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January 13, 2012

U.S. Restores Diplomatic Relations With Myanmar

News today that the administration would restore full diplomatic relations with Myanmar, placing an ambassador in the country, should be seen as another sign of the rapid reentry of Myanmar into the …

Ko Pyone Cho (C), one of the leaders of a 1988 student uprising, reunites with his family at Yangon International Airport in Yangon January 13, 2012.

January 20, 2012

Washington Post Interview with Thein Sein

Today’s Washington Post has an extended interview with Burmese president Thein Sein, who met Post senior associate editor Lally Weymouth. The interview is fascinating simply because of its novelty: B…

Myanmar's president Thein Sein arrives at the Bali Nusa Dua Convention Center before the opening ceremony of the ASEAN Summit in Nusa Dua, Bali on November 17, 2011.

February 13, 2012

North Korea
Some Worrying Signs in Myanmar

Over the past year, the news from Myanmar has been overwhelmingly positive, for the first time in decades. The latest U.S. official who may apparently visit the onetime pariah is Central Intelligence…

Shin Gambira (center), leader of the All-Burmese Monks Alliance, talks to supporters in January, 2012, after his release from prison. BBC News reported Friday that he has been once again taken away by Burmese authorities.

April 24, 2012

Heads of State and Government
Is Oil Shale the Next Big Energy Battle?

The House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology held a hearing last week titled “Tapping America’s Unconventional Oil Resources for Job Creation and Affordable Domestic Energy: Technology & Pol…

May 4, 2012

United States
You Might Have Missed: Drones, Preterm Births, and Robot Soldiers

AFP, “U.S.-Afghan Pact ‘Does Not Rule Out Drone Strikes,’” May 3, 2012. The pact between the United States and Afghanistan could leave the door open for continued drone strikes against insurgent tar…

Afghan bombing

June 5, 2012

Morning Brief: European Slowdown Will Hurt Exports

U.S. companies are increasingly warning investors that unexpected European weakness is dampening sales (NYT).  Declining sales in Europe are expected to pull down corporate profits in the United Stat…

A cashier counts euro banknotes as a customer purchases an Apple iPad in Paris on March 16, 2012 (Charles Platiau/Courtesy Reuters).

October 16, 2012

Light Blogging

Blogging will be light for the next few weeks. In the meantime, here are some interesting new releases on the Middle East that you may enjoy: The Politics of Nationalism in Modern Iran by Ali Ansar…


October 26, 2012

United States
You Might Have Missed: Drones, Targeted Killings, and Autonomous Robots

Maria Abi-Habib, “Troops Shot After Taliban Leader’s Call,” Wall Street Journal, October 26, 2012. Anti-American feelings are rife in the Afghan army and police, the two forces that are supposed to …

Armed reaper drone

November 7, 2012

Sub-Saharan Africa
Turkey’s Love Affair With Somalia

Karen Kaya specializes in Middle Eastern affairs with a particular focus on Turkey and is a National Security Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. Jason Warner is a Ph.D. student in A…

Turkey's PM Erdogan and Somalia's President Ahmed stand in front of their countries' national flags as they listen to the national anthems in Mogadishu 19/08/2011.

March 8, 2013

United States
You Might Have Missed: Threat Inflation, Transparency, and Drone Strikes

James Kitfield, “Outsourcing the Fight Against Terrorism,” National Journal, March 7, 2013. In Iraq and Afghanistan, where U.S. officers honed the tactics they teach here (Baker did several combat t…