In CSIS's short analysis series, Critical Questions, CSIS experts provide quick answers to the essential questions posed by today’s top international events. For more information, please contact Andrew Schwartz at email@example.com or (202) 775-32421.
- Critical QuestionsBy Edward C. Chow, Prof. Brenda ShafferDec 17, 2013
President Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan and a number of Western leaders witnessed December 17 in Baku the signing of documents for the final investment decision (FID) on the Shah Deniz phase II development. Shah Deniz gas exports from Azerbaijan will bring new volumes of natural gas to Europe.
- Critical QuestionsDec 17, 2013
Fighting has broken out in South Sudan between rival factions of the country’s armed forces, the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA). According to some reports, heavy machine guns and mortars were used during the violence, which began in the early hours of December 16 in the capital, Juba.
- Critical QuestionsDec 13, 2013
On December 12, North Korea’s official state news agency, Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), announced that Jang Song Thaek, uncle of North Korean leader Kim Jung-un, was executed shortly after a special military trial. The announcement came only four days after Jang Song Thaek had been removed from all his positions.
- Critical QuestionsBy Carl MeachamDec 12, 2013
On January 1, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) will celebrate its twentieth anniversary.
The agreement, which was signed on December 17, 1992 and entered into force on January 1, 1994, was conceived of as an effort to boost cross-border trade, economic growth, and good jobs. And in its first 20 years, NAFTA has gone a long way in achieving all three.
- Critical QuestionsDec 10, 2013
Trade ministers from the 12 partner economies of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) met in Singapore on December 7-10, following the WTO Ministerial Conference in Bali, in an attempt to meet the stated goal of concluding the trade agreement by the end of 2013.
- Critical QuestionsBy Richard Downie, Mikenna MaroneyDec 6, 2013
The United Nations Security Council has authorized African Union peacekeepers, bolstered by French troops, to use force to protect civilians and restore order in the Central African Republic (CAR). CAR has been in chaos since a coalition of rebel groups toppled President Francois Bozizé in March.
- Critical QuestionsBy Carl MeachamDec 5, 2013
This fall marked the thirtieth anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Grenada in response to the country’s military coup—an operation that implemented a stable constitutional government that has lasted on the island nation to this day. Known as Operation Urgent Fury, the arrival of U.S. troops in Grenada is celebrated as a national holiday, Grenadian Thanksgiving Day.
- Critical QuestionsBy Gregory B. Poling, Phuong Nguyen and Noelan ArbisDec 5, 2013
Tens of thousands have gathered in the streets of Bangkok since early November, when the ruling Pheu Thai party tried to pass a highly contentious amnesty bill that would have paved the way for ousted prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra’s return to Thailand.
- Critical QuestionsBy Victor ChaDec 4, 2013
On December 3, the Korean National Intelligence Service (NIS) reported in closed-door parliamentary sessions that Jang Sung-taek, uncle of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, has been removed from his positions and his closest two confidants had been executed last month. No official confirmation has come out from Pyongyang to validate the NIS claims.
- Critical QuestionsNov 26, 2013
The People’s Republic of China (PRC) Ministry of National Defense (MND) announced the creation of the East China Sea Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) on Saturday, November 23.