The current crisis in China over tainted milk products, including the furious public reaction inside the country, reminds us how hard it is to govern 1.3 billion. It is clearly against the law in China to put dangerous additives into food products. The problem in China has been and remains how extraordinarily difficult it is for the government to enforce such laws, whether it’s product safety or environmental regulations. At the same time large numbers of Chinese demand such enforcement and seek ways to make their wishes known, difficult in a political system with few outlets for expressing the public will.
Answering Russian Aggression - Mikheil Saakashvili, Washington Post
Russia Entering Third Act of Financial Tragedy - Anders Aslund, Japan Times
Russia's Perception of Reality - David Stromberg, Jerusalem Post
Pakistan: The Enemy is Closer to Home - Editorial, Guardian
The State of the World - Ban Ki Moon, Today's Zaman
Global Storm Gives Gordon Brown Shelter - For Now - Rachel Sylvester, Times of London
Hubris Comeuppance (Financial Crisis) - Arnaud de Borchgrave, UPI
Welcome to the Nuclear Club, India - Gideon Rachman, Financial Times
Time to Hunt Somali Pirates - J. Peter Pham, World Defense Review
With some fanfare, General David Petraeus transferred command of US forces in Iraq to his deputy General Ray Odierno on September 17. In the last two years, much has been written about Petraeus—the architect of American counterinsurgency strategy and leader of the controversial surge in Iraq. He survived early political attacks in the American media and on Capitol Hill for being too intellectual (he has a Ph.D.) and too political. What the critics missed, however, is his warfighting skills. Far from being mutually exclusive, a general (or admiral for that matter) can be smart, politically savvy, and a consummate warfighter. After all, warfighting skills are what militaries value.
In the predawn hours of August 7, Russia invaded Georgia. Gassiev, a border guard of the separatist regime in the Georgian territory of South Ossetia, was at the southern end of the Roki Tunnel that leads from Russia. At 3:52 a.m., he used his mobile telephone to tell his supervisor: “The armor and people . . . 20 minutes ago; when I called you, they had already arrived.” The intercepted telephone call, first reported in the September 16 New York Times, explodes the myth that Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili precipitated Russia’s assault on Georgia with an ill-conceived attack on Tskhinvali, capital of South Ossetia.
With its invasion of Georgia, Russia demonstrated the determination to “come back into the game” in style. Regenerated through the surge of energy prices, Russia’s leaders want to make up their losses from the 1990s and get payback for the accompanying humiliation. Her aggressive policies, heralded by the political use of the energy weapon starting in 2006, have been beefed up now with a willingness to openly employ military might.