There's simply too much information in the latest deluge of secret State Department documents made public by WikiLeaks to get a real handle on exactly how the 250,000 classified cables will change the diplomatic landscape in the long term. There are, however, five key questions that we should be asking now.
The sheer volume of the release of the 251,287 diplomatic cables that WikiLeaks plans to make public is unquestionably overwhelming. Against the will of the State Department, WikiLeaks plans to eventually release cables from 274 embassies, consulates, and diplomatic missions around the world from, mostly, the last three years.
The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, a 1977 law targeting businesses that bribe foreign officials, spent the early part of this decade in a slumber. In 2000, there wasn't a single prosecution, and in 2006, the Justice Department won just $18 million in penalties.
Just five years ago, Bangladesh held the unenviable title of being the world's most corrupt country. Today, it's a darling of Wall Street. On the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly meeting in New York, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wajed, who headed the country in the late 1990s and came back to power in January 2009, sat down with NEWSWEEK's Andrew Bast to discuss economic growth, radicalism, and the power of women. Excerpts:
East Asia may be reveling in its unprecedented economic growth, but old-fashioned territorial feuds continue to fester. The latest reminder came last week at the United Nations, with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao warning darkly of the unnamed "consequences" Japan would incur unless it released the captain of a Chinese fishing boat "immediately and unconditionally." The skipper and his crew were arrested on Sept. 7 after his vessel collided with two Japanese Coast Guard ships off a disputed and...
Is China ready to rule the world? Not quite yet. The fact is that Asia still needs American power. And if our time is indeed witnessing the long handoff of global power from one empire to another, the smoother the transition, the better.
America's militaristic, idealistic approach to the world is costing the country dearly. That's the theme of foreign-policy guru Andrew Bacevich's new book, "Washington Rules: America's Path to Permanent War." A Boston University professor and West Point grad who spent 23 years in the Army, Bacevich thinks everyone would get along just fine without the U.S. playing global policeman—and what's more, things would improve at home if we stopped squandering resources abroad.
Groupthink is alive and thriving in Washington, D.C., argues Andrew Bacevich, who's convinced that America's mightily militaristic and endlessly idealistic approach to the rest of the world is costing the country dearly.
One of the more surprising decisions to come out of the international conference held in Kabul last week was to start funneling half of foreign aid directly through the Afghan government, compared with only 20 percent now. Those billions will be an inviting target: Transparency International ranks Afghanistan second worst on its Corruption Perceptions Index.
Gen. Stanley McChrystal's disrespectful comments to a Rolling Stone reporter have dominated the news cycle. But there was another important story about Afghanistan yesterday: a new report about American reliance on a very dangerous liability—Afghan warlords.
Rolling Stone author—and NEWSWEEK alumnus—Michael Hastings explains how he got such good access from General McChrystal's camp, whether he expected such nuclear fallout, and how the grunts grouse about McChrystal's mission.
World leaders have descended on the United Nations in New York to spend the month reviewing the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. The agenda is long: Iran, disarmament, and new nuclear plants. NEWSWEEK's Andrew Bast talked to Gareth Evans, former Australian foreign minister and current co-chair of the International Commission on Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament, about what is becoming a "watershed year" in global nuclear politics.
Richard Clarke explains how cyberspace has made individuals, corporations, and nations vulnerable to a new kind of attack from an elusive and largely misunderstood foe. He discusses the origin of the threat, how it is growing, and what an effective cyberdefense would look like.
Thomas Barfield delivers a one-stop, full accounting of Afghanistan's geography, people, and history. If it weren't so painstakingly researched and intensely assembled, it could be called "Afghanistan for Dummies." He starts in the premodern era and sweeps up through the present day.
Listening to President Barack Obama deliver his State of the Union address last night, anyone interested in, say, Afghanistan found themselves waiting through talk of jobs.