A Simple Act of Good: Forgiving Ukraine’s Foreign Debt Obligations

Ever since the first missiles flew and the first tanks rolled across Ukraine’s borders in late February of 2022, it would be easy to assume that everything not related to repelling the invasion froze in place. For most of the world, the overwhelming majority of media coverage about Europe’s largest country by land area became focused on the movements of troops, the flows of millions of refugees generated by the conflict, and the myriad reports of war crimes being committed primarily by Russian troops throughout the country. Given far less attention, however, are the ways in which the nuts and bolts of statecraft continue to function independent of the largest land war that Europe has seen in decades. 

The Future of the Iran Nuclear Deal: Too Little, Too Late?

The signatories of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or Iran Nuclear Deal as it is colloquially known in the United States, are slowly moving toward revival of the ill-fated agreement. Almost 10 years after negotiations began for the JCPOA, lines of communication have been reopened in order to update and adjust the agreement so it may once again enter into force. However, there are significant roadblocks standing in the way of the JCPOA’s revival, and the resolution of these challenges is far from certain.

Governing by Grocery: The Food Politics of Russia’s War in Ukraine

When picturing a protracted armed conflict between two sovereign nations in the 21st century, one may conjure to mind images of tanks rolling through villages, or perhaps fighter jets flying menacingly overhead. Clamoring crowds around empty shelves at a grocery store, however, is a far less likely picture.

Since Russia’s unprecedented invasion of Ukraine in February of 2022, global markets for countless goods have faced major upsets and disruptions, carrying far-reaching effects on many different sectors. In particular, this has had extremely consequential effects on the production, prices, and availability of food worldwide.

North Korea’s Missile Launch — Is it Exploiting the Ukraine Crisis?

North Korea launched its latest and largest intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) on March 24th, 2022. This signals an alarming escalation of arms accumulation by North Korea since 2017. With the entire world focused on the Russian invasion of Ukraine since February, this turbulent time could be the perfect opportunity for North Korea to resume its long-awaited missile pursuit. This would also mean that the Biden administration will be strained further as it now needs to anticipate and react to both the escalation of the missile crisis in the Korean Peninsula and the threats of the continued massive civilian casualties and nuclear war by the Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Gender Dynamics in the New War: Lessons from the Sierra Leone Civil War

In the aftermath of the Cold War and the wake of globalization, a new type of organized violence emerged. The “new war” blurs the distinctions between traditional warfare, privately organized crime, and large-scale human rights violation, which marks its growing illegitimacy. Kaldor attributed this shift to “the intensification of global interconnectedness – political, economic, military and cultural – and the changing character of political authority.” Under this backdrop, gender plays a key role in shaping “new war” dynamics. 

Government Shutdown Averted: Capitol Hill Priorities Revealed as Spending Bill Makes its Way to The White House, and its Implications for American Vaccine Distribution at Home and Abroad

On Wednesday, March 9th, Congress passed a massive spending bill, signed by President Biden on Tuesday, March 15th, averting the government shutdowns that plagued the Trump administration. The 1.5 trillion dollar spending bill has ended months of negotiations and disputes between Democrats and Republicans and has left party leaders on both sides with both wins to celebrate and losses to apologize for to their bases. One of its most newsworthy aspects is the 13.6 billion dollars allocated to aid to Ukraine amid Russia’s invasion, a follow-up to President Biden’s past promises to help Ukraine in their fight to maintain sovereignty. 

The Rise and Fall of Somali Piracy: Reflection on Logic of Global Supply Chains, Security, and Imperialism

Situated near the major maritime choke point at Bab el Mandeb and along the Gulf of Aden, Somalia is strategically placed in the global maritime navigation and trade network. Under this backdrop came the golden age of Somali piracy (2007-2012), which is almost exclusively predicated on a method of hijack-and-ransom, constraining the seamless flow of goods in the global supply chain network. The rise of piracy was rooted in foreign maritime predation and the state response, but also sustained by the anchoring of pirates to their local communities and their distinct approach to hijacking at sea. Through these interlinking mechanisms, both piracy and counter-piracy measures reflect and challenge logics of supply chains, security, and imperialism. Beyond illuminating those neglected from the global network, they highlight the interconnectedness of security and trade, the prevailing discourse around piracy and violence, and the naturalization of racial hierarchy in ransom negotiations.

Iran’s Continuing Proxy Strategy in Cyber Warfare

Since the 1979 revolution, Iran has been expanding its network of proxy groups across the Middle East and using them as a major strategy to expand its regional influence (Lane). As cyber space emerges more prominently as a new battlefield in the recent decade, Iran has become one of the most active actors in cyber warfares. The state actor carries on its tradition of utilizing proxies as part of its tactics in the cyber domain.

Caught in the Crossfire: the Costs of the United States’ Rivalry with China

With the United States clearly positioning itself to take a much more active role militarily in East Asia–a proposition that necessarily brings increased attention to Guam’s strategic advantage–it is critical to understand how the United States’ current relationship with Guam exemplifies an unequal framework that denies Guamanians influence over the United States’ military policy that consumes the island’s land and places it in far more direct danger of attack than any location on the mainland.

The Quad: An ‘Asian NATO?’

“I don’t think the overwhelming majority of countries in the world would recognize that the universal values advocated by the United States… would serve as the basis for the international order.” [2]

Expressed by Director Yang at the March 2021 US-China Alaska summit, it’s the latest verbal attack on the US-led world order and its liberal values. As China steamrolled into the 21st century, President Xi has abandoned Deng Xiaoping’s ‘bide and hide’ strategy for a more assertive approach.