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Increased U.S. funding to fight drugs and organized crime in Mexico and Central America has attracted a good deal of attention in recent years. But flying largely under the radar is the growing role being played in that effort by the U.S. military, most notably now in Honduras, where U.S. Marines are engaged in a joint training exercise with Honduran troops and the Pentagon is financing a new naval base. “There’s been a noticeable uptick in U.S. military aid and cooperation in Honduras during the past year,” says Adam Isacson, senior associate for regional security policy at the Washington Office […]

The U.S. government’s efforts to reduce America’s budget deficit has put funding for nuclear nonproliferation programs, development aid and even defense spending on the chopping block. With advocacy groups and lobbyists in Washington now fighting tooth and nail to minimize the damage to their core interests, little attention has been given to an innovative way to achieve national and international security and development objectives amid financial austerity: leveraging the private sector. Advanced technology is fast becoming the 21st century antidote to a variety of global security challenges, and if properly applied, the same technologies can also represent a cost-effective strategy […]

Despite U.S. President Barack Obama’s campaign promise to engage rogue regimes, America’s relationship with North Korea has been frosty since he took office. A string of provocations by Pyongyang last year, including the sinking of the South Korean corvette Cheonan and a missile attack on Yeonpeong Island, further dampened hopes for progress. But recent staff changes in the Obama administration and other signals suggest that ties may warm in the coming months. On Oct. 19, State Department spokesman Mark C. Toner announced in a press briefing that Stephen W. Bosworth, dean of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy would […]

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The recent arrival of a Chinese navy hospital ship carrying doctors and medical supplies to treat the needy in Jamaica flew mainly below the radar of mainstream American media. But the People’s Liberation Army’s “Peace Ark” mission highlights the delicate balance China is seeking to strike as it tries to show off its growing global military capability and boost its influence in regions once exclusively dominated by the U.S. military, without triggering suspicion and alarm in Washington and elsewhere. “In some sense this underscores that you can’t put China in just a regional category any longer,” says Jonathan D. Pollack, […]

The governments that emerge in the aftermath of the uprisings in the Middle East will face a challenge as daunting as any faced by the men who ruled for decades before them: They must urgently improve living standards for the millions who now demand change — and they must do it in the wake of unrest that has caused already-dismal economic conditions to worsen even more. Despite the loud calls for democracy and freedom, the real engine of the Arab revolts has not been philosophical or political. Above all, the popular revolutions have been motivated by a pressing need for […]

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Burmese workers have found themselves trapped in Thailand’s ongoing flood disaster. Many entered the country illegally and now have no money or identity documents, exacerbating an already difficult humanitarian crisis surrounding the floods.