The conflict between M23 and Congo has the potential to escalate into a war between Rwanda and the DRC

This year’s most underreported event is the renewed fighting in the eastern provinces of the Democratic Republic of Congo. The violence is especially dangerous as it is essentially a proxy conflict between Congo and its neighbor Rwanda, with the potential to become a direct military confrontation—and a regional war.

Chile will attempt another draft for a new constitution after the last one failed a national referedum

Three months after voters rejected a draft constitution, Chilean President Gabriel Boric brokered an agreement with the country’s political forces setting out the process for another try at producing a new basic document. This time, though, guardrails are in place to avoid the radical changes attempted in the first draft.

Far-right coup-plotter is led away by police in Germany for threatening the country's democracy and political stability

Germany’s image of political stability caused many observers to downplay the revelation in early December that German police had uncovered an organized plot by a network of far-right conspirators to mount a coup. But that underestimates the extent to which the group’s anti-constitutional worldview has spread in Germany.

After a difficult year, it's worth sharing the bright spots in fields like climate change, the US military's new civilian casualties policy, and protests in Iran pro-democracy

Writing about human security and international law often means writing about the worst things in the world. With the holidays around the corner, it’s worth sharing a few stories that show how numerous strategies—including NGO activism and nonviolent protest movements—are making a positive difference for human security worldwide.

Supporters of Castillo, the former president of Peru, protest what they believe was an attack on democracy, a frightening trend throughout Latin America

The dispute over Pedro Castillo’s removal as president in Peru is the latest messy transfer of power in Latin America and another instance when regional governments could not agree on a basic interpretation of events. More broadly, the region’s democracies face two related challenges: creeping authoritarianism and election denial.

FIFA President Gianni Infantino and Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani speak before the 2022 World Cup draw, in Doha, Qatar

From the outset of the FIFA World Cup in Qatar, many observers have been quick to point to its downsides, from accusations of corruption in the host-country selection process to human rights concerns. But major sporting events like the World Cup and Olympic Games still offer unique opportunities for the host countries and the world.

Nancy Pelosi has played a significant role in US foreign policy, including in China and Taiwan

When U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi hands over the gavel next year, it will mark the end of an era in U.S. politics, with the greatest impact immediately visible on domestic policy. But Pelosi has also played a major role in foreign policy, deploying her political skills in pursuit of a mostly hawkish, internationalist worldview.

In Africa, conflict resolution around the Ethiopia war in Tigray is a sign of the new world

Even as both sides in Ethiopia implement the first steps of a peace accord, the impact of its civil war can be seen in regional and international responses to other conflicts in Africa. That could presage deep changes in how the West engages with African security issues, and the distribution of roles in addressing them.

Solar panels on a building in a city as an effort to mitigate climate change effects

Cities have emerged as key leaders in implementing climate solutions. But while transport and energy often get more attention, the construction and operation of buildings is typically a city’s highest source of emissions. It’s not surprising, then, that buildings have become a top priority for climate action for U.S. cities.

In Peru, as in countries like Brazil, Argentina, and the US, democracy survived the wills of hyper-presidentialism

Recent developments in Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, the U.S. and Peru show that the guardrails of democracy can hold in the Americas. Institutions can restrain populist leaders who abuse their authority. Hyper-presidentialism, in which the executive can do whatever it pleases, is not guaranteed. Checks and balances can work.

Amid claims by some NATO allies that the US is benefitting from the war in Ukraine because of defense contracts, a soldier prepares Raytheon ammo

War is hell, but for large and politically influential defense contractors, it is also good business. This is fueling claims among some NATO allies that the U.S. is profiting from the war in Ukraine. There is no denying that U.S. defense contractors are benefiting, but accusations of war profiteering are simply off base.

Lula da Silva, president-elect of Brazil, as he struggles with the challenge of preventing deforestation in the Amazon

Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva’s election as Brazilian president has been hailed as a turning point for protecting the Amazon from deforestation, and hence for the world’s struggle against climate change. But while Lula is being anointed as an environmental savior, he faces arduous work before his promises can be fulfilled.

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The first signs of how the inability of established elites to prevent state collapse could generate new forms of popular resistance emerged in Lebanon in 2019, as economic collapse generated a wave of mass protests cutting across class and religious lines. Now, the turmoil in Lebanon may presage similar dynamics in Egypt that could have a much more dramatic global impact.

In Afghanistan, a hunger crisis is made even worse by a struggling economy and lack of development aid amid US sanctions

Who is to blame for Afghanistan’s food insecurity crisis depends on whom you ask. What almost everyone agrees on, though, is that it is a manufactured disaster stemming from multiple, interrelated policy-driven causes. Ultimately, the blame game only adds a political layer to the problem, making it even more difficult to fix it.

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In the countries where they have gained power, Latin America’s left-leaning leaders have usually won by campaigning on economic and social issues. Now that they are in power, they must deal with the region’s security challenges—and the political fallout for the failures that occur, whether or not they are to blame for them.

FTX Exchange Arena, a symbol of crypto and why it will likely soon be regulated

Advocates of cryptocurrencies have long argued that the new technology behind them would break the government monopoly on currency regulation. The collapse of the FTX exchange illustrates why this sort of “disruption” is unlikely in the realm of currency control, which has historically been and will remain the domain of governments.

White paper protests in China in defiance of Xi Jinping's COVID protocol and propaganda

Back in 2020, the West’s initial difficulties in responding effectively to the coronavirus pandemic looked like a propaganda godsend for Beijing. Now, with China’s COVID-19 response triggering the biggest protests the country has seen in decades, it looks like the regime’s effort to capitalize on the pandemic has backfired spectacularly.