Russian President Vladimir Putin and Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, in Moscow, July 14, 2018 (Photo by Sergey Mamontov for Sputnik via AP Images).

Moscow's relationship with Sudan is far from new, but Russian activity in Sudan is deeper now, and Russia cannot afford to sacrifice the benefits of having Bashir in its orbit. As protests in Sudan calling for the removal of President Omar al-Bashir enter their fourth month, Russian support for the regime has begun to attract international interest. Much has been written about Russian activity, whether overt or covert, in places like Syria, the Central African Republic and Venezuela. But until now, comparatively little attention has been given to Moscow’s involvement in Sudan, which is a linchpin of Russia’s approach to […]

U.S. Army soldiers at an opening ceremony for the new headquarters of U.S. Forces Korea at Camp Humphreys in Pyeongtaek, South Korea, June 29, 2018 (AP photo by Ahn Young-joon).

Traditionally, the U.S. military considered strategy something its officers should learn only when they had reached what the military considered to be an appropriate stage of their careers. While a tiny handful of officers taught themselves strategy earlier than that through rigorous personal reading, most were introduced to it only as they advanced in rank. Recently, though, the idea that officers should only learn strategy once the services decide they are ready for it has been challenged—not so much because the military itself has changed its position, but because a group of young officers have begun mastering strategy outside the […]

Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at a press conference following the 33rd ASEAN summit in Singapore, Nov. 15, 2018 (AP photo by Yong Teck Lim).

Throughout its history, Singapore’s political scene has been tightly controlled by the People’s Action Party, or PAP, which currently holds all but six of the 89 elected seats in the island nation’s Parliament. While the PAP’s dominant position is unlikely to change anytime soon, it faces a potential uphill climb in the next general election, which is due by January 2021 but could be held as soon as this year. Tan Cheng Bock, a former PAP presidential candidate, is setting up a new political party to challenge the PAP, an effort that has earned the support of Prime Minister Lee […]

Togolese citizens protest at European Union headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, Aug. 31, 2017 (Photo by Wiktor Dabkowski for dpa via AP Images).

Editor’s Note: Every Friday, WPR Senior Editor Robbie Corey-Boulet curates the top news and analysis from and about the African continent. For well over a year, Togo’s notoriously fractious opposition managed to stick together. Beginning in August 2017, when thousands of people participated in rallies calling for the ouster of President Faure Gnassingbe, the various factions projected a united front even as the government used lethal force to disperse their supporters, implemented an internet shutdown and went ahead with controversial legislative elections. That unity, however, may now be crumbling. Several parties have broken ranks with the coalition of 14 opposition […]

Russian President Vladimir Putin and U.S. President Donald Trump at a photo session during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit, Danang, Vietnam, Nov. 11, 2017 (AP photo by Hau Dinh).

In this week’s editors’ discussion episode of the podcast, WPR’s editor-in-chief, Judah Grunstein, and associate editor, Elliot Waldman, discuss the conclusion of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into alleged coordination between Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and Russian agents seeking to influence the outcome of the election. Have we entered a post-Mueller era of the Trump presidency? If so, what are the implications for U.S. foreign policy on Russia, the trans-Atlantic partnership and elsewhere? WPR’s editors look at these and other questions in their discussion of the week’s top news. If you like what you hear on Trend Lines and […]

Residents make off with bags of rice in a scramble for food delivered by a South African Air Force helicopter in Nyamatande Village, Mozambique, March 26, 2019 (AP photo by Phill Magakoe).

Two weeks after Cyclone Idai made landfall in Mozambique, unleashing heavy rain and winds of more than 100 mph on the port city of Beira, the scale and precise nature of the devastation is still coming into focus. Receding waters have allowed more stranded people to receive aid, while also revealing more fatalities; as of Wednesday, the official death toll stood at 468 in Mozambique, along with 185 killed in Zimbabwe and 60 in Malawi. Hundreds of thousands of people in southern Africa have been displaced, and the United Nations estimates that nearly 2 million people have been affected by […]

Argentine President Mauricio Macri and his wife Juliana Awada, left, with Indian President Ram Nath Kovind, center, his wife Savita Kovind and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in New Delhi, Feb. 18, 2019 (AP photo by Manish Swarup).

