The United States and its allies are months away from ending their combat role in Afghanistan. The United States, the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), and the Afghan Government have provided a substantial amount of data on the process of Transition, the course of the fighting, and the development and capability of Afghan forces.
Maintaining international security and pursuing American interests is more difficult now than perhaps at any time in history. The security environment that the United States faces is more complex, dynamic, and difficult to predict. At the same time, no domestic consensus exists on the purposes of American power and how best to pursue them. The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) will look ahead in this annual volume at the crises and opportunities that will likely arise in 2015, how best to deal with them, and what lasting effects they might leave for the next American administration and its allies around the world.
The campaign against the Islamic State and the broader elements of Operation Inherent Resolve confront the US with some of the most complex problems in defining a viable strategy in its recent military history.
The U.S. midterm elections have passed, and, as was largely expected, Republicans now hold a majority in both the Senate and the House of Representatives. The elections, like the year that preceded them, were characterized by deep partisanship and a contentiousness that will be hard to leave behind going into the new year.
The Winter Session of Parliament will commence on November 24, concluding on December 23. The earlier Budget Session was naturally dominated by the budget. The Winter Session will provide better insight into the Modi government’s legislative priorities and abilities.
For the fifth time in eight and a half years, Russia and Ukraine signed another gas deal, literally at the eleventh hour, late evening on October 30 in Brussels. This time negotiations were conducted under the mediation of the European Union (EU) with six months of back and forth discussions, during which Russia ceased supplying gas to Ukraine while gas transit to Europe continued.
The United States has provided support to political transitions worldwide for many years. But it was just 20 years ago that the U.S. government established an office specifically to respond when regimes or conflicts ended and to maintain momentum toward positive change.
The United States has stated from the start that it is conducting an air campaign to degrade the Islamic State, not to change the military situation in Syria or to substitute for Iraqi political unity and the eventual use of Iraqi ground forces. This, however, raises several key questions:
The burning question in Washington about Myanmar’s transition is: are things regressing, stalled, or moving forward? The short answer is all of the above.
On October 19, the Election Commission of India released the results of two key state elections held on October 15. In line with most exit polls, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) won a majority in Haryana and a plurality in Maharashtra. These election results put an end to speculation that the Modi government’s honeymoon period is over.