June 2nd, 2011
02:34 PM ET

U.S. aid to Pakistan 'muddled' and lacks strategy

The United States provides Pakistan with $1.5 billion in aid annually, but this ambitious program lacks transparency, has muddled goals and is hampered by conflicting instructions from Washington.

Those are some of the conclusions of a study from the Center for Global Development, a Washington-based group. The report paints a somber and at times alarming picture of the situation in Pakistan.

By 2030, Pakistan will have the fourth-largest population in the world, but the millions of young Pakistanis who enter the workforce every year are poorly prepared to compete. For every 100 students who start school in Karachi, only one graduates from secondary school. Power cuts and water shortages are common. FULL POST

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Filed under: Pakistan
June 2nd, 2011
01:53 PM ET

Most wanted: Ayman Al-Zawahiri

Each week, CNN examines one of the most wanted terrorists around the world. Check out more of the Most Wanted.

Who is he?
Ayman Al-Zawahiri has played a defining role in al Qaeda for over a decade as bin Laden's deputy.

Born into a wealthy family in Cairo, al-Zawahiri is a physician and founding member of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad (EIJ), a militant organization that opposed the then secular Egyptian government of Hosni Mubarak and sought its overthrow through violent means.

Like bin Laden, al-Zawahiri also went to Afghanistan during their fight against the Soviets, although he was there primarily to offer his medical expertise.

By the 1990s, he again refocused his attention on undermining and attacking the Egyptian government and, eventually, the U.S. FULL POST


Filed under: Most Wanted
Gates: Chinese military expanding, not threat to U.S.
Chinese military honor guards during a welcoming ceremony for Myanmar's president on May 27
June 2nd, 2011
12:34 PM ET

Gates: Chinese military expanding, not threat to U.S.

China is building up its military capabilities, but does not intend to compete with the United States like the Soviet Union did, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Thursday ahead of a summit in Asia.

Speaking to reporters on a flight to Singapore, Gates said that China is "clearly working on capabilities that are of concern to us."

He added, however, "I think that the Chinese have learned powerful lessons from the Soviet experience, and they do not intend to try to compete with us across the full range of military capabilities. But I think they are intending to build capabilities that give them a considerable freedom of action in Asia, and the opportunity to extend their influence."

During a visit to Washington earlier this month, China's top military officer said that there is a "gaping gap between the militaries of the United States and China.

Chinese Gen. Chen Bingde said the United States and China need to work together despite their differences.

Gates said he understands that China is a major power.

"We are not trying to hold China down. China has been a great power for thousands of years, it is a global power and will be a global power. So the question is, how do we work our way through this in a way that assures that we continue to have positive relations in areas like economics and other areas that are important to both of us and manage whatever other differences we have in the other areas?" FULL POST

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Filed under: China • Military
June 2nd, 2011
09:07 AM ET

A Pakistani journalist is killed and many questions remain unanswered

I never met Pakistani journalist Sayed Saleem Shahzad, but we exchanged e-mails about his work for Asia Times Online, and his remarkable scoops in interviewing some of the world's most-wanted terrorists.

Pakistani journalist Sayed Saleem Shahzad's body was found with signs of torture, according to media reports.

He was an investigative reporter in the truest sense, disappearing to remote areas of Waziristan for clandestine interviews, working contacts within Pakistan's byzantine security apparatus, delving into a murky world of conspiracies and shifting (often deadly) allegiances.

In the end, it was Shahzad's endless probing that probably killed him. On Sunday night, he was on his way from his home in the Pakistani capital to a TV station to do an interview on the security threats faced by Pakistan.

He never got there. His body was found Tuesday some 250 kilometers (155 miles) away, close to his car. It showed signs of torture, according to Pakistani media reports. FULL POST

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Filed under: Intelligence • Pakistan