Nations from the north to the south of East Asia are demonstrating the high price of rejecting freedom in our contemporary world. North Korea is sending drone aircraft south of the 38th Parallel. Vietnam is beset with protests against foreign investment from China. All three governments have so far succeeded only in embarrassing themselves.
A prominent and powerful man is embarrassed when private comments made behind closed doors are leaked to the media, causing a storm of criticism. There are calls for his removal by people who find his remarks utterly unacceptable and contemptible
U.S. President Barack Obama's Asia stop in South Korea has been accompanied by renewed threats from North Korea. That is no surprise.
Current maritime conflicts echo earlier wars, launched over history to control commerce and coveted territory. On April 19, China authorities impounded the Baosteel Emotion, a freighter of Japan's Mitsui O.S.K. Lines.
“To jaw-jaw is better than to war-war,” said Winston Churchill in 1954, supporting the principle of nations negotiating. Those wise words from a principal war leader with distinctive credentials are worth keeping in mind as the crisis in Ukraine escalates.
Afghanistan's April 5 presidential election provides limited but promising evidence of political progress, as United States military combat forces prepare to depart later this year. Turnout of approximately 60 percent of eligible voters was high, despite Taliban intimidation and violence. The national election commission has testified that corruption has been much reduced from the 2009 presidential election
The Obama administration has proposed major changes in defense policy. In an earlier era these sweeping proposals would have sparked intense and highly visible discussion and debate. Unfortunately, this has not yet happened.
The U.S. government is working to restrain intelligence agencies, and Americans should applaud. On March 25, major proposals were announced. The Obama administration seeks to end government bulk collection of phone records by the super-secret National Security Agency (NSA) and require court approval to monitor individual phone numbers.
Student and activist demonstrators opposed to cooperation with China have occupied the parliament building in Taiwan, an unprecedented event. Angry occupiers fear Beijing. The Cold War is over, but the legacy lingers along with the practical problems of getting a job even in today's rich economy.
South Korea is dealing with growing controversy concerning efforts by intelligence operatives to influence domestic politics. Agents of the National Intelligence Service (NIS) have admitted to secret work to elect President Park Geun-hye. The Cyberwarfare Command of the South Korea Army has been accused of similar illegal interference.