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Wednesday, June 15, 2016

WPR Articles June 9 — June 15

Modi’s Visit Clarifies the New Normal in U.S.-India Relations

By: Ellen Laipson | Column
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.

With Military Deals, France Asserts Its Presence in the Asia-Pacific

By: Bruno Tertrais | Briefing
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.

Made in Africa: Will Ethiopia’s Push for Industrialization Pay Off?

By: Jonathan W. Rosen | Feature
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.

After Narrow Win in Peru, Kuczynski Must Still Contend With Fujimori

By: David Dudenhoefer | Briefing
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.

Ban’s U.N. Successor: Messiahs Need Not Apply

By: Richard Gowan | Column With U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon leaving office at the end of this year, U.N. staffers have hoped and prayed that a far more decisive and independent leader will take his place in 2017. This kind of thinking overlooks the factors beyond Ban’s leadership that threaten the organization’s future.

Can Modi’s India Become the Global Economy’s Next Engine of Growth?

By: Frida Ghitis | Column
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.”

Dysfunctional Democracy and Referenda: The Case of Brexit

By: Matthias Matthijs | Briefing
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.

Turkey and Iran Seek to Insulate Economic Ties From Syria Tensions

By: The Editors | Trend Lines
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.

China’s Mastery of the Internet Keeps Dissent at Bay

By: The Editors | Trend Lines
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.

Crossing the Rubicon: The Inevitable Emergence of Military Robots

By: Steven Metz | Column
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.

Mongolia, Hit Hard by the Commodities Slump, Wearily Faces Elections

By: Julian Dierkes | Briefing
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.

Poland Refuses to Back Down to EU Over Constitutional Court Crisis

By: Maria Savel | Trend Lines
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 Tycoon-Turned-President Promises A Lot—But Who Will Benefit?

By: Alex Thurston | Briefing
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.

Democracy Flounders in Maldives, Where Outside Powers Vie for Influence

By: The Editors | Trend Lines
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.

Israel Deepens Asia Ties in Gradual Realignment of Foreign Policy

By: Emanuel Shahaf | Briefing
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.

Mexico Struggles to Turn Climate Change Commitments Into Action

By: The Editors | Trend Lines
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.

Easy Access to Guns, Not Terrorism, Is the Enemy in Orlando Shooting

By: Michael A. Cohen | Column
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.

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