Trend Lines

Global Insider: Specter of Genocide Still Hangs Over France-Rwanda Relations

By The Editors
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The 30th anniversary of Rwanda’s 1994 genocide this month was marked by the re-emergence of tensions between France and Rwanda, after Rwandan President Paul Kagame claimed that France bore some responsibility for the genocide. In an email interview, Bruno Charbonneau, associate professor of political science at Laurentian University and the director of the Center for Peace and Humanitarian Missions Studies at Universite du Quebec a Montreal, Canada, explained the continuing tensions in France-Rwanda ties. more

Despite China’s Protests, U.S. Remains Adamant About Taiwan’s Defense

By Eric Auner
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Three decades after the passage of the Taiwan Relations Act, the United States continues to augment Taiwan’s military capabilities—recent discussions have raised the possibility of the U.S. helping Taiwan to acquire U.S.-made frigates and a new indigenous type of diesel submarines. But China’s rising military capabilities place the island in an increasingly vulnerable position. more

Global Insider: To Succeed, Guatemala Drug Reforms First Require Strong Institutions

By The Editors
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Early this month, Guatemalan President Otto Perez Molina announced he was considering a plan to legalize the production of marijuana and opium poppies in the country. In an email interview, Adriana Beltran, a senior associate for citizen security at the Washington Office on Latin America who specializes in Guatemala, explained how the proposal might affect levels of violence in the country. more

Syrian Chemical Weapons Destruction Proceeding Slowly

By Eric Auner
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One of the Obama administration’s biggest foreign policy gambles, the agreement to rid Syria of its chemical weapons in the midst of that country’s civil war, is behind schedule but still making progress. Despite tensions over Ukraine and the outcome of the Syrian civil war itself, the United States, Russia and others appear to be maintaining cooperation on the issue. more

Expanded Military Ties With China May Be of Limited Utility for U.S.

By Eric Auner
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On a 10-day trip through Asia, U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel sought to build military ties with allies and partners involved in the U.S. rebalance to the region. He also reached out to China, the presumptive main U.S. competitor in the region, and announced the need for a “new model” of military-to-military relations between the two nations. more

Turkey’s Rule of Law Eroding as Erdogan, Courts Clash

By Maria Savel
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At a parliamentary group meeting today, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan slammed his country’s courts for acting as part of a parallel state undermining his government. With the dispute showing no signs of flagging, WPR spoke with Michael Koplow, a Turkey analyst who blogs at Ottomans and Zionists, via email to review the latest developments and what they mean for the rule of law in Turkey. more

Global Insider: Iran-Pakistan Border a Major Concern in Bilateral Relationship

By The Editors
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This month, four Iranian border guards were freed two months after being kidnapped and allegedly taken into Pakistan by an Iran-based Sunni militant group. In an email interview, Isaac Kfir, a senior researcher at Syracuse University’s Institute for National Security and Counterterrorism and a visiting assistant professor of law and international relations, explained the state of Iran-Pakistan relations. more

Appearance of Partisan Tensions Masks Broad Agreement on Missile Defense

By Eric Auner
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Russian actions in Ukraine have injected new urgency, and partisan vitriol, into the debate over U.S. plans to deploy ballistic missile defense systems in Europe. But beneath the surface, many of the most fundamental issues relating to U.S. missile defense plans seem to be politically uncontroversial, even as technical experts continue to question whether U.S. systems will actually perform as designed. more

U.S. Struggles to Build Coherent Response to Ugandan Anti-Gay Law

By Matt Peterson
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A panel discussion on Thursday organized by the Center for Human Rights and Global Justice at the NYU School of Law discussed options for U.S. policy toward Uganda, after relations were ruffled by a new Ugandan law signed in February that imposes harsh legal penalties, including life sentences, for homosexual acts. The question is whether the Obama administration can produce an effective response to the new law. more

Global Insider: With Air Force Arrests, Venezuela’s Maduro Puts Focus on Civil-Military Relations

By The Editors
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Late last month, Venezuela’s government arrested three generals of the country’s air force, accusing them of plotting a coup. In an email interview, Harold Trinkunas, senior fellow and director of the Latin America Initiative in the Brookings Institution’s Foreign Policy program, explained the state of Venezuela’s civil-military relations. more