2016

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Review: “Powerplay,” by Victor Cha

The book successfully answers its central question: Why aren’t America’s Asian alliances built the same as in Europe?

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The Stories You Missed in 2016

From China's bubble to Russia's undersea drones, here are big stories around the world that flew under the radar this year.

Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin takes part in a judo training session at the "Moscow" sports complex in St. Petersburg, on December 22, 2010. AFP PHOTO/ RIA-NOVOSTI POOL/ ALEXEY DRUZHININ (Photo credit should read ALEXEY DRUZHININ/AFP/Getty Images)

Putin’s Masterstroke of Nonretaliation

In refusing to expel U.S. diplomats in response to President Obama’s sanctions, the Russian leader pulled another fast one on the White House.

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How Soviets Came to Celebrate New Year’s Like Christmas (and Why Russians Still Do)

The answer involves Vladimir the Great, Peter the Great, Nicholas I, and Stalin.

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 12:  President Barack Obama delivers his State of the Union address before a joint session of Congress on Capitol Hill January 12, 2016 in Washington, D.C.  In his final State of the Union, President Obama reflected on the past seven years in office and spoke on topics including climate change, gun control, immigration and income inequality. (Photo by Evan Vucci - Pool/Getty Images)

The Best Worst Quotes of 2016

The top 20 bloviations, lies, and just plain dumb lines from U.S. government officials this year.

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A stunning profile of Ben Rhodes, the asshole who is the president’s foreign policy guru

"His lack of conventional real-world experience of the kind that normally precedes responsibility for the fate of nations — like military or diplomatic service, or even a master’s degree in international relations, rather than creative writing — is still startling."

Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during his annual press conference in Moscow on December 23, 2016. / AFP / Natalia KOLESNIKOVA        (Photo credit should read NATALIA KOLESNIKOVA/AFP/Getty Images)

Obama Finally Hits Back at Russia for Election Hack With Sanctions, Expulsions

But the measures may not deter future mischief — and could be undone by Trump.

Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan (R) speaks with Russia's President Vladimir Putin in Istanbul on December 3, 2012. Putin arrived in Istanbul on December 3 for a landmark visit due to focus on resolving differences with Turkey over the 20-month crisis in war-ravaged Syria. AFP PHOTO / POOL / TOLGA BOZOGLU        (Photo credit should read TOLGA BOZOGLU/AFP/Getty Images)

As U.S. Stands Aside, Russia, Turkey Ink Cease-fire in Syria

Moscow and Ankara may have just done something Washington tried in vain to do. But it could ultimately mean victory for Assad.

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Yet Another Duterte Boast of Killing, This Time With Helicopters

The firebrand Philippines president said he threw people out of helicopters in the past, then (sort of) backed off of the claim.

RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY CREDIT "AFP PHOTO / AU-UN IST PHOTO / TOBIN JONES" - NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS        (Photo credit should read TOBIN JONES/AFP/Getty Images)

My Favorite Story This Year

FP’s reporters, writers, and editors share some of the most important, personal, and challenging stories they worked on in 2016.

play in the aMAZEme labyrinth made from books at The Southbank Centre on July 31, 2012 in London, England. Brazilian artists Marcos Saboya and Gualter Pupo used 250,000 books to create the maze which will be on display until August 25, 2012.

What Foreign Policy Staff Read in 2016

Writers and editors share some of the best books they read this year.

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Here, Have Some 2017 New Year’s Resolutions, Countries

If the world follows these New Year’s resolutions, 2017 will be a lot less awful than 2016.

TOPSHOT - A member of the Syrian pro-government forces stands amid heavily damaged buildings in Aleppo's 1070 district on November 8, 2016, after troops seized it from rebel fighters.
Syrian state media said government forces had advanced southwest of divided second city Aleppo, seizing the 1070 district from rebel forces. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitor also reported the advance, saying it would allow government forces to protect areas already under their control on the southern outskirts of Aleppo.

 / AFP / GEORGES OURFALIAN        (Photo credit should read GEORGES OURFALIAN/AFP/Getty Images)

Syria Will Stain Obama’s Legacy Forever

The arc of history is long, but it won't ever judge the president's Syria policy kindly.

MOBILE, AL - DECEMBER 17:  President-elect Donald Trump speaks during a thank you rally in Ladd-Peebles Stadium on December 17, 2016 in Mobile, Alabama.  President-elect Trump has been visiting several states that he won, to thank people for their support during the U.S. election.  President-elect Trump has been visiting several states that he won, to thank people for their support during the U.S. election.   (Photo by Mark Wallheiser/Getty Images)

New Year’s Resolution: Jobs

If the Trump administration is serious about keeping jobs in America, it needs a strong and energized EXIM Bank.

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Enlisted justice: You know, no one talks about it, but this is the real military. And the important thing is, it always will be.

It rains on the just and unjust alike. Today is their day, just like any day on patrol might be your day. That’s enlisted justice.

WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 28: U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry delivers a speech on Middle East peace at The U.S. Department of State on December 28, 2016 in Washington, DC. Kerry spoke on the need for a two-state solution and defended the Obama administration's approach to Israel. (Photo by Zach Gibson/Getty Images)

Kerry’s Mideast Peace Push Is Too Little, Too Late

The U.S. secretary of state’s speech laying out terms for a two-state solution is the final example of the Obama administration’s failure to move the needle on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

GRAND RAPIDS, MI - DECEMBER 21:  Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks to guests at a campaign rally on December 21, 2015 in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The full-house event was repeatedly interrupted by protestors. Trump continues to lead the most polls in the race for the Republican nomination for president.  (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Turf War Before Trade War

Worrisome rumblings on trade have been emanating from President-elect Donald Trump's transition team.

US President Barack Obama (R) talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a bilateral meeting in New York on September 21, 2016.  / AFP / JIM WATSON        (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)

The Last Act of Obama’s Israel Drama May Be His Best

Despite their momentary ascendancy, Bibi, Trump, and Putin are yesterday’s men.

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 23: Pro-Brexit demonstrators hold Union Jack flags as they protest outside the Houses of Parliament on November 23, 2016 in London, England. British Prime Minister Theresa May has said that she will not delay triggering article 50, the formal process of leaving the European Union, but wants to avoid a "cliff edge". (Photo by Jack Taylor/Getty Images)

On EU Trade, Brexiteers to The Rescue!

For lead Brexit supporters, “leave” means “leave” — as long as beneficial trade continues.

Ban Ki-moon, secretary-general of the United Nations (UN), listens during an interview in New York, U.S., on Thursday, Sept. 18, 2014. "There will be a way for Iran to play a constructive role" in global fight against terrorism and the threat posed by the Islamic State, said Ban.

