Analysis

Homelessness: how other countries can avoid a US-style crisis

Homelessness is a growing problem in the UK, where the number of people sleeping rough has doubled since 2010, yet it is dwarfed by the scale of the issue in the US. Andrea Gibbons The Conversation More than 500,000 homeless were found across the US during just one night, compared to the UK’s 2017 count of 4,751. Changes in the definition of homelessness and flawed methodologies suggest that the true number for the US could be anywhere from 2.5 to 10.2 times greater. Millions more live in overcrowded ... Read More »

Understanding and Defeating China’s Maritime Insurgency in the South China Sea

China is treating ocean space in the South China Sea as if it were land territory. How should the United States? Hunter Stires The National Interest The rule of an international system that upholds the legal and philosophical principle of the “freedom of the seas” ranks among America’s most important if uncelebrated national interests. The preservation of a free and open maritime order is imperative for a country whose ability to connect with over 80 percent of the world’s population ... Read More »

Regional Risks of Rising U.S.-Iran Rivalry

The U.S. is pursuing a “maximum pressure” campaign against Iran that includes the re-imposition of key energy and banking sanctions. Naysan Rafati ICG With Tehran refusing to capitulate over its nuclear program or regional policies, the U.S.-Iran rivalry could escalate across the region. The re-imposition of U.S. sanctions against Iran’s banking and energy sectors on 5 November is a key element of Washington’s “maximum pressure” campaign against Tehran. President Donald Trump’s decision to pull out of the 2015 Joint Comprehensive ... Read More »

Why Europe still needs Merkel

Even the German leader’s biggest critics are worried about what will happen when she goes. By MATTHEW KARNITSCHNIG Politico BERLIN — Europe’s queen is dead! But is she really? And if so, will there be a new queen? Or maybe a king? As if Europe didn’t have enough to worry about at the moment (Italy, Brexit, Poland, Hungary, populism … Italy!), Germany is back on the boil. German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s decision this week to step aside from the leadership of her Christian Democrats may ... Read More »

Religion and refugees are deeply entwined in the US

Robert Bowers lashed out at what he believed to be a Jewish plot to bring more refugees and asylum seekers to the U.S. before allegedly murdering 11 people at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh. Stephanie J. Nawyn The Conversation Bowers’s claim that HIAS, a prominent Jewish humanitarian organization, was bringing migrants from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala northward to commit violence was false. But it is true that many religious communities in the U.S., including American Jews, have long supported refugees and asylum-seeking migrants who ... Read More »

Sri Lanka: Stepping Back from a Constitutional Crisis

The return to power of controversial former President Mahinda Rajapaksa as Sri Lanka’s prime minister is unconstitutional and destabilising. ICG International actors should make future security and economic cooperation contingent on parliament reconvening immediately to select a prime minister through legal channels. What’s new? On 26 October, Sri Lanka’s President Maithripala Sirisena abruptly dismissed the prime minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe, and appointed controversial former President Mahinda Rajapaksa to the premier’s post, in a move that contravenes the constitution and threatens to destabilise ... Read More »

After a deadly month for domestic violence, the message doesn’t appear to be getting through

On average, at least one woman is killed every week at the hands of a current or former partner in Australia. Silke Meyer The Conversation Last month, the numbers were even more alarming. Nine women were killed in October – sevenallegedly in the context of a current or former intimate relationship, the other two also suspected to have died at the hands of male perpetrators. While these deaths are a disturbing reflection of the pervasive nature of violence against women in Australia, they ... Read More »

Europe’s AI ethics chief: No rules yet, please

Define ethical principles and let the courts correct problems as they come up, says Pekka Ala-Pietilä. Janosch Delcker Politico HELSINKI — In a global race to dominate artificial intelligence technology, Europe needs to keep its urge to regulate under control — at least for now. That’s the main message from Pekka Ala-Pietilä, a former president of Nokia and tech entrepreneur who is overseeing EU efforts to draw up principles that will underpin any future regulation of the technology. At the ... Read More »

