For decades the Roman Catholic Church has attempted to shore up its traditions. Pope Benedict XVI’s surprise abdication may spark a sense of possibility similar to that which prevailed after the Second Vatican Council.
The terror franchise that changed how governments think about security may be debilitated, but its message not only continues to spread, it also adapts to local contingencies. How are Western governments adapting their strategies?
The pivot into Africa of jihadist movements has changed the geopolitics of a fragile region, where failed states open opportunities for Islamic extremists. Europe has to rise to the challenge – or pay a heavy price for inaction. Security in the western Mediterranean is at stake.
The Arab Awaking has been a rude one. Al-Qaeda may be marginalized, but its impact on Islamist politics has been indelible. The Muslim world now finds itself caught in the throes of a post-Qaeda reevaluation of its own traditions and its relationship to the West.
In times of rapid change, conflict is almost inevitable. Islamist governments pose a legitimate threat to minority communities, especially Christians, who have tended to thrive under secular regimes. What will their fate be?
As the war in Syria rages, jihadis from outside the country are making their presence felt. A close-up look at the front line in Aleppo reveals a complex situation that could degenerate further if the Assad regime falls.
The most dangerous new front in the ongoing fight against Islamic extremism, especially for European nations, has opened in Africa’s Sahel region. Now France has boots in the sand and must train African nations to contain the threat.
With all the changes and upheavals in its neighborhood, it is not surprising that Israel is watching developments attentively. Despite seemingly countless variables and scenarios, there is one constant – stability – that has a huge bearing on its relations.
The graying of the great powers
The world is facing a demographic watershed of unprecedented proportions. Everywhere on the planet, people are living longer and having fewer children. This “graying” of the world will have huge economic and political ramifications.
Demographic changes through migration from country to country have usually been driven by the poor seeking opportunities in wealthier lands. Now there is a trend toward piloting demography by treating residency as an exchangeable good.
Demographic factors affect where the money of the productive population goes. If too much is spent on non-working dependents, there is less for investment. To mitigate this situation, a coordinated effort is needed between government and business to teach new skills.
Population growth is the central factor behind globalization. As developing nations grow and take their rightful place in the international political arena, the West will need to elaborate a more universal vision of the values that allowed them to become leaders.
Britain’s view of the European Union as merely a market may eventually force it to break away. One must wonder, however, not only how it could survive alone, but whether it can prevent its own internal break-up.
What works for one country may not work for other countries. Economists are now trying to accurately quantify why similar fiscal policies result in a more negative impact on struggling economies than on sounder ones.
With an economy that has gone from backwater to superpower in a matter of decades, the Chinese hunger for energy has led to a race for nuclear energy production, and more recently to a need to come to terms with safety issues.
Cuisine is an integral part of a people’s culture. But the very nature of food is such that it’s meant to be shared. Neighbors often appropriate each other’s methods of preparation. At times this can lead to disputes. Although it can also lead to cooperation.
John Kerry, long a champion in the fight against climate change, will get a chance as the new Secretary of State to link environmental issues with those of national security, and reestablish the US as a “green” leader.