WPR Articles June 9 — June 15
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Washington last week was striking in its normalcy, in contrast with the drama of the early years of the transformation in bilateral ties. The strategic trajectory is clear: Cooperation is growing on managing the global commons and ensuring a peaceful Asia.
France has always claimed to be a power in the Asia-Pacific, but some recent strategic developments have given additional credence to that claim. In April, France won a landmark contract to sell 12 attack submarines to Australia, after securing a deal with India for 36 Rafale fighter jets last year.
Despite strong economic growth over the past decade, Ethiopia remains an industrial laggard. Yet a critical turning point may be imminent. After years of an active industrial policy, Ethiopia’s economic architects say the time is right for a manufacturing-sector takeoff driven by foreign investment.
Pedro Pablo Kuczynski won one of the most contested presidential races in Peru’s history last week. He’ll face obstacles in his efforts to strengthen the economy and improve life for Peruvians, most of all the fact that his opponent Keiko Fujimori’s party holds a majority in Congress.
The global economy has always relied on at least one major engine of growth. Right now, the U.S., China and Europe are not up to the task. Is India, which just unveiled figures making it the fastest-growing of any of the world’s major economies? The answer, unfortunately, remains an emphatic “maybe.”
British Prime Minister David Cameron has gotten himself into a much bigger mess than he ever bargained for. The risk of an actual British exit from the EU is all too real, and the consequences for the Conservative Party are likely to be dire, even in the case of a close vote in favor of remaining in the EU.
Last week, a Turkish energy firm signed a $4.2 billion deal for the construction of seven natural gas power plants in Iran, the largest investment deal in Iran since sanctions were lifted. In an email interview, Brandeis University’s Nader Habibi discussed the evolution of Turkish-Iranian ties.
In this week’s Trend Lines podcast, WPR’s Judah Grunstein and host Peter Dörrie discuss gang violence in El Salvador, a crackdown on the opposition in the Republic of Congo, and diplomatic outreach to Africa by Turkey and South Korea. For the Report, Yaqiu Wang joins us to talk about dissent in China.
Important as the U.S. military’s adoption of drone warfare is, it is only a first step in a much bigger process. A move has now begun toward the development and adoption of autonomous, unmanned systems, so-called killer robots. Roboticization is inevitable, but where it ultimately will lead is unclear.
Given the scale of its economic downturn, Mongolia’s parliamentary elections June 29 could see a staggering defeat for the ruling Democratic Party. Yet rather than offer a compelling vision for the future, the party has focused on reconfiguring the entire election system, creating more problems in the process.
Last week, the EU released an opinion accusing Poland’s government of endangering the rule of law and violating the union’s democratic principles, over changes made to Poland’s Constitutional Tribunal. But the threat of sanctions is unlikely to make the ruling Law and Justice party change tack.
Benin’s new president, Patrice Talon, has made many minor reforms and announced ambitious plans since his election in March. He may be testing the waters for making bigger reforms to address Benin’s economic crises. But Talon’s business interests and political incentives are blurred more than ever.
On June 5, the Maldives’ former vice president, Ahmed Adeeb, was convicted of attempting to assassinate its president, Abdulla Yameen, the latest politically motivated court case against the opposition. In an email interview, Vishal Arora discusses the state of democracy and rule of law in the Maldives.
For over 20 years, Israel’s ties with countries in Asia have gradually increased. But it is not just a pivot to the region. Instead, it is a major realignment of Israel’s foreign policy, supported by geopolitics and motivated by Israel’s slowly eroding political relations with Europe and the U.S.
Leaders from Canada, the United States and Mexico are to meet later this month for the so-called Three Amigos summit, and climate change is expected to dominate the agenda. In an email interview, Alexis Arthur, an independent energy consultant, discussed Mexico’s response to climate change.
Rather than an example of an ISIS-influenced or lone-wolf terrorist, the mass shooting in Orlando was probably a case where Islam was an excuse for violence. That makes stopping the next mass shooter that much more difficult. But there is one way, if not to prevent them, to make them less likely.