WPR Articles Sept. 15 — Sept. 21
Vietnam’s prime minister concluded a six-day visit to China last week, which focused on deepening economic ties that have been strained by spillover from China and Vietnam’s disputes in the South China Sea. But those ties do not come at the expense of Vietnam’s own territorial and maritime claims.
Two themes will figure prominently for the next American president in managing the challenges to global order and U.S. national security: Applying the lessons learned over the past two decades in dealing with fragile states; and relearning the lessons forgotten from the Cold War about great power rivalry.
In the waning months of his administration, U.S. President Barack Obama has worked to demonstrate an unstinting American commitment to Israel’s security. What remains to be seen is to what extent he will emphasize the unfinished business of Palestinian statehood in his remaining time in office.
The Obama administration has labored to show that the U.S. no longer views the Americas through a lens of self-interest, with pragmatism guiding U.S. policy instead. The next president must maintain that shift, but also support democracy, which is now being challenged in parts of the region.
Last week, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and EU leaders separately acknowledged the many problems facing the EU. But they offered only vague proposals to address them, and the picture of European unity was short-lived. It is going to take a lot more to fix what is broken in the EU.
Canada’s justice minister told a meeting of political and indigenous leaders that Canada will adopt the U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, but that it cannot be incorporated “word for word” into law. In an email interview, Niigaanwewidam Sinclair discusses indigenous rights in Canada.
Over the past few decades, Latin America became the very public incubator of new economic models—or at least of flamboyant variations on old ones. But those days are gone. Which country and which model will now set the economic and political tone, and emerge as a leader worth emulating for the region?
With the warring parties in Yemen locked in a stalemate on the ground, the battle for the Arab world’s poorest country is moving to a new front: the economy. There are fears that a plan for a new central bank could lead to economic war on Houthi-controlled areas, home to the bulk of the population.
Since August, there have been growing rumors about an oil production freeze by OPEC members and other major oil producers. The deal might be concluded on the sidelines of the International Energy Forum in Algeria in late September. Seasoned oil market watchers will have a strong feeling of déjà vu.
In this week’s Trend Lines podcast, WPR’s editor-in-chief, Judah Grunstein, and host Peter Dörrie discuss the resignation of Mexico’s finance minister, Gabon’s contested election, and the EU’s Ireland-Apple ruling. For the Report, Hugh White joins us to talk about the risk of war between the U.S. and China.
For many years Beijing believed it could avoid being targeted by terrorists by staying out of the security affairs of other nations. But this no longer works. While unfortunate, China’s growing terrorism problem provides an opportunity for increased counterterrorism cooperation between China and the U.S.
In recent years, Egypt, Israel and Cyprus have all discovered huge natural gas fields off their coasts, raising export potential and perhaps the prospects for better political ties in the region through new energy partnerships. At least this is the scenario that the United States is hoping for.
As the EU faces pressure to quickly ratify the Paris Agreement, Poland has said it will only do so if it is given special concessions for its coal sector, which it plans on continuing to use for many years. In an email interview, Karolina Jankowska discusses Poland’s climate change policy.
It is hard to think of two more different leaders than Ban Ki-moon and Barack Obama, who will make their last U.N. General Assembly appearances this week. Yet it is fitting that they will say goodbye together. They have fought for common causes, and stabilized U.S.-U.N. relations on their watch.
The impasse in the U.S. Congress over appropriating funds to combat the Zika virus illustrates the challenges that the next American president will face in addressing global health. There is a generalized sense that something needs to be done, but disagreement over who should do what—and who should pay for it.
The European Commission and its former president, Jose-Manuel Barroso, are under pressure after Barroso recently took a job with Goldman Sachs. Many are calling for Barroso’s pension to be revoked and for stronger EU ethics rules. In an email interview, Daniel Freund discusses the EU’s ethics rules.
Over the past few years, Mongolia’s once vibrant economy, buoyed by mineral riches, has languished to the point that there are some legitimate concerns that the country is on its way to bankruptcy. The current situation has placed the new government in Ulaanbaatar in an extremely volatile situation.
Every year, the U.S. spends billions of dollars on foreign military and security assistance through programs run by both the State Department and the Pentagon. But in the past 15 years, the scope and magnitude of the Pentagon’s programs have expanded dramatically. Has foreign policy been militarized?