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5 Top Reads

Our Top Weekend Reads

Stories on the European role in Iraq, Islamophobic pogroms in India, and possible Iranian threats to U.S. interests in Latin America.

Italian Col. Lorenzo Cucciniello
Italian Col. Lorenzo Cucciniello salutes during a transfer of authority ceremony in Erbil, Iraq, on June 15, 2017. Safin Hamed/AFP/Getty Images

As the United States reconsiders its role in the Middle East, it should be cautious about becoming overdependent on potentially unreliable European allies, a former chief of U.S. Central Command and the head of the KKR Global Institute write.

Meanwhile, a spate of Islamophobic violence in the Indian capital of New Delhi threatens the country’s secular democratic fabric.

And as Iran considers its options in the wake of the U.S. assassination of its Maj. Gen. Qassem Suleimani, Latin America could offer an opportunity to get revenge on the United States.

Here are Foreign Policy’s top weekend reads.


A French soldier, part of the international coalition against the Islamic State, stands guard near Al-Qaim in western Iraq on Feb. 9, 2019.

A French soldier, part of the international coalition against the Islamic State, stands guard near al-Qaim in western Iraq on Feb. 9, 2019.Daphne Benoit/AFP/Getty Images

1. Big Ideas for NATO’s New Mission in Iraq

In principle, having America’s NATO allies assume greater responsibility for preventing the resurgence of Islamist extremist groups in Iraq makes sense, but the United States should be cautious about relying too much on Europe, David Petraeus and Vance Serchuk write.


U.S. President Donald Trump and Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar meet with pharmaceutical executives to discuss the coronavirus.

U.S. President Donald Trump and Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar meet with pharmaceutical executives to discuss the coronavirus in Washington on March 2.Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

2. Beijing Knows Who to Blame for the Virus: America

The Chinese government is peddling conspiracy theories that the coronavirus actually started in the United States and that Washington has been covering up its own outbreaks, Foreign Policy’s James Palmer writes.


Iraqi men unload USAID supplies north of Baghdad.

Iraqi men unload humanitarian supplies provided by the U.S. Agency for International Development in the town of Daquq, north of Baghdad, on Oct. 2, 2014. Marwan Ibrahim/AFP via Getty Images

3. Fears Mount as Trump Administration Guts USAID’s Iraq Presence

The United States’ top aid agency is dismantling its presence in Iraq, leaving a skeleton crew ill-equipped to oversee over $1 billion in aid programs aimed in part at staving off the return of the Islamic State, Foreign Policy’s Robbie Gramer reports.


Protesters burn an effigy of Indian Home Minister Amit Shah during a protest demanding his resignation.

Protesters burn an effigy of Indian Home Minister Amit Shah during a protest demanding his resignation in New Delhi, India, on March 2.Sajjad Hussain/AFP/Getty Images

4. Modi’s India Is Racing to a Point of No Return

The Indian government’s growing hostility toward its Muslim minority threatens to upend the world’s largest democracy, Kapil Komireddi writes.


Iranian President Hassan Rouhani greets Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani greets Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro before the opening ceremony in the Non-Aligned Movement summit in Porlamar, Margarita Island, Venezuela, on Sept. 17, 2016.JUAN BARRETO/AFP via Getty Images

5. Iran May Be Eyeing the United States’ Soft Underbelly

In the wake of the Suleimani killing, Iran may look abroad to seek revenge against the United States and could do so in Latin America, Ryan C. Berg and Colin P. Clarke write.

Dan Haverty is an editorial fellow at Foreign Policy. Twitter: @dan_haverty

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