David Sedney

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Afghan National Army soldiers aarive outside of Kunduz, Afghanistan in September. (Najim Rahim/ASSOCIATED PRESS)

The loss of the Afghan provincial capital Kunduz was a psychological shock to the Afghan people, a strategic and tactical defeat for both Afghanistan and the United States, and a tragedy for those at the Doctors Without Borders hospital there. Yet the shock may prompt essential changes. It is important to examine both Afghan and U.S. responsibility for the disaster, what is happening now and what needs to be done. President Obama’s decision Thursday to maintain existing U.S. force levels into next year was absolutely correct to achieve the goal he stated of “sustainable Afghan capacity and self-sufficiency.”

Kunduz, which has since been recaptured by Afghan forces, was more than just the first provincial capital to be taken by the Taliban; its fall was highly symbolic because it was the site of the Taliban’s last stand in 2001.…  Seguir leyendo »

This week’s joint naval exercise between Russia and China in the Black and Mediterranean Seas, along with President Xi Jinping’s visit to Moscow last week, highlight the growing ties between Eurasia’s two great powers. Though they share key economic interests and oppose what they claim to be a U.S.-dominated world order, the two nations’ relationship over time promises to be uneven and tense.

One crucial source of discord is that China is a rising power and Russia is not. Moscow may not be willing to accept a junior partnership with China, nor is China likely to treat Russia with the respect Moscow would assume as its right.…  Seguir leyendo »