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What the Houthi-Israel Exchange Might Mean for Escalation in the Middle East

What the Houthi-Israel Exchange Might Mean for Escalation in the Middle East

Wednesday, July 24, 2024

The Middle East saw yet another escalatory episode over the weekend, as Israel and Yemen’s Houthis exchanged fire. On July 19, the Iran-backed Houthis launched an unprecedented drone attack on Israel, which hit an apartment building in downtown Tel Aviv, killing one and injuring at least 10 others. It was the first time that the Houthis killed or even harmed an Israeli, despite launching dozens of missile attacks on Israel since October 7. The next day, Israel struck back with an airstrike on the strategic port of Hodeida, marking the first time it attacked Yemen. The Israeli attack killed six, injured dozens more and left ablaze key oil facilities in the area.

Type: Question and Answer

Conflict Analysis & Prevention

As Russia Builds Influence in Africa, its Church Takes a Role

As Russia Builds Influence in Africa, its Church Takes a Role

Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Vladimir Putin’s campaign to make the world safe for violent authoritarianism visibly exploits conflicts and bolsters military rule in Africa with mercenary armies, internet-borne disinformation and weaponized corruption. A less recognized Russian effort to build influence in Africa is an expansion across the continent of the Russian Orthodox Church. As the Russian church’s overt support for Putin’s war on Ukraine has corroded its influence in the traditionally Orthodox Christian world, the Moscow Patriarchate is opening parishes and hiring priests away from the established African church.

Type: Analysis

ReligionGlobal Policy

Cómo Puede Contribuir EE.UU. a la Resolución del Conflicto en Venezuela

Cómo Puede Contribuir EE.UU. a la Resolución del Conflicto en Venezuela

Tuesday, July 23, 2024

El reciente anuncio de negociaciones directas entre Venezuela y Estados Unidos fue recibido con agrado por muchos venezolanos como una oportunidad para aumentar las posibilidades de que las elecciones del 28 de julio se desarrollen pacíficamente y conduzcan a un futuro de coexistencia democrática. Sin embargo, la clave de este resultado dependerá menos de las cuestiones tácticas electorales —como los incentivos para no anular la candidatura de la oposición— y más de la cuestión más amplia de asegurar que no habrá persecución del perdedor y que ambas partes puedan volver a la alternancia del poder en lugar de un régimen de partido único. EE.UU. está en una posición clave tanto para influir en el ambiente general de las elecciones como para tomar acciones específicas que faciliten un resultado democrático, que se desarrollará a lo largo de un período post-electoral extendido.

Type: Analysis

Global Elections & ConflictGlobal Policy

How the U.S. Can Contribute to Resolving the Venezuelan Conflict

How the U.S. Can Contribute to Resolving the Venezuelan Conflict

Tuesday, July 23, 2024

The recent announcement of direct negotiations between Venezuela and the United States was welcomed by many Venezuelans as an opportunity to bolster the chances of the July 28 election playing out peacefully and leading to a future of democratic co-existence. The key to this outcome, however, will hinge less on the tactical electoral questions — such as incentives for not annulling the opposition’s electoral ticket — and more on the larger question of ensuring there will be no persecution of the loser and that the two sides can return to the alternation of power rather than single party rule. The U.S. is in key a position to both influence the general ambiance of the election and to take specific actions that will facilitate a democratic outcome, which will play out over an extended post-electoral period.

Type: Analysis

Global Elections & ConflictGlobal Policy

What’s Behind Bangladesh’s Student Protests?

What’s Behind Bangladesh’s Student Protests?

Monday, July 22, 2024

Bangladesh’s streets have again erupted with political violence. In early July, a university student protest began over Bangladesh's job quota system that disproportionately benefits the descendants of Bangladesh’s 1971 liberation war fighters, which many students view as unfair and outdated. Early last week, peaceful protests turned violent as police and ruling party supporters violently dispersed crowds. At least a half-dozen people died in early violence, including one man apparently shot by police with his hands raised, while pro- and anti-government students clashed around the country.

Type: Analysis

Democracy & Governance

 70 Years After the Geneva Conference: Why is the Korean Peninsula No Closer to Peace?

70 Years After the Geneva Conference: Why is the Korean Peninsula No Closer to Peace?

Monday, July 22, 2024

July marks the anniversary of the 1953 armistice agreement that ended the Korean War and the 1954 Geneva Conference, convened to resolve the issues that the war could not. In the seven decades since, efforts to achieve peace on the Korean Peninsula have been limited and flawed. Today, the security situation in the region is arguably more precarious than ever, with a nuclear armed-North Korea and dysfunctional great power relations. Recent foreign policy shifts in North Korea do not augur well for peace in the near term. Thus, even moving the needle toward peace will likely require Washington to undertake bold initiatives.

Type: Question and Answer

Mediation, Negotiation & DialoguePeace Processes

The Red Sea Crisis Goes Beyond the Houthis

The Red Sea Crisis Goes Beyond the Houthis

Friday, July 19, 2024

The Red Sea is in crisis. At the center of the storm are Yemen’s Houthi rebels, who have unleashed a wave of attacks on ships traversing one of the world’s most pivotal maritime straits, putatively in support of Hamas’s war against Israel. The Houthi gambit in the Red Sea is imposing serious costs on global trade, as did the problem of Somali piracy, which reached its peak in 2010. The United States and some of its allies have stepped in to militarily suppress the threat, bombing Houthi positions inside Yemen. But although this episode is illustrative of the difficulties of Red Sea security, the crisis extends far beyond the trouble emanating from Yemen.

Type: Analysis

Conflict Analysis & Prevention

Ugandans Wield Faith and Youth Against Climate-Fueled Violence

Ugandans Wield Faith and Youth Against Climate-Fueled Violence

Thursday, July 18, 2024

At age five, Muhsin Kaduyu began following his father, a respected imam in southern Uganda, on missions of peace — constant meetings, mediations, consolations and prayers among Muslims and Christians in their town and surrounding farmlands. So years later, Kaduyu felt sickened when Islamist suicide bombers killed 74 soccer fans in a crowd near his university, deforming and defaming his faith. That bombing, and an anti-Muslim backlash, ignited a life’s mission that has made Kaduyu a prominent peacebuilder among millions of Ugandans who struggle for survival, prosperity and peace amid communal conflicts, violent extremism and growing climate disaster.

Type: Analysis

EnvironmentReligionViolent Extremism