By Fareed Zakaria
“There is no reason why Ukraine's Russophone inhabitants should not support the protests. Euromaidan protesters want their country to join the European Union, and the EU has many qualities that should make it attractive to the Russophones: It protects regional languages and minorities, its welfare standards are more socialist than those in contemporary Ukraine, and it already includes a chunk of the former USSR. That’s on top of the obvious benefits, like political freedom and the rule of law,” writes Leonid Ragozin in The New Republic.
"Russophones might naturally lean to Russia, but they are not amused by its oil-addicted economy, terrorism, uncontrolled immigration, or its dim political future. Considering Ukraine's European prospects, it is a better place for Russophones, and indeed Russians, to call home."
“What sets [recent] Chinese acquisitions apart from most other foreign purchases is that Chinese entities are state-owned – and so driven by national interests as well as economic. Chinese investments in the United States doubled in 2013, according to a recent report on Chinese foreign direct investment trends by the Rhodium Group,” argues Shihoko Goto for Reuters.
“If 2013 marks the first year of a wave of Chinese acquisition of U.S. assets, it may also mark the beginning of Chinese authorities’ strategic maneuvering for U.S. interests.”
“The exact reasons for Karzai’s erratic behavior remain unknown. Perhaps he hopes to ingratiate himself with the Taliban as U.S. and Western influence wanes. Maybe he is holding out on signing the BSA and criticizing the U.S. as part of an effort to extract the best possible deal for himself, Afghanistan, or both,” writes Bill Roggio on the Daily Beast. “Regardless of his motivations, Karzai is playing a dangerous game.”
“If Karzai thinks his drift towards the Taliban will buy him forgiveness, he is sorely mistaken. If the U.S. does exercise the ‘zero option,’ the full withdrawal of forces by the end of 2014, or leaves a token force unable to turn the tide against what many believe will be a resurgent Taliban capable of regaining control of large areas of Afghanistan, his most recent attempts to further negotiations with the Taliban won't save him.”