country has improved in 2008, despite the deaths of 50 troops making it UK forces' worst year yet.

"But it's not true to say that the overall picture is universally gloomy."

Afghan tribal elders warn gov't of election boycott if security not assured

Washington Times - Afghan maternal mortality rate high
Forgotten Afghan war waiting for Obama -- chicagotribune.com
Study Criticizes Bush Approach to War Funding, Calls for Changes ...
CIA's latest weapon in Afghanistan: Viagra

Samuel P. Huntington of Harvard Dies at 81

In expanding the Foreign Affairs article into ”The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order,” Mr. Huntington has thickened out his argument, but it remains controversial. If there are seven or eight world civilizations, he says, the West had better shed the hubristic notion that its civilization is destined to spread its values across the globe. The West is ”unique” — but its values are not universal.

But critics, including Edward W. Said, a Columbia University professor who wrote “Orientalism,” said Mr. Huntington’s theory perpetuates a “West against the rest” mentality.

"Clash of Civilizations" author Samuel Huntington dies
Samuel P. Huntington of Harvard Dies at 81 New York Times
Harvard Crimson - AFP

Tens of thousands mark anniversary of Bhutto death

Tens of thousands mark anniversary of Bhutto death
CNN International - Reuters

Thursday, December 25, 2008

A Foreign Face Beloved by Afghans of All Stripes

KABUL, Afghanistan — History has fostered a notion here that all foreign occupations of Afghanistan are ultimately doomed.
A foreign face beloved by Afghans of all stripes - International ...
Bush hails progress during last trip to Afghanistan
ABC News: Reporter's Notebook: Bush's Trip to Iraq and Afghanistan
Bush hails progress during last trip to Afghanistan - Yahoo ...
Bush Affirms Commitment to Afghanistan

Afghan Govt needs to put its house in order: Khalilzad

WASHINGTON (PAN): The US Ambassador to the UN, Zalmay Khalilzad has said that the Afghan Government needs to put its own house in order, in particular dealing with corruption issues.
In an interview to Fareed Zakaria of CNN, Afghan-born Khalilzad said Kabul needs to on a stronger footing when it comes to having any successful talks with the reconcilable elements of the Taliban.
Afghan leader presses US military on strategy - Yahoo! News
Civilians deaths main source of Afghan anger: group Reuters
Risky Afghan strategy
FOXNews.com - U.S. to Fund Afghan Militias, Applying Iraq Tactic ...
Click to read more at The Wall Street Journal
U.S. and Afghans Plan to Recruit Local Militias - NYTimes.com
Kabul to ask NATO to protect controversial mass grave - Yahoo! News
Contracts Point to Significant U.S. Commitment in Afghanistan ...

Friday, December 12, 2008

UN confirms Afghan mass grave site disturbed

KABUL, Afghanistan -- The U.N. confirmed Friday that a mass grave in northern Afghanistan has been disturbed, raising the possibility that evidence supporting allegations of a massacre seven years ago may have been removed.

Afghan Mistrust In Justice System Pronounced

NPR.org, December 12, 2008 · In Afghanistan, people say they are losing faith in their government amid growing insecurity and rampant corruption. But nowhere is people's mistrust of public institutions more pronounced than in the justice system.

Seven years after the West began rebuilding the country, experts say the court system is little more than a complicated maze fraught with graft.

Saudi Arabia and the Future of Afghanistan - Council on Foreign

and the Taliban in late 2008 prompted a new round of speculation about the role Riyadh might play in the future of Afghanistan.

Saudi Arabia and the Future of Afghanistan - Council on Foreign ...

US defence chief Gates in Afghanistan

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan (AFP) – US Defence Secretary Robert Gates arrived on Thursday in Afghanistan, where the United States is looking to increase its military presence to fight a mounting insurgency.
US defence chief Gates in Afghanistan
Gates: More brigades to Afghanistan by summer - Yahoo! News

China to continue help Afghanistan's economic ...