With an Eye on South Korea’s Presidency, Ban Ki-moon Seeks to Burnish his U.N. Legacy

The outgoing U.N. secretary-general touts his support for climate change and gay rights, regrets failures from Haiti to North Korea, and calls Syrian President Bashar al-Assad a liar.

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Kerry on Israel: Two-State Solution Is in Serious Jeopardy

John Kerry rebuked Benjamin Netanyahu's administration and outlined a potential, but improbable, path for peace.

SANTIAGO, CHILE - FEBRUARY 03:  Mick Jagger of The Rolling Stones performs live on stage during the America Latina Ole Tour 2016 at Estadio Nacional on February 03, 2016 in Santiago, Chile. (Photo by Carlos Muller/Getty Images for TDF Productions)

The Foreign Policy Wonk’s Best Songs of 2016

From Filipino folk to Ukrainian pop to the Rolling Stones, it was a turbulent political year, with a soundtrack to match.

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Is Russia Responsible for a Cyber Attack Against the OSCE?

The OSCE confirms it was the victim of a cyber attack, but does not want to speculate as to the perpetrator.

<> on March 13, 2014 in Beijing, China.

What Would a Saudi-Iran War Look Like? Don’t look now, but it is already here

When asked to address the question of what a Saudi-Iran war would look like, my first instinct is to ask the reader to look around because it is already happening. As the futurist William Gibson noted, 'the future is already here — it's just not very evenly distributed.'

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	The Joint Chiefs of Staff photographed in the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gold Room, more commonly known as The Tank, in the Pentagon on December 14, 2001.  From left to right are:  U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. John P. Jumper, U.S. Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James L. Jones Jr., Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Peter Pace, U.S. Marine Corps, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Richard B. Myers, U.S. Air Force, U.S. Army Chief of Staff Gen. Eric K. Shinseki, U.S. Navy Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Vern E. Clark.  DoD photo by Mamie Burke.  (Released)

Our generals failed in Afghanistan

It wasn’t a tactical failure. It was a failure of leadership.

South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley speaks during the 2016 National Lawyers Convention sponsored by the Federalist Society in Washington, DC on November 18, 2016. / AFP / Mandel Ngan        (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

The U.N. Has Great Potential for Trump!

The president-elect doesn’t seem fond of Turtle Bay. But he’s going to need it more than he thinks.

TOPSHOT - A picture taken on October 17, 2016 shows an employee walking behind a glass wall with machine coding symbols at the headquarters of Internet security giant Kaspersky in Moscow. / AFP / Kirill KUDRYAVTSEV / TO GO WITH AFP STORY BY Thibault MARCHAND        (Photo credit should read KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP/Getty Images)

SitRep: Washington’s Plan to Hack Moscow; Turkey Accuses U.S. of Supporting ISIS

Kerry’s Final Word on Israel; Chinese Hackers in Hot Water; Iraqi Leader Walks back ISIS Comments; And Lots More

Chairman of the Republican National Committee (RNC) Reince Priebus (R) shakes hands with Republican presidential elect Donald Trump (C) as Republican candidate for Vice President  Mike Pence looks on during election night at the New York Hilton Midtown in New York on November 9, 2016.  / AFP / JIM WATSON        (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)

Who Will Really Be the Next President of the United States?

As the Trump administration organizational chart comes into focus, the big question is whether the most powerful man in the world will be Mike Pence or Reince Priebus. Or Steve Bannon?

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Trump’s Israel Advisor Tapped to Run ‘All Types’ of World Negotiations

It’s unclear what Jason Greenblatt will do in this new role, though he may be busy with trade and Israel.

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The Best Things of 2016

Leonardo DiCaprio finally won an Oscar. Beyonce’s ‘Lemonade’ was released. But what else happened this past year that calls for celebrating?

BEIJING, CHINA - NOVEMBER 12:  U.S. President Barack Obama (L) and Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) attend a press conference at the Great Hall of People on November 12, 2014 in Beijing, China. U.S. President Barack Obama pays a state visit to China after attending the 22nd Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders' Meeting.  (Photo by Feng Li/Getty Images)

Donald Trump’s Pivot Through Asia

President Obama’s signature rebalance to the Pacific never really got off the ground. Could Trump succeed where he failed?

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First Major Trials Begin for the Failed Turkey Coup

But post-coup crackdowns that worry international observers continue unabated.

NASIRIYAH, IRAQ - DECEMBER 18:  Specialist Dante Battle from the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division secures the perimeter outside of a Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicle on the way to cross the Kuwaiti border as part of the last U.S. military convoy to leave Iraq on December 18, 2011 near Nasiriyah, Iraq. All U.S. troops were scheduled to have departed Iraq by December 31st, 2011. At least 4,485 U.S. military personnel died in service in Iraq. According to the Iraq Body Count, more than 100,000 Iraqi civilians have died from war-related violence. (Photo by Lucas Jackson-Pool/Getty Images)

The Crisis Manager’s Cheat Sheet for 2017

It’s time to start setting priorities for the coming year of war and conflict.

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A World War II Marine looks back and wonders: Where’s the America of sharing?

I am now 91 years of age and it has been 70 long, wide years since I returned home on Christmas Eve, 1945.

395293 02: A man walks past a large American flag hanging in the window of a Banana Republic store October 3, 2001 in New York City. The American flag has rapidly appeared in storefronts nationwide following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Hangover Wednesday: What if Clinton wins in a squeaker and some people in the country refuse to recognize the results?

A credible scenario today exists in which, the day after 58th quadrennial U.S. presidential election on November 8, 2016, the wheels start to come off the United States of America.

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Inside General Flynn’s brain

Michael Flynn is now one of the most influential voices in U.S. national security.

TOPSHOT - Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a rally on March 13, 2016 in Boca Raton, Florida.
Primary voters head to the polls on March 15th in Florida. / AFP / RHONA WISE        (Photo credit should read RHONA WISE/AFP/Getty Images)

Dear Mr. Trump, Don’t Desecrate My American Bible

An open letter to the president-elect from a Middle Eastern immigrant who has become an American patriot.

US President Barack Obama speaks with children dressed as elves, who are or were patients at Children's National Medical Center as they present donated gifts to the Obamas to give to children at the hospital, as they attend a taping of TNT's Christmas in Washington at the National Building Museum in Washington on December 15, 2013. The annual event, hosted by actor Hugh Jackman, features performances by the Backstreet Boys, Anna Kendrick, Sheryl Crow, Janelle Monae and Pat Monahan, and airs on the TNT television network on December 20.    AFP PHOTO / Saul LOEB        (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

Last-Minute Gifts for Wonks: 2016 Edition

Here are some gifts from around the world, fit for even the most insatiable global affairs glutton.

