During German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s recent visit to China, the two countries agreed to jointly fund a disaster response centre in Afghanistan. It was just the latest sign of China’s increasingly prominent role in that country, which also includes trying to jump-start peace talks with the Taliban.
At a press conference in Hanoi on May 23, President Obama announced that he would lift the decades-old arms embargo on Vietnam, which he called “a lingering vestige of the Cold War.” He also confirmed that, two days earlier, a missile launched from a U.S. Special Operations Forces drone had killed the Taliban leader Mullah Akhtar Muhammad Mansur in a taxi about a hundred miles southwest of Quetta, the capital of the Pakistani province of Balochistan. (The strike also killed the driver, Muhammad Azam, whose family the U.S.
Iran is working with the Taliban to set up a buffer zone along its border with Afghanistan to keep out the Islamic State, the latest sign of how the rise of the Syrian-based terror group is turning longtime rivals into uneasy allies.
Organized crime, public and private sector corruption, and the involvement of political actors in criminal activity are all long-standing features of political societies, regardless of country. But for developing countries, addressing these issues takes on heightened urgency and complexity: organized crime can derail development progress and foster broader insecurity. Delinking organized crime from politics while enhancing legitimate governance and the delivery of services will remain the most important challenge for many developing countries.
Over the past decade the United States and the international community have funded an unprecedented private security industry in Afghanistan. As a result, this industry has become entangled with the Afghan political economy, as international spending has been implicated in funding informal armed groups and commanders. Considerable uncertainty remains as Afghanistan approaches the 2014 deadline for assuming national security responsibilities.
Does the Elephant Dance? elegantly surveys key features of contemporary Indian foreign policy. David Malone identifies relevant aspects of Indian history, examines the role of domestic politics and internal and external security challenges, and of domestic and international economic factors. He analyzes the specifics of India's policy within its South Asian neighborhood, and with respect to China, the USA, West Asia, East Asia, Europe, and Russia as well as multilateral diplomacy. The book also touches on Indian ties to Africa and Latin America, and the Caribbean.