Dispatch

A member of the Popular Mobilization Forces flashes a "V" sign in the northern town of Hatra on April 28. (Ahmad al-Rubaye/AFP/Getty Images)

Iraq’s Shiite Militias Are Just Getting Started

The Iranian-backed forces that took control of Kirkuk from the Kurds are setting their sights on Baghdad.

An Iraqi boy drags a Kurdish flag as Iraqi forces advance toward the center of Kirkuk on Oct. 16. (Ahmad al-Rubaye/AFP/Getty Images)

Scenes From a Failed Secession

As the Iraqi government reclaimed the city of Kirkuk, Kurdish troops had the choice to watch or flee.

Recording artist Taylor Swift, musician Este Haim, actress Jaime King, producer Harvey Weinstein, and recording artist Lorde attend The Weinstein Company and Netflix's 2015 Golden Globes After Party at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on Jan. 11, 2015 in Beverly Hills, California.  (Angela Weiss/Getty Images)

Russians Don’t Understand Why Anyone Is Upset With ‘Girl Crazy’ Weinstein

In Putin’s Russia, discussion of sexual harassment and domestic violence are largely taboo.

A Finnish armored terrain vehicle during an ongoing military exercise on the Swedish island Gotland on September 19. (Anders Wiklund/AFP/Getty Images)

Russia’s Neighbors Respond to Putin’s ‘Hybrid War’

Baltic and Nordic countries turn to education as much as military hardware to counter Moscow’s hybrid threats.

Getty Images/Foreign Policy illustration

Who’s Afraid of George Soros?

How an octogenarian businessman became the bogeyman of Europe.

Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf visits the Hall of Remembrance at the Yad Vashem Holocaust museum in Jerusalem, 19 November 2007. Johnson-Sirleaf is on an official visit to Israel. AFP PHOTO/MENAHEM KAHANA        (Photo credit should read MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP/Getty Images)

The Tearing Down of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf

The ghosts of Liberia’s civil war are stalking the country ahead of this week's election — and threatening the complicated legacy of the Nobel Peace Prize-winning president.

The "For Life" anti-abortion demonstration in Moscow's Sokolniki park on Sept. 14. (Joel van Houdt for Foreign Policy)

Putin’s Next Target Is Russia’s Abortion Culture

The Russian president is worried about his country’s shrinking population. His social-conservative allies say they have the solution.

Demonstrators with a Slovak flag attend an anti-corruption rally in Bratislava, Slovakia, on June 5, 2017.
Thousands of protesters joined a protest march against corruption organised by high school students.  / AFP PHOTO / VLADIMIR SIMICEK        (Photo credit should read VLADIMIR SIMICEK/AFP/Getty Images)

They Spent Months Protesting Corruption. Now What?

Young people in Central and Eastern Europe took to the streets in a quixotic fight. Will they now face a winter of despair?

KIRKUK, IRAQ - SEPTEMBER 25: People are seen casting their referendum vote at a voting station on September 25, 2017 in Kirkuk, Iraq. Despite strong objection from neighboring countries and the Iraqi government. Some five million Kurds took to the polls today across three provinces in the historic independence referendum.  (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

Not Everyone in Kurdistan Is Cheering Kurdish Independence

In Iraq’s multi-ethnic city of Kirkuk, this week’s referendum has sparked celebration — and serious discontent.

Israeli soldiers manuever Merkava tanks and Namer armored personnel carriers (APCs) during the last day of a military exercise in the northern part of the Israeli-annexed Golan Heights on September 13, 2017. 
Israel's military began in September 2017 a massive exercise simulating conflict with Hezbollah, the largest drill in nearly two decades. / AFP PHOTO / JALAA MAREY        (Photo credit should read JALAA MAREY/AFP/Getty Images)

Israel Is Going to War in Syria to Fight Iran

Israeli officials aren't shying from confronting Tehran's forces — since no one else will.

TO GO WITH Thailand-SEAsia-environment-dam,FEATURE by Amelie Bottollier-Depois
This picture taken on May 29, 2013 shows a fisherman sitting on his boat as he pulls his net from the Mekong river in Wiang Kaen, a district in the northern Thai province of Chiang Rai bordering Laos.  The waters of the mighty Mekong have sustained generations of families but nowadays its fishermen often find their nets empty and fear hydropower mega-dams will destroy their livelihoods.     AFP PHOTO / Christophe ARCHAMBAULT        (Photo credit should read CHRISTOPHE ARCHAMBAULT/AFP/Getty Images)

China’s Mekong Plans Threaten Disaster for Countries Downstream

Beijing is building hydroelectric dams and dredging to allow bigger boats as worries of environmental devastation grow.

