This photo purports to show volunteers standing near the wreckage of the destroyed vehicle in which Mullah Akhtar Mansour was allegedly traveling, Baluchistan, Pakistan, May 21, 2016 (AP photo by Abdul Malik).

Last weekend, a U.S. military drone killed Akhtar Mohammad Mansour, the leader of the Afghan Taliban, as he drove home from Iran to Pakistan’s Baluchistan province. This was a bold action, marking the first time an American drone strike had been ordered in the Taliban’s home base, rather than in Pakistan’s tribal areas that border Afghanistan. It may not signal yet another new U.S. strategy for the war in Afghanistan, but it is a significant tactical and political shift, recognition that as the Obama administration winds down, trends in the country are not good. As Dan De Luce and John […]

U.S. President Barack Obama and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, Japan, Friday, May 27, 2016 (AP photo by Carolyn Kaster).

President Barack Obama visited Hiroshima, Japan, today, the first visit by a sitting U.S. president to the site of the U.S. atomic bombing at the end of World War II. He remembered those lost in that devastating conflict and joined with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in calling for renewed attention to the task of ridding the world of nuclear weapons. The leaders of the U.S. and Japan—the only nation to have used these terrible weapons and the nation against which they were used—stood together to call for an end to nuclear proliferation. The symbolism of Obama’s visit aside, for many, […]

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Indonesian President Joko Widodo during a signing ceremony, Sochi, Russia, May 18, 2016 (AP photo by Alexander Zemlianichenko).

In this week’s Trend Lines podcast, WPR’s editor-in-chief, Judah Grunstein, and host Peter Dörrie discuss rolling back Cuba sanctions, counterterrorism in Africa, and the hybrid information era. For the Report, Nikolas Gvosdev joins us to talk about Russia’s outreach to Southeast Asia. What is motivating it, and has it succeeded? Listen: Download: MP3Subscribe: iTunes | RSS Relevant articles on WPR: Despite Loosened Embargo, Bankers’ Fears Block U.S. Commerce With Cuba Africa’s Counterterrorism Growth Industry May Backfire Rhodes Profile: Citizens, Spin and Truth in the Hybrid Information Era With Putin’s ASEAN Outreach, Russia Sets Sights on Southeast Asia Trend Lines is […]

Sri Lankan ethnic Tamil women hold photographs of their missing family members, Colombo, Sri Lanka, Dec. 10, 2015 (AP photo by Eranga Jayawardena).

JAFFNA, Sri Lanka—The scars of Sri Lanka’s 26-year-long civil war remain plainly visible in the country’s north, where ethnic Tamils make up the vast majority of the population. Abandoned colonial mansions riddled with bullets stand as testament to the long war and the devastation it wrought on the region. More than half a decade after the fighting ended, despite a noticeable influx of investment from exiled Tamils, much needs to be done before the conflict between the Sinhalese-dominated state and the Tamil minority can finally be relegated to the pages of history, allowing Sri Lanka to work toward a prosperous […]

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak delivers a speech, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Jan. 28, 2016 (AP photo by Joshua Paul).

Editor’s note: This article is part of an ongoing WPR series on the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the potential impact on members’ economies. Last week, the Malaysian government announced that it had established a national committee to oversee the implementation of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). In an email interview, Shankaran Nambiar, a senior research fellow at the Malaysian Institute for Economic Research, discussed the potential impact of TPP membership on Malaysia’s economy. WPR: What are the expected economic benefits and potential downsides for Malaysia from the TPP, and who are the expected “winners” and “losers”? Shankaran Nambiar: Malaysia’s export-oriented firms will […]

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Laos Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith at the ASEAN-Russia summit, Sochi, Russia, May 20, 2016 (AP photo by Alexander Zemlianichenko).

The third ASEAN-Russia summit, held in the Russian city of Sochi, concluded on May 20. In a beehive of diplomatic activity, Russian President Vladimir Putin held bilateral meetings with the leader of every member-state of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) over two days. The conclave has been heralded for setting in motion a roadmap to accelerate economic and security cooperation between the states of Southeast Asia and Russia—a new level of interaction that will allow Moscow to move beyond its stalled relationships with the United States and Europe to take advantage of new opportunities in Asia. Even before […]

A campaign billboard for presidential candidate Mayor Rodrigo Duterte in his hometown of Davao City, southern Philippines, May 11, 2016 (AP photo by Bullit Marquez).

