TOP NEWS: Nat’l Security / Foreign Affairs: June 11, 2012
- Candidates in Mexico: New Tack in the Drug War
- What to Do about Syria?
- In Spain’s bailout request, Greece played key role
- Official: Egypt’s Mubarak in critical condition
- Does nation-building work?
More news and excerpts below
Randal C. Archibold, NY Times – The top three contenders for Mexico’s presidency have all promised a major shift in the country’s drug war strategy, placing a higher priority on reducing the violence in Mexico than on using arrests and seizures to block the flow of drugs to the United States. The candidates, while vowing to continue to fight drug trafficking, say they intend to eventually withdraw the Mexican Army from the drug fight.
What to Do about Syria?
John R. Bolton, National Review Online – As hostilities in Syria roll on unabated, the civilian casualties rise because of combat operations in urban areas and execution-style killings. In response, calls for U.S. military intervention of one sort or another to aid the opposition increase, while the Obama administration dithers over whether to continue relying on the United Nations Security Council and former U.N. secretary general Kofi Annan.
Michael Birnbaum, Washington Post – Spain was forced to seek a bailout this weekend, becoming by far the largest country to need help during Europe’s 2 1/2-year-long economic crisis. But it was tiny Greece that pushed Spain over the brink.
Official: Egypt’s Mubarak in critical condition
Maggie Michael, AP – Hosni Mubarak is slipping in and out of consciousness eight days after the ousted Egyptian leader was sent to prison to begin serving a life sentence, a security official said on Sunday. With rumors of the former president’s death spreading rapidly, authorities granted his wife, former first lady Suzanne Mubarak, and the couple’s two daughters-in-law special permission to visit him in Cairo’s Torah prison early that morning.
John Yemma, CS Monitor – Nation-building has a can-do ring to it. You can build a highway, a skyscraper, a Fortune 500 company. Why not a nation? It isn’t a new idea. Throughout the 20th century – in places as different as Germany, the Philippines, Iraq, Japan, and Kosovo – world powers have worked to turn broken states into healthy ones through a combination of outside force, inside management, and the cultivation of civil society, education, rule of law, and democratic institutions.
Red Jahncke, Bloomberg – All the debate about the pros and cons of a Greek exit from the euro area is missing the point: A German exit might be better for all concerned. Unless Europe’s leaders take some kind of radical action, such as adopting and executing some of the many reform ideas they have floated, the currency union is headed for disintegration.
Supreme Court rejects appeals of foreign detainees held more than 10 years at Guantanamo
Associated Press via Washington Post - The Supreme Court is declining to take a new look at the rights of foreign prisoners held for the past decade at the Guantanamo Bay naval base in Cuba. Four years after pronouncing that detainees who face no charges have a right to challenge their ongoing confinement, the justices on Monday rejected appeals arguing that the federal appeals court in Washington has largely ignored the high court’s command.
Keith Bradsher, NY Times – With China’s domestic economy stumbling badly this spring as construction and retail sales slow, this country is unleashing a fresh surge of exports that is preserving millions of jobs in Chinese factories but could fan trade tensions with the West.
Bernard Gwertzman, CFR – The CIA drone attack June 4 in northwest Pakistan that killed deputy al-Qaeda leader Abu Yahya al-Libi is the latest in a string of incidents that has brought U.S.-Pakistan relations to “a new low, relative to what we’ve seen since 9/11,” says CFR South Asia expert Daniel Markey. In addition to drone attacks, the 2011 killing of Osama bin Laden, U.S. air attacks killing Pakistan soldiers along the Afghan border, and anti-Pakistan rhetoric have all contributed to the strained relationship.
Bill Carter and Amy Chozick, NY Times – For some journalists, Syria has been one of the least hospitable countries in the Middle East, a place where reporters — if they can get in — are routinely harassed and threatened as they try to uncover the repression that has propped up the Assad government for decades.
Alex Thurston, The American Interest – In a vivid illustration of Mali’s present instability, on May 21 protesters stormed the presidential palace in the capital city Bamako and beat the country’s interim civilian President, Dioncounda Traoré, into unconsciousness. As Traoré flew to France for treatment, war continued in northern Mali, where ethnic separatists, armed Islamists and reactionary militias are vying to control a vast Saharan territory.