2020

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Will the Coronavirus Fuel Conflict?

Projections based on economic and development data show an increased risk of internal violence in fragile states driven by rising prices and falling incomes.

A participant in a University of Oxford coronavirus vaccine trial is injected

‘America First’ vs. ‘The People’s Vaccine’ 

The rise of “vaccine nationalism” threatens to leave poor countries out in the cold. 

People walk down 16th Street after “Defund The Police” was painted on the street near the White House in Washington, D.C., on June 8.

Defund the Bankers

The U.S. economy needs reform, and the Black Lives Matter movement shows how it can be done.

Riot police hold up a warning flag during a demonstration in a mall in Hong Kong on July 6, in response to a new national security law introduced in the city that makes political views, slogans, and signs advocating Hong Kong's independence or liberation illegal.

Beijing’s Secret Police Rule Hong Kong Now

The new national security law effectively undercuts the city’s once great justice system.

A man stands in front of a billboard displaying an image of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi wearing a scarf as a facemask.

The Coronavirus Is Hastening Modi’s Transformation of India

New Delhi is invoking the pandemic to accelerate its suppression of the press.

A U.S. Marine takes position

The Tip of the American Military Spear Is Being Blunted

Reforms to the Marine Corps may be necessary to face China, but Congress needs to ask hard questions.

U.S. Flag Burning Protest

When It Comes to America’s Race Issues, Russia Is a Bogeyman

As talk turns once again to Russia’s role in stoking racial tensions ahead of an election, the United States would be wise to look within.

Israeli activists protest against the U.S. peace plan for the Middle East, in Jerusalem on May 15.

Annexation Will Probably Go Smoothly. The Problems Will Come Later.

Israel’s annexation of Palestinian territory won’t trigger a disaster. But the aftermath will be toxic for the Jewish state.

Protesters raise their fist and give the finger from the statue of Marianne on Place de la Republique in Paris on June 13, 2020.

France Was Officially Colorblind—Until Now

The country is upending its national identity by finally starting to acknowledge race.

A man wearing a facemask walks past a billboard featuring Britain's Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Michael Gove, Number 10 special advisor Dominic Cummings and Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

Britain Is Becoming America in All the Worst Ways

British politicians used to condescend to their U.S. counterparts. During the pandemic, they've started copying their most destructive habits.

Chinese soldiers march during a military parade on Oct. 1, 2019 in Beijing.

China’s Superpower Dreams Are Running Out of Money

When the coronavirus crisis is over, China will be forced to embrace a less ambitious future.

Civil Rights activists carrying “I Am a Man” placards are blocked by National Guardsmen during a protest in Memphis, Tennessee, in 1968.

Our Top Weekend Reads

America’s founders missed an opportunity to abolish slavery, attacks on the press are increasing in democratic societies, and Trump’s maximum pressure campaign against Iran isn’t working.

People wait in line to receive food in Queens, New York, on May 11.

To Fight Inequality, the United States Needs an FDR. Can Biden Deliver?

The COVID-19 crisis could lead to a modern-day New Deal—but only if Democrats have the courage to replace failed economic policies with radical reforms.

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Books in Brief

Read Foreign Policy staffers’ reviews of recent releases on America in the world, English piracy in the Indian Ocean, and mass murder in Indonesia.

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Margrethe Vestager Is Still Coming for Big Tech

The coronavirus pandemic has made the world more reliant on technology. The EU’s competition commissioner says that makes her fight more urgent.

A team of dressmakers works in a factory in Dhaka, Bangladesh, on Nov. 22, 2012.

This Is What the Future of Globalization Will Look Like

The pandemic proved, once and for all, that the world can’t be flat. But global trade can recover—if we rewrite the rules.

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Crises Only Sometimes Lead to Change. Here’s Why.

The coronavirus pandemic won’t automatically lead to reforms. Great upheavals only bring systemic change when reformers have a plan—and the power to implement it.

Illustrations depicting smallpox from  the Imperially Commissioned Golden Mirror of Medical Learning, published in 1742.

Empire’s Little Helper

Chinese history shows that where soldiers march, plague follows.

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Welcome to the Post-Leader World

The United States has abdicated its dominant role. Here’s how to fill the gap.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi leaves after a meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

IMF Loans Will Further Entrench Corruption in Egypt

Recently disbursed IMF funding will only help the Sisi regime and entrench its rule.

US Defense Secretary Mark Esper, with US President Donald Trump, speaks on vaccine development on May 15 in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, DC.

White House to Interview Defense Officials in Perceived Loyalty Test

Interviews with political appointees at the Pentagon raise fears of another purge.

George Washington and some of the more than 300 enslaved people who worked at Mount Vernon

How America’s Founding Fathers Missed a Chance to Abolish Slavery

They swept the issue under the rug, and even Thomas Jefferson realized that civil war was inevitable before he died on July 4, 1826. But history could have taken a different direction.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi speaks during a news conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on June 3, 2015 in Berlin, Germany.

Lawmakers Allege Egyptian Interference in Torture Suit

A House letter calls the arrests of an Egyptian American human rights advocate’s family a bid to “undermine” the U.S. judicial process.

