World’s Weekly Blue Streak

November 5, 2008



In (hopefully) less than 12 hours, the world will know the name of the 44th President of the United States. With a floundering economy, two wars, and a torrent of domestic problems stacked on the table on day one—let’s be thankful that anyone wants the job at all. Although the world has listened closely to the candidates’ positions on the headliner foreign policy issues—the War on Terror and Iraq—there are other international issues that are less popular and equally pressing. Without further ado, four areas of the world that can’t be ignored come January 20th.  

CHINA-The sleeping dragon has woken up, and the United States needs to take heed. Besides having 20% of the world’s population and the largest standing army, China is America’s top trading partner. Additionally, China’s $1.9 trillion currency reserve is nothing to scoff at, particularly at a time when the United States is searching the couch cushions for spare change. If the next president fails to engage Hu Jintao on the issues of government control, Tibet and China’s ambitious military modernization, someone else will. 

SOMALIA-As much fun as the Open Border has had with the Somali Pirate incident, the grim truth is that Somalia is the top failed state and a major hotbed for Islamic insurgency. The widespread instability has the potential to overspill to its neighbors, allowing extremism and terrorist groups to flourish unchecked. It will be difficult to solve the nearby crises in Zimbabwe and Sudan without acknowledging the effect of Somali instability, and engagement with Somalia is synonymous with the War on Terror. 

DR CONGO-The situation in the Congo is fast becoming the world’s worst humanitarian crisis that no one has ever heard of. While lacking the attention-grabbing label of genocide, the ongoing conflict between the rebel army and the government has displaced over a million and continues to add to the civil war’s 5.4 million death toll. The recent reports that the UN has failed to provide stability proves that the United States will need to take a stance on the conflict on the grounds of humanity.

MEXICO-The time has come for the next president to acknowledge that the four-decade war on drugs in Mexico has not worked. Violence has become the norm, and America’s $400 million aid package has been offset by the American market for the same drugs the money is supposed to fight. A new policy will have to encompass everything from gun control to economic aid, but it needs to be made a priority. In two years there have been 4,000 deaths from drug skirmishes, which comes close to warranting the title of a crisis. 

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Taiwan and China signed a historic agreement allowing new shipping links and flights across the Taiwan Strait, an area previously noted as a potential war zone. 

The Pakistani Prime Minister implored the next U.S. president to cease missile strikes and trust Pakistan to work with U.S. intelligence to find al-Qaida. 

One of Osama bin Laden’s nineteen sons has decided to seek asylum in Spain 

The Dalai Lama has expressed frustration on talks with Beijing, stating that Tibet is “now dying” under China’s firm grip.  

Talks to reunify Cyprus have resumed again for about the umpteeth time

By Dana Liebelson



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