WPR Articles Oct. 4 — Oct. 12
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.
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.
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.
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.
In the aftermath of the Brexit vote, European leaders have stressed the need for greater EU defense cooperation, which could reduce inefficiencies and improve defense coordination. But critics of the plan accuse the EU of competing with NATO and say the bloc is trying to become a “superstate.”
On Sunday, Colombians narrowly rejected in a referendum a peace deal with leftist FARC rebels, raising questions about what the future holds for a country that has been fighting the guerrilla movement for 52 years. Both sides’ ongoing commitment to peace is a good sign, but the next steps are unknown.
Morocco is the only Arab country with regular, competitive elections and where the success of an Islamist party, the PJD, has not stoked instability. But the monarchy’s commitment to political reform, on display in Friday’s parliamentary elections, is balanced by fears of the PJD’s rising power.
Germany continues to face challenges as it copes with a massive influx of refugees. Asylum-seekers, often living in temporary housing or poor conditions, are at the mercy of overwhelmed authorities. As they languish in limbo, some have become nostalgic for the war zone they fled. Germany can do better.
A “less is more” approach seems to be emerging over how to improve the outcomes of international interventions. It reflects the disappointing track record of past efforts. But it’s also an expression of the crisis of confidence in Western countries about their ability to make the world a better place.
In August, reports emerged that South Sudanese soldiers had attacked foreign aid workers during a July rampage in Juba, raping several women. The attack reflected the systemic failure to safeguard foreign aid workers who seem to have followed every single security protocol, yet were left unprotected.
Should the United States use military means to try to stop Syrian and Russian forces from massacring the civilian population of Aleppo? If the answer to that question is no, then what level of atrocity is the U.S., and the world, willing to tolerate in Syria—and elsewhere—before intervening?
A recent report by Human Rights Watch criticized Nepal’s record on child marriage. Thirty-seven percent of girls marry before age 18, and while the government has pledged to end child marriage, it has taken few steps to achieve this goal. In an email interview, Claire Naylor discusses women’s right in Nepal.
Montenegro goes to the polls Oct. 16, when Milo Djukanovic will almost certainly be re-elected for a seventh term as prime minister. The country is expected to join NATO next year and is in pole position to become the EU’s next member. But are both blocs ignoring Montenegro’s domestic problems?
Last month, the Seychelles’ president, James Michel, resigned after his political party, Parti Lepep, lost parliamentary elections. Vice President Danny Faure will be sworn in later this month to complete the remainder of Michel’s five-year term. In an email interview, Yolanda Sadie discussed politics in the Seychelles.
The international community celebrated the peace agreement between Colombia and the FARC insurgency before it was a done deal. It is now making the same mistake again, grieving the death of peace after Sunday’s failed referendum. In fact, the chances for a peace deal in Colombia still look promising.
Brazil’s left-wing Workers’ Party was confronted with a new political reality when it was soundly defeated in local elections earlier this week. While local politics are not always a bellwether for national politics in Brazil, the vote still highlighted two new trends from a shift in voter behavior.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.