WPR Articles Dec. 9 — Dec. 16
China and Japan’s standoff over disputed islands in the East China Sea merely serves as the most visible manifestation of an increasingly multifaceted and multilateral rivalry. Their competition threatens to polarize the region and, left unaddressed, raises the risk of a crisis and potential conflict.
Piracy in Africa brings up images of Somalia and its neighbors in the Horn of Africa, rather than West African countries that enjoy far more developed governmental structures and security tools. Then why is piracy significantly decreasing in Somalia, while it is growing in the Gulf of Guinea?
Mauricio Macri assumed the presidency of Argentina a little over a year ago, intent on correcting years of mistakes by his predecessors and eager to cement his place as a leader of significance. While he has largely succeeded in the first goal, the second remains stubbornly out of reach.
Syria’s civil war has reached a turning point, with pro-government forces routing rebels in eastern Aleppo. The fall of Aleppo marks the most significant setback yet for forces seeking to oust President Bashar al-Assad. But this regime victory does not mean that Assad will be able to relax anytime soon.
Greece recently announced that it was pulling out of plans to sell a 66 percent stake in the Greek national gas operator Desfa to Azerbaijan’s state energy company, SOCAR. In an email interview, John N. Kallianiotis, a professor at the University of Scranton, discusses Greece’s privatization program.
In this week’s Trend Lines podcast, WPR’s Judah Grunstein and Frederick Deknatel discuss U.S. President-elect Donald Trump’s phone call with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen and the implications for U.S.-China relations. For the Report, Miles Pomper talks with Peter Dörrie about the future of nuclear energy.
From the “pizzagate” conspiracy theory and other fake news to a spike in hate crimes after the U.S. election, social media’s outsize role in shaping politics is more evident than ever. On Tuesday, European officials called on U.S. tech giants to crack down on hateful rhetoric. Free speech advocates are wary.
From Stilton blue cheese to Cornish pasties, many British food specialties that currently enjoy protected status under EU law face an uncertain future. An economic benefit of EU membership beyond tariff-free trade within the single market, these kinds of trademarks have fallen under the radar after Brexit.
During the U.S. presidential campaign, it was hard to get a firm grasp on Donald Trump’s intended national security policy. Now, with only weeks until Trump takes office, he has begun to flesh out his approach. As the Trump strategy emerges, the tensions and contradictions in it are also coming into view.
A new mandate for Japanese Self-Defense Forces participating in the U.N. mission in South Sudan went into force Monday, allowing Japanese troops to rescue humanitarian workers under attack and protect U.N. camps. In an email interview, Ippeita Nishida discusses the Japanese military’s overseas activities.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon stands down at the end of the month. I once called him a “chump” and a “poodle.” More recently, I have said nicer things about his efforts to secure the Paris climate change treaty. Yet as Ban heads for the exit, I have to admit that he will leave a hole in my life.
When the GCC states and their Western defense partners meet, the demand for changes in regional security cooperation and threat management has long come from the outsiders. But the Gulf states are clearly not ready to take ownership of regional security, nor do they take the initiative for improving it.
The EU signed an agreement normalizing ties with Cuba on Monday in Brussels. The Political Dialogue and Cooperation Agreement will help expand diplomatic and political ties between the EU and Cuba, but how will the United States, its embargo and President-elect Donald Trump affect the new deal?
The Maldives is world-famous for its idyllic pristine tourist beaches, which are insulated from a society marred by corruption, infighting and rising Islamic fundamentalism. Elections planned for 2018 are a moot point given President Abdulla Yameen’s grip on power, and prospects for reform are dim.
As with most things having to do with Donald Trump’s foreign policy, questions about his motives are unanswerable. But the condescending and mocking tone many foreign affairs commentators have used to describe his foreign policy pronouncements to date is counterproductive to any effort to rein them in.
“While parties bicker,” outgoing U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in June 2015, “Yemen burns.” Some 18 months later, with war dragging on between Houthi rebels and the Saudi-led coalition seeking to oust them, little has changed. The prospects for a peace deal remain as distant as ever.
The race to lead the African Union is entering a critical stage, as candidates to chair the AU Commission make their final pitches and struggle to overcome regional divisions that stalled elections last summer. A commission chair respected on the international stage could help raise the AU’s profile.
Ninety-three women have been murdered in Bolivia this year by their partners or spouses, 32 more than last year. That spike led to protests last month demanding that the government declare the situation a national emergency, under an anti-violence law that hasn’t fulfilled its promise to protect women.
In this week’s Trend Lines podcast, WPR’s editor-in-chief, Judah Grunstein, and senior editor, Frederick Deknatel, discuss Russia’s efforts to reassert itself as a global power and whether it is succeeding. For the Report, JJ Robinson talks with Peter Dörrie about the many problems facing the Maldives.
If cultural conservatives win the current battle for control of U.S. foreign and security policy in the coming years, they might engineer a shift to a strategy based on the “clash of civilizations” idea. It is important to ask now what that would mean for American policy and its place in the world.