The United States and its allies are seeking ways to promote a sustainable peace in Europe — one that ends Russia’s brutal assault on Ukraine and strengthens a global prohibition on such wars of aggrandizement. Tragically but realistically, Russia, like most historic imperial powers, will need to be defeated militarily before it abandons war as a means to dominate its neighbors. Any negotiated peace before such a defeat will simply let Russia rebuild its forces and renew its assault. Yet even as the West should maintain full support for Ukraine’s defense, such as the tanks much discussed this month, it should encourage negotiation toward specific goals.
Twelve years since the fall of Qaddafi, the United Nations' Libya mission carries the same mandate as it did in 2011. With the country still experiencing various degrees of conflict and upheaval, it’s time to “re-envision what we want the U.N. to do” in Libya and create a “mandate [that] will reflect that,” says USIP’s Thomas Hill.
While the relationship between South Korea and Japan is fraught with a number of historical and territorial disputes, the current cycle of tensions focuses our attention on lawsuits related to the colonial era. Most notably, bilateral ties soured after 2018, when two landmark rulings from the South Korean Supreme Court ordered Japanese firms to compensate Korean plaintiffs for their wartime forced labor.
Recent decrees by the Taliban barring Afghan women from attending university or working in NGOs are severely damaging the country both socially and economically, especially coming atop a ban on girls’ secondary education last year. The marginalization of half the population also highlights the “humanitarian dilemma” that aid donors and international agencies face: Afghanistan is highly dependent on humanitarian assistance, not only for saving lives and easing deprivation but also to stabilize its economy. The quandary for international donors is what to do when alleviating suffering benefits the Afghan economy and thereby the Taliban regime, even when that regime is harming its own people?
Ayesha Tanzeem, the director of Voice of America’s South and Central Asia Division, explains how Afghanistan’s media landscape has changed in the last year and a half, how media organizations are fighting back and what the international community can do to help protect media freedom in Afghanistan.
Iran marks the anniversary of the Islamic revolution in February amid increasingly existential challenges at home and in relations with the outside world. Four months of nationwide protests — triggered by the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in September 2022 — reflected deepening discontent among Iran’s Gen Z. Young women on streets and at schools abandoned the headscarves required by law, as shouts of “woman, life, freedom” and “death to the dictator” echoed across campus grounds. The protests were a brazen rejection of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and, more broadly, the theocracy’s basic belief that god’s law supersedes human laws. The scope of fury was reflected on October 8, when female students at Al Zahra University in Tehran shouted “Clerics, get lost” during a visit by President Ebrahim Raisi.
Pakistan continues to face multiple sources of internal and external conflict. Extremism and intolerance of diversity and dissent have grown, fuelled by a narrow vision of Pakistan’s national identity, and are threatening the country’s prospects for social cohesion and stability.
“Reducción histórica en la tasa de homicidios”, tuiteó el gobierno hondureño en un hilo celebrando los logros en materia de seguridad durante el primer año en el cargo de la presidenta Xiomara Castro. La tasa oficial del país de 36 asesinatos por cada 100.000 habitantes en 2022 (seis puntos menos que en 2021) mantiene a Honduras entre los países más violentos de América Latina y del mundo. Pero representa un claro avance desde principios de la década de 2010, cuando el empobrecido país centroamericano parecía atrapado en una espiral de violencia vinculada a las pandillas callejeras y al narcotráfico, con tasas que superaban los 85 asesinatos por cada 100.000 habitantes.
For decades, Algeria has eschewed participation in international affairs. As a member of the non-aligned movement, the country has been described as “anti-Western,” “anti-capitalist,” and “insular.” Privately, American diplomats describe the government as one of the region’s most challenging to penetrate and understand. But over the last two years, there have been signs that Algeria is changing and starting to flex its economic and political muscles, which has accelerated in the wake of the war in Ukraine, with Algeria capitalizing on opportunities created by changes to global energy markets. Algeria has also increasingly asserted itself in the African Union and Arab League, stepped up its lobbying efforts in foreign capitals and is deepening ties with Beijing. But is Algeria ready for the responsibility that accompanies the role it is positioning to play?
A striking feature of many successful nonviolent action campaigns is the outsized presence of young people, especially on the front lines. Recent history is replete with examples — mass movements in Iran, Hong Kong, Sudan, Lebanon, Algeria and others have all drawn strength from major swells of determined youth mobilization.