Security

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Snapshot,
Thomas de Waal

Azerbaijan claims to be interested in the Western liberal order. In reality, the country’s elites want to increase their wealth without threatening Azerbaijan’s oligarchic political system.

Snapshot,
Eric Trager and Gavi Barnhard

Despite setbacks, the Brotherhood has refused to rethink its approach. In fact, from the group’s standpoint, its members are still engaged in the very same struggle that has defined the Brotherhood’s work since its 1928 founding: “Islamizing” Egyptian society so that it can establish an Islamic state in Egypt, after which it will build a global Islamic state.

Snapshot,
Joseph Chinyong Liow

In assembling an international coalition to combat ISIS, the United States has looked mostly to the Middle East and Europe, regions that it said face a direct threat from the militant Islamist group. But other parts of the world are just as anxious about ISIS -- above all, Southeast Asia.

Snapshot,
Robin Simcox

There are still those in the West who regard using military force against ISIS as a mistake, believing that, with the beheadings of Western journalists, ISIS was hoping to provoke a showdown with the United States all along. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Snapshot,
Michael O'Hanlon

The most important part of U.S. President Barack Obama’s recent speech about Iraq and Syria wasn’t how many air strikes the United States will conduct and when -- the elements that have dominated much of the analysis of the event. Rather, it was his call to form, from scratch, an Iraqi National Guard.

Snapshot,
Paul Hidalgo

Last week’s deadly U.S. strike on Ahmed Abdi Godane, the leader of the Somalia-based Islamist militant group al Shabab, could be the group’s undoing. Even so, the region is not out of the woods.

Snapshot,
William McCants

Despite ISIS’ success in capturing jihadists’ imagination, the idea of an Islamic state has one fatal flaw: its physical incarnation makes it vulnerable to attack.

Snapshot,
David Brown

Vietnam once hoped to manage China's regional ambitions by showing Beijing deference. But Hanoi now has a new strategy: cozying up to its one-time enemy, the United States.

Postscript,
Joshua Yaffa

Late last week in Minsk, negotiators representing Ukraine, the separatist forces, and Russia agreed to a ceasefire. If this deal holds -- plenty of earlier ceasefires have fallen apart as soon as they were signed -- then the active phase of fighting in eastern Ukraine will have come to end on terms favorable to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Snapshot,
Eric Lorber

A Russia with a sophisticated military and a cratered economy would pose a substantial threat to its neighbors, especially since many of those neighbors possess large amounts of valuable natural resources. In other words, although sanctions may be intended to deter Russia from adventurism in its near abroad, they could end up doing just the opposite.

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