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Geopoliticus: The FPRI Blog

Why would the U.S. want to be ISIS’s ‘Far Enemy’?

Posted by Clint Watts
August 27, 2014 - 11:25am

For Osama Bin Laden, the calculation to attack the U.S. seemed simple. To topple apostate regimes throughout the Middle East and North Africa (the “Near Enemy”) that were preventing puritanical Sharia governance and the development of an Islamic state, al Qaeda needed to instead attack the United States and its Western allies (the “Far Enemy”), exhaust them in far flung battles and eliminate Western support for corrupt dictators (“Near Enemy”) suppressing al Qaeda’s vision.  Bin Laden and al... Read more... Tags: ISIS, Near Enemy, Far Enemy, al Qaeda

Ukraine Crisis Timeline: Talk of Peace, Acts of War

Posted by Maia Otarashvili
July 31, 2014 - 4:13pm

By: Adrian A. Basora and Aleksandr Fisher 

The destruction of Malaysian Airways flight MH17 has finally galvanized Western European leaders into taking serious action against Moscow’s continued attempts to dominate or to destabilize Ukraine. However, despite the significant sanctions announced on July 29 by both... Read more... Tags: Project on Democratic Transitions, Ukraine, Russia, Alexander Fisher

Hunger for Power in Hungary? The Alarming Nature of Viktor Orban’s New “Manifesto”

Posted by Maia Otarashvili
July 30, 2014 - 1:18pm

The recent rise of authoritarianism in Eurasia and elsewhere seems to be encouraging further destabilization of other fragile democracies. As if the Russia-instigated and still ongoing Ukraine crisis was not enough, liberal regression and uncertainty in the region continues to take new and alarming forms. This time Hungary’s brash Prime Minister Viktor Orbán is making headlines; during a visit to Baile Tusnad, Romania this past weekend, Orbán spoke to... Read more... Tags: Project on Democratic Transitions, Hungary, European Union, Democracy

Japan’s Constitutional Reinterpretation and Its Pursuit of New Security Relationships

Posted by Felix K. Chang
July 8, 2014 - 9:45am

On July 1, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe announced that his cabinet approved a resolution to reinterpret Article Nine of Japan’s 67-year old constitution.  That article, which stipulates that Japan would forever renounce war as a sovereign right, effectively forbids its military from coming to the aid of allies under attack or, in other words, engaging in what it calls “collective self-defense.”  The new cabinet resolution would remove that restriction.  It would also relax the limits... Read more... Tags: Japan, Shinzō Abe, Article Nine, constitution, War Powers, Security Relationships, Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement

Arts, Culture, Geopolitics: FX's Tyrant

Posted by Tally Helfont
June 25, 2014 - 3:15pm

It seems like the events of September 11th, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the Arab Spring have caused art to imitate life-–in this case, in the form of dramatic television series. FX recently premiered its own addition to this emerging genre with its new series about the fictional Middle Eastern dictatorship of Abbudin, and the Al Fayeed family that rules it. Based on an amalgamation of Saddam’s Iraq and al-Assad’s Syria,... Read more... Tags: Arts Culture Geopolitics, FX Tyrant, Television, Middle East, Art imitating life

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