Police in riot gear stand in formation during protests on May 29 in Louisville, Kentucky.

These Countries Reformed Their Brutal, Biased Police. The U.S. Can, Too.

Well-meaning reforms are often blocked and rarely succeed. But there are ways to make them stick.

Demonstrators take part in a protest against the new national security law on July 1, 2020 in Hong Kong, China.

Why Taiwan’s Assistance to Hong Kong Matters

Taiwan’s government is signaling its status as a regional beacon for democracy and human rights—in contrast to South Korea, which frames assistance to North Korean refugees as helping ethnic brethren.

Demonstrators wear masks of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Benny Gantz as they protest against plans to annex parts of the West Bank, on June 23 in Tel Aviv.

Corporations Will Be Complicit if Israel Goes Through With Annexation

Annexation will raise their legal risk of being held accountable for human rights violations and war crimes.

Judges sit in the courtroom at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, The Netherlands, on July 8, 2019.

The United States Has Nothing to Fear From the ICC

The Trump administration’s crusade against the International Criminal Court is misguided and will harm long-term U.S. interests.

Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf gives an address during the 2017 Iranian presidential election.

Iran Is Becoming Immune to U.S. Pressure

Trump’s so-called maximum pressure campaign has empowered hard-line figures in Tehran, marginalizing those eager to take the diplomatic route.

People hold a banner protesting against U.S.-developed Aegis Ashore missile interceptor systems during a demonstration against a forthcoming state visit by U.S. President Donald Trump to Japan in Tokyo on May 25, 2019.

Japan Is Canceling a U.S. Missile Defense System

Aegis Ashore was more expensive than bargained for, but scrapping the program may come with its own costs.

Defense Secretary Mark Esper speaks alongside President Donald Trump at the White House.

White House Directed Hiring of Conspiracy Theorist Over Pentagon Objections

The White House wants fired National Security Council aide Rich Higgins hired for a senior Defense position.

A police officer stands guard outside a cordoned-off block of apartments where the suspect in a multiple stabbing incident lived in Reading, west of London, on June 23.

Terrorism After the Pandemic

Months of isolation and governments grappling with other crises could lead to a rise in attacks.

A person holds a sign reading "United against Islamophobia"

From India, Islamophobia Goes Global

Hindu nationalism has helped spread a distinct brand of anti-Islam around the world, and famously multicultural Canada may have a problem on its hands.

Taliban spokesman Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai greets a participant during the opening of the two-day talks between the Taliban and Afghan opposition representatives.

This Time, Russia Is in Afghanistan to Win

Putin is replicating his success in Syria in a new theater of conflict—and part of his plan is to hurt American interests once again.

President Donald Trump and Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson arrive for a bilateral meeting during the G7 summit on Aug. 25, 2019 in Biarritz, France.

The Pandemic Is the World’s Long Overdue Reality Check

Populists came to power peddling political fantasies—but the coronavirus has broken the fever.

People walk down 16th Street in Washington after volunteers painted "Black Lives Matter" on the street near the White House on June 5.

Seeing Race In a Pandemic

How the physical environment affects our experience of difference.

Ruslan Boshirov

What’s This Unit of Russian Spies That Keeps Getting Outed?

Unit 29155 of the GRU is behind plenty of Russia’s high-profile misadventures abroad—and now, apparently, the bounties on U.S. troops in Afghanistan.

Then-Afghan President Mohammed Najibullah smiles as he meets Red Army soldiers.

In Afghanistan, the Dead Cast a Long Shadow

With Afghanistan again facing a political crisis, Mohammed Najibullah’s tarnished memory is being rehabilitated by some. But the crimes of the last Soviet-supported president, who was killed by the Taliban, are hardly forgotten.

Soldiers from the Mozambican army patrol Mocimboa da Praia, Mozambique, on March 7, 2018, following October’s two-day attack by suspected Islamists.

Mozambique’s Insurgency Is a Regional Problem

Rising extremist violence in the country’s oil-rich north threatens stability in southern Africa—and requires a coordinated response.

Uighur children joke as they taunt a local police officer in Xinjiang

China’s Own Documents Show Potentially Genocidal Sterilization Plans in Xinjiang

Ethnic minorities are being targeted by family planning departments as reproduction restrictions loosen on Han Chinese.

A police van patrols in front of Hagia Sophia during a two-day lockdown imposed prevent the spread of COVID-19 on April 11,  in Istanbul, Turkey.

Erdogan Should Not Erase Turkey’s Christian Past

The Turkish president wants to turn Istanbul’s Hagia Sophia back into a mosque. Destroying its dual Orthodox-Islamic heritage would be a blow to religious pluralism and tolerance.

President Donald Trump salutes while joined by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo as a military carry team moves the transfer case containing the remains of Scott A. Wirtz at Dover Air Force Base on Jan. 19, 2019 in Delaware.

Trump’s Syria Policy Is Working

The Assad regime is cracking under the pressure of stalemate—just like the State Department planned.