Earlier this month, Rodrigo Duterte, a tough-talking mayor, emerged as the winner of the Philippines’ presidential election. Although the presumptive president won’t be inaugurated until June 30, his victory has already sparked worries about a dramatic reversal from his reform-minded predecessor, Benigno Aquino III, who had ushered in a six-year period of impressive economic growth and begun to address the dizzying array of political and security challenges that have led the Philippines to lag behind some of its neighbors for decades. But how much will Duterte’s rhetoric actually translate into reality at home and abroad? On domestic policy, several of […]

A Syrian Kurdish fighter from the People's Protection Units (YPG), Sinjar, Iraq, Jan. 29, 2015 (AP photo by Bram Janssen).

In this week’s Trend Lines podcast, WPR’s editor-in-chief, Judah Grunstein, and host Peter Dörrie discuss the challenges facing President Maurico Macri’s reforms in Argentina, Mozambique’s hidden debt crisis, and land protests in Kazakhstan. For the Report, Denise Natali joins us to talk about how the Syrian war has impacted the country’s Kurds and their prospects for autonomy. Listen:Download: MP3Subscribe: iTunes | RSS Relevant articles on WPR: Macri’s Moment: Can Argentina’s New President Live Up to the Hype? Massive Debt Revelation Another Blow to Mozambique’s Economy Kazakhstan’s Unprecedented Land Protests Only the First Wave of Discontent? Can Syria’s Kurds Leverage War […]

Kazakhstan's president, Nursultan Nazarbayev, at the Organization of Islamic Cooperation Summit, Istanbul, Turkey, April 14, 2016 (Anadolu Agency photo via AP).

Over the past quarter-century, citizens of Kazakhstan have developed a reputation for relative staidness. Unlike residents of other post-Soviet republics like Kyrgyzstan, Ukraine or Georgia, Kazakhstanis have largely avoided public protest, opting to sideline complaints on longstanding corruption and political repression in favor of enjoying the fruits of the country’s massive hydrocarbon windfall. Over the past three weeks, however, that reputation has begun to shift. And considering how much collapsed energy prices have gouged Kazakhstan’s economic prospects—and how myopically Astana has managed the country’s finances since—recent frustrations may be just the beginning. In late April, a series of large-scale, spontaneous […]

Soldiers from Australia and Singapore head out on patrol during Exercise Trident, Queensland, Australia, Nov. 8, 2014 (Australian Defense Department photo).

Earlier this month, Singapore and Australia announced a $1.7 billion military cooperation deal, part of a broader strategic partnership between the two countries. In an email interview, Euan Graham, director of the international security program at the Lowy Institute and author of “The Lion and the Kangaroo: Australia’s Strategic Partnership With Singapore,” discussed Australia’s defense and security relationship with Singapore. WPR: What has been the nature of Australia-Singapore defense ties, and how has their defense relationship evolved in recent years? Euan Graham: Australia’s defense relationship with Singapore is longstanding, deep and mutual, although for the most part it has been […]

U.S. President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Paris Climate Conference, Le Bourget, France, Nov. 30, 2015 (AP photo by Evan Vucci).

Given global headlines, you might think the world is terribly off course. Geopolitical rivalry threatens stability from Eastern Europe to the South China Sea. Jihadi terrorists sow mayhem throughout the Middle East. A scary virus emerges in Latin America, spreading across borders. A Brazilian president is brought down, as the Panama Papers expose corruption in other lands. Publics everywhere, alienated by yawning inequality and anemic growth, vent their frustration at a system rigged for moneyed elites. Populist politicians, sensing the sour mood, promise to reverse globalization by building walls to keep out foreigners and abandoning trade agreements. This noisy, negative […]

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, center, shakes hands with Myanmar's] President Thein Sein, left, and Thailand's Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, July 4, 2015 (AP photo by Kazuhiro Nogi).

