The irrelevance of START

Posted by , 26th November 2010

new startCharles Krauthammer

Despite more urgent issues on the table (such as unemployment and tax ambiguity), President Obama considers his New START treaty of the utmost importance. But in these post-Soviet days the Russians are no longer a significant threat no matter how many weapons they amass. This is because it is not the number of weapons but the nature of the regime controlling them that is the issue. While much of the New START treaty with Russia is simply an irrelevant distraction, the fact that the president is ignoring the very real threat posed by the nuclear proliferation in North Korea and Iran is troubling and dangerous.

Krauthammer is a weekly columnist for The Post, writing on foreign and domestic policy and politics.

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The Show Trial of Mikhail Khodorkovsky

Posted by , 20th May 2010
THE KREMLIN, MOSCOW. President Putin with Mikh...

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Yuri Schmidt

Russian legal nihilism is on display in the case of Russia’s most famous political prisoner. Having taxed Yukos into oblivion, authorities are now looking for new ways to keep Mikhail Khodorkovsky in jail by absurdly asserting that he in fact stole all of the oil that was just so heavily taxed. In the absence of any appearance of due process, the Kremlin has tried to apply a patina of fairness and reasonableness to the procedures. Schmidt argues that this sham process is the very model of the “legal nihilism” President Dmitri Medvedev decries in Russia. Fran├žois Zimeray, the French Ambassador for Human Rights who visited the court last month, observed that “Khodorkovsky’s resistance […] has made him an icon for defenders of human rights.” He concluded that not just one man, but rather the future of Russia itself, is on trial.

Schmidt is a Russian human rights lawyer who represents Mr. Khodorkovsky.

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Don’t Neglect India

Posted by , 24th November 2009

Fareed Zakaria

indiaRegarding the United States’ international relations and their importance in the Afghan war, the author says it is a mistake for America to align itself too closely with Pakistan. Zakaria notes that, unlike Pakistan’s objectives, India’s (notably the desire to defeat the Taliban) are compatible with the those of the United States. Critics of a closer relationship between the Obama administration and India say that India is too close to China, a country to which Obama has been accused of “kowtowing”. Yet India’s influence in Pakistan is significant, and in a region teeming with failed states, India is notable for its stable democracy and expanding economy. The United States should look to a relationship with India as the true “prize” in its relations with Asia.

Zakaria is editor of Newsweek International.

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Opinion summaries provided by Opinion Source, an organization with which Safe Democracy is associated

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China: Hu Jintao and the national minorities

The government steps further away from solving interethnic problems

Posted by , 9th July 2009

hujintaoPreventing the struggles of national minorities goes beyond physical intervention, it should involve a new type of political action and thought which achieves a balance between ethnic groups. Hu Jintao should worry, not much more time is left to fix what has been broken.

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Pakistan’s multidimensional governance crisis

The lethal combination of an unsettling government, terrorism and a crashing economy

Posted by , 9th July 2009

PAKISTAN-POLITICS-ELECTIONPakistan suffered from a multidimensional governance crisis of a very serious nature. The Pakistani state was not performing as expected and the political system was fragile. Notwithstanding the fact that Pakistan was a nuclear power, the country was weakened from within because of continued political and economic crisis of immense magnitude.

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Pakistan: the militancy threat and the USA’s uncertain regional strategy

The Obama and Zardari administrations must form a new partnership to stabilize the country

Posted by , 15th May 2009

sohailpakistan3Is Pakistan truly falling apart? Does the Zardari administration have credibility abroad? Is the Obama administration really serious about aiding the world’s only Islamic nuclear power? Does Pakistan trust the US? Read on for the answers.


Europe and the future of Security

The EU, the United States and Russia in favor of an institutional overhaul

Posted by , 14th May 2009

calduchseguridadeuropaIs it possible to reconstruct the political and military understanding between Europe, the United States and Russia that prevailed in the nineties and fell apart during the last Bush administration, or has the time come to lay the foundation for a new order of European security based on the needs of the twenty-first century?

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War in Afghanistan: Will Hamid Karzi remain at the head of the government?

The new American strategy for “AfPak”

Posted by , 16th April 2009

obamakarzai1Barack Obama has just launched his new strategy for Afghanistan. Is there a place for Hamid Karzai in the “restructuring plans”? Who can assure us that the other candidates aren’t ten times worse than Karzai?


The political crisis and the reinstatement of the higher judiciary in Pakistan

Zardari must be replaced and the parliamentary government restored

Posted by , 20th March 2009

nawazardari.jpgIn light of the multiple threats to Pakistan, it is time for national reconciliation and mutual toleration among the various political parties.