Month: March 2018

Tillerson on the Venezuelan Crisis and the Future of Regional Stability

On Feb. 1, 2018, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson addressed UT students and faculty on U.S. engagement in the Western hemisphere, before embarking on his “diplomatic mission” to Latin American and the Caribbean. He identified economic growth, security and democratic governance as the “three pillars of engagement” for the State Department’s strategy for regional stability. To reinforce these three pillars, Tillerson advocated for the integration of energy resources, such as crude oil, natural gas and electricity. He said the “energy renaissance” is already underway and this “energy force” will support the U.S. economy as the “most competitive and...

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The Turks vs. the Kurds: a New Dimension in Syrian Conflict?

This month marks the seven-year anniversary of the Syrian Civil War. The country, an arena of catastrophic destruction since March 2011, has witnessed a reign of terror from ISIS, proxy wars between major powers, and an incomprehensibly large-scale humanitarian crisis. Last fall, the international community celebrated the liberation of Raqqa, the self-designated capitol of the ISIS caliphate. With the fall of the caliphate began a new era of reconstruction in Syria. Now, reconstruction efforts have encountered a new obstacle: growing tensions in northern Syria between U.S.-backed Syrian Kurds and the neighboring Turks. Also known as the Euphrates River Valley,...

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