While Venezuela is drifting towards mass starvation, government collapse and civil war Colombia has managed to avoid all that and then some. What Colombia did was not easy. It required nearly two decades of effort to reach the point where a peace deal was agreed to and succeeded in disbanding the major leftist rebel group FARC. With that accomplished (as of the end of June) the second largest leftist rebel group (ELN, a third the size of FARC) now wants to talk peace as well. All these leftist rebels got going in the 1960s but by the 1990s were rapidly losing popular support. It got worse after 2000 because by then the drug gangs and leftist rebels had merged in many parts of the country, and the war was increasingly about money, not ideology. A new reform government took advantage of this and organized an offensive that sharply reduced crime and gave the economy a chance to become the most successful in South America. Continue reading
Military encounters between Russia and the West have increased dramatically in recent months, according to a report released in early November. The report released by European Leadership Network (eln) documents 40 of Russia’s instigated incidents over the last eight months, and says military tension between nato and Russia has not been higher since the Cold War ended.
“These events add up to a highly disturbing picture of violations of national airspace, emergency scrambles, narrowly avoided midair collisions, close encounters at sea, simulated attack runs and other dangerous actions happening on a regular basis over a very wide geographical area,” the report’s executive summary states.
The world has been fixated on the Ukrainian crisis, but this report shows that Russian aggression extends far beyond the borders of Ukraine. Continue reading