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A Pashtun man passes a road sign while pulling supplies toward the Pakistan-Afghanistan border crossing in Chaman.

Resetting Pakistan’s Relations with Afghanistan

Asia Report N°262, 28 October 2014

As Pakistan seeks to consolidate its fragile democracy, it should seize the moment to improve relations with its Afghan neighbour. Its biggest challenge comes from within. The civilian government has to regain control over national security and foreign policy from the military.

Rajapaksa ‘politically vulnerable’ ahead of early Sri Lanka polls

Photo: Sudath Silva

28 October 2014:  In this interview with Deutsche Welle, Alan Keenan, Senior Sri Lanka Analyst, explains the situation before Sri Lanka polls next January, with the current president Mahinda Rajapaksa set to run for a third term; a move likely triggered by the President’s fading popularity. With a growing discontent at the high cost-of-living and lack of an economic peace dividend in Sri Lanka, Keenan argues that while Rajapaksa is still the clear favourite, the longer Rajapaksa delays the next election, the smaller are his chances of victory.

The Implications of Turkey’s Turn Towards Fighting ISIS

14 October 2014: In this interview with Syria Deeply, Didem Aykel Collinsworth, Turkey Senior Analyst, explains why Turkey has stepped up its cooperation with the international community in the fight against the Islamic State (IS). Didem stresses that this move is a defensive measure and that direct involvement in the war in Syria would be extremely unpopular in Turkey. Turkey is very much aware of the risk IS poses, but it sees the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) as the largest domestic security threat. The key here is to move as fast as possible with the peace process and confidence building measures between Turkey and the PKK , so that there are the grounds to cooperate in Kobani.

Why ISIS Is Gaining Ground – and So Hard to Beat

14 October 2014: In this interview, Noah Bonsey, Syria Senior Analyst, answers Syria Deeply's questions about why the Islamic State (IS) has had so much success in Syria and the challenges ahead for degrading its influence. IS now controls roughly one-third of Syrian territory and has recently seized 40% of the strategic Syrian border town of Kobani, raising questions about the success of U.S.-led airstrikes meant to stem the group’s advance. The U.S. had said it would rely on moderate rebel groups in Syria to fight IS on the ground. Noah argues that, partly due to the U.S. support coming so late, these rebel forces lack the capacity and organisation to take on IS.

Global Briefing 2014

Global Briefing

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