• Expert Commentary

    War on the Rocks: "Assad or we burn the country"

    24 August 2016.  By Emile Hokayem, Senior Fellow for Middle East Security Prior to the uprising that ignited in Syria in 2011, whenever I discussed politics with my urbanite Syrian interlocutors, they would often tell me: "You, the Lebanese, you are violent, corrupt, sectarian, with no sense of a nation or a state." (I also noted that Iraqis would endure similar lecturing). Frankly, they were largely right, but their real point lay somewhere else. The...

  • Strategic Comments

    Venezuela’s post-Chavez torment

    03 August 2016. 

    Venezuela's dire economic situation – involving hyperinflation, capital flight and severe shortages of food and medicine – has produced violent protests, looting and the political opposition's calls for intransigent President Nicolas Maduro's recall. Procedures for a recall vote are under way. While replacing Maduro would not instantly solve Venezuela's complex problems, little progress appears possible without it.

  • Politics and Strategy

    Matthew Harries: Five reasons to think Trump could win

    28 July 2016.  1. The polls are tight In the words of polling savant Nate Silver: ‘It's a close election right now.’ We are yet to see if Hillary Clinton will get a convention bump (the uptick in the polls that often follows a candidate’s extended airing on primetime television). But both national and battleground-state polls show that Donald Trump is now a competitive candidate – and this after he enjoyed only a moderate...

  • Strategic Comments

    Pakistan: a more positive trajectory

    27 July 2016. 

    The past 18 months have been an atypically salutary period for Pakistan. Democracy has deepened, civilian–military relations have been stable, the economy has grown and foreign relations have been conducted with relative maturity and civility. While Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif does face some political turbulence and the country's long-term challenges remain substantial, Pakistan's overall outlook is improving.

  • Strategic Comments

    Turkey: the attempted coup and its troubling aftermath

    21 July 2016. 

    The military coup attempted in Turkey on 15 July 2016 fizzled out quickly. But President Tayyip Erdogan has accused a political rival, exiled Islamic preacher Fethullah Gulen, and his followers of engineering the coup without substantiation, and is using it as a pretext to purge the government, judiciary and military. This reaction could lead to sustained domestic instability that would strain Turkey's international relations, exacerbate its democratic deficit and damage its social fabric.

  • Events

    Turbulent US–Thai Relations: A Conversation with Admiral Dennis Blair

    15 July 2016. 

    Private Roundtable
    Admiral (Retd) Dennis Blair, Former Director of National Intelligence; Chairman and CEO, Sasakawa Peace Foundation USA
    IISS–Americas, Washington DC
    Friday 15 July 2016, 8.30–9.30AM EDT

  • Survival

    The Meaning of Britain’s Departure

    11 July 2016. 

    The British vote to leave the EU is an unprecedented first step towards the West’s formal disintegration.

  • Expert Commentary

    Berlin Policy Journal: Braving Brexit

    08 July 2016.  By Sarah Raine, Consulting Senior Fellow for Geopolitics and Strategy Foreign policy received little play in the run-up to the Brexit vote. The final televised pre-referendum debate between three leading representatives from the Remain and Leave campaigns was supposed to discuss “Britain’s place in the world” as one of three main topics. Yet this was barely touched upon. There was no substantive discussion on the EU as a potential force for influence...

  • Strategic Comments

    Mozambique and Zimbabwe: potentially converging paths

    06 July 2016. 

    Mozambique, long favoured by Western donors, to their disapproval has recently shown signs of corruption, instability and poor governance and looked to China for help that may not be forthcoming. Zimbabwe, long disfavoured by Western donors, is cooling to China's commercial and political involvement in its national affairs. Both southern African countries may eventually need to reinvigorate appeals for assistance from Western donors, which would come with relatively stringent governance and economic conditions.

  • Expert Commentary

    Financial Times: Brexit spells disaster for France

    24 June 2016.  By Francois Heisbourg, Chair of the IISS Council 'Frexit' remains unlikely, says IISS Chair Francois Heisbourg. ‘For the French, the European project remains more like a marriage than the cohabitation it always was in the eyes on many in Britain.’  He went on to explain that Brexit will severely limit the room for manoeuvre in Europe of a largely discredited incumbent president and government. Read the full article at the Financial Times...

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