World News Brief, Friday July 23

Petraeus to step up counter-insurgency strategy in Afghanistan as Republicans express doubts; North Korea warns off US and South Korea; Kosovo's independence ruled legal; Bernanke says economic outlook is "unusually uncertain"; and more

Top of the Agenda: Petraeus Ramping Up Counterinsurgency

Gen. David Petraeus plans to ramp up the US military's troop-intensive strategy in Afghanistan (WSJ) according to senior military officials. They have concluded that setbacks in the war effort were problems of implementation, not strategy. The officials said Petraeus's predecessor, Gen. Stanley McChrystal, emphasized hunting down Taliban leaders at the expense of the US counterinsurgency strategy, which focuses on protecting civilians and bolstering popular support for the government.

The absence of serious progress in Afghanistan (NYT) has created new doubts that Mr. Obama will be able to reach even the scaled-down goals he has set. Among Republicans there's increasing opposition to the war in Afghanistan (USNews), which GOP National Committee Chairman Michael Steele has called "a war of choice."


CFR President Richard Haass says the United States should scale down its ambitions in Afghanistan, and reduce and redirect its mission there.

The most realistic and acceptable model of governance for Afghanistan is decentralized democracy and a system of internal mixed sovereignty, argues this Foreign Affairs essay.


In this 2009 speech, President Obama lays out his strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan.


PACIFIC RIM: North Korea Warns on War Games

North Korea warned the United States and South Korea (AP) to call off military exercises scheduled for this weekend and to back off any new sanctions or risk placing the entire region in danger.

The Obama administration should mount a more vigorous effort against North Korea's nuclear weapons program, argues Korea expert Charles L. (Jack) Pritchard in this CFR interview. Pritchard co-chaired a recent CFR independent task force report on Korea.

China: Security forces fired indiscriminately on Tibetan protesters in 2008, a Human Rights Watch report says, refuting the government's claims it acted with restraint. The report is based on eyewitness accounts of China's crackdown.



- Kosovo's Independence Ruling
- Bernanke Predicts Weak Growth


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