Failed Transitional Justice in Egypt

October 16, 2011 by

Following speculation in July that Egypt’s former dictator Hosni Mubarak briefly slipped into a coma, officials of the interim military regime were quick to point out that deteriorating health would not enable him to escape trial. The regime has lived up to its word, and for the past eight weeks the trial has been under way with Mubarak on a hospital bed, in a steel cage, in the courtroom. While the trial of Mubarak has dominated the headlines, it is just one of many ways in which Egypt is engaging in transitional justice—broadly, the set of processes designed to address the violent or authoritarian past.

The Future of China and Russia Energy Relations

October 16, 2011 by

The predominant narrative about Russia and China’s relationship is one of a cash-strapped energy rich country meeting the needs of a cash-ready energy hungry country. China is the largest energy consumer in the world, and Russia, hoping to diversify its energy export market away from Europe, has been more than happy to satisfy Beijing’s needs. As mutually beneficial as this relationship may seem, however, there have been signs that both countries are looking over the other’s shoulders at new potential partners. The evolving energy relationship between Russia and China has brought into sharp relief a number of their security issues.

America, Iran and An Unashamedly Interventionist Secretary of State

October 16, 2011 by

The war is not over yet in Libya after the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi and the Obama administration has turned its attention to Iran. Attorney General Eric Holder’s announcement of a “plot” to assassinate the Saudi ambassador in the United States, and warnings of dire consequences for Iran, mark a new escalation between the two countries. The Obama administration says the offender behind the “plot” is an Iranian-American used-car salesman based in Texas, Mansour Arbabsiar, who believed he was hiring assassins from a Mexican drug cartel for a meager one-and-a-half million dollars. It was a trap set up by federal agents. Not for the first time, it seems, the American law enforcement agencies are responsible for planting ideas into the mind of someone naïve and ordinary and making an arrest as soon as the individual looks interested.

The U.S. Offers Military Assistance in Combating the LRA

October 16, 2011 by

Late last week, President Obama announced that he was ordering 100 armed advisors to be sent to central Africa to bolster efforts on the ground to combat Joseph Kony’s Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) operating in Uganda and neighboring countries. For years, the LRA has systematically used rape as a weapon, burned villages to the ground, killed countless unarmed civilians and taken as prisoner, young girls, to act as sex slaves for Kony and his followers. Additionally, the LRA has forced many of its young prisoners to take up arms against their countrymen.