WPR Articles 20 Oct 2012 - 27 Oct 2012
Following considerable speculation that it would be postponed or even cancelled, the 18th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) will convene in Beijing on Nov. 8. Although key issues and personnel appointments remain unsettled, the announcement of the November congress coincides with other signals that what has appeared at times to be gridlock at the upper political echelons is easing.
Since September, U.S. officials have detailed a number of cyberattacks against private sector targets in the U.S. and allied countries. The message is clear: The United States is engaged in a cyber conflict. Alarmingly, however, the U.S. private sector lacks an adequate approach to defending itself against such cyberattacks, in large part because Washington has yet to prepare a legal foundation for doing so.
South Africa's ruling African National Congress party is beset by problems it is incapable of seriously addressing, far less resolving. The main question now is whether it will experience a dignified “democratic decline” or a descent into Zanufication, whereby, like Zimbabwe’s ZANU-PF, the liberation movement asserts its right to rule on the basis of history rather than the will of the people.
On Monday, during the final presidential debate, President Barack Obama proclaimed that his defense budgets were driven by strategy, not by politics. In theory, Obama is correct. Defense budgeting is supposed to be a rational exercise that assesses threats and needs, and then fills in the gaps. In practice, however, the process by which American strategy is developed is in itself a highly political process.
Over the years, Hezbollah has been many things: a terrorist group, a sectarian militia and a legitimate political actor. Today, Hezbollah faces challenges on all sides. Israel is as strong as ever; its Syrian and Iranian patrons are struggling; and a regional Sunni ascendancy threatens its domestic legitimacy. At near-peak strength just a few years ago, Hezbollah now finds itself in dangerously uncertain waters.
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