Regions & Nations

Are Mobile Solutions Overhyped?

  • By
  • Eric Tyler,
  • New America Foundation
  • and Kentaro Toyama, University of California, Berkeley; Maura O’Neill, USAID; and Katrin Verclas, MobileActive
February 7, 2012 |

Editor’s Note: Contributors to this post will be part of a panel on the topic taking place on Thursday, February 9th in Washington, D.C. Sign up for the event here. This post is part of the Global Innovation Showcase created by the New America Foundation and the Global Public Square.

Vetoes Leave Syria Headed for a Bloody Stalemate

  • By
  • Randa Slim,
  • New America Foundation
February 6, 2012 |

The double veto cast by Russia and China at the United Nations Security Council on Saturday represents a clarifying moment in the Syrian uprisings.

At the 2012 Munich Security Conference, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton noted, "We don't know what the endgame will be until we start the game." Well, fasten your seatbelt -- the game over Syria has started.

Did Obama Just Declare Victory in Afghanistan?

  • By
  • Fred Kaplan,
  • New America Foundation
February 2, 2012 |

In October 1966, as the Vietnam War was spiraling out of control, Sen. George Aiken, R-Vt., now-famously suggested that we simply declare victory and bring the troops home. He added, in a less well-known coda, “It may be a far-fetched proposal, but nothing else has worked.”

Lyndon Johnson would have done well to take the idea seriously. Now it seems Barack Obama is doing just that in Afghanistan.

Table Talk

  • By
  • Steve Coll,
  • New America Foundation
February 1, 2012 |

In the State of the Union address of 1954, which Dwight Eisenhower delivered less than a year after he had secretly ordered the C.I.A. to overthrow Tehran’s left-leaning government, he celebrated “the forces of stability and freedom” at work in Iran. In 1980, Jimmy Carter delivered his annual address amid the whirlwind of Iran’s Islamic and anti-American revolution, which was inflamed in part by Iranians’ memories of Eisenhower’s coup. “We will face these challenges,” Carter declared.

Tehran is Feeling the Oil Squeeze

  • By
  • Afshin Molavi,
  • New America Foundation
January 27, 2012 |

While winter is in full swing in Tehran with snow blanketing the capital, senior officials of the Islamic Republic can be forgiven for feeling hot. Over the past three weeks, the major powers have dramatically turned up the pressure on Iran over its nuclear programme. We have now entered the oil-squeeze phase.

Iran's Threats to Close the Strait of Hormuz More Theater than Reality

  • By
  • Afshin Molavi,
  • New America Foundation
January 9, 2012 |

Chest-thumping threats by senior Iranian officials in recent days to close down the Strait of Hormuz sound like the proverbial cutting off one's nose to spite one's face. Iran's economy is overwhelmingly dependent on oil sales, most of which moves through the Strait to markets in Asia and Europe. A shut-down of the Strait would largely close the taps on Iran's own oil sales.

The Death and Rise of the Soviet Model

  • By
  • Afshin Molavi,
  • New America Foundation
December 26, 2011 |

On a cold, grey Moscow winter day exactly 20 years ago, the red hammer and sickle Soviet flag was lowered at the Kremlin for the last time. The Soviet Union had died. The world's second most powerful state had crumbled under the weight of a bankrupt ideology, bankrupt finances and courageous self-determination movements across Eastern Europe. The Communist behemoth, once seen as the most dangerous foe of the western world, fell with a whimper.

The Inventions of Newt Gingrich and Palestine

  • By
  • Afshin Molavi,
  • New America Foundation
December 12, 2011 |

The half-educated man is dangerous because, as the adage goes: "Knowing a few things, he thinks he knows everything." There is bizarrely something of the half-educated man in the Republican presidential candidate and front-runner Newt Gingrich. A PhD "historian", Mr Gingrich certainly "knows" a few things. In fact, he has impressed audiences in debates with sweeping historical references and a seemingly assured command of policy details. This has partly contributed to the Gingrich surge, catapulting him into first place in many Republican polls.

The Tragedy of the Euro and the Middle East

  • By
  • Afshin Molavi,
  • New America Foundation
December 1, 2011 |

For the past several years, Italy under Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi resembled a political comic opera, with a larger-than-life character of ravenous appetites and tragic hubris. But the recent "political death" of Mr Berlusconi represents only the end of Act One. Two more acts remain, and this drama could turn from comedy to tragedy quickly.

Bashar Assad's Arab Winter

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

Yesterday marked 41 years since a young and ambitious Syrian defence minister and air force officer executed a bloodless coup, taking over the post of prime minister. It was the 10th coup in 17 years in a country riven by factionalism and bitter disputes among senior military officers. Less than a year later, he was anointed president.

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