Former Sri Lankan Defense Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa waves to supporters during a party convention held to announce the presidential candidacy in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Aug. 11, 2019 (AP photo by Eranga Jayawardena).
Populist politicians, who have been sweeping to power in countries across the globe, build their appeal partly on claims that they will base their policies on the needs and interests of the people. But once in power, their decisions, often ill-conceived, can create grave problems for the very voters they purport to champion. For proof, look no further than what has befallen the people of Sri Lanka. In recent months, life in the island nation has turned into a grinding, ever-worsening ordeal. What started as a government debt crisis has devolved into broader economic turmoil, marked by critical shortages of [...]
People wave Polisario Front flags while taking part in a demonstration in support of the Polisario Front and a free Western Sahara, Pamplona, Spain, March 23, 2022 (AP photo by Alvaro Barrientos).
In mid-March, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez sent a letter to Moroccan King Mohamed VI, supporting Rabat’s plan to grant Western Sahara autonomy over its internal affairs, while remaining under Moroccan sovereignty. The move appeared to be an abrupt departure for Spain, which has maintained a position of careful neutrality over its former colony’s efforts to gain independence from Morocco for nearly 47 years. When the Moroccan Foreign Ministry eventually made Sanchez’s support public, it provoked an uproar in Spain centered around two primary questions. First, Does this really constitute a major policy change for Spain, given that it has never explicitly ruled out the Moroccan autonomy [...]
A Russian officer stands near a landed Il-76 military cargo plane on Alexandra Land, an island near Nagurskoye, Russia, May 17, 2021 (AP photo by Alexander Zemlianichenko).
Since Feb. 24, the eyes of the world have been fixed on Eastern Europe. But the events unfolding in and around Ukraine portend great changes for another region: the Arctic. Commonly viewed as a “territory of dialogue,” the Arctic has over the past three decades won a reputation as a “zone of peace” marked by exceptionally calm and collaborative security dynamics. Indeed, this is what former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev envisioned back in October 1987, when he launched a series of policy initiatives aimed at lowering the level of military confrontation in the Arctic by facilitating cooperation among the eight [...]
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