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Showing posts from July 7, 2013

Commando complex Brig (r) A R Siddiqi Thursday, July 11, 2013 Sardar Sherbaz Khan Mazari, one of Pakistan's most respected and seasoned statesmen, once asked me: "What sort of president do we have? Last evening at a reception he came up to me and said, 'look Sardar Sahib I am a commando and I shall fight'..." What can one say about such impulsive behaviour by a head of state and chief of the county's armed forces? Commandos are good soldiers – known more for raw courage and less for mature and sober judgement. Musharraf, too, was noted more for his blunt attitude than for a calm and calculated response to a given situation. Furthermore, his unfortunate penchant for depending too much on his handpicked cronies – yes-men all – proved to be his undoing. In April 1999, about six months before his coup, he addressed a meeting of the English Speaking Union at the Beach Luxury Hotel, Karachi. There he spo

Rethinking Civilian Stabilization and Reconstruction

8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., July 16, 2013 Center for Strategic and International Studies  1800 K St. NW, Washington,  DC 20006 Syria and Mali are not the first foreign conflicts the United States has tried to avoid intervening in militarily. Nor will they be the last. Despite common beliefs, U.S. leaders rarely use military power to respond to foreign crises. When they do, it's only after exhausting civilian options.  Do U.S. civilian institutions have the right mix of support, funding, and capabilities to respond to major crises and political transitions? Can the United States protect its interests and prevent conflicts without using its military? Join us to hear a distinguished group of U.S. experts and foreign recipients of U.S. assistance discuss where the United States stands in its civilian capacity for reconstruction and  stabilization—and how important that capacity is to U.S. foreign policy.   Agenda Stabilization and Reconstruction beyond Afghanistan James F. Dobb