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Russia, Turkey, and a Multipolar World

In early August 2016, there was much speculation about the geopolitical implications of the reconciliation between the Russian and Turkish presidents, Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, as...

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Canada Reaches Out to China

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau left Ottawa on Monday for his first official visit to China. The trip is an important one for both governments, each eager for an improvement in bilateral...

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Prince Muhammad’s Pakistan Detour

On August 28, Saudi deputy crown prince Muhammad bin Salman (aka MbS) made an unexpected three-hour stopover in Islamabad on his way to China and Japan. The Asia trip by King Salman’s favorite...

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How will China’s success at the G-20 summit be measured?

Originally an annual meeting of finance ministers and central bank governors, the G-20 became a forum for world leaders in response to the 2008 financial crisis. With its members’ economies...

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For a US Trade Deal, UK Should Secure Its Spot in TTIP After Brexit

Even though President Barack Obama cautioned that the UK would be at the ‘back of the queue’ for a trade agreement with the US if the country chose to leave the EU, in the post-Brexit world a...

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Recent Posts

Russia, Turkey, and a Multipolar World

In early August 2016, there was much speculation about the geopolitical implications of the reconciliation between the Russian and Turkish presidents, Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, as they publicly patched up their six-month-old feud. The meeting in Saint Petersburg between the two...

  • Egypt Foreign Minister Visits Lebanon: Starting a New Era?

    Egyptian Foreign Minister, Sameh Shoukry’s recent visit to Beirut has raised many questions. The Egyptian foreign minister announced that he held ideas and proposals to overcome the presidential vacuum in Lebanon, but he did not carry any solutions to the crisis. Sources seen Shoukry’s meetings said, he did not...

  • Zambia’s Political Unity Put to the Test By Need for Fiscal Discipline

    A closely contested and unpredictable election saw Zambia’s incumbent President Edgar Lungu of the Patriotic Front (PF) emerge victorious – but with just 50.35 per cent of the vote, protesters clashing with the police in the streets, and support mostly concentrated in the north and east of the country, much...

  • South Africa Left in Limbo By Landmark Election Results

    South Africa’s local election results have humiliated President Jacob Zuma—and for the first time since coming to power more than 20 years ago, the African National Congress (ANC) looks vulnerable. But rather than a new dawn for South Africa, the elections look like the start of a new era of coalition government,...

  • Three Questions About the African Union Mission in South Sudan

    The African Union (AU) announced on July 19 that it will deploy a peacekeeping force to South Sudan, which recently descended into a new round of bloodletting, shortly after celebrating its fifth independence anniversary. Violence began two weeks ago, as government and opposition forces clashed in the country’s...

  • South Sudan’s Peace Deal Hangs in the Balance

    As South Sudan marks five years of independence, the regionally-brokered August 2015 peace agreement is under severe threat. In the five day period 7-11 July, nearly 300 people are reported to have been killed in South Sudan’s capital, Juba, and tens of thousands have fled their homes as a result of fighting between...

  • Canada Reaches Out to China

    Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau left Ottawa on Monday for his first official visit to China. The trip is an important one for both governments, each eager for an improvement in bilateral relations. The United States, the largest economic and strategic partner for both, has an important stake in the outcome too....

  • Assessing U.S.-China relations under the Obama administration

    n weighing the state of U.S.-China relations, I am reminded of a well-known story. When Zhou Enlai, who served as China’s premier from 1949 to 1976, was asked for his opinion of the 1789 French Revolution, he demurred: “It’s too early to say.” To analyze history as it unfolds presents an even riskier and more...

  • Colombia’s Civil Conflict

    Civil conflict in Colombia, one of the closest U.S. allies in Latin America, has left as many as 220,000 dead (PDF), 25,000 disappeared, and 5.7 million displaced over the last half century. By the early 2000s, fighting among the military, left-wing guerrillas, and right-wing paramilitaries had left the country on...

  • For a US Trade Deal, UK Should Secure Its Spot in TTIP After Brexit

    Even though President Barack Obama cautioned that the UK would be at the ‘back of the queue’ for a trade agreement with the US if the country chose to leave the EU, in the post-Brexit world a deal might be struck more swiftly. Various ideas for bringing the UK and US into a formal trade […]

  • Is Biden’s visit to Ankara the last chance for Turkey and America?

    Vice President Joe Biden will be visiting Turkey at a time when the aftermath of the coup attempt on July 15 has reiterated deep anti-Americanism in the country. There are four reasons for this mood. The Turkish public and officialdom believe that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s initial response to the coup,...

  • Canada Reaches Out to China

    Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau left Ottawa on Monday for his first official visit to China. The trip is an important one for both governments, each eager for an improvement in bilateral relations. The United States, the largest economic and strategic partner for both, has an important stake in the outcome too....

  • Assessing U.S.-China relations under the Obama administration

    n weighing the state of U.S.-China relations, I am reminded of a well-known story. When Zhou Enlai, who served as China’s premier from 1949 to 1976, was asked for his opinion of the 1789 French Revolution, he demurred: “It’s too early to say.” To analyze history as it unfolds presents an even riskier and more...

  • How will China’s success at the G-20 summit be measured?

    Originally an annual meeting of finance ministers and central bank governors, the G-20 became a forum for world leaders in response to the 2008 financial crisis. With its members’ economies accounting for roughly 85 percent of global GDP, the G-20 is a more representative body than the G-7. But crafting the G-20...

