Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is meeting U.S. President Barack Obama today at the White House, where the two leaders are expected to reach deals on defense cooperation and trade in nuclear technology. That reflects the interest on both sides to move past the “differences and divisions have taken center stage in recent months,” as Richard Fontaine explained in World Politics Review last month: Despite drift in some key areas of the relationship, the underlying strategic rationale for it remains. Washington is rebalancing its foreign policy to Asia, attempting to allot that region greater diplomatic attention, military resources and commercial […]

Venezuela was historically a reliable U.S. ally in Latin America, if always aspiring to more autonomy and a larger role in the region. This relationship was based on oil commerce and the fact that Venezuela was democratic during a period in which most other Latin American democracies broke down. During the 14 years of the Hugo Chavez government, of course, this changed. After assuming the presidency in 1999, Chavez developed an antagonistic relationship with Washington and sought to develop alternative regional relationships and leadership, all while maintaining robust commercial exchange with the U.S. During the government of Chavez’s successor, Nicolas […]

Last week the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government under Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif completed its first 100 days in office. The elections in May, though marred by rigging and irregularities, made history as Pakistan’s first democratic transition. But if Pakistanis were jubilant about this milestone at the time, their joy had faded by the time of my visit last month. Sharif campaigned on five major promises: that he would set the economy on track, end energy shortages in three years, end U.S. drone strikes on Pakistani territory, tackle terrorism and pursue positive relations with neighbors. In pre-election polls, 81 percent […]

In the decades after its independence in October 1960, Nigeria periodically found itself at a series of crossroads. The 1960s were characterized by a devastating civil war and internal tensions that nearly drove the country apart; the 1970s saw a burgeoning oil and gas industry as well as governance achievements—notably efforts to develop a national identity and the adoption of a new constitutional framework that ushered in a government with an executive president at its center and, ultimately, a handover to civilian rule, albeit a short-lived one, in 1979. Indeed, in a large and complex country with a population consisting […]

On Aug. 6, an appeals court in Chile suspended another electricity megaproject, marking the latest in a series of power-generation setbacks for the increasingly energy-starved nation. That same week, Rene Muga, general manager of the Chilean Electric Power Association, told an energy conference that power consumption in Chile will double by 2025, further calling into question how the country will respond to this increasingly critical need. Chile has struggled to meet rising electricity demand in the face of growing environmental concerns, and the suspension of the 740-megawatt, $1.4 billion Punta Alcalde thermoelectric plant raises questions about the long-term economic implications […]

Mexico’s new president, Enrique Pena Nieto, has promised to move his country down a path of reform. He has already made significant changes to education policy and has outlined major moves in Mexico’s energy sector. Yet promised shifts in security policy have yet to materialize, and skeptics question whether the president’s bold plans will produce lasting changes. This special report looks at Mexico’s chances for reform under Pena Nieto. Governance A More Ambitious Vision for MexicoBy Antonio GarzaFebruary 20, 2013 At Long Last, Mexico’s Bright FutureBy Frida GhitisJanuary 3, 2013 Mexico’s Peña Nieto Will Have Trouble Keeping Reform PromisesBy David […]