TOPSHOT - A copy of the local Chinese magazine Global People with a cover story that translates to "Why did Trump win" is seen with a front cover portrait of US president-elect Donald Trump at a news stand in Shanghai on November 14, 2016.  
Chinese President Xi Jinping and US president-elect Donald Trump agreed November 14 to meet "at an early date" to discuss the relationship between their two powers, Chinese state broadcaster CCTV said.  / AFP / JOHANNES EISELE        (Photo credit should read JOHANNES EISELE/AFP/Getty Images)

Assessing Trump’s Emerging Asia Policy

President-elect Donald Trump's comments and actions since winning the U.S. presidential election in November offer new insights into the kind of Asia policy his administration may pursue after taking office in January.

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What China Didn’t Learn From the Collapse of the Soviet Union

Xi Jinping sees the Soviet Union as a cautionary tale. But Beijing is learning all the wrong lessons.

BEDMINSTER TOWNSHIP, NJ - NOVEMBER 20: (L to R) President-elect Donald Trump points at U.S. Marine Corps General John Kelly before their meeting at Trump International Golf Club, November 20, 2016 in Bedminster Township, New Jersey. Trump and his transition team are in the process of filling cabinet and other high level positions for the new administration. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

General Kelly Is a Great Pick for Homeland Security

I have known Kelly for several years and have had the privilege of working with him and having him speak on several occasions at my day job.

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U.S. Abstains From U.N. Vote Condemning Israeli Settlements

The U.N. declares Israeli settlements illegal as United States defies its own past and calls from Trump and Netanyahu for a veto.

A general view of the Universal Journey during a media preview of Santa's All-Star Christmas at Universal Studios Singapore in Resorts World Sentosa on November 17, 2016. 
Singapore's Universal Studio broke the Guinness World Record for having the largest indoor display of lightbulbs with 824,961 bulbs in a festive light display separated into eight thematic zones. / AFP / Roslan RAHMAN        (Photo credit should read ROSLAN RAHMAN/AFP/Getty Images)

An Asian Peace Plan for the War on Christmas

Singapore proves that holidays in a multiethnic country don’t have to be occasions for divisiveness.

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The Fate of the DRC Hangs on a Closed-Door Meeting

A last-ditch effort to avert what could be a massive political crisis came to an impasse on Friday — though the deal’s not dead yet.

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A Christmas Truce for Eastern Ukraine

Ukraine and the U.S. ask Russia to make sure this attempt at peace holds.

GRAND RAPIDS, MI - DECEMBER 9: President-elect Donald Trump looks on during a rally at the DeltaPlex Arena, December 9, 2016 in Grand Rapids, Michigan. President-elect Donald Trump is continuing his victory tour across the country. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

If Trump Can Figure Out How to Pay for $1 Trillion of New Nukes, God Bless Him

The president-elect wants a shiny, new nuclear football to play with. But he doesn’t realize what it’s going to cost him.

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Berlin Attacker’s Past Spurs New Questions on Old Controversies in Europe

Meanwhile, the death toll for refugees trying to make it to Europe has hit 5,000.

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The Kremlin’s Economic Grip on Europe

Russia’s economy may be struggling, but its economic influence in Central and Eastern Europe is undiminished. Here’s how it wields its power.

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Come, Chaps, Let’s Imagine the Cheeky Chat Between Theresa May and the Queen

Amid reports that the Queen was frustrated by May's refusal to tell her what Brexit means, we imagine how their meeting really went.

DALLAS, TX - SEPTEMBER 14:  Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally at the American Airlines Center on September 14, 2015 in Dallas, Texas. More than 20,000 tickets have been distributed for the event.  (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

Trump Snubs Ban Ki-moon after Promising a Face-to-Face Meeting

The U.N. secretary-general thought he had a pledge for some face time with the new American leader. WRONG!

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Vladimir Putin to the Press: ‘Love Quickly Turns to Hate’

Also, if you have poor relations with Russia right now, it's not Russia's fault.

PHOENIX, AZ - JULY 11: Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump addresses supporters during a political rally at the Phoenix Convention Center on July 11, 2015 in Phoenix, Arizona. Trump spoke about illegal immigration and other topics in front of an estimated crowd of 4,200. (Photo by Charlie Leight/Getty Images)

Democracy Is Dying as Technocrats Watch

Assaults on democracy are working because our current political elites have no idea how to defend it.

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump gestures after speaking at a campaign rally inside the Cabarrus Arena 7 Events Center in Concord, North Carolina on November 3, 2016. / AFP / Logan Cyrus        (Photo credit should read LOGAN CYRUS/AFP/Getty Images)

The World Can Have Peace and Prosperity, If It Wants

There's nothing inevitable about the rise of violence and rancor, in the United States and abroad.

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Things I didn’t know (nautical edition)

The ratio of fresh water on Earth to the planet’s salt water is 1:6750

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Equal time: A terrier on a Hurricane

I love both Labs and terriers but in different ways.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - APRIL 08:  IMF Chief Christine Lagarde Visits Fox Business Network at FOX Studios on April 8, 2016 in New York City.  (Photo by John Lamparski/Getty Images)

Christine Lagarde Could Still Go Down

A criminal conviction in France didn't end the IMF chief's career – but the combination of Greece and Donald Trump might destroy her legacy.

TOPSHOT - US President Barack Obama (L) and Russia's President Vladimir Putin talk before an economic leaders meeting at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit at the Lima Convention Centre on November 20, 2016 in Lima.
Asia-Pacific leaders are expected to send a strong message in defense of free trade as they wrap up a summit that has been overshadowed by US President-elect Donald Trump's protectionism. / AFP / Brendan Smialowski        (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)

The Russian Question

Moscow may no longer be a superpower, but its revanchist politics are unsettling the international order. How should Donald Trump deal with Vladimir Putin?

A Ukrainian serviceman smokes while manning a position near Svitlodarsk, in the Donetsk region, on February 21, 2015. The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine has made a mockery of the West's latest attempts to negotiate a ceasefire but may ultimately pave the way for a more durable peace, say analysts. AFP PHOTO/ ANATOLII STEPANOV        (Photo credit should read ANATOLII STEPANOV/AFP/Getty Images)

In a Hacked Ukrainian App, a Picture of the Future of War

Russian military intelligence hackers targeted both the DNC and Ukrainian artillery troops.

US Republican Presidential hopeful Donald Trump waves after addressing the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) 2016 Policy Conference at the Verizon Center in Washington, DC, March 21, 2016. / AFP / SAUL LOEB        (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

Want a Third Intifada? Go Ahead and Move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem

Why Trump’s plan is a terrible idea for Israel, Palestine, and the wider Middle East.

Visitors examine exhibits at the exhibition "The myth of the beloved leader" in the Historical Museum in Moscow on April 2, 2014. The exhibition devoted to the history of the cult of Soviet leaders Lenin and Stalin, presented personal belongings, gifts and works of art from the collection of the former Lenin Museum. AFP PHOTO / VASILY MAXIMOV        (Photo credit should read VASILY MAXIMOV/AFP/Getty Images)

The Soviet Union Is Gone, But It’s Still Collapsing

And 5 other unlearned lessons from leading experts about modern Russia and the death of an empire.

