April 2020

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks about data leaks and Russian disinformation during a U.S. Senate hearing in Washington, D.C., on April 10, 2018.

Here We Go Again: Russia Gears Up to Interfere in 2020 Election With Coronavirus Disinformation

A campaign linked to Russia aims to manipulate this year’s elections in the United States and Europe. Trump needs to let the intelligence professionals do their work.

Kim Yo Jong, the sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, attends an ice hockey match during the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea, on Feb. 10, 2018.

The Internet Likes Kim Yo Jong a Little Too Much

Online crushes on the possible next North Korean leader fit an old pattern of the dangerous and erotic Orient.

Workers wait for customers inside of a Huawei shop in Beijing on April 1

Washington’s Anti-Huawei Tactics Need a Reboot In Europe

Efforts to convince allies of the Chinese threat in 5G have floundered.

An impersonator of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un poses in front of a police cordon during a protest at the International Finance Center shopping mall in Hong Kong on April 28.

How to Tell Whether Crazy North Korean Stories Are True

With Kim Jong Un missing, careful readings are more important than ever.

A young woman believed to be a victim of human trafficking is questioned by police in Kathmandu, Nepal

The Pandemic’s Hidden Human Trafficking Crisis

The coronavirus has created more people vulnerable to exploitation by traffickers—and revealed the world’s unpreparedness to protect them.

An Egyptian doctor

In Egypt, the Coronavirus Poses a Political Threat

The pandemic has exposed the shortfalls of a government that has neglected the health sector for too long.

The town of Bsharri, Lebanon.

Can a Small Lebanese Town Become a Model for Conquering COVID-19?

The coronavirus hit Lebanon in the middle of an economic crisis. Unless the country can overcome rampant corruption and provide adequate social services, it won’t stop the pandemic.

China's President Xi Jinping (L) and US President Donald Trump attend a welcome ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on November 9, 2017.

Trump Fixates on China as Nuclear Arms Pact Nears Expiration

The administration insists any future START treaty has to include Beijing as well as Moscow, but experts say there is almost no chance China will agree.

Workers load a statue of the controversial Soviet army marshal Ivan Konev onto a truck after it was removed from a Prague park on April 3.

As Putin Seeks to Reinvent History, Russia-Czech Relations Hit a New Low

Three Prague officials are under police protection following reports of a poison plot.

This undated picture released by North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency in November 2016 shows North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (center) standing in front of a bronze statue of the late Kim Jong Il in Samjiyon.

What Comes Next for North Korea

With Kim Jong Un absent for weeks, speculation over his whereabouts is rife. Should he die, who will come to rule North Korea?

"The White House," a digital animation by Jeon Joonho

Terminal Deflation Is Coming

Central banks’ interventions in the pandemic economy are unprecedentedly vast—and not nearly enough.

U.S. President Donald Trump

WHO Becomes Battleground as Trump Chooses Pandemic Confrontation Over Cooperation

Critics say fighting the coronavirus has become secondary as U.S. seeks to hamstring the World Health Organization, turning it into a 2020 election issue along with Chinese trade.

Vulnerable families receive food in Nairobi.

It’s Time to Help Africa Fight the Virus

The continent is ripe for a public health disaster, and Western powers must step in to prevent another global catastrophe.

Capt. Brett Crozier, commanding officer of the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt, addresses the crew in San Diego on Jan. 17.

Navy Delays Reinstating Captain of Infected Carrier

U.S. Navy says it will extend the investigation into the coronavirus outbreak aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt, suggesting questions persist about the actions of the ship’s fired skipper.

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during the daily briefing on the coronavirus in Washington on April 1.

After the Coronavirus, Don’t Repeat 9/11’s Mistakes

Americans are still living with the botched response to terrorism in 2001. The post-pandemic world needs better.

Cambodians dry fish in a village along the Tonle Sap River in Phnom Penh in 2019, the year the country faced one of the worst droughts in modern history.

