A year after Iraqis took to the street, USIP’s Sarhang Hamasaeed says, “The spirits of the protest remain strong,” but that reforms undertaken so far don’t match the scale of the crises facing Iraq: “...
As fighting over Nagorno-Karabakh continues to escalate, USIP’s Ann Phillips breaks down the complex geopolitical stakes that have sprung up around the conflict, which “has been simmering, and ebbing and flowing, ever since the implosion of the Soviet Union.”
Sudan’s transitional government has signed a peace agreement to end a number of long-standing conflicts and civil wars. USIP’s Susan Stigant says this is a positive sign for democratic progress, as “one of the promises of the revolution was to seek peace,” but cautioned that the real “work only begins once the ink is on the paper.”
While this year is the U.N.’s 75th Anniversary, the General Assembly was a “more muted affair” than expected, says USIP’s Tyler Beckelman. Member states had a chance to discuss the newly signed Abraham Accord and the future of multilateral diplomacy, but virtual summitry is “no substitute for meeting in person.”
With talks finally underway between the Taliban and Afghan government, USIP’s Scott Worden says initial expectations should be tempered, as the chances for success are “low in the short term, but much higher than if the talks hadn’t begun,” adding, “you can’t end a war without starting a peace process.”
USIP’s Kathleen Kuehnast discusses the inspiring work of Women Building Peace Award recipient Rita Lopidia of South Sudan, as well as the other finalists, praising “the incredible resilience that each of these 10 women has brought to situations of inequality, of extreme violence, and despair.”
After an “obviously crooked election” in Belarus sparked massive protests, USIP’s Don Jensen says Russia is quietly using the situation to assert influence. If Moscow’s military presence in Belarus increases, “I think you’re going to see a much more forward projection of Russian power against NATO,” he said.
While a break from longstanding precedent, USIP’s Robert Barron says that normalization between Israel and the UAE was “perhaps a long time coming … [and] it definitely represents an upcoming generation of leadership in the Gulf.” Meanwhile, questions over Israel’s annexation plans continue to linger.
After months of public protests, a military coup has toppled Mali’s government. USIP’s Susan Stigant looks at the path forward, saying “there’s a real tension in trying to figure out how to restore that constitutional order without necessarily going back to the status quo prior to the coup.”
As Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi makes his first official visit to Washington, USIP’s Sarhang Hamasaeed says the trip is a chance to reset relations between the two countries, but “it’s really important to not define the relationship … just in terms of security,” and also focus on Iraq’s economic challenges and recovery from ISIS.