Argentine President Mauricio Macri paid a three-day visit to India last month, a sign of India’s recent efforts to deepen its links with Argentina. But while high-level engagements have increased in recent years, the two sides have mostly been unable to realize the full benefits of increased cooperation, says Ronak D. Desai, a scholar at Harvard University’s Lakshmi Mittal South Asia Institute. In an interview with WPR, he explains why Latin America is increasingly seen as a priority for New Delhi’s diplomatic strategy and what it will take for India to compete with its rival, China, in the region. World […]

Thierry Baudet, left, and Jan Roos deliver a petition calling for the public to have a say on ties between the European Union and Ukraine, The Hague, Netherlands, Sept. 10, 2015 (Photo by Jaap Arriens for Sipa via AP Images).

Dutch voters delivered a shock in last week’s provincial elections, which also determined the makeup of the upper house of parliament. The outcome deprived Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s governing coalition of a majority in the Senate, giving the largest share of seats to a relatively new far-right party led by an ostentatious pseudo-intellectual, Thierry Baudet. The victory by Baudet’s Forum for Democracy party, or FvD, however, is not proof that the Netherlands has taken a sharp rightward turn. The parliament is highly fragmented, and the political landscape is in flux, but the Netherlands remains a nation characterized by compromise. The […]

Kazakhstan’s interim president, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, right, and outgoing president, Nursultan Nazarbayev, after an inauguration ceremony in Astana, Kazakhstan, March 20, 2019 (AP photo).

Kazakhstan’s president, Nursultan Nazarbayev, resigned from office March 20, stunning the nation and the region. For many Kazakhstanis, Nazarbayev is the only leader they remember. At age 78, he had ruled for three decades and was the last remaining Soviet-era leader still at the helm of a former Soviet country. In his inaugural address, Kazakhstan’s new acting president, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, a former foreign minister and speaker of the Kazakh Senate, praised Nazarbayev’s leadership and called for the capital city to be renamed “Nursultan” in his honor. Dariga Nazarbayeva, Nazarbayev’s daughter, took up Tokayev’s former position in the Senate, officially putting […]

Chinese President Xi Jinping, left, and Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte at Rome’s Villa Madama, March 23, 2019 (AP photo by Andrew Medichini).

On March 23, Italy officially joined China’s Belt and Road Initiative, or BRI, an expansive development strategy first unveiled in 2013 that aims to build a network of roads, railways and ports connecting China with more than 60 countries across Africa, the Middle East and Europe. In addition to the memorandum of understanding on the infrastructure-building initiative, signed during Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to Rome last week, the two countries agreed on a constellation of deals worth 2.5 billion euros ($2.8 billion), ranging from banking and energy to sports. The visit’s outcome reflects deepening relations between the eurozone’s third-largest […]

President Donald Trump boards Air Force One at Palm Beach International Airport, West Palm Beach, Fla., March 24, 2019 (AP photo by Carolyn Kaster).

The vaudeville and at times burlesque spectacle that has dominated U.S. politics for over two years now reached a pivotal climax last week, when special counsel Robert Mueller delivered his report on alleged collusion between Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and Russia to the Justice Department. The culmination of an investigation that dates back to the early months of Trump’s presidency, Mueller’s report—according to the summary of it released by Trump’s hand-picked attorney general, William Barr—failed to establish evidence of coordination on Russia’s efforts to influence the election.* Mueller also refrained from reaching a conclusion on whether or not evidence […]

People demonstrate against racism and the government’s immigration policies in Rome, Italy, Dec. 15, 2018 (AP photo by Alessandra Tarantino).

