Asia

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.

The Drawdown Debate

  • By
  • Douglas Ollivant,
  • New America Foundation
June 20, 2011 |

The Afghanistan comments -- if perhaps not a fully articulated Afghanistan policy -- expressed by Republican presidential candidate Jon Huntsman (and to a lesser extent, Mitt Romney) provide an opportunity for a real look at a long-term U.S. policy for Afghanistan. The current debate over troop levels is good in that it focuses attention on the problem, but asking how many troops we should withdraw this summer and over the coming year is the wrong question, and much too narrowly focused. To date, our actions in Afghanistan seem to be reactive.

The Big Test

  • By
  • Christina Larson,
  • New America Foundation
June 10, 2011 |

For three days each June, all of China quiets to a whisper. In Shanghai, the ever-present construction crews are furloughed, and thousands of uniformed signal guards are deployed to stop drivers from sounding their horns. Similar noise-reduction campaigns are put in place in other cities across the country.

The White House Debates Afghanistan—Again

  • By
  • Fred Kaplan,
  • New America Foundation
June 9, 2011 |

The White House debate over how many troops to withdraw from Afghanistan next month is really a surrogate for a larger, more fractious debate over the wisdom and strategy of the war itself.

Five Myths About Pakistan

  • By
  • Anatol Lieven,
  • New America Foundation
June 6, 2011 |

Late last month, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said there was no evidence that Pakistani officials had known that Osama bin Laden lived undetected blocks from the country's equivalent to West Point. But after the al-Qaeda leader was killed in Abbottabad on May 1, others were skeptical. "How could they not know?" said Sen. John Kerry (D. - Mass.). "Did nobody have some questions about who the hell was living behind those walls?"

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