NATO Interests Colombia

By Peter Tase* | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

MILWAUKEE, Wisconsin (IDN) – Over the last two years, the Colombian government has given high priority to diplomatic efforts meant to shore up its immediate security situation, actively pursuing bilateral, trilateral and multilateral agreements with various governments in the region and beyond.

Colombia occupies a strategic position in the western hemisphere: it has a large territory connecting North America with the South, and it has enormous shores on both the Atlantic and Pacific coasts. This geostrategic advantage allows Colombia to act as a gate of entry for South America, and its network of sea ports processes a large volume of commodities and other shipments coming in and out of the United States and Europe on a daily basis.

The Logic Behind EU Tehran Office

By Said Khaloozadeh* | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

TEHRAN (IDN) – Every time that the European Union (EU) has established an independent diplomatic mission in a country, it has been construed as a sign of the willingness of the EU member states to promote their relations with that country. Therefore, it seems that the European Union has decided to improve and promote the level of its relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran.

In order to achieve that goal, one good way is to open an independent embassy in the Iranian capital city of Tehran. This will also open the way for future negotiations between the two sides on the conclusion of a bilateral trade and cooperation agreement, and will also help Tehran and the EU to further strengthen their mutual relations. The next stage will be the opening of an independent embassy by the Islamic Republic of Iran in the seat of the EU in the Belgian capital city of Brussels, which will be a further sign of improvement in bilateral relations

Today’s World Atlas Is A Map Of Injustice

By Julio Godoy* | IDN-InDepth NewsViewpoint

BARCELONA (IDN) – If you take a careful look at the world map of today, and compare it with that of, say, the mid 1960s, you will at least notice one thing: The number of sovereign states has augmented drastically. In the 1960s, depending on the year you are looking at, the number of states amounted to some 170. As of today, there are 206 states: Judging by the membership at the United Nations, there are now 193 undisputed sovereign nations, and additionally there are two observer states, and 11 other states, which are not recognised by several or numerous other member states.

Forward To The Future With Legacy Of The Past

By Roberto Savio* | IDN-InDepth NewsViewpoint

SAN SALVADOR (IDN | Other News) – As a new year begins we are inclined to take a long-term view, so let’s see why we should have patience with our hopes for world peace. While proper analysis of this would require a book, not an article, I take the liberty here of presenting some very raw sketches for reflection.

First of all, we should agree that we are still the victims of a cycle of post-war adjustments. The cycle started with the end of the First World War, continued with the end of the Second World War, and concluded with the end of the Cold War. But while the end of the First World War saw the idea of the League of Nations, and the end of the Second World War saw the birth of the United Nations, nothing similar has surfaced following the end of the Cold War.

ICTs Operating In A Changing Environment

By Kalinga Seneviratne* | IDN-InDepth NewsInterview

BANGKOK (IDN) – The information and communication technology (ICT) sector is undergoing a period of major transition, changing the way we communicate with each other. These technologies are introducing new players to the industry, challenging traditional business models and regulatory frameworks.

IDN’s Kalinga Seneviratne spoke to Dr Rohan Samarajiva, a former telecom regulator in Sri Lanka, at the ITU Telecom World 2012 event in Bangkok in November 2013. Samarajiva is a professor of Communication and Public Policy at Ohio State University in the U.S. and the founding Chair of LIRNEasia (Learning Initiatives on Reforms for Network Economies Asia), an ICT policy and regulation think tank active across emerging economies in South and South East Asia, and the Pacific. He was its CEO until 2012.

Al Qaida Far From ‘On Path To Defeat’

By Manish Rai | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

NEW DELHI (IDN) – Throughout 2012 and much of 2013, the Obama administration has toed the line that Al-Qaida is on the path to defeat and with it, terrorism is no longer the threat it once was. Nothing could be further from the truth.

During his landmark counterterrorism speech in May 2013, President Barack Obama all but declared an end to the global war on terror. He said that Al-Qaida was “on the path to defeat” the White House touted the death of Osama bin Laden as the death knell to it. Pre-9/11, Al-Qaida maintained large-scale operations in South Asia, complete with training camps and operational capabilities. Surely that capability of Al-Qaida is questionable but it is far from over. Today, Al-Qaida is a complex, adaptive, and resilient organization. The administration’s successes against high-value targets have fostered a false sense of security.

Iraq Glides Towards Civil War

By Bernhard Schell | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

BEIRUT (IDN) – Ten years after the United States led invasion of Iraq in what was dubbed as “Operation Iraqi Freedom”, the strategically placed country in Western Asia suffered in 2013 the highest annual death toll in five years, and 2014 has started amidst heavy fighting between government troops and Sunni militants. They captured large parts of Fallujah and Ramadi, two cities in Iraq’s western Anbar province that were at the centre of the armed resistance to the US occupation a decade ago.

‘Egypt On The Brink of New Dictatorship’

By Seyed Mohammad Eslami* | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

Iran and Egypt are among the most influential in the cauldron of incessant conflict in the Middle East. After the 2011 Egyptian revolution which ousted President Hosni Mubarak, Iran appointed its first ambassador to Egypt in almost 30 years. Mixed feelings pervade in Iran since Egypt’s first democratically elected President Mohammed Morsi was removed from power in the aftermath of popular protest in July 2013. The following article from the Iran Review, the leading independent, non-governmental and non-partisan website, underlines the quandary in which Iran led by President Hassan Rouhani finds itself.

India Suffers Fiasco on Foreign Affairs Front

By Shastri Ramachandaran* | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

NEW DELHI (IDN) – India’s performance on the world stage in 2013 is the last act of dismal show before the curtain comes down on Manmohan Singh’s ten years as Prime Minister in May 2014.

In his second term beginning with 2009, Singh succeeded in undoing his own achievements on the foreign affairs front and of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA), a coalition of left political parties. The descent from the peaks scaled in 2004-2009 has been so steep in the last few years that 2013 is viewed as a disastrous year for foreign policy: perhaps, the worst in 15 years.

Middle East: Obama Between Rapprochement and Resignation

By Anthony Rusonik* | IDN-InDepth NewsEssay

TORONTO (IDN | Geopolitical Monior) – US President Barack Obama’s foreign policy driver, at times fuzzy, appears in sharper focus as the president confronts the challenges of his second term.

What began in 2009 as global rapprochement and retrenchment grounded in realpolitik, in stark contrast to President George Bush’s over-extended messianic interventionism, now seems to have mutated into resignation, or at least hesitation and indecision. If the United States is not resigned under Obama, friends and foes alike can be forgiven for thinking otherwise.

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