Bottom Line Up Front On Easter Sunday, coordinated suicide attacks shook Sri Lanka, leaving more than 200 people dead and injuring several hundred more. Eight separate attacks targeted Christians celebrating Easter Sunday, the culmination of the holiest week in the Christian calendar, as well as tourists staying in Western ...

  Bottom Line Up Front: The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is China’s principal foreign policy vehicle and may be the most significant geopolitical strategy of the 21stCentury. BRI now extends to approximately 70 countries and is increasingly folding EU-countries under its infrastructure investment umbrella—most recently, Italy. Beijing’s investments in European ...

  Bottom Line Up Front On April 16, Egypt’s parliament passed amendments to the Constitution that provide President al-Sisi with a path forward to maintain power until 2030. There is little observable public opposition to the constitutional changes, likely a result of the oppressive nature of the Egyptian government. Under ...

  Bottom Line Up Front In Europe, groups on the political far-right are attempting to mainstream and normalize their ideologies to recast themselves for the modern era. The Identitarian Movement is transnational, with linkages across Europe and increasingly in North American and Australia. The Identitarian Movement and similar groups base ...

  Bottom Line Up Front Global arms sales are booming, with a spike caused by a years-long increase in spending from countries in the MENA region. Countries exporting arms cite the link between deterrence and stability to justify these sales, while often downplaying the role these weapons play in helping ...

  Bottom Line Up Front The conditions inside camps of displaced persons across Syria and Iraq, including family members of Islamic State fighters, presents an immediate humanitarian threat and a long-term strategic security opportunity. The camps are a mix of people who fled the Islamic State as well as hard-core ...

  Bottom Line Up Front Turkey’s ruling AKP party is asking for a full recount in the mayoral election in Istanbul, making accusations of ‘wide-spread crimes.’ Defeats for the AKP in the nation-wide elections demonstrate that despite Erdogan’s attempt to consolidate power, there remains a very credible political opposition across ...

  Bottom Line Up Front In India, the world’s largest democracy, politics continue to be disrupted by ‘fake news’ and deliberate disinformation campaigns targeting the nation’s elections. ‘WhatsApp’ is used by more than 200 million Indians and plays a central role in the spread of false news while also feeding ...

  Bottom Line Up Front The 8 April Trump administration announcement designating Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a Foreign Terrorist Organization will have little practical effect on IRGC operations. There are few benefits to the designation because the IRGC is already widely sanctioned; few foreign companies transact any ...

  Bottom Line Up Front The Atomwaffen Division is a Neo-Nazi group formed in 2015 with a cellular-based organizational structure and an estimated membership of several dozen to 80, located across the United States.  The group fetishizes Nazi relics and Third Reich propaganda and its ideology can be described as ...

  Bottom Line Up Front The investigation into the hacking of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’ phone demonstrates how private firms have developed sophisticated electronic espionage capabilities. From social engineering to cyberespionage, private firms and individuals are increasingly hired by governments to blackmail critics and rivals. This trend will likely intensify—barriers ...

  Bottom Line Up Front In March, 130 civilians were killed in an attack in the Mopti region of central Mali, where a growing security crisis threatens to further destabilize the country. Despite sustained international efforts, several jihadist groups are active in Mali and have exacerbated pre-existing tensions within the ...

  Bottom Line Up Front A growing number of countries are taking steps to limit internet access for their citizens to suppress unrest and anti-government protests. The Algerian government has tried to shut down internet access ahead of elections, but the restrictions have failed to prevent the spread of protests. ...

  Bottom Line Up Front The U.S. is continuing its aggressive campaign against the growing influence of Chinese telecom giant Huawei as countries move toward 5G infrastructure. Particularly noteworthy is the adoption of Huawei infrastructure by ‘Five Eyes’ countries, America’s closest and most trusted allies in information sharing and intelligence ...

  Bottom Line Up Front: On 19 March in a surprise move, Kazakhstan’s President Nursultan Nazarbayev resigned during a public television announcement. Nazarbayev’s resignation is strategic and designed to ensure a stable future for his country by promoting a smooth political transition. Russia and China each have a vested interest ...

