Myanmar Coup: Military Regime Seeks to Weaponize Religion

Myanmar Coup: Military Regime Seeks to Weaponize Religion

Thursday, December 16, 2021

By: Billy Ford;  Zarchi Oo

Ten months have passed since Myanmar’s military overthrew the country’s elected government, and by now it’s apparent that arrests, executions, torture and financial pressures will not pacify a population unwilling to be ruled by generals. So, the coup’s leader, Commander-in-Chief Min Aung Hlaing, is seeking to recast himself through military-controlled media. Rather than an autocrat who overturned the popular will, he portrays himself as the next in a long line of just and honorable Buddhist warrior-kings, monarchs who protected Buddhism from public apathy and external threats. The military is hoping that a barrage of religious propaganda can accomplish what force and violence have not. 

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Religion

Three Priorities for U.S.-Thailand Cooperation in Myanmar

Three Priorities for U.S.-Thailand Cooperation in Myanmar

Wednesday, December 15, 2021

By: Brian Harding;  Jason Tower

Secretary of State Antony Blinken was forced to cut short his first trip to Southeast Asia this week, scrapping plans to meet with Thai officials due to COVID-19 concerns. That talks with Thailand, specifically, were put on hold is an unfortunate development. Because while Blinken’s agenda for the trip was wide-ranging, the crisis in Myanmar was at the top of his list. And with a nearly 1500-mile border and close ties with Myanmar’s military junta, Thailand has the greatest stake in Myanmar’s future among ASEAN countries. As the world discusses a strategy for addressing the crisis in Myanmar, Thailand’s potential influence — especially with respect to humanitarian access — could prove consequential. 

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Fragility & ResilienceGlobal Health

China’s Security Force Posture in Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia

China’s Security Force Posture in Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia

Wednesday, December 15, 2021

By: John Bradford

China’s geo-economic influence is empowering the expansion of its security force posture in the Lower Mekong region, which should be of concern to both maritime Southeast Asia and the United States. While Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia—the geographic core of mainland Southeast Asia—are demonstrating resilience and sustaining some strategic autonomy, several trends indicate that their options may be increasingly limited. This report looks at China’s security force posture in these nations, the possible ramifications of that posture, and considerations for balancing U.S. policy and outreach. 

Type: Special Report

Conflict Analysis & Prevention

Dialogues nationaux sur la consolidation de la paix et les transitions créativité et pensée adaptative

Dialogues nationaux sur la consolidation de la paix et les transitions créativité et pensée adaptative

Monday, December 13, 2021

By: Elizabeth Murray;  Susan Stigant

Dans le meilleur des cas, les processus de dialogue national promettent d’apporter un élan décisif à la transformation inclusive du conflit. Ce rapport examine les dialogues dans six pays: la République Centrafricaine, le Kenya, le Liban, le Sénégal, la Tunisie et le Yémen. Ces divers processus montrent les possibilités de favoriser le dialogue, de forger des accords et de progresser vers la paix; et le rapport offre des conseils détaillés sur les possibilités et les aspects pratiques pour ceux qui envisagent d'organiser un dialogue national.

Type: Peaceworks

Mediation, Negotiation & Dialogue

Removing Sanctions on North Korea: Challenges and Potential Pathways

Removing Sanctions on North Korea: Challenges and Potential Pathways

Friday, December 10, 2021

By: Troy Stangarone

Sanctions have been a key part of US and international policy toward North Korea since the Korean War. In more recent decades, sanctions have been used to deter North Korea from pursuing nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles programs. This report describes the impact sanctions have had on North Korea and examines the question of whether a different approach—one focused on sanctions relief and removal—might better facilitate long-term peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula.

Type: Special Report

Conflict Analysis & Prevention

Engaging with Muslim Civil Society in Central Asia: Components, Approaches, and Opportunities

Engaging with Muslim Civil Society in Central Asia: Components, Approaches, and Opportunities

Friday, December 10, 2021

By: Sebastien Peyrouse;  Emil Nasritdinov

When Western policymakers and development practitioners turn their attention to Central Asia, they too often overlook Muslim civil society as a potential partner for addressing the region’s economic and social problems. This report, which is based on dozens of interviews with representatives of Muslim civil society organizations in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan, is intended to help generate a much-needed conversation about Muslim civil society in Central Asia and how Western donors and practitioners can begin tapping their potential.

Type: Peaceworks

Democracy & Governance

Putting Sudan’s Political Transition Back on Track

Putting Sudan’s Political Transition Back on Track

Thursday, December 9, 2021

By: Susan Stigant

Sudan has been ruled by the military for 53 of the 66 years since it gained independence in 1955. On October 25, the military, in a familiar move, seized power throwing into question the political transition that would result in civilian rule. The civilian cabinet was dissolved, its leaders arrested and a state of emergency declared. Coup leader Gen. Abdel Fattah Burhan cited well-worn excuses to justify his actions. Ousted Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok was later reinstated to lead a technocratic cabinet until elections scheduled for July 2023.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Civilian-Military RelationsDemocracy & Governance

After Two Coups, Mali Needs Regional Support to Bolster Democracy

After Two Coups, Mali Needs Regional Support to Bolster Democracy

Thursday, December 9, 2021

By: Ena Dion;  Joseph Sany, Ph.D.

Amid a 15-year global democratic recession, the Biden administration is convening over a hundred nations this week to revitalize democracy. This comes at a critical juncture, as democracy’s defenders are reeling from the growing challenges posed by authoritarian foes. The West African country of Mali puts these challenges in stark relief, after the country experienced two coups in a year. Underlying the crisis of coups in Mali is a deeper crisis of state legitimacy, which has been exacerbated by Western security assistance overly focused on short-term counterterrorism gains.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Civilian-Military RelationsDemocracy & Governance