WPR Articles Dec. 22 — Dec. 28
President-elect Donald Trump’s campaign promises and tax cut plans show him partial to Reagan-era supply-side economics—a commitment confirmed by his early Cabinet appointments and proposed increases in defense spending. Is there any reason to believe these economic policies would be effective today?
Two recent bombings in Turkey suspected to be carried out by an offshoot of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) were a grim reminder that the PKK is far from broken. In fact, it appears that the election of Donald Trump as president of the United States has made a bad situation even worse for the PKK.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had hoped that his dogged approach to engage with Russia might help reach a long elusive deal on the disputed Southern Kurile Islands. Abe’s optimism seemed misplaced, as Russian President Vladimir Putin poured cold water on the idea of a breakthrough at their recent summit.
This week brought further evidence that U.S. President-elect Donald Trump is open to the clash of civilizations idea, even if not fully committed to it. If Trump does embrace the approach, the results would lead to the most far-reaching transformation of U.S. strategy since the outset of the Cold War.
In this week’s Trend Lines podcast, WPR’s editor-in-chief, Judah Grunstein, and senior editor, Frederick Deknatel, discuss Turkey’s agenda in the Syrian civil war. For the Report, Ciara Long talks with Peter Dörrie about the impact of austerity on higher education and social mobility in Brazil.
The third anniversary last week of the start of South Sudan’s ongoing civil war only reinforced how intractable that conflict has become. A peace deal is in tatters, along with the country’s economy. With the combatants preparing for another round of fighting, the U.N. is now warning of possible genocide.
The European Union voted Monday to renew its economic sanctions against Russia over its annexation of Crimea for an additional six months. While the renewal of sanctions has been routine up to this point, there are signs that Europe’s united front against Russia is beginning to crack.
All signs suggest that the assassination of Russia’s ambassador to Turkey will bring the two countries closer together, at least in the short term. And yet, a set of ideological and domestic realities could spell trouble for the painstakingly constructed new relationship between the two countries.