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Commentary

Commentary / Global

10 Conflicts to Watch in 2021

The new year will likely be plagued by unresolved legacies of the old: COVID-19, economic downturns, erratic U.S. policies and destructive wars that diplomacy did not stop. Crisis Group’s President Robert Malley lists the Ten Conflicts to Watch in 2021.

Also available in Español
Commentary / Asia

Calls to Curb the Crown’s Writ Put Thailand on Edge

Young pro-democracy protesters have roiled Thai politics with a previously taboo demand to reform the country’s monarchy. As the state resists change, and conservative citizens recoil, the risk of violence is growing. The standoff poses Thailand’s existential question: is the king sovereign or are the people? 

Repairing the Damage to U.S. Diplomacy in the UN Security Council

The incoming Biden administration faces a tall order in Turtle Bay: healing the wounds its predecessor inflicted upon U.S. relations with fellow Security Council members while addressing differences that go back further than four years. Nevertheless, it has several opportunities for restoring Washington’s international engagement.

Commentary

Once Upon a Time, There Was a U.S. Foreign Policy Triumph

Laurel Miller, our Asia Program Director, draws from her experience of the 1995 Dayton negotiations to highlight key components of a past U.S. foreign policy success. She served in the U.S. State Department under three administrations, most recently as acting Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan.

A Refuge from Violence in a Forgotten Corner of Colombia

Throughout Colombia, social leaders are a staple of community life, providing services and defending rights that the state does not. But these activists face growing dangers from the criminals, ex-paramilitaries and self-styled guerrillas whose rackets they disrupt. This is one woman’s story.

Also available in Español

The SDF Seeks a Path Toward Durable Stability in North East Syria

A sudden U.S. troop pull-out from north east Syria could prompt a humanitarian crisis, an Islamic State resurgence and renewed conflict between Turkey and the Syrian Democratic Forces, especially its Kurdish component. The U.S. should commit to an eventual, gradual and conditional withdrawal that protects civilians.

Brazil’s Deadly Calm

Despite mishandling a pandemic that has claimed over 160,000 lives, Brazil’s president is enjoying a surge in popularity thanks to emergency cash transfers and reduced political tensions. But his fortunes may turn, and the threat he poses to Brazilian democracy rise again.

Also available in Español, Português
Commentary / Africa

The Islamic State Franchises in Africa: Lessons from Lake Chad

While in decline in the Levant, the Islamic State has claimed some gains in Africa. Testimonies from defectors who once waged jihad in the Lake Chad basin shed new light on the impact and workings of the “caliphate” south of the Sahara.

Also available in Français

The International Approach to the Yemen War: Time for a Change?

The international community has mediated in the Yemen war since its outbreak. Although the efforts have yielded some results, none have resulted in a lasting de-escalation of violence or real progress toward political solutions. A new international approach could change that. 

Originally published in Yemen Policy Center

Bolivia’s Landslide Lays to Rest the Fears of Fraud

In a stunning reversal of fortune, Bolivian voters returned the party of former President Evo Morales to power one year after his ouster. The new government should use its remarkable mandate to heal wounds at home and build cross-ideological bridges in its South American neighbourhood.

Also available in Español