"Pakistan is in the midst of rapid urbanization — a major societal shift that could worsen the effects of energy problems in the years ahead...With droves of Pakistanis entering cities and becoming dependent on grids, supply pressures will deepen exponentially," writes Michael Kugelman.
"Groundwater is water security’s last resort — it is what we tap into when surface supplies run dry. And yet in Pakistan, this safety net is fraying. The country’s water security blanket is in danger of being yanked away," writes Michael Kugelman.
"In essence, the Pakistani military invokes the threat of India, and the specter of RAW-sponsored terrorism in Pakistan, to underscore the armed forces’ self-proclaimed role as the nation’s sole protector. In so doing, the armed forces seek to provide more justification for their outsize role in the Pakistani state," writes Michael Kugelman.
"The basic debate regarding whether U.S. efforts in the country should be focused on counter-insurgency or counter-terrorism has always framed the Afghan state as incidental to Western aims and efforts. Why? A basic ignorance about Afghanistan and a profound unwillingness on the part of policymakers to address this intellectual illiteracy lie at the core of any answer," writes Benjamin Hopkins.
"Mr. Hersh is a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter who has broken major stories, including the My Lai massacre in Vietnam and Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. This account purports to explain an elaborate conspiracy theory, and-–as I have written previously-–such stories sometimes contain elements of truth. Still, the issues of sourcing and substance suggest taking Mr. Hersh’s account with a healthy dose of salt," writes Michael Kugelman.
"When Prime Minister Abe took office at the end of 2012, he had two major goals: (1) shake the Japanese economy out the zombie-like state it had been in for 20 years, and (2) make Japan a 'normal' country with armed forces that could play an active role in support of Japanese interests...On the 'normal country' front he needed to rewrite the terms of the alliance with the United States so that Japan can become an active partner, not just a passive bystander. That is why the 'Defense Guidelines' will be major theme of Abe’s address to Congress," writes Marvin Ott.
When Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visits the US, he will be the first Japanese head of state to address Congress in 54 years. We spoke with Shihoko Goto to learn more about plans and expectations for the Prime Minister’s visit.
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani arrives in the United States this week with a full agenda: meetings with President Barack Obama, discussions with U.S. officials at Camp David, an address to Congress, and a trip to the United Nations. Here are four things to expect from his visit.
"Ghani may have many friends in Washington, both inside and outside government. Ultimately, however, it is his friends (and some foes) back in Afghanistan whom he will need to lean on if the country’s many challenges are to be overcome," writes Michael Kugelman.
The White House conference on violent extremism shouldn't "gloss over brutal attacks on minorities in the United States," says Michael Kugelman.