Photo: Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Black Sea resort of Sochi, Russia, Aug. 15, 2014 (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev).

Russian President Vladimir Putin has a busy schedule next week in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. On Aug. 26, along with the heads of Belarus and Kazakhstan, the other states that make up the Eurasian Customs Union, Putin will have a face-to-face trilateral summit with Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko and a European Union delegation headed by its foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton, and Energy Commissioner Gunther Oettinger. The summit has an ambitious agenda on the table to try and defuse the Ukraine crisis: ending Russia’s not-so-covert support for rebels in eastern Ukraine; brokering a political settlement between the separatists and […]

A woman holding her baby casts her vote, during municipal elections held in the city of Maputo, Mozambique, Nov. 20, 2013 (AP photo by Ferhat Momade).

Earlier this month, Mozambique passed an amnesty law that will allow Afonso Dhlakama, leader of the opposition Renamo party, to return from hiding and run in the Oct. 15 presidential election. In an email interview, Elisabete Azevedo-Harman, research fellow at Chatham House, discussed the evolving political landscape in Mozambique. WPR: How much support do the Renamo and ruling Frelimo parties have, and is there a clear front-runner for October’s elections? Elisabete Azevedo-Harman: Mozambique does not have a tradition of comprehensive electoral polls and it is therefore not possible to predict outcomes. General perceptions indicate that Frelimo and its presidential candidate […]

Tuareg Malian soldiers under the command of Colonel El-Hadj Ag Gamou patrol the streets of Gao, northern Mali, Feb. 16, 2013 (AP photo by Jerome Delay).

Tuareg rebels and Malian government officials have begun meeting in Algeria to try and hammer out the terms of a lasting peace in northern Mali. In July, the parties signed a road map deal that paved the way for talks on a wide array of political and security issues. In September, they will return to the Algerian capital for three weeks of negotiations. But so far, the prospects for peace look slim with so many divisions among rebel groups. The Algeria talks take the place of the 2013 Ouagadougou peace accord signed in neighboring Burkina Faso, which had allowed government […]

A worker adjusts pipes during a hydraulic fracturing operation at an Encana Corp. well pad near Mead, Co., March 25, 2014 (AP photo by Brennan Linsley).

Shale gas is revolutionizing the world’s energy landscape. Seemingly overnight, supplies have increased dramatically due to technological advances, including hydraulic fracturing—known as fracking—and horizontal drilling. A world accustomed to energy scarcity and declining supplies is rapidly readjusting to abundance, at just the time when concerns about global climate change and the desire to identify cleaner, relatively inexpensive fuel sources intensify. These conditions and the impressive size of proven reserves within the Western Hemisphere in particular provide the Americas with an enviable opportunity for leadership in global shale gas. The United States, Argentina, Canada, Mexico and Brazil all rank within the […]

Brazilian Socialist Party presidential candidate Marina Silva speaks to the press after attending mass in honor of late presidential candidate Eduardo Campos at the Metropolitan Cathedral in Brasilia, Brazil, Aug. 19, 2014 (AP photo by Eraldo Peres).

The life story of Brazil’s Marina Silva is so unlikely that she explains key moments as the result of divine intervention. Among the most dramatic and potentially life-changing of all the unlikely turns came last week, when a private plane in which she was supposed to be traveling crashed, killing Socialist Party presidential candidate Eduardo Campos and suddenly turning her into a formidable contender for the presidency of Brazil. Silva, a charismatic environmental activist and former environment minister with an ideology that does not fit neatly into any single current, was Campos’ running mate on the Socialist Party ticket for […]

EU chief negotiator Ignacio Garcia Bercero and U.S. chief negotiator Dan Mullaney address the media at the end of the sixth round of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, Brussels, Belgium, July 18, 2014 (AP photo by Yves Logghe).

