5 Top Reads

Our Top Weekend Reads

India-Pakistan tensions escalate, the United States accuses Iran of being behind attacks on Saudi Arabia, and the results of Israel’s election remain uncertain.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks during a news conference at the Canadian Consulate General in New York City on May 17, 2018.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks during a news conference at the Canadian Consulate General in New York City on May 17, 2018. Drew Angerer/Getty Images

India and Pakistan are drawing closer to a fully fledged conflict, egged on by a public too young to remember the price of war and a government in India emboldened by its recent election win.

In Canada, a campaign season kicked off ahead of October elections with the surfacing of several pictures of incumbent Prime Minister Justin Trudeau wearing blackface and brownface.

The United States and Saudi Arabia say Iran was behind recent attacks on Saudi oil facilities. The strikes called U.S. strategy in the region into question and showed how Russia under President Vladimir Putin is benefiting from conflict in the Middle East.

Meanwhile, elections in Israel produced uncertain results, and U.S. President Donald Trump named Robert O’Brien as John Bolton’s unlikely replacement as national security advisor.

Here are Foreign Policy’s top weekend reads.


Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his wife, Sophie Grégoire, pay their respects at the Sikh Golden Temple in Amritsar, India, on Feb. 21, 2018.Narinder Nanu/AFP/Getty Images

1. Trudeau Won’t Wash Off His Blackface Scandal

Racist images of Trudeau have exposed the deep divide between the multicultural utopia imagined by white Canada, an idea often exported to the rest of the world, and the experiences nonwhite communities face, Justin Ling writes.


Indian government forces stand guard in the deserted city center of Srinagar on Aug. 15. Yawar Nazir/Getty Images

2. Why Indians and Pakistanis Want a War

Most people in India and Pakistan are too young to remember the last war between the two antagonistic neighbors. Coupled with media that toes the government line and an emboldened Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi after his reelection, conditions are ripe for the tensions to erupt into full-fledged conflict, Shivam Vij writes.


U.S. President Donald Trump joins dancers with swords at a welcome ceremony ahead of a banquet at the Murabba Palace in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on May 20, 2017. MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images

3. This Is the Moment That Decides the Future of the Middle East

Attacks on Saudi oil facilities, for which Riyadh and Washington blame Tehran, are testing the entire rationale behind U.S. involvement in the Middle East. Whether the Trump administration fights or flies will send a strong signal to both allies and foes, Foreign Policy’s Steven A. Cook writes.


Joint List candidates join hands in the northern Israeli city of Nazareth on Sept. 17, as exit poll results are announced. Ahmad Gharabli/AFP/Getty Images

4. An Unlikely Winner in Israel’s Election

After 10 years in power, incumbent Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s political future is in doubt. Much of the surprise result is owed to an upsurge in voting among the country’s Arab minority, which gave its political representatives in the Joint List party an unprecedented political influence, Joshua Mitnick reports.


Russian President Vladimir Putin and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani attend a news conference in Sochi, Russia, on Feb. 14.Sergei Chirikov/AFP/Getty Images

5. Putin Is Trolling the United States in the Persian Gulf

With a successful intervention in Syria, vast weapons sales to rival countries, and a stake in rising oil prices, Russia under President Vladimir Putin only stands to benefit from continued conflict in the Middle East, Dimitar Bechev writes.

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