The military was once a central pillar of authoritarian dictatorships in Latin America. Now, democratic governments are relying on them to restore law and order, bypassing failing police forces. This is a high-risk strategy, policymakers need to ensure that civilian control of militaries remain paramount.
Obama's declaratory policy on Iran involves a fine balancing act that is designed for multiple audiences: a recalcitrant Iranian regime, a domestic population about to go to the polls, and a jittery Middle Eastern region led by Israel. Though this strategy has thus far been successful, it carries notable risks for the Administration in the midst of a continuing standoff with Iran.
President-elect Putin has been ushered into power on a promise of furthering Russia's hard-nosed attitude towards the West. Central to Putin's stance is continued Russian reticence towards NATO's plans for Ballistic Missile Defence. A stand-off ensues where Russian insistence on guarantees will be hard to meet.
The NATO Lisbon Summit is heaped with expectation, but it is unlikely to deliver radical reforms. Although escalating tensions in Afghanistan and rapprochement with Russia is high on the agenda, ‘Getting NATO’s house in Order’ would be the greatest headline for this summit.
The recent emergence of Al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) is part of a history of terrorism and conflict originating in Yemen. The West now needs to work with the Yemeni government and Civil Society Groups to prevent further attacks by Al-Qa’ida.