Tunisia’s Political Polarisation Worsens after First Big Terrorist Attack in Two Years

A 29 October suicide bombing in the heart of Tunis dealt a blow to much-improved security since the last violent jihadist attacks in 2015-16. ICG In this Q&A, our Senior Analyst for Tunisia Michael B. Ayari says it has also hammered a… What do we know about what happened, and who was behind the attack? On 29 October, a suicide bomber set off an improvised explosive device in her backpack on Habib Bourguiba Avenue in downtown Tunis – the city’s ... Read More »

What Thucydides Knew About the US Today

On the morning after the 2016 presidential election I tried to distract myself by reading some pages of Thucydides that I had assigned for a class the next day, and found myself reading the clearest explanation I had seen of the… Edward Mendelson The New York Review of Books In the third book of his History of the Peloponnesian War, Thucydides describes the outbreak of civil war on the northern island of Corcyra in 427 BC: There was the revenge taken in ... Read More »

Bolsonaro wins Brazil election, promises to purge leftists from country

After the most polarized and divisive campaign in its modern history, Brazil has elected as its next president a right-wing politician who openly disdains human rights and admires military dictators. Helder Ferreira The Conversation Jair Bolsonaro, a 63-year-old congressman who had strong evangelical backing for his law-and-order stance on policing, support for gun rights and opposition to abortion, won 55.7 percent of votes. Bolsonaro’s leftist competitor, Fernando Haddad, a former education minister and ex-mayor of São Paulo, received 45 percent of the… Bolsonaro’s angry, populist… Bolsonaro wins Brazil… Read More »

How a Democratic majority could undermine Mueller probe

Democrats want to open probes into issues the US special counsel is also investigating. Darren Samuelsohn Politico U.S. Democrats have religiously deferred to special counsel Robert Mueller over the last 17 months, hamstrung by their lack of congressional power and expressing faith that the respected investigator will get the job done if left alone. That could all change after November. If Democrats retake the House in the midterm elections, they’re prepared to use their newfound subpoena power to aggressively open ... Read More »

Ghana must move from coping with floods, to adapting for them

Ghana has a serious flood problem. Over about 50 years, 4 million people have been affected by floods, resulting in economic damage exceeding USD$780 million. At least one major flood disaster has occurred every year over the… Authors: The Conversation Floods are not uncommon in West Africa. Rainfall variability and land use changes have made them increasingly common throughout the region. In Ghana’s urban areas, like Accra and Kumasi, floods are mostly triggered by seasonal rainfall combined with poor drainage, the dumping of waste into waterways and the… Ghana must move… Read More »

Why India Might Be Wasting Its Time on Aircraft Carriers

Carriers are also expensive symbols of national prestige, and it is unlikely the Indian Navy will want to risk losing one, two or all three. Robert Beckhusen The National Interest Essentially, this makes Indian carriers’ self-defeating, with the flattops existing primarily to defend themselves from attack rather than taking the fight to their enemy. The Indian Navy has put out a proposal for its third aircraft carrier, tentatively titled the Vishal due to enter service in the latter 2020s. The 65,000-ton Vishal ... Read More »

Despite PR duress, Saudi $6bn to Pakistan comes with strings

Saudi Arabia’s crisis over Khashoggi murder is Imran Khan’s gain, but Pakistan may still be expected to up military cooperation with the kingdom. Suddaf Chaudry Asia Times Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan returned home this week from Saudi Arabia with a pledge of $6 billion in loans. Khan was likely able to secure the deal with fewer strings than a previous rejected offer, due to enormous international scrutiny on the kingdom in the wake of the Jamal Khashoggi murder. But ... Read More »

The UN Wants to be Our World Government By 2030

In the 1960s, an informed but naïve undergraduate, I was walking across the campus of the University of Pennsylvania with the Chairman of the Chemistry Department, Prof. Charles C. Price. E. Jeffrey Ludwig American Thinker He told me that he was president of the United World Federalists, and asked if I knew what that organization was. When I said that I did not, he replied that they believed in a one-world government that would grow out of the United Nations. ... Read More »