Military seeks new MRAPs for Afghanistan

The Pentagon is fast-tracking a multibillion-dollar competition to outfit ground forces in Afghanistan with new, off-road terrain vehicles that protect against rocket-propelled grenades and explosive devices.
AFP: Petraeus favours US troop surge in Afghanistan

Afghanistan struggles with a food crisis in the harshest of seasons

BAMYAN, Afghanistan, 9 December 2008 – For the people of Afghanistan, it’s fast becoming one crisis too many. Already wrecked by war and insurgency, they are now battling a new force – a food crisis in the harshest of seasons.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Second Taliban raid destroys Nato supplies bound for Afghanistan

Gunmen from the Pakistani Taliban torched supplies destined for Nato forces in Afghanistan for a second day running today, officials said.

The militants struck a container terminal on the outskirts of Peshawar, in north-west Pakistan, just over a mile from yesterday's attack, in which gunmen torched more than 100 trucks.

Obama vows new deal for Afghanistan

WASHINGTON (AFP) – US president-elect Barack Obama called for a grand new approach to fighting terror in South Asia starting with the promise of a better life for dirt-poor Afghans.
AFP: Obama vows new deal for Afghanistan

People smugglers thrive on Iran-Afghan border-U.N.

KABUL, Dec 7 (Reuters) - People smugglers are thriving on both sides of the Afghan-Iranian border, a United Nations report said on Sunday, running operations that are costing some $200 million a year in lost visa revenue.
People smugglers thrive on Iran-Afghan border-U.N. Reuters

'The Holocaust Is Over,' Says Israeli Politician

Talk of the Nation, December 8, 2008 · Avraham Burg, former speaker of the Israeli parliament, says it is time for Jews to "rise from the ashes" of World War II. In his book, The Holocaust Is Over, Burg says Jews and Israelis must remember the Holocaust, but not be its victims for generations to come.
'The Holocaust Is Over,' Says Israeli Politician

Excerpts: Cynthia McFadden Interviews President Bush

As the end of his presidency nears, President George W. Bush sat down with "Nightline" co-anchor Cynthia McFadden for a wide-ranging interview in which he discussed in depth his personal faith and how it has informed his presidency. At the outset, he also answered questions about the auto industry bailout.

Excerpts: Cynthia McFadden Interviews President Bush

Exclusive! Barack Obama

Obama warns economy will get even worse
U.S. ‘fragility’ tied to worldwide financial crisis, president-elect says

Exclusive! In his first Sunday morning television interview since winning the election, President-elect Barack Obama joins Tom Brokaw to discuss the economy, foreign policy and the upcoming transition of power. Full story

Exclusive! Barack Obama

Monday, December 08, 2008

Official Calls for Sensitivity to Afghan Demands

KABUL, Afghanistan — In unusually blunt remarks, the chief of the United Nations mission in Afghanistan warned in an interview this weekend that unless Afghanistan’s international partners conducted their military operations with more care and cultural sensitivity, redoubled their work to minimize civilian casualties and accelerated their reconstruction programs, they risked jeopardizing their efforts to stabilize and rebuild the country.

“Are we sufficiently sensitive to Afghan concerns?” he asked. “Are we sure that we behave in a way that brings Afghan communities closer to the government? Do we listen sufficiently to the concerns we hear from the president and so many Afghans? I’m not convinced that we are.”
Official Calls for Sensitivity to Afghan Demands

In new strategy, U.S. will defend Kabul environs

KABUL, Afghanistan: Most of the additional American troops arriving in Afghanistan early next year will be deployed near the capital, Kabul, American military commanders here say, in a measure of how precarious the war effort has become.
In new strategy, U.S. will defend Kabul environs - International ...

Corruption fuels deep anger in Afghanistan -- baltimoresun.com

A New Path for Afghanistan -- Lakhdar Brahimi

Seven years ago in Bonn, Germany, Afghan political representatives reached an agreement under U.N. auspices to rebuild their country on the ruins of the Taliban regime.

