A demonstrator holds a poster reading “Peace for Ukraine” during a protest against the Russian invasion, Almaty, Kazakhstan, March 6, 2022 (AP photo by Vladimir Tretyakov).
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is upending the geopolitical calculations of states around the world. The fallout is especially complex for the post-Soviet states of Central Asia, which maintain extensive economic, political, cultural and other ties to both Russia and Ukraine. While Central Asia is far from the front lines of the ongoing war, and therefore less directly impacted than states like Moldova or Georgia, its leaders also face difficult decisions. Independent for three decades, the Central Asian states remain dependent to varying degrees on Russia as a security provider and economic partner, and as a source of political support. Their [...]
Former Sri Lankan Defense Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa waves to supporters during a party convention held to announce the presidential candidacy in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Aug. 11, 2019 (AP photo by Eranga Jayawardena).
Populist politicians, who have been sweeping to power in countries across the globe, build their appeal partly on claims that they will base their policies on the needs and interests of the people. But once in power, their decisions, often ill-conceived, can create grave problems for the very voters they purport to champion. For proof, look no further than what has befallen the people of Sri Lanka. In recent months, life in the island nation has turned into a grinding, ever-worsening ordeal. What started as a government debt crisis has devolved into broader economic turmoil, marked by critical shortages of [...]
Vice President Kamala Harris is greeted as she exits Air Force Two on arrival in Guatemala City, June 6, 2021 (AP photo by Jacquelyn Martin).
While the Biden administration tries to navigate the domestic political obstacles to implementing the president’s so-called Build Back Better plan, it has quietly started laying the groundwork for a parallel program with major geopolitical implications. Just getting off the ground, Build Back Better World, or B3W, is a plan to improve global infrastructure, widely defined, with an eye to not only raise living standards but, just as importantly, to counter China’s growing influence. The idea was formally announced by the Group of Seven leaders during the G-7 summit last June. It aims to take on China’s high-profile Belt and Road Initiative, or [...]
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