People look at the foreign exchange rates displayed in the window of a Bureau de Change, London, June 25, 2016 (AP photo by Tim Ireland).

AMSTERDAM—Little doubt remains by now that Brexit, the British voters’ decision to pull their country out of the European Union, will have a detrimental impact on the United Kingdom’s economic fortunes. The country will experience an economic contraction, and it is quite likely that a loss of global influence will also ensue. In fact, the U.K. itself may ultimately come apart, as Scotland and Northern Ireland, both of which opposed Brexit, ponder a separate future. The reverberations from the vote, however, extend far beyond the British Isles. If resentment over the impact of globalization was one of the motivating forces […]

Indian Space Research Organization’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle lifts off from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota, India, July 10, 2015 (AP photo by Arun Sankar K).

Editor’s note: This article is part of an ongoing WPR series on a range of countries’ space priorities and programs. Last week, India successfully launched 20 satellites in a single mission, a major success for the Indian Space Research Organization that positions India as a key player in the international commercial space market. In an email interview, Joan Johnson-Freese, a professor of national security affairs at the Naval War College who writes in a personal capacity, discusses the state of India’s space program. WPR: What are India’s space capabilities—in terms of launch vehicles, space exploration, satellites and space-industrial complex—and who […]

U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter delivers a speech at the 15th International Institute for Strategic Studies Shangri-la Dialogue, Singapore, June 4, 2016 (AP photo by Wong Maye-E).

A spate of high-profile diplomatic feuds and military actions related to the South China Sea has raised concern about the direction of U.S.-China relations. At the Shangri La Dialogue held in Singapore from June 3-5, U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter charged that China risked “self isolation” through its behavior in the South China Sea. For their part, Chinese officials and media have dismissed such criticisms. President Xi Jinping has firmly defended Chinese actions in the South China Sea, warning that “China will not accept freedom of navigation as an excuse to undermine China’s sovereignty and national security interests.” One […]

A Liberian liquefied natural gas tanker arrives at port, Yokohama, Japan, April 21, 2014 (AP photo by Koji Sasahara).

Editor’s note: This article is part of an ongoing WPR series on countries’ risk exposure, contribution and response to climate change. Japan announced earlier this year that it had been successful at cutting its carbon dioxide emissions by 3 percent—the first time emissions have decreased since the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster. In an email interview, Aiko Shimizu, of Bloomberg New Energy Finance, discussed Japan’s contribution and response to climate change. The views expressed in this interview are her own. WPR: What impact has the 2011 Fukushima disaster had on Japan’s carbon footprint and efforts to reduce it? Aiko Shimizu: As […]

Nigel Farage, the leader of the UK Independence Party speaks to the media on College Green, London, June 24, 2016 (AP photo by Matt Dunham).

In this week’s Trend Lines podcast, WPR’s editor-in-chief, Judah Grunstein, and host Peter Dörrie discuss the impact of the Brexit vote on the European Union and on the U.K.’s international role. For the Report, Richard Weitz joins us to talk about Russian President Vladimir Putin’s efforts to shore up ties with China. LISTEN:Download: MP3Subscribe: iTunes | RSS Relevant Articles on WPR: Dysfunctional Democracy and Referenda: The Case of Brexit Cameron’s Brexit Referendum Ploy Could Lead to Broader EU Reforms Brexit Raises Economic and Security Fears in Central and Eastern Europe Scottish Independence Back on the Table as Brexit Gains Momentum […]

Indian President Pranab Mukherjee with Cote d'Ivoire President Alassane Ouattara, Ivory Coast, June 14, 2016 (AP photo by Diomande Bleblonde).

Earlier this month, Indian President Pranab Mukherjee went on a six-day tour of Africa, visiting Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire and Namibia, where he announced new grant assistance and lines of credit as well as expanded scholarship opportunities. In an email interview, Amanda Lucey, a senior researcher at the Institute for Security Studies in Pretoria, discusses India’s outreach to Africa. WPR: How extensive are India’s political and economic ties with Africa, and what sectors are the main focus of India’s outreach to the continent? Amanda Lucey: India has long-standing ties with Africa, stemming from a shared history of colonization, ancient trade ties […]

Russian President Vladimir Putin shakes hands with Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping during their meeting in Moscow's Kremlin, Russia, May 8, 2015 (AP photo by Alexander Zemlianichenko).

When Russian President Vladimir Putin travels to Beijing in late June, he can rightfully take some satisfaction in his rapport with his host and Chinese counterpart, President Xi Jinping. While Moscow’s relations with other strategically important countries are troubled, there has been a remarkable strengthening of Russian-Chinese security, economic and ideological ties since Putin took charge of the Kremlin in 1999. Since then, Russia and China have cooperated more to promote common regional interests; their bilateral defense relationship has evolved to become more institutionalized and better integrated; and China has become Russia’s leading national trade partner and gateway to other […]

Bangladeshi teachers, students and social activists during a protest against the killing of a university professor, Dhaka, April 29, 2016 (AP photo).

A series of gruesome attacks on bloggers in Bangladesh has shocked the country and the world. But they are only one element in a years-long cycle of mounting violence. Large-scale political repression has created a climate of injustice that extremist groups have easily exploited in their war against secularists and liberal thinkers. Unfortunately, political violence is nothing new in Bangladesh. Much of it is the result of the unrelenting, intense rivalry between the country’s two major parties, the governing Awami League of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and the opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) of former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia and […]

U.N. peacekeepers from China at a U.N. Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali camp, Gao, Mali, Jan. 27, 2014 (U.N. photo by Marco Dormino).

