Syrian Conflict
Blog / International Security

Major Conflicts in 2015: A Year in Review

Syrian and Iraqi Refugees – via Wikimedia Commons

By Vanessa Thevathasan

With curtains closed on 2015, it’s time to look back at a year defined by political instability, violence and mass displacement of the likes not seen since the Second World War.

Old, familiar conflicts continued apace last year in countries like Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, …

Chinese Marines prepare for an exercise.
Asia / Blog

Hard or Soft Power: China’s Conundrum

Statue of Confucius in Nanjing – Kevinsmithnyc via Wikimedia Commons

China faces a conundrum. Its economic might is growing at a rapid pace. Indeed, in some measures of economic wealth, China will overtake the United States later this year in economic output.  But this poses a problem. How does China leverage this newly found economic …

Courtesy of BehBeh, via Wikimedia Commons:
Asia / Blog

China-Japan Tensions Need to be Taken Seriously

Photo source: BehBeh via Wikimedia Commons.

The violent response in Vietnam to Chinese and Taiwanese businesses after China began drilling for oil in disputed maritime areas is just the latest in a long line of skirmishes and rising tensions in East and Southeast Asia. Where these concern the bilateral territorial disagreements between China and Japan, there is …

Asia / Blog

‘This is Not Merely a Race’* – Space and Foreign Aid

Indian Space Research Organisation. Photo source: Wikimedia Commons.

‘Now it is time to take longer strides…time for this nation to take a clearly leading role in space achievement, which in many ways may hold the key to our future on earth.’

Such were the words of President John F. Kennedy to the US Congress on 25 …

Soldier Silhouetted in Afghanistan
Blog / Middle East and North Africa

Afghanistan – It hasn’t been worth it

It’s been almost a dozen years since Western forces first entered Afghanistan in October 2001. The question of whether this sustained conflict, along with Iraq, the most significant of our young century, was justified, will surely come to the fore as the UK government intends to cease combat operations in the country in December 2014.