Regions & Nations

Dispatch From Sudan: Is the End in Sight?

  • By
  • Rebecca Hamilton,
  • New America Foundation
January 5, 2011 |

In just four days, the people of southern Sudan will begin voting in a referendum on whether to become an independent nation. In hundreds of interviews over the past six years here, I have yet to meet a southerner who doesn’t want freedom from northern rule. People here are literally counting down the minutes until the vote. (At a roundabout in the center of town, an electronic countdown on an advertising billboard has been running the days, hours, and minutes remaining since October.)

How the Kremlin Harnesses the Internet

  • By
  • Evgeny Morozov,
  • New America Foundation
January 4, 2011 |

Hours before the judge in the latest Mikhail Khodorkovsky trial announced yet another guilty verdict last week, Russia’s most prominent political prisoner was already being attacked in cyberspace.

No, Khodorkovsky’s Web site, the main source of news about the trial for many Russians, was not being censored. Rather, it had been targeted by so-called denial-of-service attacks, with most of the site’s visitors receiving a “page cannot be found” message in their browsers.

Forget the Aftershocks

  • By
  • Charles Kenny,
  • New America Foundation
January 4, 2011 |

Haiti marks a grim anniversary this month: It's been one year since a catastrophic earthquake struck the island nation, leveling whole neighborhoods of the capital city of Port-au-Prince and killing upwards of 230,000 people. Twelve months later, much of the rebuilding and recovery remains undone. Only 40 percent of the rubble in Port-au-Prince is scheduled to be cleared by next August, complained former U.S.

Future shock? Welcome to the New Middle Ages

  • By
  • Parag Khanna,
  • New America Foundation
December 28, 2010 |

Imagine a world with a strong China reshaping Asia; India confidently extending its reach from Africa to Indonesia; Islam spreading its influence; a Europe replete with crises of legitimacy; sovereign city-states holding wealth and driving innovation; and private mercenary armies, religious radicals and humanitarian bodies playing by their own rules as they compete for hearts, minds and wallets.

It sounds familiar today. But it was just as true slightly less than a millennium ago at the height of the Middle Ages.

Peretz in Exile

  • By
  • Benjamin Wallace-Wells,
  • New America Foundation
December 26, 2010 |

The part of Israel that remains perfect to Martin Peretz is vanishingly small. But it does still exist, tangibly enough that you could trace its perimeter on a map of Tel Aviv: the ethnically mixed neighborhoods of Jaffa, the impeccably preserved Bauhaus downtown, the symphony halls and dance theaters, the intersections that still hold traffic, tense and honking, at 2:30 in the morning, the cosmopolitan sidewalk cafés that make real the old liberal dream.

Will Facebook Friend China?

  • By
  • Christina Larson,
  • New America Foundation
December 23, 2010 |

On Dec. 20, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg -- who was recently named Time's 2010 "Person of the Year" -- stopped by the Beijing offices of Baidu, China's leading web-search company, to chat with co-founder Robin Li. The two men, both youthful, energetic, self-made billionaires, have much in common.

A Cup of Plenty?

  • By
  • Parag Khanna,
  • New America Foundation
  • and Karim Makdisi, Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs at the American University of Beirut
December 22, 2010 |

This month Britain dispatched a delegation of smooth-talking spokesmen -- including Prime Minister David Cameron and Prince William -- to Zurich, where the FIFA executive committee was in the process of deciding which country would host the 2018 and 2022 World Cups. Making one final pitch to the international soccer organization, the Brits argued that they didn't just deserve to host the tournament -- they were genetically destined to get it.

There Were More Drone Strikes — And Far Fewer Civilians Killed

  • By
  • Peter Bergen,
  • Katherine Tiedemann,
  • New America Foundation
December 22, 2010 |

In the first 11-and-a-half months of 2010, U.S. President Barack Obama's administration authorized more than twice as many drone strikes, 113, in northwest Pakistan as it did in 2009 -- itself a year in which there were more drone strikes than during George W. Bush's entire time in office.

Given the evident importance of the program to U.S. policy toward Pakistan, it is necessary to ask what we know about the drone strikes, where they happen, and whom they are killing.

Behind the Chaos, Obama's Plan Is Finally Coming Into Focus

  • By
  • Steve Coll,
  • New America Foundation
December 21, 2010 |

To many Americans, the Afghan war understandably looked like a mess in 2010. The year began amid uncertainty at home and abroad about whether Barack Obama's administration was coming or going: Troops went in, but a date of July 2011 was set in advance for the soldiers to start heading home. The U.S. commanding general was fired in June for remarks he made to Rolling Stone; reports of picaresque Afghan corruption spread, encouraged in part by the U.S.

Harar, Home of Haile Selassie and the Hyena Man

  • By
  • Eliza Griswold,
  • New America Foundation
December 17, 2010 |

The trip's worst day coincides with my 37th birthday. In the open-air market outside the walls of a 16th-century Islamic town called Harar, I slip, fall, and scrape my left leg. Among the scrap metal heaps and Quran vendors, my knee starts to bleed, and I begin to cry. It's the mildest of scratches, but the sting and surprise is enough to make the dammed-up tears of a lonely trip fall. I scramble to find my cheap, knockoff sunglasses in my bag. I hate wearing sunglasses. In my embarrassment, I'm glad for them now.

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