WPR Articles 30 Apr 2011 - 06 May 2011
While the death of Osama bin Laden represents the long overdue demise of one man, its impact on the long-term trajectory of American foreign policy is likely to be more profound. Al-Qaida will not simply disappear overnight. But bin Laden's death does mean that the exaggerated role that terrorism has played in America's foreign policy discussions for the past 10 years can finally come to an end.
Increasingly scarce resources are driving Pakistan toward a crisis characterized by interlocking economic, political and security dimensions. Yet the dangers are poorly understood by the country's policy elite and the international community. In an age of resource constraints, Pakistan is a canary in the coal mine.
A strike by Chinese truckers in Shanghai made headlines in global media coverage, as it threatened operations in the world's largest port. But it is just the latest in a series of similar protests over rising fuel costs. As a consequence, China is finding it particularly hard to reform its oil pricing system to make it fully responsive to market signals, with worrisome implications for global energy markets.
Just weeks ago, the current state of unrest in Uganda seemed impossible. Yet a potent mix of economic forces and government miscalculations has since changed Uganda's political landscape. Now, the brutality with which President Yoweri Museveni has responded to the peaceful protests has brought comparisons to Idi Amin and created the first serious challenge to his once-unbreakable hold on the country.
The logic of the "war on terrorism" was about more than just combating a single organization, al-Qaida. It was also about providing an overarching narrative that knitted together a number of discrete problems into a global strategic view. Osama bin Laden's demise could be the catalyst that scatters the assembled pieces of this jigsaw puzzle, with profound consequences for U.S. national security policy.