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Ban Ki-moon revealed a new side to his character over the past week: Action Ban. The secretary-general of the United Nations announced that he was tired of just talking about the Ebola epidemic in West Africa. He outlined plans for an ambitious regional mission to fight the disease, then he hit the streets of Manhattan on Sunday, joining 310,000 marchers calling for urgent action over climate change.

Sep 22, 2014
Richard Gowan
United States, West Africa

Against the grim backdrop of global terrorism and a deadly health crisis, world leaders are preparing to convene in New York for their annual gathering at the United Nations General Assembly. The terrorist group calling itself the Islamic State and efforts to control the spread of the Ebola virus are expected to dominate discussions.

Sep 19, 2014
Richard Gowan
Europe, Middle East, United States

On September 17, 2014 CIC Director Barnett Rubin spoke on a panel at the Woodrow Wilson Center. The event accompanied the launch of a report which examines the impact of US policy on a nuclear agreement on the Middle East. For more information on the event and report, please visit the Woodrow Wilson Center.

Sep 17, 2014
Middle East, United States

Upon first taking office, Barack Obama promised that his presidency would be all about hope. He made this offer to foreigners as well as Americans. Five years on, Obama is fighting conflicts that stubbornly refuse to end, but he still has a potent diplomatic weapon. It is not hope, but fear.

Read the full World Politics Review article Having Tried Hope, Obama Turns to Fear to Reaffirm U.S. Power

Sep 15, 2014
Richard Gowan
United States
United Nations

Gérard Araud, France's newly minted ambassador to the United States, arrived in Washington this month with a reputation for speaking his mind, a potentially perilous distinction for a career diplomat.

Read the full Foreign Policy article Can Washington Tame France's New Tart Tongued Ambassador?

Sep 10, 2014
Richard Gowan
Europe, United States

There was fighting talk at last week’s NATO summit in Wales. The alliance’s leaders pulled few punches in criticizing Russia’s actions in Ukraine and agreed on plans to counter future provocations by Moscow. The U.S. corralled a posse of its allies to coordinate the fight in Iraq against the Islamic State. After a summer characterized by global turbulence and ill-concealed uncertainty in both the U.S. and Europe over how to react, the summit signaled that the West has some sense of shared purpose.

Sep 08, 2014
Richard Gowan
Europe, United States

Worlds apart, two leaders are planning to intervene in worsening conflicts outside their borders, and citing humanitarian concerns as their rationale. In Iraq, President Barack Obama and his administration are considering how to contain the violent march of radical Islamist militants and provide help to those whom the Islamists threaten with extermination. In the conflict in eastern Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin sent a convoy of 280 trucks with what the Russians describe as “humanitarian aid” for the embattled region.

Aug 18, 2014
Richard Gowan
Europe, Middle East, United States

President Barack Obama will preside over a meeting of the United Nations Security Council during his attendance of the U.N.’s annual General Assembly, ThinkProgress has learned, marking the second time in history that a U.S. president has done so.

Read the full Think Progress article Obama Will Personally Chair U.N. Security Council Meeting

Aug 18, 2014
Richard Gowan
United States
United Nations

There has been a lot of talk about humanitarian interventions over the past week, but much of it has been muddled, misleading or both.

Read the full World Politics Review article U.S., Russia Duel Over Humanitarian Interventions in Iraq and Ukraine

Aug 12, 2014
Richard Gowan
Europe, Middle East, United States

As U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry bustles around the world attempting to staunch conflict after conflict, one question arises with increasing frequency: Why bother?

Read the full World Politics Review article Lacking Primetime Partners, U.S. Remains ‘Indispensable’ Crisis Manager

Aug 06, 2014
Richard Gowan
United States