WPR Articles 13 Oct 2012 - 20 Oct 2012
With increasing tensions on display in the East and South China Sea, much attention has been given to China's growing military capabilities. But while China's military build-up is in many ways being geared toward challenging America, an assessment of Chinese power must also gauge the prowess of Chinese forces against other possible challengers, especially the regional armed forces it could face in combat.
With the endgame near for large-scale U.S. military involvement in Afghanistan, Americans have already begun to debate the broader implications of the conflict. Many have painted it as a failure, even a strategic fiasco. But it is not. Given the dynamics of the conflict and its wider strategic context, Afghanistan should be considered a win, albeit one that came at a much greater cost than was necessary.
In a curious coincidence, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who took office just a few weeks after Barack Obama did in the U.S., will face Israeli voters on Jan. 22, 2013, exactly two days after the U.S. presidential inauguration in Washington, where Obama may or may not be taking the oath of office again. In contrast with the American election, however, the race in Israel does not look close.
Following months of heated exchanges between international observers and Rwandan officials, a U.N. investigative body leveled its most detailed and controversial accusations over alleged Rwandan support for the Congolese M23 rebels in a report leaked Tuesday. The document claims that Rwanda's defense minister exercises direct command over the rebel group, with the Ugandan government also implicated.
With the specter of defense sequestration now looming, one wonders whether certain missions will simply be deemed too expensive for the U.S. to conduct. Today, it is no longer clear how the average American benefits from a forward-deployed, interventionist foreign policy. Facing stark choices in the years to come, Americans might be less willing to cut domestic services in order to provide security abroad.
In an email interview, Sean Yom, an assistant professor of political science at Temple University, discussed protests and reform in Jordan.
The announcement that the EU had won the Nobel Peace Prize last week shifted attention from the failed merger between defense giants EADS and BAE. The European defense industry has struggled for 20 years with the need to restructure and adapt to global markets, but the effort has been systematically torpedoed by narrow-minded national interests. This is also, it seems, what undid the deal that failed last week.
Recent years have seen a significant increase in both labor disputes and regulatory burden in the resources sector across the world. The ongoing mining sector unrest in South Africa suggests that these pressures continue to mount and that previous policy responses may prove insufficient. Moreover, the sector could be entering a more contentious phase characterized by a higher incidence of resource nationalism.
The challenge for a French president in managing relations with Africa is twofold: finally weaning ties off of the existing patronage networks; and actually promoting democracy and respect for human rights without being perceived in Africa as arrogant, paternalistic and hypocritical.
Judging by the size of its population and the strength of its military, Uzbekistan is potentially the most powerful of the five Central Asian countries. In addition, its pivotal location bordering all the other Central Asian countries give it great geopolitical and economic importance, and make it a critical actor in any efforts to stabilize the region after U.S. and NATO forces leave Afghanistan.
With India increasingly turning to developed countries for energy and food security, Canada’s profile seems to have grown considerably. Significant hydrocarbon resources, uranium deposits and a lack of geopolitical risk all make Canada a natural partner to feed India’s rise. However, there are still some issues that need to be resolved before an even deeper relationship can take root.
In an email interview, Brian Finlay, a senior associate and director of the Managing Across Boundaries program at the Stimson Center, discussed Russia’s decision to withdraw from the program.
Argentina’s legacy of debt default is back in the headlines this week after a Ghanaian port detained an Argentine navy ship, executing a court order on behalf of the country’s creditors.
Until recently a pariah state and the bête noire of ASEAN, Myanmar is now poised to outshine the organization and its members if the liberalizing nation can steadily advance its reforms. Since March 2011, Myanmar has witnessed a series of dramatic changes, including a free and fair by-election in April and the abolition of media censorship, contrasting sharply with trends in other ASEAN countries.
In an email interview, Louis Goodman, the dean emeritus of the American University School of International Service, discussed U.S.-Peru defense cooperation.
On Tuesday, the British government announced that it would not extradite British hacker Gary McKinnon to the United States, marking the first time an extradition has been halted under the 2003 Extradition Act between the U.S. and the United Kingdom.
The U.N. General Assembly meets today to elect five new nonpermanent members of the Security Council, ushering in the end of a two-year period in which three major powers held temporary seats. But although Germany, India and South Africa played prominent roles in debates over Libya and Syria, the chances of fundamental changes to the council’s structures seem less likely today than they did two years ago.
In an email interview, Frank Barry, chair of international business and economic development at Trinity College Dublin, discussed Ireland’s trade strategy.
A recent series of cyberattacks on strategic industries has underscored the fact that businesses must change their thinking on cybersecurity. Unfortunately, cybersecurity has until now been a reactive exercise for major global firms. And while IT innovation in business processes has raced forward, security has not. For those on the receiving end, the very clear message is that cyber is no longer an IT problem.
On Tuesday, the Cuban government announced that it would ease the highly restrictive travel laws it has kept in place for more than 50 years.
See more Articles at World Politics Review