International Analysis

US Policy in Iraq: A Plague on Both Houses

JOURNAL OF INTERNATIONAL PEACE OPERATIONS┬áVol 3, No. 6 May-June 08 By Michael Shank For all of Washington’s white papers on the war in Iraq, testimonies by General David Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker, and wonkish retching over the war’s latest development – the recent routing of Iraq Prime Minister Nouri […]

Poppy Crop Destruction Drives Farmers Towards Taliban

FINANCIAL TIMES 04/12/08 By Michael Shank Sir, With reference to your report, “US seeks Afghan heroin action” (April 5/6): the American proclivity for short-term, high-visibility gains precludes, yet again, sound strategy. Aerial spraying does not constitute an effective poppy eradication programme. Critically, this counter-narcotics strategy ignores the demand side. If […]

U.N. Security Council Must Act Preemptively – on Climate Change

CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR 03/24/08 By Michael Shank and Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY) The United Nations tackled the task of troubleshooting climate change last month. Between holding special General Assembly meetings at headquarters in New York, bringing 100 environmental ministers to Monaco in the largest meeting of ministers since Bali, and […]

Afghan Domestic Opinion Neglected in Ashdown Plan

FINANCIAL TIMES 02/15/08 By Michael Shank Sir, Paddy Ashdown still does not get it. His three-pronged policy prescription for Afghanistan (“A strategy to save Afghanistan”, February 13), while meritorious on many levels, nowhere implies consultation with Afghanistan’s President Hamid Karzai. This approach, unfortunately, is consistent with years of interventionist neglect […]

Gaza Sanctions Exact an Unjust Toll on Civilians

CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR 01/23/08 By Michael Shank Regarding the Jan. 15 article “Fertilizer, frustration fuel Gaza’s rockets”: The article paid primary attention to fertilizer and little to frustration. This neglect appears not unusual as the humanitarian crisis emerging in Gaza seems to garner little international concern. Now that Gaza’s main […]

Don’t Choke Off Gaza

WASHINGTON TIMES 01/22/08 By Michael Shank In mollifying international criticism of border closings, Israeli Defense Ministry spokesman Shlomo Dror claimed that “sufficient stocks of food” existed for Gazans and that “no one would go hungry” (“Israeli air force strikes empty Hamas offices,” World, Saturday). Mr. Dror speaks not of Gaza. […]

Overdue Wisdom in Afghanistan

FINANCIAL TIMES 01/17/08 By Michael Shank Sir, At long last, US strategy in Afghanistan is wising up (“From poppies to pomegranates”, January 14). Putting crop eradication on the back burner, a move aided by concern from the government in Kabul, the US is pursuing ways in which high-value produce can […]

Putting Iran on Annapolis Guest List Less of a Risk than Not

FINANCIAL TIMES 11/30/07 By Michael Shank Sir, Saudi Arabia and Syria hardly constitute a coalition of the craven (“Iran looms large over Arab ‘coalition of the frightened’ “, November 28). The appearance of these and other Arab states at the Annapolis peace summit is anything but an exhibition of anxiety […]

Annapolis Holds Opportunity for Mideast Peace

RICHMOND TIMES-DISPATCH 11/25/07 By Michael Shank and Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY) The time has come for the world’s leaders to face hard truths concerning the Middle East, specifically the conflict between Palestine and Israel. On Tuesday, President George Bush will provide such an opportunity as leaders of the U.S., Israel, […]

Tough Stand on Musharraf is Critical for U.S.’s Credibility

THE HILL 11/07/07 By Michael Shank In the Nov. 6 article “Pakistan’s emergency may mean its aid is cut,” Sens. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) and Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) are teaching the U.S. Defense and State departments a valuable lesson vis-a-vis the critical importance of a consistent U.S. foreign policy. Contrary to […]