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Saturday, October 15, 2016

WPR Articles Oct. 7 — Oct. 14

WPR Articles Oct. 7 — Oct. 14

The EU’s Best Hope for Survival

By: Judah Grunstein | Column
Confronted with multiple crises on fronts both external and domestic, EU leaders seem content to drift nonchalantly toward the abyss. The question is not so much whether the EU will survive as we know it, but whether its ideals will continue to have any relevance in today’s political landscape.

The Limits of the ICC Ruling on Cultural Destruction as a War Crime

By: Sophie Rosenberg | Briefing
Last month, the International Criminal Court issued a landmark ruling on the destruction of cultural heritage as a war crime, sentencing a member of a jihadist group to nine years in prison for smashing mausoleums in Timbuktu. Though an important legal precedent, the verdict was more of a symbolic victory.

Globalization Isn’t to Blame for Americans’ Anti-Trade Sentiment. Trump Is

By: Daniel McDowell | Briefing
The conventional wisdom has the link between Donald Trump and rising anti-trade views in the U.S. backward. The distributional consequences of globalization are not driving protectionist attitudes in the U.S.; Trump is. But how durable are the views that Trump’s rhetoric has cultivated?

Japan Tries to Promote Women’s Rights, but Cultural Norms Stand in the Way

By: The Editors | Trend Lines
Last month, Renho Murata became the first woman to head the opposition Democratic Party in Japan, and the third woman to recently take up a prominent political position. In an email interview, Linda Hasunuma, an assistant professor at Franklin and Marshall College, discusses women’s rights in Japan.

Will Tensions Over Syria Derail France and Russia’s Long-Term Relations?

By: Karina Piser | Associated Press
Russia’s role in the Syrian conflict continues to damage its relations with the West, as the Moscow-backed Syrian offensive on Aleppo shows no signs of abating. On Tuesday, Vladimir Putin canceled a planned visit to Paris after Francois Hollande called Russian airstrikes in Syria “war crimes.”

After Nuclear Deal, Iran Tries to Jump-Start Ties With Southeast Asia

By: The Editors | Trend Lines
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani was in Vietnam this week as part of a three-nation tour of Southeast Asia. Rouhani and Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang agreed to work toward the goal of boosting trade to $2 billion. In an email interview, John Calabrese discusses Iran’s outreach to Southeast Asia.

Ban’s U.N. Legacy and the Challenges Facing Guterres

By: The Editors | Trend Lines
In this week’s Trend Lines podcast, WPR’s senior editor, Frederick Deknatel, and host Peter Dörrie discuss the cost of U.S. inaction in Aleppo, the attack on aid workers in South Sudan, and Germany’s struggle to integrate refugees. For the Report, Richard Gowan talks about the challenges facing the U.N.

Does Every U.S. Soldier Really Need to Know How to Fight the Enemy?

By: Steven Metz | Column
One of the mantras of the U.S. Marine Corps is that every Marine is first and foremost a rifleman, regardless of their actual occupational specialty. This idea “warrior mindset” has become so deeply ingrained in the American military that it is seldom discussed or analyzed. But it should be.

How Much Damage Can Duterte Do to the U.S.-Philippine Relationship?

By: Joshua Kurlantzick | Briefing
Since Rodrigo Duterte was elected president of the Philippines earlier this year, he has staked out a drastically different approach to Manila’s relations with the U.S.—or at least, he appears to have, based on his bombastic rhetoric. But from courting China to buying Russian arms, what does he really plan to do?

What Can Turkey’s Intervention Into Northern Syria Really Achieve?

By: Aaron Stein, Rao Komar | Briefing
In late August, Turkey launched Euphrates Shield, a cross-border military operation into northern Syria, which so far has achieved its initial goals, including pushing ISIS away from the Turkish border. But questions remain about Turkey’s longer-term exit strategy and plans for territory taken from ISIS.

Can the Norm of Atrocity Prevention Survive the Syrian War?

