The Compass

Protests in Managua, Nicaragua, in 2018. Image from Wikimedia.

Ortega’s Nicaragua: A Broken Promise

“You either die a hero, or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain.” —Harvey Dent, The Dark Knight From the late 1960s through the 1970s, a young man named Daniel Ortega found himself at the forefront of revolutionary change in Nicaragua. As a prominent member of one […]

Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s landmark election

Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s landmark election

On 1 December 2018, Andrés Manuel López Obrador will be inaugurated the next Mexican president. AMLO, a leftist, previously served as mayor of Mexico City from 2000 to 2006, and his election indicates two things about voters: that they want to change the dynamic between Mexico and the U.S., and […]

Latin American Elections in 2018 Part I: Cuba, Brazil

Latin American Elections in 2018 Part I: Cuba, Brazil

Practically since its inception, the United States has professed its vested interest in strong self-government in Latin America. That interest varied from the idealistic — “We consider their interest and ours as the same, and that the object of both must be to exclude all European influence from this hemisphere,” […]

India’s Tax Reform Boosts Business Friendliness Rankings

India’s Tax Reform Boosts Business Friendliness Rankings

Between headlines of the White House’s latest administration-ending scandal and Robert Mueller’s progress in the Trump-Russia probe, vital news about a rising superpower slipped completely under the American media’s radar. In the World Bank Group’s 2018 Ease of Doing Business Index rankings, which rewards better business environments and simpler regulations, […]

The Short and Long Term Impacts of the KRG Referendum

The Short and Long Term Impacts of the KRG Referendum

On September 25th, the Kurdistan Region overwhelmingly voted for independence, with the final tally being at a 92% independence vote throughout the referendum. Immediately after the results of the referendum were confirmed, the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) immediately stated that it intended to negotiate with Baghdad with a clear political […]

After the 2017 Snap Election, Brexit Could Go Either Way

After the 2017 Snap Election, Brexit Could Go Either Way

In my predictions for the 2017 snap election, I claimed that in all likelihood, Theresa May and the Tories would secure a larger parliamentary majority, and that majority would more than likely not affect Brexit negotiations as it would neither change the European Union’s terms nor strengthen the UK’s leverage. […]

Russia’s Arctic Policy: What Happens Next?

Russia’s Arctic Policy: What Happens Next?

Over the past decade, Russia has invested billions of dollars into restoring Soviet Arctic air and naval bases in hopes of expanding Russian territory, a potential flashpoint in U.S.-Russia relations. These investments suggest that Russia is positioning its military as an indemnity in order to illicitly extract priceless natural resources […]

Could North Korea-US tensions Culminate to Armed Conflict?

Could North Korea-US tensions Culminate to Armed Conflict?

Just a few days ago, the US Secretary of State claimed the country must “prepare for the worst”, as a result of rising tensions between the United States and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. President Donald Trump has chosen to approach the situation with an aggressive posture, stating that […]

One Country, Two Systems

One Country, Two Systems

This past summer, Hong Kong residents celebrated the 20th anniversary of the island’s handover from British back to Chinese rule. This supposedly jovial celebration was overshadowed by the reoccurring question of Hong Kong’s true autonomy as China increases its regional hegemony. “One country, two systems” is highly recognized phrase in […]

The Implications of Hybrid Warfare on European Security

The Implications of Hybrid Warfare on European Security

What exactly is “hybrid warfare”? The term has received criticism for being too vague. Michael Kofman and Matthew Rojansky have argued that Russia has no unified doctrine on hybrid warfare and is, in many ways, simply emulating how the United States operated in Afghanistan and Iraq. Similarly, Damien Van Puyvelde […]

What the 2017 Snap Election means for Brexit

What the 2017 Snap Election means for Brexit

Despite repeatedly claiming that she wouldn’t do so, British Prime Minister Theresa May called for a snap election to be held this year on June 8th. It’s apparent that the election appears to have been called by May in order to stamp out any remaining pro-European Union Members of Parliament, […]

Egypt: Reexamining an Old Friendship

Egypt: Reexamining an Old Friendship

  On April 3, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi made his first visit to the White House in a meeting with President Donald Trump. Referencing the United States’ $1.3 billion in military assistance to Egypt, Trump promised “strong backing” to strongman Sisi, who was barred from the Obama White House […]

The Little Blue Men of the South China Sea

The Little Blue Men of the South China Sea

In recent years, China has become much more aggressive in its claims in the South China Sea. The Chinese government has long claimed that it has sovereignty over a large part of the South China Sea, using maps drawn by the Kuomintang during the Chinese Civil War to self-legitimize this […]

Marxism’s Modern Revival

Marxism’s Modern Revival

In contrast to the global rise of populism that headlines the news each day, a more nuanced upsurge in exhibitions of communism has risen: Finland is experimenting with universal basic income. The United States, a pluralist and painstakingly capitalist country, saw a self-proclaimed socialist candidate climb surprisingly far in recent […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]