World

April, 2014

  • 18 April

    Peering into Thailand’s Turbulent Future

    The courts may shortly remove Thailand’s prime minister, Yingluck Shinawatra. This would mean that in the past eight years, four prime ministers have been felled and four election results voided — surely a world record.   Behind this turbulence is major social change. Over one generation, average real per capita income tripled. The impact was greatest in the lower half of …

  • 18 April

    Ukraine Crisis: Where Will Germany Go?

    The ongoing political tensions between Russia and the West surrounding Crimea, and the continuing social unrests in Ukraine, serve as a trial for German foreign policy. Germany is expected to figure prominently in the crisis given the strong ties between Moscow and Berlin. The crisis may also demonstrate that Germany’s policy towards Russia could risk becoming obsolete, and that the …

  • 12 April

    What Indonesian Polls Do and Don’t Mean

    Indonesia’s PDI-P party, the home of Soekarno-ist nationalism, was expecting Wednesday’s (April 9) legislative elections to carry it to a stunning comeback after a decade out of government during the (Susilo Bambang) Yudhoyono years.   It had the good fortune of being associated with Joko Widodo (normally known as Jokowi), the Jakarta governor whose mass popularity had convinced PDI-P’s old guard …

  • 11 April

    Myanmar and the ‘Ripe Moment’

    In a book called Elusive Peace that he co-wrote and edited in 1995, I William Zartman described what he called a “ripe moment” for negotiations to end an armed conflict. However, at the same time he cautioned that it is “most difficult to define and to find the appropriate moment for negotiations”.   Zartman explained that “turning points” should herald …

  • 9 April

    Fighting an Invisible Enemy in DRC

    It is difficult to identify the fighters of the Forces Démocratiques pour la Libération du Rwanda (FDLR), one of the many armed groups active in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), some of whose leaders played a key role in Rwanda’s genocide 20 years ago. Bearing neither uniform nor insignia, they are indistinguishable from the civilian population.   The pangas (long …

  • 9 April

    European Crisis over Ukraine and Its Impact on NATO, China

    The debate has continued over what more NATO and European Union can do to punish Russia for taking over Crimea and to stop it from going any further. History is replete with similar scenarios with one or the other European power over stretching itself based on false sense of the ground situation, while attempting to change borders and correct history. …

  • 8 April

    Food As A Weapon of War

    Food as a weapon of war At the Yarmouk camp in Syria the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (“UNRWA”) can provide a family of five enough food to survive almost two weeks for less than USD $35. At least it can whenever it is allowed to enter the camp and deliver supplies. Food aid is the principal means of …

  • 6 April

    Drone Proliferation Tests Arms Control

    As the U.S. government winds up an interagency review of rules governing the export of large drones, the conflicting goals of nonproliferation and commerce are creating a new test of the 27-year-old Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR).   Observers do not expect big changes to the MTCR, which seeks to prevent the proliferation of unmanned systems capable of delivering weapons …

March, 2014

  • 31 March

    Conflict in Indonesia’s Papua Region

    The clearing of forests inhabited by indigenous people in Indonesia’s Papua* Region by agribusinesses is fueling conflict in the southern Merauke Regency, say campaigners.   “Indigenous peoples rely on their land for their survival and therefore any incursion onto their land creates serious problems for any community,” Sophie Grig, a senior campaigner for Survival International, a UK-based indigenous rights advocacy …

  • 30 March

    Brazil Protests Continue Ahead of World Cup

    Since June 2013, thousands of people have marched through the streets of Brazil demanding improvements to public transportation, health and education, and in opposition of excessive public spending ahead of the Brazil 2014 World Cup, which will take place from June 12 to July 13. The first protests started in São Paulo, opposing hikes in public transportation fees announced by …