WPR Articles Oct. 11 — Oct. 19
Are Antonio Guterres and Hillary Clinton on course for a clash over Syria in early 2017? If Clinton wins the U.S. presidency and follows through on promises to take a tougher stand with Russia on Syria, it would complicate the new U.N. chief’s efforts to pursue a diplomatic “surge” to resolve the conflict.
The recapture of Mosul from the Islamic State holds the promise of improving some of Iraq’s most troubling trends. How the U.S. manages the complex politics of the anti-ISIS coalition, and how Baghdad handles Sunni-Shiite reconciliation, will be critical to shaping the aftermath of military success.
The Zapatista Army of National Liberation said that it will choose an indigenous woman to run as an independent candidate in Mexico’s 2018 presidential election, marking a return to political life for the guerrilla group. In an email interview, Michael Danielson discusses indigenous rights in Mexico.
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.
Facing economic and political crises, Algeria seems to be teetering on the edge of instability. However, in each area of potential hazard, a combination of historical memory, public apathy and meticulously managed government affairs, for better or worse, indicate stability for the current system.
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.
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 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.”
September revealed the limits of U.S. President Barack Obama’s engagement in Asia. He made his final tour of Asia as president, which offered an opportunity to review the success of his administration’s so-called pivot to the region, or rebalance. The results have been decidedly mixed.
Bolivia was shaken in late August when its deputy interior minister was killed by striking miners. The government responded by hardening its position, and its interest in compromising with the politically important sector has seemingly been reduced, with implications for the country’s stability.
The most newsworthy thing about last weekend’s BRICS summit was its lack of newsworthiness. As a coherent political bloc, the BRICS was always overblown. Now it seems it has already blown over, underscoring the resilience of America’s global role and position in an increasingly multipolar world.
President Barack Obama’s second term has illuminated the dysfunctional nature of some close U.S. relationships in the Arab world, such as Egypt and Saudi Arabia. The U.S. should diversify its regional policies and deepen ties with more willing partners, specifically Iraq and the United Arab Emirates.