The U.S. shale revolution continues to alter gas markets
The shale revolution has transformed global gas markets and turned the United States into the world’s leading producer. Now a net LNG exporter, the U.S. has challenged established exporters and changed the old pricing order. Europe, which is increasingly reliant on gas imports, is turning to American exports to reduce its dependency on Russia. In Asia, China sees massive growth potential in natural gas.
Opinion: El Salvador’s new president faces an uphill struggle
In June 2019, Nayib Bukele will take office as El Salvador’s next president. A fresh face from a small party, Mr. Bukele is focused on rooting out corruption. For its part, the U.S. wants him to tackle migration and is threatening to cut off aid. With a sluggish economy dependent on remittances, the new president will be hard-pressed to solve the problems that are chasing Salvadorans from their country.
Iran and the future of the nuclear deal
Since the U.S. withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal, the government of President Hassan Rouhani has come under tremendous pressure from both internal and external forces. Now, Mr. Rouhani will have to maneuver to satisfy the hardliners and keep social discontent in check, while maintaining Iran’s regional clout and keeping the economy from tanking.
Foreign meddling in elections: a form of ‘alternative truth’
Apparently, the president of the United States is not going to be charged with cooperating with the Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election. An in-depth investigation has found no proof that any collusion occured. The talk in Europe that the Kremlin is hell-bent on corrupting the electoral process here as well also seems intended to conceal the real problem of the ruling establishments: they have governed poorly and are losing popular support.
The Trump maritime strategy
After two decades of engagement in Afghanistan and Iraq, where land and air power ruled supreme, the U.S. Navy is again on the leading edge of American foreign policy. Freedom of Navigation missions and bold forward deployments of carrier task groups are just part of a new policy to challenge expansion by strategic adversaries such as China and Russia. Yet for the Trump maritime strategy to work, it must be sustained by effective communications and diplomacy, and by an accelerated naval construction program.
GIS Dossier: Vietnam defends its independence
Vietnam, with its more than 3,400-kilometer coastline on the South China Sea, its growing economy and its large military, is a linchpin of Southeast Asia. It also lies at the crux of global powers’ interests in the region. So far, it has managed to maximize its independence, but rapidly changing geopolitical dynamics in the region threaten to undermine its strategy. This Dossier reviews GIS experts’ analysis of and predictions for this emerging regional leader.
Filling the void in Libya
Libya continues to fall apart. Daily life is in a downward spiral, militias run Tripoli like criminal cartels, and as rival governments in Tripolitania and Cyrenaica vie for control, the desert interior is up for grabs. UN mediation has failed to overcome these centrifugal forces, and hopes for U.S. involvement – perhaps the best chance for reunification – were dashed by the troop pullout from Syria. As outside powers circle for advantage, Russia is only too eager to fill the power vacuum.
Opinion: Political implications of terminating the INF Treaty
President Donald Trump’s decision to pull out of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty is one in a series of withdrawals from contractual security arrangements. For the U.S., this step changes little in the bilateral relationship with Russia, but among European policymakers and media it has stirred up outrage. Paradoxically, this comes at a time when nuclear missiles – which are political weapons par excellence – have lost much of their significance in Europe.
Post-Mattis uncertainty and the future of U.S. defense policy
Acting U.S. Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan is not expected to reverse his predecessor’s key Pentagon policies, such as Gen. James Mattis’ signature program to improve force readiness, but he will not be as effective as his predecessor in explaining the vagaries of U.S. policies to allies abroad. Also, President Donald Trump may find out that his ambitious plan for force strengthening and modernization proves even more difficult to push through Congress in the absence of a well-recognized figure at the Pentagon.
Opinion: Why they migrate
Discussions of migration from Central America into the United States tend to lump the principal countries of origin – El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras – into a single subregion, the Northern Triangle. While similarities between the three states make it convenient to treat them as a unit, the practice can also be misleading. Different push factors operate in each country, and without taking these distinctions into account, no amount of international aid is likely to reduce the migrant flow.