China–North Korea relations

The US has urged China to pressure North Korea into curtailing its nuclear weapon and ballistic missile programmes. But Chinese President Xi Jinping's priority is to maintain the domestic and international status quo, ensuring the Communist Party's smooth transition behind him at the 19th Party Congress next autumn. Until that process has been completed, major change in Beijing's behaviour towards Pyongyang is unlikely.

The Trump–Russia connection

Alleged coordination between the President's election campaign team and Russia could spark the biggest White House scandal for 30 years.

TLAMs in Syria

The United States' Tomahawk cruise-missile strikes on the Syrian regime's Shayrat Air Base in retaliation for the regime's sarin attack are unlikely to advance peace in Syria.

Shia militias in Iraq

Shia militias, some backed by Iran, are now playing an essential role in ejecting the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, from Iraq.

US–Israel relations under Trump

Israel is likely to face less US resistance to aggressive actions than it did from the Obama administration, especially in regards to the Palestinians.

The urban refugee crisis

The Syrian refugee crisis has highlighted the urgent need to address the multi-dimensional challenges presented by urban refugees more effectively.

Somalia’s ever-arduous transition

The presidential election in Somalia has afforded Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed a strong mandate to forge a viable state. But there is much to be done before the UN mission in Somalia departs.

Colombia: what comes next?

The revised peace agreement in Colombia, though still controversial, is salutary. But to implement the agreement effectively, the government will have to follow through on its reintegration obligations to former FARC members and re-establish a presence in rural areas that brings security and stability. This will be an arduous process.