For the first time in nearly twenty years, Burma has burst into open protest against the military junta, captivating the world with its ‘saffron revolution.’
Josh Kurlantzick discusses how the increase of oil price present opportunites and challenges for countries in Southeast Asia.
Burma's brutal ruling junta, which has long kept power through force and fear, is taking the next step and transforming itself into one of the world's few totalitarian regimes.
While the world has focused on how China abets the Burmese generals, in recent years the policies of India, the world's largest democracy, could be described in exactly the same way, and are just as craven.
For days, thousands of average Burmese and respected Buddhist monks have paraded through the streets of Burmese cities, calling for democracy and picking up supporters as they march. The events of today are reminiscent of 1988 when the Burmese military took power, convinced that there would be no sanctions from the international community. Twenty years on, history is in danger of being repeated.
Against the odds of staggering poverty, conflicting religious passions, linguistic pluralism, regional separatism, caste injustice and natural resource scarcity, Indians have lifted themselves largely by their own sandal straps to become a stalwart democracy and emerging global power.
The White House reached a deal late last month to provide India with U.S. civil nuclear cooperation, reversing a ban on such cooperation that had been in place since 1978. After India's first nuclear test in 1974, the United States decided to halt nuclear exports to countries that have not signed the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, and persuaded the rest of the world's nuclear suppliers to make this a global rule in 1992. India, Israel and Pakistan refused to sign the treaty and instead produced nuclear arsenals. The Bush administration now wants to remove the longstanding restrictions on India, and to persuade the rest of the world to do the same.
George Perkovich says that among the current problems with North Korea, India, and Iran, Iran is the most important to resolve because the Iranians are trying to defy international opinion and produce a nuclear weapons capability after having been exposed in the act of trying.
The U.S.-India nuclear agreement was completed in Washington. Unfortunately, the concessions made by the United States at the end of the process may damage the Bush administration's broader efforts to rein in nuclear proliferation.