World News Brief, Friday July 3

New offensive underway in Afghanistan; Medvedev: Russia has a "special responsibility"; Neighbours give Honduras coup deadline; China reaches out to IMF; and more

Top of the Agenda: New Afghan Offensive

On Thursday, U.S. marines launched an offensive (NYT) to take back the Helmand River Valley in southwestern Afghanistan from Taliban militants. The U.S. military says this operation is the marines' largest (WashPost) since its invasion of Fallujah, Iraq, in 2004. The focus of the offensive will be bolstering local Afghan governments and protecting civilians. Pakistan says it deployed troops (AP) to a stretch of its border to prevent insurgents from fleeing across.


- Reuters offers a Q&A on the new military offensive.


- Spiegel looks at divided German opinion on the Afghan war.

- CFR's Stephen Biddle writes that the strategic case for waging war in Afghanistan outweighs the case for withdrawal, but not by much.

- CFR's George Gavrilis says that the United States should work with Iran to enhance its chances of success in Afghanistan.


PACIFIC RIM: N. Korea Missile Tests

North Korea test fired two short-range missiles (Reuters) on Thursday, raising tension in the region as well as concerns that it may fire mid-range missiles within days.

N. Korea Food Aid: The World Food Program has had to drastically cut (VOA) its aid to North Korea due to lack of international funding and new restrictions imposed by Pyongyang.

China: China is taking steps to reconcile with the International Monetary Fund (WSJ), including allowing an IMF review of its economy.



Honduran gov't rejects deadline.

Russia's Medvedev hopeful for Obama summit.

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