If Gen. David Petraeus gets his wish, this will be the year of the snake. America’s top officer in Afghanistan recently explained his war plan as the “anaconda strategy,” designed to “squeeze the life” out of the Taliban insurgency. And according to the Pentagon, it’s working already. In Helmand and the Taliban’s home province, Kandahar, the military says, the insurgents’ momentum has been slowed or even reversed by thousands of U.S. reinforcements using get-tough tactics. In fact, another year or two of such victories might conceivably reduce the insurgency in the south to a worrisome but tolerable nuisance.
When Richard Holbrooke took up his assignment as special envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan early last year, trying to lay the foundations for long-term stability at the epicenter of the Obama administration’s tremulous policy, he knew as well as anyone that his mission was close to impossible.
Italy’s 74-year-old prime minister narrowly won back-to-back confidence votes in the Senate and lower house of Parliament amid shouts of “coward” and a barrage of insults lobbed at him from opposition lawmakers as they cast their votes, and as students and anarchists rioted outside.
Recent protests in Stuttgart, Germany, were part of a grassroots anger that has taken hold across Europe in the wake of the financial crisis. In this "open source" phenomenon, people from a wide range of backgrounds and with a wide range of different objectives are lashing out against governments that they feel are ignoring them.
The Iranian president showed his Donald Trump flair by firing Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki while he was on an official visit to Senegal, in a high-profile ouster unusual in Iran's opaque political scene.
The prime minister says he is confident he has enough votes to stay in power, but by any measure he will not have enough to effectively govern Italy. It may simply be time for him to step aside and let someone else try to lead the country.
Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski met Barack Obama last week at the White House to discuss the new START treaty as well as economic cooperation. Afterward, at the press conference, Obama mentioned the plane crash in Russia last April that killed President Lech Kaczynski and 95 other members of the Polish elite. The political fallout of this tragedy was on the mind of Jaroslaw Kaczynski, the late president’s twin brother, and head of the opposition when he spoke to NEWSWEEK’s William Schreiber. Excerpts:
Shortages of diesel at gas stations, factories forced to suspend production, homes left without electricity. Hard to imagine that these could be the results of a government campaign, but that’s recently been the case in some parts of China.
My first encounter with Nordic cuisine was in Iceland, where over the course of a wintry week two years ago, I tried whale, reindeer, and hákarl, shark meat that is left to rot in the ground for two months and dried for a few more. (The recommended chaser? A Brennivín schnapps, lovingly called the “black death.”)
Washington’s decision to stop pushing Israel for a settlement freeze could well mean no direct peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians for months, even years; a stalemate is likely at least until Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reconfigures his coalition or leaves office in 2013. But would face-to-face talks between Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas have made a difference? Details NEWSWEEK has learned about three negotiating sessions the men held in September—16 hours of talks—suggest not.
The demonstration was called to protest government plans to hike university tuition fees, approved yesterday by Parliament after weeks of fierce public debate. But the language and the violence suggest a wider challenge to authority from anarchists and far-left groups looking to hijack the student cause.
A crude bomb exploded in the Indian city of Varanasi during a nightly Hindu ritual that draws thousands of pilgrims and tourists. The bomb killed an infant and injured close to 40 others. The Indian Mujahedin, a terrorist group that purports to be made up of radicalized Indian Muslims, claimed responsibility.
Haiti's election was supposed to further its democratic legacy by selecting a new president to lead the nation's post-earthquake reconstruction. Instead, it's become a huge distraction from rebuilding the country.
In the past week, the Egyptian resort town of Sharm al-Sheikh has been hit by a spate of gruesome shark attacks. The shark is still on the loose, prompting some Egyptian officials to accuse outside forces of sabotaging the country’s booming tourism industry.
Hillary Clinton ordered federal employees not to read any of the 250,000 State Department documents that WikiLeaks spilled over the earth. She could have saved her breath. We can't look away, we shouldn't look away.
The former soccer star Eric Cantona is beloved for his dazzling feats on the pitch and became a screen actor most celebrated when he played himself. Now he's making waves by calling for his French compatriots to withdraw their money from banks.