October 21, 2017

Gülen Movement Eclipsing Erdoğan in Turkey

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is Turkey’s most successfully elected prime minister, but his power is dramatically diminishing. Erdoğan is ruining a solid reputation. In 10 years, Turkey has tripled its growth rate, becoming one of the most productive emerging economies.   [/box]The government has put a stop to the army’s continual interference in political affairs. It  is trying to ease the conflict ... Read More »

Why Russia Wants Crimea’s Control

On Sunday, Crimea voted to split away from Ukraine and return to the Russian fold. For a vast majority of Crimea’s Russian-speaking population this is an act of redressing a monumental injustice that happened in 1991 when Crimea, which geographically, ethnically and historically is more Russian than many regions of Russia itself, became part of a foreign state as the ... Read More »

The Knowns and Unknowns of Flight MH370

It is one of the biggest hunts ever – involving dozens of ships, planes across vast oceans and thousands of people on the Internet searching real-time satellite pictures – but Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 is still lost.   The Boeing 777-200ER carrying 239 people vanished exactly a week ago, while on an overnight flight to Beijing but a search that ... Read More »

Japan’s Constitutional Dilemma in a Changing Northeast Asia

Japan’s ‘defenseless on all sides’ security strategy has served it well through the post-war period, underwritten as it has been by America’s security guarantee and continuing presence on Japanese soil. Despite the steady accretion of its military capabilities, the ‘peace’ constitution allayed anxieties within Japan’s neighbors, China, South Korea and the newly independent Southeast Asian nations, about Japanese military intentions. Even ... Read More »

The Many Shades of Grey in Ukraine

When is an invasion not an invasion? When is sovereignty not sovereignty? When is an unelected regime more legitimate than an elected government? The answer, it seems, is when we are discussing Ukraine. The crisis in Ukraine has swiftly turned into a global stand-off. It has also become the focus for a war of words about the meaning of freedom, ... Read More »

Morocco, Algeria and the Cold War

The recent tension between Algeria and Morocco is nothing unusual and not the first of its kind. For more than three decades the Sahara issue, which dates back to 1975, has been a serious problem, a source of tension and deep political sensitivity between the two countries that are central to the Maghreb region.   However, the problem with this ... Read More »

Protest Assemblies Plant Seeds for a Bosnian Spring

“We want to show our politicians what real democracy is,” said one young Bosnian protester in the streets of Sarajevo. “We’re building democracy from scratch, like the Greeks did,” commented another protester, who is a retiree. It’s a rainy day in Sarajevo, but the Bosnian citizens are persistent. If their politicians keep failing, the citizens will have to change the ... Read More »

A Political Anatomy of Land Grabs in Myanmar

The phrase “land grab” has become common in Myanmar, often making front page news. This reflects the more open political space available to talk about injustices, as well as the escalating severity and degree of land dispossession under the new government.   But this seemingly simple two-word phrase is in fact very complex and opaque. It thus deserves greater clarity ... Read More »

Russia’s Land Grab

In just 48 hours, Russia took over and occupied Ukraine’s Crimea Peninsula. The seizure of Crimea has created the greatest confrontation between Russia and the West since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. Russia is challenging the world order and so far, the West does not have an adequate response.   At an emergency meeting of the UN ... Read More »

Putin’s Calculus in Ukraine Like Zero-sum Game

Crimea is more than a flash-point for conflict between Ukraine and Russia. War between Ukraine and Russia has potential regional and global implications. While supporting Ukraine’s sovereignty, the Obama administration must be careful not to escalate tensions. It may be possible, however, to change President Vladimir Putin’s calculus through a combination of carrots and sticks.   Events are fast-moving and ... Read More »