  • Contest on Two Fronts

    What’s up with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s policies towards Pakistan and China? The initial hopes for a significant transformation in India’s two most difficult relationships, under Modi, have soured badly. Two years ago, Modi reached out to Pakistan’s Nawaz Sharif and China’s Xi Jinping. He had invited...

  • The Hague Tribunal’s South China Sea Ruling: Empty Provocation or Slow-Burning Influence?

    Last month’s ruling by a tribunal at the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) on the dispute brought by the Philippines against China has earned its place in maritime legal annals. Its precedent is likely to be felt beyond the South China Sea, but whether it will influence China is open to question. Sweeping Victory...

  • Have Ukraine’s Reforms Stalled?

    Few Ukrainians realize how impressive their economic reforms were in 2015. The question today is whether that reform wave will continue, or has come to a halt. The slashing of energy subsidies by 10 percent of GDP by unifying energy prices from 2014 to 2016 was most important. As a consequence, Ukraine’s public...

  • For a US Trade Deal, UK Should Secure Its Spot in TTIP After Brexit

    Even though President Barack Obama cautioned that the UK would be at the ‘back of the queue’ for a trade agreement with the US if the country chose to leave the EU, in the post-Brexit world a deal might be struck more swiftly. Various ideas for bringing the UK and US into a formal trade […]

  • How One University Defied Putin and His Armed Mob

    On July 7, 2014, Russian-backed separatists entered Donetsk and occupied four dormitories at Donetsk National University; armed gunmen expelled students from their rooms in the middle of the night. Nine days later, the separatists seized the entire university. During that summer, separatists stole at least seventeen...

  • Ukraine at Twenty-Five

    Twenty-five years ago, after seventy years of Soviet dominance and over three hundred years of rule by Russia, Ukraine declared its independence. This occurred after a national referendum in which over 90 percent of Ukraine’s voters chose independence. Every part of the country, including Crimea—which at that time...

  • Russia is Surrounding Ukraine, but Where’s the West?

    In recent weeks, Russian President Vladimir Putin has been doing what he is best at: war mongering. It began with the Kremlin’s accusation that Ukrainian leaders had “chosen terror over peace,” despite the fact Russia has not been able to produce any credible evidence of the alleged “sabotage plot” in...

  • Russia, Turkey, and a Multipolar World

    In early August 2016, there was much speculation about the geopolitical implications of the reconciliation between the Russian and Turkish presidents, Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, as they publicly patched up their six-month-old feud. The meeting in Saint Petersburg between the two leaders on August 9...

  • Prince Muhammad’s Pakistan Detour

    On August 28, Saudi deputy crown prince Muhammad bin Salman (aka MbS) made an unexpected three-hour stopover in Islamabad on his way to China and Japan. The Asia trip by King Salman’s favorite son has been heralded as an effort to boost economic ties with two major importers of Saudi oil. MbS, the architect of...

  • Can Saudi Arabia Escape the Trap of Endless War in Yemen?

    It took only two days after the collapse of Yemen peace talks in early August for the Saudi-led coalition to resume its intense bombing of the rebel-held capital, Sanaa. With it resumed the dismal chronicle of destruction, civilian casualties and humanitarian crisis afflicting the Arab world’s poorest country, and...

  • The Defense Minister’s Plan: One Hand Gives, the Other Topples

    On August 17, 2016, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman unveiled his “carrot and stick” plan as a response to the wave of terrorism in the West Bank. The plan, which reflects the outline of a new policy he seeks to implement, rests on four pillars: (a) a distinction between the population involved and the population...

  • The Impact of Syrian Refugees on Turkey

    In the sixth year of the Syrian civil war, the number of people displaced by the fighting has surpassed 13.5 million, and Turkey remains a crucial haven for many of them. Now harboring at least 2.5 million Syrians, Turkey has become the number-one destination for refugees fleeing the conflict, followed by Lebanon at...

  • Russia, Turkey, and a Multipolar World

    In early August 2016, there was much speculation about the geopolitical implications of the reconciliation between the Russian and Turkish presidents, Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, as they publicly patched up their six-month-old feud. The meeting in Saint Petersburg between the two leaders on August 9...

  • A Transatlantic Strategy for Russia

    Crafting a transatlantic approach in response to Russia’s aggressive behavior over the last two years hasn’t been easy. European countries continue to differ on the degree to which the West should pursue punitive measures. Some countries, particularly those closer to Russia’s borders, have advocated for more...

  • How One University Defied Putin and His Armed Mob

    On July 7, 2014, Russian-backed separatists entered Donetsk and occupied four dormitories at Donetsk National University; armed gunmen expelled students from their rooms in the middle of the night. Nine days later, the separatists seized the entire university. During that summer, separatists stole at least seventeen...

  • Ukraine at Twenty-Five

    Twenty-five years ago, after seventy years of Soviet dominance and over three hundred years of rule by Russia, Ukraine declared its independence. This occurred after a national referendum in which over 90 percent of Ukraine’s voters chose independence. Every part of the country, including Crimea—which at that time...

  • Russia is Surrounding Ukraine, but Where’s the West?

    In recent weeks, Russian President Vladimir Putin has been doing what he is best at: war mongering. It began with the Kremlin’s accusation that Ukrainian leaders had “chosen terror over peace,” despite the fact Russia has not been able to produce any credible evidence of the alleged “sabotage plot” in...