Economic Transition in Afghanistan: How to Soften a Hard Landing

The clock is ticking. Between now and 2014, upwards of 150,000 foreign troops and 30,000 contractors will start leaving Afghanistan. Donor aid is also declining. In the past year, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) budget has been cut in half. In other words, the war economy is unraveling. While most of the $118 […]

How Smart Economic Strategy Could Strengthen the Afghan Counterinsurgency

Without question, the war in Afghanistan is a formidable challenge for the U.S. The success or failure of the counterinsurgency strategy that General Petraeus is imple-menting in Afghanistan will ultimately take years to determine. However, General Petraeus is absolutely correct on one critical point: there is no purely military solution in Afghanistan. Only through a truly comprehensive, whole-of-government approach, can the U.S. and its coalition partners succeed in Afghanistan.

Trade War with China Would Be Costly, Unnecessary

Given a U.S. unemployment rate of almost 10 percent, many Americans see China’s trade surplus with the United States as an urgent problem. Some even argue that China is manipulating the exchange rate of its currency, the yuan or renminbi (RMB), against the dollar to boost Chinese export-related jobs at the expense of American workers.

Early Warning System for Financial Crises Needed

If a tropical storm begins to gather hurricane-level strength off the coast of Florida, FEMA warns us. If a ballistic missile is launched somewhere in the Middle East, shared early-warning systems immediately alert affected nations while that missile is still airborne. If a global economic crisis is lurking around a corner … nothing happens. Instead of a triggered warning that allows for avoiding catastrophic consequences, the crisis simply hits, taking national economies and countless individuals’ livelihoods with it.