WPR Articles Oct. 7 — Oct. 14
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.
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.
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, 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.
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.”
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.