As President Donald Trump attempts to negotiate the minefield that is dealing with the reclusive North Korean government of Kim Jong Un, it seemed like a good idea to investigate this multifaceted issue in an attempt to achieve what can be an elusive understanding. Through an investigation of the desires of some of the major interested parties, and the ways in which nations have attempted to engage, encircle, weaken and intimidate the Kim regime through the years, in most cases to little avail, perhaps something close to that understanding can be achieved. Understanding, after all, could be what stands between peaceful existence and nuclear war.
When I was trying to figure out the topic of this post, my wife gave me a suggestion. She said, “You need to do your next post on Brazil, so I can find out what the [expletive deleted] is going on in my country!” Like a good husband I did what I was told. Brazil is a country of great beauty and one that is near and dear to my heart. I lived and worked there from 2011-2015, and it was there that I met and married my wife, and had some of the most exciting and adventurous experiences of my life. It is also a country mired in political and economic chaos, enduring a presidential impeachment, a massive political scandal, and the deepest economic depression in the country’s history. The goal of this post is to make some sense of these issues and assess the country’s prospects of better days to come.
As he attempts to navigate the most recent Afghan war, President Donald Trump announced his administration’s strategy, promising, “in the end, we will win.” This promise, however, assumes that the meaning of victory in Afghanistan has been identified for the administration, and that it is indeed achievable. The White House’s definition of an American victory is important and, characteristically for Mr. Trump, hazy. Whether defined as a total defeat of the Taliban, an Afghan government and military capable of caring for its people and providing security, or simply the absence of major terrorist activity in the country, victory will not come easy. Will President Trump’s Afghanistan policy lead the United States closer to a successful outcome? A variety of factors make this prospect anything but certain.
It was not long ago that Venezuela was something of an oasis of wealth and potential in Latin America. Massive oil reserves and high oil prices inspired substantial confidence in the Venezuelan economy. Anyone who has been paying attention to the news coming out of Latin America recently, however, knows that the country is in a state of crisis. It suffers from hyperinflation, soaring crime rates, rampant poverty and malnutrition, and a refuge crisis that looks to be on par with the catastrophe that resulted from the Syrian Civil War. What has caused this sharp downward turn? A combination of dishonest and self-interested political decision making, rampant corruption, and gross mismanagement of the country’s resources, namely oil, has turned a nation teeming with potential into a full blown humanitarian disaster.
About the Analyst
The world of international politics is complicated and fascinating. It is my hope that readers will find the material on this website to be of assistance in developing a better understanding of some of the issues that make it so. It is also my goal to make this site as engaging as possible. If you have suggestions at any point as to how the site can better reach these goals, please share them with me. Thank you for visiting The International Analyst. With a little luck, it will make you think.