• IISS Voices

    A 'meticulous and highly effective anatomy of the Syrian crisis'

    19 December 2013.  Emile Hokayem's Adelphi book, Syria's Uprising and the Fracturing of the Levant, has been praised by the renowned Middle East scholar Dr Reinoud Leenders for offering 'coherence, clarity and fresh insights'. Writing in the latest edition of International Affairs, Dr Leenders praises the book for providing a 'meticulous and highly effective anatomy of the Syrian crisis' and judges that it is 'impressive for both its width and nuance'. ...

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    Mona Moussavi: The power of currencies

    18 December 2013.  By Mona Moussavi, Assistant Editor, Adelphi Books Officials from India and Iran met last week to discuss how to process oil payments, which have until now been blocked by Western sanctions against Tehran. Following the agreement of the Geneva interim nuclear deal, which will marginally ease sanctions in exchange for curbs to Iran’s nuclear programme, Tehran has sought to restore limited economic ties with the rest of the world. This is...

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    China in the global order

    18 December 2013.  According to Kevin Rudd, former Australian prime minister of Australia, the questions that should shape the examination of Chinese policy are: whether China’s rise can be sustained until the 2049 centenary; whether it will at some point equal the position of the United States; whether China has a ‘strategic blueprint’ for Asia; and finally, whether China seeks to change the existing global order. Rudd delivered the 2013 Alastair Buchan lecture on...

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    Virginia Comolli: Piracy in the Gulf of Guinea

    18 December 2013.  By Virginia Comolli, Research Associate for Transnational Threats Over the past five years, there has been a spike in piracy attacks in the Gulf of Guinea – a trend that has been accompanied by increased attention from international organisations, regional and foreign navies and countries further afield. Maritime crime has affected the coastal area stretching from Mauritania to Angola for around 30 years. However, the suppression of piracy in the Gulf...

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    Antoine Levesques: Instability in Bangladesh

    17 December 2013.  By Antoine Levesques, Research Associate for South Asia The hanging on Thursday of Abdul Kader Mullah, a prominent Bangladeshi Islamist sentenced for four- decades-old war crimes, is the latest test to the resilience of secular representative democracy in the country with the world’s fourth-largest Muslim population. Yet for all the growing street unrest and heated political climate, Bangladesh remains on track to head to the polls on 5 January to elect...

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    Randolph Bell: Kenya at 50

    12 December 2013.    By Randolph Bell, Managing Director, IISS–US Today, 12 December, is the 50th anniversary of Kenya’s independence from Britain. The country has been in the news a good deal over the past year, so it is worth taking stock of its successes and challenges. Despite recent setbacks, such as the horrifying al-Shabaab attack on the Westgate Mall, Kenya continues to be the most prosperous, stable and promising country in East Africa. Perhaps the...

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    US–Pakistan relations to 2014 and beyond

    11 December 2013.  By Kiran Hassan, Research Assistant The Pakistan–US relationship is framed by two persistent narratives, explained the former US ambassador to Pakistan at an IISS event on Tuesday. Ambassador Cameron Munter explained that Pakistanis feel the US has repeatedly exploited their relationship, while the US feels that the Pakistanis are dishonest. Historically, both feel betrayed on a series of commitments. Munter’s talk focused on the country’s ties during and around his appointment in...

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IISS Voices

The IISS Voices blog features timely comment and analysis on international affairs and security from IISS experts and guest writers.