"Unemployment, at nearly 25% of the workforce, is higher than it was when Mr. Mandela took office in 1994. If the two million or so adults who have given up looking for work are included, the jobless rate rises to 37%. The economy is growing too slowly to create many jobs, even as much of the rest of Africa is booming."
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry held a press conference with Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh on December 16, 2013. They discussed the U.S.-Vietnam Comprehensive Partnership and tensions in the South and East China Seas.
"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."
"This boldness 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."
It's time to get tougher with China. That's the refrain heard just a bit louder here and in Asia after China's imposition of an air ID zone over disputed islands and the Biden trip, writes Leslie H. Gelb.
Several U.S. technology companies, Google, Facebook, Apple, Microsoft, Twitter, Yahoo, LinkedIn, and AOL, published an open letter to the government in newspapers on December 9, 2013. The letter requests an end bulk collection of user data, including email, address books, and video chats, and lists accountability and transparency principles the companies support.
"The crisis unleashed by Yanukovich's rejection of EU overtures in favour of closer ties with former master Moscow has cast fresh light on the intrigue and promiscuous politics of Ukraine's post-Orange Revolution elite; like all good businessmen, oligarchs hedge their bets."
Vice President Joe Biden met with Chinese President Xi Jinping on December 4, 2013, during the vice president's trip to Asia. The vice president also spoke to the American Chamber of Commerce in Beijing and the U.S.-China Business Council on December 5, 2013.
A preview of world events in the coming week from CFR.org: UN inspectors visit a heavy-water plant in Iran; Ukraine faces ongoing protests and potential political crisis; and U.S. vice president Joe Biden wraps up his trip to Asia.
"While there is a great deal of variation in the responses based on region, province, urban versus rural, education level, income, and gender, the 2013 survey findings give reason for cautious optimism as Afghans move into critical elections and security transition in 2014."
"Mandela's example is a ringing endorsement of what is derisively known as the "great man school of history"–the notion that influential individuals make a huge difference in how events turn out," writes Max Boot.
The Council on Foreign Relations' David Rockefeller Studies Program—CFR's "think tank"—is home to more than seventy full-time, adjunct, and visiting scholars and practitioners (called "fellows"). Their expertise covers the world's major regions as well as the critical issues shaping today's global agenda. Download the printable CFR Experts Guide.
The author examines Pakistan's complex role in U.S. foreign policy and advocates for a two-pronged approach that works to quarantine threats while integrating Pakistan into the broader U.S. agenda in Asia.