December 2012

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The Global Linguistic Revolution

The world's fastest growing language is no language at all.

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What to Read in 2013

Plotting your Kindle downloads for the coming year? From war memoirs to digital manifestos, here are 25 new books that will be hot off the presses in the months ahead.

SIGFRIED MODOLA/AFP/Getty Images

The Global Races to Watch Next Year

Eight elections that could change the world in 2013.

Ed Giles/Getty Images

The Year the Arab Spring Went Bad

Hopes for a democratic Middle East have faltered amid sectarian animosities and ideological divisions. Did it have to be this way?

KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP/Getty Images

You’re a Mean One, Mr. Putin

Was 2012 the year Russia's president finally lost it?

JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images

The Year in Quotes

The 20 most puzzling, hypocritical, and revealing things said about U.S. foreign policy in 2012.

Win McNamee/Getty Images

Chicken Run

The politicians are playing a dangerous game with the global economy -- and with Americans' pocketbooks. But the voters get the last move.

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FP’s Most Popular Articles of 2012

From true spy stories to the sex lives of ayatollahs, here’s what you wanted to read in the past year.

Win McNamee/Getty Images

Wanted: A Few Good Leaders

Fewer veterans are serving in high office in the United States. It's no coincidence that America is going off the rails.

Ken Keating

The Slab

One soldier's quest to honor a fallen comrade he didn't even know.

PHILIPPE LOPEZ/AFP/Getty Images

Beyond GDP

How our fixation with growth blinds us to broader measures of a society's health -- or lack thereof.

Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images

Was It a Good Year in Afghanistan?

Looking back at a troubling 2012 filled with progress and peril, it's hard to determine whether the United States is winning this war.

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North Korea Does Not Believe in Unicorns

But it does believe in promoting a fanciful version of its own history.

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10 Conflicts to Watch in 2013

From Turkey to Congo, next year's wars threaten global stability.

Alex Wong/Getty Images

New Year, Same Awful Congress

Will lawmakers trade political paralysis for compromise and bipartisanship in 2013? Don't bet on it.

Uriel Sinai/Getty Images

The Settlement That Broke the Two-State Solution

Ma'aleh Adumim symbolizes why Middle East peace may no longer be possible.

Alex Wong/Getty Images

Flournoy for SecDef

Ten reasons the president should ditch Chuck for Michèle.

All photos AFP/Getty Images

The Top 10 National Security Stories of the Year

From Obama and the generals to women in combat, here are the big issues that mattered in 2012.

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Anatomy of an Air Attack Gone Wrong

In rural Yemen, a botched attack on a terror suspect kills 12 civilians and destroys a community.

MICHAEL URBAN/AFP/Getty Images

Poland’s Shale Gas Dream

Polish leaders think they've found a path to energy independence, but their high hopes could prove premature.

PRASHANT RAO/AFP/Getty Images

From Bread Lines to Front Lines

In the latest phase of Syria's civil war, civilians have become the targets.

Scott Nelson/Getty Images

Can There Be War Without Hate?

Surprisingly humane moments in combat -- and why they matter.

Winchell Chung

Enterprise vs. Enterprise

Which is better, the starship or the aircraft carrier?

Junko Kimura/Getty Images

Is Chuck Hagel Toast?

The attacks on Obama’s would-be Pentagon chief are scurrilous. And yes, Virginia, there is an Israel lobby -- but it’s neither Jewish nor invincible.

Spencer Platt/Getty Images

9 Stories That Will Move Markets in 2013

From the U.S. deficit to Mideast turmoil, the issues that could have the biggest impact on the global economy in the coming year.

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The World War on Christmas

Five places where Santa really does have to watch his back.

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Naughty or Nice

Which world leaders will be getting coal in their stocking this year?

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Longform’s Picks of the Week

The best stories from around the world.

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Tomorrow’s Weapons Today

Five weapons to watch in 2013.

ATTA KENARE/AFP/Getty Images

Feeling the Pain in Tehran

As sanctions bite, some of Iran's leaders are signaling a willingness to come back to the negotiating table.

Getty Images

Lingering Questions on Benghazi

This week's report on the Obama administration's actions in Libya was credible but incomplete.

STRDEL/AFP/GettyImages

The Midlife Crisis of Bangladesh

Bangladeshis want a reckoning with their bloody past. But can they do it without partisanship?

MUSTAFA OZER/AFP/Getty Images

Exit the Conciliator

Will Iraq fall apart if its president dies?

MUSTAFA OZER/AFP/Getty Images

Moving On Up

Turkey is now a solidly middle-income state. But there are still plenty of roadblocks on the path ahead.