Yet the challenges confronting Afghanistan could still reverse all this progress. In the face of widespread lawlessness, joblessness, poor governance, corruption, narco-trafficking and an escalating level of bombings, Afghan hopes have given way to despair, resignation and anger.
Taliban in 72 percent of Afghanistan, think-tank says
McCain: Afghanistan situation will get harder

New U.S. troops will focus on Afghan capital: report

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Most of the additional U.S. troops heading to Afghanistan early next year will be deployed near Kabul, reflecting worries about the capital's vulnerability, The New York Times reported in Sunday editions.
U.S. Plans a Shift to Focus Troops on Kabul Region

Revamping Pakistan Aid Expected in Report - NYTimes.com

The second big game & Pashtoons -- Prof. (Dr) Khurshid Alam

Taliban pushed Afghanistan back by two centuries. This time Pakistan military had learnt another lesson. A new element was introduced. It was the criminals from different rogue states who were recruited, trained, and groomed by ISI to be used the way they like and was parallel force to Taliban. Now it is the same force made of criminals who are active in the most inhuman, heinous crimes on both sides of Durand line. Like decapitation, slaughtering, kidnapping, destroying school, colleges and other infrastructure of Afghanistan and NWFP.

The first two crimes are completely unknown in Pashtoon history. All these are carried out under the nose of Pakistan armed forces.
The Frontier Post
Connecting Pakhtuns - The second big game & Pashtoons

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Arianna On Charlie Rose, Talks About The World Of Blogging

Arianna On Charlie Rose, Talks About The World Of Blogging

Afghan women leaders face growing Taliban threats

"At some point, we can become the target of an enemy attack, whether it is shooting, or spraying acid, kidnapping or anything. If they don't have pictures of us, they will not be able to pick us out," said Rasekh, who gave express permission for her name to appear in print after her office requested anonymity.

FT.com - Kabul's lost tribe

Rice says Afghanistan policy review nearly complete

COPENHAGEN (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said on Friday the Bush administration's review of its policies in Afghanistan was almost complete.
Rice says Afghanistan policy review nearly complete

US preparing for troop buildup in Afghanistan
Denmark's Kabul embassy moved for security reasons
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan...

Kennedy Is Said to Cast Her Eye on Senate Seat

Caroline Kennedy, a daughter of America’s most storied political family who for many years fiercely guarded her privacy, is considering whether to pursue the Senate seat expected to be vacated by Hillary Rodham Clinton early next year, a family member said Friday.

Body of Afghan leader identified -- BBC

The body of first Afghan President Mohammad Daud Khan has been identified three decades after he was killed in a Communist coup, officials say.

The former president is to be given a special funeral ceremony by the government.
Quran in mass Afghan grave unlocks 30-year mystery

Afghanistan Signs Cluster Bomb Treaty

Does O.J. Deserve It? washingtonpost

Today's the day for those of you who have wanted to see O.J. Simpson locked up. Las Vegas judge Jackie Glass sentenced the Heisman trophy winner to at least 15 years in prison for kidnapping.
Does O.J. Deserve It?

Los Angeles Times - Las Vegas Sun - The Associated Press
Simpson Sentenced to at Least 9 Years in Prison -- NYT

12 states invited to Paris meeting on Afghanistan

PARIS, Dec 4: France has invited a dozen states to a conference on Afghanistan on Dec 14 to enlist the support of neighbouring countries in a stepped-up effort for peace, officials said on Thursday.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Quran in mass Afghan grave unlocks 30-year mystery

(KABUL, Afghanistan) A small golden Quran helped Afghan authorities identify the body of a president killed in a coup three decades ago that led to 10 years of Soviet domination, officials said Thursday.

