Nuclear deterrence in the new Cold War

General Professor Stanislaw Koziej

May 6, 2016

Nuclear deterrence in the new Cold War

General Professor Stanislaw Koziej

Russia’s increasingly confrontational policies since 2014 have forced NATO to adapt its strategy to a more volatile and challenging security environment. The Atlantic alliance’s nuclear doctrine, especially the part that covers tactical nuclear weapons, is in particularly dire need of an overhaul. read


Killer robots: resistance is futile

Dr. James Jay Carafano

May 4, 2016

Killer robots: resistance is futile

Dr. James Jay Carafano

Autonomous weapons are set to be a prominent feature of the battlefields of the future. These robots, also known as lethal autonomous weapons systems (LAWS), are machines capable of identifying, selecting and attacking targets independent of any human in the decision-making process. Many governments are working hard on developing the technology, but there is an international effort underway to curtail or outright ban it. This effort is likely to fail. read


Teresa Nogueira Pinto

May 3, 2016

Southern Africa braces for changes from El Niño

Teresa Nogueira Pinto

The drought now spreading across southern Africa will have a significant economic and political impact. Depending on the severity of ensuing food shortages, the stability of several countries could be at risk. Yet the water shortage also presents an opportunity, because it may accelerate an overdue transformation of the region’s agriculture and governance. read


Geopolitics
Brazil faces leadership deficit as Rousseff’s impeachment looms

Carlos Eduardo Lins da Silva

May 2, 2016

Brazil faces leadership deficit as Rousseff’s impeachment looms

Carlos Eduardo Lins da Silva

Brazil is facing both a political and an economic crisis: its president will soon be impeached and its recession grinds forward. There is no obvious visionary leader ready to pull the country out of these doldrums, but whoever finally inherits power will run up against the same political strictures that have limited Brazilian politicians’ options for decades. read


Charles Millon

April 27, 2016

Strategy needed as Islamic conflict zone widens

Charles Millon

As war threatens to engulf a region stretching from Iraq to Sub-Saharan Africa, the United States, Europe and their allies must come up with a coordinated strategy for intervening. A major international conference where a plan could be hashed out would be a good place to start. In any possible intervention, Europe will have a special role to play. read


Economics
Sharp deal drives wedge into Japan Inc.

Professor Dr Stefan Lippert

April 29, 2016

Sharp deal drives wedge into Japan Inc.

Professor Dr Stefan Lippert

Thirty years ago, Japan’s corporations seemed unstoppable. A lot has changed since then, as shown by the takeover last month of one of the country’s manufacturing icons, Sharp. The landmark deal challenged Japan’s state-guided industrial model and may unleash a wave of foreign investment. read


Pramit Pal Chaudhuri

April 28, 2016

India’s Modi aims for higher growth, lower deficit

Pramit Pal Chaudhuri

The Indian government is trying to stick to tight fiscal policy in the face of a depressed farm sector and a banking sector overburdened with bad loans. Prime Minister Modi hopes to further accelerate the country’s already fast growth by encouraging corporate investment and off-budget financing of infrastructure projects. read


April 25, 2016

Chinese firms’ spending spree favors Europe over U.S.

Chinese companies made record bids for foreign acquisitions in the first quarter of 2016, focusing especially on agriculture, manufacturing and tourism. But while such investments have been met with open arms in Europe, regulatory resistance is stiff in the United States. With Chinese firms eager to gain Western technology, brands and customer bases, the European Union is likely to benefit, writes GIS Guest Expert Nicola Casarini. read


Professor Enrico Colombatto

April 18, 2016

Loose monetary policy could be on its way out

Professor Enrico Colombatto

In March, the United States Federal Reserve kept its main interest rate on hold, while the European Central Bank cut its main interest rate to zero. The moves confirmed what investors already knew: the American and European economies still have plenty of weaknesses. But despite appearances, the Fed and the ECB are on track to end their expansionary monetary policies. read


Defence & Security
European rearmament: three scenarios

Professor Mikkel Vedby Rasmussen

April 26, 2016

European rearmament: three scenarios

Professor Mikkel Vedby Rasmussen

Defense spending in Europe is on the rise again after experiencing severe reductions during the global financial crisis. A combination of pressure from the United States, fear of Russia and improving public finances is behind this trend. Having cut their forces to the bone, European countries must now decide how to build them up again – buy more of the same, invest in risky and disruptive technologies, or perhaps focus on fighting terrorism? For now, most countries seem to have decided to play it safe. read


Professor Stefan Hedlund

April 15, 2016

Mr. Putin’s private army

Professor Stefan Hedlund

In a surprise move, clearly aimed at bolstering his own personal power and security, President Vladimir Putin has announced the formation of a Russian National Guard. The new entity is to be created within the Ministry of the Interior (MVD) and its mandate will be to fight terrorism and organized crime. This, however, is a mere facade. read


Energy
Nigeria’s oil reform faces steep hurdles

Professor Dr Jaime Pinto

April 20, 2016

Nigeria’s oil reform faces steep hurdles

Professor Dr Jaime Pinto

With global oil prices low and corruption in Nigeria’s energy sector endemic, President Muhammadu Buhari has put reform of the industry at the top of his agenda. However, any meaningful change will threaten vested interests, challenge popular expectations and fundamentally alter the relationship between big business and politics in the country. The trajectory of oil prices, political will and external financial help – in the form of investment and aid – will be crucial for the reforms to succeed. read


Dr Carole Nakhle

April 14, 2016

Iraqi oil dilemma: to freeze or not to freeze

Dr Carole Nakhle

In recent years, the international community has focused on the North American shale industry and its impact on the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), particularly Saudi Arabia. The United States led the growth in global oil supply in 2015, thanks to shale oil’s unexpected resilience in the face of lower prices. OPEC continues to stick to its position that it will not cut production. However, Saudi Arabia announced earlier this year that it was ready to freeze its production if other OPEC members follow suit. At the center of these developments, one country stands out: Iraq. read


Dr Frank Umbach

April 12, 2016

Kazakhstan-EU energy cooperation threatens Russian interests

Dr Frank Umbach

In December 2015, the European Union and Kazakhstan signed a new “enhanced partnership and cooperation agreement,” which, among other things, calls for greater collaboration on energy issues. Closer ties – whether in the form of natural gas supplies or green technologies – could benefit both sides. However, the success of the initiative depends on how they approach Russia’s interests in the region. read


Dr Frank Umbach

March 23, 2016

China’s overseas coal investments challenge climate goals

Dr Frank Umbach

In recent years, rich Western countries and international financial institutions have adopted policies to restrict the construction of new coal power plants overseas. However, China has now risen to become the largest global provider of public financing for such projects – and is powering full steam ahead. Though they contradict Beijing’s global climate obligations, these investments serve its domestic energy and economic policies, as well as strategic and foreign policy objectives. read


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