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.
Since the impeachment of Peru’s President Pedro Castillo on Dec. 7, protesters have been demanding “que se vayan todos,” which roughly translates to “get rid of them all.” But even though Peru’s Congress has now responded to calls for early elections, the anger that fueled the protests cannot be quickly overcome.
Voters in Nepal turned out in force this year to elect lawmakers across the local, provincial and federal levels of government. That signaled that the country’s federated system, instituted in 2015, is gradually gaining legitimacy. As Nepal consolidates its political configuration, however, the next hurdle may be higher.
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.
Last month, a U.S. Coast Guard patrol vessel off the coast of Ecuador was forced to take evasive action when a Chinese fishing boat tried to ram it to avoid being boarded and inspected. The incident highlights the growing risk for conflict over fishing rights amid heightened geopolitical rivalry on the world’s oceans.
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.
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.
In defending themselves from foreign interference, Western countries currently tend to look at all the tools used to pursue it in isolation. In order to effectively defend themselves, however, Western governments ought to see all the tools of foreign interference as elements of a strategic continuum, requiring a holistic response.
On Dec. 12, Sam Bankman-Fried, once described as the J.P. Morgan of the crypto industry, was arrested and charged with defrauding investors, just a month after his $32 billion cryptocurrency exchange, FTX, filed for bankruptcy. FTX’s collapse sent shockwaves through the crypto world, perhaps felt nowhere more acutely than in Africa.
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.
Recent protests in China drew comparisons to the political demonstrations of 1989, as well as to more localized and group-specific protests since 1990. This raises questions of how the present protests differ from previous ones, whether they represent a new type of protest, and how outside policymakers can best respond to them.
Tunisian President Kais Saied has steadily chipped away at a decade of democratic progress in the county since consolidating power in July 2021, and one of the rights most under threat is gender equality. Saied has used a variety of tools to give lip service to gender equality in Tunisia, while simultaneously undermining it.
Recent elections in Brazil and the U.S. may have reinforced the impression that democracy is alive and well in the Americas. But in Guatemala, where in the past few years a backlash against anti-corruption efforts has gathered steam, upcoming elections in 2023 are unlikely to reverse democracy’s downward slide.
Despite a remarkable nationwide uprising that shows no sign of abating, Iran has not put its external policies on hold. While some onlookers may hope that the internal unrest and growing international isolation will hinder Iran’s troubling policies outside the country, the opposite may unfortunately be more likely.
This past June marked a milestone in trans-Atlantic energy relations: For the first time, the European Union bought more natural gas from the United States than from Russia. In some ways, this was a positive development for both sides. The EU, however, is also discovering that the U.S. is a strange energy superpower to partner with.
Mexico’s Congress voted yesterday to reject a sweeping reform of its electoral system that triggered massive protests and a counterdemonstration by supporters of President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador last month. The episode highlights several features of AMLO’s presidency that will continue to present challenges to Mexico’s democracy.