Current Events and the Psychology of Politics
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Dec 2nd, 2010

Summary: The New York Times reports that confidential diplomatic cables obtained by WikiLeaks offers a fresh sense of the pervasive nature of predatory corruption in Afghanistan, the overwhelming scale of the corruption, and the serious challenge it poses to American officials who have made shoring up support for the Afghan government a cornerstone of America’s counterinsurgency strategy in Afghanistan, where bribery, extortion, and embezzlement are the norm. … One-year retrospective: One year ago today, on December 2, 2009, Aubrey Immelman reported that President Barack Obama held an uncertain hand in his high-stakes gamble in the fight against Islamic extremism in Afghanistan and Pakistan, with weak partners in both countries, doubts about the speed of building up Afghan security forces, and allies reluctant to commit themselves wholeheartedly to the fight.


Dec 21st, 2008

Summary: In its annual list of “top 10” humanitarian crises, Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders) said many of the countries on this year’s list — including Somalia, Pakistan, Sudan, and Iraq — illustrated the growing difficulties aid groups faced. The 2008 list included Somalia, Myanmar (Burma), eastern Congo, Zimbabwe, global malnutrition, Ethiopia’s Somali region, Pakistan’s northwestern tribal region bordering Afghanistan, Sudan (including Darfur), Iraq, and HIV/TB co-infection.