The World Next Week podcast is up. Bob McMahon and I talked about the continued protests in Syria; the ten-year anniversary of the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan; and the thirtieth anniversary of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat’s assassination.
- The Assad government’s bloody crackdown has yet to break the opposition movement, which is now calling for the imposition of a no-fly zone. Prospects for quick action at the UN Security Council continue to look bleak, however.
- The Obama administration has somewhat softened its criticism of Pakistan’s support for supporting insurgent groups active in Afghanistan. Meanwhile, violence in Afghanistan looks to be growing, raising doubts about the long-term success of the U.S. intervention there.
- The emergency law that has been in effect in Egypt since Sadat’s assassination is likely to remain on the books through June 2012. Egyptians will be going to the polls over the next several months, but no group or party looks poised to win the support of a majority of the country. That likely means political uncertainty in Egypt, and yet another drag on an economy that is already sputtering.
- Bob’s Figure of the Week is Vladimir Putin. My Figure of the Week is eleven. As always, listen to the podcast to find out why.
The New York Times considers the implications of Europe’s oil embargo on Syria, and the UN News Centre reports on top UN officials’ efforts to stem the violence. The San Francisco Chronicle discusses the disturbing upward trend in violence this year in Afghanistan while the New York Times carried an op-ed yesterday with a positive perspective on the direction of the war there. The Guardian offers a look back into its coverage of Sadat’s assassination thirty years ago, as does the New York Times. Steven Cook releases a great new book on The Struggle for Egypt.