Analysis

The Possibility of US Withdrawal from the INF Treaty

It is no secret that the modern globalised world is increasingly dependent on the quality of states implementing international agreements that regulate relations between countries. ISF This is of particular importance in fields such as human rights, the environment, and, of course, disarmament and Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) prohibition. On October 20 Donald Trump stated that the US decided to pull out of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty and to start developing weapons prohibited under the treaty. This ... Read More »

Women candidates break records in the 2018 US midterm elections

The 2018 midterms broke the records on female candidates in US elections More than 20 women were on the Senate ballot, while more than ten times that number stood for the House of Representatives. Jennifer Mathers The Conversation If we also consider state elections for executive roles such as governor as well as state legislatures, the number of female candidates in 2018 rises by another 3,500. The results mean that several states (including Arizonaand Tennessee) will now send their first ever women to the Senate, and more than ... Read More »

Rebuke but not rejection gives Trump hope for a second term

New York: The US midterm elections should deliver a blaring wake-up call to both Donald Trump and to the Democratic Party. Matthew Knott Brisbane Times The question is whether either Trump or his political opponents possess the self-reflection required to turn the results into a springboard to victory at the 2020 presidential election. Firstly, the President. While Trump will try to focus on the Republicans’ strong performance in the Senate, there is no escaping the fact that voters have delivered a ... Read More »

Uzi: The Israeli Super Machine Gun That Conquered the World

Uzi was a textbook example of a simple project successfully completed by a nascent arms industry. Kyle Mizokami The National Interest A well-designed, reliable submachine gun made of stamped parts, it was simple to build and had universal appeal. Although mostly out of service, the Uzi’s profile will be recognizable for decades to come. Outside of Israel the Uzi proliferated widely, contributing to its global image. Countries as diverse as Japan, Germany, Belgium, Peru and Brazil all used the Uzi ... Read More »

Macron criticizes ‘ultra-liberal’ Europe

French president points the finger at all those who have resisted his plans. By ZACHARY YOUNG AND NICHOLAS VINOCUR Politico PARIS — Emmanuel Macron is gearing up to win back his popularity and influence in the European Union — by railing against “ultra-liberals” who he says have failed the bloc’s working people. In his first appearance on a radio talk show since he was sworn in, the increasingly unpopular French president came out swinging against an EU he is better known for defending against ... Read More »

The United Arab Emirates in the Horn of Africa

The UAE, together with its ally Saudi Arabia, played a highly visible role in helping make peace between Eritrea and Ethiopia. ICG As its footprint across the Horn of Africa grows, the UAE should avoid having intra-Gulf competition colour its engagement. What’s new?  The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has been expanding its role in the Horn of Africa. Along with other Gulf powers, it is broadening its ties to the region. Strategic rivalries, including those within the Gulf Cooperation Council ... Read More »

Khashoggi murder: how states are increasingly repressing dissidents beyond their borders

Authoritarian states have long tried to suppress dissidents who oppose the regime But in the age of globalisation, they are increasingly able to mobilise beyond their territorial borders and target political opponents overseas. Aurhors: The Conversation The brutal murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, a former Saudi regime insider who became a critic in self exile of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, is an extreme example of this new reality. Although the precise details of Khashoggi’s murder have yet to be proved, his grim fate – he ... Read More »

China Poses the Biggest Threat to the U.S. Elections

What the Chinese are doing is much more sophisticated than what the United States saw in 2016 from the Russians. Tyler Grant The National Interest Did you think the trade war was bad for U.S.-China relations? Well recently, President Donald Trump upped the stakes and further escalated tensions by accusing the Chinese of interfering in the U.S. elections. To back up his claims, the president pointed to a four-page advertorial the state-controlled China Daily took out in the Des Moines Register , which criticized Trump’s handling of the ... Read More »

Why a sack full of Russian cash won’t change UK Brexit debate

Leave voters have proved highly resistant to a change of heart on Brexit. James Randerson Politico CCTV footage emerges of Vladimir Putin entering the offices of unofficial Brexit campaign Leave.EU weeks before the 2016 referendum and handing over a sack of cash to figurehead Nigel Farage and main funder Arron Banks. Voters erupt in shock that they were duped and express indignation that a referendum on the most important British political decision in a generation was bought by a foreign ... Read More »

Diplomatic thaw shows Beijing eager for friends, experts say

Foreign Affairs Minister Marise Payne’s crucial visit to Beijing this week shows the Chinese government is eager to get its relationship with Australia back on a friendly footing after a year of diplomatic frostiness, China experts… David Wroe The Age Senator Payne’s planned visit – the first by an Australian foreign minister since Julie Bishop in 2016 – comes as the Trump administration cranks up pressure on Beijing over issues such as… Richard McGregor, a China expert at the Lowy ... Read More »

Uncertainties Deepen in Cameroon after Divisive Election

Cameroon went to the polls on 7 October amid several crises, notably the conflict between the government and Anglophone separatists. ICG Crisis Group’s expert Hans De Marie Heungoup, in Cameroon during the vote, says it has compounded the country’s problems but also offered reason for hope. On 22 October Cameroonian authorities declared incumbent Paul Biya winner of the presidential election with a score of 71 per cent. What happened? The presidential election was held amid the worst insecurity since 1992. ... Read More »

The ordinary people making the world more right-wing

Around the world, conservative groups have been gaining influence, bolstering the power of right-wing leaders. It is a trend driven not only by older generations but also by the young. Prof Richard Youngs Carnegie Europe BBC The rapid rise of Brazil’s new far-right leader Jair Bolsonaro may have surprised some observers but it did not come out of thin air. His success follows years of support from powerful social movements. Such groups have increasingly found a voice in countries from ... Read More »

The Arab Winter Is Coming

Gulf states are asserting themselves more than ever, and that’s a problem for the U.S. Hassan Hassan The Atlantic Three years ago, then Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter attributed Iran’s growing dominance to its being “in the game, on the ground.” He urged its regional rivals to do the same, thus expressing a widely shared sentiment in policy circles at the time: Arab Gulf states need to rely less on the U.S. and play a greater role in their neighborhood. ... Read More »

George Soros on the new world disorder

His enemies paint him as all-powerful, but the billionaire philanthropist believes his political legacy has never been in greater jeopardy. Michael Steinberger Brisbane Times * On a clammy Tuesday morning in Paris at the end of May, George Soros, the world’s second-most-vilified New York billionaire (but worth many billions more than the other one), is addressing the European Council on Foreign Relations, an organisation he helped found a… Described by the woman who introduces him as a “European at heart”, ... Read More »

Four ‘invisible countries’ that could redraw the world map

No matter where you are on the Earth’s landmass, you are almost certain to be in a country. ABC – RN – By Joey Watson for Saturday Extra But what makes a country a country? Agreed legal definitions are surprisingly loose, but an internationally recognised government, citizens, and the exclusive authority over a piece of land are among the universal ingredients. However, these principles of nationhood, refined over the centuries, are being challenged by war, technology, and climate change. Here are four examples ... Read More »

The Illogic of the U.S. Sanctions Snapback on Iran

The Trump administration believes that ratcheting up economic pressure on Iran will compel the Islamic Republic to curtail its disruptive Middle East policies. IGG History suggests otherwise. Both Washington and Tehran should step off their current escalatory path. What’s new?  A 40-year analysis of Iran’s economic performance and regional policy reveals little to no correlation between the two, as Tehran has continued to pursue policies it deems central to its national security no matter its… Why does it matter?  The ... Read More »