Will Other Central American Leaders Follow Nicaragua’s Authoritarian Lead?

Will Other Central American Leaders Follow Nicaragua’s Authoritarian Lead?

Tuesday, August 30, 2022

By: Arturo Matute;  Mary Speck, Ph.D.

The Nicaraguan government has intensified its confrontation with one of the country’s most popular and historically powerful institutions: the Catholic Church. Police raided the episcopal rectory in the northern city of Matagalpa on August 19, placing a bishop, five priests and two seminarians under arrest. In recent weeks, President Daniel Ortega has shut down seven Catholic radio stations, expelled missionaries and banned religious processions in an effort to silence dissent — even at the risk of alienating the country’s fervently Catholic population.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Democracy & Governance

Why Was a Negotiated Peace Always Out of Reach in Afghanistan?

Why Was a Negotiated Peace Always Out of Reach in Afghanistan?

Tuesday, August 30, 2022

By: Steve Brooking

August 30, 2022, marks the one-year anniversary of the last US troops leaving Afghanistan. During America’s 20-year military intervention, there were several opportunities to negotiate peace among the Taliban, the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, and the United States—but these opportunities were missed, went unrecognized, or were deliberately spurned by one or more of the parties. In this important history, Steve Brooking, the first British official sent into Afghanistan after 9/11, examines why the three parties were unable or unwilling to reach a negotiated settlement.

Type: Peaceworks

Peace Processes

Israel-Gaza Conflict: A Short Confrontation with Disproportionate Implications

Israel-Gaza Conflict: A Short Confrontation with Disproportionate Implications

Tuesday, August 30, 2022

By: Ambassador Hesham Youssef

No one was ever in doubt about the damage that the Israeli army can inflict on Gaza, or in the occupied territories in general, in any military confrontation. The gap in the balance of power is one of the widest in the region. This has been the case in the wars that took place in 2008, 2012, 2014, and 2021, and in the latest military attack that ended on August 7, 2022. The duration of the conflict, the extent of the destruction in Gaza, the regional and international response and other factors varied widely. However, unsurprisingly, like in previous confrontations, each side claims that to some extent it was able to achieve its objectives.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Conflict Analysis & Prevention

Resolution of Korean Forced Labor Claims Must Put Victims at the Center

Resolution of Korean Forced Labor Claims Must Put Victims at the Center

Tuesday, August 30, 2022

By: Nathan Park

In 1965, Japan and South Korea signed numerous treaties and agreements to normalize relations, including the Treaty on Basic Relations reestablishing diplomatic relations and a Claims Agreement settling property claims among the two countries and their nationals. These agreements have failed to resolve bilateral tensions stemming from the claims of Koreans who were subjected to forced labor by Imperial Japan during World War II. Some parties have called for a legal resolution based on the arbitration clause in the Claims Agreement. However, major issues would arise if the two countries pursued arbitration.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Peace ProcessesReconciliation

Amid War in Ukraine, Russia’s Lavrov Goes on Diplomatic Offensive

Amid War in Ukraine, Russia’s Lavrov Goes on Diplomatic Offensive

Thursday, August 25, 2022

By: Heather Ashby, Ph.D.;  Jude Mutah, Ph.D.;  Jason Tower;  Ambassador Hesham Youssef

As Russia’s unprovoked and illegal war against Ukraine enters its seventh month, the Russian government continues its diplomatic offensive to prevent more countries from joining international condemnation and sanctions for its military aggression. Between July and August, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov traveled to Egypt, Ethiopia, Uganda, the Republic of Congo, Myanmar and Cambodia — the last as part of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Foreign Ministers’ Meeting. This tour represented an evolving reorientation of Russian foreign policy from Europe to the Global South that has accelerated since Russia’s first invasion of Ukraine in 2014.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Global Policy

After a Year of Taliban Rule, Advances for Afghan Women and Youth Have All but Evaporated

After a Year of Taliban Rule, Advances for Afghan Women and Youth Have All but Evaporated

Thursday, August 25, 2022

By: Belquis Ahmadi;  Matthew Parkes

Despite prior assurances that they had moderated their positions, the past year of Taliban rule has been marred by a disturbing rollback of women’s and girl’s basic rights as 20 years of advancements have nearly evaporated. Meanwhile, the current economic crisis has forced young Afghans out of the workforce and left them in dire financial and humanitarian straits. USIP’s Belquis Ahmadi and Matthew Parkes examine how the Taliban’s oppressive policies have affected Afghan women, girls and youth over the last 12 months and offer ways for the United States and international community to support Afghanistan’s next generation.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

GenderYouth

Russia’s New Nuclear Threat: Power Plants as Weapons

Russia’s New Nuclear Threat: Power Plants as Weapons

Wednesday, August 24, 2022

By: Mary Glantz, Ph.D.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and occupation of Europe’s largest nuclear power station have triggered the first real-world case of a crisis that security scholars have feared for decades: a threat of radiological disaster from a wartime incursion on an operating nuclear power plant. Russia effectively is using the plant at Zaporizhzhia as a pre-positioned nuclear weapon to threaten and intimidate not only Ukrainians but millions of Europeans across a dozen countries. This is undermining global security institutions in which all countries have a stake, and Russia must join the international community in treating nuclear power plants as demilitarized zones.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Global Policy

Different Wartime Memories Keep Japan and South Korea Apart

Different Wartime Memories Keep Japan and South Korea Apart

Wednesday, August 24, 2022

By: Daniel Sneider

The current state of relations between South Korea and Japan is, in the judgment of many observers, the worst since normalization in 1965. Despite decades of interaction, cooperation and even integration, relations between South Korea and Japan seem to have reverted to a dysfunctional status in which even the most basic forms of diplomatic intercourse present a challenge.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Peace ProcessesReconciliation

Peacebuilding Needs Local Partners — But How Do You Define ‘Local’?

Peacebuilding Needs Local Partners — But How Do You Define ‘Local’?

Wednesday, August 24, 2022

By: Brandon Kendhammer;  Rachel Sullivan

The Global Fragility Act (GFA) marked the launch of a new U.S. government approach to conflict prevention and stabilization abroad. Notably, this new approach includes a commitment to locally-driven solutions — a reflection of the peacebuilding community’s growing emphasis on the local dimensions of peace and conflict.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Peace Processes