Global News Journal

from Afghan Journal:

Standing by your friends:India, U.S. push ahead with nuclear deal

March 31, 2010


For all the hand-wringing in India over getting sidelined by the United States in its regional strategy,  the two countries have gone ahead and just completed an important deal on the reprocessing of spent nuclear fuel from reactors to be built in India.

from Pakistan: Now or Never?:

India and Pakistan: a personal view of the water wars

March 29, 2010

 It was so long in the making,  so utterly predictable, that the news that Pakistan and India are now arguing over water carries with it the dull ache of inevitability.

from Afghan Journal:

Obama’s secret trip to Afghanistan

March 29, 2010


For a leader who has come to own the Afghan war, U.S. President Barack Obama's first trip to Kabul and the military headquarters in  Bagram since he took office 15 months ago was remarkable for its secrecy and surprise.

Japan’s “political deflation”

March 29, 2010


“Political deflation” – that’s how one quipster described the woes besetting Japan’s political sphere as support for both the new ruling party and its main conservative rival slips on concerns that neither side is capable of steering an economy plagued by falling prices, decades of lacklustre growth and a fast-ageing, shrinking population.

Australia’s “Ironman” opposition leader kicks off fitness debate

March 29, 2010


Move aside Vladimir Putin and Barack Obama.

Putin, Russia’s bare-chested macho man, and marathon fan Obama  are not anywhere near Australia’s new opposition leader Tony Abbott, who has entered the ranks of ultra iron men, kickstarting a debate about leadership and fitness in the process.

from Pakistan: Now or Never?:

Iran’s role in Afghanistan

March 27, 2010

ahmadinejadkarzaiIran has been hosting regional leaders, including Afghan President Hamid Karzai, to celebrate the Persian New Year, or Nowruz (a spring festival whose equivalent in Pakistan, incidentally, is frowned upon by its own religious conservatives).

from Pakistan: Now or Never?:

India and Pakistan on the U.S. see-saw

March 26, 2010

wagah2Few who follow South Asia could miss the symbolism of two separate developments in the past week -  in one Pakistan was cosying up to the United States in a new "strategic dialogue"; in the other India was complaining to Washington about its failure to provide access to David Headley, the Chicago man accused of helping to plan the 2008 attack on Mumbai.

from Afghan Journal:

Burying the Powell doctrine in Afghanistan

March 23, 2010

A U.S. soldier in Helamd. Picture by Shamil Zhumatov)

A U.S. soldier in Helmand. Picture by Shamil Zhumatov)

Early this month Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, delivered what military experts are saying was the final nail in the coffin of  the Powell doctrine, a set of principles that General Colin Powell during his tenure as chairman laid out for the use of military force. A key element was that the military plan should employ decisive and overwhelming force in order to achieve a rapid result. A clear exit strategy must be thought through right from the beginning and the use of force must only be a last resort, Powell said, the experience of Vietnam clearly weighing on him.

Australian voters worming to PM Rudd

March 23, 2010

rudd001    If Australia’s election worm has its way, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd will be re-elected in a landslide victory later in 2010.
    Rudd on Tuesday won the first of three televised debates, say political analysts, kick starting what will likely be a drawn-out eight-month campaign ahead of elections tipped for November.
Conservative opposition leader Tony Abbott had the killer lines, but it was the PM’s bookish, technocrat style which struck a chord with voters watching the debate.
    Two commercial television networks which broadcast the debate used a controversial opinion “worm”, a moving line that dips and rises into negative or positive territory according to so-called “wormologist” viewer reactions as each politican spoke.
    Almost everytime Rudd opened his mouth, the worm soared upwards, before diving to earth the moment camera’s switched to the otherwise telegenic Abbott.
    It seemed pugnacious Abbott’s straight-talking style could make no dent against Rudd, whose popularity in major opinion surveys has been sliding dramatically in recent months, although he remains on course for victory.
    “I’m at a terrible disavantage in this debate because I’m not capable of waffling for two minutes the way the prime minister is,” quipped Abbott to live audience laughter.
    Dip, on both networks.
    Most political analysts had opined ahead of the debate that taking part in a debate was a brave move for Rudd, who has been accused of lacking courage to push forcefully for many of the key reform promises that spearheaded his victory two years ago.
    “Some Labor hardheads firmly believe Rudd may have made a strategic mistake,” said senior journalist Lenore Taylor in the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper.
    But by the end of the debate, and with the worm attempting to crawl off the charts into positive territory, Rudd’s decision looks like a masterstroke that could restore momentum on health, climate, tax and education reform.
    “Verdict:  Rudd the winner.  Abbott probably won the debate but was too punchy and negative,” wrote columnist Mark Kenny in the Adelaide Advertiser newspaper.
    At one stage it seemed political attack and “negativity” was the problem for Abbott, with viewers punishing anything aggressive. But even Rudd’s rare aggressive forays and straying from his favoured facts seemed to go in his direction. “Okay, finished with the worm.  It’s clearly in love with Rudd,” said political radio network journalist Latika Bourke.
    The lesson of the worm seems that surveys aside, Rudd’s stellar popularity may still be as strong as ever.

from MacroScope:

Frustrated Greeks

March 22, 2010

The Greek debt crisis appears to be entering a new phase, in which the country is no longer just waiting to get needed help but getting concerned that others -- including euro zone powerhouse Germany -- may actually be making it hard for them to recover.