In the Mekong, a Confluence of Calamities

Drought coupled with the coronavirus pandemic spells danger for food security.

Faranaz Anwari, a 35-year-old widow with three children, wears a face mask as she sits on a Kabul street begging with other women on April 22.

Afghans Choose Between Sickness and Starvation

Living marginal lives even before the pandemic, many in this war-ruined land have no choice but to defy the lockdown and turn to begging.

Congo President Denis Sassou Nguesso attends a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Generosity Is an Easy Win for China After the Coronavirus Pandemic

Electrifying rural health care facilities would burnish Beijing’s reputation in poor countries throughout Africa and Asia and cost next to nothing.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel arrives to address a press conference in Berlin on April 23 after taking part in a video conference with EU leaders.

Forget Washington and Beijing. These Days Global Leadership Comes From Berlin.

People love to hate Germany—but the country is doing far more than most nations to help its European neighbors fight the coronavirus.

In Seoul, a South Korean soldier walks past a television screen showing North Korean leader Kim Jong Un with Chinese President Xi Jinping in China, on March 28, 2018.

With Kim Jong Un Mysteriously Gone, China Is Likely to Make a Power Move

There are many ways Beijing could use the mystery surrounding Kim Jong Un’s disappearance to its advantage. None of them are good for the United States or Japan.

French President Emmanuel Macron (center) gestures next to German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Chinese President Xi Jinping following their meeting at the Élysée Palace in Paris on March 26, 2019.

Europe Can Afford to Fight With China

Beijing likes to use economic threats to bully European countries. But they don’t need China as much as they think.

A woman watches a live broadcast of Russian President Vladimir Putin's address to the nation over the coronavirus outbreak.

Authoritarians Are Exploiting the Coronavirus. Democracies Must Not Follow Suit.

Democracies are far more effective at combating national crises, but that hasn’t stopped despots across the world from trying to tighten their grip.

A man wearing a face mask walks past a mural depicting South American independence hero Simón Bolívar in Caracas on April 17, amid the coronavirus  outbreak.

For Venezuelans, State-Enforced Self-Isolation Is Nothing New

Nicolás Maduro’s undemocratic regime has cut Venezuela off from the outside world for years, destroying the economy and depleting the health care system.

Indian activists burn a photograph of Chinese President Xi Jinping as they protest against his visit in India, in Guwahati on Oct. 11, 2019.

India Cracks Down on Chinese Investment as Mood Turns Against Beijing

Like many countries angered by Beijing’s mishandling of the coronavirus outbreak, India has turned skeptical of economic dependence on China.

U.S. President Donald Trump looks on during the daily briefing on the coronavirus.

Trump’s Politicization of U.S. Intelligence Agencies Could End in Disaster

Purging seasoned professionals and politicizing the work of analysts and agents endanger American lives.

Customers look at makeup products in a store attached to a cosmetics factory in Pyongyang on July 28, 2018.

The Coronavirus Has Pushed North Korea’s Economy to the Edge

Despite the crisis, there’s no signs of reform from Pyongyang.

This picture, taken on July 4, 2017, and released by North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency, shows North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (center) celebrating the successful test fire of the intercontinental ballistic missile Hwasong-14 at an undisclosed location.

3 Scenarios for Kim Jong Un’s Mysterious Absence

The United States and South Korea should be ready to cooperate whether Kim is dead, sick, or about to reappear.

Farmers harvest wheat in a field in Tabuk in April 2016. The province has been tapped for the location of a high-tech megacity called Neom.

Mohammed bin Salman’s Bloody Dream City of Neom

Saudi Arabia’s $500 billion planned high-tech city involves forced evictions and vague promises of compensation. The killing of an activist who protested the development has reminded the world how the kingdom handles dissent.

Thae Yong-ho, a former North Korean deputy ambassador to the United Kingdom, on Jan. 19, 2017.

