World News Brief, Thursday February 19

Obama to send 17,000 more troops to Afghanistan; analysis of Obama's new Afghan strategy and security indicators in the country; drunk Japanese finance minister destabilises government; mystery palace shoot-out in Equatorial Guinea; and more

TOP OF THE AGENDA: U.S. Troop Boost in Afghanistan

U.S. President Barack Obama has authorized an additional seventeen thousand troops for Afghanistan (WashPost), a move that will increase U.S. troop levels there by 50 percent. The new deployments will begin in May. Meanwhile, the administration is conducting a strategic review of the Afghan war that is due to conclude in late March. Analysts say the three thousand U.S. troops who recently arrived in Afghanistan will be watched closely to see if the new U.S. strategy in Afghanistan is working (CSMonitor).

Polling in Afghanistan shows that "the number of people who feel the United States has performed well in Afghanistan has been cut in half in the last three years," from 68 percent to 32 percent, according to military expert Anthony Cordesman (TIME). This has coincided with a deterioration in U.S. relations with Afghan President Hamid Karzai (Spiegel).


A Daily Analysis looks at the Obama administration's efforts to develop a new Afghan strategy.

Two CFR fellows discuss a November 2008 trip to the battlegrounds of Afghanistan.

The Brookings Institution's Afghanistan Index tracks security and economic indicators in the country.



PACIFIC RIM: Clinton in Indonesia

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton continued her Asia trip in Indonesia, where she said that "Building a comprehensive partnership with Indonesia is a critical step on behalf of the United States' commitment to smart power" (AFP). The Jakarta Post looks at Indonesian opinions on the significance of Clinton's visit.

JAPAN: The Japan Times discusses the increasingly shaky government of Prime Minister Taro Aso, which suffered a blow from the resignation of its finance minister due to his drunken behavior at a G7 finance meeting. Reuters looks at the possible candidates who may replace Aso.



Mysterious attack on presidential palace in Equatorial Guinea.

Mexicans block U.S. border posts to protest drug war.

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