Israeli settlers gather on a hill next to the Palestinian town of Halhul, in the occupied West Bank, on June 30 as they attend a rally against U.S. President Donald Trump's peace plan.

The Two-State Solution Is Dead. What Comes Next Is Worse.

Annexation of the West Bank would cement a one-state reality on the ground, enshrining Israeli rights over Palestinians.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks at the United Nations in 2019.

World Rebukes U.S. Over Iran

With Trump’s re-election prospects up in the air, a heated U.N. meeting on Iran shows world powers' fading fear of confronting the United States.

House Foreign Affairs Committee members Rep. Brad Sherman, left, and Rep. Gregory Meeks

House Democrats Jockey for Foreign Affairs Committee Gavel

It’s another battle between centrists and progressives that could have big implications for U.S. foreign policy, especially on Israel.

A girl wearing a face mask plays on her scooter at a park in Beijing on Feb. 15.

The Chinese Communist Party Wants a Han Baby Boom That Isn’t Coming

China has swung toward natalist policies for the majority while forcibly sterilizing ethnic minorities.

U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson, left, meets with Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau

Facing Trump, Putin, and Xi, London Needs Old Allies for New Ideas

A “C-3” of Canada, Australia, and the U.K. is the right group to stand up to authoritarian aggression.

Flags of the United States and China are placed ahead of a meeting between U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue and his Chinese counterpart, Han Changfu, at the Ministry of Agriculture in Beijing on June 30, 2017.

Everyone Misunderstands the Reason for the U.S.-China Cold War

The left says it’s U.S. arrogance. The right says it’s Chinese malevolence. Both are wrong.

Sculptures of Vladimir Lenin and other Soviet-era statues and busts sit in a former National Guard Armory in Culver City, California—now the permanent home of the Wende Museum—in 2014.

Tearing Down Statues Won’t Undo History

From the Berlin Wall to Confederate monuments, destroying a historic marker means destroying a learning opportunity.

A guard patrols Poland's border with Ukraine.

Poland Needs Migrant Workers. The Pandemic Has Kept Them Away.

Despite the government’s anti-immigration rhetoric, many Polish businesses rely on workers from other parts of Eastern Europe.

A demonstrator holds a placard reading 'Stop 5G', during a protest against the 5G (fifth generation) mobile communications network in Bern on May 10, 2019.

The Imagined Threats of 5G Conspiracy Theorists Are Causing Real-World Harm

Attacks on cell phone towers are merely the latest evidence that virtual disinformation is leading to actual violence.

An Indian Border Security Force soldier carries a rocket launcher as he takes up position at an outpost along the India-Pakistan border in Ranbir Singh Pora, southwest of Jammu, on Oct. 2, 2016.

After India’s Skirmish With China, Is Pakistan Next?

Looking to reinvigorate support at home, Modi could pick a fight with his country’s traditional enemy.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian takes a question at the daily media briefing in Beijing on April 8.

China’s Online Warriors Want More Gates in the Firewall

Nationalists need to yell on a global stage for their careers’ sake.

U.S. President Donald Trump

Republicans Demand Trump Answer on Alleged Russian Bounties

If the leaked U.S. intelligence reporting is verified, Republicans in Congress say President Trump needs to take swift action to hold Russia accountable.

A lab technician works in Canada’s National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg, Manitoba, on Nov. 3, 2014.

How Canadian Bureaucracy Botched a Critical Ebola Treatment

A Chinese Canadian researcher’s breakthrough could have saved thousands of lives.

Boycott China Goods India

Why a Trade War With China Is a Bad Idea for India

New Delhi risks responding to a deadly border skirmish by making its economy more insular. Few things would benefit Beijing more.

Media at Minneapolis Protest

Attacks on the Press Track a Democratic Backslide

As press freedom declines globally, the United States must reckon with its own diminishment.

Park Sang-Hak, an activist and defector from North Korea, scatters anti-Pyongyang leaflets as police block his planned rally near the tense border on a roadway in Paju, north of Seoul, on Oct. 22, 2012.

He Sends Up Balloons, and North Korea Wants Him Dead 

Meet Park Sang-hak, the North Korean defector and activist who could spark another round of “fire and fury.” 

People walk their dogs as they pass by election posters of Polish President Andrzej Duda (R) and opposition candidate Rafal Trzaskowski (L) in a suburb of Warsaw, on June 25.

Will Poland’s Presidential Race Deal a Blow to Nationalist Conservatives?

President Andrzej Duda is locked in a surprisingly close race with Warsaw Mayor Rafal Trzaskowski. Their rivalry is the latest battle between the country’s poorer and more religious rural regions and its wealthier, socially liberal cities.

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A Portrait of India on Fire

Megha Majumdar’s bestselling novel “A Burning” begins with a train in flames. But what really gets torched is the Indian Dream.

Supporters of Hong Kong pro-democracy protesters gather during a demonstration at Martin Place in Sydney on Aug. 16, 2019.

Bullied by Beijing, America’s Closest Allies Regret Saying ‘Yes’ to China

China was winning over the innermost circle of U.S. allies. Now it’s driving them away.

