2013

Noorullah Shirzada/AFP/Getty Images

The Year America’s Post-9/11 Foreign Policy Failed

And the nine other top foreign policy headlines of 2014.

Baris Acarli/Getty Images

FP’s Favorite Reads of 2013

Great books from the past year as selected by the FP staff.

MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images

King Snowden and the Fall of Wikileaks

The whistleblower refugee has dominated the media -- and displaced Julian Assange.

MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images

The Year of the Horse

Why China's radical economic reforms in 2014 could bring new prosperity to hundreds of millions -- if Xi Jinping can ride out the bumps ahead.

Salih Mahmud Leyla/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

The Islamist Enemy of Our Islamist Enemy

Meet what might soon be the West's unpredictable new friend in Syria -- the Islamic Front.

AFP/Getty Images

Coming to Chinese Headlines in 2014

From the rise of WeChat to the rural e-commerce boom, six major stories that flew under the radar in 2013, but won't next year.

629949_drezner_1231.jpg

Presenting the Albies of 2013

The best global political economy writing of the year -- tweets included.

Alex Wong/Getty Images

Words of Unwisdom

The year’s best worst quotes.

AFP/Getty Images

A Drag on the State

A new order says Chinese cadres should stop smoking in public -- but they knew that already.

Christopher Polk/Getty Images for AEG

The Middle East Channel’s Best of 2013

The essential books, articles, posts -- and hip hop performances -- of the year.

AFP/Getty Images

How to Crush Low-Hanging Fruit

Beset by terrorism, Egypt's military government is blaming everything on the Muslim Brotherhood.

ROLAND WEIHRAUCH/AFP/Getty Images

The Tiger Is Back

Why Ireland's economy really is on the rebound.

JUNIOR D.KANNAH/AFP/GettyImages

Silver Lining: The Year 2013 in Human Rights

For human rights advocates, 2013 brought many grim setbacks. Yet there were still some important signs of progress.

LEO RAMIREZ/AFP/Getty Images

Venezuela’s Glass Revolution

In 2013, Venezuela's Bolivarian Revolution survived the death of Hugo Chávez. Now his successor, President Nicolás Maduro, confronts his toughest challenge yet: an economy on the brink. The latest in our series of Lab Reports on Venezuela.

Uriel Sinai/Getty Images

One More Last Chance

Is John Kerry quietly on the cusp of a Israel-Palestine peace talks breakthrough?

SIMON MAINA/AFP/Getty Images

Cleaning House in Kenya’s Police Force

Why security sector reform in Kenya has been much more successful than you might think. The latest in our series of Lab Reports on Kenya.

Fair Use/Weibo

Naked Lunch

Why China's buzzing about President Xi Jinping's simple meal of steamed buns and pig innards.

AFP/Getty Images

2013, According to the Chinese Communist Party

State media on U.S. "dysfunction," Japan's "dangerous direction," and the "gradual rise" of Africa's middle class. 

Ivan Lieman/AFP/Getty Images

Africa’s Powerhouse

Why Kenya's economy is the linchpin of a promising new zone of growth in East Africa. The latest in our series of Lab Reports on Kenya.

DMITRY KOSTYUKOV/AFP/Getty Images; STR/AFP/Getty Images; AZHAR SHALLAL/AFP/Getty Images; ABDULLAH DOMA/AFP/Getty Images; ORLANDO SIERRA/AFP/Getty Images; MIGUEL MEDINA/AFP/Getty Images; SAMIR BOL/AFP/Getty Images; PHILIPPE DESMAZES/AFP/Getty Images; FAROOQ NAEEM/AFP/Getty Images; VYACHESLAV OSELEDKO/AFP/Getty Images; STRINGER/AFP/Getty Images

Next Year’s Wars

From Sochi to Sudan, 10 conflicts that will threaten global stability in 2014.

Getty Images

A ‘Narrowing Path’ for China’s Scholars

A respected professor's open resignation has academics asking where Chinese government meddling will end.

