Reconstruction Chief Quits, Putting ‘Civilian Surge’ in Doubt
Most observers of Afghanistan say the war doesn’t have a prayer if the U.S. can’t send a cadre of civilian experts — diplomats, engineers, farmers — to rebuild Afghanistan. But on Friday, the diplomat in charge of building that force quietly resigned.

The Next Nuclear Arms Race
If recent events are any indication, the world’s most vigorous nuclear competition may erupt between Asia’s two giants: India and China.

India seeks eased U.S. controls on sales of its defense technologies
India’s defense minister says U.S. export controls that restrict the sale of defense technologies to blacklisted Indian entities are a “matter of concern” and should be lifted soon. Ahead of his meetings in Washington this week, Arackaparambil Kurian Antony said he wants an “early solution” to the restrictions.

China-Japan row threatens five-year warming trend between old foes
The speed with which the fishing boat dispute turned ugly suggests how little has been achieved in China-Japan reconciliation over the past five years, say analysts.

Japan–China Relations: East China Sea Flare-Up
The Japan–China incident in the East China Sea has taught Beijing all the wrong lessons.

Is This The Start Of The Element Wars?
Warnings have already surfaced about water wars. Now the prospect of “element wars” is raising its ugly head. Chinese customs officials are blocking shipments to Japan of rare earth elements (REEs) and companies have been informally told not to export them, says The New York Times.

China Showcases Expeditionary Military Power in Peace Mission 2010
On September 9-25, Kazakhstan hosted the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Peace Mission 2010 military exercise, at the Matybulak training range in Zhambyl region, designed to showcase the organization’s capabilities against extremism, separatism and terrorism.

China warns Nobel official: Don’t honor dissident
The director of the Norwegian Nobel Institute said Tuesday that a high-ranking Chinese official warned him that giving this year’s peace prize to a jailed Chinese dissident would harm relations between Norway and China.

Iran struggling to contain ‘foreign-made’ ‘Stuxnet’ computer virus
Iran suspects that a foreign organization or nation designed “Stuxnet,” a quickly mutating computer worm that has been infiltrating industrial computer systems in the Islamic republic, a high-ranking official said Monday.

Al-Qaeda 2.0 Re-Emerges in Yemen
Yemeni soldiers streamed into the streets of the capital this weekend after a deadly attack on intelligence services by alleged Al Qaeda gunmen, underscoring the impact of what U.S. government officials and experts on terrorism say has become the world’s most active and dangerous offshoot of Al Qaeda.

NATO’s Relevance
“Is NATO irrelevant?” That’s a question that Harvard’s Steve Walt asked on his Foreign Policy blog last week and a major subtext of the NATO Beyond Afghanistan conference held yesterday at the Atlantic Council.

Crime Wars: Gangs, Cartels and U.S. National Security
As illustrated by the unprecedented violence in Mexico, drug trafficking groups have evolved to not only pose significant challenges to that country, but to governments and societies across the Western Hemisphere, including the United States. Crime Wars: Gangs, Cartels and U.S. National Security surveys organized crime throughout the Western Hemisphere, analyzes the challenges it poses for the region and recommends the United States replace the “war on drugs” paradigm with comprehensive domestic and foreign policies to confront the interrelated challenges of drug trafficking and violence ranging from the Andean Ridge to American streets.

Leaks in India’s submarine strategy
Internal divisions in India’s navy have led to critical delays in submarine deployments that threaten the country’s ability to meet undersea warfare challenges. Aside from the Chinese increasing their presence in the Indian Ocean, the overall lack of an immediate competitor has created a “leisurely” approach to implementing plans for a nuclear triad of air, sea and ground launch capabilities.

Greece searches North Korea arms ship headed for Syria
According to reports, Greek authorities search French-owned ship suspected of transferring carrying missiles and weapons.

Chris van Avery is an Asia-Pacific FAO and Military Professor at the Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies, and blogs on a variety of topics at The Yankee Sage.




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