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A selection of op-eds and editorials from the U.S. and around the world. Sign up for the email alert or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Afghan Plan, U.S.-Mexico Dispute, and Talking to Syria

March 19, 2009


Boston Globe

  • Talking To Syria: In an editorial, the paper notes a new report on human rights abuses in Syria, and says while President Obama is right to talk to the Syrians, he must approach the regime there without illusions.

Business Standard (India)

  • U.S. Debt: The paper comments on the remarks on U.S. debt by China's Premier Wen Jiabao, in an editorial. It says both countries need time to readjust their economies, and it is arguable that China has the easier challenge.

Christian Science Monitor

  • Moscow's Missiles: In an editorial, the paper considers Russia's plans to upgrade its nuclear arsenal. It says the Kremlin is wrong if it is calculating that a stepped-up military is in Moscow's interest.

Daily Star (Lebanon)

  • Khamenei's Power: Mehdi Khalaji of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, commenting on the withdrawal of Mohammad Khatami as a presidential contender in Iran, says the real power in the country lies with the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Daily Telegraph

  • Guantanamo Claims: In an editorial, the paper says the British government should have acted faster in response to claims by a former detainee at Guantanamo Bay that he was tortured with the complicity of British intelligence officers.

Dawn (Pakistan)

  • Pakistan Justice: Commentator Zubair Bhatti warns against high expectations from the reinstated chief justice in Pakistan. The weighty constitutional and political disputes of the state are likely to generate intense debate, partisanship, and criticism, whatever the final decisions of the reconstituted Supreme Court, he says.

Financial Times

  • Geithner: In an editorial, the paper wonders if Timothy Geithner's days as U.S. Treasury Secretary are numbered. It hopes not. If he should have to step down, it would be a serious blow to an administration which the United States and the world desperately needs to succeed, it judges.
  • Asian Capitalism: Kishore Mahbubani of the National University of Singapore writes that once the global crisis is over Asians will naturally view with caution any Western advice on economics, particularly because most Asians believe that the crisis has only vindicated the Asian approach to capitalism.

Globe and Mail (Canada)

  • AIG Transparency: In an editorial, the paper says the only consolation of the row over AIG bonuses is that now a much fuller account has come into view of what happened to the $173-billion paid by the U.S. government to rescue that enormous insurance company.

Guardian (UK)

  • Iraq Defeat: Columnist Seumas Milne writes that there is no question that the United States has suffered a strategic defeat in Iraq. Far from turning the country into a forward base for the transformation of the region on Western lines, it became a global demonstration of the limits of American military power, he judges.

Hindu (India)

  • Afghan Government: Commentator M.K. Bhadrakumar writes that the government of Afghanistan is meandering, cut adrift by the Obama administration. Talking with the moderate Taliban, he says, is necessary but it will no longer suffice, as it would have sufficed in 2002 or 2003.  

New York Times

  • Financial Crisis: In an editorial, the paper says the financial crisis, including what went wrong at AIG, is not just the result of a missing regulator, but rather is rooted in the refusal of regulators, lawmakers, and executive-branch officials to heed warnings about risks in the system.
  • Mexico Dispute: In a further editorial, the paper warns both the United States and Mexico to be careful in its current trade dispute. A full-fledged fight could threaten more than $350 billion in annual commerce between the two countries, it says: that is clearly in nobody's interest.

News (Pakistan)

  • U.S. and Pakistan: In an editorial, the paper says the mood may be changing in Washington with respect to the government in Pakistan. It also detects a change in attitude towards opposition leader Nawaz Sharif.

New Straits Times (Malaysia)

  • Chinese Incident: Commentator Frank Ching, noting a recent incident involving U.S. and Chinese naval vessels, observes that both countries are eager not to allow it to escalate at a time when both countries wish to cooperate in tackling the global financial crisis.

Sydney Morning Herald

  • Australia's Diplomats: The Herald is concerned about the state of Australia's diplomatic service. It needs more posts in places like Chongqing and Hyderabad, and much more of its staff learning Urdu/Hindi, Persian, Arabic and the languages of East Asia, it says in an editorial.

Times of India

  • Green Obama: In an editorial, the paper says the fear that oil prices in free fall would lead to a slowdown of investment in green energy is partly allayed by the fact that President Obama's stimulus package has earmarked $60 billion for various renewable and efficient energy initiatives.

Times of London

  • Reinforce Afghanistan: In an editorial, the paper says the British government should ignore calls to scale back Britain's military operation in Afghanistan and send a full battalion of reinforcements instead.

Wall Street Journal

  • AIG: In an editorial on the row over AIG executives' bonuses, the paper calls this a full-blown political panic ignited by President Obama himself that is threatening to engulf his attempts to revive the financial system, and is undermining confidence in his leadership.
  • Mexican Trade War: In a further editorial, the Journal considers the potential consequences of a U.S. trade war with Mexico. Given the downturn in demand that already exists in the U.S. economy, this one could be ugly, and dangerous, it judges.

Washington Post

  • Afghan Plan: Senators John McCain and Joseph Lieberman write that a comprehensive overhaul of the U.S. war plan in Afghanistan is needed, and quickly. They say the president should unambiguously reject a minimalist approach.
  • Read Kilcullen: Op-ed Columnist David Ignatius says that Australian counterinsurgency guru David Kilcullen offers the clearest road map he's seen for moving ahead in Afghanistan in a new book.
  • Pakistan's Problems: In an editorial, the paper says that despite the resolution of the latest political crisis in Pakistan, for the Obama administration, the challenge of political dysfunction in this nuclear-armed state has hardly diminished.

Washington Times

  • Executive Bonuses: In an editorial, the paper urges President Obama to embrace greater deliberation and make sure all possible impacts are examined before moving forward with any legislative response in the row over executive bonuses.