The last year was one of near-constant North Korea missile testing. Dozens of launches have put the region on edge and are driving an increasingly militarized response from South Korea and Japan. Meanwhile, China has done much to enable this state of affairs by its lackadaisical attitude toward North Korea.
During the war in Ukraine, Telegram has been essential for communications. As a result, Moscow has infiltrated the encrypted messaging app’s channels to spread disinformation to Ukrainians and flood Russian users with pro-Kremlin content, indicating that when Moscow can’t block a technology, it will work to subvert and overwhelm it.
This year’s most underreported event is the renewed fighting in the eastern provinces of the Democratic Republic of Congo. The violence is especially dangerous as it is essentially a proxy conflict between Congo and its neighbor Rwanda, with the potential to become a direct military confrontation—and a regional war.
Russian President Vladimir Putin visited Belarus this week to shore up support in Minsk for his war in Ukraine. Even if Alexander Lukashenko does not send troops to Ukraine, closer political and military ties between Moscow and Minsk signal Belarus’ loss of sovereignty and its de facto involvement in the war effort.
If Iran’s moves over the past couple months are any indication, Turkey’s growing influence in the South Caucasus, especially its alliance with Azerbaijan, has heightened Tehran’s sense of unease. Iran now sees the prospect of an arc of Turkey-aligned states emerging as a powerful Turkic alliance along its northern borders.
Writing about human security and international law often means writing about the worst things in the world. With the holidays around the corner, it’s worth sharing a few stories that show how numerous strategies—including NGO activism and nonviolent protest movements—are making a positive difference for human security worldwide.
In late November, the leaders of the Accra Initiative, a collaborative security mechanism designed to target the region’s common security challenges, launched a multilateral task force to counter terrorism, violent extremism and transnational crime. But the new force and others like it largely mistake symptoms for causes.
Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele appears to have found a formula to maintain sky-high popularity in a region more accustomed to street protests and leaders nose-diving in the polls. Critics of his “war on gangs” revile him for his autocratic ways. But citizens and leaders across Latin America have looked to him for inspiration.
War is hell, but for large and politically influential defense contractors, it is also good business. This is fueling claims among some NATO allies that the U.S. is profiting from the war in Ukraine. There is no denying that U.S. defense contractors are benefiting, but accusations of war profiteering are simply off base.
The peace deal ending the war between Ethiopian federal government and the TPLF is a breakthrough, not because it handed victory to one side, but because it reestablished the federal constitutional framework, however contested, as the blueprint for resolving the political and constitutional disputes at the heart of the conflict.
Tensions over the war in Ukraine have relaxed since the U.S. midterm congressional elections but could ramp up again if Europe continues to fall behind the U.S. when it comes to providing financial and military support for Kyiv. Europe cannot afford a rift on this issue while Ukraine’s–and its own—security is on the line.