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A "stalemate" in Afghanistan

NDO – The Taliban's recent deadly raid on April 21 that killed more than 140 Afghan government soldiers and injured many others has created a security shock in the host country and for foreign troops stationed there. Once again, the alarm of security instability has been raised, warning that the fight against terrorists and extremists in the South Asian country will be further prolonged and complicated.  (Apr 26, 2017)

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Significant milestone

  Mar 30, 2017
NDO - Escalating tensions between Turkey and European countries are pushing the two sides further apart. Turkey does not hesitate to show its tough stance despite the prospect that the country’s door the European Union (EU)’s membership may shut. However, serious damage can force the parties to consider more carefully when making their decision for a relationship which has not as sweet as it could be. 

Responding to terrorism – a global challenge

  Mar 26, 2017
NDO – Foreign ministers and representatives from more than 60 nations have gathered in Washington capital of the US to discuss comprehensive and multi-dimensional measures to put an end to the self-proclaimed Islamic State (IS). 

Unceasing migrant influx to Europe

  Mar 24, 2017
NDO—The migration wave continues to strike Europe at a steady rate, despite the efforts of countries on both sides of the Mediterranean to stop the influx of migrants from the Libyan coast to Italy. The recent meeting of interior ministers from the central Mediterranean countries in Rome, Italy has shown their determination to address the root cause of the problem.  

New wine into old wineskins

  Mar 21, 2017
NDO – US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson recently wrapped up his official trip to three Northeast Asian countries, including China and the US’s two key allies, the Republic of Korea (ROK) and Japan. The visit aimed to redefine Washington policy in the strategic region under President Donald Trump.  

“Frexit” stirs concern across EU

  Mar 17, 2017
NDO – Concern about a "Frexit" scenario (France leaving the European Union - EU) is growing in Europe as French far-right Front National (FN) Party President, Marine Le Pen, who has advocated for France to leave the EU, is increasingly gaining ground in the race to become the next President of France. After Brexit (when the UK left the EU) last year, "Frexit" would put the EU at risk of folding due to greater challenges. 

RoK in political turmoil

  Mar 16, 2017
NDO - The tense situation in the Republic of Korea (ROK) resulting from the political scandal has temporarily cooled down after the country’s constitutional court upheld a parliamentary vote on March 10 to impeach President Park Geun-hye as well as remove her immunity from prosecution over corruption claims. However, the aftershocks have shown signs of political instability and social unrest. The next president of the Green House must prioritise two urgent tasks: strengthening people's trust and uniting the country.  

Nuclear agreement implementation gives Iran chance at development

  Mar 15, 2017
NDO—A number of opportunities for cooperation have opened up with Iran since the nuclear deal between the Islamic nation and the P5 + 1, namely the US, the UK, France, Russia, China and Germany, came into effect. The breakthrough deal between Tehran and the West has generated expectations of an Iranian economic revival after years of crippling sanctions. 

US still stuck in Afghan “fire pan”

  Mar 13, 2017
NDO—The administration of US President Donald Trump is considering a new strategy to address the increasingly volatile and complex security situation in Afghanistan. After nearly 16 years of fighting terrorism in this South Asian country, the US remains bogged down, even deeper, into its most persistent war ever.  

ROK in a critical situation

  Mar 09, 2017
NDO – The Republic of Korea (ROK) is currently in a tough period faced with numerous difficulties both at home and abroad. The “Choi Soon-sil scandal” continues to shake domestic politics and is causing deep social divisions. Meanwhile, missile tests conducted by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) and controversies with China concerning the United States’ deployment of Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile system in the ROK are posing a lot of “headaches” for the Seoul administration.  

Ally struggle

  Mar 08, 2017
NDO - The world is witnessing new strains in relations between Turkey and Germany after a 'war of words' erupted between Turkish leaders and the member countries of the European Union (EU). The tension runs the risk of damaging the awkward relations between Ankara and the key member of NATO after the failed coup attempt in Turkey in July of last year.  

Saudi Arabia moving in a new direction

  Mar 06, 2017
NDO - Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud is more than halfway through his month-long tour to Asia. In addition to reaching economic targets and extending the country’s influence, the tour also reflects Riyadh’s new direction of diplomacy at a time when concerns have arisen about its relations with its closest ally – the US. 

A drastic decision

  Mar 03, 2017
NDO—The Pentagon has delivered a draft plan to defeat the self-proclaimed Islamic State (IS) to the White House. Accordingly, US military officials made strategic adjustments, calling for more drastic action in the war against terrorism, as the plan provided a framework for a broader plan and looked at the IS around the world, not just in Iraq and Syria. 

A short step in a long-term roadmap

  Feb 27, 2017
NDO—After a 10-month hiatus, talks between the Syrian government and rebel factions officially resumed in Geneva, Switzerland with the United Nations as an intermediary. The negotiations are taking place as the conflict on the ground has undergone numerous transformations with adjustments made to the military strategies of both Russia and the United States; however, the viewpoints of these two opposition parties in the Middle Eastern country seemed to remain at a “standstill.” There has yet to be any sign indicating the “light at the end of the tunnel” ignited in the arduous roadmap to seek a solution to the Syrian crisis.  

Not an easy commitment to implement

  Feb 21, 2017
NDO—At the recently concluded Munich Security Conference, the US has reassured other states that it will be unwavering in its commitment to the trans-Atlantic alliance and strongly support the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), at the same time as it has sent a message expressing willingness to cooperate with Russia. In response, the European Union (EU) and Russia have delivered constructive words as well as affirmed their appreciation of their relationships with the US. However, it is not difficult to see that behind those commitments and messages, many differences and even disputes still remain.