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AssessmentsDec 4, 2019 | 10:00 GMT
Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (R) speaks with French President Emmanuel Macron after signing agreements during a meeting on March 12, 2019, in Addis Ababa.
Why France Is Bullish on Business in Ethiopia
The Horn of Africa, with its booming economies and critical location that abuts key international shipping lanes, has long attracted outside interest -- as well as interminable conflicts. Yet as regional heavyweight Ethiopia opens its economy after decades of closed, state-centric development, new outside players are even more eager to do business there. Among that group is France, which is actively positioning its flagship companies to win big in the country in the years ahead. And luckily for Paris, Addis Ababa's long aversion to overdependence on any single outside power will boost French businesses as they seek to make inroads in a massive market of 110 million people.
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On GeopoliticsNov 28, 2019 | 10:00 GMT
Migrants seeking asylum in the United States wait near the U.S.-Mexico border at the El Chaparral crossing in Tijuana, Mexico.
The Geopolitics of Immigration
The U.S.-Mexican border is in some fundamental ways arbitrary. The line of demarcation defines political and military relationships, but does not define economic or cultural relationships. The borderlands -- and they run hundreds of miles deep into the United States at some points -- have extremely close cultural and economic links with Mexico. Where there are economic links, there always are movements of population. It is inherent.
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On SecurityNov 26, 2019 | 09:00 GMT
Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu (second from right) and his Venezuelan counterpart, Vladimir Padrino Lopez (second from left), hold a meeting in Moscow.
Could There Be a Cold War Reboot in Latin America?
South America is, once again, in flames. A wave of anti-government protests has ravaged the streets of Ecuador, Chile, Bolivia and Colombia in recent months. Such chaos, of course, isn't new to the region. From the 1960s to the 1990s, terrorist and insurgent groups instigated a series of vicious Cold War proxy battles. But in this iteration, which I'm calling the "Cold War 2.0" in Latin America, it's not armed proxy groups at play but already existing social tensions that Moscow is adeptly weaponizing to sabotage Western power structures in the region.  Indeed, with threats to Russia's periphery more daunting than ever, it can be argued that the Cold War never really ended for Moscow. But regardless of whether Russia's current actions in Latin America constitute a second Cold War, or if they're instead merely a reinvigoration of the original struggle, it's apparent that many of the same actors are actively
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Contributor PerspectivesNov 13, 2019 | 16:40 GMT
An illustration of an aged world map.
Lessons From the Past for Trump's Transactional Foreign Policy
One of the Trump administration's hallmarks has been its transactional approach to foreign policy. Writing in Foreign Policy magazine shortly before the 2016 presidential election, the strategist Rosa Brooks suggested that "To Trump, U.S. alliances, like potential business partners in a real-estate transaction, should always be asked: 'What have you done for me lately?'" Since entering office, President Donald Trump has repeatedly threatened to walk away from alliances that no longer seem to be paying dividends, regardless of old friendships or cultural affinities. The U-turn in American foreign policy seems to have baffled many observers. However, the Trump administration is anything but the first to pursue a transactional foreign policy. It might be worth taking a look at the experience of the most important comparison case, 18th century Britain.
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Contributor PerspectivesJul 10, 2019 | 06:30 GMT
Netherlands goalkeeper Lize Kop works out before her team's appearance in the Women's World Cup championship game
Why the Women's World Cup Flies Under the Geopolitical Radar
On July 7, the U.S. national team defeated the Dutch team to claim its fourth Women's World Cup title. The event, which drew thousands of spectators, players and members of the news media to host country France, produced some spectacular play and exciting results -- along with a hefty dose of controversy surrounding the introduction of video-assisted replay (perhaps better known as VAR). Despite its wide reach and international diversity, one of the most notable aspects of the Women's World Cup, in general, seems to be its disconnection from underlying geopolitical forces. Unlike its counterpart men's tournament and the Olympics, little in the way of international politics seems to steal the spotlight from the biggest stage for women's soccer.
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AssessmentsMar 18, 2019 | 09:30 GMT
French President Emmanuel Macron gestures during a news conference with Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed in Paris on Oct. 29, 2018.
Landlocked Ethiopia Charts a Course for a Navy
Twenty-eight years after it lost its coast, Ethiopia is plotting a course to the sea once more. During French President Emmanuel Macron's visit to Addis Ababa on March 12, the two countries signed a defense cooperation agreement to develop a future Ethiopian navy -- the culmination of months of reports that Ethiopian and French officials were discussing closer ties on maritime affairs. Ethiopia may be the Horn of Africa's heavyweight -- thanks in part to its growing economy and a population of over 100 million -- but it has chafed at its lack of sea access. Indeed, after coastal Eritrea won its independence from Ethiopia following a 30-year war, Addis Ababa shuttered the country's navy. Since then, Ethiopia has had little reason to reconsider its decision, but times are changing. After Eritrea and Ethiopia concluded a peace agreement to end their years of animosity, regional dynamics are shifting in Addis Ababa's
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Contributor PerspectivesMar 14, 2019 | 16:56 GMT
This photo shows Rose Gottemoeller, deputy secretary-general of NATO, delivering a speech in Prague, Czech Republic, on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the military alliance's eastward expansion.
