There are reasons to think that Africa may be a place where prospects of Sino-European cooperation are promising. EU members – and above all France – continue to play an active role in crisis management in weak African states like Mali, Somalia, and the Central African Republic.
It is a truth universally acknowledged, at least among American political analysts, that the struggle against violent Islamist extremism is back in play as an organizing principle in international affairs.
Russia and China are good friends these days. Chinese Premier Li Keqiang visited Moscow last week and, by signing a bundle of economic agreements, demonstrated Beijing’s disregard for Western sanctions on Russia over Ukraine. Early in the Ukrainian conflict, American and European officials hoped that Beijing would take steps to penalize Russia over its annexation of Crimea. But it has confined itself to token complaints, while reinforcing its trade relations with its northern neighbor.
On October 14 through 16, Richard Gowan participated in the Challenges Forum, an annual peacekeeping conference in Beijing. The Challenges Forum is a strategic and dynamic platform for dialogue among policymakers, practitioners and academics on key issues and developments in peace operations. The aim is to shape the debate by promoting awareness of emerging issues and identifying key challenges facing military, police and civilian peace operations.
On October 14 through 16, Richard Gowan will be participating in the Challenges Forum, an annual peacekeeping conference in Beijing. The Challenges Forum is a strategic and dynamic platform for dialogue among policymakers, practitioners and academics on key issues and developments in peace operations. The aim is to shape the debate by promoting awareness of emerging issues and identifying key challenges facing military, police and civilian peace operations.
Throughout the Ukrainian crisis, Russia has demonstrated a keen appetite for both territory and power. While Moscow has largely kept the United Nations out of the conflict, it has permitted the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe to monitor the situation on the ground.
Last week’s top-level session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York offered three basic lessons. The first is that the United States can still dominate the U.N. when it wants to. The second is that a clear majority of other countries’ leaders are quite relieved to follow an American lead. But the third is that the U.N. is only really still relevant in two—admittedly sensitive—regions: Africa and the Middle East.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has repeatedly defied the international community's wishes regarding Ukraine, first by annexing Crimea then by supporting a separatist movement that has the country on the brink of civil war. This week, the Russian government arrived in New York to demonstrate its sincerity about making peace with Ukraine.
During his speech at the opening session of the UN General Assembly as well as when advocating for the binding resolution on foreign fighters, US President Barack Obama shifted some attention from the short-term threat posed by ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq and Syria) to the longer-term goals of attacking extremist ideology at its source.
In this Lowy Institute Analysis, Richard Gowan reviews Australia’s time as a non-permanent member of the Security Council. Gowan argues that while it has not changed the world, Australia has acquitted itself well, bringing extra rigour and professionalism to the Council’s debates. It has carved out a niche on the issue of humanitarian access in the Syrian conflict, and solidified its reputation as a good international citizen and a serious country.
The paper Fueling a New Order? The New Geopolitical and Security Consequences of Energy examines impacts of the major transformation in international energy markets that has begun. The United States is poised to overtake Saudi Arabia and Russia as the world’s largest oil producer and, combined with new developments in natural gas, is on track to become the dominant player in global energy markets. Meanwhile, China is in place to surpass the United States in its scale of oil imports, and has already edged out the U.S. in carbon emissions.
America, Rising Powers, and the Tension between Rivalry and Restraint
"What’s become clear to me is that while the rising powers--principally China, India, Brazil, but also Turkey, Indonesia, Korea and others--want to increase their influence and protect their interests, the United States still occupies a central place in their thinking and their strategies. And only the U.S. can help all these players forge an effective international order." —Bruce Jones