Nearly half a century since the end of the Vietnam War, there remains an urgent need for the United States and Vietnam to address the harmful legacy of Agent Orange, a defoliant sprayed by the U.S. military over parts of southern Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia — an area about the size of Massachusetts — that continues to this day to impact the health of local populations.
Venezuela arranca el 2022 con desafíos persistentes, pero también con algunas oportunidades tangibles. Quedaron atrás las poco realistas aspiraciones de una salida inmediata del chavismo, dejando espacio para la eventual construcción de una convivencia democrática. Pero para que ocurra cualquier cambio positivo, el gobierno de Maduro y la oposición democrática deberán volver a la...
Venezuela enters 2022 with persistent challenges but also some tangible opportunities. Left behind are the unrealistic aspirations of the immediate exodus of Chavismo — leaving room for the incremental development of democratic co-existence. But for any positive change to occur, the Maduro government and democratic opposition will need to return to the negotiating table, where they have established a platform for coordination and progress on issues such as restoring democratic institutions, humanitarian relief and, ultimately, elections. The international community, especially the United States, will be a key player and should not fall into a pattern of inertia. In the Venezuela of 2022, small efforts can make a real difference in the lives of ordinary citizens.
One of the key challenges facing the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) is ensuring that the institutions and laws of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) in the Southern Philippines are inclusive of the extraordinary diversity that characterizes its people. The recent extension of the BTA’s mandate, pushing the BARMM’s first elections from May 2022 to May 2025, raises both opportunities and challenges.
Kazakhstan has stabilized after protests broke out to start the new year. USIP’s Gavin Helf says while the sudden unrest was driven by “real, honest-to-goodness protests … what we really saw was the weakness of authoritarian systems,” as loyalists of the previous and current leaders clashed amid the public upheaval.
The risk of a new Russian invasion of Ukraine remains high after today’s meeting in Geneva between Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. The United States delivered its warning, with European allies, of what Blinken called a “swift, severe and a united response” if the Russian troops massed at Ukraine’s border should attack. But the outcome offered at least a hope of avoiding war as Blinken agreed to offer a set of “written comments” to Russia next week on its demand for “security guarantees” that include barring Ukraine from ever joining NATO — a demand that Ukraine, NATO and the United States reject.
In 2021, the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) insurgency escalated its challenge against Pakistan. Operating from bases in Afghanistan, and with a growing presence inside Pakistan, the group mounted an increasing number of attacks against Pakistani security forces — as well as against some critical Chinese interests in Pakistan. The insurgency also showed renewed political strength by bringing in splintered factions and improving internal cohesion. Additionally, al-Qaeda signaled its continued alliance with the TTP. On Tuesday, after an attack by the TTP on the police in Pakistan’s capital city of Islamabad, Pakistan’s Interior Minister warned that more attacks by the group are likely.
Since November of 2020, Ethiopia has been suffering from a deadly internal conflict that has claimed an estimated 50,000 lives and displaced over two million. The United States, the African Union and others in the region have attempted to secure a cease-fire between the federal government and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) but have made little headway. In contrast, China has remained mainly on the sidelines of peacebuilding efforts even though Ethiopia — the second most populous country in Africa — is a centerpiece of its Africa policy.
For four centuries, the Muslim-majority areas in the southern reaches of the Philippines have resisted domination by the capital Manila, whether its leaders were Spanish, American or Filipino. This dynamic has spawned insurgencies, glimmers of hope for peaceful coexistence and repeated disappointment — all amid endemic violence and poverty.
While Ukraine’s military is in much better shape than when Russia first invaded in 2014, USIP’s William Taylor says it’s “not able to hold off the entire Russian military” alone, and that the United States and NATO must “make it clear to President Putin that the costs of invading will be much greater than the benefits.”