Analysis

Timeline: game-changing gas discoveries in the eastern Mediterranean

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Massive gas discoveries in the Mediterranean Sea’s Levant Basin have attracted a flood of investment – and no shortage of geopolitical tension. Chris Lo Offshore Technology This timeline brings together some of the most important milestones in the development of offshore gas projects in the eastern Mediterranean. Unlike the Gulf of Mexico or the North Sea, the Mediterranean Sea has always been better known for stunning climate, cuisine and a booming tourism trade than offshore oil and gas. But as ... Read More »

Three reasons Australians should be concerned that NGOs’ voices are not being heard

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A healthy democracy is built on the premise that public debate should allow for many and diverse voices to be heard as part of the contest for ideas that informs policymaking. Andrea Carson Sarah Maddison If Australians want this to be the case, the current state of play offers three reasons for concern. The Conversation NGOs are self-silencing The first is the finding in our research, released today, that Australian NGOs are self-silencing. Our data show that many not-for-profit organisations, ... Read More »

Confronting Corruption: Commitment, Innovation, Impact

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The World Bank Group (WBG) will mark International Anticorruption Day with a program of events that includes several panels and a 60-minute live conversation with WBG President Kim and former WBG President Wolfensohn. This event will be co-moderated by Pascale Hélène Dubois, Vice President of Integrity, and Deborah Wetzel, Senior Director, World Bank Governance Global Practice. World Bank Headquarters – video Read More »

Myanmar’s Rohingya Crisis Enters a Dangerous New Phase

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The mass flight of Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar’s Rakhine State has created a humanitarian catastrophe and serious security risks, including potential cross-border militant attacks. ICG The international community should press the Myanmar government to urgently implement the Annan commission’s proposals, including as regards discrimination, segregation and citizenship. What’s the issue?  The response of Myanmar’s military to militant group Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army’s (ARSA) August attacks has led to one of the most catastrophically fast refugee exoduses in modern times. More ... Read More »

Counting the Costs of U.S. Recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s Capital

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President Donald J. Trump on 6 December 2017 declared U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, breaking decades of precedent even while saying the U.S. was not “taking a position of any final status issues”. ICG In this Q&A, Ofer Zalzberg and Nathan Thrall, Senior Analysts for Israel/Palestine, examine what the decision means for Israelis, Palestinians and the future of their conflict. Has President Trump endorsed Israel’s position on the status of Jerusalem? Not precisely, although many are understanding it ... Read More »

Economic Instability Endangers Democracy

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The world’s leading consolidated democracies have seen rates of economic growth consistently and persistently decline over the past forty years Jordan Willcox  The National Interest In recent years, a foreign-policy community once focused on a managed decline in U.S. global predominance has witnessed the birth of disquieting new phase. The European community is closing its borders and debating Brexit; nationalism and ethnocentrism is on the rise in rich-nation political parties; the Trump administration is working to exit major trade agreements. The Western ... Read More »

Ten things Australia can do to be a human rights hero

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Sunday is Human Rights Day. December 10 marks 69 years since the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on December 10, 1948. Carolien van Ham Lisa Hill Louise Chappell With the 70th anniversary coming up in 2018, the UN has launched Stand Up 4 Human Rights, a year-long campaign to bring the ideals of the declaration closer to reality. The Conversation As a leader in the framing of the UN declaration and one of the ... Read More »

The Killing of Former President Saleh Could Worsen Yemen’s War

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The dramatic collapse of the Huthi-Saleh alliance is likely to prolong Yemen’s war and the suffering of its people April Longley Alley  After killing former President Saleh, the Huthis, viewed by their enemies in Riyadh as Iranian proxies, are firmly in control of the capital. ICG Neither they, nor the Saudis, are in a mood for compromise. What exactly happened and what led up to this sudden twist in Yemen’s devastating war? On 4 December, Huthi fighters killed Yemen’s former ... Read More »

