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Council on Foreign Relations
Stabilizing Pakistan: Boosting its Private Sector

IntroductionAs it struggles to contain a growing insurgency, Pakistan has aroused concern that it is a failing or fracturing state. One aspect of the international community's response has been to place new focus on Pakistan's economic weaknesses. On completing his first hundred days in office,...

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Sharia and Militancy

IntroductionSharia, Islamic law derived from the teachings of the Quran and the ways of Mohammed, is a source of law for many Muslim nations. Sharia is largely a personal code of conduct, but its tenets govern every aspect of Muslim life from financial to political...

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New Perils in Iraq

From flower shows (AFP) to ribbon cuttings, hints of normalcy are returning to Iraq. And yet, even as the United States turns its military focus to Afghanistan, experts in Iraqi politics warn that unresolved governance issues and mounting sectarian tensions--capped by a week of killings...

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Iraq's Lingering Perils

From flower shows (AFP) to ribbon cuttings, hints of normalcy are returning to Iraq. And yet, even as the United States turns its military focus to Afghanistan, experts in Iraqi politics warn that unresolved governance issues and mounting sectarian tensions could test Washington's exit strategy....

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Afghanistan’s National Security Forces

IntroductionIn outlining his new strategy for the beleaguered Afghan military campaign, U.S. President Barack Obama put Afghanistan's nascent security forces front and center in the U.S. effort to right the mission. Obama announced the deployment of about four thousand additional U.S. troops to train Afghan...

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India's Electoral Politics

IntroductionElections in India, the world's second-most populous country, evoke descriptions like 'spectacle' or 'carnival,' in part due to the overwhelming numbers that participate in the process. In this country of over a billion people, 714 million voters will decide who rules the world's largest democracy...

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Human Rights Reporting and U.S. Foreign Policy

IntroductionThe annual U.S. State Department report cataloguing the human rights failures and progress of nations around the world regularly arouses controversy as well as acclaim. Nations that receive poor ratings in the report, sometimes important U.S. partners, bitterly resent the exercise and often accuse Washington...

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A New Kind of Aid for Pakistan

The white paper detailing the new U.S. strategy on Pakistan and Afghanistan calls for increasing and broadening development and economic assistance to Pakistan. It echoes recent recommendations by both U.S. and Pakistani policymakers who have argued against too much emphasis on military assistance, the Bush...

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