Last week had no shortage of shocking images to illustrate our collective paralysis in the face of the Mediterranean refugee crisis. A three year old boy dead on a beach, waves lapping around his shoes. Thousands of forcibly displaced people marching through the heart of Europe watched by silent onlookers. Borders going back up in Schengen under the guise of traffic control and migrant searches.
The U.S., Iran and other world powers reached a framework agreement, curbing Iran's nuclear program for at least 10 years. Joy Reid, Fred Kaplan, and James Traub discuss the historic achievement and the critical reaction to it.
Relations between Israel and the US are at their most strained in years, following comments by newly-re-elected Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that there wouldn't be a Palestinian state on “his watch.”
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.
UN peacekeeping is increasingly under strain – over-deployed, heavily-mandated and under-resourced. This state of overstretch, coupled with continuing demand for new missions, presents a fundamental strategic challenge for the UN and its members. To adapt to the challenges facing peace operations, the international community must examine options for institutional improvements in UN peacekeeping as well as strategies for responding to emerging global trends.
The Arab Spring has reminded us of the importance of properly understanding the tasks, pace and sequencing of the political transition that follows the cessation of conflict or collapse of authoritarian regimes. Transitions are bridges between old and new political orders, and it is essential that they should be resilient to a wide range of potential challenges.