FROM Paul Collier
Afghanistan, Pakistan and American Security With the leaders of Pakistan and Afghanistan at his side, President Obama today promised increased military and civilian aid to both countries. But do Afghan President Hamid Karzai and Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari still have the confidence of their own people -- or the Obama administration? What about Pakistan's nuclear weapons?
Afghanistan, Pakistan and American Security Two years ago, Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai refused to shake hands with General Pervez Musharaff. At the White House today, two beleaguered presidents signed a trade agreement while looking over their shoulders at troubles back home. In Pakistan, Asif Ali Zardari's peace deal with the Taliban has unraveled and 500,000 people are on the run. In Afghanistan, Karzai faces an upcoming election as civilian casualties mount from efforts to hold back Taliban forces there. Does either leader still have the confidence of his own people — or the Obama administration? What about Pakistan's nuclear weapons?
Mixed Messages from US diplomats on the new hard line on Syria Since President Trump's surprise retaliation against Syria's use of chemical weapons, Bashar al-Assad has used the same airport to launch conventional attacks on his own people. It's not clear what the US, its allies — or Vladimir Putin's Russia -- plan to do now.