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July 3, 2019

North Korea
No Time to Abandon Denuclearization

The United States should maintain a resolute policy aimed at denuclearizing North Korea.

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June 19, 2019

Iran
Iran, the Strait of Hormuz, and Hard Power

I woke up this morning thinking I would write a blog explaining just how challenging it would be for Iran to close the Strait of Hormuz for a prolonged period of time. This is not to say that there c…

Explosions that damaged two tankers south of the Strait of Hormuz on June 13, 2019 come a month after four vessels were targeted in "sabotage attacks" off the coast of the United Arab Emirates.

June 7, 2019

China
Is OPEC China's Problem?

The decision by the United States to wind down waivers on U.S. sanctions against Iranian oil exports has laid bare some new realities about oil geopolitics that were previously not well understood. O…

A crude oil tanker is seen at Qingdao Port, Shandong province, China, April 21, 2019. Picture taken April 21, 2019.

May 23, 2019

Nigeria
ISWA Tries to Win Over Some Nigerians While Killing Others

The conventional wisdom is that the Boko Haram faction that calls itself the Islamic State in West African (ISWA) is less brutal than Abubakar Shekau’s rival faction, notorious for the Chibok school girl kidnapping and the targeting of civilians. There is some truth to this: ISWA has avoided using female and child suicide bombers and it does not seem to indiscriminately murder entire villages. Its rhetoric does not glory in murder like Shekau’s.

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May 3, 2019

Women and Women's Rights
Controversy Over Sexual Violence in Conflict at the UN Security Council

Controversy tainted the UN Security Council’s annual debate on conflict-related sexual violence, hosted on April 23 by German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas. The United States and other Security Council…

Amal Clooney and Nadia Murad at the UN Security Council, during a meeting about sexual violence in conflict. New York, United States. April 23, 2019.

April 17, 2019

Nigeria
Boko Haram Evolves and Persists in Northeast Nigeria

The Shekau and al-Barnawi factions of Boko Haram continue to evolve and even grow. Changes in leadership and tactics raise questions about the extent of their affiliation with IS and overall stability, but they also indicate that the movement is far from defeated.

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March 26, 2019

Saudi Arabia
The New Oil Darwinism

It’s a geopolitical jungle out there in the oil world right now and only the fittest will survive. The new oil Darwinism is replacing the older thesis that all producers can succeed over time because…

An oil pump jack pumps oil in a field near Calgary, Alberta, Canada on July 21, 2014

March 13, 2019

Syrian Civil War
Clashing Realities in Syria

400 American troops can't accomplish anything. 

U.S. President Donald Trump, with first lady Melania Trump, delivers remarks to U.S. troops in an unannounced visit to Al Asad Air Base, Iraq, December 26, 2018.

March 12, 2019

Nigeria
Suspected Leadership Changes to IS-Backed Boko Haram Faction Continue

In September 2018, there were reports that Nur was murdered by his own faction because he was too “soft”, that he misappropriated ransom money, and even that he might have been open to a dialogue with the Nigerian government. In late February 2018, ISWA reportedly replaced al-Barnawi with Abu Abdullah Ibn Umar al-Barnawi.

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March 8, 2019

Democratic Republic of Congo
Global Conflict This Week: New Reforms and Transitions in the DRC

Developments in conflicts across the world that you might have missed this week.

DRC outgoing President Kabila and his successor Felix Tshisekedi stand during Tshisekedi's inauguration ceremony