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President Trump: Take Care with Latin America

President Trump: Take Care with Latin America

The United States’ foreign policy in Latin America over the last few decades has centered around the promotion of peace and democracy in the region; whether or not it has been effective is debatable. However, this regional strategy is quickly nearing irrelevancy with the United States’ presidential transition, as President […]

Venezuela’s Oil Paradox

Venezuela’s Oil Paradox

The current economic crisis in Venezuela has led many news sources to call the country’s economy the worst in the world today. With its extensive oil reserves, Venezuela was once the richest country in South America, but the nation has always lacked an independent and dynamic private sector. The socialist […]

Coral or Coal?

Coral or Coal?

The Great Barrier Reef is one of Australia’s––and the world’s––greatest natural wonders. Composed of over 540 islands, the Reef has an extreme concentration of biodiversity, acts as a natural breakwater to minimize the impact of storms on Australia’s coastline, and preserves thousands of species in its fragile and unique ecosystem. […]

2016 Rio Olympics - Athletics - Final - Men's Marathon - Sambodromo - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 21/08/2016. Feyisa Lilesa (ETH) of Ethiopia celebrates as he wins silver      REUTERS/Sergio Moraes

Ethiopia 2016: Downward Spiral or Growing Pains?

Ethiopia has been on the rise. For the past fifteen years, Africa’s second-most populous country has posted undeniably impressive marks in various economic development indicators. Aggressive government policies and large amounts of foreign aid have lifted millions out of poverty and improved quality of life to such a point that […]

What an Independent Kashmir Can Offer

What an Independent Kashmir Can Offer

Tensions have been rising between India and Pakistan over Kashmir again. Both India and Pakistan lay claim to the Kashmir, seeing it as an existential issue. India believes it needs Kashmir because it cannot claim to be a properly secular state if it does not have at least one Muslim-majority […]

Libya Today

Libya Today

On November 9th, the International Criminal Court announced that in 2017 it will focus on prosecuting war crimes in Libya after five years of violence, lawlessness, and humanitarian disaster in the North African country. The issues in Libya were referred to the ICC prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, by a fifteen member […]

Chavistas Halt Venezuelan Progress

Chavistas Halt Venezuelan Progress

Despite winning the presidency in a special election only three years earlier, the latest polls show that Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro’s approval rating is slightly above nineteen percent. On any given weekday, between noon and two o’clock, viewers can tune their radio to 95.9 FM for La Hora de Salsa […]

Moldova Holds First Direct Presidential Election Since 1996

Moldova Holds First Direct Presidential Election Since 1996

Politics have never been an entirely local affair in Moldova. Wedged between Ukraine and Romania, the country has long been seen as a key battleground for influence between Russia and the West. In recent years, Moldova’s pro-Western government has made some major steps toward European Union membership, including an Association […]

Forced Repatriation – A New UN Mandate?

Forced Repatriation – A New UN Mandate?

The Kenyan government, now with the backing of the United Nations, has ordered the refugee camp in Dadaab near the Somali border to close by the end of November. While multilateral institutions like the UN generally aid in transporting large groups of refugees as far as needed if a camp […]

In a World of Trumplomacy

In a World of Trumplomacy

Following the election of far-right populist Donald Trump to the US presidency, the international community has begun to anxiously shuffle its feet. Traditional U.S allies including Angela Merkel, François Hollande, and Enrique Peña Nieto as well as the European Union sent Trump mixed messages of congratulations and concern, seeking distinctions […]

Cybersecurity: An Urgent Need for Action and Awareness

Cybersecurity: An Urgent Need for Action and Awareness

Last October was National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, which ironically came on the heels of a vast Internet breach in September – although few probably know about either event and perhaps even fewer care. The attack was launched through what has been estimated to be nearly a million infected security cameras […]

A Conversation with Emma Ashford on Oil and National Security

A Conversation with Emma Ashford on Oil and National Security

Emma Ashford, a research fellow at the libertarian Cato Institute, lead a wide-ranging discussion on oil and national security at an event hosted by the International Affairs Society on Monday. Ashford framed the discussion in an interesting way. She argued that, given the recent fracking boom and increase in the […]

