World News Brief, Wednesday December 2

Obama sends 30,000 troops to Afghanistan; Bank of Japan has a new stimulus plan; China and EU vow to promote green economy; Dubai and Abu Dhabi stock prices fall; views on the Honduran election; and more

Top of the Agenda: U.S. Troop Surge Decision

U.S. President Barack Obama issued orders (NYT) to send about thirty thousand additional American troops to Afghanistan. He will address the nation Tuesday night to outline the county's Afghan strategy. In the evening address, Obama will discuss how he intends to pay for the plan and the timeframe for winding down U.S. involvement in the war. U.S. special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Holbrooke was dispatched to Brussels Tuesday to begin briefing NATO and European allies on the strategy. Obama spent Monday calling allied leaders, including French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who said France would not commit more troops. British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said Monday that Britain would send 500 additional troops to Afghanistan in early December.

The president plans to ask NATO (WashPost) and other partners to contribute an additional 5,000 troops to reach the forty thousand requested by U.S. General Stanley McChrystal. The new troops will be sent in stages starting in January, with the option of delaying or canceling deployments depending on the performance of the Afghan government. According to Brown, who addressed parliament Monday, the strategy calls for "transfer of lead security responsibility to the Afghans--district by district, province by province--with the first districts and provinces potentially being handed over during the next year," depending on "the Afghans being ready."

The Afghan troop announcement will prompt an immediate political fight with Congress over how to pay for it, the Wall Street Journal reports. Many congressional Democrats have already opposed the pending troop increase, while some are proposing a war tax to help fund the conflict.


In a Wall Street Journal op-ed, Fouad Ajami says Barack Obama is losing support in the Arab-Islamic world, an indication that this sector's public attitudes toward America are endemic and could not be radically changed by Obama's ascendancy.

On the Daily Beast, CFR's Leslie Gelb looks into the details of Obama's Afghanistan troop strategy, declaring that the president's expected plan to commit approximately thirty thousand troops is "reasonable" and "deserves the support of the American people."


In this CFR interview, four experts explore the threat posed by the al-Qaeda-Taliban relationship and the changing nature of their murky ties.


PACIFIC RIM: Japan Deflation

The Bank of Japan announced a new stimulus plan (Xinhua) Tuesday to tackle its deflation problem and address concerns over the strengthening yen, which has hurt Japan's export industry.

China: China and the European Union issued a joint statement (GlobalTimes) Monday following the twelfth China-EU Summit, vowing to facilitate trade and investment to promote a green economy.



Dubai and Abu Dhabi stock prices continue to fall.
Latin America and United States differ on Honduran election.


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