All Past Articles
Rift Forming Between Wagner Group Founder and Russian Ministry of Defense
Although first becoming active years before Russia’s “special military operation”, Wagner Group, the private military contractor and parastatal arm of the Russian military has become increasingly visible since the invasion of Ukraine. The PMC is a convenient asset for the Kremlin, however recent critical comments made by Wagner Group founder Yevgeny Prigozhin about top Russian military leadership indicate developing growing pains in the relationship between the Russian government and Wagner Group.
Iraqi Prime Minister Promising Hope For Future U.S. Iraq Relations
Newly elected Iraqi Prime Minister, Mohammed al-Sudani, recently spoke out in an interview expressing support for U.S. military presence and training in Iraq. This statement holds both disillusion and relief for the United States, due to a history of tension between the two countries.
How Sanctions Impact Russian and Iranian Relations
As the world approaches the one year anniversary of the Ukraine and Russian War, Russia is indicating they have no intention to step back any time soon. In light of the extensive sanctions against Russian interests, people, and their ability to conduct international banking, President Vladimir V. Putin has linked Russia’s banking system to the same banking institutions as Iran.
Montes Release and the Implications on US-Cuban Relations
A number of updates in Cuba-US relations emerged as 2023 began. While contention and long-standing ideological differences remain, it appears that the developments in relations between the countries are signs of improvement.
Significance of 2022 US-Africa Summit
On December 13-15, 2022, the White House hosted forty-nine leaders from across the African continent to the second U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit. This historic event has only happened once before, in 2014 with former President Barack Obama. The purpose of the summit was several fold: to build trust with the many countries of the African continent, advance the interests of the African Union, to foster new economic activities, and more. This summit is seen as an important step in building better relationships with “a new, more prosperous Africa”, as President Obama said during the first summit. This year’s summit is especially important as it comes amid economic hardship across the world due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and a debt crisis for many African countries.
Influence of China's Zero COVID Health Policy
On November 24th 2022 in Urumqi, China, there was a fire that broke out in a residential building that resulted in a total of 10 deaths, many of whom were children. The fire took place in an area that was sanctioned off in quarantine due to the Zero COVID health policy that Xi Jinping has established over China, with regulations and restrictions placed on the building. The firemen that were called onto the site were unable to get into the building to save them due to the many lackdown measures that were in place in the building, which ultimately resulted in many avoidable deaths. This incident resulted in an uprising by the Chinese citizens, with many protests and candlelight vigils held all around China.
Cybersecurity in the US
Cyber-attacks on critical U.S. infrastructure pose a tremendous threat to the American population and government. For years, the threat has grown in the form of state-sponsored cyber attackers and threats via data mining and malware coming through applications and social media. The current United States infrastructure is not sufficiently prepared or resilient to withstand attacks that can cause damage to critical segments of the medical, financial, power, and governmental sectors. Experts suggest that radical updates to infrastructure and improved security practices are required to prepare adequately for state-sponsored attacks or undermining from near-peer rivals.
Effects of Chinese Dominance of Green Energy Market
The United States has recently renewed its goals to reduce carbon emissions and move towards reliance on renewable energy sources such as solar plants, electric vehicles, and wind farms. This transition from the traditional use of fossil-fuels to renewables for energy production requires an extraordinary amount of mineral extraction. The location of such minerals is condensed in few areas throughout the globe, such as China, Australia, Chile, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The extraction and refining processes of such minerals is currently dominated by China and Chinese firms. Sourcing of minerals in volatile regions also threatens the reliability of access to those necessary for energy production, whether it be due to civil unrest or climate risks. Relying on Chinese mineral production limits the bargaining power of the United States as it becomes increasingly reliant on these energy sources.
Brazilian Elections of October 2022
With the new year quickly approaching, it is almost time for Brazil’s president-elect Luiz Inacio da Silva to take office. In October 2022, president elect Luiz Inacio da Silva, popularly known as “Lula” was announced the winner of Brazil’s 2022 presidential elections. With his victory, there is much to consider for the direction of Brazil’s foreign and domestic policy, as well as what this election means for U.S. Foreign Policy.
When the Energy Transition Meets an Energy Crisis
U.S. gas prices soared in June of this year to an all-time high of $4.99 per gallon –– a 47% increase from prices at the start of 2022. In response to this raging inflation, President Biden traveled to Saudi Arabia in July, with part of the agenda set to discuss boosting oil production with Saudi OPEC leaders. His proposal was rejected and OPEC retained plans to cut oil production, which will drive up global energy prices further. These cuts have yet to be implemented. At the G20 summit in Egypt this November, world leaders acknowledged Western sanctions against Russia and resultantly high inflation rates that have driven up energy prices worldwide. Despite the energy crisis, G20 leaders reaffirmed their commitments to the Paris Agreement and worldwide efforts toward a clean energy transition.
Sanctions and Relations Between the US and China
On November 14, 2022, Premier Xi and President Joe Biden attended a meeting–held in Bali, Indonesia–to discuss conflicting issues concerning both countries’ foreign policy. This interaction between China and the United States was an exceptional opportunity to mend the relationship between the two global powerhouses. Political scientists foresee China rising in financial and global influence over the next three decades, surpassing the United States as the hegemon and sponsor of pax americana around the world.
The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict is Bigger Than Two Countries
The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a political minefield and the United States has placed itself right in the middle of it. U.S. diplomatic ties and historical sympathies for Israel have repeatedly antagonized Palestine, and by extension the entirety of the Arab world. The Palestinian question is one of many issues that drive a stake between the U.S. and its Arab allies, although the issue of Palestine has potent nationalistic implications for Arab countries. This in combination with other points of conflict with the Middle East threaten U.S. access to important resources like oil with larger implications for greater global security.
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