BARCELONA, SPAIN - SEPTEMBER 11:  Demonstrators march during a Pro-Independence demonstration as part of the celebrations of the National Day of Catalonia on September 11, 2014 in Barcelona, Spain. Thousands of Catalans celebrating the 'Diada de Catalunya', are using it as an opportunity to hold demonstrations to demand the right to hold a self-determination referendum next November.  (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

Spain Is Flirting With Another Civil War

Will Madrid’s coming standoff with Catalonia be resolved around a negotiating table, or either sides of barricades?

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Hamid Karzai Has Nothing Good To Say About America

The former Afghan president sees only more killing in Trump's plan for his country.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 14: Gift Ngoepe of South Africa runs to first base during the World baseball Classic Final match between Australia and South Africa at Blacktown International Sportspark on February 14, 2016 in Sydney, Australia.  (Photo by Brett Hemmings/Getty Images)

Baseball’s Billion-Person Cactus League

Gift Ngoepe was the first African-born player to make it to the big show. Major League Baseball is betting he won't be the last.

The silhouette of Saint Vitus Cathedral (L), a part of the Prague Castle is seen on April 20, 2015 as the sun sets in the Czech capital. AFP PHOTO / MICHAL CIZEK        (Photo credit should read MICHAL CIZEK/AFP/Getty Images)

The Brief Life, and Looming Death, of Europe’s ‘SWAT Team for Truth’

The Czech Republic launched the continent’s first center to combat fake news in January. It might not survive the year.

Damascus, SYRIA: A Syrian man arranges a display of national flags carrying a portrait of President Bashar al-Assad in a shop in Damascus, 26 May 2007. Assad stands tomorrow in a no-contest poll which will give him another seven years leading a regional heavyweight under immense international pressure. With parliament unanimously approving the candidature of the 41-year-old president for a second term, and with vocal opponents of the regime locked up, the referendum will inevitably anoint Assad as president until the year 2014. AFP PHOTO/HASSAN AMMAR (Photo credit should read HASSAN AMMAR/AFP/Getty Images)

Syrians Are Ready to Accept Bashar al-Assad as President

The war-weary country isn’t enthusiastic about its president, but desperate for a return to normalcy.

BERLIN, GERMANY - SEPTEMBER 17: German Chancellor and top candidate of Christian Democrat Union (CDU) for upcoming federal election Angela Merkel (C) poses with guest in front of a screen  which replaces faces with emojis at CDU election program house on September 17, 2017 in Berlin, Germany. Merkel is seeking a fourth term in German federal elections scheduled for September 24 and currently has a double-digit lead over her main rival, German Social Democrat (SPD) Martin Schulz. (Photo by Steffi Loos/Getty Images)

Lyndon LaRouche Is Running A Pro-China Party In Germany

Once a uniquely American political cult, now the LaRouche movement can't get enough of Beijing.

TOPSHOT - A member of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a US backed Kurdish-Arab alliance, walks through a damaged flat in a building in the western al-Daraiya neighbourhood of the embattled northern Syrian city of Raqa on September 5, 2017, as they battle to retake the northern city from the Islamic State (IS) group. / AFP PHOTO / Delil souleiman        (Photo credit should read DELIL SOULEIMAN/AFP/Getty Images)

Who Will Rule Raqqa After the Islamic State?

A geopolitical game of thrones is taking place at the local level, with Kurds, Arabs, and the Syrian state fighting for power.

Anthony, the winner of last year’s best attendance award at the Esperanza Center, reads a Sidekicks comic at the end of a summer program day in August.

A Language Haven in Baltimore

For young newcomers, the first step to becoming American is learning English.

A wedding figurine of Qiudi Zhang and Askar Akhyltayev sits on a dresser at their home in Almaty, Kazakhstan.

A Silk Road Marriage

Are cross-cultural marriages the key to integrating a region?

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Global Thinkers 2015 Issue Cover