  Bottom Line Up Front In December 2018, the U.S. announced it would look to end its support for‘unproductive, unsuccessful and unaccountable U.N. peacekeeping missions.’ The U.S. funds approximately 28% of the U.N. peacekeeping operations, which consist of 14 operations involving over 100,000 personnel. Washington objects to operations with no ...

  Bottom Line Up Front There are possible links between the recent New Zealand mosque shooter and a Ukrainian ultra-nationalist white supremacist paramilitary organization called the Azov Battalion. The Azov Battalion is emerging as a critical node in the transnational right-wing violent extremist (RWE) movement. Recruits from the U.S., Norway, ...

  Bottom Line Up Front On March 19, the coalition fighting the so-called Islamic State announced it was finally in control of Baghouz, IS’ last openly held territory in Syria. With tens of thousands of IS fighters and their families now captured, pressure is rapidly escalating as detention centers grow ...

  Bottom Line Up Front Iran can exercise ‘hard power’ in Iraq through several major Shi’a militias that it has nurtured. Iran’s militia allies are emerging as significant political actors in Iraq and potentially in the broader region, following the prototype of Iran’s key regional proxy, Lebanese Hezbollah. With armed ...

  Bottom Line Up Front A right-wing extremist is accused of committing a devastating act of terrorism in New Zealand last week, attacking two mosques and killing at least 50 worshipers. The U.S. has spent the past 20 years building a counter-terrorism infrastructure to share information with allies, though this ...

  Bottom-Line Up Front Sino-Pakistani relations are deepening on all fronts, creating a new geopolitical reality on the Indian subcontinent. Sino-Pakistani relations have solidified through increased military cooperation and economic engagement through the Belt and Road Initiative. The growing debt crisis coupled with the long-standing threat from terrorism in Pakistan, ...

  Bottom Line Up Front A new U.K. law criminalizes accessing terrorist propaganda online, punishable by a prison sentence of up to 15 years. Responding to the ubiquity of this propaganda, the new law updates existing legislation that criminalized collecting or archiving terrorist materials. Proponents claim that these laws will ...

  Bottom Line Up Front Time favors strongman regimes, as leaders alternate between stalling tactics, physical violence and belated promises of reform to attenuate protesters’ momentum. Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika announced that he would not run for a fifth term, instead postponing elections originally scheduled for next month. Widespread protests ...

  Bottom Line Up Front Even though President Trump decided to keep a residual force of U.S. troops in Syria, it will not be enough to counter Russia and Iran. The U.S. will keep as few as several hundred troops in Syria, mostly around al-Tanf, focused on intelligence, surveillance, and ...

  Bottom Line Up Front On March 6, Meng Wanzhou, CFO of the Chinese tech company Huawei, had an extradition hearing in Canada where she is being held on charges of fraud. Her case is a legal one but still tied to broader geopolitical implications between the U.S. and China ...

  Bottom Line Up Front While Pakistan relies on terrorists as proxies, it remains unclear exactly how much control the military and intelligence services have over certain of those terrorist groups. Iran has suffered from a recent increase in terrorist attacks, which could lead Tehran to adopt an aggressive counter-terrorism ...

  Bottom Line Up Front A Dutch cybersecurity researcher reported that Chinese company SenseNets exposed millions of people’s facial recognition information. China has used facial recognition to target Muslim ethnic minorities in the Xinjiang region. Venezuela is also adopting an identification card system similar to the Chinese model to track ...

  Bottom Line Up Front As the last territory held by the so-called Islamic State is reclaimed, the issue of what to do with returning foreign fighters and their families is vexing the international community. The U.K. is considering stripping one of its citizens, Shamima Begum of her citizenship, and ...

  Bottom Line Up Front The U.S. has enacted sanctions against Venezuela’s national oil company as well as against embattled President Nicolas Maduro’s inner circle. Washington has made several public overtures for Maduro to step aside, while Moscow and Beijing have firmly opposed anything resembling regime change. Aid has become ...

