Mozambique's President Filipe Jacinto Nyusi addresses the 70th session of the United Nations General Assembly, New York, Sept. 28, 2015 (AP photo by Richard Drew).

Dialogue between the government of Mozambique and the Renamo opposition movement continued to advance this week, with the ruling Frelimo party naming its final negotiating team after three rounds of preparatory talks. Renamo had already announced its expanded team of negotiators last week for the talks, which are to take place under international mediation in an effort to bring an end to a surge in attacks by Renamo followers on road and rail cargo. The agreement to begin negotiations, and to allow international observers to mediate them, represented a major concession by the government and follows a significant increase in […]

People look at the foreign exchange rates displayed in the window of a Bureau de Change, London, June 25, 2016 (AP photo by Tim Ireland).

AMSTERDAM—Little doubt remains by now that Brexit, the British voters’ decision to pull their country out of the European Union, will have a detrimental impact on the United Kingdom’s economic fortunes. The country will experience an economic contraction, and it is quite likely that a loss of global influence will also ensue. In fact, the U.K. itself may ultimately come apart, as Scotland and Northern Ireland, both of which opposed Brexit, ponder a separate future. The reverberations from the vote, however, extend far beyond the British Isles. If resentment over the impact of globalization was one of the motivating forces […]

Spain's acting prime minister and Popular Party leader Mariano Rajoy during a campaign rally, Madrid, June 24, 2016 (AP photo by Daniel Ochoa de Olza).

Spain held its second general election in six months on Sunday, after political leaders failed to form a governing coalition in the wake of December’s inconclusive vote. However, results from Sunday’s voting didn’t move the needle much from December, and Spain, once again, faces the prospect of continued political deadlock. Acting Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s Popular Party (PP) managed a better showing this time around, winning 33 percent of the vote, up from 29 percent in December. This gives the party 137 seats in the Spanish parliament, but leaves it short of the 176 seats needed for a majority, so […]

Relatives of the 43 missing students from the Isidro Burgos rural teachers college march holding pictures of their missing loved ones, Mexico City, Dec. 26, 2014 (AP photo by Marco Ugarte).

The leaders of Mexico, Canada and the U.S. are gathering today for the final so-called Three Amigos summit of Barack Obama’s presidency. While clean energy targets and other issues will be high on the agenda, so too will the longstanding challenge of reining in the violence associated with transnational drug trafficking, particularly in Mexico. Cooperation with the U.S. on this issue has been a source of tensions under the administration of Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto, who distanced his country’s security forces from their American counterparts. That trend was partly reversed in the high-profile January 2016 arrest of Joaquin “El […]

President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron after a joint news conference at 10 Downing Street, London, April 22, 2016 (AP photo by Carolyn Kaster).

In the aftermath of the Brexit referendum, the debate among U.S. foreign policy pundits has taken a predictable and customary turn: looking for who is to blame. Also predictable, but customary, are the usual suspects on parade. Not surprisingly, for many the culprit is ultimately to be found, not in London or Brussels, but in Washington. After that, the partisan divide makes the trail harder to follow. But if partisan politics in Washington makes agreeing on a single culprit impossible, there is bipartisan consensus on at least one thing: Just about everything that happens in the world is determined in […]

Indian Space Research Organization’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle lifts off from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota, India, July 10, 2015 (AP photo by Arun Sankar K).

Editor’s note: This article is part of an ongoing WPR series on a range of countries’ space priorities and programs. Last week, India successfully launched 20 satellites in a single mission, a major success for the Indian Space Research Organization that positions India as a key player in the international commercial space market. In an email interview, Joan Johnson-Freese, a professor of national security affairs at the Naval War College who writes in a personal capacity, discusses the state of India’s space program. WPR: What are India’s space capabilities—in terms of launch vehicles, space exploration, satellites and space-industrial complex—and who […]

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at a press conference during the World Humanitarian Summit, Istanbul, May 24, 2016 (OCHA photo by Berk Özkan).

The cycle of violence between the Turkish state and insurgents of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) is reaching proportions not seen since the 1990s. The fighting has left approximately 11,000 homes destroyed, leading The Financial Times to declare Turkey “the most dangerous country in Europe” and others to begin speaking of the “Syrianization” of the country’s southeastern region, where the brunt of the conflict has taken place. The fighting in the provinces of Diyarbakir, Sirnak, Hakkari, Van and Bingol has taken a heavy toll on civilians. About 1.3 million people have been impacted, with tens of thousands forced to flee […]

Saudi King Salman greets U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Jan. 24, 2015 (AP photo via SPA).

The Brexit bombshell is bad news for the Middle East region on a number of scores, in particular what it says about Western attitudes toward migrants and Muslims, and about loss of support for economic integration, a big idea that would improve prospects for the Arab world. The shock waves after the U.K. referendum are being felt in the Middle East, but so far the reactions are fairly superficial and self-interested. Judging from comments on Twitter and other social media quoted by Arab media, the focus for many in the Arab world has been on the weakness of the major […]

View of Castries, St. Lucia, Sept. 5, 2009 (Flickr photo by arecknor, licensed under the CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

St. Lucia went to the polls earlier this month, with the conservative United Workers Party, led by Allen Chastanet, beating the incumbent Labour Party on a platform promising tax cuts and economic growth. In an email interview, Tennyson Joseph, the head of the political science department at the University of the West Indies at Cave Hill, discussed the elections and the state of politics in St. Lucia. WPR: What were the main issues that dominated the recent elections in St. Lucia, and what explains the conservative United Workers Party’s victory? Tennyson Joseph: The main issues that dominated the June 6 […]

An Emirati gunner aboard a Chinook military helicopter, Yemen, Sept. 16, 2015 (AP photo by Adam Schreck).