U.S. President Barack Obama (R) and President Raul Castro (L) of Cuba shake hands during a bilateral meeting at the United Nations Headquarters on September 29, 2015 in New York City.  Castro and Obama are in New York City to attend the 70th anniversary general assembly meetings. (Photo by Anthony Behar-Pool/Getty Images)

Avoiding a Cuban Relapse

Every year since 1991, the United States has voted in favor of the sanctions that it imposed on Cuba . On October 26, the United States abstained from the annual UN General Assembly vote condemning the U.S. embargo on Cuba. While the nation’s abstention does not display definitive solidarity with […]

Why a War in the Baltics is Unlikely

Why a War in the Baltics is Unlikely

With the geopolitical situation between the Russian Federation and the United States becoming increasingly belligerent, some American and European leaders have grown concerned. In both the U.S. and the European Union, attention in some circles have turned to the Baltic nations of Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia. Having been occupied by […]

A Conversation with Ambassador Shinn

A Conversation with Ambassador Shinn

Why is a region of over one billion young, industrious people so widely ignored by media circles? Why is a continent three times the size of the United States absent from that same country’s foreign policy priorities? What is really going on in Africa? Those were just some of the […]

The Maldives:  Tropical Haven or Human-Rights Hell

The Maldives: Tropical Haven or Human-Rights Hell

The Maldives are a picturesque, tropical paradise. The lush archipelago is located in the Indian Ocean and is considered by many to be the ultimate vacation destination. The Maldivian Ministry of Tourism, fully cognizant of the importance of tourism to the national economy, lures visitors with the promise that the […]

Orbán’s Counter-Revolution

Orbán’s Counter-Revolution

“Today we decided that only we . . . can decide who we want to live with.” Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán declared this in his celebratory speech after a national referendum resulted in Hungary rejecting European Union (EU) migration quotas. Though the decision was not legally binding, Orbán declared […]

The Quietly Continuing War in Israel-Palestine

The Quietly Continuing War in Israel-Palestine

On September 30, world leaders from 75 countries gathered in Israel to pay their respects to the late-esteemed statesman and Zionist Shimon Peres. Most notable among them was president of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas, who attended despite criticism at home. Israeli Prime Benjamin Netanyahu was similarly criticised by Israelis […]

Parking Ticket Diplomacy: The Giuliani Approach

Parking Ticket Diplomacy: The Giuliani Approach

Rudy Giuliani, the former Mayor of New York City, is President-elect Donald Trump’s top choice for Secretary of State, the Associated Press reported on Monday night. Giuliani is an interesting choice for a president who, unlike any of his predecessors, will enter office without a day of government or military […]

The Northern Triangle: A Call To Action and a Key To Security

The Northern Triangle: A Call To Action and a Key To Security

Since the spring of 2014, the United States has been struggling to deal with an unprecedented influx of young, unaccompanied migrants from Central America. The massive increase in displaced people, combined with the already difficult security situation on America’s southern border and the politically contentious nature of immigration policy, is […]

The Economic and Political Case for Accepting Refugees

The Economic and Political Case for Accepting Refugees

In 2015, an estimated 1.8 million refugees attempted to seek asylum within the borders of the European Union. Most of the refugees trying to enter EU countries were smuggled across the Mediterranean Sea – an extremely dangerous journey, where at least 3,771 drowned or went missing at sea in 2015 […]

Assessing Rodrigo Duterte’s First Hundred Days in Office

Assessing Rodrigo Duterte’s First Hundred Days in Office

Even before declaring his candidacy for President of the Philippines last November, Rodrigo Duterte was no stranger to controversy. Throughout his time serving as the mayor of Davao City, a major urban center on the southern island of Mindanao, Duterte had acquired a reputation as a tough-talking populist with an […]

Who is Fighting for Mosul?

Who is Fighting for Mosul?

