Asia & the Pacific

50 Items

An Iranian soldier wearing a gas mask during the Iran-Iraq War.

Wikimedia Commons

Analysis & Opinions - The Huffington Post

American Exceptionalism Has Its Exceptions

| September 13, 2013

"...American exceptionalism has its exceptions. As stated by the authors of 'Becoming Enemies: U.S.-Iran Relations and the Iran-Iraq War, 1979–1988,' 'For much of the war, particularly in its final phases, Washington turned a blind eye to Iraq's massive use of chemical weapons.' This included the gassing of some 5,000 civilians (the Kurdish population in Halabja, Iraq in March 1988) and more strategically significant, the gassing of thousands of Iranian troops in the spring of 1988, which led to Iraq gaining the ascendancy in the fighting and was a major cause in Iran's in effect suing for a cease fire that summer."

An unidentified Bahraini shouts in anger, Feb. 13, 2011, after riot police fired on a demonstration in Karzakan, Bahrain. Protests began in Bahrain as opposition groups blanketed social media sites calling for anti-government protests.

AP Photo

Analysis & Opinions - The Huffington Post

The 'Glocalized' Roots of Religious Politics: Extremism from Below, Not Abroad

September 17, 2011

"What the Arab uprisings revealed is that today's people, in the Arab world assuredly but not only there, desire less a unified ideology around a single leader or leadership that touts triumphalism over some form of evil and more a system of governance that promotes accountability, transparency and protects every individual's needs and interests."

Shia youths from the Pakistani Kurram tribal area stage a mock scene during a rally demanding peace in their region, near the Presidential House, in Islamabad, Pakistan, Apr. 25, 2011.

AP Photo

Paper - Combating Terrorism Center

Shiism and Sectarian Conflict in Pakistan: Identity Politics, Iranian Influence, and Tit-for-Tat Violence

| September 2010

"Western analysts can no longer afford to ignore the growing potential for sectarian violence in Pakistan, for uncontrolled sectarian violence can destabilize Pakistan and the region at large. Internally, sectarian groups prefer to conduct their attacks in the Punjab, the center of gravity of the country's military and political elite. Attacks against Pakistan's Shia are also bound to have regional implications, since they can further stoke tensions between Pakistan and its neighbor Iran, a Shia-majority state."

U.S. Senator John Kerry, left, meets Pakistan's Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani in Islamabad, Pakistan, Feb. 16, 2011. Kerry wants Pakistan to free a U.S. consulate employee Raymond Davis, allegedly involved in shooting of 2 Pakistanis

AP Photo

Analysis & Opinions - Asia Society

Davis Release Highlights Fragility of US-Pakistan Partnership

| March 16, 2011

There are several key points the US and Pakistan must learn from this episode: The bilateral relationship should not be allowed to become hostage to similar incidents in future; There should be complete transparency in the field of counter-terror operations and both sides should abide by agreed 'rules of the game'; Pakistan should be especially careful not to play politics in such cases, as only extremist elements benefit from such controversies; Finally, the US should also develop a better understanding of political realities on ground in Pakistan.

Book - W.W. Norton & Company

God's Century: Resurgent Religion and Global Politics

  • Daniel Philpott
  • Timothy Samuel Shah
| March 2011

Is religion a force for good or evil in world politics? How much influence does it have? Despite predictions of its decline, religion has resurged in political influence across the globe, helped by the very forces that were supposed to bury it: democracy, globalization, and technology. And despite recent claims that religion is exclusively irrational and violent, its political influence is in fact diverse, sometimes promoting civil war and terrorism but at other times fostering democracy, reconciliation, and peace. Looking across the globe, the authors explain what generates these radically divergent behaviors.

A female protester walks past Egyptian Army military police in Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt, Feb. 13, 2011. Writing in Arabic on an Egyptian flag draped around woman's shoulders reads "Samira, Revolution, Jan. 25", referring to the revolt's start date.

