Global News Journal

from Pakistan: Now or Never?:

Defining Pakistan

March 15, 2010

binoria girlsHistorian Manan Ahmed has a must-read column up at The National on a strengthening grassroots conservative Islamist ideology in Pakistani society, encouraged, he says, by the political thinking of the likes of TV host Zaid Hamid.

from Afghan Journal:

Pakistan getting ahead of itself on the Afghan chessboard?

March 15, 2010

(An Afghan woman outside  a shop in Herat. Picture by Morteza Nikoubazl )

(An Afghan woman outside a shop in Herat. Picture by Morteza Nikoubazl )

If you have been reading news reports and blogs in recent weeks on Pakistan's Afghanistan strategy, you would think Islamabad has emerged at the top of the heap, holding all the cards to a possible endgame. Its close ties to the Afghan Taliban put Islamabad in a unique position for a negotiated settlement to the eight-year-war, with little place for arch rival India which has been trying to muscle into its sphere of influence.

Thai protesters face impasse

March 15, 2010

By Ambika Ahuja

Anti-government protesters massing in Bangkok face a tricky question: continue with a non-violent strategy that emphasises peaceful protests and risk losing momentum or try a more provocative approach that could lead to a reprise of last April’s riots –Thailand’s worst street violence in 17 years – which discredited them.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-il says bye-bye bouffant. Hello China?

March 15, 2010

NORTH KOREANorth Korean leader Kim Jong-il appears to have abandoned his trademark bouffant, relegating one of the world’s most noticeable hair styles to the scrap heap of history.

from Pakistan: Now or Never?:

Fresh reports surface of Taliban-al Qaeda rift

March 14, 2010

mehsudAccording to the Los Angeles Times, a growing number of Taliban militants in the Pakistani border region are refusing to collaborate with Al Qaeda fighters, declining to provide shelter or assist in attacks in Afghanistan even in return for payment. It quotes U.S. military and counter-terrorism officials as saying that threats to the militants' long-term survival from Pakistani, Afghan and foreign military action are driving some Afghan Taliban away from Al Qaeda.

from Pakistan: Now or Never?:

Pakistan: winning over Tehran and Kabul

March 13, 2010

iran pakistanAccording to the Iranian foreign minister, quoted by Press TV, this week's visit by Afghan President Hamid Karzai to Islamabad was related to plans for a trilateral summit between Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan. The relationship between the three countries and potential influence on Afghanistan gets a lot less attention than the strained ties between India and Pakistan. But it's worth watching closely for the way it can shape the regional competition for influence in Afghanistan ahead of an expected drawdown of U.S. troops in 2011.

U.S. public servants sacrifice cash prizes

March 11, 2010

President Barack Obama had to give up his $1.4 million Nobel Peace prize award, but at least he got to choose which charities would benefit — he named 10, with the largest share going to Fisher House, which houses families of wounded veterans while they receive treatment.

from Tales from the Trail:

General Odierno gives “The Hurt Locker” friendly review

March 10, 2010

OSCARS/As the top U.S. military commander in Iraq, General Ray Odierno must have on-the-ground knowledge of the American military teams that defuse roadside bombs in Iraq.

What flesh will be put on the bones of an EMF?

March 9, 2010

In the space of a few weeks, the idea of creating a European Monetary Fund to rescue financially troubled EU member states has gone from being a high-level brainwave from a pair of economists to a major policy initiative backed by powerbroker Germany. In EU terms, that’s Formula One fast.