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Must Reads of the Week: China and North Korea, India's Next Leader, Kerry Doctrine, and More

Author: CFR.org Editors
December 13, 2013

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Fire on the City Gate: Why China Keeps North Korea Close
International Crisis Group

"The cost of sustaining the Kim regime may have increased and the benefits may have declined, but the calculation remains that the potential consequences of cutting Pyongyang loose are unacceptable."

A Reporter's Quest to Find Bodies in Mali
By Rukmini Callimachi
Associated Press

"Since January, Human Rights Watch has reported 24 killings of civilians by the Malian military, 11 disappearances, and more than 50 cases of abuse. Victims said they were beaten, electrocuted, waterboarded and injected with an acid-like substance. Amnesty International released similar findings last week, citing 24 killings and 11 disappearances, although it's unclear if they were the same ones."

A supporter wearing a cap carrying a picture of Gujarat's chief minister and Hindu nationalist Narendra Modi, the prime ministerial candidate for India's main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)A supporter wearing a cap carrying a picture of Gujarat's chief minister and Hindu nationalist Narendra Modi. (Photo: Amit Dave/Courtesy Reuters)

Will India's Next Leader Be Banned From America?
By John Hudson
Foreign Policy

"Pollsters say the BJP is now widely expected to win next year's general election, which would make the party's controversial prime ministerial nominee, Narendra Modi, the next leader of India. The State Department won't say whether a Prime Minister Modi would be allowed entrance to the United States, but experts say the question looms large over the U.S.-India relationship."

The Scandal at the Vatican Bank
By Rachel Sanderson
Financial Times

"After a decade of paedophilia scandals, the allegations of financial impropriety seemed set to unleash another storm of criticism and had to be addressed. Outside auditors as well as financial risk consultants were already coming into the Vatican but the arrest of Scarano made the case for reform unavoidable. 'We cannot have any more scandal. It is so shameful,' a senior member of the Vatican's financial administration said."

The Kerry Doctrine
By Douglas G. Brinkley
Foreign Policy

"[B]oldness is at the heart of the Kerry Doctrine, which involves tackling the issues most likely to make a historic difference -- that is, the world's most festering problems -- and doing so with direct, don't-sweat-the-small-stuff diplomacy. It rests on leveraging long-term, substantive relationships with fellow politicians around the world in order to employ diplomatic intervention as the first choice, not the last resort."

U.S.-Japan Alliance Sparks Korean Grand Strategy Debate
By Robert E. Kelly
The Diplomat

"To join a U.S.-Japanese anti-Chinese coalition would not only antagonize China, it would align Korea with its 'ancient foe.' Worse, the mutual U.S. alliances mean that nationalists and maximalists in Korea and Japan can make whatever outrageous claims they like about the other, yet face little geopolitical consequence. U.S. alliances are a form of 'moral hazard' that ironically worsen the problem by reducing the incentives for rapprochement."

State of Deception
By Ryan Lizza
New Yorker

"[Keeping the phone metadata collection program] was the first in a series of decisions by Obama to institutionalize some of the most controversial national-security policies of the Bush Administration. Faced with a long list of policies to roll back…reining in the N.S.A.'s surveillance programs might have seemed like a low priority. As core members of Al Qaeda were killed, the danger shifted to terrorists who were less organized and more difficult to detect, making the use of the N.S.A.'s powerful surveillance tools even more seductive."


Must Reads sample analyses, reporting, and inquiries on foreign policy from around the web selected each week by CFR Editors. See more Must Reads here."

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