December 16, 2011 by Richard Javad Heydarian
The Obama administration is increasingly facing a new foreign policy challenge, which could seriously derail America’s grand strategy in Central Asia. Crucially, as America struggles to stabilize the volatile landscape in Afghanistan, assert a long-term strategic presence in Iraq, and contain Iran’s nuclear ambitions, it is gradually confronting a new foreign policy challenge: a precarious and consequential estrangement from its long-term strategic ally, Pakistan.
With rising dissatisfaction among the Pakistani political elite and growing popular anger against America, Washington is on the verge of losing another vital ally. After a decade of compliant and subservient partnership – coupled with endemic corruption and a severe economic downturn – the Pakistani leadership might face the same fate as other fallen pro-US leaders across the Middle East, from Iran’s Shah in 1979 to Arab autocrats in Egypt and Tunisia in 2011. Crucially, Pakistan is uniquely important, not only for its sheer size, geopolitical position, and powerful army, but also because of its possession of one of the world’s most potent nuclear arsenals.
December 16, 2011 by Taylor Dibbert
Well, it happened. This past November, Spain’s Socialists (PSOE) got hammered at the polls and (after failing twice before) incoming Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy of the nation’s conservative Popular Party (PP), got his absolute majority in Congress. Next week he will be sworn into office. Now what?
There is little doubt that the incoming Rajoy administration will move quickly to reform Spain’s economy. Rajoy spoke about this idea at length during his campaign. Nevertheless, his plans for economic reform were high on rhetoric, but lacked specificity.