• World Leaders Call for Treaty to Prepare for Next Pandemic

    COVID-19 will not be the last pandemic. Leaders from 23 countries, the World Health Organization and the EU called for a new international treaty to better prepare for future pandemics in an op-ed published on Tuesday.

  • Pandemic Apologies and Defiance: Europe’s Leaders Increasingly Rattled

    European leaders are handling rising public frustration, economic distress and mounting coronavirus case numbers in different ways, with most showing the strain of dealing with a yearlong pandemic, say analysts and commentators, who add that the leaders seem to be rattled by a third wave of infections sweeping the continent.

  • Water Wars Are Here

    In 2009, the U.K. intelligence services submitted their annual intelligence report to then-Prime Minister Gordon Brown, warning of the coming threat of “water wars” between states vying for diminishing fresh-water resources. Rising water-related tensions between India and Pakistan and between Ethiopia and its neighbors bear out the report’s warnings. The recent decision by Turkey to use its dam system to limit the amount of water flowing into Syria is a demonstration of using the control over water sources for exerting pressure on neighboring states.

  • Kurds in Northern Syria Warn of Water Crisis

    Turkey has reduced the volume of water flowing downstream toward Syria, and the first to feel the pinch are the Kurds in Syria’s Kurdish region. In the last decade. Turkey has built twenty-two dams in southeast Anatolia, leading to fears in Syria and Iraq that Turkey was going to use its control over the sources of the Tigris and the Euphrates to apply political pressure on both countries.

  • Reimagining U.S. Strategy in the Middle East

    U.S. policy toward the Middle East has relied heavily on military instruments of power and has focused on regional threats—particularly the Iranian threat—with the goal of keeping partners on “our side.” These long-standing policies have largely fallen short of meeting core U.S. interests, a new RAND report argues. Adapting to new regional realities and strategic imperative.

  • U.S. Grand Strategy of Restraint: Advocates Need to Provide More Details

    As the Biden Administration takes over, some U.S. policymakers have expressed interest in a new approach to America’s role in the world: a realist grand strategy of restraint under which the United States would cooperate more with other powers, reduce its forward military presence and end or renegotiate some security commitments. A new report explains how U.S. regional security policies would change if this strategy were adopted.

  • Russia to Exit Open Skies Treaty after U.S. Pullout

    Russia says it is beginning the procedure to withdraw from the international Open Skies Treaty after the United States last year left the accord, which allows unarmed aerial surveillance flights over dozens of participating states. The United States formally withdrew on November 22 from the arms-control and verification agreement.

  • Israel, Cyberattacks and International Law

    Recently, several cyberattacks have hit Israeli companies. While Israel has not yet publicly attributed the attacks to any foreign state, media outlets report that Israeli cybersecurity experts have tied the operations of the main hacker groups behind these attacks—BlackShadow and Pay2Kitten—to Iran. Tal Mimran and Yuval Shany write that in response, Israel seems to be increasingly turning toward international law to guide its approach to hostile activities in cyberspace

  • Israel, Morocco to Normalize Relations

    The White House announced Thursday, 10 December, that Morocco would normalize its relations with Israel, as three other Arab countries have already done recently, and that the United States recognizes Moroccan sovereignty over the Western Sahara.

  • Russia’s “Neo-Imperialism” Is a Product of Complex Factors

    Since Russia’s intervention in Ukraine, there has been no shortage of commentaries, articles, papers and entire volumes by Western academics, think-tankers, former policy practitioners and journalists on how Russian President Vladimir Putin is rebuilding the Russian empire or how the Kremlin has never actually stopped building one. Still, there are some books on Russia’s external policies that I could not have missed, and Russian Imperialism Revisited by long-time Russia scholar Domitilla Sagramoso is one of them.

  • President Trump’s Foreign Policy Triumph in Guyana and South America

    President Donald Trump’s capable handling of the recent election crisis in Guyana has received little attention in the U.S. press; it deserves more.  Not only has the President protected U.S. strategic interests in the region, he has saved democracy in Guyana, enhanced US influence in the Caribbean and northeastern corner of South America, and is keeping up the pressure on the rogue dictatorships of Venezuela and Cuba.

  • Predicting the Likelihood of Cyberattacks Between Nations

    Where in the world might the next cyberattack between nations take place? A new online database developed by a team computer scientists and international studies students predicts that there is an “extremely high likelihood” of a Russian cyberattack on Ukraine. The second most likely? The United States against Iran.

  • China Reports Spike in U.S. Surveillance Flights

    A reported spike in U.S. military flights over the seas near China reflects Washington’s drive to understand and deter Chinese expansion in contested waters, analysts say. U.S. military surveillance planes flew off China’s coast 60 times in September, more than in July or August, according to Chinese state-backed research organization South China Sea Strategic Situation Probing Initiative’s website.

  • China Expanding Detention Camp Network in Xinjiang

    China’s network of detention centers in the northwest Xinjiang region is much more extended than previously thought and has been expanded in recent years. The number of facilities where China is believed to have detained more than 1 million Uyghurs and other mostly Muslim Turkic-speaking minorities is around 40 percent greater than previous estimates and the network has been growing despite China’s claims that many Uyghurs have been released.

  • Pandemic Crushes Guyana’s Dreams of Big Oil Profits as “Resource Curse” Looms over Oil-Producing Nations

    This year was supposed to bring great things for Guyana. ExxonMobil discovered massive oil deposits off the South American country’s Caribbean coast in 2015, and Guyana sold its first cargo of crude oil this February. But Guyana’s dreams of fabulous wealth this year have been dashed by COVID-19, which has delayed production and slashed oil demand. Compounding its coronavirus troubles, Guyana shows warning signs of the so-called “resource curse,” in which a country’s new oil wealth crowds out other productive economic sectors, breeds corruption and triggers political conflict. Very few petrostates have adequately diversified their economies. Exceptions include Malaysia and Dubai, which have both used oil wealth successfully to build a broader economic foundation and have avoided the dreaded “resource curse.” Those countries should be models for Guyana.