The Middle East is one of the world's most strategically significant regions. Stunningly, perhaps, the region does not yet have in place the necessary institutions and mechanisms to discuss and manage, and to prevent and respond to crises. Strategic and visionary leadership is required to reverse the state of the region.
We have no shortage of people in the Asia Society network with ideas and suggestions about what the next year will bring. The other night we hosted a panel on "Asia 2015," a whirlwind tour of the continent's near future.
Historians may look back and see 2014 as the tipping point when the world started falling apart instead of coming together. Visionary scientists remain enthusiastic that, thanks to converging new technologies from artificial intelligence to regenerative medicine, genetic synthesis and green energy, our civilization is on the threshold of a new and harmonious singularity. Yet, all around us the signs of splintering abound in revived nationalisms, ardent religious wars and the reappearance of geopolitical blocs. Even the global connectivity of the Internet once thought to embody a world spirit is balkanizing.
How can we allow this? How are we supposed to explain to the children brought up in the west why children in other parts of the world aren't granted even the tiniest of safety?
This fall I had an out of office email auto-reply on most days, traveling across Mexico, Azerbaijan, the United Arab Emirates, South Africa, and beyond to meet with youth leaders. Four millennials I connected with along the way define leadership for our generation.
Oil prices have plunged recently, affecting everyone: producers, exporters, governments, and consumers. Overall, we see this as a shot in the arm for the global economy. There is, however, much more to this complex and evolving story.
All the hullaballoo over the United States government's' use of torture as an officially-sanctioned intelligence gathering process was bad enough. It brought back memories of a shameful period in American history. But when Dick Cheney reappeared to defend the practice of torture, it was the worst specter of Christmas past.
In today's topsy-turvy environment, all bets are off. Rather than focus on critical upcoming legislative elections and a major conference to help attract investments to Egypt's struggling economy, TV channels seem sidelined by matters that raise eyebrows and questions given their timing.
It took an insolent Hollywood comedy mocking the surreal character of North Korea's Kim Jong Un to awaken us to the dangers of a new code war, a war in which geopolitical and geo-cultural battles will be duked out in cyberspace. As Alec Ross, America's top digital diplomat when Hillary Clinton was secretary of state, writes this week in The WorldPost, "the weaponization of code is the most significant development in warfare since the weaponization of fissile material." Other battles are also shaping up to determine the contours of our digital future. Lu Wei, China's Internet czar, makes his case for sovereign rule over cyberspace. Amy Chang examines how the Chinese campaign for "Internet sovereignty" will rupture the World Wide Web. (continued)
More than than three years into Syria's brutal civil war, Syrian Kurds have carved out an entity of their own close to the border with Turkey.
If you ask me, Obama's action on Cuba was a master stroke, and full of foresight. He has undercut Putin's ability to use Cuba as a pressure point against the U.S. going forward and has, in a single action, transformed a net negative for the U.S. and Cuba into a net positive for its government, people, and businesses.
Ben Franklin once wrote that "it is better 100 guilty Persons should escape than that one innocent Person should suffer." Dick Cheney, on the other hand, said: "I'm more concerned with bad guys who got out . . . than I am with a few that in fact were innocent."
Soldiers, officers and police that fought against each other two decades earlier are now working together in UN and NATO operations to keep or deliver peace.
The abolition of the CIA could be a conscious step in tearing our government out of the grip of the war consensus -- this unelected force that feeds on perpetual global mistrust and hatred, the exact opposite of what true security requires.
Here in their refugee camp, the Christians with no Christmas like us in the West have placed a refugee tent for Jesus, and there in the camp is a tent for another person who was also a poor refugee who had nothing.
One minute, one camera, and one boy... is all it took to convey the tragedy of millions of childhoods lost to conflict in the Middle East.