Reliable Security Information


 
Council on Foreign Relations
Gloomy Portents for Global Trade

Davos was different this year. Amidst the worst economic crisis in decades, the World Economic Forum's annual mega-summit in the Swiss Alps found itself at a crossroads. The Financial Times' John Gapper says the prototypal "Davos Man"--the international captain of finance whose prominence and significance...

Read all of "Gloomy Portents for Global Trade" »

Iraq’s Political Landscape

IntroductionIraq has held multiple national and local elections since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion ousted Saddam Hussein, but ethnic and sectarian violence has impeded political progress. Analysts say the latest round of voting—provincial council elections scheduled nationwide for January 31—could mark a new chapter for Iraq’s...

Read all of "Iraq’s Political Landscape" »

Sovereign Wealth Funds

IntroductionCreating funds to manage government wealth is not a new phenomenon. But over the past five years, wealth accumulated in existing funds has fluctuated significantly and the number of new funds has spiked. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) estimated in September 2007 that sovereign wealth...

Read all of "Sovereign Wealth Funds" »

North Korea After Kim

IntroductionReports that North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il has been ailing since he reportedly suffered a stroke in August 2008 have sparked intense speculation about the future of the country without him. North Korea, a nuclear-armed country under Communist rule, is one of the most closed-off...

Read all of "North Korea After Kim" »

Combating Maritime Piracy

IntroductionMaritime piracy has been on the rise for years, according to the International Maritime Bureau's (IMB) Piracy Reporting Center. But until 2008, when pirates operating off the coast of Somalia hijacked a ship full of Russian tanks and an oil supertanker, the crime drew limited...

Read all of "Combating Maritime Piracy" »

The U.S. Economic Stimulus Plan

IntroductionPresident Barack Obama took office in January 2009 facing the country's biggest economic crisis since the Second World War. Obama and Democratic Party leaders have suggested an economic stimulus package to confront the crisis. This package, they say, will save or create over three million...

Read all of "The U.S. Economic Stimulus Plan" »

Searching for an Afghan Strategy

President Barack Obama is expected to send more troops, trainers, and resources to Afghanistan, a mission long overshadowed by the larger, more robust U.S. deployment in Iraq. Yet beyond relatively vague plans to draw down forces in one war and increase them by thirty thousand...

Read all of "Searching for an Afghan Strategy" »

President Obama and the World

In the view of many analysts, the United States enters 2009 as a power in decline. Its freewheeling financial system, once the envy of the world, is blamed for sparking a global economic crisis rivaled only by the Great Depression. Emerging economies less exposed to...

Read all of "President Obama and the World" »

A Tale of Two Africas

Within hours of the president of Guinea's death on December 22, the country was taken over by a military junta (AP) and the constitution was abandoned. Ghana held the second round of its presidential polls one week later. Analysts celebrated the lack of electoral violence...

Read all of "A Tale of Two Africas" »

Climate Policy in the Age of Obama

The global economic decline has tempered hopes of swift international action on climate change, yet many climate advocates do expect the Obama administration to help boost long-stalled international climate talks (PDF). The announcement of the president-elect's energy and environment team (WSJ) last month reinforced this...

Read all of "Climate Policy in the Age of Obama" »

Getting Smart on Intelligence Reform

After eight years of controversy, some Democratic lawmakers and legal scholars seek a thorough investigation of the Bush administration's approach to intelligence gathering. Oregon Senator Ron Wyden, a senior Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, tells Newsweek pressure for an inquiry into interrogation practices is...

Read all of "Getting Smart on Intelligence Reform" »

Finding a Place for the ‘Sons of Iraq’

IntroductionIn August 2006, tribal sheikhs in Iraq's Anbar Province publicly turned against a chief U.S. threat: al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI). Their decision to cut ties with AQI, dubbed the "Anbar Awakening" by Iraqi organizers, has been hailed a turning point in the U.S.-led war effort....

Read all of "Finding a Place for the ‘Sons of Iraq’" »

Tech-Savvy Terror

Al-Qaeda militants issue press releases and video pleas to online advocates of jihad. In Mumbai, India, attackers affiliated with Lashkar e-Taiba navigated their November 2008 terror spree using GPS-guided boats, BlackBerrys, and Google Earth imagery. And as Israel's soldiers advanced on Gaza in pursuit of...

Read all of "Tech-Savvy Terror" »

Dennis C. Blair, Director of National Intelligence

Retired four-star Admiral Dennis C. Blair is President-elect Barack Obama's pick to be director of national intelligence (DNI). Blair, a thirty-four-year Navy veteran, is the former commander-in-chief of U.S. Pacific Command. He also served as associate director of central intelligence for military support, coordinating intelligence...

Read all of "Dennis C. Blair, Director of National Intelligence" »

The Iranian Veto on Mideast Peace

In the political calculus driving Israel's war with Hamas in Gaza, Iranian ambition has emerged as a critical--if not always clearly defined--variable. In Washington, President Bush has supported Israel's strike as necessary self-defense, though some analysts believe an Israeli defeat by Iran-supported Hamas would embolden...

Read all of "The Iranian Veto on Mideast Peace" »

Healing U.S. Healthcare

With the onset of the global economic crisis, some experts feared health reform would be knocked off the incoming administration's agenda, but instead interest has intensified. "Many people say the government cannot afford a big investment in health care," writes Jonathan Gruber, an economics professor...

Read all of "Healing U.S. Healthcare" »

Hamas

What is Hamas?Hamas is the largest and most influential Palestinian militant movement. In January 2006, the group won the Palestinian Authority's (PA) general legislative elections, defeating Fatah, the party of the PA's president, Mahmoud Abbas, and setting the stage for a power struggle. Since attaining...

Read all of "Hamas" »

Beyond Gaza

After two weeks of fighting, the United States has signaled support for an immediate cease-fire in the Gaza Strip. Though Washington did not vote in favor of a January 8 UN Security Council resolution calling for a cease-fire, its abstention from the vote--rather than a veto--allowed...

Read all of "Beyond Gaza" »

Obama's Pakistan Challenge

Pakistan contains everything "that gives you an international migraine," commented former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright at a recent CFR meeting. Albright echoes popular sentiment in Washington: With its nuclear weapons, terrorism, poverty, corruption, faltering economy, weak government, and critical geostrategic location, Pakistan...

Read all of "Obama's Pakistan Challenge" »

 
Subscribe to SitRep:
GlobalSecurity.org SitRep RSS Feed GlobalSecurity.org SitRep ATOM Feed