Thursday, March 23, 2017
Developing sustainable responses to the return of foreign fighters is a critical and complex challenge, not least because of the high numbers that will be coming back to countries with weak criminal justice systems.
The United States needs to combine firm backing for democratic progress and human rights in Burma with a rigorous understanding of the country’s many divisions, to help ensure its development stays on track, says Derek Mitchell, a former U.S. ambassador there and now a senior advisor at USIP. He spoke in a videotaped conversation with USIP President Nancy Lindborg. They were wrapping up a week-long visit that included a meeting with now-State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, whose party took power in March 2016 after 50 years of military rule.
The Lebanese militia Hezbollah's intensifying threats against Israel, such as warnings that the group could cause massive casualties by striking Haifa’s ammonia facilities, probably are less dangerous than they appear. While an outbreak of fighting between the two antagonists is always possible, for now Hezbollah has little motive to disturb the unspoken rules that govern their enduring conflict.
President Trump took many watchers of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict by surprise with his Feb. 15 statement that he’s “looking at two-states and one-state” and would support a solution “that both parties like.”
Political reconciliation risks getting lost in sectarian electoral competition, says Sarhang Hamasaeed, the director of Middle East programs at USIP, in a new video. That makes it urgent for the international community to help Iraqis navigate not only the military operation, but also political talks.
The Trump administration’s effort to craft a new White House strategy to defeat the self-styled Islamic State extremist group has revived key questions, such as why young people join such organizations and how to reduce violent extremism or even prevent it in the first place. A recent analysis of studies conducted over the past 18 years reveals significant gaps in research that undermine the ability to curb this pervasive threat.
Iraq’s grinding war to dislodge the Islamic State from its last Iraqi strongholds has obscured a simmering — and in some respects equally important — political battle in Baghdad. At stake is Iranian influence in Iraq and how it might be used by Tehran to counter any increased pressure from the new U.S. administration in Washington. The latest maneuvers involve murky motives, foreign influence and multiple leaders of divergent constituencies.
A Washington D.C. taxi driver from Somalia reflected the mixture of relief and trepidation among his countrymen back home and other observers the day after the country’s latest momentous election last week. “My heart is smiling,” he told me after I’d greeted him with some of the few words of Somali that I know. But our conversation soon turned, naturally, to the hurdles yet to come for a strategic but struggling coastal sliver along the Horn of Africa.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump in Washington tomorrow is likely to produce at least a few initial signs of next steps in a decades-long conflict—and equally long efforts to resolve it. It’s unclear how President Trump will engage on the stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace process, but he has indicated his interest in “making the ultimate deal.” He also recently issued a statement on the unhelpful nature of settlements, and affirmed his commitment to the two-state solution.