Last month, Germany voiced concerns over the inclusion of an Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) in the free trade agreement between the European Union and Canada. German objections also call into question the inclusion of an ISDS in the trade deal currently being negotiated between the EU and the United States. In an email interview, Timothy Josling, senior fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies at Stanford University, discussed the settlements and their role in international trade agreements. WPR: What is an Investor-State Dispute Settlement and how common is it in free trade agreements? Timothy Josling: Investor-State Dispute Settlement […]

Uganda President Yoweri Museveni arrives at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., Aug. 4, 2014, to attend the U.S.-Africa Summit (AP photo by Cliff Owen).

On Jan. 25, 1986, rebel fighters overran the final hideouts of Uganda’s crumbling military government of Tito Okello after five years of bush war and tens of thousands of deaths. Yoweri Museveni’s National Resistance Movement (NRM) concluded its Maoist-inspired insurgency with a promise to end 24 years of violent, corrupt and militarized post-independence politics. The 42-year-old Museveni became an American ally, economic liberalizer and, in the eyes of many Ugandans, a youthful visionary who would marry the leftist progressivism of Julius Nyerere in Tanzania with the realpolitik exigencies of post-Cold War politics and Western hegemony. Nearly 30 years on, an […]

Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton as she greets a customer during a book signing of her new book "Hard Choices" at Northshire Bookstore in Saratoga Springs, N.Y, July 29, 2014 (AP Photo/Mike Groll).

The United States is at a transitional point in its national security strategy at least as important as the one after Vietnam and perhaps as crucial as the opening years of the Cold War. Although debate today about America’s future role in the world is limited to think tanks, academia and the media, during the 2016 presidential campaign, this will change. National security will move into the limelight as differing visions within and between the Democratic and Republican parties clarify policy options and choices. For both U.S. and global security, much will be at stake. It is, of course, too […]

Indian paramilitary soldiers patrol a area having a presence of Naxalites, at Dantewada district, Chattisgarh, India, April 17, 2007 (AP photo by Mustafa Quraishi).

Two Indian police officers were injured over the weekend when Maoist insurgents detonated a landmine below their convoy. In an email interview, P.V. Ramana, a research fellow at the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses in New Delhi, discussed the insurgency of Maoist groups, also known as Naxalites, and the Modi administration’s response. WPR: What is the current status of the Naxalite insurgency in India? P.V. Ramana: The Communist Party of India (Maoist) was banned in 2009 under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act of 1967. The Maoist insurgents have a presence to varying degree—intense to negligible—in 182 districts across 20 […]

Indonesian president-elect and Jakarta Governor Joko Widodo in Jakarta, Indonesia, Aug. 12, 2014 (AP photo by Achmad Ibrahim).

By Aug. 24, Indonesia’s Constitutional Court must deliver a ruling on the legal challenge mounted by presidential contender Prabowo Subianto to last month’s hotly contested and highly polarized election. Prabowo has questioned the legitimacy of the poll, in which Jakarta’s governor, Joko Widodo—or Jokowi as he is popularly known—was declared the winner with 53.15 percent of the vote. It is widely anticipated that the Constitutional Court will rule against Prabowo and uphold Jokowi’s victory. If so, Jokowi would be sworn in on Oct. 20 as the seventh president of the world’s third-largest democracy and most populous Muslim country. A former […]

Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi speak during a press conference in Baghdad, Iraq, Feb. 23, 2014 (AP photo by Ahmed Saad).

When asked recently by New York Times columnist Thomas L. Friedman whether China, as the “biggest energy investor in Iraq,” should behave more like a stakeholder there, U.S. President Barack Obama had a pointed reply. The Chinese, he said, “have been free riders for the last 30 years and it’s worked really well for them,” while the United States has had to bear the burdens of maintaining international security and prosperity for the good of the world. Those comments triggered a sharply negative reaction in the Chinese press. Although Obama might not have intended to be so blunt, his remarks […]

Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim arrive at a nomination center in Bangi, outside Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, March 11, 2014 (AP photo by Lai Seng Sin).