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George Kennan Is Still the Russia Expert America Needs

The architect of Washington’s Cold War strategy offers President-elect Trump the best guide for managing Moscow.

Alma-ata, president of the rsfsr boris yeltsin (l) and president of kazakhstan nursultan nazarbayev are pictured at the press-conference, december 21, 1991. (Photo by: Sovfoto/UIG via Getty Images)

The Birth of ‘Absurdistan’

How I experienced the collapse of the Soviet Union.

FORT WORTH, TX - NOVEMBER 06:  A B-52 bomber flys over the track during pre-race activities prior to the start of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on November 6, 2011 in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo by John Harrelson/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Putin and Trump Talk Up Need for More Nuclear Weapons

Russian President Vladimir Putin and President-elect Donald Trump both reached back into the Cold war playbook on Thursday, pledging an increase in their country’s nuclear stockpiles.

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Trump’s Trade Agenda Would ‘Turn Back the Clock to Another Age’

Embracing bilateral deals and new tariffs, the incoming president casts a zero-sum view on world trade.

<> on September 6, 2013 in Jakarta, Indonesia.

Trump’s Indonesian Business Partner Is Knee-Deep in Dirty Politics

Hary Tanoesoedibjo is a sketchy billionaire with ties to pro-Islamist politicians — and the ear of the next U.S. president.

This photo taken on May 11, 2016 shows villagers outside the Catholic church in Changjing, in China's southern Guangxi region.
The finishing touches are being put to a new museum in Dingan, the village where French missionary Auguste Chapdelaine died in 1856 and just a few kilometres from Changjing where he lived, celebrating the patriotism of his execution and condemning the spiritual opium of religion. / AFP / GREG BAKER / TO GO WITH China-culture-religion-Roman-Catholic-politics,FEATURE by Benjamin Carlson        (Photo credit should read GREG BAKER/AFP/Getty Images)

Is Pope Francis Ditching Taiwan For China?

The Vatican is one of Taipei's few remaining political allies, but the Holy Father's desire to deal with the mainland may end that.

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Ukrainian Separatists Hold a ‘Most Patriotic Cat’ Competition

Though Kiev may contest the results of the competition, the contestants are paws-itively adorable.

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Obama to Dismantle Muslim and Arab Tracking System, But Trump Undeterred

Obama may dismantle the surveillance system, but Trump seems poised to put a new one in its place.

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UNSC Vote on West Bank Settlements Delayed, Possibly Indefinitely

A delay would give the Trump administration time -- as welcomed by Tel Aviv -- to begin a dramatic shift from Obama’s Israel policies.

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Review of ‘The Gathering Storm: The Naval War in Northern Europe’

Historians may debate whether Churchill, and the British, were justified in the operations that brought down Norwegian neutrality and the German invasion in April of 1940. What is indisputable, though, is that great stakes played out the northern seas in the winter of 1939-40.

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With Historic Defense Spending Boost, Japan Turns Further Away from Pacifism

Pacifism is embedded in modern Japan’s DNA. But rising global threats may force that to change.

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Making a ‘better peace’: The amazing elusiveness of strategic victory

Without a predetermined political order as the end point, all actions, particularly narratives, are without strategic purpose.

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Where Will Marine Le Pen Find Campaign Cash?!?!

Will she risk criticism in the French press by going back to Moscow money?

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The Battle to Retake Mosul Is Stalemated

Despite predictions that the Islamic State would soon be routed from Iraq’s second-largest city, the offensive is stuck, and casualties are piling up.

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SitRep: Link Between Russian Intel, Ukrainian Hack, DNC attack; Moscow Lashes Out at U.S. Tank Buildup

Trump Meets With Generals, Defense CEOs; NSA Whistleblower Trouble; Japan increases Defense Spending; And Lots More

People read a Kenyan daily newspaper with the front page showing newly elected US President Donald Trump in Nairobi on November 10, 2016.  
Donald Trump's extraordinary US election victory sent shockwaves across the world on November 9, 2016, as opponents braced for a "dangerous" leader in the White House while fellow populists hailed a ballot-box revolution by ordinary people. America's allies put a diplomatically brave face on the outcome of the deeply divisive presidential race, which has implications for everything from trade to human rights, climate change to global conflicts.  / AFP / SIMON MAINA        (Photo credit should read SIMON MAINA/AFP/Getty Images)

Africa Shouldn’t Freak Out About Trump

It’s boring bureaucrats, not the erratic president, who will shape the next administration's policy toward Africa.

GARMISCH-PARTENKIRCHEN, GERMANY - JUNE 07:  (From L to R) President of the European Council Donald Tusk, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper, U.S. President Barack Obama, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Francois Hollande, British Prime Minister David Cameron, Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker pose at the group photo at the summit of G7 nations at Schloss Elmau on June 7, 2015 near Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany. In the course of the two-day summit G7 leaders are scheduled to discuss global economic and security issues, as well as pressing global health-related issues, including antibiotics-resistant bacteria and Ebola. Several thousand protesters have announced they will seek to march towards Schloss Elmau and at least 17,000 police are on hand to provide security.  (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)

The West Should Hope That Merkel Loses

The only way to defend the liberal democratic order is to say goodbye to the German chancellor.

BERLIN, GERMANY - JULY 20:  British Prime Minister Theresa May walks past European Union flags as she and German Chancellor Angela Merkel (not pictured) arrive to speak to the media following talks at the Chancellery on July 20, 2016 in Berlin, Germany. May, who replaced David Cameron as prime minister last week in the wake of the Brexit vote that will take the United Kingdom out of the European Union, is visiting Germany and France in her first foreign trip since assuming office.  (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

The Ironies of Brexit: Surveillance Policy Edition

Theresa May opposed Brexit, but it might bail out her surveillance regime.

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Watch: Panda Tries Out Zoo-plomacy With a Snowman

Because soft diplomacy is more fun than hard power.

TO GO WITH AFP STORY "China-politics-rights-Tiananmen" by Robert Saiget(FILES) This file photo taken on June 2, 1989 shows hundreds of thousands of Chinese gathering around a 10-metre replica of the Statue of Liberty (C), called the Goddess of Democracy, in Tiananmen Square demanding democracy despite martial law in Beijing.  Families of those killed in the crushing of the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests on June 2, 2010 demanded China end its silence and open a dialogue on the bloodshed. In an annual open letter, 128 members of the Tiananmen Mothers castigated the Communist Party government for ignoring its calls for openness on the crackdown that occurred June 3-4, 1989 and vowed never to give up their fight.  (Photo by CATHERINE HENRIETTE/AFP/Getty Images)

Could Mikhail Gorbachev Have Saved the Soviet Union?