As NATO Turns 70, Strategic Questions Await American Answers
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization was founded in April 1949. Its first secretary-general, Hastings Ismay, was brutally clear about what it was for: "to keep the Russians out, the Americans in, and the Germans down." With just three weeks to go to NATO's 70th birthday, however, its efforts appear to have produced precisely the opposite results. In ways that were unimaginable just a generation ago, Europe seems to be entering an era in which the Russians are in, the Americans out and the Germans up. This is one of the greatest geostrategic shakeups of modern times, but explaining it requires us to look back well beyond NATO's birth to identify the long-term trends that have driven NATO's history. Once we do this, we gain a new perspective on the questions American strategists will need to answer in the 2020s.
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SnapshotsMar 11, 2019 | 20:41 GMT
France: Macron Looks to Drum Up Business in the Horn of Africa
Seeking business opportunities, French President Emmanuel Macron has beaten a path to the Horn of Africa. The French leader kicked off a regional tour with a visit to the tiny but geostrategically important country of Djibouti on March 11. Following Djibouti, Macron will visit regional heavyweight Ethiopia on March 12. Joining the president for his tour are a slew of representatives from more than 50 French companies. After Ethiopia, Macron will head to Kenya for the last leg of his trip, becoming the first French president to visit the East African powerhouse. While in Nairobi, Macron will preside over a conference as French companies ink a reported $3 billion worth of contracts.
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SnapshotsJan 11, 2019 | 21:41 GMT
Poland, China: Polish Authorities Accuse Huawei Employee and Former Security Agent of Spying
Poland's Internal Security Service has arrested a Chinese executive of telecom giant Huawei and a former Polish security official on spying allegations. The Jan. 8 arrests, reported Jan. 11, could reinforce U.S. efforts to persuade its allies to restrict or block Huawei's access to their markets. The Huawei executive, identified in media reports as Wang Weijing, previously worked in the Chinese consulate in Gdansk. He has worked in Poland for Huawei since 2011, first as a director of public affairs, then as a sales director. The Polish suspect, identified by Polish state TV as Piotr D., previously was deputy director of information security for the same Polish counterintelligence agency that arrested him. At the time of his arrest, he was working for Orange Polska.
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SnapshotsMay 31, 2018 | 20:41 GMT
U.S.: Washington Is Scrapping Tariff Exemptions for Canada, Mexico and the EU
For the past several weeks, the United States has been engaged in negotiations with trading partners in the hopes of persuading them to restrict their imports to America, but most of these talks have been less fruitful than what Washington had expected. So on May 31, the U.S. Commerce Department announced that, in the name of national security, it will be ending the temporary exemptions from the Section 232 tariffs on steel and aluminum that it had given to Canada, Mexico and the European Union. Starting June 1, these countries will be hit with a 25 percent tariff on steel exports and a 10 percent tariff on aluminum exports.
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AssessmentsMar 10, 2018 | 15:36 GMT
Diplomatic pouches can be the source of illicit weapons brought into a country, all under the eyes of border security.
The Diplomatic Pouch: A Hands-Off Exception to Border Inspection
Diplomatic couriers travel first class and are the first to board when bearing a diplomatic pouch and the first to deplane upon arrival to keep an eye on any larger diplomatic pouches in the belly of an aircraft. They monitor when the hold is secured -- and when it is reopened -- to ensure thieves don't attempt to grab the sensitive material or spies don’t try to clandestinely examine the contents of the pouch in what's known as a "black bag" job. They also travel under black diplomatic passports, ensuring smooth and uninterrupted travel. But unlike Hollywood’s depiction of diplomatic couriers -- with black briefcases handcuffed to wrists -- the average air traveler would never be able to spot a courier in transit. In many cases, they keep their bright orange diplomatic pouch inside a normal carry-on bag, stuffed under the seat. The most important aspect of a courier's job is
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Contributor PerspectivesJan 10, 2018 | 09:00 GMT
 The way we use words, consciously and unconsciously, creates realities and reinforces cultural norms.
Reading Between the Lines in International News Coverage
In this age of information, it's easy to forget the enormous power that words carry. I frequently find myself critiquing certain language used in news media: generalizations, analogies, categories. As a graduate of Columbia University's School of Journalism who worked for years in mainstream broadcast newsrooms, including that of CBS Evening News in New York City, I know that most reporters don't intentionally mislead the public. We're under deadline pressure. Necessarily we use shortcuts in terminology. But we must be aware that our words shape societal concepts and public opinion. The way we use words, consciously and unconsciously, creates realities and reinforces cultural norms.
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