The body of President Sardar Mohammad Daud Khan was among dozens discovered at two mass graves in the Pul-e-Charkhi area, east of Kabul, six months ago, said Ahmad Farid Raaid, a spokesman for the Ministry of Health.
Quran in mass Afghan grave unlocks 30-Year mysteryABC 7 News
Quran in mass Afghan grave unlocks 30-year mystery - Forbes.com

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Dozens of nations sign up to UN-backed treaty banning use of cluster bombs

3 December 2008 – Representatives of around 100 countries gathered in Oslo, Norway, today to sign an historic United Nations-sponsored treaty formally renouncing the use of cluster bombs, a weapon that frequently kills innocent civilians and cripples communities for decades after hostilities have ceased.
Dozens of nations sign up to UN-backed treaty banning use of cluster bombs
Afghanistan Says It Will Sign Cluster Bomb Treaty

نگرانی سازمان ملل از نقض حقوق بشر درافغانستان BBC

سازمان ملل متحد می گوید درگیری و جنگ درافغانستان بسیاری از افغانها را از دسترسی به حقوق اولیه شان محروم کرده است
نگرانی سازمان ملل از نقض حقوق بشر درافغانستان

Sixtieth anniversary of Human Rights Declaration marked

شناسایی جسد نخستین رییس جمهوری افغانستان -- BBC

مقامات افغان می گویند جسد سردار محمد داوود خان، رییس جمهور پیشین افغانستان را که در پی کودتای ثور ۱۳۵۷ هجری خورشیدی به قتل رسید، شناسایی کرده اند
یک هیات دولتی از ماهها به این سو، مشغول تحقیق و بررسی در محلی نزدیک به پلچرخی، در حاشیه شرقی شهر کابل بودند که احتمال دفن اجساد خانواده رییس جمهور پیشین در آن می رفت
شناسایی جسد نخستین رییس جمهوری افغانستان
نگرانی سازمان ملل از نقض حقوق بشر درافغانستان

Rice urges tough Pakistan action -- BBC

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has called on the Pakistani government to take a "tough line" on terrorism after arriving in Islamabad for talks.

Afghanistan Signs Cluster Bomb Treaty

OSLO — In a last-minute change, President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan agreed on Wednesday to join some 90 other nations signing a treaty banning the use of the cluster munitions that have devastated his country in recent years.

Norway’s foreign minister, Jonas Gahr Stoere, said he expected several more nations to sign on Thursday. Among them, however, will not be the United States, Russia, China, India, Pakistan or several Middle Eastern nations.
Afghanistan Says It Will Sign Cluster Bomb Treaty
Convention on Cluster Munitions
Timeline of Cluster Munition Use from Human Rights Watch

Economists: Stabilize Home Prices By Cutting Them Drastically

While builders and Realtors are lobbying for Congress to boost housing demand — and prices — by offering interest rate subsidies and tax credits for home purchases, a new report from the Center for Economic and Policy Research outlines an approach to stabilize home prices by bringing them down further.

Bill Gates Prods Washington on Foreign Aid, Education

Philanthropist Bill Gates urged lawmakers and the coming Obama administration to maintain U.S. investments in foreign-aid and education initiatives despite the financial crisis.

Among his proposals is a more active role by the government in education. "If the federal government becomes a dynamic agent of school reform, it will help bring us out of the downturn better off than when we went in," Mr. Gates said.
Gates Urges Foreign Aid, Education

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Soaring Tuition Pushes College Out of Reach

According to a new report by the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education, college tuition and fees have increased 439 percent since 1982, almost three times higher than the increase in family incomes.

The biennial report found that even after financial aid, a four-year public college cost 28 percent of the median family's income last year; a four-year private school cost a staggering 76 percent.
College May Become Unaffordable for Most in US
College could become too expensive for 'most Americans'
Higher Education May Soon Be Unaffordable for Most Americans, Report Says

Long-Term Therapy Ineffective in Non-Responsive HCV

ST. LOUIS, Dec. 3 -- Final results are in for a landmark study of long-term peginterferon for patients with chronic hepatitis C that isn't responsive to therapy.

Extended Drug Therapy for Hepatitis Is Challenged
Long-Term Therapy Ineffective in Non-Responsive HCV
New England Journal of Medicine (subscription)
Health NewstrackHepatitis C Therapy Useless for Some

Holbrooke Under Consideration for South Asia Diplomatic Role

President -elect Barack Obama is seriously considering giving former ambassador Richard Holbrooke a key role in handling diplomacy in south Asia, a move that would put one of America's most prominent international troubleshooters in the middle of trying to resolve the thorny and interrelated problems surrounding India, Pakistan and Afghanistan, according to several sources familiar with the transition.
44: Holbrooke Under Consideration for South Asia Diplomatic...
Rove: Obama security team represents continuity

Homeland Security: Rethinking What Works

Morning Edition, -· For the most part, what we have come to know as homeland security has become a kind of background noise in our daily lives. We dutifully whip out our photo ID to board a train or enter an office building. We remove our shoes and belts at the airport.

