"Seven-in-ten Indians are dissatisfied with the way things are going in India today, according to a new Pew Research Center survey. And, with the Indian parliamentary elections just weeks away, the Indian public, by a margin of more than three-to-one, would prefer the Hindu-nationalist opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to lead the next Indian government rather than the Indian National Congress (INC), which heads the current left-of-center governing coalition."
Even as Afghan forces take the lead in providing security and NATO draws down its military presence, the Taliban continues to wage a resilient insurgency. Prospects appear dim for a negotiated settlement or the group's participation in electoral politics.
"The motives behind Pyongyang's actions over the past year - from nuclear tests to the high-profile execution of Kim's uncle Jang Song-thaek - have mystified many in the region, including China. Many Chinese scholars and government think tanks say they are being kept in the dark about its latest developments."
"China has long maintained a no-strings-attached approach to doing business in Africa, with little involvement in conflict resolution. But the friction in recent years between Sudan and South Sudan, and now within South Sudan, has resulted in a marked change because of China's interest in maintaining its oil supply."
"[Shinzo Abe] is the first leader in years with any hope of solving the festering issue of US marine bases in Okinawa. He is willing to spend more on defence after years of a self-imposed limit of 1 per cent of output. Those policies, however, come with a price tag: a revisionist nationalism that many in Washington find distasteful."
"While Mr. Spence has come away impressed with how 'curious and open' Chinese officials are, he also doesn't mince words about how serious China's problems are. With the global economy increasingly dependent on China, the danger is that the nation is 'on a collision course with its own growth model,' he said in an interview."
Based on a visit to Fukushima in December 2013, Laurie Garrett reports that 250,000 tons of radioactive soil is sitting in plastic bags around the nuclear plant, and explains that Japan does not know what to do with it.
Alyssa Ayres leads a conversation on the upcoming elections in India and discusses the role of religion and caste in regional politics, as part of CFR's Religion and Foreign Policy Conference Call series.
The faltering of Pakistan's peace talks with its homegrown terrorists over the weekend offers Islamabad a chance to draw a clear line of defense around Pakistan's constitutional order, writes Daniel Markey.
On 21 March 2013, the United Nations Human Rights Council established the Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) through resolution A/HRC/RES/22/13. The commission investigated "the systematic, widespread and grave violations of human rights" in North Korea and released a report on February 17, 2014 of their findings.
"For outsiders, the reform process also poses risks that extend well beyond the global economic fallout of a sharp Chinese slowdown. The country's neighbors, particularly Japan, have the most to fear. If reforms become broadly unpopular or expose dangerous divisions within the leadership, the government will have good reason to divert public attention from controversies at home by picking fights abroad."
An infographic on the upcoming elections in India, including an explanation what's at stake in 2014, a history of past elections, and information on the mechanics of the elections. The graphic explores the key parties and the formation of the national government as a whole. India's sixteenth general election is set to take place in late Spring 2014 once the term expires for the current Lok Sabha on May 31, 2014.
After the tragic reappearance of polio in Afghanistan's capital city, Kabul, Laurie Garrett and Maxine Builder explore how Taliban plots to obstruct polio vaccinations could derail many hard-fought gains in global health and development.
China's growing demand for natural resources has been a boon for commodity producers, but it has also raised concerns about its effects on the global economy. Following the publication of their new book, By All Means Necessary: How China's Resource Quest is Changing the World, CFR Fellows Elizabeth C. Economy and Michael Levi join CFR's Director of Studies James M. Lindsay to discuss some of their findings.
For more on the complex challenges that lie ahead for the world's largest and most rapidly changing continent, visit the Asia Program.
CFR Experts Guide
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.