  Bottom Line Up Front On February 18, Pakistan-based militants killed four Indian soldiers during a raid in Kashmir, just days after 40 Indian soldiers were killed in a suicide bombing. The suicide bombing was the worst in decades in the region and has derailed already tense relations between New ...

  Bottom Line Up Front A partially declassified study of U.S. military operations demonstrates the difficulty in accurately counting and mitigating civilian casualties. Disparities exist between official Pentagon estimates of civilians killed and those done by external agencies, leading to assumptions about the former being less transparent. The study reiterates ...

  Bottom Line Up Front The 40thanniversary of Iran’s Islamic Revolution finds the country in a stronger regional position than at any time since the 1979 revolution. The Trump Administration’s re-imposition of U.S. sanctions has failed to isolate Iran internationally, but it has damaged Tehran’s economy. Iran’s continued compliance with ...

  Bottom Line Up Front Even as President Trump occasionally mocks the science underpinning global warming, the trend lines show an undeniable and intensifying climate change. Researchers are studying melting glaciers in Antarctica and the Himalayas; environmental changes in these two regions will drastically impact the planet. By the time ...

  Bottom Line Up Front Just last week, the United States pulled out of the landmark 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, citing years of Russian violations. On February 02, Russia announced that it, too, would suspend adherence to the treaty, sparking fears of a renewed arms race reminiscent of the ...

  Bottom Line Up Front Earlier this month, China released footage from a military exercise where the ‘Guam killer’ DF-26 ballistic missile was tested. In the 21stCentury, China has increasingly focused resources on modernizing its military to match its economic power. Chinese military modernization presents the most significant challenge to ...

  Bottom Line Up Front Since 2016, there have been more than 230 terrorist attacks in Burkina Faso, which threatens to destabilize the landlocked West African nation. In the north of the country, al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and the Islamic State in Greater Sahara both pose growing security threats. ...

  Bottom Line Up Front On January 26, a Venezuelan military attache defected to the U.S. and along with other military officers, recognized Juan Guaidó as Venezuela’s president. Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro has kept favor with the military following tensions over his election, although this has recently begun to change. ...

  Bottom Line Up Front There is a race between great powers to develop the most cutting edge and sophisticated approach to harnessing the promise of artificial intelligence. The U.S. has already demonstrated the utility of using AI in counter-terrorism operations, as evidenced by the success of Project Maven. America’s ...

  Bottom Line Up Front The U.K. Parliament has issued a report detailing shortcomings with how its security services handled five terrorism cases in 2017. The challenges came not in the responses to these attacks, but rather the inability to ‘connect dots’ or deter people already identified as potential threats. ...

  Bottom Line Up Front On December 1, President Trump met Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Argentina. The meeting comes at a crucial time for the Sino-U.S. relationship, which has been continuously deteriorating throughout the Trump presidency. Both Xi and Trump are to ...

Bottom Line Up Front: Islamabad has invited Saudi Arabia to join China as a partner in Beijing’s extensive infrastructure initiative throughout Pakistan. The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project is a $60 billion investment by Beijing aimed to bolster trade and create a land bridge through Pakistan for Chinese goods and ...

Bottom Line Up Front: Hurricane Florence is expected to make landfall along the North Carolina coast late in the day local time on September 13, with potentially catastrophic results. There are serious concerns about freshwater flooding inland, as the storm is expected to dump historic amounts of rain on already ...

Bottom Line Up Front: The Iraqi city of Basra has returned to relative quiet after a week of protests and sporadic violence. While some want to put a sectarian spin on the protests, the persistent issues of corruption, poor governance and inefficient provision of services compelled residents to demonstrate. The ...

The recent anti-immigrant mobs in Chemnitz, Germany, were stunning in their open embrace of racist ideology and Neo-Nazi propaganda. Germany has long suffered from residual undercurrents of neo-Nazism, but in recent years, has witnessed an unprecedented rise in public demonstrations of hatred and racism thinly veiled behind the guise of ...