In the 1976 Academy Award-winning film “Network,” a disgruntled television personality convinces his audience to shout “I’m as mad as hell and I’m not going to take this anymore.” Javier Milei, now president-elect of Argentina, has convinced his country’s voters to do the same thing, only at the ballot box, rather than in the studio. The good news for Milei is that he has won the election. The bad news for him is that he now has to govern and make good his pledge to replace Argentina’s “model of decadence” — this in a nation, which, with ups and downs, has been in long-term decline for almost a century.
Away from the headlines dominated by the wars in Gaza and Ukraine, a civil war between Sudan’s military and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) is pushing the country to the brink of a humanitarian catastrophe. As an allegedly genocidal RSF gains the upper hand, a U.N. official has warned that Sudan is “facing a convergence of a worsening humanitarian calamity and a catastrophic human rights crisis.”
The United States needs as many friends as it can get in the intensifying struggle with China, Russia and Iran. But to build large and effective coalitions, it will need to be flexible. At the global level, where competition encompasses security, technology and commerce, it makes sense to appeal to universal principles rooted in the Western traditions of individual liberty and representative government. But at the regional level, especially in those places where most of the United States’ natural partners are not democracies, we will need to be pragmatic and appeal to the shared interests of preserving the independence and sovereignty of individual states against revisionist encroachments.
With Bangladesh’s parliamentary elections set for early January, the opposition’s push for the resignation of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and the installation of an interim election-time government has reached its crescendo — sending the country’s streets and politics into tumult in the process. With no sign of political compromise in sight, Bangladesh’s January elections will likely do little to repair its deep political divisions.
As December marks 10 years since the passing of Nelson Mandela, an icon of 20th-century struggles for justice and peace, a new generation of activists is building from his legacy to counter our 21st-entury crises of rising global violence. Among the signs of Mandela’s vital relevance for us now is a global, online conference to bolster nonviolent social action in pursuit of justice and peace that opens December 7, hosted by the Stanford University-based World House Project with partner groups from South Africa, India, Mexico and elsewhere.
Although China’s views on NATO have fluctuated since the early days of the Cold War, Beijing’s recent statements on the alliance have sharpened. This report argues that they amount to a “rhetorical attack” on the alliance’s legitimacy that can potentially undermine trust among its Asia-Pacific partners and, more broadly, confidence in Western ideas of collective security. The report offers recommendations for investments NATO should make in understanding, tracking, and countering Chinese narratives about the alliance.
Vietnam’s leaders have engaged with the presidents of the United States and China over the past few months. While some might see this effort as a “balancing act” in response to U.S.-China competition, it is, in fact, an indication of a long-standing but still highly relevant Vietnamese foreign policy tradition: the diversification of international relations.
Despite widespread pessimism about the prospects for North Korea’s denuclearization and the utility of denuclearization diplomacy, Washington and Seoul continue to explore denuclearization dialogue with North Korea. In April, President Biden and President Yoon Suk Yeol of South Korea jointly confirmed in the Washington Declaration that, despite their primary focus on enhancing deterrence measures, they “remain steadfast in their pursuit of dialogue and diplomacy with [North Korea], without preconditions, as a means to advance the shared goal of achieving the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.”
Increased coordination between various elements of Myanmar’s resistance has sparked massive gains, says USIP’s Priscilla Clapp: “In just a few weeks, the opposition forces have managed to dislodge the military from their bases and encampments” along many parts of the borders with China, Thailand, India and Bangladesh.
More than two years into Taliban rule, Afghanistan remains one of the poorest countries in the world with some of the highest humanitarian needs. The situation has shown some signs of stabilizing over the last year — but many Afghan households are still struggling to procure basic needs, and many women have been driven from the workforce altogether. Unfortunately, financial troubles loom ahead, and the already beleaguered Afghan economy is now projected to decline. Combined with population growth and the influx of thousands of Afghans forced to return from neighboring Pakistan, this is a recipe for increased humanitarian need over the longer term in the absence of major structural and political reforms.