Recent developments in South America have upended the United States’ historical — and often misguided — tendency to lump the region into a one-size-fits-all policy. A politically and economically muscular Brazil, the rise of an anti-American bloc of countries led by Venezuela, and the emergence of economic and even political extraregional rivals in the hemisphere have created a more diverse, independent and contentious region for the United States. At the same time, the looming shadow of a double-dip U.S. recession and the spectacle of partisan intransigence leaving Washington paralyzed have led to an overwhelming impression across the region that the […]

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin followed up his unsurprising Sept. 24 declaration that he would again seek the presidency with a more surprising call: to create what he called a “Eurasian Union.” In a rare and lengthy newspaper piece published on Oct. 4, Putin announced his desire for Russia to again lead a multinational bloc of tightly bound, former Soviet republics. But major obstacles stand in the way of Putin’s project, and the prospects of a new Eurasian Union emerging anytime soon in the former Soviet space are small. Putin’s press secretary, Dmitry Peskov, told the influential Kommersant newspaper that […]

S. Korea Hopes to Reunite With North

With North and South Korea technically still at war after more than 60 years, a possible reunification of the two remains hindered by vast ideological differences and recent military altercations. However, South Korea continues to entertain the notion and is now promoting a government-funded Internet news outlet that advocates reunification with the North.

On Sept. 6, members of Afghanistan’s upper house of parliament declared that the Afghan government and the international community have failed in their counternarcotics efforts in Afghanistan. Just three months earlier, Afghan Deputy Minister for Counternarcotics Baz Mohammad Ahmadi told reporters that more than 3 million Afghans continue to participate in the illicit drug industry. He pleaded with the international community to support further operations, especially in Afghanistan’s border provinces, and to consider establishing a counternarcotics academy within Afghanistan. Ten years after the United States first invaded the country on Oct. 7, 2001, the drug menace emanating from Afghanistan remains […]

The decision this week by Russia and China to veto a U.N. Security Council resolution condemning the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for its use of violence against its domestic opponents has attracted much attention — and opprobrium. What has generated less discussion is the fact that the three states of the IBSA bloc — India, Brazil and South Africa — abstained from the vote. But their unwillingness to support the resolution has clear implications both for the future of the “responsibility to protect” doctrine as well as for America’s own relationships with the rising democracies of the South. […]

Global Insider: Japan-Latin America Relations

Japan and Colombia recently agreed to deepen economic relations, following a meeting between Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos and Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda in Tokyo. In an email interview, Melba Falck Reyes, a professor in the Pacific studies department at the University of Guadalajara, discussed Japan-Latin America relations. WPR: What is the recent history of Japan’s trade and diplomatic relations with Latin America? Melba Falck Reyes: In Latin America, Japan has a long history of diplomatic relations with Mexico, Peru and Brazil. It is no coincidence that these nations are presently Japan’s main economic partners in the region. In […]

Afghanistan 10 Years On: Slow Progress and Failed Promises

This report produced by the human rights advocacy organization Amnesty International asserts that 10 years after a US-led military invasion removed the Taliban from Afghanistan, the Afghan government and its international supporters have failed to keep many of the promises they made to the Afghan people.

While much has been written about China’s port development projects in the Indian Ocean region, it is actually Beijing’s undersea activities in the area that may prove to be the greater source of consternation for India and its navy. In July, the China Ocean Mineral Resources Research and Development Association announced that it had secured approval from the International Seabed Authority (ISA) to explore the southwestern Indian Ocean ridge for polymetallic sulphide nodules. The move was not received well in Indian policymaking circles, which believe that it not only reflects Beijing’s intentions to extract resources from the Indian Ocean region […]

Global Insider: Sri Lanka’s Post-Conflict Relocation Process

Sri Lanka recently announced plans to close the Vavuniya displacement camp, which housed 300,000 people displaced during the conflict with the rebel Liberation Tamil Tigers of Eelam (LTTE). In an email interview, Robert Muggah, a research fellow at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies and the author of “Relocation Failures in Sri Lanka: A Short History of Internal Displacement,” discussed Sri Lanka’s post-conflict relocation process. WPR: What progress has Sri Lanka made in relocating its internally displaced persons? Robert Muggah: “Progress” depends on whom you ask. Relief agencies claim that roughly 190,000 displaced people have been voluntarily “relocated” […]

The recent U.S. claims that Pakistan’s intelligence service have aided attacks against U.S. troops in Afghanistan; the discovery that Osama bin Laden had been living for years in a safe house in central Pakistan; the U.S. special forces operation to attack his Pakistani compound without notifying Pakistani authorities; the disputes over U.S. drone strikes on Pakistani territory: These and other controversies are surface manifestations of a deeper “trust deficit” between the United States and Pakistan. On Sept. 22, then-Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen made explosive comments about the nature of the relationship between Pakistan’s […]

With instability rising in Afghanistan, U.S. power in the region approaching its apex and Pakistan appearing increasingly hostile, this World Politics Review special report examines the Afghanistan War through articles published in the past year. Below are links to each article in this special report, which subscribers can read in full. Subscribers can also download a .pdf version of this report. Not a subscriber? Purchase this report on Kindle or as a .pdf from Scribd. Or subscribe now. U.S. Strategy Obama’s Fragile Afghanistan Strategy By Nikolas Gvosdev January 14, 2011 Long-Term U.S. Presence in Afghanistan a Mistake By Thomas P.M. […]

On Sept. 23, Zambian authorities announced that longtime opposition leader Michael Sata had won the country’s presidential election, held three days previously. Sata’s victory is notable for two reasons. First, African incumbents like outgoing President Rupiah Banda seldom lose elections. Second, Sata’s anti-China rhetoric has made Beijing nervous — and other observers curious — about whether Zambia will now spearhead an African backlash against Chinese economic activities on the continent. Anatomy of an African Opposition Victory Michael Sata, 74, began his career as a police officer and railway worker, before breaking into Zambian politics in the 1960s. His steady rise […]

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