Enter the Dragon: Will China’s Deal of the Century Save Congo?

July 16, 2012 by

Twenty-four trillion dollars. It is a number that beggars the imagination, almost 40% of the global economy, and it is buried in one of the world’s poorest and most violent countries: The Democratic Republic of Congo. Failed state, rape capital of the world, humanitarian catastrophe…Congo personifies all these but beneath the surface its dark earth holds $24 trillion of copper, cobalt, coltan, the bones and blood of information age manufacturing.

Damned by Riches: How Afghanistan’s Mineral Wealth Undermines NATO Mission

June 27, 2012 by

It is like something out of a movie: deep in the archives of a war torn country a team of intrepid scientists discovers forgotten maps leading to buried treasure. Fantastical as it seems, such a scene played out in 2004 when American geologists found a cache of charts in the Afghan Geological Survey’s library dating from the days of Soviet occupation. Returned to the library after the NATO invasion, these Russian charts were protected in geologists’ homes through the tumultuous 1990s’ and for good reason.

Kremlin Human Rights Watchdog’s New Master

May 5, 2012 by

In two days, Vladimir Putin will be inaugurated for this third term as the President of the Russian Federation. And with his reentry into the nation’s chief position, the issue of human rights and the development of civil society, a touted reform in the past four years under current President Medvedev, face an uncertain future. Earlier this week President Medvedev’s held his final meeting with the Kremlin’s Council on the Development of Civil Society and Human Rights.

Imran Khan: A Cricketer turned Politician

February 1, 2012 by

As of late, Imran Khan, the former cricket player for the Pakistan national cricket team, and the founder of the political party, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), is very much in news not only in Pakistan but also around the world. As a famous cricketer, Imran Khan is well known, but his new incarnation as a social and political reformer committed to the cause of social, economic and political development and an agenda of access to education, elimination of corruption, end of the military-mullah nexus and the establishment of real democracy in Pakistan and also ensuring restructured relations with the United States, are some of his cause celebs.

Can Imran Khan Change Pakistan?

November 3, 2011 by

Imran Khan, the legendary cricket player, is larger than life in Pakistan. His fame, persona, and charisma go back to his cricket days when he mesmerized the cricket world with his dazzling performance and style, not to mention leading Pakistan to become the World Champion in 1992. Mr. Khan, 58, is long retired from cricket. But, now, he has brought his fame, charisma, along with patriotic endeavors into the political realm of Pakistan. The question is does he have the necessary skills to bring about Pakistan from rising unemployment and inflation, diplomatic fallout with the U.S., a testy relationship with India, and ongoing unrest between reformists and fundamentalists?