In the aftermath of Wednesday’s revelation that Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar is dead — which had long been assumed yet never confirmed — a fundamental question remains. Why would the Afghan government make this announcement now?
Asia Program Senior Associate, Michael Kugelman speaks about the significance of the confirmed death of Taliban Supreme Leader Mullah Omar.
"[In Afghanistan], the U.S.–Iran deal’s implications are less complicated and largely positive. Afghanistan could be one of the deal’s biggest beneficiaries, and for two major reasons," writes Michael Kugelman.
"Numerous Taliban militants in Afghanistan and Pakistan, unhappy about their leader’s long absence, had already started affirming allegiance to Islamic State," writes Michael Kugelman.
"The India-US civil nuclear accord proved a gamechanger for broader ties between Delhi and Washington. A decade hence, perhaps we will be able to describe the recently signed nuclear agreement with Iran in similar terms," writes Robert Hathaway.
Under a bill approved by Japan’s lower house of parliament today, the country’s soldiers would be able to serve overseas for the first time since World War II. There were huge protests in the streets of Tokyo during the vote and opposition lawmakers walked out. Shihoko Goto discusses the measure and its significance with Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson.
"Pakistan’s energy crisis is rooted in such a complex and interrelated web of causes (including but not limited to crushing sectoral debt, gross mismanagement, and dysfunctional institutions) that there is little consensus on what needs to be done and how," writes Michael Kugelman.
"As the second-largest founding member nation of the TPP, Tokyo has a distinct advantage in setting the future rules for trade in the world’s most economically robust region," writes Shihoko Goto.
"Pakistan is in the midst of rapid urbanization — a major societal shift that could worsen the effects of energy problems in the years ahead...With droves of Pakistanis entering cities and becoming dependent on grids, supply pressures will deepen exponentially," writes Michael Kugelman.
"Groundwater is water security’s last resort — it is what we tap into when surface supplies run dry. And yet in Pakistan, this safety net is fraying. The country’s water security blanket is in danger of being yanked away," writes Michael Kugelman.