An Israeli flag flies near the Kfar Adumim settlement in the West Bank.

Our Top Weekend Reads

Bias against individuals with disabilities is influencing lockdown easing, Kenya is heading for dictatorship, and the Trump administration is hurting Western unity in the Balkans.

Russian President Vladimir Putin listens to Igor Sechin during a meeting at the Kremlin in Moscow on April 1, 2019. Among the powerful businessmen and officials with whom Putin surrounds himself is Sechin, a former KGB agent in East Africa who worked as Putin’s secretary in the 1990s and is now the head of state-owned oil giant Rosneft. ALEXEI DRUZHININ/AFP via Getty Images

How Putin and the KGB Took Control of Russia—and Duped the West

An important new book details the carefully calculated rise of a modern-day tsar.

Child Refugee in Athens

Greece’s Forgotten Child Refugees

With support services limited by the coronavirus, refugee children are turning to black markets for survival.

The Pentagon

Pentagon Selects New Industrial Policy Chief

The move comes after the last senior official overseeing the defense industry’s response to the coronavirus pandemic was fired.

Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf is pictured during an interview with AFP in Tehran on Jan. 9, 2012.

Corruption Is a Job Qualification in Today’s Iran

Iran’s new speaker of parliament is widely known for being a crook—but a loyal one.

Nairobi, Kenya, which has seen rapid economic expansion in recent years, is seen through a crisscross of electrical lines on May 16, 2019.

Kenya’s Road to Dictatorship Runs Through Nairobi County

The handover of municipal services to military officers makes clear how the president wants to wield power.

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu meets with Sultan of Oman Sayyid Qaboos bin Said Al Said in Muscat, on Oct. 26, 2018.

Why Israel’s Warming Gulf Ties Will Survive Annexation

Some Arab countries now value good relations with Israel over the Palestinian cause—and not just for strategic reasons.

Workers gather on a square before the government headquarters in Wenling, in China's Zhejiang province, to protest after an extensive crackdown on workplace safety standards forced the closure of more than 4,500 shoe factories, on Feb. 17, 2014.

China Ridicules U.S. Protests Out of Fear of Its Own People

The Chinese Communist Party crushes demonstrations—and with it shuts off change.

Iranians step on the U.S., Israeli, and British flags during a parade marking al-Quds International Day in Tehran on May 31, 2019.

Israel’s Annexation of the West Bank Would be a Gift to Iran

Beleaguered by regional tensions, the COVID-19 pandemic, and economic woes, Tehran could use anti-Israel sentiment to restore its reputation.

Former U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton speaks on stage during a public discussion at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina on February 17.

Did John Bolton Transform U.S. Foreign Policy or Enable Trump’s Transgressions?

The controversial former national security advisor left his mark in Washington—especially on nuclear arms deals and Iran.

North Korea Missile Test

Why North Korea Needs Its Nukes

Washington speaks of deterrence when it comes to Pyongyang, but Kim would never strike unless attacked first.

Kosovo President Hashim Thaci, left, and Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic

Collapse of Kosovo Talks Amid Leader’s War Crimes Charges Are Rebuff for Trump

Serbia’s president consolidates his control as Belgrade edges toward autocracy.

Data Governance - Part 2

Data Governance – Part 2

Part 2: FP Analytics examines evolving government data collection practices and how AI is making this collection more efficient and ubiquitous.

Mongolian soldiers attend the traditional Nadaam festival in Ulaanbaatar on July 12, 2017.

Russia Wants to Keep Mongolia in Its Place

A recent diplomatic spat reveals that Moscow still treats its democratic neighbor as a subservient satellite state.

A protester holds a sign  during a protest against corruption and hunger amid the coronavirus pandemic outside the presidential palace in Panama City, on June 25.

Latin America’s Wave of Protests Was Historic—Then the Pandemic Arrived

The coronavirus and lockdowns have worsened the region’s economic divides—and set the stage for more political upheaval.

A man walks across the seal of the CIA at the lobby at CIA headquarters in McLean, Virginia, on Feb. 19, 2009.

CIA Recruitment Has Joined the Social Media Age

A new video tries to make spying for the United States attractive for today’s youth—but cuts some corners along the way.

U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman fly in a helicopter over the Jordan Valley on June 23, 2019.

John Bolton Can Stomach Kim Jong Un’s North Korea, but Not Iran

The real revelation of the former national security advisor’s memoir is that he placed Israeli and Saudi interests ahead of America’s—by successfully undermining any U.S. diplomatic efforts with Iran.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen speaks during a news conference following a virtual summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Brussels on June 22.

How Europe Fell Out of Love With China

EU officials speak increasingly of Beijing as a rival, not a partner. But unlike Trump, they don’t yet want a divorce.

Google employees stage a walkout at the company's U.K. headquarters in London on Nov. 1, 2018 over the company's handling of sexual harassment.

Foreign Worker Visas Are the Tech Industry’s Dirty Secret

Trump’s suspension of visas will only prolong the recession. Here’s how to reform them instead.

