This study explores the factors that lead to a political leader in Afghanistan being defined as "good," "strong," or "popular" -- as well as what needs to be done to improve political leadership for future generations.
It is time for the United States to step in and take the lead on the crucial process of reconciling the Sunnis with their government in order to bolster the tactical fight against ISIL and to ensure Iraq does not further destabilize.
Tunisia has not unraveled into civil war like Syria or Libya. It has not undergone a counter-revolution that returned it to the autocracy of its pre-revolution days, like Egypt has. Tunisia is fragile, but its success is vital to the long-term stability and societal health of the Middle East.
From the indignant graffiti scrawled on walls across Tunis to the war-torn neighborhoods of Damascus and Tripoli, the region and the world's hopes of establishing peace and democracy have largely faded.
The lessons from the nearly 200 insurgencies that have taken place since World War II suggest that Russian aid probably will fail to turn the tide in Syria. The Assad regime still faces serious challenges, not the least of which is a lack of legitimacy among the Syrian people.
In Tunisia, healthy disagreement between political parties has fostered some real change since the 2011 uprisings and throughout the course of the transition, but the persistent power-sharing dynamics in play aren't advancing democracy.
Georgia is poised to make big changes to reinvigorate its democracy and economy, but it needs support to deter risks and advance progress. With one-fifth of its territory occupied by Russia and facing risks every day, Georgia needs more Western aid, including military training, technology, and defensive arms.
While Rouhani and his team want Iran's gradual opening, reactionary forces aligned with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, much of the security establishment, and the clergy are likely to stand guard against “anti-revolutionary” tendencies and policies.
It is tempting to describe Egypt's parliamentary elections as history repeating itself. Yet today's Egypt is not Mubarak's Egypt. Rather, it is a state transitioning from single-party rule to a new system whose pecking order is still being hashed out.
Russia's attitude toward Ukraine is consistent with historical Russian (and Soviet) thinking about security interests and foreign policy. But these patterns are only a starting point for understanding recent events.
Rouhani was elected president because he offered hope; he claimed that the nuclear agreement would be the key to unlock or solve Iran's problems. But it will take more than that to make Iran a better place to live. Can he achieve his people's dreams? Is he even willing?
The open-ended nature of the Islamic State group's threat against Tunisair suggests that it intends to target Tunisia for the long haul. The United States should counter the threats with steadfast and sustained cooperation and assistance.
Human development, grassroots movements, and access to the internet and social media are likely to empower citizens in Europe and beyond, forming a significant societal challenge for the EU in the coming decades.
Leadership squabbles and instincts for retribution are testing Georgia's democracy. If leaders do not come together to strengthen the political system and governance, Georgia's future could hang in the balance.