• Heritage Action
  • More
  • Commentary posted November 21, 2014 by Walter Lohman Widodo's Early Moves Suggest Continuity, not Change

    International leaders gained their first measure of Indonesia's dynamic new president Joko Widodo in the round of Asian summits in mid-November. At home, Widodo has a reputation as a populist, a problem solver, and a regular guy. Abroad, he was -- and still is -- a largely unknown quantity. Early signs point to a continuation of the "free and active" foreign policy…

  • Commentary posted November 18, 2014 by Olivia Enos Afghanistan Counternarcotics: A Cut and Run Strategy is No Strategy at All

    The opium business is booming in Afghanistan, despite a 12-year, $7.6 billion counternarcotics initiative by the U.S.  Last year, Afghans devoted a record 209,000 hectares of land to opium poppy cultivation, and those crops produced drug profits 50 percent higher than in 2012. Those startling numbers come from a recent report by the Office of the Special Inspector…

  • Commentary posted November 17, 2014 by Lisa Curtis Will Pakistan Accept Afghanistan's Olive Branch?

    Afghanistan's new President Ashraf Ghani will visit Islamabad later this week in a bid to shore up relations that foundered badly under the previous Karzai regime. Since taking office six weeks ago, Ghani has prioritized building better ties with Pakistan and is exploring ways to start peace negotiations with Taliban insurgents, many of whom shelter inside Pakistan.…

  • Special Report posted November 17, 2014 by Lisa Curtis, Charlotte Florance, Walter Lohman, James Phillips Pursuing a Freedom Agenda Amidst Rising Global Islamism

    Contributors Lisa Curtis is Senior Research Fellow for South Asia in the Asian Studies Center, of the Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Institute for National Security and Foreign Policy, at The Heritage Foundation. Charlotte Florance is a Research Associate for Economic Freedom in Africa and the Middle East in the Douglas and Sarah Allison Center for Foreign and National…

  • Commentary posted November 12, 2014 by William T. Wilson, Ph.D. Asia’s Economic Miracle Has Peaked

    Historically, economics has often driven the narrative surrounding presidential visits to Asia. Consider President Obama’s 2009 trip to China in the midst of the global financial crisis. It gave wings to a narrative about China’s rise and American decline. The economic environment may be changing again. Only this time, the change is less dramatic and occurring largely…

  • Issue Brief posted November 11, 2014 by Walter Lohman President Obama’s Burma Visit: An Alert Congress Makes All the Difference

    The context for President Barack Obama’s trip to Burma has changed considerably since his historic first visit in 2012. Then, his visit conveyed optimism for democratic reform and the benefits of deepening engagement. His second visit takes place in a climate leavened by considerable doubt. In 2012 a pliant bystander in Burma policy, today’s politically emboldened…

  • Commentary posted November 10, 2014 by Lisa Curtis Afghanistan’s New Leaders Forge Steep Path to Security and Stability

    Ashraf Ghani was made President of Afghanistan and Abdullah Abdullah the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) in a power-sharing deal in September 2014. The departure of former President Hamid Karzai and the installation of a national unity government is providing some optimism that long-term stability may be possible in Afghanistan. It demonstrates that Afghan leaders can come…

  • Commentary posted November 10, 2014 by Dean Cheng Xi-Obama Summit: Son of Sunnylands?

    U.S. president Barack Obama and Chinese president Xi Jinping will meet this week, in a state visit by the American president to the People’s Republic of China (PRC) on the eve of the APEC Summit. Counting side discussions at multilateral conferences, this will be the fourth meeting between the two presidents—a remarkable, and even laudable, track record of top leaders…

  • Commentary posted October 31, 2014 by Lisa Curtis The Cyber Bridge to Improved India-U.S. Cooperation

    Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi appears to have developed a strong rapport with U.S. President Barack Obama during his recent visit to Washington. In a Sept. 30 column for the Washington Post, the two leaders mapped out an ambitious agenda for increased collaboration on a number of issues. Bureaucrats in both countries now assume the responsibility of bringing that…

  • Issue Brief posted October 29, 2014 by Olivia Enos U.S. Counternarcotics Efforts in Afghanistan Fail to Deliver

    The Office of the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) has released a scathing report criticizing U.S. counternarcotics efforts in Afghanistan.[1] Referencing an unprecedented spike in opium production in 2013, the report warned that the nearly $7.6 billion the U.S. government spent on counternarcotics operations in Afghanistan is failing to…

  • Commentary posted October 22, 2014 by Bruce Klingner Steadying Allied Defenses in Korea

    A quarter century after the Cold War ended everywhere else, North Korea is still going strong. Why, then, have the United States and South Korea been planning to weaken their military alliance through a flawed policy known as “OpCon transfer”? Bilateral negotiations in Washington this week are a good opportunity to shelve such plans indefinitely. Observers routinely…

  • Commentary posted October 16, 2014 by Lisa Curtis Setting Stage for Successful Modi Visit

    The foundations for a successful visit to Washington by India’s recently-elected Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Prime Minister Narendra Modi are being put in place. The White House will hold two days of talks with Modi on September 29 and 30 that are likely to cover a range of issues and result in new commitments of economic and security cooperation. Both Washington and New…

  • Commentary posted October 16, 2014 by Dean Cheng Xi Jinping’s First Real Crisis: The Hong Kong Challenge

    As the world turned its eyes to the mass protests in Hong Kong, it focused primarily on how the territory will elect its chief executive. The people who have taken to the streets of Hong Kong’s central business and government districts are ostensibly protesting Beijing’s decision to dictate the slate of candidates for which the citizenry of Hong Kong may cast their…

  • Commentary posted October 15, 2014 by Bruce Klingner Abe's Yasukuni Visit Imperils Allied Security Interests

    Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's trip to Yasukuni Shrine is a serious foreign policy mistake that threatens allied security interests in Asia. Although Abe expressed "severe remorse" for Japan's historic actions, he should have realized that the visit was needlessly provocative and would exacerbate already strained relations with the United States and South Korea. Abe's…

  • Commentary posted October 15, 2014 by Bruce Klingner North Korean Power Politics Get More Ruthless

    Pyongyang announced on December 12 the trial and execution of Jang Sung-taek, former vice chairman of the powerful National Defense Commission and uncle to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Although Kim has already purged hundreds of officials during his two year reign, Jang's ouster is highly unusual, even by North Korean standards. Jang is married to the sister of…