U.S. President Donald Trump and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman meet in the White House on March 20, 2018

Trump Mulls Ending Heads-Up to Congress on U.S. Weapons Sales

Administration officials say they are tired of regular efforts by Capitol Hill to review arms exports to Saudi Arabia and other nations.

Georgian soldiers wearing protective masks stop a car at a checkpoint in Tbilisi on April 1, 2020 amid concerns over the spread of the coronavirus.

Ex-Soviet Bioweapons Labs Are Fighting COVID-19. Moscow Doesn’t Like It.

One of the greatest achievements of U.S. foreign policy has been targeted by a vicious disinformation campaign.

Wind turbines tower over a building on a farm in Colorado City, Texas, on Jan. 21, 2016.

Deep in the Heart of Texas, a Chinese Wind Farm Raises Eyebrows

Members of Congress fear Beijing could use the facility for espionage and economic warfare. But the Trump administration is set to let it move forward.

Ali Babacan presents his Democracy and Progress Party at a launching ceremony in Ankara on March 11, 2020.

Turkey’s Great New Hope Is the Same Old News

Ali Babacan promises he’s ready to take down Erdogan—but he might leave everything else in place.

Former National Security Advisor John Bolton discusses the "current threats to national security" during a forum moderated by Peter Feaver, the director of Duke's American Grand Strategy, at the Page Auditorium on the campus of Duke University on Feb. 17, 2020 in Durham, North Carolina.

Bolton Is the Villain of His Own Memoir

The former national security advisor wrote a book about an ignorant president—but refuses to learn anything himself.

U.S. envoy Richard Grenell

Anatomy of a Kosovo Summit Catastrophe

The Trump administration is hosting Balkans leaders this week to culminate a peace process that’s gone wrong from the start.

Thomas Jefferson’s monument in Washington

If Americans Grappled Honestly With Their History, Would Any Monuments Be Left Standing?

The furor over police abuse of Black communities is raising new questions about the original sin of America’s Founding Fathers.

Riot Police Standoff

To Fix Policing in the United States, Follow Its Guidelines Abroad

The United States has spent decades training foreign nations to build community and capacity—it’s time to apply those lessons at home.

Syrians displaced by pro-regime strikes, join a convoy driving toward the Deir al-Ballut checkpoint in Syria on April 11, 2020.

How to Aid Syria Without Aiding Assad

U.N. agencies have submitted themselves to government control and approval. Donors must demand higher humanitarian standards or send their money through other channels.

U.S. President Donald Trump and National Security Advisor John Bolton during a news conference at the 2018 NATO Summit in Brussels, on July 12, 2018.

Forget the Book. Bolton’s Legacy Is a Nuclear Arms Race.

Why Bolton will be one of the most negative influences on U.S. security policy for decades to come.

Pedestrians are reflected in a window displaying currency exchange rates in the Iranian capital Tehran on June 22.

The East Fails Iran

Tehran pinned its economic hopes on China, India, Japan, and South Korea. But those countries have largely left the country to ruin.

Police clear a footpath as protesters gather in Hong Kong

How to Watch for Freedom Disappearing in Hong Kong

The national security law is just the start of oppression.

Former U.S. National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski and former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger

The Pandemic and the Limits of Realism

The foundational international relations theory has been revealed to be far less realistic than it claims.

Ueno Tokyo

Japan Radically Increased Immigration—and No One Protested

To cope with demographic challenges and labor shortages, Japan’s right-wing government has boosted immigration. How did it avoid the political backlash plaguing the West?

A protester in Hong Kong waves a Union Jack flag

Britain Must Step Up to the Global Stage to Protect Hong Kong

China’s disregard for international law under Xi presents a shared challenge.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi shakes hands Nepal Prime Minister KP Sharma.

India Is Paying the Price for Neglecting its Neighbors

Narendra Modi came to power promising to prioritize relations with countries such as Bangladesh, Nepal, and Sri Lanka. China is taking advantage of his failure to do so.

Black Lives Matter Protest London

When Did Racism Become Solely a Domestic Issue?

International relations theorists once explored racism. What has the field lost by giving that up?

U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Kelly Craft speaks at the United Nations headquarters in New York.

Trump Administration Unveils Security Council Resolution Extending Iran Arms Embargo

But the draft has little support among major powers at the U.N., reflecting Washington’s isolation on its Iran policy.

A woman sits outside her nursing home in Stockholm on May 4. Sweden, whose softer approach to the coronavirus has garnered international attention, admits it has failed to adequately protect the elderly, with around half of its COVID-19 deaths occurring among nursing home residents. JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP via Getty Images

Sweden’s Coronavirus Failure Started Long Before the Pandemic

Many countries have criticized the Swedish government’s lax lockdown, but the deadly mistakes of defunding elder care and decentralizing public health oversight were made before anyone had heard of COVID-19.

John Bolton and Donald Trump

Bolton’s Book Is a Terrifying Warning About What Trump Could Still Do

Geopolitical ignorance is no longer funny when it impacts U.S. national security.

Rep. Eliot Engel

Democrats Face Foreign-Policy Reckoning in New York Race

Powerful House committee leader Eliot Engel confronts a progressive challenge that has split the Democratic Party.

