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Foreign Post

News and analysis of politics and events from beyond our borders, by Adam Fivenson.

Healthcare reform has to be budget neutral, but not war?

Adam FivensonSeen recently as a friend's Facebook status: "I still don’t understand why healthcare reform needs to be deficit neutral, while war escalation can have a limitless price tag."

My thoughts: More »

Posted in Foreign Post | 10 Comments

The other reason we're still in Afghanistan

Adam FivensonWith President Obama's recent announcement that the U.S. will be committing 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan, questions about the nature and necessity of U.S. involvement are building in intensity. More »

Posted in Foreign Post | 24 Comments

Why did Obama drop his chips before heading to the table?

Adam FivensonOn Thursday it was announced that President Obama has decided to forego the Bush administration's plans to place a missile defense system in Poland and the Czech Republic. The Bush administration’s plans were intended to prevent Iranian missile strikes on Europe; However, most experts agree that the reason for placing a missile defense system in Eastern Europe had little to do with Iran, which is unlikely to gain long-range missile technology for some time. More »

Posted in Foreign Post | 10 Comments

Photos tell story on new Chinese military Web site

Adam FivensonThe Chinese Minister of Defense, notable as much for its recent rapid growth as for its long-standing aversion to any form of public relations, signaled a reversal of the latter trend by launching a new web site in both English and Chinese. The English site is accessible here: http://eng.mod.gov.cn/ More »

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Drab life of a foreign correspondent & crisis in Kurdistan

Adam FivensonFeeling sorry today for Jeffery Gettleman, the New York Times’ East Africa bureau chief. In an article in Monday’s Times on covering Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s recently concluded 11-day Africa jaunt, Mr. Gettleman quips that “The press corps are steerage at the back of the plane, the only ones in economy seats (the rest are business-class and Mrs. Clinton has her own bedroom on board).”

A word to Mr. Gettleman: Be mindful; there are those who would trade an arm/leg/critical organ for a seat on that plane, even one in the lavatory. More »

Posted in Foreign Post | 4 Comments

Do we all have a stake in climate change?

Adam FivensonTremble, mere humans! Stare slack-jawed in awe as the clash of the titans begins! Or rather, clash of the two socially well-adjusted, politically-engaged academics. Close enough.

Two articles from recent days by bloggers on ForeignPolicy.com, by far the best Web site on the Internet for international news analysis (yes, I checked the entire thing), have caught my attention. More »

Posted in Foreign Post | 12 Comments

Ahmadinejad's inauguration is the not end for opposition

Adam FivensonLast Wednesday, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Sayyid Ali Hoseyni Khamenei planted his imprimatur on Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's second four-year term as President of Iran. The inauguration seals the results of last month's disputed election, in which Interior Ministry vote counters credited some 63 percent of the 40 million votes cast for the hard line leader, even as reform candidates cried foul, igniting bitter protests throughout the country.

While those working to avert the solidification of Ahmadinejad's position atop the Republic-half of the Islamic Republic have lost a battle, this setback has hardly stolen the wind from their sails. More »

Posted in Foreign Post | 4 Comments

Why does Obama remain silent?

Adam FivensonFollowing what was reported as a landslide victory for Mahmoud Achmadinejad in Friday's presidential election in Iran, accusations of fraud at the Ministry of the Interior (Achmadinejad's own purview) in vote counting and reporting are running rampant, both from within the country and from international observers. With the skirt of Iranian democratic rule caught in a gust of wind, revealing the hairy, autocratic legs of the regime, the people of Iran are making their presence felt, if not at the ballot box then in the streets. More »

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Can Obama really bring peace to the Middle East?

Adam FivensonFor those who have until now been stuck under particularly weighty rocks, President Obama delivered a speech last Thursday from Cairo University with the intent of addressing the perceived rift between the United States and the Islamic world.

Video of the entire speech is available on YouTube, courtesy of the White House's newly invigorated Web 2.0 information campaign. Coincidentally, the hour-long address was also made available live worldwide via SMS text message. Hopefully anyone who signed up has an unlimited plan. More »

Posted in Foreign Post | 4 Comments

8 ways to get the most out of backpack travel

Adam FivensonBackpackers are a different breed; that much we know. But there's more to these creatures of the road than unkempt beards and odoriferous undergarments. Indeed, there's an actionable urge to shed the comfort of one's home, shove off from shore, and plunge knowingly into the maelstrom of confusion that is a foreign country experienced on the cheap.

It is the acknowledgment and acceptance of that confusion that sets the backpacker's experience apart from that of the vacationer. It's the recognition of confusion as a healthy challenge to the mind, rather than a nuisance, that forces one to grow, learn, and make fast sense of one's surroundings or be lost. More »

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