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  • Issue Brief posted July 28, 2015 by Lisa Curtis, Olivia Enos Pakistan Must Release Asia Bibi to Demonstrate Protection for Its Religious Minorities

    Pakistan’s Supreme Court took an encouraging step forward last week when it decided to reconsider blasphemy charges against Pakistani Christian woman, Asia Bibi, who is facing a death sentence. This decision provides an opportunity for Pakistan to acquit Bibi and show the world its commitment to protecting its religious minorities. The U.S. must prioritize the issue of…

  • Issue Brief posted July 24, 2015 by Bruce Klingner U.S. Should Encourage Reconciliation Between Japan and South Korea

    Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe’s forthcoming statement commemorating the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II has the potential to either repair or further impair Tokyo’s current stilted bilateral relations with Seoul. Indeed, a cottage industry has sprouted up predicting what he will say or will not say and the effect his words might have on recent…

  • Backgrounder posted July 23, 2015 by Lisa Curtis U.S. Engagement Required: Afghanistan Must Avoid an Iraq-Style Breakdown

    This past year’s surprise success of the Islamic State (ISIS), which has put the future of Iraq in jeopardy, has prompted concern among U.S. policymakers that, as U.S. and coalition forces depart, Afghan forces could face a similar threat from the Taliban. While Afghanistan does not face the same Sunni–Shia sectarian divisions that have fueled the fighting in Iraq, the…

  • Commentary posted July 23, 2015 by Lisa Curtis Can Pakistan succeed in its quest to reconcile conflicting regional interests?

    Ahead of the inevitable withdrawal of US and NATO forces from Afghanistan and the ensuing shift in the regional power balance, Pakistan is striving to position itself in an arena of conflicting interests. As well as consolidating historical ties with China, Islamabad wants to stay in with long-standing Gulf ally, Saudi Arabia and buddy up with new regional influencers,…

  • Backgrounder posted July 22, 2015 by Olivia Enos The U.S. Role in Ensuring that Burma’s Fall 2015 Elections Are “Free and Fair”

    Burma is set to hold parliamentary elections on November 8, 2015. The elections will be a test of Burma’s political reform—a test the U.S. government considers one of the most important for the reform process. Jonathan Stivers, Assistant Administrator for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), stated that the U.S. government “has made a long-standing…

  • Testimony posted July 21, 2015 by Walter Lohman The Value of America’s Southeast Asian Alliances

    Testimony before the Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific Committee on Foreign Affairs United States House of Representatives July 15, 2015 Walter Lohman Director of the Asian Studies Center The Heritage Foundation My name is Walter Lohman. I am director of the Asian Studies Center at The Heritage Foundation. The views I express in this testimony are my own, and should…

  • Commentary posted July 20, 2015 by Lisa Curtis U.S. Must Avoid an Iraq-Like Meltdown in Afghanistan

    Two years ago, while commanding U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, Gen. Joseph Dunford convinced President Barack Obama to slow the pace of U.S. troop withdrawals from that still-beleaguered nation. Now, Obama has named Dunford to head the Joint Chiefs of Staff. If, as expected, Congress confirms the nomination, the general will have to continue making the case for…

  • Issue Brief posted July 8, 2015 by Justin T. Johnson, Lisa Curtis, James Phillips, Dean Cheng, Matthew Rolfes, Michaela Dodge Key Questions for General Dunford

    This week the Senate Armed Services Committee will hold a confirmation hearing for General Joseph F. Dunford Jr., who has been nominated to be the next Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. If confirmed, he would be the principal military adviser to the President. Currently the Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps, General Dunford has had a long and distinguished military…

  • Issue Brief posted July 6, 2015 by Dean Cheng China’s Newest Defense White Paper Suggests Fundamental Change in Perspective

    In 1998, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) released its first defense white paper. Since then, every other year the PRC has released a new white paper discussing various aspects of Chinese defense issues. These papers provide an opportunity for the PRC to explain various aspects of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) and Chinese security concepts and perspectives. In…

  • Commentary posted June 26, 2015 by Walter Lohman Responding to China's Rise: Could a 'Quad' Approach Help?

    On the sidelines of the ASEAN Regional Forum meetings in 2007, assistant secretary–level diplomats from four countries—the United States, Japan, India and Australia—convened the “quadrilateral security dialogue.” Then, after only one meeting, largely in response to complaints from Beijing, the initiative died. For the sake of long-term peace and security in the…

  • Issue Brief posted June 15, 2015 by Olivia Enos Achieving Resolution in the Southeast Asian Migrant Crisis

    More than 4,800 Rohingya and Bangladeshi migrants have landed on the shores of Malaysia, Indonesia, Burma, and Thailand over the past several weeks.[1] The United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) estimates that as many as 2,000 additional migrants may still need to be rescued.[2] While many migrants have safely reached shore, their journey is far from over. Even after the…

  • Backgrounder posted June 12, 2015 by Bruce Klingner South Korea Needs THAAD Missile Defense

    The April 2015 interim nuclear agreement with Iran has generated speculation that a similar denuclearization agreement might be possible with North Korea. However, Pyongyang has made emphatically clear that it will never abandon its nuclear arsenal and has declared the Six-Party Talks “null and void.”[1] The U.S. and its allies therefore need to deploy sufficient defenses…

  • Commentary posted June 9, 2015 by William T. Wilson, Ph.D. Kick-Starting Asia’s Economic Growth Engine

    East Asia is experiencing a strange and alarming phenomenon. Exports, which fueled the region’s economic growth for the last three decades, are stalling. Export have faltered before – in the 1997-1998 Asian financial crisis, the global 2001 recession, and the 2008-2009 financial crisis and recession, to name just three. But in each previous instance, exports quickly…

  • Commentary posted June 9, 2015 by Walter Lohman Washington, Seoul must prepare for a unified Korea

    Seoul seems to be in an upcycle of expectations over unification with North Korea -- perhaps because of South Korean President Park Geun-hye's focus on the issue, or perhaps due to speculation over the stability of the Pyongyang regime. It clearly cannot be due to any encouragement from North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. He has responded only with ridicule, invective and…

  • Commentary posted June 5, 2015 by Lisa Curtis China, India and Pakistan - the power players in South Asia

    Relationship dynamics between China, India, and Pakistan will shape the future of the region's security, writes World Review expert Lisa Curtis. China’s increasing political, economic, and military influence in South Asia may have a negative impact on democratic development trends but could help stabilise the long-running Indo-Pakistani conflict. Indian Prime Minister…