April 30, 2012 by Conn M. Hallinan
On one level, April’s hemispheric summit meeting was an old fashioned butt kicking for Washington’s policies in the region. The White House found itself virtually alone—Dudley Do Right Canada its sole ally—on everything from Cuba to the war on drugs. But the differences go deeper than the exclusion of Havana and the growing body count in Washington’s failed anti-narcotics strategy. They reflect profound disagreements on how to build economies, confront inequity, and reflect a new balance of power in world affairs.
The backdrop for the summit is anger in Latin America over the failure of the U.S. and Europe to stimulate their economies, all the while pursuing policies that have flooded the region with money—a “monetary tsunami” in the words of Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff—driving up the value of southern hemisphere currencies and strangling local industries.
April 29, 2012 by Marshall Auerback
Nearly one Spaniard in four is unemployed, according to data released on Friday, as the country’s economic and financial predicament prompted a government minister to talk of a “crisis of enormous proportions”. The data from the National Statistics Institute showed 367,000 people lost their jobs in the first three months of the year.
At this pace, Spanish job losses are equivalent to 1 million per month in the United States. That means more than 5.6m Spaniards or 24.4 percent of the workforce are unemployed, close to a record high set in 1994.
April 28, 2012 by Deepak Tripathi
India tested its first inter-continental ballistic missile, named Agni-V, this month and joined the select group of nations possessing both nuclear weapons and a delivery system capable of hitting targets across continents. Only a few days before, nuclear capable North Korea had test fired a rocket, supposedly to place a satellite in the orbit, but it failed.
Within days, India’s long-time adversary, Pakistan, tested a more advanced version of its Shaheen-1 missile. Named Shaheen-1A, it is capable of hitting targets between 2000 and 3000 miles––a substantially upgraded intermediate-range ballistic missile. Before the latest launch, Pakistan’s longest-range missile, Shaheen II, was thought to have a range of less than 1500 miles.
April 28, 2012 by Jahangir Alam Sarker
In social development, social business has emerged as an important topic. Its impact on enriching and empowering people’s lives has become evident all over the world.
To combat the global economic crisis, social business has harnessed the advent of technology and modern science to eradicate poverty, hunger, unemployment and other social problems. Social business has been around for the last three decades in Bangladesh. It has empowered women and reformed many facets of society.
April 27, 2012 by Richard Falk
From all that we know Charles Taylor deserves to be held criminally accountable for his role in the atrocities committed in Sierra Leone during the period 1998-2002.
Taylor was then President of Liberia, and did his best to encourage violent uprisings against the governments in neighboring countries so as to finance his own bloody schemes and extend his regional influence.
April 27, 2012 by Ramzy Baroud
Once again Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir waved his walking stick in the air. Once again he spoke of splendid victories over his enemies as thousands of jubilant supporters danced and cheered. But this time around the stakes are too high.
An all out war against newly independent South Sudan might not be in Sudan’s best interest. South Sudan’s saber-rattling is not an entirely independent initiative; its most recent territorial transgressions – which saw the occupation of Sudan’s largest oil field in Heglig on April 10, followed by a hasty retreat ten days later – might have been a calculated move aimed at drawing Sudan into a larger conflict.
April 27, 2012 by Iqbal Ahmed
Luminaries smelled blood. Hillary Clinton, Kevin Rudd, and David Cameron came and went, openly advocating for continued democratic reform. All met with Ms. Aung Sun Suu Kyi. In the aftermath of grandiose state visits from such luminaries to Burma (officially known as Myanmar), Aung Sun Suu Kyi and military leaders face a long and difficult task to bring about political, social, and economic reforms in a country that has remained under a brutal military junta and isolated from most of the world since 1960.
In politics, relationships matter less. Interest matters most. U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell, a high-ranking Republican, recently expressed his glowing enthusiasm and hopes for the reform in Burma. He thought Burma is on the path to achieve something that once seemed impossible. Ironically, Sen. McConnell is also the “architect” of the economic sanctions against Burma.
April 26, 2012 by Sergio B. Gautreaux
“Only the dead have seen the end of war.”
– George Santayana
Referred to as the “closest thing we have to law in international relations,” the democratic peace theory – the idea that democratic states do not go to war against each other – has been used as a champion ideology during the latter half of the post-World War II era and into the new millennium. For the theory’s mostly Western advocates, it is believed that as democracy is spread to all corners of the globe, so shall peace. The seemingly unanimous explanation among liberal international relations theorists for such a Kantian principle has been that democratic states avoid conflict with each other because of the similar natures of the democratic processes and the shared values within liberal societies that constrain the states’ leaders from conflict escalation.
April 24, 2012 by Scott Firsing
YPIA is happy to announce its 2012 top five young Hollywood celebrities who take time out of their busy schedules to assist the African continent. This is an annual award and serves as a precursor to the May release of YPIA’s top 35 under 35 project.
