In her recent Lawfare article, The Invisible Caravans, the Director of the Mexico Security Initiative, Stephanie Leutert, describes the reality of the migrant caravan making its way towards the United States. She begins with the fact that the caravan makes up only 10% of the total people who will seek asylum in the United States in a month, implying that President Trump’s response has been disproportionate. Throughout the article, she explains how difficult the journey is, and why people choose to endure the horrible conditions. Leutert emphasizes that migrants are leaving because they can’t afford basic food supplies, they are surrounded by gang violence, they have precarious employment, and low salaries. She also describes the conditions migrants face along the route; including less than three meals a day, extreme heat, and horrible blisters that are the result of wearing cheap shoes, sweat-soaked socks and walking tens of miles a day. Leutert argues that “the mixture of desperation, hunger and insecurity, combined with the absence of hope for change at the ballot box, has proved a potent force for pushing Hondurans out of their homes.”

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We are excited to announce that the Robert Strauss Center at The University of Texas at Austin is partnering with the Atlantic Council’s Cyber Statecraft Initiative to host a “regional” round of the Atlantic Council’s renowned cybersecurity policy competition. This stand-alone event will take place at the University of Texas School of Law on January 10th and 11th, with up to 20 teams vying for a title that includes not just bragging rights but also a cash prize for the top three teams (not to mention a deeply-enriching learning experience for all participants). Included in the two-day event will be a keynote speaker, as well as opportunities for professional development.

In his Foreign Affairs article, Where Myanmar Went Wrong, Strauss Distinguished Scholar Dr. Zoltan Barany analyzes State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi’s role in the ethnic cleansing of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar. Dr. Barany addresses the discrimination the Rohingya have faced, who Suu Kyi is, what her relationship is with the Burmese military, and what she could have done better. Dr. Barany argues that although she may not have been able to put an end to the violence against the Rohingya, Suu Kyi has failed in institutionalizing democracy and strengthening the economy.

Quimberly Jasso, International Relations and Global Studies senior, is a Brumley Next Generation Scholar at the Strauss Center. Beyond the Scholars’ professional development class and other academic pursuits, Quimberly is working on her Liberal Arts Honors senior thesis, researching the interplay between authoritarian regimes, civil society, and NGOs with China as the case study.

In a recent article for Foreign Policy, Strauss Distinguished Scholar and Clements Center for National Security Director, Dr. Will Inboden, commented on the effect of the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi on U.S.-Saudi relations.

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