Khaled Ahmed* – Indian Express
The Afghan province is emerging as the future capital of the Taliban’s envisioned ‘emirate’.
On February 23, the Afghan Taliban attacked an Afghan National Army (ANA) military outpost in the northeastern province of Kunar, killed 21 soldiers in their sleep and captured a half dozen who were awake. An Afghan spokesman said the Taliban included “foreigners” and hinted at the participation of warriors from “across the border”, meaning Pakistan.
By Henry A. Kissinger*
Public discussion on Ukraine is all about confrontation. But do we know where we are going? In my life, I have seen four wars begun with great enthusiasm and public support, all of which we did not know how to end and from three of which we withdrew unilaterally. The test of policy is how it ends, not how it begins.
Kathleen Geier – The Nation
Economic inequality—as a political cause, as an issue of social and moral concern, as a subject of academic research—is at long last, having its moment. World leaders from President Obama to Pope Francis are giving speeches and sermons about it. Political candidates like Bill de Blasio and Elizabeth Warren have scored upset victories with campaigns that emphasized themes of economic inequality.
By Sergey Karaganov* – Financial Times
The disintegration of the Soviet Union was not viewed as a defeat by the Russian people, but the west treats Russia as a defeated nation all the same.
President Vladimir Putin has been trying to bring together most of the countries of the former Soviet Union in an economic alliance. This would have strengthened the region’s economic competitiveness and helped ward off the kind of instability that bedevilled the Weimar Republic after the dissolution of the German Empire. However, the west has done more or less everything it could to prevent this legitimate rapprochement.
Voice of Russia, RT, TASS
The Estonian Foreign Ministry has confirmed the authenticity of a telephone conversation posted on the Internet between Minister of Foreign Affairs Urmas Paet and EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs Catherine Ashton regarding the events in Ukraine, the press service of the Estonian Foreign Ministry reports.
Melissa Gira Grant – The Nation
This article is adapted from Playing the Whore: The Work of Sex Work , by Melissa Gira Grant, published by Verso Books as a part of the Jacobin series .
There is no one sex industry. Escorting, street hustling, hostessing, stripping, performing sex for videos and webcams—the range of labor that falls under the umbrella of “the sex industry” makes speaking of just one sometimes feel inadequate.
U.S. Hawks Take Flight over Ukraine
Washington, Mar 4 2014 (Jim Lobe, IPS) – A familiar clutch of hawks have taken wing over the rapidly developing crisis in Ukraine, as neo-conservatives and other interventionists claim that President Barack Obama’s preference for diplomacy over military action invited Russian aggression.
by Roderick Parkes and Anita Sobják -Polish Institute of International Affairs, PISM*
During Euromaidan, a lack of cohesion between Member States left the EU pursuing a basic “tipping point” approach: rather than offering Ukraine a large-scale transformation package, the EU tried to apply targeted pressure on the players involved (Moscow, Washington, Ukraine’s politicians and society), and to tip each onto a positive course. The approach was weak, and only last-minute political intervention from a trio of Member States prevented Ukraine’s wholesale descent into chaos and violent repression. Analysis of the political dynamics behind this fragmented response should, however, allow the EU to take a more coherent position, on Ukraine and in the wider region, in the future. Poland is well-placed to lead that approach.
Por Roberto Savio*
Again, Italian politics is shifting. You, and many of my friends, have asked me to explain what is happening. I will give my very personal view, which comes from a lifetime spent on global analysis, and therefore not seen with an Italian eye, even though I am Italian. You all ask me about Renzi. We need to put Renzi into context.
Analysis by Gareth Porter
WASHINGTON, Mar 2014 (IPS) – The Barack Obama administration has demanded that Iran resolve “past and present concerns” about the “possible military dimensions” of its nuclear programme as a condition for signing a comprehensive nuclear agreement with Tehran.
Andrej Nikolaidis – The Guardian
If it’s anything like Bosnia, Ukrainians will find the world lining up to help, but they could be paying back the debt for many years
Jorge Luis Borges once said that a true gentleman is interested in lost causes only. If you’re looking for a decent contemporary lost cause, you will surely find it in Ukraine, since if it comes to war, no matter who wins, most of the ordinary people will be losers.
Paul Krugman – The New York Times
Everyone knows that the Obama administration’s domestic economic agenda is stalled in the face of scorched-earth opposition from Republicans. And that’s a bad thing: The U.S. economy would be in much better shape if Obama administration proposals like the American Jobs Act had become law.
By Jim Lobe
WASHINGTON, Feb 28 2014 (IPS) – Civil society activists from five Arab countries are urging the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to ease pressure on their governments to reduce food and fuel subsidies until stronger social-protection schemes and other basic reforms are implemented.
By Roger Pielke and Daniel Sarewitz* – Financial Times
Having failed to stem carbon emissions in rich countries or in rapidly industrialising ones, policy makers have focused their attention on the only remaining target: poor countries that do not emit much carbon to begin with.
George Ciccariello-Maher – The Nation
The protests this week have far more to do with returning economic and political elites to power than with their downfall.
Ours is an age of riots and rebellions, of radical self-creation in the heady streets: Spain’s indignados, the Occupy movement, Mexico’s Yo Soy 132, and of course the Arab Spring. We are understandably excited when we see people in the streets, and our pulse may even rise at the sight of masks, broken glass and flames, because for so long such images have represented the shards of the old world through which we can catch the perceptible glint of the new. Recent protests in Venezuela against the government of Chávez successor Nicolás Maduro might therefore seem to be simply the latest act in an upsurge of world-historic proportions.
George Zornick – The Nation
President Obama spoke with Afghan President Hamid Karzai by phone on Tuesday, for the first time since late June, and finally issued a long-rumored ultimatum: the United States will prepare plans to withdraw all 37,000 US troops from the country in the event a bilateral security agreement isn’t signed.
By Shastri Ramachandran* – IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis
NEW DELHI (IDN) – The South Asian Association of Regional Cooperation (SAARC) is not a shining model of regional cooperation. It is seen as a talking shop – of a region that accounts for the largest population of the poor – with lofty goals, high-sounding resolutions, ringing declarations and little by way of achievement.
By Jim Lobe*
WASHINGTON, Feb 25 2014 (IPS) – Signalling a somewhat more modest global U.S. military posture, Pentagon chief Chuck Hagel Monday called for sharp reductions in the size of the U.S. Army, the service that has borne the brunt of the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan over the past dozen years.
By PETER BAKERFEB – The New York Times.
WASHINGTON — Televisions around the White House were aglow with pictures of Ukrainians in the streets, demanding to be heard and toppling a government aligned with Russia. It was an invigorating moment, and it spurred a president already rethinking his approach to the world.
By Minh Le
UNITED NATIONS, Feb 24 2014 (IPS) – Nobel Laureate Betty Williams started her speech to a peace forum at the U.N. headquarters Friday with perhaps the last thing the audience would expect her to say.