Security

Saving Guatemala’s Fight Against Crime and Impunity

Next year, President Jimmy Morales vows he will end the mandate of the UN-backed Commission against Impunity in Guatemala. ICG Hugely popular, the commission has helped reduce the country’s terrible murder rate. To keep it going, its supporters should refocus on fighting the worst violent crime. What’s new?  Research by International Crisis Group has for the first time quantified the positive impact of the UN’s Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (CI-CIG). This report shows how CICIG’s justice reform activities since ... Read More »

China’s hidden camps

What’s happened to the vanished Uighurs of Xinjiang? BBC China stands accused of locking up hundreds of thousands of Muslims without trial in its western region of Xinjiang. The government denies the claims, saying people are willingly attending special ”vocational schools” which combat ”terrorism and religious extremism”. Now a BBC investigation has found important new evidence of the reality. Detention in the desert On 12 July 2015 a satellite swung over the rolling deserts and oasis cities of China’s vast ... Read More »

China Expands Its Peace and Security Footprint in Africa

At the 2018 Forum on China-Africa Cooperation and China-Africa Defence and Security Forum, Beijing showcased an increasingly strategic approach to its defence relations with African countries and its role in managing challenges to peace and security on the continent. Michael Kovrig ICG China’s growing engagement with African countries got a publicity boost on 3-4 September with the latest Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC). The triennial event brought leaders and officials from 53 African countries and the African Union (AU) to Beijing for ... Read More »

Beyond Short-Term Solutions in the Middle East and North Africa

The United States and Europe should pursue a strategy of long-term civil society development in the MENA. They should also seek stability and an end to conflicts in the short term. Richard LeBaron The National Interest In the final months of 2018, seven years after historic change swept the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), countries in the region still face significant political, economic and security challenges. In most countries that underwent a transition, the situation is worse than before: ... Read More »

Chinese missile buildup strained US-Russia arms pact

The 1987 INF Treaty banned land-based missiles with ranges of 500 to 5,500 kilometers. Gregory Hellman Politico U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to pull out of a landmark arms control treaty with Russia comes after nearly a year of appeals from top military leaders to confront China’s rising missile ambitions — perhaps the… Trump told reporters Monday outside the White House that Beijing’s growing arsenal played into his decision to withdraw from the Cold War-era Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, even ... Read More »

‘Not the work of a great mind’: Gorbachev slams Trump’s nuclear pact withdrawal

Moscow: US President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from a nuclear disarmament treaty with Russia has drawn sharp criticism from one of the men who signed it — Mikhail Gorbachev, who called the… New York Times The Age In announcing that he would withdraw from the treaty, Trump cited Russian violations of the pact, the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, which was signed in Washington in 1987 by President Ronald Reagan and… Gorbachev, who is now 87 years old, cast Trump’s decision as a ... Read More »

Why America Shouldn’t Threaten Preemptive War

Continually pushing for dominance in the backyards of the world’s nuclear powers is madness. Doug Bandow The National Interest As a Senator, Kay Bailey Hutchinson was a moderate conservative. But as the current U.S. ambassador to NATO, Hutchinson seemed to lose her prior restraints. She appeared to threaten an attack on Russia. Moscow is developing a new cruise missile which Washington claims would violate the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces treaty. If Russia proceeds, said Hutchinson, then the Putin government would be put ... Read More »

‘Mention of the cat is degrading’: Assange sues over Ecuador terms

Quito:  WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is suing Ecuador’s Foreign Minister Jose Valencia over new rules of conduct imposed as a condition for him to remain at the country’s embassy in London, according to his lawyer. Bloomberg, New York Times The Canberra Times The rules violate Assange’s constitutional rights and need to be clarified by Ecuador’s courts, Baltasar Garzon, a former Spanish judge, told reporters in Quito on Friday. Failure to accept them could lead to his expulsion from the embassy. ... Read More »

Dozens of casualties as multiple blasts rock Kabul polling centres amid Afghan elections

