Category: News & Analysis

The Global Saudi Soft Power Offensive: A Saudi Princess and Dollar Diplomacy

Saudi Arabia appointed their first female ambassador in late February. Princess Reema bint Bandar al Saud has been appointed as ambassador to the United States, while the Crown Prince has undergone a series of meetings with leaders throughout Asia. These actions, as a whole, demonstrate an attempted global soft power campaign which the West must now respond to.

Infrastructure: A Potential Source of Political Compromise and Economic Growth

The “city on a hill,” as pronounced by Puritan John Winthrop in 1630, is quickly lagging behind in terms of infrastructure. America has been the at the forefront of infrastructure innovation since the Reconstruction Period, but in recent years, America has seemingly ignored the more basic infrastructure that is used daily by its 325 million citizens every day.

Upcoming Elections and Ukrainian “Ultra-nationalism”

Although the first round of the Ukrainian Presidential elections occur Sunday March 31, many people outside of Eastern Europe are unaware of the issues surrounding the elections or who is running. This elections appears to be a referendum on the ‘ultra-nationalist’ policies and ideology Kiev has condoned—most often at the expense of ethnic Russians. The ultimate question, however, may not be the results of the election but whether the international community will be able to understand what is transpiring within Ukraine.

African Powder Keg: Cameroonian Conflict and African Security

President Biya continues to preside over Cameroon, a key ally in the West’s fight with ISIS. However, recent elections have left Cameroon in a state of unrest and possible civil war as Biya uses American-trained soldiers to violently suppress the English-speaking minority.

The Chinese Empire Rises: BRI Emerges as Tool of Conquest and Challenge to the U.S. Order

China’s Belt and Road Initiative is aimed at buttressing an underdeveloped Chinese interior, securing raw materials, dominating export markets, and creating an alternative to the US order; if China is to be restrained, the United States and the West must act decisively and soon.

Stagnant Congress, Active President: Korean Talks Continue

While Congress argues over the border wall, President Trump and Kim Jong-Un are beginning to forge a stronger bond in order to denuclearize the Korean peninsula. Despite the gridlock at home Trump proclaims that “This is more than has ever been accomplished with North Korea!”… Is this a new round of false promises or has the President made real headway with the Korean Regime?

China’s Social Credit System: The Dangers of Big Data

Society is currently undergoing a paradigm shift involving technology. Within the last decade, corporations and individuals have begun utilizing the vast technological achievements of the 20th century to connect previously isolated populations and further blur the line between the physical and digital worlds – propelling humanity into the 4th Industrial Revolution. And while this period of rapid expansion and globalization is occuring, the world is seemingly shrinking to within the confines of a 5 inch screen.

Iraqis Set Iranian Consulate Ablaze

On September 7, the citizens of Basra, Iraq, poured into the streets chanting “Iran, out!” while targeting the Iranian consulate with several rockets. These protests have, in fact, been stirring for several months, with this most recent eruption of violence in Basra serving as a microcosm of the issues Iraq, if not the rest of the Middle East, faces as the result of Iranian militarism.

California Kills Cash Bail, ACLU Says System Potentially More Biased Than Ever

On August 28, California governor Jerry Brown, signed SB-10 , a law that made California the first state in the U.S. to put an end to the cash bail system. The law, which goes into effect in October 2019, was sponsored by Senator Robert Hertzberg (D-CA) of California’s 18th Senate District, and aims to put an end to cash bail, which many on the left believe is highly discriminatory against those who are lower income and/or members of ethnic minorities. However, some believe that the new law has the potential to spawn a bail system that is more biased than ever before. 

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