A motorway sign on the M8 motorway advising on essential travel only on March 24 in Glasgow, Scotland.

The Great Pause Was an Economic Revolution


Governments stopped the world in its tracks during the pandemic—and our relationship to the economy will never be the same again.

A protester near the site where George Floyd was killed while in police custody, on May 26 in Minneapolis.

Calls for Police Reform Are Getting Louder—Here Is How to Do It

The United States’ chronic police brutality problem can be solved using evidence and data.

The lowering of the Chinese flag on Tiananmen Square in Beijing

Silicon Valley Can’t Be Neutral in the U.S.-China Cold War

Firms like Zoom show that “one company, two systems” doesn’t work.

A man waits to be tested for the novel coronavirus in New Delhi

India Has Bungled Its Coronavirus Crisis

Hasty reopenings and inadequate health care are piling up casualties.

People wearing face masks walk in front of a euro sign in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, on April, 24.

Germany Is Finally Ready to Spend

In the long run, the COVID-19 pandemic may change Europe’s economy for the better.

This picture taken December 26, 2011 shows the Pentagon building in Washington, DC.

Top Trump Pentagon Nominee Walks Back Offensive Tweets

Anthony Tata says he retracts his 2018 tweets calling former President Barack Obama a “terrorist leader.”

Berta Caceres Protest 2018

In Honduras, a Journalist Explores an Activist’s Murder

A conversation with Nina Lakhani, author of “Who Killed Berta Cáceres? Dams, Death Squads, and an Indigenous Defender’s Battle for the Planet”

Members of the National Socialist Movement, one of the largest neo-Nazi groups in the United States

Trump Wants to Label Antifa a Terrorist Organization. What About the KKK?

For more than a century, white supremacy groups have wreaked incalculable devastation against Black Americans.

Demonstrators hold signs as they take part in a Juneteenth march and rally in front of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington on June 19.

America’s Identity Crisis

Race and reconciliation lessons from a Black international peace builder

A rally takes place in Senegal..

Our Top Weekend Reads

Racism in international relations, the state of the German armed forces, and Hindu nationalism is creeping into Nepal.

Capt. Brett Crozier

Navy Upholds Ouster of Virus-Racked Carrier’s Captain

The fired commander of the USS Theodore Roosevelt failed to “take charge” in responding to the coronavirus outbreak aboard the ship, the Navy found in an investigation.

A resident of the Aglomerado da Serra Favela, carries food supplies on June 4, in Belo Horizonte, Brazil.

For Brazil’s Poor, the Pandemic Is Far From Over

As coronavirus cases there exceed 1 million, the country’s poorest are struggling to access medical care.

race-international-relations-foreign-policy-illustration

Why Race Matters in International Relations

Western dominance and white privilege permeate the field. It’s time to change that.

Joseph Fons holding a gay pride flag in front of the U.S. Supreme Court building in Washington on June 15.

The Real Reason the United States Lags on LGBTQ Rights

This week’s Supreme Court decision ends one legal battle, but reveals why the country’s record is so poor.

Reporter Jesse J. Holland

I’m a Black Reporter. Covering America Almost Broke Me.

Journalists pay a personal toll covering public tragedies.

Economic Freedom Fighters supporters gather in front of the U.S. Embassy in Pretoria, on June 8 in solidarity with the global Black Lives Matter movement.

The Legacy of American Racism at Home and Abroad

Domestic racism has long impacted U.S. foreign policy. It’s time to open up about it.

Coronavirus Health Checks Malaysia

Malaysia’s Coronavirus Scapegoats

Undocumented migrants and refugees are caught in the crossfire of Malaysia’s coronavirus response and a xenophobic backlash.

A woman carries a 'Black Lives Matter' sign past U.S. National Guard troops in the Fairfax District, an area damaged during yesterday's unrest, after the troops were activated by California Governor Gavin Newsom following violent demonstrations in response to George Floyd's death on May 31, 2020 in Los Angeles.

How White Supremacy Weakens the United States

The Trump administration’s agenda on race undermines the country’s military, alliances, and security.

Palestinian and Arab- Israeli men practice social distancing amid the COVID-19 pandemic, as they pray in a parking lot near the beach in Jaffa, near Tel Aviv, after breaking their fast on the second day of Ramadan, on April 25.

Religious Leaders Must Not Be Tempted to Jump on the Reopening Bandwagon

After months of lockdown, believers of all faiths are clamoring for houses of worship to fully open their doors to group prayer. Doing it too soon could be disastrous.

Indian Army vehicles in Ladakh

The Bloody China-India Border Fight Is a Lot Like the Last One

In 1967, a fierce clash over an unstable frontier killed hundreds.

The Pentagon

Leading Pentagon Official Exits After White House Axes Nomination

Kathryn Wheelbarger’s departure marks the second high-level official to leave this week as the White House stocks the Pentagon with loyalists.

Two members of the National Guard walk past at the World War II Memorial as protests against police brutality and racism take place

It’s Not Just Trump. The World Worries America Is Broken.