By: Ellen Laipson | Column
Will the next American president be able to save Syria? No. What about the international norm of preventing atrocities against civilians? Again, no. That’s ultimately the takeaway from the short exchange about Syria in Sunday’s debate between U.S. presidential hopefuls Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.

Cuba Reaches Out to Partners Far and Wide to Hedge Against U.S. Engagement

By: William M. LeoGrande | Briefing
Recent visits to Cuba by a bevy of European and Asian leaders highlight a key element of Raul Castro’s foreign policy that he has pursued alongside normalization with the United States: Don’t put all of Cuba’s eggs in one international basket. In the past, Cuba learned this lesson the hard way.

Ghana’s Perfect Storm: Is Africa’s Model Democracy in Danger of Faltering?

By: Dorina A. Bekoe, Stephanie M. Burchard | Feature
Ghana is preparing for elections in December. Despite its reputation as one of Africa’s most successful and stable democracies, there are several deeply troubling signs that all is not well. These elections promise to test the strength of the country’s institutions and the depth of its democracy.

The Philippines Cracks Down on Mining in the Name of the Environment

By: The Editors | Trend Lines
The Philippines completed an audit of its mining sector over the summer, which last month resulted in 10 mines being closed and another 20 being suspended for environomental violations. In an email interview, Minerva Chaloping-March discusses the Philippines’ recent crackdown on the mining industry.

Two Years After Compaore’s Ouster, the Wheels of Justice Turn Slowly in Burkina Faso

By: Ernest Harsch | Briefing
In September, Luc Adolphe Tiao, the last prime minister of Burkina Faso’s former president, Blaise Compaore, became the first official to be jailed for the shootings of protesters during the 2014 insurrection that ousted Compaore. Despite widespread demands for justice, the courts have shown troubling inertia.

Azerbaijan’s Democratic Backslide Continues With Constitutional Referendum

By: Maria Savel | Trend Lines
Azerbaijanis went to the polls last month to vote in a referendum on 29 constitutional amendments that would strengthen President Ilham Aliyev’s grip on power. Exit polls show that nearly 90 percent of those that voted backed all of the amendments, though there were widespread reports of voter fraud.

Belarus’ Lukashenko Gestures Toward Openness in a Bid to Impress the West

By: David Klion | Briefing
In last month’s elections in Belarus, opposition members picked up seats in parliament for the first time since 1996. The results sent a clear if symbolic message that longtime President Alexander Lukashenko is anxious, both about his own internal standing and Belarus’ precarious geopolitical position.

South Korea Makes Moves to Become a Global Space Power

By: The Editors | Trend Lines
This summer, at a meeting with government officials, researchers from the Korea Aerospace Research Institute announced that the first test launch of South Korea’s next-generation rocket would be delayed until late 2018. In an email interview, Daniel Pinkston discusses South Korea’s space program.

Will Syria Differences Sink Saudi Arabia and Egypt’s Marriage of Convenience?

By: Frida Ghitis | Column
Last week, Egypt’s state oil firm suddenly began making more aggressive buys on the spot oil market. Since Egypt gets most of its fuel from Saudi Arabia, the cause of the sudden scarcity was clear: The Saudis had suspended deliveries of highly subsidized fuel to Egypt, firing a shot across Cairo’s bow.

Dysfunction Between the White House and Congress Is a Feature, Not a Bug

By: Steven Metz | Column
If the Democrats take the White House and one or both houses of Congress, it might seem to open a path to repairing the relationship between the executive and legislative branches. Yet reality is not so simple. The dysfunctional relationship between the two branches is ingrained and structural.

What’s at Stake in Ghana’s Election?

By: The Editors | Trend Lines
In this week’s Trend Lines podcast, WPR’s editor-in-chief, Judah Grunstein, and host Peter Dörrie discuss Belarus’ opening to the West, transitional justice in Burkina Faso, and Peru’s prospects for modernizing. For the Report, Dorina Bekoe joins us to talk about the run-up to Ghana’s presidential election.

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