Demonstrators carry pictures of former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf, during a protest in Karachi on Dec. 24, 2019. RIZWAN TABASSUM/AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES
This week brought news that the health of two former South Asian leaders has taken a turn for the worse. Former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf, who ruled the country as a military dictator for nearly a decade in the 2000s, is hospitalized with a rare and incurable disease that causes organ damage. In Bangladesh, former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia, who served two separate terms, had a heart attack.
That many South Asian leaders have reached old age speaks to the relative improvement in the region’s political stability, after decades when executions by coup or assassinations were not uncommon in some countries. Former Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and former Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif have each recently experienced health issues. India lost one former prime minister in 2018, and Pakistan has lost two formerleaders since 2020.
A 10-day world tour ended with a meeting of NATO defense ministers in Brussels.
By Jack Detsch, Foreign Policy’s Pentagon and national security reporter, and Robbie Gramer, a diplomacy and national security reporter at Foreign Policy.
U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin makes a statement on the second day of a NATO defense ministers’ meeting at the NATO headquarters in Brussels on June 16. VALERIA MONGELLI/AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES
BRUSSELS—NATO nations are preparing to significantly bulk up the 30-country alliance’s forces in Eastern Europe, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said today, part of a plan to stand tall in the face of Russia’s military revanchism as Europe faces its most serious security threat from the Kremlin since the Cold War with Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine.
“Russia’s aggression is a game-changer, so NATO must maintain credible deterrence and strong defense,” Stoltenberg said.
“This will mean more NATO forward-deployed combat formations to strengthen our battlegroups in the eastern part of our alliance. More air, sea, and cyber defenses, as well as prepositioned equipment and weapon stockpiles,” he added.