August 26, 2020
Belarus on the Brink; Putin Accused of Poisoning; China Files; Asia Corner; One Step Forward, Two Steps Back; Conflict and Tragedy in the Middle East; and Sanctions Trouble
Quote of the Week
"This is a protest of all those who disagree. It spreads vertically and horizontally. Everywhere. It’s utopia to think that it’s possible to manage such a protest. The decentralized character of such a protest allows these rallies to broaden and have such a scale and penetrate the very depth of Belarusian society."

-- Maria Kalesnikava, Belarusian opposition leader, in an interview with the Atlantic Council published August 22.

***Join WorldOregon and WACA for a rich discussion - We Protest: Fighting For What We Believe In- featuring photojournalist Tish Lampert, Adrienne Belafonte Biesemeyer, activist and Executive Director of the Anir Foundation, and Portland’s Eric Ward, Executive Director of Western States Center, TODAY, August 26, at 3:00 PM ET (12:00 PM PT). A special video introduction from Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times journalist David Shipler will open the program. Register now!
Belarus on the Brink
Why Russia Is Getting Ready to Invade Belarus” John Herbst -- The National Interest, August 24, 2020

Belarus Is Putin’s to Lose” Nina Khrushcheva -- Project Syndicate, August 25, 2020

On the Knife’s Edge in Belarus” Christian Esch -- Der Spiegel, August 21, 2020

If Lukashenko Falls, Is Putin Next?” Amy MacKinnon -- Foreign Policy, August 24, 2020
Putin Accused of Poisoning
The Poisoning of Navalny” George Friedman -- Geopolitical Futures, August 25, 2020

Russia’s Murderous Adhocracy” Mark Galeotti -- The Moscow Times, August 22, 2020

China Files
China’s Approach to Global Governance” Council on Foreign Relations, August 2020

Time to Wake Up and Start Decoupling from China” Clyde Prestowitz -- The American Conservative, August 24, 2020

The Risk of China-U.S. Military Conflict Is Worryingly High” Zhou Bo -- Financial Times, August 25, 2020

The Delusion of India Trying to Throttle China’s Maritime Trade” Sudarshan Shrikhande -- Lowy Institute, August 25, 2020
Asia Corner
Taiwan and the United States - Much Thunder, Little Rain” Douglas Paal -- East Asia Forum, August 23, 2020

How TikTok’s Talks With Microsoft Turned Into a Soap Opera” Mike Isaac and Andrew Sorkin -- New York Times, August 26, 2020

Japan and UK to Sign Equal-to-EU Trade Deal by September” Nikkei Asian Review, August 26, 2020

***Tomorrow, August 27, at 8:00 AM ET, the Vermont Council on World Affairs will host Ambassador (ret.) Robert "Skipp" Orr in a live Zoom from Japan. Ambassador Orr, in a conversation moderated by WACA President and CEO Bill Clifford, will discuss the U.S.-Japan relationship in the era of COVID-19. Register now.
One Step Forward, Two Steps Back
Africa Declared Free of Wild Polio in ‘Milestone’” Naomi Scherbel-Ball -- BBC, August 25, 2020

How Ramaphosa’s Failures Left South Africa Vulnerable to a Pandemic” James Hamill -- World Politics Review, August 24, 2020

Can Mali Escape Its Past?” Kathryn Salam -- Foreign Policy, August 21, 2020
Conflict and Tragedy in the Middle East
Iraq Index: Tracking Variables of Reconstruction and Security in Post-Saddam Hussein Iraq” Sam Gollob and Michael O’Hanlon -- Brookings, August 2020

After Port Explosion, Lebanese Excavate Their Dreams” Louisa Loveluck and Lorenzo Tugnoli -- The Washington Post, August 26, 2020

The World’s Great Powers Will Soon Face Off in Lebanon” Raghida Dergham -- The National, August 23, 2020

Turkey Starves Syria’s Northeast of Water as Virus Death Toll Mounts” Amberin Zaman -- Al-Monitor, August 24, 2020
Sanctions Trouble
Global Outcry Against U.S. Call for Sanctions ‘Snapback’ on Iran Was a Long Time Coming” Will Saetren -- South China Morning Post, August 26, 2020

U.S.-Cuba Sanctions: Are They Working Yet?” Christopher Sabatini -- Chatham House, August 20, 2020