Protests against police brutality and systemic racism highlight what is seen as the United States’ accelerated decline.

U.S. President Donald Trump walks with Attorney General William Barr, Secretary of Defense Mark Esper, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley, and others from the White House to visit St. John's Church after the area was cleared of people protesting the death of George Floyd in Washington on June 1.

America’s Politicized Military Is a Recipe for Disaster

Message to both sides: Keep the military (and retired generals) out of politics, including the election campaign.

People walk on Google's main campus in Mountain View, California, on May 1, 2019.

Trump’s Anti-Immigration Crusade Is About to Strike at the Heart of the U.S. Economy

Foreign talent has been the secret sauce of America’s innovation economy. The door is about to shut.

Former national security officials are ditching their jobs in the Beltway to run for Congress.

Anguished by America’s Decline, More Foreign-Policy Wonks Run for Office

More national security experts are running for Congress in 2020 than in most past elections.

Gen. Jay Raymond, chief of space operations, points to the newly designed rank insignia of a Space Force officer

Pentagon Not Ready for Space Fight, Experts Say

The Defense Department hasn’t done enough to secure satellites and prepare for greater militarization of space, experts say, as it rolls out a new strategy for the domain.

The Wilmington ARCO refinery

The Myth of America’s Green Growth

A celebrated new book shows U.S. capitalism doesn’t need to damage the planet. One problem: Its data is flawed.

A child and a woman break rocks extracted from a cobalt mine in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

Green Energy’s Dirty Side Effects

The global transition to renewables could lead to human rights abuses and risks exacerbating inequalities between the West and the developing world.

U.S. President Donald Trump

The Free World’s Leader Isn’t Free Anymore

As the quality of U.S. democracy erodes, the reasons are dwindling for anyone to look to it for guidance.

A German soldier holds a machine gun during military exercises near Bergen, Germany, on Oct. 14, 2016.

The Sorry State of Germany’s Armed Forces

Trump’s calls to withdraw U.S. troops from the country are impulsive, but Germany isn’t blameless.

Women and children walk inside the Kurdish-run al-Hol camp in northeastern Syria on Jan. 14, where families of Islamic State foreign fighters are held.

Foreign ISIS Children Deserve a Home

Western governments have shirked their responsibilities for far too long.

Then-National Security Adviser John Bolton listens to President Donald Trump speak at the White House.

Beyond Ukraine Scandal, Bolton Says Trump Sought China’s Help for Reelection

The incident that led to the president’s impeachment was only part of a larger pattern, former national security advisor writes.

Rare-earth refineries in China

America’s Security Needs a Cooperative Rebuilding of Rare-Earth Supply Chains

China’s dominance in a critical field has created a huge vulnerability.

Former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders

In Pandemic Policy Response, the Left Has a Leg Up

Leftists in Britain and the United States say their ideas aren’t just relevant, but crucial to addressing the coronavirus-caused economic disruption.

A portrait of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad hangs in old Damascus, Syria, on June 16, 2020.

Sanctions Against Syria Will Help, Not Harm, Civilians

The Caesar Act is an overdue effort to starve the Assad regime of the resources that fuel its atrocities.

International Criminal Court chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda

Trump’s Chilling Blow to the ICC

With International Criminal Court sanctions, the U.S. president’s hypocrisy hits a new low.

A Nigerian police officer

As the World Marches for American Victims, Police Brutality in Africa Goes Unnoticed

A spate of killings in Nigeria under lockdown has produced little but hashtag activism.

Workers at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant pose for portraits on Feb. 23, 2016, in Okuma, Japan.

It’s Not Techno-Angst That’s Driving East Asia to Abandon Nuclear Power

In the East Asian democracies, nuclear energy is tied to an increasingly unpopular political and economic model.

TOPSHOT - People watch a television news screen showing an explosion of an inter-Korean liaison office in North Korea's Kaesong Industrial Complex, at a railway station in Seoul on June 16, 2020.

South Korea Shouldn’t Endorse North Korea’s Explosive Bullying

Seoul is acting as Kim Jong Un’s enforcer in banning private groups from leafleting North Korea.

Protesters stretch for more than five blocks, from Scott Circle NW to H Street NW, during demonstrations over the death of George Floyd near the White House on June 6 in Washington.

Revolutions Happen. This Might Be Ours.

Sometimes political orders break apart. But beware the dangers of what comes next.

Papuan students take part in a rally.

Black Lives Matter in Indonesia, Too

American protests are inspiring Indonesians to tackle racism against Papuans.

Indian protesters burn a poster of Chinese President Xi Jinping along with Chinese items in response to the killing of Indian soldiers by Chinese troops, in Ahmedabad on June 16, 2020.

Why Are India and China Fighting?

Nuclear powers New Delhi and Beijing engage in a skirmish marking the first combat deaths along their border in more than four decades.

Indian paramilitary soldiers in Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir

India Has Handed China a Way to Interfere in Kashmir

The revocation of Article 370 unwittingly gave Beijing a new weapon.

A Muslim family offers a special prayer in their home during the Eid-al-Fitr festival.