More than two years after the fall of Mosul to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, an international coalition is poised to retake the city. Mosul is Iraq’s second largest city and its capture came as an international shock, when the American-trained Iraqi army abandoned their weapons […]

Unfreezing Ukraine

Unfreezing Ukraine

Once a hot conflict, Ukraine is now frozen in place. Despite the Minsk ceasefire agreement signed in 2014, and again in 2015, war rages on. Shelling, mortaring, and small arms clashes have increased on both sides this year, displaying a total lack of order and a vicious cycle of violence. […]

New Pakistani Legislation Promotes Women’s Rights

New Pakistani Legislation Promotes Women’s Rights

In October, the Parliament of Pakistan unanimously passed historic legislation for women, declaring that perpetrators of “honor killings” can no longer be forgiven and pardoned by the family of the victim and serve zero time in jail. There is now a 25-year mandatory prison sentence for perpetrators of the crime, […]

Rethinking the Jihadist Threat in Syria

Rethinking the Jihadist Threat in Syria

Amidst the chaos, suffering, and confusion of the Syrian Civil War, popular rhetoric in the media has understandably swung towards a rudimentary, far-simplified explanation of the conflict. It has been painted as a stalemated bloodbath between the regime of President Bashar al-Assad and the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria […]

Syria: A Hard Pill to Swallow

Syria: A Hard Pill to Swallow

Little more than two weeks after the latest ceasefire fell apart, the U.S. has cut off talks on Syria with Russia, at least for the time being. Little more than two weeks after the latest ceasefire fell apart, the U.S. has cut off talks on Syria with Russia, at least […]

HANGZHOU, CHINA SEPTEMBER 5, 2016: US President Barack Obama (L) and US Secretary of State John Kerry meet with Russia's President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the G20 summit. Alexei Druzhinin/Russian Presidential Press and Information Office/TASS (Photo by Alexei DruzhininTASS via Getty Images)

American Prestige in Decline, Thanks Obama

Upon Air Force One’s landing in Hangzhou, China, for the G20 summit in early September – amid U.S.-China tensions and the general perception of U.S. decline – Chinese officials refused to roll out the red-carpet staircase for President Barack Obama. Instead, he had to, as one expert put it, leave […]

Questionable American Airstrikes in Syria

Questionable American Airstrikes in Syria

On September 17th, 2016, the United States made a fatal mistake, carrying out an airstrike on Syrian government troops that were thought to be ISIS militants, inadvertently killing sixty-two troops and wounding hundreds. This is not the first time a United States led coalition’s use of drones resulted in the […]

A Conversation on Global Press Freedom

A Conversation on Global Press Freedom

Delphine Halgand paints a dismal portrait of the state of press freedom in today’s world. The U.S. Director of Reporters Without Borders spoke with GW students yesterday about her organization’s work to protect that “freedom that allows you to verify the existence of all the other freedoms.” But across the […]

What the 2016 LegCo elections mean for Hong Kong

What the 2016 LegCo elections mean for Hong Kong

The last time I discussed the political situation of Hong Kong a few months ago, I predicted that the Hong Kong Legislative Council, also known as LegCo, elections would sway to the mainland regime’s favor. As it turned out, that prediction failed to come true, but was not totally wrong either. The […]

Shifting Dynamics of a Nuclear North Korea

Shifting Dynamics of a Nuclear North Korea

On September 9th, North Korea conducted its fifth and most recent nuclear test. While we often look at Kim Jong Un’s displays of military bravado as childish temper tantrums, this time the threat may be credible, affecting both regional and international security. Pyongyang has been creating new bombs in terms […]

What Does Islam Karimov’s Death Mean For Uzbekistan and Central Asia?

What Does Islam Karimov’s Death Mean For Uzbekistan and Central Asia?

Central Asia’s largest country by population, Uzbekistan, is currently going through its most crucial leadership transition in recent history. On August 29th, reports began to emerge from various Russian-language media outlets that Islam Karimov, the only president in Uzbekistan’s history, had passed away after suffering a stroke. Government sources vehemently […]

Brazilian Ex-President Lula Looks Abroad for Support

Brazilian Ex-President Lula Looks Abroad for Support

On Wednesday, September 21, attorneys Valeska Teixeira and Cristiano Zanin Martins from the Brazilian law firm Teixeira & Martins Advogados met with a small group of scholars, legal professionals, labor advocates, and activists to discuss the future of Teixeira-Martins client Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. Da Silva, better known simply […]