As an event celebrating friendly international competition and comradery, the Olympic Games are still no stranger to controversy. This is especially true of the most recent Games, as nations grapple with a shifting world order, international conflict, and the COVID-19 pandemic.
After Kazakhstan’s most serious unrest since it gained independence, President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev is positioned to chart a new course that separates him from Nursultan Nazarbayev’s legacy. However, lingering questions about causes of the violence and the possibility of intra-elite conflict remain unanswered.
A Russian invasion of Ukraine would pose significant risks to Turkey. Moscow’s potential exertion of economic, military, and political pressure on Ankara may also weaken a NATO response to the crisis, especially from the Black Sea.
Throughout the U.S. war in Afghanistan, Iran has maintained extensive influence in its eastern neighbor. It played both sides of the conflict, supporting the now-deposed government in Kabul while also developing ties with the Taliban. With the Taliban’s takeover of the country in the wake of the withdrawal of U.S. and NATO forces, Tehran will engage pragmatically with the militant group to safeguard and further its national security strategy.
Given the different and often conflicting agendas, a future Russia-China-Turkey bloc is unlikely but three countries continue to use each other as leverage in their economic and foreign affairs