Analysis

World Cuts Back Military Spending, But Not Asia

For the second year in a row, the world is spending a little less on the military. Asia, however, has failed to get the memo. The region is spending more at a time when many others are spending less.

U.S. Blasted on Failure to Ratify IMF Reforms

While Republicans complain relentlessly about U.S. President Barack Obama’s alleged failure to exert global leadership on geo-political issues like Syria and Ukraine, they are clearly undermining Washington’s leadership of the world economy.

Philippines Invokes Law to Fight Chinese Muscle

After a year of futile diplomatic efforts aimed at resolving the South China Sea disputes, the Philippines has risked permanent estrangement with China by pressing ahead with an unprecedented arbitration case before a United Nations court at The Hague, while ironing out a new security pact with the U.S.

U.S. Rejected Israeli Demand for Iran Nuclear Confession

The Barack Obama administration appears to have rejected a deal-breaking demand by Israel for an Iranian confession to having had a covert nuclear weapons programme as a condition for completing the comprehensive nuclear agreement.

The Lady’s Allure Is Challenged

For over a quarter of a century Uhla Min has lived under the spell of “The Lady”, the popular nickname for Nobel Peace Laureate Aung Sung Suu Kyi.

The Uses of Ukraine

The observation that the Chinese characters for the word “crisis” combine the characters for “danger” and “opportunity” has become a staple of Washington foreign policy discourse for years.

A Budding Alliance: Vietnam and the Philippines Confront China

Last year, the Philippines brought a complaint against China’s aggressive actions in the West Philippine Sea to the United Nations Arbitral Tribunal. It was a master stroke by the Philippine government.

A Precarious Victory in El Salvador

After a closely contested election in El Salvador, the progressive Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN) has emerged victorious, declaring a narrow victory over a right-wing opposition party that appealed to the military for intervention.

West Africa’s Refugee and Security Crisis

In West Africa, the Malian and Ivorian political crises have resulted in the biggest number of refugees in the region. But brewing insecurity could mean that they will be unable to return home any time soon as armed groups remain a threat to West Africa.

Divisions Over Drugs Rise

A top level United Nations conference on drugs has highlighted growing divisions between member states on how to move forward in dealing with global drug problems as calls grow for major reforms in approaches to international drug policy.

Past Crimes Haunt Afghan Progress

As Afghanistan heads for presidential elections Apr. 5, people are asking if the country’s massive legacy of human rights violations will be swept under the carpet yet again by the new government.

One-Third of Colombia’s Newly-Elected Senators Have Paramilitary Ties

In July 2004, when paramilitary leader Salvatore Mancuso was demobilising, he admitted to the Colombian parliament that the illegal extreme rightwing forces controlled 35 percent of the seats. Ten years later the situation is very similar: one-third of the new senate, where congressional power mainly resides, is allegedly linked to the paramilitaries.

Harkening Back to Dark Days in Haiti

On Oct. 16, 1993, Alerte Belance was abducted from her home and taken to Titanyen, a small seaside village used by Haiti’s rulers as a mass grave for political opponents. There she received machete chops to her face, neck, and extremities. Despite her grave injuries, Belance was able to save herself by dragging her mutilated body onto the street and asking for help.

What’s Going on in the Gulf? Unsurprisingly, It’s Probably About Iran

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain all recalled their ambassadors from Qatar on Wednesday, citing Qatar's alleged support for organisations and individuals that threaten "the security and stability of the Gulf states" and for “hostile media.”

The Standoff in Ukraine (and in Washington)

As the fate of Ukraine hangs in the balance, U.S. politicians from both parties have been scrambling to take advantage of the crisis.

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