January 2017

After five years of ‘ruthless war’ in Syria, 2017 can be a year of diplomacy, says UN envoy

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Looking back over the past month, which saw some of the most difficult challenges for humanitarian workers in Syria but which also witnessed evacuations of thousands of civilians from war-ravaged eastern Aleppo, United Nations envoys for Syria said today that things have to change in 2017 and that “it can change in 2017.” 

Standing by Afghanistan: the strategic choice

Afghanistan’s defence and security forces face enormous challenges. They are countering an insurgency of well-equipped guerrilla fighters, who enjoy the unconditional support of organised crime, international terrorists and some neighboring countries. They are on the front line of the fight against terrorist groups including Al-Qaida, so-called Islamic State and the Haqqani Network. Moreover – as Afghan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani has said repeatedly – for fourteen years Afghanistan has been in an undeclared war with Pakistan. And it’s also believed that the country continues to be the proxy battleground for India and Pakistan, two nuclear powers.

A European Agenda for the Trump Era

By JUDY DEMPSEY

With few exceptions, governments across Europe do not like Donald Trump’s policies. As he prepares to enter the White House, the U.S. president-elect has already spoken extensively about making America great again. In particular, his economic policies seem protectionist, and his foreign policy, particularly with regard to Israel and Russia, will pose serious challenges to the EU. But instead of moaning about what is still Europe’s greatest ally, EU leaders should respond to the new administration in several ways.