But Tim Sparapani of the American Civil Liberties Union questions whether any of this has made us safer.

But he says that has led to a proliferation of ID requirements and an increased reliance on watch lists, which Sparapani thinks are of limited value. He says such lists often snag the innocent and slow down commerce, but provide little protection.

Hopes High For Foreign Aid In Obama Presidency
Memo To The President

Chamtala Settlement Journal - Afghan Refugees Return Home but Find

In a clear sign that life is untenable for many new arrivals, 40 percent of Afghan returnees left the nation again in 2007, citing insecurity and a lack of shelter and jobs, according to the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission.

Afghanistan Is in Its Worst Shape Since 2001, European Diplomat ...
U.S. Study Is Said to Warn of Crisis in Afghanistan

Clinton’s Welcome Will Include a Plate of Global Crises

So while Mrs. Clinton’s selection to be secretary of state is being scrutinized across the globe — and generally welcomed — the view in the Middle East is more complicated.
Diplomatic Memo: An Uncommon Résumé in an Unusual Time
After Sharp Words on C.I.A., Obama Faces a Delicate Task

US political vacancies need filling -- BBc

There are plenty of jobs going in American politics at the moment.

Afghan finance minister 'quits' -- BBC

Afghanistan's Finance Minister Anwar-ul-Haq Ahady has submitted his resignation to President Hamid Karzai, the minister's office has said.
Afghan finance minister quits
وزیر مالیه افغانستان 'استعفا' کرد

اهمیت سفر هیات شورای امنیت سازمان ملل به کابل
نگرانی هیات شورای امنیت از وضعیت امنیتی افغانستان
دبیر کل ناتو: چالش های افغانستان بزرگتر می شود

Beyond the Burqa in Aghanistan: Between Modernity and Tradition

During the Taliban era, many in the liberal world saw the burqa as the symbol of Taliban oppression. Now the Taliban are ousted from power, yet the burqa remains firmly on the heads of all sorts of Afghan women.
Toward Freedom - Beyond the Burqa in Aghanistan: Between Modernity ...

Laura Bush describes post-White House plans

(CNN) -- First lady Laura Bush said Sunday she plans to continue working to advance the position of women in Afghanistan after her husband's time in office ends in January.

Laura Bush said she hopes to maintain her involvement with the U.S.-Afghan Women's Council, which works to improve life for women in Afghanistan. Established in 2002 by President Bush and Afghan President Hamid Karzai, the organization has now moved from the U.S. State Department to Georgetown University.
Laura Bush describes post-White House plans - CNN.com

Click here: The Embassy of Afghanistan, Washington, DC
Transcript of 'Meet the Press' Interview (NBC)
here. MORE

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Op-Ed Columnist: Continuity We Can Believe In

The 2008 election results did not fundamentally change American foreign policy. The real change began a few years ago in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Brooks: Condi to Clinton

Martha Nussbaum: "A Cloud Over India's Muslims"

(This post was published as an op-ed article in yesterday's Los Angeles Times. You can also read William Kristol's critique of the piece in the New York Times.)

If, as now seems likely, last week's terrible events in Mumbai were the work of Islamic terrorists, that's more bad news for India's minority Muslim population. Never mind that the perpetrators were probably funded from outside India, in connection with the ongoing conflict over Kashmir. The attacks will feed a powerful stereotype of the violent and untrustworthy Muslim, bent on religious conquest, who can never be a good democratic citizen. Such stereotypes already shadow the lives of Indian Muslims, who make up 13.5% of the population.
But it's important to consider Indian terrorism in a broader context.
A cloud over India's Muslims - Los Angeles Times
The University of Chicago Law School Faculty Blog: Martha Nussbaum ...

