Last September, North Korea’s supreme leader, Kim Jong Un, traveled through Russia’s Far East, where he met with Russian President Vladimir Putin to discuss munition sales in return for collaboration on space and other military technology. While Kim was outside of North Korea, Pyongyang test launched a ballistic missile in a move that is becoming quotidian. Although the test was one of dozens that have happened just in the past year, it was the first such test to occur while North Korea’s supreme leader was out of the country.
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and its four partner countries in the Indo-Pacific—Australia, Japan, the Republic of Korea (ROK), and New Zealand—have entered a period of increased engagement. This engagement is taking shape in the context of the war waged by the Russian Federation (Russia) against Ukraine, NATO’s growing awareness of the security challenges posed by the People’s Republic of China (China), and important structural changes in the international system, including the return of strategic competition between the United States and China and Russia. It is occurring not only in bilateral NATO-partner relations but also between NATO and these Indo-Pacific countries as a group.
There was no shortage of splashy headlines during Indian Prime Minister’s trip to Washington last June. However, the launch of the U.S.-India Defense Accelerator Ecosystem (INDUS-X), a joint technical initiative focused on building an “innovation bridge” between the two countries, went relatively unnoticed.
On February 18-19, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres will convene a meeting on Afghanistan in Doha to discuss the ongoing humanitarian and human rights crises and the recent report on a way forward by U.N. Special Coordinator for Afghanistan Feridun Sinirlioğlu. Special envoys from U.N. member states and international organizations will attend; representatives from Afghan civil society, women’s groups and Taliban officials have also been invited. The conference is a critical, high-level opportunity for donors and the region to chart next steps on how to improve the situation in Afghanistan and engage with the Taliban regime.
This month marks the second anniversary of the Biden administration’s Indo-Pacific Strategy (IPS). USIP experts Carla Freeman, Mirna Galic, Daniel Markey, and Vikram Singh assess what the strategy has accomplished in the past two years, how it has navigated global shocks and its impact on partnerships in the region.
In 2019, Malaita Province in Solomon Islands made geopolitical headlines when its former premier, Daniel Suidani, came out against the country’s closer bilateral relations with China. As a result of his stance, Suidani was removed from his position in February 2023.
Days after Pakistan’s February 8 general election, the Election Commission of Pakistan released the official results confirming a major political upset. Contrary to what most political pundits and observers had predicted, independents aligned with former Prime Minister Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) won the most seats at the national level, followed by former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM). No party won an absolute majority needed to form a government on its own. The resultant uncertainty means the United States may have to contend with a government that is more focused on navigating internal politics and less so on addressing strategic challenges.
Surprisingly, candidates aligned with former Prime Minister Imran Khan won the most seats in Pakistan’s elections. But while voters “have shown their faith in democracy,” the lack of a strong mandate for any specific leader or institution “doesn’t necessarily bode well for [Pakistan’s] stability,” says USIP’s Tamanna Salikuddin.
Seventy years after the end of the Korean War, there are still more than 7,000 U.S. servicemen who remain missing in action from that conflict. The remains of some 5,200 of these men are believed to be in North Korea. Unfortunately, poor diplomatic relations between the United States and North Korea have prevented the recovery of these remains. There is, therefore, a need for an alternative to the usual paradigm for conceiving, planning and implementing the recovery of U.S. war dead from North Korea. Usual practices might not carry the task, and ignoring the responsibility to bring our missing servicemen home should not be an option.
This paper describes the use of conjoint survey experiments to identify citizen preferences with respect to a possible peace agreement in Cyprus and a border agreement in Northern Ireland. The recommendations offered in the conclusion emphasize the flexibility of the method and its transferability to other conflict settings. Results also suggest ways of reinvigorating stalled peace negotiations (Cyprus) or improving past deals (Good Friday Agreement/Brexit-Northern Ireland) and can help contending groups and mediators identify potential zones of agreement by revealing areas where contending groups’ preferences overlap or differ and where possible trade-offs exist that could lead to greater consensus.