- Karzai Criticizes Foreign Presence
- Official Says Iran Sanctions "Ineffective"
- Obama Calls Hu Jintao on Iran
- Cuba and U.S. Hold Rare Talks
Afghan President Hamid Karzai criticized (WashPost) the foreign presence in Afghanistan and accused the West and the United Nations of wanting a "puppet government" and of engineering voter fraud in last year's election. Karzai's remarks follow U.S. President Obama's first visit to Afghanistan five days earlier, during which Obama pushed to crack down on corruption. Obama also called for independently monitored elections and a clear plan for Taliban reintegration. Karzai's comments were in response to a vote in the Afghan parliament rejecting Karzai's decree for more power over an election fraud committee. Karzai did not cite the United States directly but accused the United Nations and international media of working against him.
Karzai also said the Western coalition fighting in Afghanistan was close to becoming invaders (NYT). If this perception spreads he said, the insurgency "could become a national resistance." The U.S. embassy and UN mission in Kabul had no comment.
In TIME, Joe Klein says it will be difficult to conduct a successful surge in Kandahar "if we're depending on the Karzai regime to deliver the governance goods."
In the New York Times, Thomas Friedman says the Obama administration has violated "three cardinal rules" in Middle East diplomacy in its Karzai relations, especially turning "a blind eye" on last year's stolen election.
President Obama is pushing for a civilian surge in Afghanistan, but in this CFR interview, John E. Herbst, in charge of staffing a State Department civilian-led reconstruction program in the country, says congressional inaction and funding challenges are hampering American stabilization efforts.
After talks in Beijing with Chinese foreign minister Yang Jiechi, Tehran's senior nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili said international sanctions would not stop (Guardian) Iran's nuclear program .
Iran's Revolutionary Guard will likely be the target of UN Security Council sanctions that could be ready within weeks, says Iran sanctions expert Kenneth Katzman in this CFR interview, while Congress focuses on preventing U.S. companies from selling gasoline and refining equipment to Iran.
Israel: Israeli warplanes struck (WSJ) the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip, including alleged weapons factories and storage depots, a day after a Gaza-fired rocket landed in Israel
President Obama called Chinese President Hu Jintao to seek cooperation (NYT) on Iran's nuclear issue and stronger bi-lateral ties but it was not immediately clear how China would respond.
South Korea: South Korean media continues to speculate (CSM) over what caused the Cheonan warship to sink near the North Korean border last week.
Read CFR's new Asia Unbound blog, featuring timely analysis from CFR Asia experts.
Pakistan's parliament is considering (AFP) constitutional reforms to strip President Asif Ali Zardari of powers to dismiss the prime minister and to dissolve parliament.
The majority of Sudan's main opposition parties say they may boycott (BBC) presidential, parliamentary, and municipal elections this month, after the South's SPLM party voiced concerns over fraud and security.
This Center for Preventive Action Contingency Planning Memorandum presents the likely triggers of renewed civil war and discusses the U.S. policy options for preventing it from happening and mitigating its consequences in the event that it does.
Somalia: Somali rebels are planning to attack (Reuters) Mogadishu's seaport with vessels armed with explosives, according to African Union peacekeepers and moderate Islamists.
Instead of fighting jihad in Somalia by supporting the weak transitional government, the United States would have more success focusing on humanitarian aid and development, says democracy and governance expert Bronwyn Bruton in this CFR interview.
Cuba's foreign minister Bruno Rodriguez and Cheryl Mills, chief of staff to U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, held talks (BBC) at a UN forum on aid for Haiti in New York. It is one of the highest-level meetings between the two countries in years.
Argentina: Thousands of Argentines are expected (MercoPress) to gather for the country's biggest anti-British protests in years over controversial plans to drill for oil in waters surrounding the Falkland Islands.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown agreed to support (DeutscheWelle) tougher sanctions against Iran for its suspected nuclear program.
EU: Carbon dioxide emissions from industrial plants and power stations in Europe's cap-and-trade system dropped 11 percent (FT) last year due to the economic crisis, leaving companies with vast surpluses of carbon allowances.
Ashley's War tells the poignant and gripping story of a groundbreaking team of female American warriors who served alongside Special Operations soldiers in Afghanistan. More
Smith's insightful book explores the policy issues testing the Japanese government as it tries to navigate its relationship with an advancing China. More
This revolutionary new look at volatility and crisis in oil markets explores the conditions in which oil supply fears arise, gain popularity, and eventually wane. More
Rates of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and other noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) in low- and middle-income countries are increasing faster than in wealthier countries. The Independent Task Force outlines a plan for collective action on this growing epidemic.
This Independent Task Force asserts that elevating and prioritizing the U.S.-Canada-Mexico relationship offers the best opportunity for strengthening the United States and its place in the world.
Williams argues that the status quo for peace operations in untenable and that greater U.S. involvement is necessary to enhance the quality and success of peacekeeping missions.
The authors argue that the United States has responded inadequately to the rise of Chinese power and recommend placing less strategic emphasis on the goal of integrating China into the international system and more on balancing China's rise.
Campbell evaluates the implications of the Boko Haram insurgency and recommends that the United States support Nigerian efforts to address the drivers of Boko Haram, such as poverty and corruption, and to foster stronger ties with Nigerian civil society.
Learn more about CFR’s mission and its work over the past year in the 2014 Annual Report. The Annual Report spotlights new initiatives, high-profile events, and authoritative scholarship from CFR experts, and includes a message from CFR President Richard N. Haass.
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