630377_131227_1110613051.jpg

The Stories You Missed in 2013

Six events and trends that were overlooked this year, but may be leading the headlines in 2014.

Getty Images Europe

Putin’s Mediterranean Move

The race is on to exploit off-shore energy around Israel, Syria, Lebanon, and Cyprus -- and Moscow is crashing the party.

JOHANNES EISELE/AFP/Getty Images

The Year of Living Hegemonically

How can the world be getting so much better when U.S. power is waning?

Getty Images

China’s Angry Spirits

Online whispers paint an eerie parallel between Japanese war criminals and dead Chinese strongman Mao Zedong.

630383_bors2.png

All Gats Go to Heaven

Mikhail Kalashnikov at the Pearly Gates.

630384_bors1.png

The Elf on the Shelf

Santa’s little helpers are so 2012.

CHRISTOF STACHE/AFP/Getty Images; EPA/ALEX HOFFORD; Oli Scarff/Getty Images; The Guardian via Getty Images; GENYA SAVILOV/AFP/Getty Images

Longform’s Picks of the Week

The best stories from around the world.

JOHANNES EISELE/AFP/Getty Images

The Man of the Year

How can the biggest news story of 2013 be so overblown -- and so monumentally important -- at the same time?

Isaac Stone Fish

Spirited Away

Why Shinzo Abe's visit to a Tokyo shrine could make his lousy relations with Beijing much worse.

GURCAN OZTURK/AFP/Getty Images

Iran’s Turkish Gold Rush

At the center of Turkey's corruption scandal is a "gas for gold" scheme that the Obama administration dragged its feet on stopping.

Fort Worth Star-Telegram / McClatchy-Tribune / Getty Images

Ragged Edges

The U.S. slammed shut a border crossing to Mexico after 9/11, isolating and starving a village on the other side. The passage reopened in 2013, but stark divisions remain.

FRED DUFOUR/AFP/Getty Images

The 2013 Stories That Never Were

From a U.S. attack on Syria to the collapse of the Eurozone, here's what didn't happen in foreign policy this year.

GENYA SAVILOV/AFP/Getty Images

‘We Must Topple the Whole System’

Foreign Policy talks to boxing legend and Ukrainian opposition figure Vitali Klitschko about the "Euromaidan" protests and his country's political future.

Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images

The 2013 Top Ten List of Gifts (and Lumps of Coal) for World Leaders

Who was naughty, who was nice, and who isn't going to get what they want for Christmas this year.

630912_0_1_2_future2.jpg

Cloudy With a Chance of Conflict

We asked 1,200 U.S. government officials and experts what they were most worried about in 2014. Here's what they said.

HANNAH MCNEISH/AFP/Getty Images

How the U.S. Triumph in South Sudan Came Undone

The White House bet on guerrilla fighters changing their warring ways. Turns out it was a bad bet.

Oli Scarff/Getty Images

The Panopticon Paradox

When an enemy can be anywhere, the state looks everywhere. So how can it infringe on privacy nowhere?

MOHAMMED ABED/AFP/Getty Images

Silent Night

As a security vacuum continues to plague Egypt, the country's beleaguered Christian community fears a rash of kidnappings will only worsen during the holiday season. 

SEAN GALLUP / Getty Images News / Getty Images

Curb Your Social Entrepreneurial Enthusiasm

Why the market for the global poor isn’t as big as you might think.

Semetic Swag

Last-Minute Gifts for Wonks

FP's shopping guide for would-be statesmen & Snowdens.

STAN HONDA / AFP / Getty Images

Maid in Manhattan

Why isn't anyone focusing on the domestic help in the Indian diplomatic scandal?

AFP / Getty Images

Drill Down

Energy is supposed to be Africa’s future. But when violence erupts in South Sudan and elsewhere, the pipelines can quickly run dry.

JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images

Obama Admin Taking It Easy on Terror Group, Congressmen Charge

The Haqqani network comprises some of Afghanistan's most lethal insurgents. Why isn't the White House doing more to stop them?

Chris Jackson / Getty Images Entertainment / Getty Images

Northern Fights

Why is Canada naming its warships after U.S. defeats?

MARK RALSTON / AFP / Getty Images

America Is Not the Grinch

Sorry, haters, when it comes to foreign aid -- of all sorts -- the United States is far and away the most generous nation on Earth.

TATYANA MAKEYEVA/AFP/Getty Images

Putin’s Knack for Surprise

Behind Putin's sudden release of former tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky.

Guang Niu/AFP/Getty Images; SEBASTIEN FEVAL/AFP/Getty Images; Franco Origlia/Getty Images; JEAN-CHRISTOPHE VERHAEGEN/AFP/Getty Images; Courtesy of Erich Ferrari

Longform’s Picks of the Week

The best stories from around the world.

PHIL MOORE/AFP/Getty Images

Is Congo Finally Getting Its Act Together?

After decades of corruption and conflict, the Democratic Republic of Congo edges toward statehood.

SERGEY PONOMAREV/AFP/Getty Images

The Autocrat’s Emergency Bailout Fund

Are billions of dollars from Russia and the Gulf really worse than Western assistance?

AFP/Getty Images

Chinese Government Recommends ‘Idiot-Proof’ Cellphones for Peasants

Beijing's elegant suggestion to spread mobile technology in the countryside. 

AFP/Getty Images

Who’s the Biggest Loser in the Ukraine-Russia Deal?

It's not Putin, Yanukovych, or even the EU. It's the Ukrainian people.

STEPHANE DE SAKUTIN/AFP/Getty Images

Angels and Demons

Pentecostalism is the world's fastest growing religious movement. But in much of Africa, it's fueling witch-hunts and the spread of HIV/AIDS.

ADEM ALTAN/AFP/Getty Images

The End of Erdogan?

Why a power struggle over Turkey's deep state could bring down the government.

Kyodo via AP Images

Next of Kim

Meet the next generation of North Korea's ruling family -- while you still can.

STR/AFP/Getty Images

‘The Power Struggle Was Only Beginning’

In South Sudan, a failed coup, violent confusion -- or the first spark of civil war?

GALI TIBBON/AFP/Getty Images

Boycott Me. Please.

Why the American Studies Association's boycott of Israeli academic institutions -- and my small liberal arts college -- is so utterly ridiculous.

Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

Jerusalem’s Itchy Trigger Finger

Forget sanctions. If there's one thing that should convince Tehran not to go nuclear, it's that Israel might use its own nukes -- first.

Kris Connor/Getty Images

Energy Boost

The next head of the Senate Energy Committee has big plans for U.S. gas exports.

Spencer Platt /Getty Images News

Can Europe Frack Itself to Energy Independence?

Europe wants to replicate America's shale gas boom. Will it succeed?

SAM SKAINE/AFP/Getty Images

The Political Science of Syria’s War

From 'veto players' to 'emotions,' a state-of-the-art tour of the scholarship on civil wars and insurgencies.

Soe Than WIN/AFP/Getty Images

Burma’s Senseless Census

Burma's census disregards the complex ethnic identities of its people. Could this breathe new life into sectarian conflict?

OMAR TORRES/AFP/Getty Images

Crude Awakening

How the opening of Mexico's state oil monopoly could spell the end of Keystone XL.

MOHAMMED HUWAIS/AFP/Getty Images

The Red Wedding

A botched drone strike in Yemen shows how America's anti-al Qaeda strategy has gone off the rails.

Courtesy of Erich Ferrari

Stuck on a U.S. Government Blacklist?

Call Erich Ferrari, the lawyer who makes a living defending alleged drug kingpins and arms dealers.

Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

The Celtic Cougar

Why Ireland's economy only looks good from afar.