India’s Islamophobia Creeps Into Nepal

Nationalist media and pandemic fears have caused hatred to go viral.

Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during their tour of the Israeli Innovation Summit in Jerusalem, Oct  24, 2018.

Why the U.S. Can’t Get Israel to Break Up With China

For most Israelis, the deals are enticing and the threat seems remote.

Members of the Popular Mobilization Units.

Iraq’s New Prime Minister Needs to Take Control of His Security Forces

Mustafa al-Kadhimi has already implemented positive changes, but he’ll need to rein in the country’s vast array of militias to bring lasting stability to the country.

Medical staff in Wuhan, China, during the coronavirus pandemic

China’s Health Silk Road Is a Dead-End Street

The pandemic has given China a chance to assert global leadership.

(From L) European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, Chinese President Xi Jinping, French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel hold a press conference in Paris on March 26, 2019.

Europe Must Stand Up to China Before It’s Too Late

The EU must defend its values rather than caving to economic pressure from Beijing.

Swedes wave flags in the Skansen open-air museum in Stockholm on June 6, 2005.

It Can’t Happen in Sweden—Even When It Does

A disastrous pandemic and the botched Olof Palme investigation have one thing in common: Swedes’ belief that they’re special.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his wife Asma arrive at the Elysee palace on July 14, 2008 in Paris.

The War Has Arrived Inside the Assad Family


Syria’s dictator crushed an uprising—but the ground may be crumbling beneath his feet.

Soldiers respond to coronavirus in the Philippines

The Pandemic Has Given Armies in Southeast Asia a Boost

In Indonesia and the Philippines, military leaders are managing the coronavirus response—with lasting political repercussions.

U.S. President Donald Trump greets supporters during a campaign rally aboard the USS Iowa on Sept. 15, 2015, in Los Angeles, California.

Veterans Fear Trump Will Use Military as Election Gambit

Trump resuming campaign rallies has veterans nervous that U.S. troops could find themselves in the political crossfire.

Former U.S. Marine Paul Whelan awaits a hearing in a Moscow court.

Family of American Jailed in Russia Vows to Keep Fighting

Long sentence for alleged espionage is a “gut punch” but opens door to negotiations.

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks with an F-35 fighter plane pilot

Defund the Police, Then Defund the Military

Democrats used to have a clearer agenda for cracking down on an out-of-control military. It’s time to bring that back.

Burundi's national flag is set at half-mast at the state house as Burundi mourns the death of Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza, in Bujumbura on June 10.

Will Burundi’s New President Seize the Moment?

The sudden death of the outgoing president, the coronavirus pandemic, and an ailing economy mean that wide-ranging reforms are needed more than ever.

People wait in line to vote on June 9, 2020 in Atlanta, Georgia.

To Save Its Democracy, the United States Needs a Dose of Its Own Medicine

Americans have long worked abroad to promote democratic practices and institutions. Now, more than ever, those lessons must be applied at home.

 

How Muscle Works in Moscow

Understanding “krysha,” the word that explains why Russian life is all about having the right kind of protection.

Sen. Angus King (I-ME) speaks with reporters following the weekly policy luncheons at the U.S. Capitol June 26, 2018 in Washington, DC.

Senate Demands Answers on Afghanistan Pullout

Lawmakers want answers from the nation’s top spy about the impact of a hasty U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Swiss President Alain Berset attend a joint press conference.

Our Top Weekend Reads

The coronavirus brings additional health concerns, Israeli democracy is threatened by the West Bank annexation, and protests in Europe bring issues of racism to the fore.

Members of the Nigerian and U.S. military stand next to some of the 24 armored vehicles donated to the Nigerian government in Lagos on Jan. 7, 2016.

America’s Disdain for Black Lives Extends to Africa

Increased militarization on the continent under Trump is part of a long history of institutionalized racism in U.S. foreign policy.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, left, and his sister Kim Yo Jong attend the Inter-Korean Summit at the Peace House in Panmunjom, South Korea, on April 27, 2018.

North Korea Needs to Extort Democracies to Survive

As it cuts off communications, Pyongyang falls back on an old playbook.

Scarecrows known as ting mong stand guard in front of homes in Takeo, Kandal, and Kampong Speu provinces in Cambodia to ward off the coronavirus in May.

In Cambodia, a Spiritual Army Battles an Earthly Pandemic

With little faith in the government’s coronavirus response, many rural Cambodians are turning to the divine.

A Black Lives Matter protest in London

Europe Needs to Talk About Race Too

As black Americans’ protests start a national reckoning, European minorities go unheard.

Indian Malaria Fumigation

Malaria May Still Be 2020’s Biggest Killer

The coronavirus has shut down large-scale treatment and prevention programs around the globe, which could send malaria deaths skyrocketing this year.

EU foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell, who slammed U.S. pretensions to still have a voice in the fate of the Iran deal, speaks to reporters in Brussels on June 9.

Trump Rushes to Kill Off Iran Nuclear Deal Before Election

Washington is seeking to extend a U.N. arms embargo that would eliminate any hope of revival.

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