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legitimacy

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It looks as if Afghan President Hamid Karzai's Cabinet strategy is still in desperate need of repair. The majority of his nominees have once again been rejected by the parliament, casting doubt on his ability to lead in the country's fractious political environment.

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Maybe it was the past eight years, or maybe it was the past three months, but a new report by the U.S. intelligence community estimates that American global power is on the decline, and will be for the next two decades as upcoming powers like China and India gain greater international standing.

China

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I would agree that things in China have gone far better than anyone predicted during the dark post-1989 days But, what explains that success? Good visionary planning? Strong leadership? A national psyche exhausted by any kind of turmoil? Good luck? The danger is that even the best economy tends to be cyclical, and it is far from clear that China has the political legitimacy, deeply enough rooted political institutions, or shared set of values to help it survive a downturn As to Wintermute and whether Taiwan is worth fighting for I personally do not believe that any functioning democracy is worth throwing over the side to keep some other sort of the peace - commercial or otherwise We Americans forget.

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