President Obama is expected to announce in the coming days his nominee to be the next Secretary of Defense. Whoever the next Secretary is, the expectation is that the individual will have a wealth of experience within the Defense Department to draw from. Recruiting an experienced hand at this critical moment will reassure many who worry about the state of the American military.
On November 18 Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan made two widely expected, yet still bold, decisions. He announced that his government will postpone a planned increase in the consumption tax from 8 percent to 10 percent originally scheduled for next October and also dissolve the Lower House of the Diet on November 21 for an early election.
Progress toward building a viable, functioning state in Somalia appears to have stalled in the face of political infighting, corruption, and insecurity. With its mandate due to expire in 2016, the Federal Government of Somalia is in danger of missing a series of deadlines, agreed with the international community, to pass a permanent constitution and hold national elections.
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.