With Bashar al-Assad’s government thumbing its nose at global anger as it continues a violent crackdown on protesters, the international community should step up pressure and invoke tough sanctions against Syria’s oil exports, says expert Andrew Tabler.
Scaling back the U.S. commitment in Afghanistan will yield a peace dividend, but only when Social Security and Medicare spending are controlled will the U.S. be able to refocus on domestic priorities, says CFR’S Gayle Tzemach Lemmon.
The process that led to South Sudan’s independence offers lessons for avoiding a new, devastating conflict in the region and underscores the importance of sustained and vigorous U.S. diplomacy, writes CFR’s Payton Knopf from the new country’s capital.
South Sudan’s independence July 9 could encourage secession efforts elsewhere in sub-Saharan Africa, but elites in those countries will likely stymie those attempts at challenging colonial borders, at least for now.
There is little doubt Prime Minister Erdogan’s AKP party will retain power in Turkey’s June 12 elections. The focus will be on whether he uses his mandate to consolidate Turkish democracy under a new liberal constitution, says CFR’s Steven A. Cook.
Thailand’s general elections in July could mark a crucial step toward reconciliation but are likely to fuel further resentments that have roiled the country and eroded regional stability, says CFR’s Joshua Kurlantzick.
Though Bahrain’s crown prince is in the United States to restore frayed relations, the government is pressing its campaign against the protest movement, despite its ending of martial law and a call for national dialogue, says Middle East correspondent Roy Gutman.