KARIM SAHIB/AFP/Getty Images

A Network of Dictators

There's a fight brewing for the future of the Internet.

Michael Kovac/Getty Images for The Elton John AIDS Foundation

America’s Next Top Diplomat

What the WikiLeaks cables reveal about John Kerry.

Photosteve101/Flickr

Hope Against Hope

A look back at what I've gotten wrong, and why I'm (mostly) not sorry.

PETER MUHLY/AFP/Getty Images

Return of the Troubles

Is Northern Ireland falling apart all over again?

KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images

Born on the Seventh Floor

John Kerry is about to get the secretary of state job he was always meant to have.

JEON YOUNG-HAN/AFP/Getty Images

Dynasty

Why are so many Asian countries run by families?

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People’s Power

Eight ways China's military is catching up to the United States.

DVIDS/Staff Sgt. Bernardo Fuller

Running Hills

Why senators shouldn't head the Pentagon or Foggy Bottom.

Photo by JILDIZ BEKBAEVA/AFP/Getty Images

In Defense of Civil Society

Civil society does exist in authoritarian countries.

STR/AFP/GettyImages

All (Syrian) Politics Is Local

How jihadists are winning hearts and minds in Syria.

STUART PRICE/AFP/Getty Images

What Africa Did Right in 2012

Africans are getting better at finding their own solutions to African problems.

SIA KAMBOU/AFP/Getty Images

Pirates of the Guinean

How West Africa is replacing Somalia as the new pirate lair.

AFP/Getty Images

The Mess We Left Behind in Libya

While Washington is busy fighting over a report, Benghazi is descending into chaos. 

Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Stocking Stuffers for Wonks

Fifteen gift suggestions for that special international relations nerd in your life.

Getty Images / John Moore

Zero Farce Thirty

The man who nearly stopped 9/11 tells FP why Kathryn Bigelow's movie about the hunt for Osama bin Laden gets it wrong.  

Apocalypse Now

The five most popular places to watch the end of the world.

Pedro PARDO/AFP/GettyImages

Nothing Is Written

The triumph of democracy isn't inevitable. It has to be fought for.

SAM PANTHAKY/AFP/Getty Images

The Talented Mr. Modi

Narendra Modi is still banned from the United States for his involvement in deadly anti-Muslim riots. Could he be the next leader of India?

Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Transportation SNAFU Administration

Talking points for your holiday TSA rant.

ODD ANDERSEN/AFP/Getty Images

Syria’s Time Is Running Out

The country tears itself further apart with each passing day. This is the moment to do something about it.

Scott Olson/Getty Images

America’s Exceptional Gun Culture

Four reminders about just how entrenched guns are in American society.

Panetta orders investigation into all DoD childcare centers

Is Hagel getting swiftboated on Israel?; State takes a hit on Benghazi from independent panel; The Kagans under fire; Jim Amos asks Syrian rebels to move their fight to the Pacific, and more.

National Archives

Radioactive Decay

We can't keep relying on a Vietnam-era treaty to stop nuclear proliferation.

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A League of Our Own

The NRA is wrong -- gun culture in Israel and Switzerland isn't anything like it is in the United States.

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FP’s Favorite Reads of 2012

This year's great books about the world, selected by our editors, columnists, and bloggers.

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The Most Dangerous Beat on Earth

Four brave journalists weigh in on what it's like to cover Syria.

Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

Spoiler Alert

I know counterterrorism and the CIA -- and almost everything in Homeland is ridiculous. But I'm still watching.

Sabah Arar-Pool/Getty Images

My Dinner with Jalal

Remembering better times with Iraq's stricken president.

KIM JAE-HWAN/AFP/Getty Images

The Dictator’s Daughter

The heir of a controversial South Korean autocrat is now the country's first female president. Can she emerge from his shadow?

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Fiscal Cliff: A Short History

How did the phrase become shorthand for Washington's embrace of budget brinkmanship?

BOB PEARSON/AFP/Getty Images

Nudging the President

Splitting the difference is no way to win a war.

MINUSTAH via Getty Images

The U.N.’s Haitian Shell Game

Ban Ki-moon still isn't taking responsibility for Haiti's cholera outbreak.

nd Tom Murphy

The U.N.’s Haitian Shell Game

Ban Ki-moon still isn't taking responsibility for Haiti's cholera outbreak.

Pentagon: not so fast on the Vickers story

The Army’s plan to create platoons of Jason Bournes; Panetta talks strategy and sequester today; NBC’s Engel released; Mini red velvet cupcakes at State’s party, and more.

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‘These Guys Are Thugs’

Opposition leader Mohamed ElBaradei speaks exclusively to Foreign Policy on the Muslim Brotherhood and Egypt's political crisis.

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