The Soviet leader is remembered as the man who killed a superpower. But Gorbachev’s gambit on reforms could have worked -- if only he wasn't betrayed by the Communist Party.

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Romania Likely to Have First Female Prime Minister

But there would be another power behind her throne.

MOSCOW, RUSSIA - MAY 9:  In this handout image supplied by Host photo agency / RIA Novosti, a general view during the gala concert held in Red Square to mark the 70th anniversary of Victory in the 1941-1945 Great Patriotic War, May 9, 2015 in Moscow, Russia. The Victory Day parade commemorates the end of World War II in Europe. (Photo by Host photo agency / RIA Novosti via Getty Images)

The End of the End of the Cold War

Twenty-five years ago this week, the Soviet Union lost the Cold War. And 25 years later, Russia renegotiated the terms of surrender.

NEW YORK, NY - JULY 16: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks before introducing his newly selected vice presidential running mate Mike Pence, governor of Indiana, during an event at the Hilton Midtown Hotel, July 16, 2016 in New York City. On Friday, Trump announced on Twitter that he chose Pence to be his running mate. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Trump Tweets, Supporters Cheer, China Chafes

Social media gives the illusion of a private chat between the President-elect and his supporters. In fact, the whole world is watching.

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In the Battle for His Legacy, Obama Opens a New Arctic Front On Trump

Obama’s surprise -- and potentially sticky ban -- on offshore drilling is the latest midnight regulation in the land of the midnight sun.

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The Undiplomatic Style of American Diplomacy

The gulf between America's politicians and diplomats has been widening for years.

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Italian Parliament Approves Bank Bailout. Now What?

Will Italy's bank bailout help or hurt the Italian people?

NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 12: Retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, President-elect Donald Trump's choice for National Security Advisor, waits for an elevator in the lobby at Trump Tower, December 12, 2016 in New York City. President-elect Donald Trump and his transition team are in the process of filling cabinet and other high level positions for the new administration. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Mike Flynn’s Pakistan Problem

The incoming national security advisor allegedly shared classified intel with Pakistan’s notoriously compromised security services. What does that mean for Trump's "AfPak" policy?

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A Tale of Two Syrian Cities

In government-controlled Damascus and western Aleppo, the two rival centers of Syrian life seem destined for very different fates.

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What should the U.S. government do to respond to China’s vexing drone snatch?

China’s seizure and then return of a U.S. unmanned underwater vehicle in the South China Sea poses several challenges for U.S. policymakers and outside observers.

A Congolese protester holds a book of the DRC's constitution in defiance against the President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Joseph Kabila, at a protest demanding him to step down on December 20, 2016 in Pretoria.
The United Nations voiced alarm over a wave of arrests in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where tensions were running high after President Joseph Kabila's term in office expired. Tuesday marked the end of the second and constitutionally-mandated final term for the 45-year-old, who inherited the presidency after the 2001 assassination of his father. But he is now refusing to leave the job that he began without much fanfare. 
 / AFP / John Wessels        (Photo credit should read JOHN WESSELS/AFP/Getty Images)

Congo’s Crackdown Is Just a Preview of Violence to Come

Joseph Kabila is taking advantage of the opposition's mistakes to extend his rule. But armed militias may be the eventual winners.

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Book excerpt: Saddam Hussein said that the Iranians lied to him about everything

Saddam saw himself as the guardian of the Arabs against the Persian menace.

South Korean President  former senior secretary for civil affairs Woo Byung-woo standing answer to reporters question before allegations at Seoul prosecutor office in Seoul, South Korea. President Park Geun-hye's former senior secretary for civil affairs appeared before the prosecution for questioning over a string of corruption allegations on Sunday, becoming the second ex-presidential aide to face a probe. The state prosecution's special investigation team summoned Woo Byung-woo, who has been accused of the alleged abuse of authority and embezzlement. (Photo by Seung-il Ryu/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Korean Reporters Got Fired, Got Active, and Got The President

The raucous independent investigations that led to President Park Geun-hye's impeachment taught Koreans to trust the news again.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (C), his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu (R) and Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif attend a news conference in Moscow on December 20, 2016.  
The foreign and defence ministers of Russia, Turkey and Iran are meeting in Moscow for key talks on the conflict in Syria. Iran and Russia are sharing a base in war-torn Syria to help coordinate their support for President Bashar al-Assad's forces, a top security official in Tehran said on December 20. 
 / AFP / Natalia KOLESNIKOVA        (Photo credit should read NATALIA KOLESNIKOVA/AFP/Getty Images)

SitRep: Leaked DoD Memo Says Trump Ignoring Russia; Republican Senate Fight Over Hacks

Moscow Replacing Washington as Middle East Power Broker; U.S. Bombing in Libya Ends; Syria and War Crimes; And Lots More

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Kiev Versus Kiev

President Poroshenko promised to tackle corruption. Halfway through his term, Ukraine’s anti-corruption agencies are fighting each other.

TOPSHOT - A policeman walks at the Christmas market near the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gedaechtniskirche (Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church), the day after a terror attack, in central Berlin, on December 20, 2016.
German police said they were treating as "a probable terrorist attack" the killing of 12 people when the speeding lorry cut a bloody swath through the packed Berlin Christmas market. / AFP / Tobias SCHWARZ        (Photo credit should read TOBIAS SCHWARZ/AFP/Getty Images)

Berlin’s Zero Hour Is Also Angela Merkel’s

After an attack on the German capital, the chancellor’s moment of reckoning is upon her.

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ISIS Claims Berlin Attack While Right-Wing Politicians Blast Merkel

Europe’s refugee crisis tinges political reaction to the Christmas market assault.

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The U.S. Likely to Be “One of the Biggest Losers” of Ambassador Assassination

One Turkey expert's take on what the ambassador's assassination might mean for the future of U.S. relations with Russia and Turkey.

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India Overtakes Britain as the World’s Sixth-Largest Economy

What was once Britain’s “crown jewel” has outshined the former empire.

HAVANA, CUBA - MARCH 21:  U.S. President Barack Obama (R) and Cuban President Raul Castro review troops before bilateral meetings at the Palace of the Revolution March 21, 2016 in Havana, Cuba. These are the first direct talks between Castro and Obama, the first sitting U.S. president to visit Cuba in 88 years.  (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

We Need a Cuba Policy That Truly Serves the Cuban People

Clearly, changes are coming to U.S.-Cuba policy under Trump. But what to replace Obama’s policy with?

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Review: ‘Rogue One’ is a heckuva good war movie wrapped in a Star Wars legend

Fear not, "Rogue One" is a magnificent and heartening addition to the canon.

