The ruling of the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) in The Hague against China’s claim on the South China Sea in a case brought before the court by the Philippines should prima facie have remained a bilateral matter between the litigants. In reality, however, it has become an exemplar of China’s role in the ongoing contest to determine the world order. China’s shrill and bellicose response during and after the ruling has only served to heighten alarm over Beijing’s intentions and behaviour among all the major powers, including India.
Few if any Taliban leaders say they want to re-establish the Islamic Emirate or revive the policies that drew the world’s opprobrium upon them when they controlled the Afghan state in the 1990s.That is the conclusion drawn in this report by Borhan Osman of the Afghanistan Analysts Network and Anand Gopal, author of No Good Men Among the Living: America, the Taliban, and the War through Afghan Eyes from interviews with members of the Taliban’s political wing and analysis of the movement’s official publications.
During German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s recent visit to China, the two countries agreed to jointly fund a disaster response centre in Afghanistan. It was just the latest sign of China’s increasingly prominent role in that country, which also includes trying to jump-start peace talks with the Taliban.
At a press conference in Hanoi on May 23, President Obama announced that he would lift the decades-old arms embargo on Vietnam, which he called “a lingering vestige of the Cold War.” He also confirmed that, two days earlier, a missile launched from a U.S. Special Operations Forces drone had killed the Taliban leader Mullah Akhtar Muhammad Mansur in a taxi about a hundred miles southwest of Quetta, the capital of the Pakistani province of Balochistan. (The strike also killed the driver, Muhammad Azam, whose family the U.S.
The five major emerging economies – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) – have gained on the world stage and their presence is being felt in every multilateral institution. Among them India – the world’s largest democracy with a burgeoning economy and a long history of engagement with the multilateral order – is of special significance. For BRICS watchers in general and anyone interested in the future of India in particular, twenty-two scholars of international repute have produced one of the most comprehensive volumes on India’s role in the evolving global order: Shaping the Emerging World.
Organized crime, public and private sector corruption, and the involvement of political actors in criminal activity are all long-standing features of political societies, regardless of country. But for developing countries, addressing these issues takes on heightened urgency and complexity: organized crime can derail development progress and foster broader insecurity. Delinking organized crime from politics while enhancing legitimate governance and the delivery of services will remain the most important challenge for many developing countries.
Over the past decade the United States and the international community have funded an unprecedented private security industry in Afghanistan. As a result, this industry has become entangled with the Afghan political economy, as international spending has been implicated in funding informal armed groups and commanders. Considerable uncertainty remains as Afghanistan approaches the 2014 deadline for assuming national security responsibilities.