Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, British Prime Minister Theresa May, U.S. President Donald Trump and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg during a meeting at NATO’s headquarters, Brussels, May 25, 2017 (AP photo by Matt Dunham).

What would the United States lose if it lost Europe as a friend, partner and ally? The question is an abstract one for now. But if his inaugural presidential trip abroad last week is any indication, U.S. President Donald Trump seems hell-bent on finding out what the real-life answer would be. Any European leaders watching the first two legs of Trump’s trip would have been understandably encouraged and even optimistic about the prospects for their first meeting with the new American president. Four months in office had already served to soften the iconoclastic declarations he made as a candidate into […]

Supporters of the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party during a campaign rally ahead of local elections, on the outskirts of Phnom Penh, Cambodia, May 28, 2017 (AP photo by Heng Sinith).

Cambodia will hold local elections Sunday, but the political opposition has already taken a beating in a campaign that is viewed as a precursor to the country’s 2018 general elections. Twelve political parties are technically in the race, with nearly 90,000 candidates competing to represent 1,646 communes, or clusters of villages, across Cambodia. However, the election is mainly a contest between the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP), which Prime Minister Hun Sen has led for three decades, and the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), the country’s main opposition group. Instead of being an indicator of a thriving democracy, observers say […]

An official tasked with enforcing Shariah strikes one of two men convicted of gay sex during a public caning, Banda Aceh, Indonesia, May 23, 2017 (AP photo by Heri Juanda).

Indonesia has witnessed a wide-ranging crackdown on LGBT people in recent months. In March, vigilantes in Aceh province raided the apartment of two men in their 20s who were later put on trial and sentenced to a public caning—a sentence that was administered on May 23. In Jakarta, the capital, more than 100 men were detained during a police raid on a sauna on May 21 and accused of hosting a sex party. And police in West Java province have announced plans for an anti-gay task force. In an email interview, Andreas Harsono, Indonesia researcher for Human Rights Watch, discusses […]

Zbigniew Brzezinski, left, walks with U.S. President Jimmy Carter and Secretary of State Cyrus Vance toward a helicopter to fly to Andrews Air Force Base, Feb. 14, 1979 (AP photo by Bob Daugherty).

The death this past week of former National Security Adviser and foreign policy intellectual Zbigniew Brzezinski calls to mind two thoughts: how rare the gift of strategic thinking, which Brzezinski possessed, truly is; and how great a contribution foreign-born intellectuals have made to U.S. foreign policy in the post-World War II era. The foreign policy community lost one of the rare big thinkers with the death of Brzezinski at age 89 this past week. He was a commanding figure, always assessing the crises of the day with a long-term view of strategic interests. He served a Democratic president, Jimmy Carter, […]

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during the annual rally on revising Japan's constitution organized by ruling party lawmakers, Tokyo, May 1, 2017 (AP photo by Shizuo Kambayashi).

Earlier this month, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe staked his line in the sand on his controversial plans to revise Japan’s pacifist constitution by 2020. The timing of Abe’s announcement, on Japan’s Constitution Day, was no coincidence, as this year marked the 70th anniversary of the country’s charter, which was enacted during the U.S. occupation of Japan after World War II. Abe’s push for constitutional change is divisive in Japan since it focuses on a clause in Article 9 that “renounces war” completely as a means to settle international disputes. Specifically, Abe wants to include a reference to Japan’s military, known […]

Members of the honor guard during a welcome ceremony for the Belt and Road Forum, Beijing, May 13, 2017 (AP photo by Andy Wong).

Editor’s note: This article is part of an ongoing series about China’s One Belt, One Road infrastructure initiative, also known as the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road. Earlier this month, China hosted more than 100 leaders and diplomats for a summit devoted to its ambitious One Belt, One Road initiative (OBOR), which President Xi Jinping described as the “project of the century.” The summit was an opportunity to assess whether OBOR, which was formally announced in 2013, is living up to Xi’s rhetoric. In an email interview, Salvatore Babones, associate professor at the University […]

Journalists look at arms and ammunition which military commanders say they seized from Islamic fighters, Maiduguri, Nigeria, June 5, 2013 (AP photo by Jon Gambrell)

Crises and upheaval in the Sahel and West Africa have altered the regional security terrain. Challenges that were once disparate and manageable are increasingly becoming intertwined and more pronounced. With the growing mobility of conflicts, the need for a more cooperative regional context has never been as pressing. Each country in the region has a stake in improving stability, and collectively they have the capacity to tackle the threats to peace and security—but first, they each must overcome a host of domestic obstacles. The influence of four countries in particular—Morocco, Algeria, Chad and Nigeria—is a central fact of geopolitics in […]

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte during an arrival honor at Manila's international airport, Philippines, May 24, 2017 (AP photo by Aaron Favila).

This past week, Southeast Asia observers have been buzzing over a leaked transcript of a phone call, made in April, between U.S. President Donald Trump and Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte. In the call, the two men spoke of each other warmly, with Trump praising Duterte’s brutal drug war in the Philippines. Trump told Duterte he was “doing an unbelievable job on the drug problem,” and invited him to the White House. Trump also seemed to ask Duterte, hardly a specialist on Northeast Asia, for advice on how to deal with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un and his nuclear and […]

Brazilian President Michel Temer during a meeting with businessmen in the Planalto presidential palace, Brasilia, May 25, 2017 (Agencia Estado photo by Dida Sampaio via AP).

