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Nov 26, 2009

The Economist
Dear Reader,

Barack Obama is starting to make up his mind: more troops for Afghanistan, it seems, and a dash to Copenhagen with a provisional promise to cut American emissions. But both Afghanistan and climate change can also be cited as evidence of a weakness that runs through his foreign policy. It looks to many as if he has dithered, not deliberated. Elsewhere, his diplomacy has been publicly rebuffed by China, Israel and Russia; and allies moan that America often seems kinder to its rivals than its friends. Does this president have a strategy, backed if necessary by force, to reorder the world? Or is he merely a presidential version of Graham Greene's idealistic, clever "Quiet American" who wants to change the world, but underestimates how bad the world is and ends up causing harm? In this week's cover leader, we argue that the world will soon find out whether this president's diplomacy is subtle and strategic, or weak and naive.

Here are some other pieces from this week's issue you might also be interested in. You can click straight through to each one and read it online at The Economist online using the links below.
John Micklethwait
John Micklethwait
Editor in Chief

This issue's cover
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The art market
A 14-page special report on an industry that has gone global in a spectacular way

Pakistan's slow, bloody descent
The Taliban is still fighting, and now its president is in trouble

Deflation returns to Japan
Outsiders, especially America and Britain, should look and learn

Why blockbusters are back
From television to music, movies and books, the media industry has no room in the middle

China's garlic bubble
The price also stinks

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