In this photograph taken on July 10, 2008, A Chinese soldier gestures as he stands near an Indian soldier on the Chinese side of the ancient Nathu La border crossing between India and China. When the two Asian giants opened the 4,500-metre-high (15,000 feet) pass in 2006 to improve ties dogged by a bitter war in 1962 that saw the route closed for 44 years, many on both sides hoped it would boost trade. Two years on, optimism has given way to despair as the flow of traders has shrunk to a trickle because of red tape, poor facilities and sub-standard roads in India's remote northeastern mountainous state of Sikkim. AFP PHOTO/Diptendu DUTTA (Photo credit should read DIPTENDU DUTTA/AFP/Getty Images)

Trump Should Read India’s Playbook for Taunting China

New Delhi has been poking at Beijing's One-China Policy for years without wrecking the relationship

On this episode of The E.R., Max Boot joins us to discuss his new book "The Road Not Taken."

The Worst Things of 2016

Donald Trump became president, Russia hacked the U.S. elections, and Europe may have unraveled. But what else awful happened in 2016?

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Austrian Far-Right Politicians Travel to Moscow to Grease Ties Between Trump, Putin

They reportedly met with Trump’s national security adviser Michael Flynn in New York last month.

CAMP LEJEUNE, NC - FEBRUARY 22:  Sgt. Jarrod Simmons tries to motivate his squad of Marines before they head out on a 10 kilometer training march carrying 55 pound packs during Marine Combat Training (MCT) on February 22, 2013 at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.  Since 1988 all non-infantry enlisted male Marines have been required to complete 29 days of basic combat skills training at MCT after graduating from boot camp. MCT has been required for all enlisted female Marines since 1997. About six percent of enlisted Marines are female.  (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Female and Transgender Troops Fear Combat Exclusion in Trump’s Pentagon

Trump and his deputies are skeptical of historic policy changes at the Pentagon opening up combat jobs to women and allowing transgender troops to serve openly.

A man buys a Chinese newspaper, with the headline that reads "Outsider strikes back", featuring Donald Trump on the front page in Beijing on November 10, 2016.
The American public on November 9 voted for the Republican candidate Donald Trump to be the 45th President of the United States.  / AFP / GREG BAKER        (Photo credit should read GREG BAKER/AFP/Getty Images)

Beijing Is Ready To Go Eyeball to Eyeball With Trump

The U.S. president-elect took the first steps up the ladder of escalation, but China’s seizure of a naval drone shows it’s glad to follow.

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Polish Ruling Party Passed Unconstitutional Laws, Now Controls Constitutional Tribunal

An Eastern European example of what happens when the institutions meant to stop unchecked power are taken over by it.

Supporters of the anti-immigrant Pegida movement (Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of the Occident) mark the second year of existence as they demonstrate in Dresden, eastern Germany, on October 2016, and 
Dresden, a Baroque city in Germany's ex-communist east, is the birthplace of the anti-immigration PEGIDA street movement. / AFP / dpa / Oliver Killig / Germany OUT        (Photo credit should read OLIVER KILLIG/AFP/Getty Images)

Europe’s Far-Right Anger Is Moving Mainstream

Anti-immigrant, anti-Europe, anti-Muslim sentiment is resonating with more and more voters in Europe.

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Five Things to Worry About After the Assassination of Russia’s Ambassador to Turkey

It may not spell a third world war. But here's what could happen after the assassination.

Syrians, who were evacuated from the last rebel-held pockets of Syria's northen city of Aleppo, arrive on December 19, 2016 in the opposition-controlled Khan al-Assal region, west of the embattled city.
Gunmen attacked buses sent to evacuate people from two pro-regime villages in northwest Syria on December 18, 2016 but a senior military source said the incident should not disrupt parallel evacuations from Aleppo. Thousands of people were to leave the last rebel-held parts of the northern city of Aleppo in exchange for residents leaving Fuaa and Kafraya, Shiite villages, in the neighbouring province of Idlib. According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, around 500 people left in a dawn convoy out of Fuaa and Kafraya on December 19, 2016. / AFP / Baraa Al-Halabi        (Photo credit should read BARAA AL-HALABI/AFP/Getty Images)

Stop the Hand-Wringing About Aleppo

What’s happening in Syria is a tragedy – but nobody has ever been willing to do what’s necessary to stop it.

TOPSHOT - Syrian pro-regime fighters, gesture as they drive past residents fleeing violence in the restive Bustan al-Qasr neighbourhood, in Aleppo's Fardos neighbourhood on December 13, 2016, after regime troops retook the area from rebel fighters. 
Syrian rebels withdrew from six more neighbourhoods in their one-time bastion of east Aleppo in the face of advancing government troops, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. / AFP / STRINGER        (Photo credit should read STRINGER/AFP/Getty Images)

Can U.N. Monitors Stop the Slaughter in Aleppo?

The U.N. voted to send monitors to Aleppo. But some fear such moves could be too little, too late.

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Is our military’s ‘warrior culture’ a reaction to leaders’ risk aversion?

The appellation “warrior,” and the “warrior culture” it denotes, have a bad rap.

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IMF Chief Christine Lagarde Found Guilty of Negligence

The Fund’s top official won’t be fined or jailed, but she may lose her job -- and the IMF may lose more than that.

Demonstrators shout slogans during a protest calling for the resignation of South Korean President Park Geun-Hye in central Seoul on November 5, 2016.
Thousands of South Koreans took to the streets November 5 to demand embattled President Park Geun-Hye resign over a crippling corruption scandal.
 / AFP / Ed JONES        (Photo credit should read ED JONES/AFP/Getty Images)

In Korean Democracy, the People Are a Wrathful God

Koreans demanded, and received, the impeachment of their president. But there's a thin line between the collective will and mob rule.

US President-elect Donald Trump gives a thumb up as he exits elevators to talk with the media at Trump Tower on December 6, 2016 in New York. / AFP / Eduardo Munoz Alvarez        (Photo credit should read EDUARDO MUNOZ ALVAREZ/AFP/Getty Images)

Elevator pitches to Trump by The Blob, AKA The Foreign Policy Establishment

You’re a leading foreign policy expert and you just got into an elevator with President-elect Trump. You have a few moments to give your best elevator pitch on the most pressing foreign policy challenges facing his upcoming presidency. What do you say?

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The Weekend Behind, The Week Ahead: What Will the Electoral College Do?

From a potential electoral college showdown to another South China Sea stand-off, here's quick rundown of what happened over the weekend

RECIFE, BRAZIL - DECEMBER 12:  Juan Pedro, who has microcephaly and turned 1 year old on December 4, is held by his godmother Sinthia on December 12, 2016 in Recife, Brazil. As many of the babies with microcephaly, believed to be linked to the Zika virus, turn 1 year old in Recife, doctors and mothers are adapting and learning treatments to assist and calm the children. Many of the children are suffering a plethora of difficulties including vision and hearing problems with doctors now labeling the overall condition as "congenital Zika syndrome." Authorities have recorded thousands of cases in Brazil in which the mosquito-borne Zika virus may have led to microcephaly in infants. Microcephaly results in an abnormally small head in newborns and is associated with various disorders. The state with the most cases is Pernambuco, whose capital is Recife, and is being called the epicenter of the outbreak.  (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Condemned to Life in Zikaland

In Recife, Brazil’s ground zero of the Zika virus, a community struggles to deal with the devastating spread of microcephaly.

US Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump addresses the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) 2016 Policy Conference at the Verizon Center in Washington, DC, March 21, 2016. / AFP / SAUL LOEB        (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

Trump’s New Ambassador to Israel Heralds a Radical Change in Policy

The appointment of David Friedman might be seen as a honeymoon in Jerusalem, but it’s a bold divorce from decades of U.S.-Israel policy.

US real-estate magnate Donald Trump is seen playing golf on a billboard at the Trump International Golf Club Dubai in the United Arab Emirates on August 12, 2015. The empire of White House hopeful Donald Trump outside the United States extends to 12 countries including Turkey, South Korea, India, Brazil, and the United Arab Emirates. AFP PHOTO / KARIM SAHIB        (Photo credit should read KARIM SAHIB/AFP/Getty Images)

His Excellency, Sheikh Donald of the House of Trump

Why the president-elect is already a big hit in the Persian Gulf.

Exxon Mobil chairman and CEO Rex Tillerson speaks at a discussion organized by the  Economic Club of Washington on the energy innovations that have led to a new era of energy abundance for North America in Washington, DC on March 12, 2015.   AFP PHOTO/ NICHOLAS KAMM        (Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)

All Rex Tillerson Cares About Is Energy

But does that mean he's going to gut America’s $50 billion foreign aid budget?

WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 16:  U.S. President Barack Obama speaks during a news conference in the Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House December 16, 2016 in Washington, DC. In what could be the last press conference of his presidency, afterwards Obama will be leaving for his annual family vacation in Hawaii.  (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Obama to Moscow: ‘We Can Do Stuff to You’

The president defends his response to Russian hacking, his legacy on Syria, and approach to China.

TOPSHOT - Syrian residents, fleeing violence in the restive Bustan al-Qasr neighbourhood, arrive in Aleppo's Fardos neighbourhood on December 13, 2016, after regime troops retook the area from rebel fighters. 
Syrian rebels withdrew from six more neighbourhoods in their one-time bastion of east Aleppo in the face of advancing government troops, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. / AFP / STRINGER        (Photo credit should read STRINGER/AFP/Getty Images)

The Cynical Horror of Assad and Aleppo

This is not civil war; this is war on civilians.

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World Economic Forum To Staff: Welcome To Davos. Here’s Your CHU.

Davos organizers eye putting up staff in temporary housing containers during talks on rising income inequality and social inclusion.

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Trump Taps Hardliner to Be U.S. Ambassador to Israel

David Friedman’s hardline views on Israel and its neighbors have drawn either high praise or sharp rebuke from advocacy groups -- but little in between.

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Trump and His Lieutenants Are Cyber Hawks. Will They Play Hardball With Putin?

The president-elect is caught between promises to be more aggressive in cyberspace, and U.S. demands for payback against a Russian hack apparently done for his benefit.

HAVANA. On the shore of the morro, a former military fort constructed during Spanish colonial times.

Night Creatures

Out of work, Cuban youth revel after dark in Havana's underground electronic music scene.

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Why Is PM Modi Blaming Indira Gandhi for India’s Cash Crisis?

A present political conflict may explain why India's prime minister is blaming the past for his problems.

A newspaper vendor looks out from her booth on a street in Shanghai on January 8, 2013. China's blogosphere and celebrities, many with millions of followers, backed journalists at the Southern Weekly, a popular liberal newspaper based in Guangzhou which is embroiled in a censorship row after hundreds of people held a rare protest demanding greater press freedom after an article urging reforms to uphold people's rights was censored by an official. AFP PHOTO/Peter PARKS        (Photo credit should read PETER PARKS/AFP/Getty Images)

All the News Unfit to Print: What Beijing Quashed in 2016

Dozens of leaked censorship directives reveal a Chinese government increasingly insecure about its image.

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A few words in defense of General Flynn

I worry that Michael Flynn is not a good fit for national security advisor. Even so, I think the discussions of his sharing intel with the Pakistani military are unfair.

GAZIPUR, BANGLADESH – SEPTEMBER 04: Ambulances to be carrying the remains of Mir Quasem Ali, have left Kashimpur Central Jail in Gazipur after the hanging of the Jamaat-e-Islami leader for war crimes. The International Crimes Tribunal sentenced Jamaat executive council member Mir Quasem to death in 2014 for war crimes. (Photo by Sk Hasan Ali/Corbis via Getty Images)

Bangladesh Is Vanishing The Opposition

The country's growing number of 'disappeared' are paying for their fathers' (alleged) sins.

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Can António Guterres Finally Break the U.N.’s Glass Ceiling?

The U.N. struggles to practice what it preaches on women's empowerment. Can the new secretary-general break the institution's glass ceiling?

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Imprisoned by al Qaeda, Saved by a Kitten

How I slipped my jihadi captors and escaped from Syria.

NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 08:  Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on December 8, 2016 in New York City. Stocks began today higher following yesterday's rally, the best day for the market since the presidential election.  (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Why the Trump Economic Boom Will Never Come

Yes, the markets are looking good (for now). But subsidized deal-making and tax cuts for the rich are the surest sign of a bubble.

NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 12: Former Texas Governor Rick Perry walks through the lobby on his way out of Trump Tower, December 12, 2016 in New York City. President-elect Donald Trump and his transition team are in the process of filling cabinet and other high level positions for the new administration. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

A Lesson for Rick Perry: The Department of Energy Doesn’t Produce Much Energy

A former governor of Texas would seem to be a natural choice for secretary of energy. Yet Perry faces a paradox.

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Richard Nixon Hated the Presidential Daily Intel Brief, Too

But if Donald Trump is really, “like, a smart person” he’ll realize the CIA isn’t out to get him.

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Another General and a Right-Wing Firebrand for Trump’s NSC

He oversaw the Coalition Provisional Authority in Baghdad. She wrote a book on "what the bleep just happened."

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European Union to Keep Sanctions on Russia … For Now

Will the EU's latest round of sanctions against Russia also be its last?

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I Was Rescued from a Chinese Orphanage. My Friend Wasn’t.

We were both disabled by polio, but I was adopted by Americans. Returning to China 10 years later showed how sharply our destinies had diverged.

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In Brussels, The Mayor of Eastern Aleppo Makes His Last Diplomatic Stand

As the noose tightens around civilians in the besieged Syrian city.