Italy’s populist government scored a big legislative win late last year when it signed a new security decree into law, making life much harder for immigrants, especially asylum-seekers. But mayors and regional governors across the country are refusing to implement many of the law’s provisions, setting up a legal fight with the central government in Rome. In an interview with WPR, Marco Calaresu, a political scientist at the University of Sassari in Italy, and Anna Di Ronco, a sociologist at the University of Essex in the United Kingdom, discuss the mounting grassroots resistance to the security decree and explain why […]

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani during a ceremony celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution, Tehran, Iran, Feb. 11, 2019 (AP photo by Vahid Salemi).

In promoting the 2015 nuclear deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the government of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani promised it would yield impressive economic dividends for the general population. But those never materialized. Instead, the economic situation has deteriorated considerably since U.S. President Donald Trump took office and embraced hard-line policies toward Iran. In January, Rouhani said the country was facing its worst economic crisis since the 1979 revolution. In this week’s in-depth report for WPR, Jasmin Ramsey, the communications director of the Center for Human Rights in Iran, examines how Iranians are coping with their […]

Fires burn at the site of a factory explosion in the city of Yancheng in eastern China’s Jiangsu province, March 21, 2019 (Chinatopix photo via AP Images).

Editor’s Note: Every Wednesday, WPR Newsletter and Engagement Editor Benjamin Wilhelm curates the week’s top news and expert analysis on China. China’s industrial safety record is under scrutiny again after a massive explosion at a chemical factory on the country’s east coast last Thursday killed at least 78 people and left many more injured. Chinese President Xi Jinping, who was on a state visit to Italy when the blast occurred, has ordered an investigation into the explosion and vowed greater attention to workplace safety amid a rising public outcry over the explosion. Jiangsu Tianjiayi Chemical Company, which owns the chemical […]

U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Hanoi, Vietnam, Feb. 28, 2019 (AP photo by Evan Vucci).

North Korea sanctions were back in the news last week. On Thursday, the United States Treasury Department announced economic penalties on two Chinese shipping companies for breaching United Nations sanctions on Pyongyang. That announcement was seemingly reversed Friday by President Donald Trump, who said on Twitter that he would be rescinding newly announced Treasury Department sanctions against North Korea. After some confusion, the White House explained that Trump was referring to as-yet unannounced U.S. unilateral sanctions, highlighting the administration’s lack of coordination on key messaging with regard to North Korea. Observers could be forgiven for seeing the mix-up as an […]

Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, and Minister of Energy Alexander Novak during the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council meeting in St. Petersburg, Russia, Dec. 6, 2018 (Photo by Maksim Blinov for Sputnik via AP Images).

Five years after the U.S. first imposed sanctions against Russia for its illegal annexation of Crimea, Moscow continues to defy Western efforts to rein in its behavior. As the Russia sanctions risk becoming a permanent fixture in U.S.-Russia relations, three principal long-term trends are worth further examination. In March 2014, then-President Barack Obama signed the first tranche of executive orders imposing sanctions against the Russian Federation for its illegal invasion and annexation of Crimea. Five years later, the confrontation between the United States and Russia has come to dominate the national security conversation, driving unprecedented tensions in the trans-Atlantic relationship. […]

A group of Iranians listen to President Hassan Rouhani during a ceremony marking the 40th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution, Tehran, Iran, Feb. 11, 2019 (AP photo by Vahid Salemi).

Editor’s note: The following article is one of 30 that we’ve selected from our archives to celebrate World Politics Review’s 15th anniversary. You can find the full collection here. In the picture, a woman raises her left fist while using her right hand to shield her face from a cloud of tear gas. She’s standing behind a barrier outside the University of Tehran, with spindly trees visible in the background. The scene dates to December 2017, when Iranian authorities attempted to quash protests that were initially sparked by economic woes but quickly evolved to channel broader political grievances. Some 5,000 people […]

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