Having essentially stumbled into the business of being an analyst and commentator on multilateral matters by chance, I often feel uncomfortable offering others career advice. But if I cannot be of much help as a career planner, what I’ve learned over the past two decades does allow me to offer some tips about how to be a policy wonk.
The divisive debate within BRICS over whether and how aggressively to expand membership is a sign the group lacks a clear mission and direction. But it also underscores the differences in how BRICS’ members view both the benefits they receive from the grouping and their future role in the international community.
Since the launch of the “great power competition” framework, U.S. policymakers seem to have moved on entirely from the war on terror, focusing instead on countering China and Russia. But as the U.S. military’s significant presence in Niger demonstrates, it would be a mistake to consider the war on terror as solely in the past.
A congressional hearings last Wednesday suggested the U.S. government possesses extraterrestrial UFOs. Skepticism seems warranted. But if, for the sake of argument, it is eventually confirmed that intelligent, extraterrestrial life forms have visited Earth and continue to do, it would have profound impacts on international politics.
A defense agreement signed by Iran and Bolivia in late July, the details of which remain obscure, constitute yet another step in Tehran’s effort to cement ties with leftist governments in Latin America. The campaign to build those relations is not new, but it appears to have gained new momentum in recent months.
If there has been a significant difference between the coup in Niger and others across the region in recent years, it has been in ECOWAS’ response to it. That highlights a nascent transition between waning Western power structures in the region and efforts to construct a new system of collective security there.
Ukraine’s wartime travel restrictions trapping most of its male population inside the country have had dire impacts on the civilian population. Although it’s easy to view the travel ban’s biggest victims as civilian men, a new report shows that it is actually Ukrainian women who are particularly keen to modify or lift it.