Foreign Affairs Feed


I read last week that the BJP is now campaigning against the Taj Mahal.  That its image has been removed from various places and that they don't think it should be the cultural symbol of the nation.

Here is a good discussion of the intellectual origins of fundamentalist Hinduism. 


In recent weeks I've been annoyed by news in the US which focuses on the trivial in the face of major events.  This has even swallowed up reputable news agencies.  In particular I mean how much attention has been given to the President's calls to Gold Star Families when the real news story was what happened in Niger.  Finally that is getting more attention, but rarely as a front page/top of broadcast story.

The other major event last week, that was never treated as a top story, was the capture of Kirkuk from Kurdish forces by Iraqi Sunnis.  Doesn't this amount to civil war in the nation we created after the Iraq War?  Ten years ago many American experts were warning that Iraq would sooner or later slide into civil war.  Has this finally transpired?

Yet, hardly any attention to this major development.

And the story is even more complicated, with differing Kurdish factions, as this column by Eli Lake explains.  Strange that it is a column and not a significant news story.

North Korea

Mark Bowden's essay for the Atlantic on how to deal with North Korea is helpful in understanding the current state of the issue, the dangers that loom, and the options we have moving forward.  He confesses that there are no good options, but that the least bad one is to learn to live with a North Korea with nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles (which has been the basic conclusion of every administration that's tried to grapple with the problem).  He reminds us that we lived under a far more existential threat during the Cold War and learned to cope with that.  But any attempt to remove the Kim regime or knock out their nuclear capability would assuredly lead to one of the greatest catastrophes in human history with possibly tens of millions of Koreans and Japanese being slaughtered.