Kersti Kaljulaid, a former president of Estonia, wants the West to enhance its support for Ukraine, end its dependence on Russian gas, and maintain sanctions on Russia even after Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine is over. Speaking at the U.S. Institute of Peace on May 10, Kaljulaid described the ongoing war in Ukraine as one that is between “the free world and the other world, a world of tyranny.” She warned: “If Ukraine loses, we all would have lost.”
More than three years after ISIS’s territorial defeat, the vexing challenge of displacement threatens to provoke the rise of ISIS 2.0 if not adequately addressed. The May 11 Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS ministerial meeting in Marrakech, Morocco highlights these concerns over the evolving threat the so-called Islamic State still poses. The Marrakech meeting coincides with both growing disquiet at deteriorating humanitarian and security conditions in the al-Hol displacement camp in northeast Syria — ground zero for the ISIS-related displacement crisis — and some hope for a path forward.
The conflict in Myanmar triggered by the February 1, 2021, military coup that toppled the democratically elected government has not only become a disaster for Myanmar, but also for countries across the region. China’s response has received considerable international attention, as has the struggle within the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to forge a resolution to the conflict. The impact on Myanmar’s western neighbors, however, has largely gone unexamined — with the exception of analysis of the consequences for Rohingya refugees, who are indefinitely stranded in Bangladesh with no chance of safely returning to Myanmar under this military regime.
Ahead of this week’s U.S.-ASEAN summit, USIP’s Brian Harding says the Biden administration is “kicking off a really intense period of diplomatic engagement with Asia” with plans to draw a contrast with China and seek cooperation on issues such as climate change and supply chains.
The good news is that there are intensive regional and international efforts to avoid another Israeli-Palestinian war. The preventive effort has been extensive, and the United States seems to be carefully monitoring the situation. The bad news is the reconfirmation of what most already know: the Israeli-Palestinian status quo is volatile and not sustainable. The resulting successive wars only take us many steps further away from peace.
USIP’s Brian Harding explains how ASEAN factors into the Biden administration’s “Indo-Pacific Strategy,” what ASEAN countries want from Washington, and how the war in Ukraine and deteriorating situation in Myanmar will be addressed at the summit.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine has left the five republics of Central Asia in a bind, but none more so than Tajikistan, a fragile country that depends on Russian troops and remittances for stability. As former Soviet republics, Central Asian states all enjoy special relations with Moscow and are considered traditional allies of the Russian Federation. The invasion of Ukraine — another former Soviet republic — raises urgent questions for Tajikistan about how to meet Russian expectations of support from Dushanbe in the face of global outrage and condemnation.
Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the world’s attention has been justly focused on the war and the devastation inflicted on Ukrainian civilians. However, as the war drags on — and becomes ever more costly to Russia — policymakers in the United States and Europe must pay increasing attention to other areas where the diminution of Russia’s military reputation may upset local balances of power.
Tony Elumelu, one of Africa’s leading investors and philanthropists, recently brought his message to USIP: For Africa, a strong private sector, spurred by entrepreneurs, is critical to advancing peace, stability and development. While promoting business formation is no substitute for strengthening Africa’s weak infrastructure, governance and institutions, neither are challenging business conditions a reason to delay unleashing the entrepreneurial energies of African youth, Elumelu said.
A leaked draft of a Solomon Islands-China security agreement has led to heightened concern over the island nation’s turn toward China. Washington dispatched a high-level delegation in late April to the island nation, days after China said the pact had been signed, saying it would “intensify engagement in the region.” The United States and its regional partners, particularly Australia and New Zealand, are worried about the potential of Chinese military bases on the islands, although the details of the agreement remain vague — which is itself a source of concern.