Multiple explosions rocked polling centres across Kabul on Saturday, causing dozens of casualties, amid growing anger among voters as they waited hours to cast their ballots in long-delayed legislative… Hurriyet KABUL – AFP At least 30 people have been taken to a trauma hospital run by the Italian NGO Emergency, including a dead child, the organisation said on Twitter, hours after the Taliban warned voters to boycott the ballot “to… Afghan officials confirmed there have been casualties but would not ... Read More »

Pakistan’s Pivot to Asia

Imran Khan is addressing his nation’s challenges by choosing liberally from a menu of Western and Asian futures. Ben Judah The Atlantic Just a few years ago, the news out of Pakistan would have sent official Washington into a tailspin. But with cable TV broadcasting Trump nonstop, few bothered to even note that a champion cricketer turned populist firebrand, Imran Khan, won the election as prime minister this summer. Nor did many pause over the fact that Khan won that ... Read More »

Kandahar Assassinations Show Rising Taliban Strength in Afghanistan

The Taliban have claimed the assassination of an influential Afghan police chief and another official in an attack that narrowly missed the head of U.S. forces. ICG Senior Analyst Borhan Osman and Consultant Graeme Smith explain the repercussions for political stability in southern Afghanistan. What happened? At least one gunman attacked a gathering of Afghan and U.S. officials inside the Kandahar governor’s compound on the afternoon of 18 October. The shooter, believed to be one of the governor’s guards, killed the most powerful ... Read More »

Why the West Should Care About the Turmoil in Armenia

Human rights and stability in Yerevan impact the whole region. Wes Martin The National Interest National Security Advisor John Bolton is planning to visit the South Caucasus, a strategic mountainous region sandwiched between Russia, Turkey and Iran, which changed hands repeatedly between these imperial masters for the last one thousand years. In Georgia, he will deal with a pro-western country still reeling from the war with Russia ten years ago. But a real challenge awaits Bolton in Armenia—a small mountainous country with ... Read More »

U.S.-Turkey Relations in a Time of Turmoil

The strong personalities of Donald Trump and Recep Tayyip Erdogan have contributed to fractious relations between Washington and Ankara. John S. Van Oudenaren The National Interest President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s “control over the state apparatus is so complete now, he probably decides what kind of toilet paper gets bought in the universities” quipped Henri Barkey, an adjunct senior fellow for Middle East studies at the Council on Foreign Relations and the Bernard L. and Bertha F. Cohen Chair in… This ... Read More »

A Glimpse Into the Next Decade of Erdogan’s ‘New Turkey’

Upon winning his second term as president in June, and assuming the strong executive powers that had been approved by voters in a 2017 referendum, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan cemented what he had long been seeking: the creation of a… Sinan Ciddi Stratfor The “new Turkey,” as Erdogan calls it, is a country fast becoming insular and inward-looking. From Erdogan’s perspective, Turkey’s founding elite of the 1920s created a state, society and culture fashioned according to the preferences of ... Read More »

The Life and Death of a Mexican Hitman

Researching how Mexico can uproot the scourge of organised crime, our Senior Analyst Falko Ernst befriends a doomed hitman on the run from his past. Falko Ernst ICG Talking to the sicario in the Michoacán underworld, he learns much about the deadly challenges the new government faces. It’s 7pm on a Sunday, and night is falling in this Michoacán town. The heat of the day is past, and there’s a pleasant breeze. The first visitors to the park have left for dinner, ... Read More »

Turkey will continue drilling off Cyprus, says Turkish FM

Turkey will continue with drilling for gas off the Cyprus coast in the Eastern Mediterranean in order to ensure the “fair sharing of resources,” pro-government CNN Türk quoted Foreign Minister Mevlüt… Tiny Url Ahval Çavuşoğlu’s statement arrives amid an ongoing standoff over hydrocarbons rights in the eastern Mediterranean. “Turkey will not allow unilateral activities. We need to protect the rights of Turkish Cypriots with actual steps,” Cavusoglu told a university conference on law and politics in the Eastern Mediterranean. “We ... Read More »