U.S. Slams Pakistani Effort On Militants
A new White House assessment steps up criticism of Pakistan’s campaign against militants, stating bluntly that its government and military have been unwilling to take action against al Qaeda and like-minded terrorists.

Why A Terrorist Strike On Europe Risks Geopolitical Meltdown
Bad as they are, right now, relations between the U.S. and Pakistan could get a whole lot worse if a feared Mumbai-style terrorist plot materializes in Europe.

Pakistan: Is It Over, Over There?
Just when it seemed that things could not get worse, they do. One would have thought that given the ongoing catastrophic floods, conditions in Pakistan were at a nadir. But last week, several incidents lowered even that bar regarding U.S.-Pakistani ties.

North Korea Nuclear Threat Is “Alarming,” Says South
Mercurial North Korea’s nuclear threat has reached an “alarming level” and it is now trying to miniaturise weapons to improve their mobility and impact, a South Korean government official said. A U.S. think-tank has also said satellite images taken last week showed that construction or excavation activity was taking place at the North’s main Yongbyon nuclear complex.

Chinese Civilian Boats Roil Disputed Waters
The number of Chinese civilian boats operating in disputed territory and that of the run-ins they have with foreign vessels, including warships, are on the rise, American and Asian officials say.

Hanoi Headache for China
China may have felt like it had tamped down one maritime diplomatic spat with the meeting this week between Premier Wen Jiabao and Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan. Speaking before leaving the Asia-Europe meeting in Brussels, Kan said that the two leaders had talked for almost half an hour (in a corridor after dinner) on Monday, and that they’d agreed that it was ‘not desirable’ for them to allow ties to deteriorate.

Perils of forgetting why China matters
For Americans who believe China’s growth has largely come at an unacceptable expense of US jobs, the passing of the Currency Reform Act through congress is a victory. Many Americans are wondering what the world would look like if China were not a participant in globalization. We are forgetting why China matters, and that amnesia is dangerous for everyone.

Tehran alarm grows at Russia’s defection
Moscow’s decision to rescind a weapons sale and its recent ban on support for uranium mining in Iran point to defection by Russia, the Islamic Republic’s sole nuclear partner. Moscow’s lambasting of “unilateral sanctions” against Iran can barely compensate an angry Tehran for its realistic fear that Russia may have been lost to the West.

How arms deals are shaping the Mideast
A record U.S. arms deal with Saudi Arabia is part of an effort to put pressure on Iran, partly by strengthening alliances with oil-rich neighbors also concerned by Iran’s rise.

Chávez’s Secret Nuclear Program
If the United States and the United Nations are serious about nonproliferation, they must challenge Venezuela and Iran to come clean about their nuclear pursuits and, if necessary, take steps to hold both regimes accountable.

The Demilitarization of Europe
If America’s allies want a say at the table when it comes to security matters and, more importantly, want to be listened to, they cannot assume that the United States will always pick up the check to maintain global order.

Pentagon: The global cyberwar is just beginning
The Pentagon and its NATO allies are looking at how to improve their defenses against a cyberwar, but the basic question of how to define a cyberattack is complicating efforts.

Obama Can’t Stand Up to His Generals—And That’s Dangerous
“The President is an elected king,” wrote Randolph Bourne nearly a century ago, “but the fact that he is elected has proved to be of far less significance … than the fact that he is pragmatically a king.”

FAO Says 22 Countries Facing Food Crisis
The UN food agency said 22 countries are facing enormous challenges like repeated food crises and an extremely high prevalence of hunger due to a combination of natural disasters, conflict and weak institutions.

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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