All Briefings

Afghan security personnel gather at the site of a suicide attack, Kabul, Afghanistan, April 10, 2015 (AP photo by Rahmat Gul).

Despite Talk of Peace in Afghanistan, the Taliban Prepare to Fight

By Michael Semple
, , Briefing

Amid reports of possible negotiations with the Taliban to end Afghanistan’s war, revived by Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, the Taliban leadership sent its fighters back into battle. Talk of negotiations ignores how far removed Qatar-based Taliban diplomats are from the reality of the fighters on the ground. more


South Africa’s Zuma Faces Double Bind on Troubled Economy

By James Hamill
, , Briefing

The past two years have been deeply unsettling ones for South Africa’s economy, which like other emerging markets around the world, including the once-solid BRICS, is in a sea of trouble. That stands in sharp contrast to the established view of South Africa as an African powerhouse and emerging market leader. more

Vietnam’s Workers Use Local Strikes to Push Party for Reforms

By Adam Fforde
, , Briefing

A strike by thousands of workers at a footwear factory earlier this month exposed the severely eroded authority of Vietnam’s ruling Communist Party. More than a rare challenge to the party, the strike highlighted a growing alignment of interests among workers, local employers and major international companies to push the party to reform. more

Qatar Ties Reflect India’s Middle East Balancing Act

By Saurav Jha
, , Briefing

India’s growing ties with Qatar are part of a broader policy of Indian engagement throughout the Persian Gulf and the wider Middle East, on issues from labor access to energy security. India is hedging its bets against the threat of more instability, using diversified partnerships across the region to protect its interests. more

Obama’s Welcome Cyber Sanctions Plan Is Worth Expanding

By Eric Sterner
, , Briefing

On April 1, U.S. President Barack Obama signed an executive order to apply financial sanctions on hackers and companies overseas that benefit from cyberspying. It’s one brick in the foundation of deterrence in cyberspace, but the administration should consider ways to expand its reach through international partnerships. more