Asia & the Pacific

12 Items

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Analysis & Opinions - The Oregonian

The Islamic State has made a big mistake

| July 7, 2016

In the global revulsion at the recent terror attacks in four Muslim countries, the United States and its allies have a new opportunity to build a unified command against the Islamic State and other extremists. FDP Senior Fellow David Ignatius examines the diplomatic relationships needed to create an effective counterterrorism strategy.

Secretary of State Kerry speaking to Harvard students during Belfer Center event hosted by Director Graham Allison (right).

(Belfer Center Photo/Benn Craig)

News - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Belfer Center Conversation with Secretary of State John Kerry

| October 14, 2015

Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs hosted Secretary of State John Kerry on Tuesday, October 13, for a discussion of diplomacy and challenges in key hotspots around the globe.

In a one-on-one discussion with Secretary Kerry, Belfer Center Director Graham Allison asked Kerry about his concerns and plans related to Iran, Syria, Russia, and the Islamic State, among others.The overflow event in the Charles Hotel ballroom included questions from the audience of more than 500 Harvard students and faculty.

Included here is the complete U.S. Department of State transcript from the event. The video is included with the original transcript.

Afghan men stand near some posters which were destroyed by Taliban fighters, in a street of Kunduz, north of Kabul, Afghanistan, Oct. 1, 2015.

AP

Analysis & Opinions - The Boston Globe

The Second Kick of a Mule in Afghanistan

| October 1, 2015

"Whatever military victories were won by international forces during their time in Iraq and Afghanistan, the only true test of success in these wars is the long-term durability of their pro-Western regimes. But in both countries, these regimes are withering under the insurgent challenge and morphing into something quite unlike what their patrons intended."

Members of II Squadron RAF Regiment & the U.S. Marine Corps board U.S. Osprey Aircraft at Camp Bastion, Afghanistan, Feb. 6, 2012. The Coalition troops deployed on Operation Backfoot, a combined operation to disrupt insurgent activity in Helmand province.

Cpl. Andy Benson, RAF

Analysis & Opinions - Foreign Policy

Why We Failed to Win a Decisive Victory in Afghanistan

| March 2, 2015

"In Afghanistan, as in Iraq, when the conventional phase was over and the mission became indistinguishable from enforcing the writ of a relatively corrupt government over disillusioned parts of its own population, the notion that a decisive outcome was even available is illusory: first, because that task is endless — as it's about changing people's political affiliations, which are liable to evolve (as we have seen quite spectacularly in Iraq since the surge); second, because there was not a single coherent enemy force to be rendered powerless in the first place."

Analysis & Opinions - Foreign Affairs

Don't Bank On It

| July/August 2014

"Mobile-based financial tools are thus highly vulnerable to abuse by money launderers and terrorist financiers. But if governments and financial institutions find ways of addressing these security issues, the mobile-finance revolution could provide benefits far beyond helping the poor."

Analysis & Opinions - The Huffington Post

The Russians: Backing the Wrong Horse (Again)

| February 27. 2014

"That the Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, could, along with John Kerry, help sponsor the Geneva II Conference, which was held on the basis of a transition to regime change, and then refuse at the conference itself to even nudge the Syrian government delegates along this line, proves once again that Russia is less of a partner than an adversary."

An Afghan man sits by torn and defaced election posters in Kabul, Afghanistan, Feb. 24, 2010. Afghanistan's president has taken control of a formerly independent body that monitors election fraud, snarling U.S. efforts to erode Taliban support.

AP Photo

Analysis & Opinions - The Huffington Post

The American Syndrome: Seeing the World as We Like It

| March 10, 2010

...[I]n Afghanistan, the American vision is that of a "bottom up" approach in a negotiation with the overwhelmingly Pashtun Taliban, not a "top down" one. In other words, coaxing away low-level Taliban fighters and their commanders ("reintegration"), rather than changing the government setup at Kabul by letting Taliban leaders become members of the government ("reconciliation"). Though reintegration may have some initial success, spurred on by money and jobs, it is unlikely to be permanent, given the Afghans' long history of changing sides. But also because those fighting against the US-backed government appeal to much more than money. They have successfully mobilized nationalist and islamist sentiment among the Pashtuns, which is hard for a perceived-corrupt government to combat through financial incentives.