Opting Out is Dangerous: Challenges Confronting the Incoming US President in Afghanistan

’Improve your own esteem in the world!’ This is the advice recently given by the French head of state, Mr Sarkozy, to the US secretary of state, Mrs Rice, when she asked him on behalf of the leaders in Washington what the US could do for him. And indeed it is necessary to take action, especially in Afghanistan. How to convince the local population that all the US-led coalition with its soldiers, advisers, and aid workers is after is to improve the lot of the Afghans? That is the question.

The Consequences of the International Financial Crisis in Various Regions

Unlike the USA and Europe, where the global financial crisis left behind recession, bankrupt enterprises, and unemployment, the damage suffered by the emerging countries is limited. What is more, countries such as China, India, and Brazil even benefit from the fact that they did not liberalize their financial markets too hastily. To them, the crisis offers a chance of improving their position in the international fabric of power.

The International Financial Crisis and the United States of America

It is well known that the USA was the starting point of the current world financial crisis. Defective regulation, as occasionally depicted, is not its only cause. Others include massive state intervention and the failed monetary policy of the US Federal Bank.

Between Domestic-Policy Turbulences and the Lisbon Treaty

The Czech Republic Before its Presidency of the EU Council in 2009

The current domestic and European policy of the Czech Republic is characterized by one person – the president and ’Euro-realist’ Vaclav Klaus. However, not all citizens of the country, which is currently facing many problems, share the view of this EU-critical head of state. These problems include domestic instability, the weakness of prime minister Mirek Topolanek, the controversial reform process, the deployment of US radar stations, and the Lisbon Treaty. This is the situation in which the Czech Republic, now confronted by the consequences of the financial crisis on top of everything, will take over the presidency of the Council of the European Union in January 2009.

Conflict in the East of the Democratic Republic of Congo

Another Challenge to Regional and International Crisis Diplomacy

When rebels led by General Nkunda marched on Goma late in October 2008 and tens of thousands of civilians fled, the world was horrified. People were asking themselves whether the Congrés National pour la Défense du Peuple (CNDP) would actually occupy the town, and what this would lead to. The peace process initiated by the armistice agreement of January was on the rocks, and calls for strengthening the UN protection force, MONUC, were growing louder. In terms of security policy, the Congolese government as well as the international community are confronted by utter ruin. What is more, the warlord economy that is operating in the east of the DR Congo is impossible to dislodge; after all, militias as well as rebel forces, governmental as well as nongovernmental players equally benefit from it.

Democracies at Risk – The Carribean Under Venezuelan Influence

The English-speaking Caribbean is one of the very few regions in the developing world where supranational integration has been an ongoing topic. But other than for example the African Union, the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) has been successful in spurring economic integration. But due to the size of the territories in the region, its remote location and a large number of problems the region is facing (HIV/AIDS, climate change, globalization of the economies, etc.), integration has always been in peril. This would not only bring the achievements at risk, but could also damage the democratic societies in the region.


Ausgabe 11/2008 der Auslandsinformationen der Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung

International Hot Spots: From the Kosovo to Afghanistan

Books on International Politics

The large number of hot spots in today’s world is reflected in the publications of German publishing houses. The fact that the USA and Europe have recognized the Kosovo’s right of secession is one subject of discussion; others are Russia’s recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetia as independent states and the destabilizing potential of secession-related conflicts as such. It is all about the fate of Israel and the Arab-Israeli conflict, the USA and its fight against terrorism, the Balkan and the Caucasus, Iraq and Afghanistan.

Russia´s Economy and Society Face New Challenges

The end of the Soviet era brought about fundamental changes in Russia’s economy and its conditions. The transformation from a command to a market economy was painful and caused numerous derivative problems. Privatization paved the way for the oligarchs, who were able to accumulate immense riches due to their connections with politicians and secret-service officials. The old structures in the country’s economic life dissolved but were not replaced.

The Journey to the Promised Land. Mexican Migration Movements

The Mexicans’ relationship with their American neighbours is ambivalent, for they feel overshadowed as well as attracted by them. There is no other place in the world where the stream of migrants of one nation towards the other is bigger. Every year, more than 400,000 Mexicans seek to reach the Promised Land in the north. The figures speak for themselves: 98.7 percent of Mexican expatriates live in the US. One in three foreigners in the US is a Mexican. The remesas, the money migrants transfer back to their relatives in their home country, are Mexico’s second most important source of income, right after oil revenues.

About this series

This periodical responds to questions concerning international issues, foreign policy and development cooperation. It is aimed at access of information about the international work for public and experts.

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