Egypt: Proud and jittery as El-Sisi begins second term
With the Middle East in turmoil, the Arab world’s most populous nation and its biggest army are nowhere to be found. Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi believes the path to national greatness begins at home, with economic development – not foreign entanglements. But as trouble builds up in Egypt’s immediate neighborhood, Mr. El-Sisi may not be able to stay out.
Options for European defense
After three decades of continuous decline, European defense budgets are again on the rise. What kind of military capabilities will these investments provide? Money will only go so far without the right strategic choices.
Opinion: Defense is essential
Every state above a certain size needs armed forces to defend itself. Methods for their use vary, ranging from the Swiss model of territorial defense to the blue-water navies, foreign alliances and overseas bases deployed by superpowers. The one common element – essential to any sort of effective deterrence – is the political will to fight.
The U.S. military’s skeptical response to hybrid warfare
Hybrid warfare has been a hot concept in the military and security community since the mid-2000s. But it has not made much of a dent on U.S. military doctrine, which is more concerned with urban warfare and its own theory of “multi-domain battle.” At the strategic level, American planners do not consider hybrid warfare as an operating principle – just one of a plethora of threats they must face.
Russia losing the new Great Game
Chinese leader Xi Jinping's visit to Moscow last month brought a raft of investment deals, suggesting that Russian President Vladimir Putin is successfully executing his version of a pivot toward Asia. But appearances deceive. The Sino-Russian "strategic partnership" is not an agreement between equals, and Russia has lost the upper hand in Central Asia.
The many faces of ISIS
If we want to know what will happen to Islamic State (ISIS) after the death of its first “caliph” and the loss of Mosul and Raqqa, we must first understand what it is. There is not one ISIS, but at least four. Each will require different handling once the caliphate is shattered and scatters.
After Mosul and Raqqa, risks multiply
As the battle for Mosul concludes, the battle for Raqqa is entering its initial phase. From a military perspective, the fall of these twin bastions of Daesh was never in doubt. But tactical victories can only be turned into long-term strategic gains if a political process is put in place. Otherwise, we will see a “son of Daesh” and worse in Syria and Iraq.
Crusade for total control
The campaign in many countries against cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin is part of a larger government quest for citizen control. Oversized transaction and compliance systems, ostensibly imposed on financial institutions to help fight the gray economy and terrorism, are in fact control tools, used both by democratic and authoritarian governments. At the end of this road is socialization of all property.
Algeria: A European crisis in the making
Algeria's perennial problems are reaching crisis levels. The economic outlook is so dire that street violence is a distinct possibility. Its political scene is paralyzed by a seemingly endless succession crisis involving the ailing 78-year-old president, Abdulaziz Bouteflika. Legislative elections earlier this month did nothing to stop the drift. If unrest breaks out, a descent into civil war cannot be excluded, and Europe would face a new regional crisis of the first order.
Trump or Clinton? For Africa, there’s not much difference
Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump’s campaigns are both missing an Africa strategy. But with Chinese activity in Africa ramping up, the next leader of the free world may have to come up with one quickly. Expect a President Trump to forcefully challenge Chinese strategy in the continent, while a President Clinton would follow a more traditional approach.