On this month’s ten-year anniversary of U.S. military engagement in Afghanistan, Michael Kugelman of the Asia Program offers an analysis of the conflicting forces that are challenging the regional peace process and discusses changes in U.S. policy approaches toward Afghanistan and Pakistan.
The December 2013 purge and execution of Jang Song Thaek, who was often described as the No. 2 in North Korea, came four months after the ruling Korean Worker’s Party announced that the Ten Points of the Monolithic Ideological System, the basic tenets of the unitary leadership system in North Korea, had been updated for the new leader, Kim Jong Un.
In recent weeks, food inflation has spread across the globe. However, according to Asia Program associate Michael Kugelman in an April 25 commentary, Pakistani consumers have faced high food costs for months. Increasing food prices, general inflation, and energy shortages have triggered an economic crisis in Pakistan that "threatens to reverse the gains" of last February's elections. Yet the United States, Mr. Kugelman argues, can take steps to help ease Pakistan's economic strife.
Tasneem Siddiqui, former chief secretary of the government of Sindh Province, looks at how Pakistan can provide affordable housing to its rapidly growing urban population.
The government of Bangladesh's recent decision to double the minimum wage in the garment sector was significant, argues Public Policy Scholar Sanchita Saxena in a new commentary . However, she argues that Bangladesh continues to pay high tariffs to the United States (ten times the amount of development assistance it receives), hurting its competitiveness and chances at poverty reduction.