These under 40 years old ‘megastars’ often help shine light on topics that would otherwise go unnoticed by most of the general public. And for that, we thank you.
Leonardo Dicaprio (37): Superstar ‘Leo’ was hoisted back into the spotlight with the recent release of Titanic 3D, but he continues to have a strong connection to Africa.
Leo told the world in 2007 that he was profoundly changed by his experience in Africa while shooting the movie Blood Diamond.
April 24, 2012 by Daniel Donovan
Following the democratization of predominantly Muslim countries in Central Asia and MENA there are many challenges still yet to be met. For the overall development of the region to progress and to assure alternatives to the autocratic governments that dominate these two regions, more will need to be done by the West and international institutions. Following the Six-Day War in 1967 there was a movement towards radical Islam.
Since that time, radical politicized Islam has become an alarming trend that adversely affects the development of MENA and Central Asia, and also adversely affects its people and their economies. Anti-Western ideologies do not promote democracy and they adversely affect opportunities to provide economic growth.
April 23, 2012 by Alex Verschoor-Kirss
In modern foreign policy the United States faces a complicated irony: in a bid to ensure national security and maintain global primacy the U.S. spends a large quantity of blood and treasure on interventionist policies that may actually compromise national security and the future of American hegemony. The culmination of these exercises in grandiose foreign policy has been the invasion and occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan, at the combined cost of between three and four trillion dollars. While it is possible to argue that the invasions have been successful in preventing further terrorist attacks on the U.S. homeland, such a counterfactual proposition is difficult to prove.
What is clear, however, is that such expenditures are unsustainable given a national debt of over $15 trillion. As the country debates the potential for military action in the Middle East in both Syria and Iran the necessity of a levelheaded understanding of the costs of such interventions, and their potentially fatal consequences for American standing in the world, cannot be overstated.
April 23, 2012 by Scott Firsing
The recent BRICS summit at the end of March 2012 led to a substantial amount of controversy surrounding South Africa’s membership. Various political analysts were seen on television and in newspapers all answering a similar question to this one: Given its economic, military and population numbers, is South Africa really worthy to be part of such a group? When analyzing the facts and figures, the blunt answer is no. The other so called plausible explanation for South Africa being in BRICS is the perception of South Africa being the ‘gateway into Africa.’ In the international politics game of 2012, there is absolutely no need for a ‘gateway’ of any kind.
April 23, 2012 by Esam Al-Amin
“President Hosni Mubarak has decided to step down from his position as president of the republic.” Uttered by former Vice President Omar Suleiman on the evening of February 11, 2011, these words set in motion jubilations by millions of Egyptians celebrating the ultimate triumph of their will over the obstinate dictator.
Although the previous eighteen tumultuous days had united the overwhelming majority of Egyptians regardless of political orientation, religious persuasion, economic class or social strata, the ultimate victory of the revolution was not inevitable. The massive demonstrations that started on January 25, were originally called for by groups dominated by youth activists such as the April 6 Movement and “We are All Khaled Said,” in reference to the young blogger who was murdered by state security agents. Most established political parties and social movements including the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) did not initially support the calls to protest in anticipation of the security crackdown, though they did not discourage their members from participation.
April 22, 2012 by Daniel Wagner
It should come as little surprise to anyone that the fragile cease-fire in Syria has failed and is evidence that – contrary to what many pundits contend – the tide continues to be on Mr. Assad’s side, given the time that has passed, the fractured nature of the opposition, and the bungled manner in which the West has addressed the subject. As Syria demonstrates, with each passing month the Arab Awakening evolves in new and unexpected ways. The question is whether the West is evolving along with the Awakening, or will remain stuck in a unidimensional view of MENA.
As pressure mounts on foreign powers to consider intervening militarily in Syria, analogies are naturally being drawn between what NATO accomplished in Libya and whether something comparable may be possible in Syria. Military intervention would perhaps make the West feel better — knowing that it attempted to do something concrete to end the bloodshed — but it is unlikely to be successful for several reasons.
April 21, 2012 by James B. Lewis
“It is not in our hands to prevent the murder of workers…and families…but it is in our hands to fix a high price for our blood, so high that the Arab community and the Arab military forces will not be willing to pay it.”
– Moshe Dayan as quoted in “Warrior: the autobiography of Ariel Sharon”
As Israel has faced the threat of Arab armies and Islamic terrorism throughout its history, it has struggled to maintain a strong deterrence in the Middle East, one that will prevent other countries in the region from continuing to attack and to kill Israeli citizens.
One of today’s most important issues in foreign affairs is Iran’s quest to obtain nuclear weapons and how their journey towards nuclear dominance in the Middle East might bring America and Israel into the conflict.