In Washington, discussion of the threat of nuclear proliferation mostly focuses on Iran and North Korea. Yet in South Asia, a nuclear stalemate between India and Pakistan persists, with decades of tension that regularly threaten to escalate at a moment’s notice.
When Iraqis went to the polls on May 12, the country’s foreign policy was the last thing on their minds. For the vast majority, the central question about the next government was expressly local: Will it be able to deliver services, get the economy moving and, perhaps most important, curb corruption?
With significant uncertainty surrounding the proposed Trump-Kim summit scheduled for June 12 in Singapore, South Korean President Moon Jae-in is in Washington this week to ensure the historic meeting happens. Whether its sanctions relief or appropriating peacebuilding funds, the U.S. Congress will play a pivotal role in any settlement with North Korea. Amid questions about Pyongyang’s intent and past negotiating behavior, Steve Russell (R-OK) and Congressmen Ted Lieu (D-CA), both military veterans, offered their support for the Trump administration’s participation in the summit during a bipartisan dialogue at the U.S. Institute of Peace.
Even though fighting continues, nearly all serious observers believe a political settlement in Afghanistan is the only plausible alternative to open-ended war. So, while Taliban leaders over the last month have announced their annual spring offensive and disputed Kabul and Washington’s sincerity about making peace, they concurrently show signs of flexibility in how they envision a potential peace deal.
Ties between Tehran and Damascus have been close since the 1979 revolution, but the relationship deepened after Syria’s civil war erupted in 2011. With the Assad regime’s survival at stake, Tehran doubled down on its support, providing critical military assistance—fighters and strategists—and economic aid estimated to be in the hundreds of millions of dollars.
In a surprise turn, preliminary results from Iraq’s May 12 parliamentary vote indicate that a coalition led by controversial cleric Moqtada al-Sadr—a staunch opponent of both U.S. and Iranian influence in Iraq—won the most seats.
This week, a perfect storm of politics, mounting despair, and competing narratives of historic memory and grievances converged in Jerusalem and Gaza. The effects have been devastatingly deadly. The implications for Israeli-Palestinian peace are profound.
More than two years after the United Nations began leading an internationally backed peace process for Libya, that effort faces severe challenges. Rival Libyan regimes still claim national authority, and battles among hundreds of militia groups continue. Amid the turmoil, however, young Libyans are leading peacebuilding efforts in their local communities.
As Iraq prepares to vote on May 12, the public debate has been just a bit unusual. Following the country’s war against the Islamic State extremists, candidates are seeking votes with appeals across sectarian lines and more discussion of issues than in any other election campaign. This change is incremental but is one of several that make this a moment to step back and measure Iraq’s evolution since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion. Despite what Iraqis have suffered over 15 years—or perhaps because of it—the will to democratize is alive and growing. A real meaning of these elections is this: If the United States and the international community can sustain their engagement, Iraq has a chance to stabilize, and to turn back the inevitable future attempts to revive extremist violence.
As technological innovation develops at a blistering pace, it has fundamentally altered how conflicts develop and play out, and how peacebuilders prevent and mitigate violence. Throughout history, technology has driven warfare and international security.