AP Photo

Analysis & Opinions - The Boston Globe

Turkish Lessons, if Any, for Egypt

| February 13, 2011

"Because it must compete, the AKP also speaks to Turks across a much wider range of issues. Today the AKP speaks for a large portion of the Turkish voters who want to see changes made in the approach and character of both their Republic and its international relations toward the West and Israel. With a majority of the Turkish parliament and municipal administrations controlled by the AKP since 2002, the very structure of the secular Turkish Republic is beginning to change. Not through a radical revolution, but rather through an incremental and technical process mandated by the Turkish constitution, something the Brotherhood has never been a part of in Egypt. The AKP draws its strength from its pragmatism not its ideology...."

Mujahedeen rebels, holy warriors, are shown as they rest high in the mountains in the Kunar province area in Afghanistan in May 1980.

AP Photo

Policy Brief - Quarterly Journal: International Security

The Foreign Fighter Phenomenon: Islam and Transnational Militancy

| February 2011

"...[F]oreign fighter mobilizations empower transnational terrorist groups such as al-Qaida, because war volunteering is the principal stepping-stone for individual involvement in more extreme forms of militancy. For example, when Muslims in the West radicalize, they usually do not plot attacks in their home countries right away, but travel to a war zone such as Iraq or Afghanistan first. A majority of al-Qaida operatives began their militant careers as war volunteers, and most transnational jihadi groups today are by-products of foreign fighter mobilizations."

Supporters of Pakistani religious party Sunni Tehreek chant slogans in favor of Mumtaz Qadri, alleged killer of Punjab governor Salman Taseer, and shower rose petals while waiting for him outside an Anti-Terrorist Court in Rawalpindi, Pakistan, 6 Jan 2011

AP Photo

Analysis & Opinions - The Huffington Post

Pakistan: A Two-Speed Society, Destination Unclear

| January 13, 2011

The vision of Pakistan's founder, Mohammed Ali Jinnah, that of a liberal, democratic society tolerant of religious minorities, has largely gone away. What can take its place is uncertain....Since its origins, Pakistan has been a frustrated state, trumped repeatedly by its more powerful neighbor, India, and frequently channeling its sorrow against the United States, all the more so since the spectacular rapprochement between India and the U.S. initiated by the Administration of George W. Bush.

An unidentified Mujahideen rebel stands on guard on high ground over looking the rocky mountainous while on patrol in the area of Kunar Province near the Pakistan border, Feb., 1980, Afghanistan.

AP Photo

Journal Article - Quarterly Journal: International Security

The Rise of Muslim Foreign Fighters: Islam and the Globalization of Jihad

| Winter 2010/11

Why has transnational war volunteering increased so dramatically in the Muslim world since 1980? Standard explanations, which emphasize U.S.-Saudi support for the 1980s Afghan mujahideen, the growth of Islamism, or the spread of Wahhabism are insufficient. The increase in transnational war volunteering is better explained as the product of a pan-Islamic identity movement that grew strong in the 1970s Arab world from elite competition among exiled Islamists in international Islamic organizations and Muslim regimes.

U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates addressing the American-Turkish Council Conference in Washington, D.C., Oct. 18, 2010. He said that the United States remains committed to its alliance with Turkey despite months of high-profile tensions.

AP Photo

Policy Brief - Crown Center for Middle East Studies, Brandeis University

The United States and Turkey: Can They Agree to Disagree?

| November 2010

Given the headline-grabbing actions of Turkey this summer with regard to both Israel and Iran, a powerful narrative has emerged in which the West has "lost" Turkey. In this Brief, Dr. Joshua W. Walker argues that this narrative ignores the process of democratization in Turkey and the domestic pressures facing a populist Justice and Development Party (AKP) government. To this end, this Brief evaluates US-Turkish relations by placing the recent tensions in a larger historical context and assesses various points of convergence and divergence in this relationship today.