Earlier this month, Japan announced a three-year, $7 billion investment deal with the countries of the lower Mekong River to boost development and improve infrastructure. In an email interview, Phuong Nguyen, an associate fellow with the Southeast Asia program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, discussed Japan’s relations in Southeast Asia. WPR: How extensive are Japan’s ties in Southeast Asia, and with what countries does Japan have the closest relations? Phuong Nguyen: Japan has a long history with Southeast Asia dating back to the World War II period. Southeast Asia functioned as an important source of resources and […]

South Korean President Park Geun-hye at a joint press conference with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, Tehran, May 2, 2016 (AP photo by Ebrahim Noroozi).

South Korean President Park Geun-hye visited Iran earlier this month, pledging to forge ahead and establish a new era of relations with Tehran built on closer economic cooperation. During the three-day visit, Park and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani agreed to 30 joint economic projects, totaling more than $37.1 billion. The two sides also agreed to more than 50 memorandums of understanding dealing with everything from infrastructure cooperation and joint energy ventures to work on medical and health care projects. South Korea was eager to quickly restore relations with Tehran following the finalization of last year’s nuclear deal between Iran and […]

Cuban dissident Miguel Alberto Ulloa holding his prison release document, Havana, Cuba, Jan. 9, 2015 (AP photo by Ramon Espinosa).

In this week’s Trend Lines podcast, WPR’s editor-in-chief, Judah Grunstein, and host Peter Dörrie discuss the challenges facing NATO, South Sudan’s unstable peace, and Kim Jong Un cementing his power at North Korea’s party congress. For the Report, Ted Henken, joins us to explain what normalization with the U.S. and reforms mean for Cuba’s economy and political opposition. Listen: Download: MP3Subscribe: iTunes | RSS Relevant articles on WPR: From Russia to Refugee Crisis, NATO Faces Biggest Test Since the Cold War Machar’s Return Only the First Step in Bringing South Sudan Back Together North Korea Party Congress Shows Kim’s Power—and […]

Portraits of late North Korean leaders Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il at the Congress of the Workers’ Party of Korea, Pyongyang, May 9, 2016 (AP photo by Wong Maye-E).

The Seventh Congress of the Workers’ Party of Korea, the first such meeting in 36 years, ended Monday with much pageantry and fanfare in the North Korean capital, Pyongyang, but with little evidence that North Korea has changed its policy line in any substantive way. Kim Jong Un received the new title “party chairman”—his late father remains “eternal party secretary” and his grandfather “eternal president.” A new economic plan was also announced, while top positions in the party were reshuffled. Other than Kim appearing for the first time in a Western-style suit to deliver his speeches, the party congress was […]

Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, right, at a military parade to mark Pakistan's Republic Day, Islamabad, March 23, 2016 (AP photo by Anjum Naveed).

The fallout of the so-called Panama Papers, along with rising civil unrest, security challenges, and the expanding role of the military in civilian affairs, have resulted in the most challenging period for Pakistan’s prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, since he took office in 2013. Yet Sharif is likely to survive the current difficulties, given the weak position of the opposition and the military’s lack of interest to force a change in government. However, Sharif’s longer-term political prospects are less clear. They could be hampered by additional repercussions from investigations into Sharif’s family shielding their money in offshore bank accounts and shell […]

Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong speaks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at a welcome ceremony at the Prime Minister's office, Jerusalem, April 19, 2016 (AP photo by Sebastian Scheiner).

Last month, during a visit to Jerusalem, Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu agreed to expand cyberdefense cooperation. In an email interview, Emanuel Shahaf, CEO of Technology Asia Consulting, discussed Israel’s ties with Singapore. WPR: What have Israel’s ties with Singapore been like historically, and how have they evolved? Emanuel Shahaf: Singapore’s relationship with Israel started after the newly created Asian city-state requested Egypt’s assistance with setting up its military but was rebuffed. Israel responded positively, and the rest is history. During Singapore’s formative years, the relationship was primarily centered on military cooperation ranging […]

Showing 1 - 17 of 181 2 Last