Earlier this month the minister of state for foreign affairs of the United Arab Emirates, Anwar Gargash, announced that the tiny federation of Persian Gulf emirates had declared an end to combat operations in Yemen, where it is part of a Saudi-led military coalition. In a June 15 speech, Gargash was quoted as saying that the Yemen war “is over for our troops,” and that the UAE was now focused on monitoring the political situation and “empowering Yemenis in liberated areas.” The speech was valedictory in tone, reiterating the oft-made point that the Emirati military has exceeded expectations in the […]

A shopping area in the Kibera slum, Nairobi, Kenya, May 7, 2015 (Flickr photo by Ninara, CC by 2.0).

NAIROBI, KENYA—One chilly evening late last month, Nathanial Ndichu wandered the tarmac roads of Githurai, one of the rambling and largely informal neighborhoods on the outskirts of Nairobi, searching for a place to sleep. After eight years of living in Kenya’s frenetic capital city, Ndichu, an 18-year-old unemployed day laborer, thought he had put this kind of precariousness behind him. But as darkness fell, he sounded less frightened than bewildered, genuinely confused as to how he was homeless, once again. “Akuna mtu aliye mleta mwingine uku Nairobi,” he said with resignation in Swahili. The phrase’s literal translation means “no person […]

U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter delivers a speech at the 15th International Institute for Strategic Studies Shangri-la Dialogue, Singapore, June 4, 2016 (AP photo by Wong Maye-E).

A spate of high-profile diplomatic feuds and military actions related to the South China Sea has raised concern about the direction of U.S.-China relations. At the Shangri La Dialogue held in Singapore from June 3-5, U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter charged that China risked “self isolation” through its behavior in the South China Sea. For their part, Chinese officials and media have dismissed such criticisms. President Xi Jinping has firmly defended Chinese actions in the South China Sea, warning that “China will not accept freedom of navigation as an excuse to undermine China’s sovereignty and national security interests.” One […]

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon meets with Democratic Republic of the Congo President Joseph Kabila, New York, April 23, 2016 (U.N. photo by Evan Schneider).

When there is a major crisis in the international system, it is often followed by a host of small crises that pop up in its wake and start escalating out of control. The 2008 financial crisis set the stage for the current rash of conflicts and confrontations in the Arab world, Ukraine and the Asia-Pacific. Britain’s vote to leave the European Union could have a similar effect. The 2008 recession emboldened China and Russia to challenge the U.S., contributed to economic fragility in the Arab world, and discouraged Western policymakers from investing heavily in international conflict management. Relatively light-footprint options, […]

Bahraini anti-government protesters hold posters of top Shiite cleric Sheik Isa Qassim, Karrana, Bahrain, May 17, 2013 (AP photo by Hasan Jamali).

Last week, authorities in Bahrain stripped Sheikh Isa Qassim, the country’s most prominent Shiite cleric, of his citizenship. His crime: “Serving foreign interests” and spreading sectarian discord. The move wasn’t in isolation. One week prior, a Bahraini court suspended the activities of al-Wefaq, Bahrain’s main Shiite opposition group, on charges of terrorism, extremism and violence. Days before, Bahraini police detained Najeel Rajab, president of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights, during a raid on his home. Zainab al-Khawaja, a political dissident, also fled the country earlier this month after being released from prison. In May, an appeals court extended the […]

A Liberian liquefied natural gas tanker arrives at port, Yokohama, Japan, April 21, 2014 (AP photo by Koji Sasahara).

Editor’s note: This article is part of an ongoing WPR series on countries’ risk exposure, contribution and response to climate change. Japan announced earlier this year that it had been successful at cutting its carbon dioxide emissions by 3 percent—the first time emissions have decreased since the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster. In an email interview, Aiko Shimizu, of Bloomberg New Energy Finance, discussed Japan’s contribution and response to climate change. The views expressed in this interview are her own. WPR: What impact has the 2011 Fukushima disaster had on Japan’s carbon footprint and efforts to reduce it? Aiko Shimizu: As […]

Peasants work in a potato field, Villapinzon, Colombia, Aug. 23, 2013 (AP photo by Fernando Vergara).

Two weeks of strikes, protests and roadblocks ended in rural Colombia two weeks ago after peasant farmers and indigenous groups reached an agreement with the Colombian government to include them in future rulings on mining and other issues in the country’s rural areas. More than 30,000 members of indigenous and peasant groups across the countryside initially joined the agrarian strike on May 30, which affected 24 of Colombia’s 32 departments, or regions. Three protesters were killed in clashes with riot police, and some 100 people were injured. “The government was responsible for the signing of agreements, which are viable and […]

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton during a rally, Raleigh, June 22, 2016 (AP photo by Chuck Burton).

To borrow a phrase from Winston Churchill, the United States may not be at the beginning of the end of its presidential campaign, but it is at the end of the beginning. After a long, tumultuous series of primaries and caucuses, the two major parties have settled on their presumptive nominees, to be confirmed at each party’s convention this summer. Now American voters must look “under the hood” of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, exploring both candidates’ policies and inclinations in detail, before making their choice in November. Thus far, foreign and security policy have received more attention than is […]

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