Mind the Gap
Saudi Airstrikes in Yemen: How Complicit is Europe?

Saudi Airstrikes in Yemen: How Complicit is Europe?

On 24 February, the European Parliament ratified a movement calling on EU countries to halt all arms transfers to Saudi Arabia. This legislation was specifically targeted at Saudi Arabia’s involvement in the ongoing civil war in Yemen. One EU legislator, Richard Howitt, told Reuters, ‘This is about Yemen. The human rights violations have reached a...
Putting the Dam in Damocles: Iraq's Largest Dam at Risk of Collapse

Putting the Dam in Damocles: Iraq’s Largest Dam at Risk of Collapse

On 10 June 2014, the Islamic State (IS) occupied Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city. Since then, ethnic and religious minorities have been prosecuted while IS institutes its bloody and bizarre interpretation of Islamic law. However, IS may not actually be the biggest threat in the vicinity of Mosul. Upstream of Mosul itself, the Mosul dam...
Another Year, Another Dry Season Offensive in Myanmar

Another Year, Another Dry Season Offensive in Myanmar

The dry season offensive in Myanmar has become somewhat of a tradition. This year, the refusal of various ethnic groups to sign a ‘National Ceasefire Accord’ led to early army attacks against one of the major rebel factions, the Shan State Army-North. After the Shan State Army refused a Myanmar army (more commonly known as...
'Japan's New Stealth Aircraft Prototype: How Disruptive Will It Be?

‘Japan’s New Stealth Aircraft Prototype: How Disruptive Will It Be?

On 29 January, Japan’s Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics Agency unveiled its new X-2 demonstration fighter. Meant as a demonstration of capabilities, the plane is officially titled the Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Advances Technology Demonstrator (ATD-X) and is the first step towards Japan’s stated goal of an indigenous 5th generation stealth combat aircraft. The plane is only...
Democracy in Myanmar?

Democracy in Myanmar?

On 8 November, millions of citizens of Myanmar flocked to the polls in the country’s first democratic elections. Aung San Suu Kyi of the National League for Democracy (NLD) faced incumbent president Thein Sein, head of the Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP), the party of Myanmar’s military junta which ruled the country since a...
Egypt Purchases Mistral-class Assault Ships: Problems and Possibilities

Egypt Purchases Mistral-class Assault Ships: Problems and Possibilities

Back in 2011, French shipbuilders DCNS and the Russian corporation Rosoboronexport signed a deal which would have sent two French-designed Mistral-class assault ships to the Russian navy. That deal would have been completed this year. However, after Russian action in the Crimea, and later in the Eastern Ukraine, France cancelled the deal under pressure from...
Angus Deaton: Who is he and Why Does he Matter?

Angus Deaton: Who is he and Why Does he Matter?

On 12 October, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences awarded the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel (colloquially just the Nobel Prize) for 2015 to Angus Deaton. Broadly, committee awarded Deaton the prize for his work revolving around three central questions: how do consumers distribute their spending among different goods,...
Australian Foreign Policy: A Turn(bull) for the Better?

Australian Foreign Policy: A Turn(bull) for the Better?

On 14 September, 2015, Malcolm Turnbull defeated Tony Abbott in a leadership spill within Australia’s Liberal Party. For much of his tenure, Abbott was not a popular politician; according to The Age, the Abbott government had the worst opinion poll start for a new government in 40 years. Now, despite a 2009 loss to Abbott...
Advance Australia Fair: Australia’s Place in the Southeast Asian Arms Race

Advance Australia Fair: Australia’s Place in the Southeast Asian Arms Race

Maritime security in Southeast Asia is a hot topic in international affairs. And there’s no shortage of maritime security issues to be addressed. An increasingly assertive China is enforcing its claimed seven-dash line in the South China Sea, despite competing claims to the area. As a result, many ASEAN states are rapidly building up their...
Trouble Brewing on the Brahmaputra

Trouble Brewing on the Brahmaputra

There is little doubt that China is becoming more assertive on the world stage. Once again, China has set off concerns in its South Asian neighbours, this time by announcing plans to install hydro-electric dams on the Brahmaputra. But assertive dam building is no outlier in Chinese policy. Both domestically and internationally, China has a...
What Does the Policy-Academia Gap Really Look Like?

What Does the Policy-Academia Gap Really Look Like?

It is well documented that a gap does exist between International Relations and the foreign policy establishment.  Nicholas Kristof prominently referred to political science in general as irrelevant and ‘cloistered,’ arguing that the two camps should move more closely to one another.  But what does this gap really look like? There are a couple of...
Is 'Don't do stupid Shit' a Valid Foreign Policy?

Is ‘Don’t do stupid Shit’ a Valid Foreign Policy?

‘Mind the Gap’ is a biweekly column focusing on the link and at times lack thereof between academia and policy-making in international relations. President Obama’s foreign policy strategy has long suffered complaints of lacking an overall direction.  From the Cairo Speech’s optimism, to an entirely more modest goal of hitting “singles and doubles,” the Obama...