State fragility fuels crisis in Central African Republic
In the Central African Republic, nearly half of the country’s 4.7 million people are in dire need of aid. It is one of the world’s most fragile states, with more than half its territory under the control of rebel groups. The crisis reflects poor governance and widespread violence, but also unfavorable geography. Even under a best-case scenario, it will take decades to build a sovereign and functioning state.
Macedonia’s instability has huge implications for the Balkans
A political crisis in Macedonia is turning into a big problem for the Balkans. Economically weak and susceptible to external pressure and internal instability, the country needs strong support. But the United States and European Union may be turning away, leaving a vacuum that can be filled by Russia and China.
Global Outlook 2017: U.S. faces vexing challenges in South Asia
The Trump administration will face major challenges in South Asia in 2017. The Taliban is likely to begin conducting major attacks, potentially making significant territorial gains. Also, India-Pakistan tensions continue to simmer; another terrorist attack could lead to a full-blown conflict. Up to now, President Trump has not made South Asia a foreign policy focus – but that may change quickly.
Global Outlook 2017: Iran, Daesh and the Arab wars
An arrangement between the U.S. and Russia on the Middle East seems to be the last hope for keeping the region from descending into a large-scale conflict. The two powers will have to find common ground on two main challenges: Daesh and Iran. But even under the best of circumstances, stamping out jihadist terrorism groups is a task that cannot be completed this year.
Social unrest undermines Morocco’s stability
Morocco’s elections in October 2016 showed that its democracy is strengthening. But for some, reform has not gone far enough. A fishmonger’s death recently sparked protests that could bring instability similar to that seen in the country’s neighbors in 2011. On top of that, security concerns are increasing. Can Morocco remain North Africa’s success story?
Daesh is an armed coalition, not a terrorist organization
The popular perception of Daesh – also known as Islamic State or IS – as a terrorist organization is as inaccurate as it is dangerous. Daesh is essentially a military force that uses the desert to its advantage, employing terrorist operations where useful. The misconception is dangerous because it leads decision makers to implement bad policy and distracts from the cool-headed analysis needed to defeat the force.
Understanding Iraq’s Sunni tribes
Iraq’s Sunni tribes form a key part of Iraq’s complicated power structure. The United States found some success in the early 2000s when it allied with them to push back al-Qaeda. Since then, some have been alienated and joined Daesh. Most have not chosen sides. The U.S. will need to bring more into its fold in order to expel Daesh from Iraq.
Sinai’s tangled web
The geopolitical significance of the Sinai Peninsula, which borders several strategic waterways and serves as a buffer between Egypt and Israel, can hardly be understated. Instability there is on the rise, as radical jihadi groups gain a stronger foothold. Egypt will have to overcome mistakes of the past and underwhelming support from its allies to bring law and order back to this critical portion of its territory.