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January 16, 2019

Somalia
Al-Shabab

Al-Shabab remains capable of carrying out massive attacks in Somalia and surrounding countries despite a long-running African Union offensive against the Islamist group. 

Al-Shabab in Somalia

January 16, 2019

United Kingdom
What Brexit Means

Brexit supporters argue that the EU threatens sovereignty and stifles growth, while opponents counter that EU membership strengthens trade, investment, and the UK’s standing in the world.

EU and UK flags fly during a pro-EU march in front of the British Parliament in London.

January 15, 2019

World Order
The Liberal Order Is Dying. What Comes Next?

Donald J. Trump's tenure as president of the United States has had profound on the liberal order, some easy to predict and others less so. 

Theresa May, Angela Merkel, and Donald J. Trump pose for a family photo at the G7 summit.

January 15, 2019

China
U.S.-China Trade Issues Looms Large for Oil

Mohammed Barkindo, Secretary General of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), is worried about the U.S.-China trade war. Even though oil prices seem to be stabilizing, Barkindo to…

OPEC Secretary-General Mohammad Barkindo addresses a news conference.

January 14, 2019

Democratic Republic of Congo
Accountability Lacking in Congo Election Debate

The Democratic Republic of the Congo’s complicated and long-delayed elections ended with a surprise twist. Right now, it appears that Tshisekedi owes his victory to Kabila and the People's Party for Reconstruction and Democracy. That loss of connective tissue to the citizens of the country distorts accountability in ways unlikely to deliver the relief from predatory governance that the Congolese people crave.

Supporters of the runner-up in Democratic Republic of Congo's presidential election, Martin Fayulu hold a sign before a political rally in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo, January 11, 2019.

January 14, 2019

United States
Guns, Tech, and Steel: The Wall Debate and Digital Technologies in Border Security

The president's push to "build the wall" fails to grasp the role of modern technology in policing U.S. borders.

U.S. President Donald Trump puts his hand on a drone aircraft used to patrol the border at U.S. Customs and Border Patrol facility in Yuma, Arizona, U.S., August 22, 2017.

January 11, 2019

Middle East and North Africa
Middle East Burden Sharing

The central takeaway from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s Cairo speech is that the United States needs to rely more on allies to stabilize the Middle East.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo holds a joint press conference with his Egyptian counterpart in Cairo.

January 10, 2019

Southeast Asia
After Democracies Collapse

Since the mid-2000s, democracy has regressed in nearly every part of the world. Global monitoring organization Freedom House (for whom I consult on reports on several Asian states) has recorded decli…

Duterte_12.21.2016

January 10, 2019

Syrian Civil War
The Top Conflicts to Watch in 2019: Syria

This year, the continued violent reimposition of government control in Syria was included as a top tier priority in the Center for Preventive Action’s annual Preventive Priorities Survey.

A banner depicting Syrian leader Assad.

January 10, 2019

Ethiopia
David Pilling's African Year in Review

He recalls the popular challenge now underway against Omar al-Bashir’s rule in Sudan; the deaths of Kofi Annan, the first African secretary General of UN, and Winnie Mandela, a flawed leader of the South African liberation movement; the highly positive emergence of the reform-minded Abiy Ahmed, the Ethiopian prime minister; and the international attention to Congolese surgeon Denis Mukwege, who won a Nobel Peace prize for his work with rape victims.

Ethiopia-Eritrea-Abiy-Afwerki-Peace