Jack of All Trades, Master of None: the Question of U.N. Intervention

In the hope of never again experiencing the same kind of fear that enveloped the Cold War, the post-Cold War era was intended to usher in a time of collective peace and global prosperity.  States worked with multilateral security aims, in an effort to maintain and defend the existing stability of the world order.  Although numerous other organizations have emerged, such as NATO or the African Union, since its inception, the one organization that the world has come to recognize as the ‘international community,’ and rely on for the international…

Microfinance in Bangladesh

Microfinance has both a dubious and triumphant track record as an agent of poverty alleviation. The movement remains rooted in the fundamental premise that people can increase their income if given loans to help build their small businesses. Long overshadowed by what poverty researcher Malcolm Harper described as “generally unsuccessful government-sponsored poverty alleviation programs,” microfinance has made notable strides in positioning itself as a credible tool in poverty reduction. In addition, by marrying loans with community and social development initiatives, microfinance has initiated a profound restructuring of the social dynamics…

Hopes Based on a Peanut Paste

As the world becomes increasingly globalized and technology transforms reality, the novelty of new innovations sometimes eclipses the very realsuffering of a sizable portion of the Earth’s population. Although technology allows people on opposite sides of the globe to speak face to face, it has yet to fix the problem of famine and malnutrition in under- developed and developing countries. On September 24th, at an emergency meeting in Rome regarding food price inflation, the UN warned of an impending major food crisis. It continued along this line when, on October…

The World Bank and the IMF: A Limited Mandate

In the fight against global poverty, the World Bank aims to help direct developing economies onto a stable path of sustained economic growth through the support of domestic financial institutions and large-scale infrastructure projects. Yet, there are ethical and moral implications to an organization that seeks to alleviate poverty in the developing world, while failing to reach the poorest of the poor, who lack access to the financial services and development projects that the World Bank provides. The Bank addresses the development of financial institutions and seeks to bolster domestic…

The New Cold War

June 12th, 1987—President Ronald Reagan makes his famous declaration, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” effectively ending the Cold War between the United States and Russia. For over forty years, the two countries fought for global dominance, but when all was said and done, the U.S. emerged as the victor while Russia faded into the background. Throughout the 1990s, the U.S. was unrivaled. The economy was stable, the Gulf War lasted less than a year, and the country’s most prominent problem was a White House sex scandal. However, two decades…

The Dubious Politics of a Saudi Arms Deal

The Obama administration is seeking to sell Saudi Arabia advanced aircraft worth up to $60 billion, in what Pentagon officials say would be the largest-ever single foreign arms deal. According to the terms of the deal, the Saudis will receive as many as 84 new F-15 fighter jets and three types of helicopters: 70 Apaches, 72 Black Hawks and 36 Little Birds. Let’s review what is offensive to the victims of the 9-11 attacks and what isn’t. When totally innocent moderate Muslim-Americans like Imam Rauf and his wife Daisy Khan…

Raúl Castro: Revolutionizing ‘La Revolución’?

Despite surviving numerous assassination attempts during his long period of rule, it was always an undeniable fact that Cuba’s Maximum leader, Fidel Castro, could not remain in power forever. For years the Cuban people, the United States, and the rest of the world waited in anxious anticipation for the day the aging dictator would fade into senility or disappear into death, and the question remained whether his revolution would follow suit.  Then, on July 31, 2006, following reports of stress induced intestinal surgery and ailing health, it was revealed that…