Asia and Pacific

Must Read

The Economist: China's New Air-Defence Zone Suggests a Worrying New Approach in the Region

"China is eager to re-establish dominance over the region. Bitterness at the memory of the barbaric Japanese occupation in the second world war sharpens this desire. It is this possibility of a clash between a rising and an established power that lies behind the oft-used parallel between contemporary East Asia and early 20th-century Europe, in which the Senkakus play the role of Sarajevo."

See more in China; Regional Security

Must Read

Wired: The Surge

Author: Matthieu Aikins

"Once you have beaten back a disease to just a few hundred cases, they will almost by definition be concentrated in places where there's some barrier—geographical, cultural, political—to easy vaccination. In general, each marginal case will cost more, and will consume more time and effort and labor, than the one before it...[but] the math of cost-benefit analy­ses runs aground when it comes to eradication campaigns, because the benefits, in theory, are infinite."

See more in Asia and Pacific; Health

Op-Ed

A Return to Stoning Won’t Help the Effort to Rebrand Afghanistan

Author: Gayle Tzemach Lemmon
Defense One

Following recent decisions made during a meeting of the Afghan grand assembly, Gayle Lemmon discusses how Afghans, U.S. foreign policy leaders, and others are working to shift the international perception of the Afghanistan war from one of hopelessness to one that reflects the strides the country has taken in economic growth, development progress, and human rights.

See more in Afghanistan; Nation Building

Must Read

Project Syndicate: Japan's Tax-Hike Test

Author: Koichi Hamada

"If Japan's government can overcome a demand setback after the tax increase takes effect – leaving the economy functioning smoothly and initiating a recovery in government revenue – Abe will be able to declare Abenomics an unequivocal success."

See more in Japan; Economic Development

Must Read

Afghanistan Analysts Network: A Yes, a Maybe and a Threat of Migration: The BSA Loya Jirga’s Last Day

Authors: Kate Clark, Gran Hewad, and Obaid Ali

"When asked if Karzai was concerned that the US might lose faith and withdraw altogether, the president's spokesman said: 'We don't believe there is a zero option.' This rock solid belief that the U.S. will not walk away from Afghanistan gives Karzai the confidence to hold out when the Americans, as well as everyone at the jirga...are pressing him to sign."

See more in Afghanistan; Regional Security

Primary Sources

U.S. Officials Responses to China's East China Sea Air Defense Identification Zone

Author: John F. Kerry

Secretary of State John Kerry and Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel responded to China's announcement of its Air Defense Identification Zone, which includes territories administered by Japan and South Korea. On December 5, 2013, The U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee sent the Chinese Ambassador Cui Tiankai a letter urging the Chinese government not to implement an Air Defense Zone in the East China Sea. The U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission released a report on January 14 , 2014 to analyze China's purpose in announcing its ADIZ.

See more in United States; China; Territorial Disputes

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New Yorker: A Method to Karzai's Madness

Author: Matthieu Aikins

"[Karzai] would support an alternate center of power in the provinces in order to undermine the official one, such as the governor, that he had formally appointed. That way, both could be controlled by being balanced against each other; two weak allies were better than a single strong one who might break away. The result was perpetual instability. The tragedy of Karzai is that his survival strategy has been one that ultimately promotes weakness rather than strength."

See more in Afghanistan; Presidents and Chiefs of State

Must Read

BusinessWeek: Drowning Kiribati

Author: Jeffrey Goldberg

"In our interview, [Anote] Tong said he believes the Obama administration cares about the issue. But he noted that "there are people in Congress who are allergic to the term 'climate change.' " These are the people, he said, he wants to visit Kiribati before it's too late."

See more in Kiribati; Climate Change