Earlier this month, Brazil’s president, Michel Temer, gathered his Cabinet to the Planalto presidential palace in Brasilia to mark the end of his first year in office. He toasted progress on his reform agenda, while stumping for still more austerity. Federal spending on social programs had been capped for 20 years, and the airline and oil industries opened to more foreign investment, but the real prize awaited. Congress was advancing toward the approval of the top item on Temer’s agenda, the most ambitious pension reform since Brazil’s dictatorship ended in 1985. Given the positive impact that a cut to benefits […]

National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster speaks during the daily press briefing at the White House, Washington, May 12, 2017 (AP photo by Evan Vucci).

In this week’s Trend Lines podcast, WPR’s editor-in-chief, Judah Grunstein, and senior editor, Frederick Deknatel, discuss the Manchester bombing and U.S. President Donald Trump’s tensions with NATO. For the Report, Jason Dempsey and Amy Schafer talk with Peter Dörrie about a new chapter for civil-military relations in the United States under President Donald Trump. If you’d like to support our free podcast through patron pledges, Patreon is an online service that will allow you to do so. To find out about the benefits you can get through pledging as little as $1 per month, click through to WPR’s Trend Lines […]

President Joseph Kabila during an independence day celebration, Kindu, Democratic Republic of Congo, June 30, 2016 (AP photo by John Bompengo).

Editor’s Note: Every Friday, WPR Associate Editor Robbie Corey-Boulet curates the top news and analysis from and about the African continent. The attorney general in Democratic Republic of Congo announced he was investigating a former minister for his alleged role in violence in the central Kasai region that has killed hundreds in the recent months. The news came after the New York Times reported that the official, Clement Kanku, who until recently served as development minister, had been implicated in evidence, including a recorded phone conversation, collected by Zaida Catalan, one of two U.N. investigators shot and killed in Congo […]

President Donald Trump delivers a speech to the Arab Islamic American Summit, at the King Abdulaziz Conference Center, May 21, 2017, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia (AP photo by Evan Vucci).

Throughout the 2016 presidential campaign, Donald Trump railed at the ineffectiveness of Barack Obama’s Middle East policy, promising that if he was elected there would be dramatic change. Yet candidate Trump offered few details on precisely what he would do differently. This week his first foreign trip as president began in the Middle East. While there, Trump provided signs of exactly what he intends to do in the region. In terms of broad strategic objectives there is some continuity between the two presidential administrations. Like Obama, Trump seeks to preserve the Middle East’s regional order and help protect Israel and […]

French soldiers walk over the Mirabeau bridge, Paris, France, May 20, 2017 (AP photo by Michel Euler).

Editor’s Note: This article is part of an ongoing WPR series about NATO members’ contributions to and relationships with the alliance. France’s new president, Emmanuel Macron, is expected to continue the NATO policy of his predecessor, Francois Hollande. There is support within the French defense establishment to increase defense spending to reach the alliance’s target of 2 percent of GDP, and Macron maintains that France will do so by 2025. Yet despite this consensus, there remains debate within France over what the country gained and lost by reintegrating into the alliance’s chain of command in 2009. In an email interview, […]

President Donald Trump reaches to shake hands with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, May 16, 2017 (AP photo by Evan Vucci).

When U.S. President Donald Trump delivered his speech on Islam to a gathering of Muslim and Arab leaders in Riyadh last weekend, one head of state was notably absent among the dozens of kings, sultans, emirs, presidents and prime ministers in the audience. Turkey, one of the Muslim world’s most powerful states, chose to send its minister of foreign affairs, a much lower-ranking official than the top-level representatives in the lavish hall. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had recently visited Saudi Arabia and had met with Trump in Washington only days earlier, with the two men declaring the meeting a […]

Members of the U.S. Army's 4th Infantry Division prepare to unload Abrams tanks after arriving at the Gaiziunai railway station, west of the capital, Vilnius, Lithuania, Feb. 10, 2017 (AP photo by Mindaugas Kulbis).

The Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania are no strangers to dealing with authoritarian figures. Bordering Russia, they have invested heavily in building up their defenses against sophisticated techniques from Moscow that seek to undermine their social cohesion and security. But how do you manage relations with your closest ally across the Atlantic when its president is detached from democratic norms? During their first face-to-face encounter with U.S. President Donald Trump in Brussels today, Baltic politicians have to reconcile a hard-nosed assessment of their national interest—the fact that the United States remains the crucial guarantor of the security of […]

Guineans ride on the back of a bus during a political rally, Conakry, Guinea, Oct. 7, 2015 (AP photo by Youssouf Bah).

Late last month, residents of Guinea’s northeast Siguiri region filed a complaint describing how they were thrown off their land to make room for an open-pit oxide gold mine controlled by AngloGold Ashanti, a Johannesburg-based mining company. The evictions were violent, according to the complainants and an organization advocating on their behalf. “Hundreds of families were forced off their land by the country’s most feared military unit,” says David Pred, managing director of Inclusive Development International. “They were not allowed to say no or to negotiate. Those who resisted were imprisoned and shot. Their homes were burned and their businesses […]

South Sudan's President Salva Kiir and newly appointed army chief of staff Lt. Gen. James Ajongo Mawut attend a ceremony, Juba, South Sudan, May 18, 2017 (AP photo by Bullen Chol).

In late April, Stephen Dhieu Dau, South Sudan’s finance minister, visited his counterpart in Turkey to sign a trade and cooperation agreement. As the young country’s civil war drags on and relations with the U.S. and other traditional backers remain tense, South Sudan’s officials are pursuing ties with new diplomatic partners. In an email interview, Brian Adeba, associate director of policy at the Enough Project, describes that outreach and explains why the U.S. is still in a position to exert pressure on South Sudan’s government. WPR: How have relations between South Sudan and its traditional backers, especially the United States, […]

Showing 1 - 17 of 901 2 3 6 Last