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Insurgency and COIN, 1862 style

Southern Minnesota, 1862, the Dakota/Lakota Sioux confined to a reservation about a hundred miles long and ten miles wide on the south bank of the Minnesota River.

The new headquarters of the Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) is pictured shortly after the official opening of RFE/RL's new headquarters on May 12, 2009 in Prague. AFP PHOTO/MICHAL CIZEK (Photo credit should read MICHAL CIZEK/AFP/Getty Images)

Don’t Gut America’s Voice and Turn It into Propaganda

The United States’ international broadcasters work because they produce real journalism, not government spin. That could change — just in time for Trump.

Incumbent Gambian President Yahya Jammeh listens to one of his aides in Banjul on November 29, 2016, during the closing rally of the electoral campaign of the Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction (APRC). 
More than 880,000 voters are expected to cast their ballots when the west African country goes to the polls on December 1, 2016. Jammeh has won four elections with his ruling Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction, following a 2002 constitutional amendment lifting term limits. Rights bodies and media watchdogs including Reporters Without Borders (RSF) accuse Jammeh of cultivating a "pervasive climate of fear" and of crushing dissent against his regime, one cause of the mass exodus of Gambian youths to Europe. / AFP / MARCO LONGARI        (Photo credit should read MARCO LONGARI/AFP/Getty Images)

The Real Reason Gambia’s President Isn’t Stepping Down

First he conceded defeat. Then he challenged the legitimacy of the vote. What explains the flip-flop that is threatening the stability of this tiny African country?

TAMPA, FL - OCTOBER 24:  Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump hugs the American flag as he arrives for a campaign rally at the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre on October 24, 2016 in Tampa, Florida. There are 14 days until the the presidential election.  (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Trump’s Team of Rivals, Riven by Distrust

Mike Flynn, Jim Mattis, and Rex Tillerson don’t have much in common with each other — or Donald Trump. But together they might revolutionize American foreign policy.

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Is Trump Starting Something With China He Can’t Finish?

Beijing laughed at Trump’s hard-right advisers. Now that he’s rewriting decades of U.S.-China policy, it's deploying bombers.

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Fed Rate Hike Sets Up Showdown With Trump

It's going to be more expensive to borrow money in Donald Trump's America.

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The Cease-Fire in Syria Is, For Now, Back On

Failed ceasefires have become a common occurrence in Syria. The latest deal could be the last best hope for civilians and embattled rebels — if it holds.

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How to Rebuild Eastern Ukraine

Kiev is too corrupt to do the job itself. The reconstruction of the Donbass must be overseen by an independent body.

CINCINNATI, OH - DECEMBER 01: President-elect Donald Trump speaks during a stop at U.S. Bank Arena on December 1, 2016 in Cincinnati, Ohio. Trump took time off from selecting the cabinet for his incoming administration to celebrate his victory in the general election.  (Photo by Ty Wright/Getty Images)

Four People Trump Has Appointed for Jobs They Don’t Seem to Think Should Exist

One way to shake up a cabinet? Hire people who previously wanted to get rid of the organizations they're now slated to run.

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A Drunk Kim Jong Un Is an Angry Kim Jong Un

Morale in Kim’s inner circle probably isn’t so great as Pyongyang seems to get more erratic.

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Russia’s Latest Presidential Hopeful Is Another Anti-Establishment Populist. Sort Of.

The lawyer turned anti-corruption blogger and activist wants to make Russia great again. That doesn't necessarily make him like Trump.

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Hello, Death Star: Russia Had a Secret Cold War Space Station Equipped with Cannons

The clandestine celestial war between superpowers isn't over. It's just getting more high-tech.

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Italy Gets a New Government, and Jail Time for People Smuggler

It's one thing to bash migrants. It's another to govern when they arrive in unprecedented numbers on your shores.

Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin (L) speaks with ExxonMobil President and Chief Executive Officer Rex Tillerson during the signing of a Rosneft-ExxonMobil strategic partnership agreement in Sochi on August 30, 2011. Russia's oil champion Rosneft and US ExxonMobil clinched a global deal worth up to half-a-trillion dollars that will see the US supermajor take BP's place in pioneering Arctic exploration work.  AFP PHOTO / RIA NOVOSTI / POOL / ALEXEY DRUZHININ (Photo credit should read ALEXEY DRUZHININ/AFP/Getty Images)

It’s Too Soon to Judge Rex Tillerson

Tillerson is not the first nominee for secretary of state whose company's close ties with a foreign country cast a cloud of suspicion.

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Fed Up With Drug War, Mexican Townspeople Kidnap Drug Lord’s Mom

Amid a spate of violent gang turf battles, one town took matters into their own hands.

GRAND RAPIDS, MI - DECEMBER 9: President-elect Donald Trump looks on during a rally at the DeltaPlex Arena, December 9, 2016 in Grand Rapids, Michigan. President-elect Donald Trump is continuing his victory tour across the country. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Trump’s War Against Intelligence

The CIA is trained in objective analysis, not political knife-fighting. Can it survive a hostile administration?

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The nonmilitary consequences of military revolutions: Some work to be done here?

Do all military revolutions have a moral or political dimension? I bet they do.

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Scary quote of the day: Are Navy officers are being trained to sidestep taking risks?

The sea is a hostile environment where everybody makes mistakes. The key is to learn how to recognize a mistake and recover from it without multiplying it.

Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin passes by a T-90AM tank during his visit to an arms exhibition in the Urals town of Nizhny Tagil, on September 9, 2011.  AFP PHOTO/ RIA-NOVOSTI POOL/ ALEXEY DRUZHININ (Photo credit should read ALEXEY DRUZHININ/AFP/Getty Images)

How to Wage Hybrid War on the Kremlin

President Obama has been shamefully derelict in making Putin pay a price for his aggression. It’s time to give Vladimir a taste of his own medicine.

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Climate Change Is Mauling the Arctic Worse Than We Even Thought

NOAA’s Arctic Report Card documents melting sea ice and a ticking time bomb of billions of tons of carbon.

Exxon Mobil chairman and CEO Rex Tillerson speaks at a discussion organized by the  Economic Club of Washington on the energy innovations that have led to a new era of energy abundance for North America in Washington, DC on March 12, 2015.   AFP PHOTO/NICHOLAS KAMM        (Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)

Tillerson’s Confirmation Battle Will Be First Test for Trump’s Russia Ties

The Senate’s hawks -- and frequent Trump critics -- look to challenge the ExxonMobil CEO’s nomination to be secretary of state.

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After Slaughter, a Deal for Rebels in Aleppo

Russia and the rebels both say a deal has been reached to allow rebels to leave Aleppo.

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How a Fictional President Is Helping Ukrainians Rethink Their Absurd Politics

Ukraine is so corrupt that it’s hard to imagine it being otherwise. A new comedy series shows that things could be different.

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