America Can’t Win the Drug War in Afghanistan

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Twenty-four of Afghanistan’s thirty-four provinces now are directly involved in illicit drug production. Ted Galen Carpenter  As if the United States needed more evidence that its sixteen-year mission in Afghanistan is an exercise in futility, a new United Nations report provides an additional reason for depression. The National Interest The 2017 Afghanistan Opium Survey from the UN’s Office on Drugs and Crime, released on November 15, confirms that Washington’s effort to curb illicit narcotics trafficking in the country has failed. Almost every ... Read More »

Thucydides and the Long War Problem

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Is there anything left to say about Thucydides? Joshua Rovner In a year dominated by concerns over modern technologies — ballistic missiles, nuclear warheads, and cyber weapons — scholars have spent a remarkable amount of time arguing about a very old conflict. War On The Rocks Thucydides’ classic history of the Peloponnesian War documents the catastrophic fight between Athens and Sparta from 431–404 BC. It was a horrendous affair. Conventional combat, gruesome disease, mass murder, and civil war tore apart ... Read More »

Do the Numbers Lie? Mistrust and Military Lockdown after Honduras’ Disputed Poll

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With massive protests, armed clashes and a government-declared state of emergency, Honduras is in social and political chaos after the 26 November general elections. Sofía Martínez Fernández  ICG In this Q&A, Crisis Group’s Northern Triangle Analyst Sofía Martínez explains what has sparked the crisis and its potential effect on armed violence. What is happening in Honduras? Honduras has entered a political crisis that is turning increasingly violent following the disputed results of the 26 November general elections. In a climate ... Read More »

Time for Concerted Action in DR Congo

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President Kabila’s delaying tactics are holding hostage DR Congo’s political transition, while internal strife and government repression are weakening the opposition. ICG Western and African actors need to coordinate their approach to the deepening crisis, support the advancement of democratic elections and encourage the opening of political space. What’s the issue? President Joseph Kabila’s apparent determination to remain in power threatens to prolong the Democratic Republic of Congo’s (DRC) political stalemate. Having subverted the… Time for Concerted… Read More »

Brexit Creates a Game of Risk for European Banks

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A hard Brexit represents a potential shock to the international financial system and has both direct and indirect consequences for the United Kingdom’s economy Scott B. MacDonald The National Interest While the government of Theresa May seeks to restart negotiations with the European Union on December 5, time is marching on. This is important as risk managers are looking at their watches and are increasingly concerned about London’s inability to come forward with a credible Brexit bill in the eyes of Europeans. The result could be ... Read More »

Turkey squeezed between American hammer, Russian anvil on Syrian stage

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Images can be misleading. Anybody who sees the presidents of Russia, Turkey and Iran in the Russian Black Sea resort town of Sochi might think this impressive trio could actually deliver a settlement to the bloody Syrian conflict that has been ongoing for six years. Cengiz Çandar AlMonitor Astana, Kazakhstan, is another venue being used by the same trio for peacemaking in Syria. Although the Russians were always keen to present Astana as a supplementary peace effort to the United Nations’ Geneva talks, the meetings in ... Read More »

Six things New Zealand’s new government needs to do to make climate refugee visas work

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New Zealand’s new government plans to create the world’s first humanitarian visa for climate refugees. Nina Hall   The Conversation If the policy goes ahead, 100 Pacific Islanders could be granted access to New Zealand on the basis that their lives are at risk from rising seas. The commitment to tackle climate injustice should be applauded, but there are significant considerations that have to be taken into account when developing humanitarian climate… Six things New Zealand’s new government needs to ... Read More »

The Unyielding Paranoia of Recep Tayyip Erdogan

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A major sanctions case could further imperil an already fraught relationship between Washington and Ankara, and reveal the Turkish president’s illicit dealings Diego Cupolo The Atlantic A key defendant in an Iranian sanction-busting case has now become its “most important witness.”Following weeks of speculation, Reza Zarrab, a Turkish-Iranian businessman, pleaded guilty on Tuesday to charges of helping Iranian entities evade U.S. sanctions through his international network of businesses, possibly with the help of Turkish banks and government officials. Today, Zarrab ... Read More »