July 22, 2014
Elected Ukraine’s fifth president in late May, Petro Poroshenko arrived in office amid a crisis that could destroy his country. Russia’s illegal annexation of the Crimea has triggered a separatist movement, aided by Russia, that could permanently divide Ukraine. The crisis is far from resolved, and Russia could attempt to take other parts of the country by force.
‘Chocolate King’ Guides Ukraine in Greatest Test Since Cold War
Petro Poroshenko gives a press conference in Kiev after results of the presidential election were announced on on May 25, 2014. Poroshenko won the election with 56 percent of the vote, vowing to bring peace to Ukraine after months of turmoil and a pro-Russian insurgency that thwarted voting across much of the separatist east. (Sergei Supinsky/AFP/Getty Images)
Aging Cleric Uses Modern Media to Push for Peace in Iraq
July 10, 2014
An elderly, soft-spoken Muslim cleric with a heart problem has stepped into the chaos of battle-scarred Iraq, seeking to achieve in weeks what has eluded U.S. negotiators for years: convincing a wily prime minister to share power with his religious rivals.
China Is the Winner in Energy Deal With Russia
July 10, 2014
China and Russia signed a 30-year energy deal in May that was widely touted as a political victory for Russian President Vladimir Putin, but a more detailed assessment paints a different picture of the agreement. The culmination of nearly a decade of negotiation produces important benefits for Russia, but China will reap the largest political as well as financial gains, another sign of its changing relationship with Russia.
Turkey: Erdogan On Shifting Sands at Home and Abroad
July 9, 2014
In just a few years Turkey has been transformed from a global showcase of the Middle East to just another regional power dealing with dangerous events over which it has little or no control. The long-term challenge has been the country’s relationship to its Kurdish population as well as the Kurds of neighboring states. Turkey also has struggled with spillover from the Syrian civil war, which has raged on its southern border since 2011.
Spain Bets on Tax Cuts, Not Austerity, to Restore Growth
July 9, 2014
Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy is moving to ease painful austerity measures implemented in the wake of the European financial crisis, but the strategy carries significant risks. If the shift to growth succeeds, Spain will emerge as a shining example of success. If the gamble fails, Spain could falter quickly, dealing a serious setback to the European Union’s fragile recovery.
ISIS Topples al-Qaeda as Top Terrorist Group
July 9, 2014
The jihadist army that swept across Iraq with stunning speed has toppled al-Qaeda from its rank as the most feared terrorist group. The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) could tempt a desperate al-Qaeda to craft a plot to rival its 9/11 attack, grab headlines and re-establish its leadership of radical Islam.
Egypt’s Al-Sisi Leads Region in Reversing Islamist Gains
July 8, 2014
Since coming into office a month ago, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has stifled the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood in the name of national security. While other regional leaders lead from behind, Sisi’s out-front, proactive model has been more successful at halting the Islamist drive, an outcome that raises the general’s political profile across North Africa and the Middle East but also increases the risks. Egypt is already facing a threat of an incursion through the Gaza Strip by the jihadist terrorists of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.
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