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Wednesday, June 22, 2016

WPR Articles June 16 — June 22

WPR Articles June 16 — June 22

Iran’s Hard-Liners Crack Down as Their Base of Support Narrows

By: Hadi Ghaemi | Briefing
There is a crackdown underway in Iran, but not just on dissent. A fearful and reactive regime is attempting to crush views that depart from the insular and rigid worldview of a narrow band of hard-liners. But the base of the regime is shrinking, as the gulf between the state and society widens.

When It Comes to Defining Moderate and Radical Islam, Who Decides?

By: Ellen Laipson | Column
One of the secondary effects of the Orlando shooting has been to relaunch the debate on whether public officials have misidentified the terrorist threat at home by failing to call it “radical Islam” or “Islamic extremism.” Sometimes the analytically precise is not the politically advisable.

Ecuador Finds Progress Made During Boom Years Is Unsustainable

By: The Editors | Trend Lines
Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa defended his legacy last month and blamed the country’s current recession on the perfect storm of falling oil prices and a strengthening U.S. dollar. In an email interview, Diego Grijalva discusses Ecuador’s economy in the wake of the commodities bust.

Brexit Raises Economic and Security Fears in Central and Eastern Europe

By: Andrew MacDowall | Briefing
The perceived threat of millions of immigrants from the western Balkans and Turkey, and the status of Central Europeans living in the U.K., have become touchstone issues in the British EU referendum. But little attention has been paid the other way, to the impact of Brexit on Central and Eastern Europe.

Why Xi Shouldn’t Push Taiwan’s Tsai Too Hard on ‘One China’

By: Joel Atkinson | Briefing
Chinese President Xi Jinping has a bone to pick with Taiwan’s new president, Tsai Ying-wen, who won’t commit to the so-called one China principle. But Xi shouldn’t apply too much pressure, as it will turn cross-strait relations into a major headache when Beijing already faces many other pressing issues.

Cambodia’s Crackdown on Opposition Signals End of ‘Culture of Dialogue’

By: The Editors | Trend Lines
Since late May, a leader of Cambodia’s opposition has remained in the party headquarters to avoid arrest over charges the EU has condemned as “judicial harassment.” In an email interview, Stuart White, an editor at the Phnom Penh Post, discusses Cambodia’s current crackdown on the opposition.

Don’t Write Off the U.S.-Saudi Relationship Just Yet

By: Frida Ghitis | Column
Bilateral links between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia have been one of the pillars of U.S. foreign policy, underpinning the global geopolitical order since the waning days of World War II. Although the relationship has come under enormous strains in recent years, it is too soon to write its obituary.

In Mexico, Pena Nieto’s Long Exit Begins With Stinging Election Loss

By: Patrick Corcoran | Briefing
The results of Mexico’s local elections earlier this month represent a nadir for President Enrique Pena Nieto and the dawn of his administration’s long exit. Pena Nieto’s party lost seven of Mexico’s 12 gubernatorial races—a massive setback that also exposes a systemic flaw in Mexican democracy.

India’s Grand Plans in Iran Go Way Beyond the Chabahar Port Deal

By: Saurav Jha | Briefing

With international sanctions against Iran lifted, India is keen to get ties with Tehran back to their pre-sanctions level. India is looking to Iran to help in its transition to a natural gas-driven economy and betting on Iran to be its gateway into markets in Central Asia, skirting Pakistan and China.

As Venezuela Crumbles, Why Did the OAS Fail to Act for So Long?

By: Amy Williams | Briefing
Next week, the Permanent Council of the Organization of American States will meet to discuss Venezuela, a country in the throes of an economic, political and humanitarian crisis. But how and why did the democratically elected member governments of the OAS stand by and watch this downward spiral?

Can Ethiopia’s Push for a Manufacturing Take-Off Succeed?

By: The Editors | Trend Lines
In this week’s Trend Lines podcast, WPR’s editor-in-chief, Judah Grunstein, and host Peter Dörrie discuss political violence and terrorism in the U.S., France and Africa in the wake of the Orlando shooting. For the Report, Jonathan Rosen joins us to talk about Ethiopia’s push toward industrialization.

The U.S. Should Fight for a Negotiated Settlement, Not Victory, in Afghanistan

By: Steven Metz | Column
There have been attempts to negotiate an end to the Afghanistan war for several years, but the Taliban has refused to participate. This in part reflects the U.S. military’s emphasis on decisive victory. The U.S. needs a new approach focused on compelling the Taliban to accept a sustainable settlement.

Under Modi, India Is Embracing a More Constructive Role on Climate Change

By: The Editors | Trend Lines
During his U.S. visit, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi committed to formally ratifying the Paris climate change agreement by the end of 2016. In an email interview, Neil Bhatiya, climate and diplomacy fellow at the Center for Climate and Security, discusses India’s response to climate change.

A Rule of Law Meltdown Is Behind the Murder of Bloggers in Bangladesh

By: Shehryar Fazli | Briefing
Gruesome attacks on bloggers in Bangladesh have shocked the country and the world. But they are only one element in a years-long cycle of mounting violence. Large-scale political repression has created a climate of injustice that extremist groups have exploited against secularists and liberal thinkers.

EU Program to Limit African Migration Sparks Human Rights Criticism

By: Karina Piser | Trend Lines
The European Commission announced a plan earlier this month to provide African and Middle Eastern governments with positive and negative economic incentives to assist in curbing migrant and refugee flows to Europe. Many have raised questions about the policy’s efficacy and ramifications for human rights.

Should the West Be Worried About China’s Growing Security Role in Africa?

By: Richard Gowan | Column
China is becoming a military player in Africa, where it has bolstered U.N. operations, is opening a naval station in Djibouti, and has pledged support for AU peace operations. Is this evidence of Beijing’s bid for superpower status, or a sign that it is can contribute more to global stability?

Can Vladimir Putin Solve Russia’s China Dilemma?

By: Richard Weitz | Feature
When Vladimir Putin travels to Beijing in late June, he can rightfully take some satisfaction in his relations with his host. But as Russia develops closer economic, security and diplomatic ties with China, Moscow should be wary of Beijing’s ability to exploit Russia’s increasing dependence on China.

Syria’s Assad, Buoyed By Russia, Sees Little Reason to Negotiate

By: Frederick Deknatel | Trend Lines
In a defiant speech to Syria’s parliament earlier this month, President Bashar al-Assad struck a different chord from his last national address, in July 2015, when he admitted to military setbacks. It made clear how the regime’s fortunes have shifted in the last year, thanks to Russia’s intervention.

Clinton More Hawkish Than Obama? Not If You Actually Listen to Them

By: Michael A. Cohen | Column
The notion that Hillary Clinton is more hawkish than Barack Obama ignores the fact that campaign rhetoric does not compare to the rhetoric of governing, and is another reminder of the collective amnesia that afflicts political observers when it comes to Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign.

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