All tagged Tommaso Verderame

Political Minutes: Burma in Transition

Ultimately, the panel was paradigm shifting for me. I had bought into the media's rosy picture of democratic reform in Burma. The question I prepared had to do with allowing Western companies in to provide better telecommunications access -- Burma has the second lowest mobile-phone penetration in the world after North Korea. Before letting Western telecom giants cut deals with the Burmese power apparatuses' capitalists, however, the panel made it clear that we should wait for real reform.

Al-Hashimi Shows Cracks in U.S. Iraq Plan

Of course, the Kurds and the Sunnis feel jointly oppressed by the Shia majority, particularly given the Sunni's several decades on top under Sadaam Hussein. Kurdish and Sunni politicians quickly rallied behind Al-Hashimi. This is disturbing. Political leaders cannot unite by virtue of their faiths, when those very faiths are tearing Iraq apart and killing hundreds.

Assad in Check, Regime Has Next Move

Fighting has spread to Damascus, the capital, and to the largest city, Aleppo. This is not just sporadic gunfire, but real, bloody, daily fighting. Border crossing stations are being seized by the rebels, letting more lethal weapons seep through the porous Turkish border. Hundreds of defectors join the resistance every day. On all fronts, the rebels are advancing.

Things Go Better with Coke

It is the global community that needs to learn from Myanmar. Rather than attempting to wait out the gluttons of privilege, international sanctions ought to be relaxed to let the North Korean people eat and allow for some much needed foreign dollars to enter the country. And, maybe, with a little time, and a little help, North Koreans can have a Coke too.

The World's New Powder Keg

The international community as a whole has an interest in ensuring that Caspian oil continues to flow, and Azerbaijan’s stability is central to that aim. The abeyance of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline, for example, because of an avoidable regional conflict would wreak havoc on a global energy market already under tremendous pressure. Hillary Clinton ought to pay several more visits to the region in the near future to ensure that Armenia and Azerbaijan’s glacial peace process quickens its pace.

Pakistan and the U.S.'s Long Painful Breakup

NATO took a step away from Pakistan was taken when it reached an independent deal with Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan to open a transport route to ship military equipment out of Afghanistan. Circumventing Pakistan may very well become the norm in the region as the US, hopefully, begins a bona fide search for a new regional partner.