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    “Russian Reset”: Time to Listen to the Critics

    In a well-reasoned broadside, The Washington Post’s editorial board blasted President Obama’s Russian policy and his Berlin speech this past Thursday. The editorial justly criticized the naiveté with which Obama reached out to Russian president Vladimir Putin with a badly thought out proposal to cut a third of the U.S. … More

    Burma: Drawing the Line on Military Relations

    Late last night, the House Armed Services Committee drew a line on American military relations with Burma. The committee passed an amendment to the annual National Defense Authorization Act offered by Representative Trent Franks (R–AZ) expressing the sense of Congress that “the Department of Defense should fully consider and assess … More

    U.S. Ambassador’s Shocking Praise of Mugabe

    The Zimbabwean state-owned newspaper The Herald recently reported that the U.S. ambassador to Zimbabwe, Bruce Wharton, showered “praises” on Zimbabwean autocrat Robert Mugabe at a tourism promotion event in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe. The more positive statements were the following: “President Mugabe has been calling for peace, and I believe him. … More

    North Korean Refugees Struggle to Reach Freedom

    Nine North Korean refugees who had escaped from their homeland and made their way to Laos were forcibly repatriated on May 28. The defectors, ranging in age from 15 to 22, were turned over by Laotian authorities to North Korean security agents, who flew them via China back to North … More

    Opposition to Burma’s “Two-Child Policy” Mounting

    Burma’s political icon, Aung san Suu Kyi, is finally speaking out about the plight of ethnic populations in Burma, and the U.S. State Department seems to be listening. Burma is facing opposition from the U.S. for its “two-child policy” targeting the Muslim minority Rohingya. Recent enforcement of the 1994 two-child … More

    Indonesia Continues to Disappoint on Religious Freedom

    The United States Commission on Individual Religious Freedom (USCIRF) has again rated Indonesia as a Tier 2 country. The Tier 2 designation indicates that “violations engaged in or tolerated by the government are particularly severe.” It means that the country is on the threshold of joining Burma, China, Saudi Arabia, … More

    Administration Burma Policy: Lift Sanctions, Ask Questions Later

    President Obama’s meeting with Burma’s President Thein Sein at the White House today is a stark reminder of how far the Administration has come on Burma policy. In initiating the annual process for renewal of the ban on Burmese imports last week, Representative Joseph Crowley (D–NY) reiterated his desire that … More

    Human Rights Watch Decries Russia Opposition Crackdown

    Human Rights Watch (HRW) recently released a scathing new report focused on the crackdown on Russia’s civil society. Since December 2011, the Kremlin has committed to squashing nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) that promote democracy and are alleged conduits of Western influence, HRW says. The report, titled “Laws of Attrition,” focuses on … More

    Burma: New Hill Leaders Step Up

    New leaders are emerging on Capitol Hill to draw a line on Congress’s acquiescence to the White House’s rush to lift comprehensive sanctions on Burma. Congressmen Trent Franks (R–AZ), Rush Holt (D–NJ), and Trey Gowdy (R–SC) are pressing for strict conditionality on the provision of military assistance to Burma. In … More

    Asia: Kerry’s Missing Puzzle Piece

    “[T]his budget isn’t just a collection of numbers; it’s an illustration of our values and priorities,” said Secretary of State John Kerry in his testimony before the House Foreign Relations Committee on the proposed State Department budget. It’s not clear from his testimony today that one of those priorities is … More