Monday, March 01, 2021
Security Challenges

The clear winners in Syria are Assad, Iran and Russia – with the Kurds caught between a rock and hard place

The clear winners in Syria are Assad, Iran and Russia – with the Kurds caught between a rock and hard place
By Frank Nordhausen

It is not often that something leaves Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan speechless. Yet following his visit to Moscow in late January, Erdoğan needed several days to return to his old rhetorical form. His meeting with the Kremlin leadership was the latest in a series of talks on resolving the drama in northern Syria. US President Donald Trump’s surprise announcement on Dec. 19 that he would pull out all 2,000 …

Afghanistan is again the world’s deadliest conflict

By Thomas Ruttig

Reports of a “breakthrough” in US-Taliban talks have returned Afghanistan to the international limelight. Although both sides have reached consensus about a “framework” to deal with two key issues – a US troop withdrawal and Taliban guarantees about preventing a return of Al Qaedatype terrorist groups to the country – this still needs to be fleshed out and represents just a first step in the marathon to a peace deal. …

The war IS not over: Pulling out would lead to more conflict on the ground and more instability overall

By Behnam Said

Shortly before the holidays, on Dec. 19, 2018, US President Donald Trump claimed victory over the Islamic State (IS) and ordered the withdrawal of 2,000 American troops from the northeast of Syria. Experts and observers mostly agreed that the true beneficiaries of this decision were Turkey on the one side and the current Syrian government and its allies Russia and Iran on the other. Additional winners include jihadi militants such …

US-North Korean talks continue, but can Kim Jong-un’s pledge to give up his nuclear program be taken at face value?

By Hanns G. Hilpert

The White House has announced that US President Donald Trump and North Korea’s Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un will hold their second summit meeting at the end of February. Optimists expect that Kim Jong-un will follow through with his stated willingness to denuclearize and commit to a verifiable, irreversible nuclear dismantling. Pessimists are afraid that we will see just another summit full of rhetoric and void of substance. As of today, …

Russia’s aggression in the Black Sea shows how little it worries about a strong response from the West

By Ann-Dorit Boy

For the first ten months of 2018, the war in Ukraine continued to simmer without making front-page news abroad. Neither the Russianbacked separatists nor Ukrainian forces escalated the fighting beyond limited but often deadly violations of the Minsk II agreement along the Eastern Ukrainian frontline. The situation changed on Nov. 25, when Russian coast guard vessels attacked and seized three Ukrainian naval vessels, two small gunboats and a tug in …

All terror politics is local: Jihadi groups in sub-Saharan Africa are more of a regional than a global threat

All terror politics is local: Jihadi groups in sub-Saharan Africa are more of a regional than a global threat
By Marc-Antoine Pérouse de Montclos

France’s former minister of defense and current minister of foreign affairs, Jean-Yves Le Drian, takes very seriously the threats currently destabilizing the Sahel, especially since the intervention in Mali by French troops in January 2013. He co-organizes the annual Dakar International Forum on Peace and Security in Africa. At the most recent forum, on Nov. 6, 2018, he declared: “Cybersecurity is a priority in the fight against terrorism.”

This echoed …

For a future without chains : African authoritarianism and Western intrusion are blocking the continent’s development

By Dominic Johnson

Africa is the cradle of humanity and simultaneously the world’s youngest continent. It is home to more than 1.3 billion people (including North Africa), a number that continues to increase by roughly 50 million each year. According to UN projections, the population is set to almost double to roughly 2.5 billion people by mid-century. In Europe, this rise is often depicted as a horror scenario, with many focusing on the …

Terror, old and new: In Africa, militant groups swearing allegiance to the Islamic State are multiplying.

By Marc Engelhardt

On Dec. 21, 2018, the declaration of war came from an unexpected source: “A so-called Islamic State has appeared in our country,” it said. “We have been observing its dangerous behavior for a time in the hope that it would change, but this has not taken place.” The speaker was Ali Rage, leader of Al Shabaab – the biggest Islamist terrorist militia in Africa.

According to estimates by the US …

Russia reloaded. What should the West expect from Russia? A look ahead to the next five years.

By Dmitri Trenin

The renewed conflict between Russia and the US – one that harkens back to the Cold War yet remains essentially distinct from the former – began in 2014 and has intensified ever since. Russia fundamentally opposes global American hegemony and remains profoundly skeptical of the prospects for a liberal world order. This confrontation is unlikely to dissipate and its effects, above all on Europe and especially on Germany, are best …

The political geometry of the Middle East has been redrawn in the last year

By Volker Perthes

Three issues are likely to determine the Middle East agenda in 2018: ongoing efforts to unwind the war in Syria, the Saudi-Iranian rivalry and, of course, the positioning and policies of Russia and the US. Other unresolved conflicts will continue to be enormously consequential to the people affected by it – the war in Yemen and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in particular – but are likely to have a lesser impact …