The Philippines: Duterte’s wilful start

A hundred days into his single six-year term, President Rodrigo Duterte has asserted his powerful political position by undertaking a brutal campaign on drugs, weakening the Philippines' longstanding alliance with the United States and warming to China. These pronounced shifts in policy, however, have drawn considerable criticism from influential figures and groups inside and outside the Philippines. Duterte may find it difficult to maintain such controversial policies throughout his presidency.

The United States’ Syria quandary

Following the collapse of the latest ceasefire, Obama is facing pressure to take more robust military action against the Assad regime. But the United States' military options are problematic.

North Korea’s fifth nuclear test

North Korea conducted its fifth and most powerful nuclear test on 9 September, and is moving towards mounting a nuclear bomb on ballistic missiles of increasing range.

A Nuclear Ban Treaty: prospects and issues

The UN is expected to authorise the negotiation of a treaty that would make nuclear weapons illegal. Despite little media attention, prospects for an agreement look better this time.

Libya’s faltering new government

The new UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) has based itself in Tripoli. But the GNA is rivalled for national authority by the Tobruk-based House of Representatives (HOR).

Cyber conflict and deterrence

Major powers have so far exercised mutual restraint in the cyber realm for fear of precipitating uncontrollable consequences, but is this strategic ambiguity sustainable?

India and Pakistan’s evolving Gulf relationships

India’s focus has shifted towards security and defence cooperation, while Pakistan will continue to try to balance its relations with Gulf Arab states and those with Iran.

The international politics of climate change after Brexit

The Paris Agreement provides a framework for achieving cuts in greenhouse-gas emissions that could mitigate the worst of global warming, and there has been a trend of increased participation and stronger national institutional support, cooperation and ambition towards that end. Among EU states, the United Kingdom has led that trend for three decades. The uncertainty introduced by the Brexit vote may weaken it.