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Wednesday, October 12, 2016

WPR Articles Oct. 4 — Oct. 12


WPR Articles Oct. 4 — Oct. 12

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.

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.

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.

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.

Enhanced EU Defense Ties Could Bolster NATO, but Still Face Familiar Skepticism

By: Karina Piser | Trend Lines
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.”

After the FARC Peace Referendum Failed, What’s Next for Colombia?

By: Maria Savel | Trend Lines
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.

For Morocco, Manipulating Elections to Contain Islamists May Backfire

By: Mohammed Masbah | Briefing
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’s Asylum-Seekers Are Caught Between Isolation and Integration

By: Josie Le Blond | Feature
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.

When Doing Less to Stabilize Fragile States Is the Least Bad Option

By: Ellen Laipson | Column
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.

Attack on Aid Workers in South Sudan Was an Attack on Humanitarianism Itself

By: Nanjala Nyabola | Briefing
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.

Can the U.S. Afford the Cost of Inaction in Aleppo?

By: Judah Grunstein | Column
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?

Nepal Must Go Beyond ‘Raising Awareness’ to Tackle Root Causes of Gender Inequality

By: The Editors | Trend Lines
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.

Western Partner or Smuggler’s Paradise? Montenegro Is a Little of Both

By: Andrew MacDowall | Briefing
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?

After Election Shake-Up, the Seychelles Enters Uncharted Political Waters

By: The Editors | Trend Lines
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.

Despite Failed Referendum, Don’t Rule Out Colombia’s Chances for Peace Just Yet

By: Frida Ghitis | Column
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.

What Does the Future Hold for Brazil’s Embattled Workers’ Party?

By: João Augusto de Castro Neves | Briefing
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.

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?

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.

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.

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.

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.

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