Joshua Kurlantzick

Kimpossible
December 02, 2010

As the North Korea crisis spirals into its second week, and seemingly out of control, many American policymakers and pundits agree on one thing: China needs to do something about Pyongyang. “China is not behaving as a responsible world power,” Senator John McCain told CNN.  “They could bring the North Korean economy to their knees if they wanted to.”  State Department spokesman P.J.

General Malaise
December 09, 2009

From the hills outside Mandalay, Burma’s second city, the vista resembles a postcard of Asian serenity. Monks climb stone steps to a hillside shrine, where local men and women leave offerings of flowers and fruit. But the placid scene conceals one of the most repressive states in the world--a state that the Obama administration has decided may be more worthy of American friendship than American threats. For more than four decades, Burma’s junta has persecuted its population.

The World is Bumpy
July 15, 2009

On innumerable trips to Singapore over the past decade, I always made sure to stop by the Old Tanglin Officers' Mess, the city-state's version of the State Department. There, amid a street of gleaming colonial-style buildings and perfectly trimmed tropical foliage, the best diplomats in Asia--fluent English- speakers with a staggering command of regional politics and sharply tailored suits--would entertain me at the after-work bar.

Turning Japanese
October 22, 2008

Whatever their squabbling in Washington this week, one thing Democrats and Republicans were able to agree on was the apparent novelty of the country's current financial woes. "We have an unprecedented crisis," said House Minority Leader John Boehner, in a phrase frequently invoked by other congressional leaders. But, in truth, the dire situation in the United States does have a precedent: It looks remarkably like the crisis that struck Japan 20 years ago, when a stock market meltdown exposed years of speculative lending, mostly dependent on real estate, and led to an economic collapse.

The Survivalists
June 11, 2008

As the death toll from the cyclone that hit Burma earlier this month spirals past 100,000, the country's ruling junta continues its intransigence. Holed up in its new bunker capital in the middle of the country, the regime has gone from initially welcoming aid, to blocking U.S. and French assistance, to simply seizing relief supplies--before, finally, relenting and allowing some aid in. All the while, the chance for effective relief has grown slimmer. Burma defies political understanding in many ways.

Musharraf for Brains
March 26, 2008

By November of last year, Pakistan, a nation hardly known for its stability, seemed primed to explode. After months of street protests against General Pervez Musharraf’s increasingly authoritarian rule, the Pakistani dictator had declared de facto martial law, allowing him to arrest thousands of political activists and sparking even greater unrest. Many young Pakistanis turned to extremist organizations, and suicide bombings spread from the Afghan border into once-serene cities like Islamabad and Lahore.

Swifter, Higher, Crueler
February 27, 2008

Joshua Kurlantzick on the 2008 Olympics' negative impact on China.

Going Down
December 05, 2007

Most days, the lobby of the Peninsula Hotel in Manila caters to a cross-section of elite Philippine society. Politicians in sharp suits swap stories in the coffee shop, while society ladies with bouffant hairdos and glittery mobile phones take their usual tables for lunch. But last week, a different crowd crashed the Peninsula, as a group of army officers barged into the hotel and commandeered the place to call for the resignation of Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

Burma Blues
September 24, 2007

For days, thousands of average Burmese and respected Buddhist monks parade through the streets of Burmese cities, calling for democracy and picking up supporters as they march. The protests have a kind of festive atmosphere. Crowds of young men in baseball caps and elderly Burmese in traditional sarongs cheer the monks from the rooftops and wave hand-lettered banners in Burmese and English.

The St. Paul Warlord: Hmong Friends
February 05, 2007

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