China is becoming an important military player in Africa. It has sent combat troops to bolster the United Nations operation in South Sudan, is opening a naval station in Djibouti, and has promised to invest in African Union peace operations. Is this evidence of Beijing’s creeping bid for superpower status, as pessimistic Western observers fear, or a positive sign that it is can contribute more to global stability? As Mathieu Duchatel, Manuel Lafont Rapnouil and I argue in a new report from the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR), it would be odd if China did not take a greater […]

Former Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou and President Tsai Ing-wen at the presidential inauguration ceremony at the Presidential Office, Taipei, Taiwan, May 20, 2016 (Taipei Photojournalist Association via AP).

Chinese President Xi Jinping has a bone to pick with Taiwan’s new president, Tsai Ying-wen, who took office late last month. Xi and other top Chinese leaders believed they had pushed forward unification with Taiwan during the presidency of Tsai’s predecessor, Ma Ying-jeou of the long-time ruling Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT). Although Ma failed to go nearly as far as they would’ve liked, at least in Beijing’s view, some tangible progress was made. Now, Xi doesn’t want to see those gains lost with a Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) president in power. Chinese officials correctly perceive that a DPP administration will […]

A U.S. Army officer and Afghan National Army trainers, Kandahar, Afghanistan, Jan. 23, 2008 (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 1st Class David M. Votroubek).

In a recent article for Defense One, national security expert Stephen Biddle argued that much of the debate on U.S. strategy in Afghanistan focuses on the wrong thing—the timetable for withdrawal—rather than on America’s ultimate strategic goals. The real objective, Biddle wrote, “is to end the war on terms Americans and Afghans can live with. But calendar deadlines and fixed withdrawal schedules make this almost impossible.” The only alternative to the collapse of the Afghan government and a likely victory by the Taliban, Biddle continued, is a negotiated settlement. This conclusion is solidly grounded in the long, bloody history of […]

Vehicles move past the Presidential Palace through smog, New Delhi, India, Jan. 13, 2016 (AP photo by Tsering Topgyal).

Editor’s note: This article is part of an ongoing WPR series on countries’ risk exposure, contribution and response to climate change. During his visit to Washington last week, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi committed to formally ratifying the Paris climate change agreement by the end of 2016. In an email interview, Neil Bhatiya, the climate and diplomacy fellow at the Center for Climate and Security, discusses India’s response to climate change. WPR: What is India’s risk exposure to climate change, what effects of climate change are already apparent, and what sorts of mitigation approaches will it have to adopt or […]

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani during a welcoming ceremony at the Saadabad Palace, Tehran, May 23, 2016 (Iranian Presidency Office via AP).

With international sanctions against Iran lifted, India is keen to get ties with Tehran back to their pre-sanctions level. This was reflected in the flurry of high-level visits that took place this year in the run-up to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Iran in late May. While India is looking to Iran to help in its transition to an economy fueled by natural gas, it is also betting on Iran to be its gateway into markets in Central Asia, through the development of the Iranian port of Chabahar. For its part, Iran seems keen to deepen its strategic economic […]

Cambodia human rights advocates arrive at an appeals court, Phnom Penh, Cambodia, June 13, 2016 (AP photo by Heng Sinith).

Since late May, Kem Sokha, vice president of Cambodia’s opposition party, has remained in the party headquarters to avoid arrest over charges that he procured a prostitute. The case is the latest in what the European Union has condemned as a campaign of “judicial harassment” against the opposition. In an email interview, Stuart White, the national news editor at the Phnom Penh Post, discusses Cambodia’s current crackdown on the opposition and the prospects for reform. WPR: What is driving the current crackdown on Cambodia’s opposition, and what explains Prime Minister Hun Sen’s decision to end the truce represented by the […]

The Guepratte, a stealth frigate of France's Naval Action Force, docked at a pier in Manila, Philippines, May 4, 2016 (AP photo by Aaron Favila).

France has always claimed to be a power in the Asia-Pacific, but some recent strategic developments have given additional credence to that claim. In April, France won a landmark contract to sell 12 attack submarines to Australia, after securing a deal with India for the purchase of 36 Rafale fighter jets last year. The Australia submarine contract, worth some $39 billion, is viewed in Paris as heralding a new beginning for France-Australia ties, which until the late 1990s were marred by disputes over French nuclear tests in Polynesia. Australia had been mulling Japanese and German bids. The Asia-Pacific market is […]

U.S. President Barack Obama and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi before their meeting in the White House, Washington, June 7, 2016 (AP photo by Pablo Martinez Monsivais).

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Washington last week was striking in its normalcy. In contrast to the drama of the early years of the transformation in this bilateral relationship, it’s become commonplace to see Indian and American leaders praise the partnership and work through often tedious bilateral issues. The strategic trajectory is becoming clear: Cooperation is growing on managing the global commons and ensuring a peaceful Asia. Over the past two decades during which the relationship between the world’s two most-populous democracies has been transformed, references to their shared values have been abundant. In the past, however, invoking […]

Chinese President Xi Jinping meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, along with their delegates, Beijing, May 9, 2013 (AP photo by Kim Kyung-Hoon).

For more than 20 years, Israel’s ties with countries in Asia have gradually increased, enough to warrant talk of Israel’s own pivot to the region. But it is not just a pivot. Instead, it is a major realignment of Israel’s foreign policy on a broad scale, supported by geopolitical developments and motivated by Israel’s slowly eroding political relations with Europe and the United States. The origins of this process can be found in Israel’s desire to stake out a claim in booming world trade with China, whose massive growth in recent decades could leave no trading partner indifferent. But what […]

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