Japan’s defense: easing the constitutional corset
As China emerges as East Asia’s dominant power and the unpredictable North Korean regime acquires offensive nuclear capability, nearby Japan is taking further steps to relax its constitutional ban on maintaining armed forces. Amending the constitution may not yet be in the cards, but beefing up the country’s arms industry has already started.
Rwanda’s legendary leader looks to the future
Paul Kagame is Rwanda’s towering political figure. As a military commander, he ended the country’s genocidal civil war. As its president, he brought so much stability and economic and social progress to the land that it earned him a diehard following and international admiration. Mr. Kagame’s political practice, however, combines economic liberalism with strong-arm control, and is increasingly being questioned.
Erdogan’s ‘new Turkey’ resembles an old stereotype
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is now unleashed, having consolidated full power over Turkey’s ruling party, parliament and the judiciary. After sweeping away the remnants of democracy and the Kemalist state, he has reached the point of no return. Which raises a simple question: what happened to the “new Turkey” – the assertive, prosperous Islamic powerhouse – that he promised?
Early returns suggest that Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has prevailed in the referendum on giving him sweeping new powers, even if this mandate may not be a strong one at this point. The European Union should tread carefully: rather than try to marginalize the leader of Turkey, it should find ways to cooperate with a critically needed ally for Europe and NATO.
El-Sisi makes start on stabilising Egypt – with little help from US
After decades of failed dictatorships, Egypt is looking to President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi to make good on his pledge to steer the country towards economic progress through reforms. Ordinary people appear ready to trust him, perhaps because they see the former field marshal as their best chance to materially improve their lives, writes GIS guest expert Ambassador Zv...