VINCENZO PINTO/AFP/GettyImages

T-Tipped

Americans love Europe and free trade. But is the pending trade deal facing choppy waters?

Aref Karimi/AFP/Getty Images

Too Much of a Good Thing

Did local democracy help or hinder post-2001 Afghanistan? An MIT study comes up with some surprising insights.

MAHMOUD ZAYAT/AFP/Getty Images

Israel’s ‘Demographic Time Bomb’ Is a Dud

Sorry, but the real number of Arab Israelis isn't an existential threat to the Jewish state.

AFP PHOTO/JENNY VAUGHAN

Green Rush

How big agriculture is carving up Africa for industrial farmland.

Alex Wong/Getty Images

It’s Not About Snowden — It’s About Madison

The jig is up for anyone who argues that the Constitution doesn't cover metadata.

Augustin Le Gall (augustinlegall.com)/"Beneath the Jasmine"

The Long Shadow of Ben Ali

How a decades-old fake coup attempt is taking its toll on Tunisia.

SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

Premature Evaluation

An admittedly foolhardy (but no more than the rest) attempt to assess the legacy of Barack Obama.

545408_unknown_07.jpg

A Fictional North Korean Detective Explains Kim Jong Un’s Purge

Wherein your inteprid correspondent speaks with the made-up avatar of an ex-CIA official, for insight. 

Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images

Ukraine’s False Choice

Yanukovych can pick Russia or the European Union. Either way, the economic reforms are coming.

PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images

This Court Case Could Kneecap the NSA

Why a judge's assault on 'Orwellian' surveillance could cripple the spy agency's legal and political support.

John Moore/Getty Images

Incarceration Nation

What if America's incarcerated population really was a nation?

STR/AFP/Getty Images

China’s Pollution Revolution

Could Beijing's coal addiction be its downfall?

EPA

Tone-Deaf at the Listening Post

My day at the National Security Agency headquarters at Fort Meade.

FETHI BELAID/AFP/Getty Images

The Police Are Dogs

No one else manages to rile Tunisia's post-revolutionary government quite like rapper Klay BBJ.

JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/GettyImages

Cool War Rising

With Washington and Moscow caught in a deteriorating relationship, is conflict inevitable?

PRAKASH SINGH/AFP/Getty Images

Press Ganged

India -- the promised land of journalism -- is reeling from scandal, corruption, and sleaze.

Alex Wong/Getty Images

The Pentagon’s Invisible Man

Even the defense secretary admits, "It's not a Hagel era."

Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images

Heroes of the Maidan

An on-the-ground look at Ukraine's continuing anti-government protests.

WANG ZHAO/AFP/Getty Images

Bad Blood

Is North Korea's double dealing risking its most important relationship?

DAVID FURST/AFP/Getty Images

Spycrash

5 CIA operations that went south -- spectacularly.

Chris Maddaloni for Foreign Policy

The Debrief

Jihadists as possible forces of peace, Russia as a potential dealmaker, and other conclusions from the inaugural PeaceGame.

ATTA KENARE/AFP/Getty Images

The Signal and the Noise in Middle East Elections

Social media can tell us a lot about voting patterns -- but only up to a point.

LUIS ACOSTA/AFP/Getty Images

Mexico’s Global Gusher

Why a historic energy reform will be felt from Brazil to China.

Fair Use/CCTV

China’s Ethan Couch

Drunk driving, death, wealth, and privilege isn't just an American issue.

FRANCOIS XAVIER MARIT/AFP/Getty Images

The Desert Versus the Delta

Why democracy is good for the environment.

JOHANNES EISELE/AFP/Getty Images,  GURCAN OZTURK/AFP/Getty Images,  CARL DE SOUZA/AFP/Getty Images,  POOL/EPA,  DMITRY SEREBRYAKOV/AFP/Getty Images

Longform’s Picks of the Week

The best stories from around the world.

Load 10 More Articles