Nuristan facing disaster this winter - residents

Nation & World Rampant corruption riles Afghan people Seattle ...

Monday, December 01, 2008

Laura Bush Urges Continued US Support for Afghanistan

U.S. First Lady Laura Bush says the United States must remain engaged in Afghanistan - and she is vowing to remain involved in efforts to help Afghan women long after her husband's term in office ends. We have more from VOA White House correspondent Paula Wolfson.

"Most people in Afghanistan want to be able to build their country, live a decent life and not be afraid of a terrorist attack. And the fact is we just need to keep working with them so they can do it," said Mrs. Bush.

The First Lady told NBC's Meet the Press program that she intends to remain involved in the cause after she leaves the White House, mainly through the U.S.-Afghan Women's Council at Georgetown University, and an institute being established at her husband's presidential library.
Laura Bush Urges Continued US Support for Afghanistan
Nov. 30: First Lady Laura Bush, Afghanistan's Ambassador Said ...
Laura Bush Memoir in the Works

Bush: 'I Did Not Compromise My Principles'

Looking back on his eight years in the White House, President George W. Bush pinpointed incorrect intelligence that Iraqi President Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction as "biggest regret of all the presidency."

"I think I was unprepared for war," Bush told ABC News' Charlie Gibson in an interview airing today on "World News."
Transcript: Gibson Interviews Bush

WATCH: Bush: Obama Presidency 'Exciting Time'
WATCH: Bush Calls His Presidency 'Joyous'

Obama’s National Security Team Announcement

The following is the transcript of President-Elect Barack Obama’s National Security Team announcement as provided by CQ Transcriptions.
With Appointments, Obama Moves On From the Campaign
Video Transcript
Obama stresses diplomacy with new national security team Los Angeles Times

Washington Memo: A Handpicked Team for a Sweeping Shift in Foreign Policy

Washington Memo: A Handpicked Team for a Sweeping Shift in Foreign Policy
With Appointments, Obama Moves On From the Campaign
Video Transcript

Recession Began Last December, Economists Say

WASHINGTON — The United States economy officially sank into a recession last December, which means that the downturn is already longer than the average for all recessions since World War II, according to the committee of economists responsible for dating the nation’s business cycles.
Recession Began Last December, Economists Say

Afghan Strategy Poses Stiff Challenge for Obama

WASHINGTON — One of the most difficult challenges President-elect Barack Obama’s national security team faces is Mr. Obama’s vow to send thousands of American troops to help defeat the Taliban in Afghanistan.

After seven years of war, Afghanistan presents a unique set of problems: a rural-based insurgency, an enemy sanctuary in neighboring Pakistan, the chronic weakness of the Afghan government, a thriving narcotics trade, poorly developed infrastructure, and forbidding terrain.

American intelligence reports underscore the seriousness of the threat.

U.S. Study Is Said to Warn of Crisis in Afghanistan
Joint Chiefs Chairman Is Gloomy on Afghanistan - NYTimes.com

Tribal politics key to building bridges in Afghanistan

BALA MORGHAB, Afghanistan (Reuters) - Building bridges in Afghanistan requires more than bricks-and-mortar.

"That bridge is just one small bridge but it's a symbol to the people who live here that if security improves we can bring improvements to the people here," General David McKiernan, commander of 50,000 NATO-led troops in Afghanistan, told Reuters.

Obama Names National Security Team | EDITORIAL

In announcing his choices of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) to be secretary of state, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates to continue in office and retired Marine Gen. James L. Jones to serve as national security adviser, Obama laid out a vision of an America whose global stature is restored and whose military, diplomatic and economic power are balanced with one another and with "the power of our moral example."

The members of his new team, Obama said yesterday, "share my pragmatism about the use of power, and my sense of purpose." Three other Cabinet selections announced were Eric H. Holder Jr. as attorney general, Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano as secretary of homeland security and Susan Rice as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.

Obama Names National Security Team EDITORIAL
Pragmatic Pair to Confront Terror
U.N. Pick Indicates Shift Toward Multilateralism