Malaysia’s opposition coalition risks being torn apart after its leader Anwar Ibrahim sacked the chief minister of Selangor, the country’s most populous state. In an email interview, Clive Kessler, professor emeritus at the University of New South Wales, discussed the state of Malaysia’s opposition. WPR: How is the current leadership struggle affecting the unity of Malaysia’s opposition? Clive Kessler: The opposition Pakatan Rakyat, or Popular Front, coalition is not really a coalition. The Pakatan is an election-day pact: an agreement that opposition parties will not run against each other in the same constituencies and split the opposition vote. Their agreement […]

Hundreds of newly trained Shabab fighters perform military exercises in the Lafofe area some 18Km south of Mogadishu on Thursday Feb. 17, 2011 (AP Photo/Farah Abdi Warsameh).

More than any other organization, Harakat al-Shabab al-Mujahedeen, widely known as al-Shabab, has left its mark on the recent history of Somalia. Political and radical Islam have a long history in the country, but no group has survived longer than al-Shabab, and no group has emerged stronger from challenges and setbacks. More than any other actor involved in the two-decade-old Somali conflict, al-Shabab has demonstrated its ability to adapt. Today, the group has emerged from an existential crisis and looks stronger than it has in years. Though al-Shabab is often referred to as simply a “terrorist group,” the term does […]

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani speaks during a press conference in Tehran, Iran, June 14, 2014 (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi).

In an address to Foreign Ministry officials on Aug. 11, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani did not hold back his frustration with critics who have regularly slammed his administration’s nuclear negotiations with the United States, Britain, France, Russia, China and Germany, known as the P5+1. Sharply deviating from his usual calm and moderate tone, Rouhani told his critics to go “to hell.” “Some people deliver slogans but they are political cowards and as soon as there is talk of negotiations they say ‘we’re trembling,’” Rouhani said. “Go and find a warm place for yourselves,” he added. “God has made you fearful […]

United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay meets with South Sudan's former Vice President and now rebel leader Riek Machar at an undisclosed location in South Sudan, April 29, 2014 (AP photo by UNMISS).

“The System Worked.” That is the title of a new book by Daniel W. Drezner reviewing the role of institutions such as the International Monetary Fund and World Trade Organization in the global financial crisis. Although the world economy tanked in 2008, Drezner argues, multilateral organizations helped save it from collapse. It is unlikely that anyone will write a book about the current wars in the Middle East and Ukraine with a similar title. A pithy summary of the United Nations’ rifts over Syria or NATO’s inability to halt Russia from seizing Crimea could be “the system flopped.” While the […]

People walk on a shopping street in Seoul, South Korea, July 10, 2014 (AP photo by Ahn Young-joon).

Last month South Korea unveiled a $40 billion economic stimulus package designed to boost a lagging growth rate. In an email interview, Dwight Perkins, professor emeritus of political economy at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, discussed the state of South Korea’s economy. WPR: What are the main factors behind South Korea’s recent economic slowdown? Dwight Perkins: South Korea’s growth averaged 3 percent between 2011-2013. That rate of growth is slightly below South Korea’s average growth rate over the past nine years, but that is hardly surprising given the weaknesses in European and North American economic performance. We do not […]

A Russian construction worker speaks on a mobile phone in Portovaya Bay, Russia, during a ceremony marking the start of Nord Stream pipeline construction, April 9, 2010 (AP photo by Dmitry Lovetsky).

It is the misfortune of the Obama administration to preside over the unraveling of several long-term U.S. strategies in Eastern Europe and the Middle East. The tactics used by previous administrations to delay making hard choices in the hope that problems would resolve themselves over time without Washington being required to make sacrifices are no longer available, as the crises in both regions make abundantly clear. For the past 20 years, successive U.S. administrations have held open the door for Ukraine’s full integration into the Euro-Atlantic world, with the expectation that either Russia would at long last accept the move […]

Showing 1 - 17 of 501 2 3 Last