Situation Reports

Pence Snub Reveals North Korea Strategy at Work

cc Bjørn Christian Tørrissen , modified, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_Korean_cult_of_personality#/media/File:Mansudae-Monument-Bow-2014.jpg

It didn’t take a gold medal for North Korea to score a major victory at the Olympics.

Will Foreign Buyers Sour on US Debt?

USD3, cc Flickr 401(K) 2012, modified, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

Will foreign buyers like China and Japan step in to finance Washington’s latest deficit spending binge?

Assad Jumps into the Afrin Conflict

YPG fighters in Afrin, CC Flickr Kurdishstruggle, modified, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

In a further escalation of the Syrian civil war, Damascus has vowed to help the Kurds of Afrin repel the advance of Turkey’s “Operation Olive Branch.”

New Delhi and Beijing’s Struggle for Influence over the Maldives

141009-N-TW634-284 INDIAN OCEAN (Oct. 9, 2014) Maldivian Coast Guard service members practice using a shepherd’s hook while conducting visit, board, search and seizure training with Sailors aboard the Oliver Hazard Perry-class guided-missile frigate USS Rodney M. Davis (FFG 60). Rodney M. Davis, stationed in Everett, Wash., is on patrol in the Indian Ocean in support of regional security and stability. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Derek A. Harkins/Released)

There is a geopolitical dimension to the dramatic events unfolding in the Maldives.

African Union Rocked by China Spying Allegations

African Union Headquarters, cc Flickr Artyukh Igor, modified, public domain

Will the discovery of surveillance bugs in the AU's headquarters reverberate in wider China-Africa relations?

Is Bangladesh Leaving Democracy Behind?

Bangladesh, cc Flickr DFID - UK Department for International Development, modified, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Old rivalries threaten to pull Bangladeshi democracy further into the abyss in 2018.

Israel and Iran Signal Escalation in Syrian Civil War

cc Flickr U.S. Embassy Tel Aviv, modified, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

Tensions left to simmer for most of the war are now boiling over as Israel grapples with the possibility of a long-term Iranian presence in southern Syria.

Trump Moves to Overhaul US Nuclear Policy

A decommissioned Titan ICBM, a mainstay of US nuclear policy, cc Joanna Poe Flickr, modified, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

The latest US nuclear policy review has put the international arms control regime on notice.

Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters Assume ISIS’ Mantle in the Philippines’ Troubled South

Confiscated weapons from the Marawi siege, public domain Philippines Presidential Communications Operation Office, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Confiscated_Weapons_Marawi_crisis_June_2017.jpg

An ISIS-linked extremist group is threatening the peace process in the Philippines’ restive Mindanao region.

Maldives: A Domestic Crisis with Geopolitical Consequences?

cc Flickr, Dying Regime, modified, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

A political crisis in Maldives is presenting possible inroads for China’s ‘string of pearls’ strategy in the Indian Ocean.

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