WPR Articles May 5 — May 11
A profile in The New York Times Magazine of Ben Rhodes, the Obama administration’s deputy national security adviser for strategic communications, reflects poorly on the author, David Samuels, as well as on the Obama administration, if not quite for the reasons Samuels claims.
The fallout of the Panama Papers, rising civil unrest, security challenges, and the expanding role of the military in civilian affairs have resulted in the most challenging period for Pakistan’s prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, since he took office in 2013. Yet he is likely to survive politically, for now.
In late April, Spain’s King Felipe announced that new elections would be held June 26, after inconclusive polls in December and months of negotiations failed to produce a viable ruling coalition. This time around, playing politics, rather than making hard compromises, will not be an option.
July’s NATO summit in Warsaw is arguably one of the most important meetings of the alliance’s heads of state in the post-Cold War era. They have a chance to set NATO on the right path forward, if they can deliver a boost to defense in Eastern Europe and formulate a more active role around the Mediterranean.
The normalization process between the U.S. and Cuba offers new opportunities for a population long stifled by isolation. But Cuba’s leaders have made possibilities for reform seem slim, and persistent human rights violations undercut the potential of new actors in media, business and politics.
Last month, Solonandrasana Olivier Mahafaly became prime minister of Madagascar after Jean Ravelonarivo resigned due to disagreements with President Hery Rajaonarimampianina. In an email interview, Richard R. Marcus discussed politics and political reconciliation in Madagascar.
The recent revelation of a hit squad within Honduras’ police, tasked with carrying out assassinations of law enforcement officials, confirmed widely held suspicions of police abuse. Yet the likely consequence of these revelations is not a police overhaul, but a bigger role for Honduras’ military police.
Venezuela’s unraveling is gathering speed. The country is now on course for an extended period of uncertainty, with a possibly dangerous outcome lying in wait. This does not come as a surprise. Anyone watching the country’s trajectory could see disaster coming. The question now is, How will this end?
In this week’s Trend Lines podcast, WPR’s Judah Grunstein and Frederick Deknatel discuss Honduras’ police scandal, transitional justice in Cote d’Ivoire, and Turkey, Syria and Iraq’s Kurds. For the Report, Khaled Hroub joins us to talk about Hamas’ options for ending Gaza’s isolation.
Growing disorder has created the possibility for major changes to the status of Kurdish minorities in Iraq, Turkey and Syria, with Kurds emerging as critical actors in providing security and stability. However, with internal challenges and unending battles, recent self-confidence has also been punctured.
On Monday, the U.S. and Senegal signed a deal to facilitate U.S. troop access to the West African country, in the latest example of the American military’s expanding presence in Africa. With threats from the Islamic State, Boko Haram and Al-Qaida in the Maghreb, U.S. involvement will only deepen.
Recent developments in Iraq and Syria suggest the tide has slowly turned in the fight against the so-called Islamic State. But rather than standing pat on its current approach, the United States should take a hard look at its strategy and think about how the conflict might unfold in the coming years.
Last month, the C.D. Howe Institute released a report saying Canada would see modest economic gains from joining the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). In an email interview, the Centre for International Governance Innovation’s Patricia Goff discussed the potential impact of the TPP on Canada’s economy.
South Sudan’s original political odd couple is back together again. In late April, President Salva Kiir watched over the swearing in of his very recent rival, Riek Machar, as first vice president. But it would be dangerous to reduce the fragile peace process to the relationship between the two leaders.
If U.N. employees got to elect the next president of the United States, Donald Trump would be lucky to get a single vote. And yet, there are three reasons why it is possible to imagine that the presumptive Republican presidential nominee and the U.N. might prove to be beautifully well-suited partners.
The ouster of Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu is an internal matter, but it will likely have negative repercussions for the refugee deal between Turkey and the EU. It’s the latest example of how domestic political dramas can affect the foreign policy interests of important middle powers.