Bogotá and Caracas are back on cordial terms after a period of rancour. Their interests may not always align precisely in the years ahead. But with deft diplomacy, and help from neighbours, the two countries can nonetheless keep repairing their links to mutual benefit.
Diplomacy, Regional Cooperation, Bilateral Relations, and Strategic Interests
The U.S. constitution divides war powers between the executive and legislative branches, so as to ensure that decisions about using force are collective and deliberative. Lawmakers’ role has receded, however, particularly in recent decades. Small steps would help them start reclaiming their prerogatives.
Military Strategy, Legislation, Civil-Military Relations, and Strategic Interests
Following a spate of murders, the Salvadoran government ordered mass roundups of suspected criminal gang members, throwing more than 53,000 in jail. The clampdown is popular but unsustainable. Authorities should develop a path out of gang life that members can choose.
Colombia’s new president, Gustavo Petro, says he will work to bring “total peace” to the countryside, including areas roiled by violent competition among criminal and other armed groups. This task will require significant changes to military approaches devised for fighting the insurgencies of the past.
Crime, Governance, Leadership, Conflict, Peace, and Gangs
A local jihadist group and a violent protest movement are driving renewed sectarian strife in Pakistan. To prevent a slide back into violence, Islamabad should ensure those inciting or perpetrating violent acts are prosecuted while denying hardliners the civic space to propagate their hatred.
Events in 2021 – particularly the Gaza war – put in sharp relief how much Europe’s policy toward the Israeli-Palestinian conflict needs a refresh. The European Union and its member states should use the levers they have to push for their stated goal of a peaceful resolution.
Diplomacy, International Cooperation, Regional Cooperation, European Union, Peace, and Strategic Interests
One year after the Taliban seized power in Afghanistan, fighting has decreased considerably. Yet serious security problems remain, not least the foreign militants still in the country. External actors should press the new authorities to fulfil their commitments and avoid any steps that could reignite large-scale violence.
In recent years, Venezuelans have streamed into Colombia looking for work and respite from their country’s socio-economic meltdown. But dangers also await them, including the clutches of organised crime. Bogotá’s change of government is a chance to reset policy to keep the migrants safer.
Humanitarian Aid, Migration, Socioeconomics, and Migrants
Its self-declared caliphate is gone, but ISIS continues to stage attacks and intimidate the public in much of its former domain. The forces fighting the group need to hinder the militants’ movement between Syria’s regions – and, above all, to avoid debilitating conflicts with one another.
Terrorism, Counter-terrorism, ISIS, War on Terror, and Resilience
The Western Balkan six – five of the former Yugoslavia’s successor states plus Albania – remain outside the EU as war wounds fester and reform efforts stumble. Brussels should find means short of promising accession to help guide these countries back onto the right track.
Political stability, State Building, Strategic Stability, and Instability