The Future of Korean Politics Might Be This Defector From Pyongyang

Thae Yong-ho went from North Korean diplomat to South Korean politician.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un

5 Things to Know If Kim Jong Un Dies

Hereditary dictatorships rarely last past three generations, and collapse may be in the cards for North Korea.

Fabio Berlusconi participates in the Iditarod

The Last Great Race

Climate change has altered Alaska’s landscape, and the experiences of Arctic mushers are the canary in the coal mine.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in visits the Daegu Medical Center in Daegu, South Korea, on Feb. 25.

The Future Is Asian—but Not Chinese

A post-pandemic cold war is developing between the United States and China—but both sides are losing the ideological fight.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban leaves following a meeting during the second day of a special European Council summit in Brussels on Feb. 21.

Why Populists Want a Multipolar World

Aspiring authoritarians are sick of the liberal order and eager for new patrons in Russia and China.

The U.S. Department of State.

Our Top Weekend Reads

Trump loyalist moves to the State Department, the United Arab Emirates prolongs the conflict in Libya, and Orthodox churches turn into coronavirus hotspots.

Workers assemble cars at the Dongfeng Honda plant in Wuhan, China, after returning to work following a months-long lockdown, on March 23, 2020.

Don’t Bash Globalization—It Will Rescue Our Economies After the Pandemic

The pundits are once again proclaiming the end of capitalism and globalization. But global production networks are highly resilient, and ready to come back online.

Irish Taoiseach (prime minister) Leo Varadkar meets with Northern Ireland First Minister Arlene Foster and Northern Ireland Deputy First Minister Michelle O'Neill to discuss the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Not Even the Coronavirus Can Overcome Northern Ireland’s Divisions

Even in the face of an existential crisis, the country’s political leaders default to battles over culture and identity.

Alma Rosa Preciado marches with a photo of her disappeared daughter and granddaughter in Poza Rica, Veracruz, on Feb. 21.

‘We’re Doing What the Government Won’t Do’

In Mexico, a growing citizen movement is searching for thousands of victims of forced disappearance in the absence of enforcement of government policies.

U.S. President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo have repeatedly blamed China for the damages caused by the COVID-19 outbreak, and a Missouri lawsuit may put that blame game to the test,  Mar. 20.

Missouri Opens Up a New Front Against China in Coronavirus Blame Game

State sues Beijing for negligent and deceitful behavior in spreading the virus--good luck with that.

Visitors look at ribbons wishing for peace and reunification of the Korean Peninsula

Pyongyang Might Be Ready for a Helping Hand From Seoul

Pride may get in the way, but mutual success against the coronavirus offers a strong foundation for cooperation.

Muslims maintain social distancing as they offer a special Taraweeh evening prayer ahead of the first day of the holy month of Ramadan at the Grand Faisal Mosque in Islamabad on April 24.

Pakistan’s Government Is Caught Between a Mosque and a Hard Place

The authorities are struggling to enforce social distancing rules during Ramadan.

The Sino-Korean Friendship Bridge

Guesswork and Rumors Make for Bad North Korea Policy

The United States can take steps to clear up the darkness around Pyongyang’s actions.

The U.S. State Department

In Latest Post-Impeachment Move, Trump Administration Shifts a Loyalist to the State Department

Political appointee Alexander Alden will take over a role in a bureau caught in the middle of Trump’s impeachment and trial.

People wait in line as a food bank hands out 1,600 food bags at a pop-up pantry in San Francisco on April 20, amid historic work furloughs and layoffs caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

A Tale of Two Rescue Plans

The United States suffers record unemployment while Europe fares better in battling the coronavirus shutdown.

A banner with a defaced picture of Mustafa al-Kadhimi, Iraq's former intelligence chief and new prime minister-designate, is seen behind an anti-government demonstrator in Baghdad’s Tahrir Square on April 9.

Nobody Can Help Iraq Anymore

The country has another new prime minister nominee—but no new hopes of success.

Smoke billows following an airstrike by the US-led international coalition forces targeting Islamic State (IS) group in Mosul, Iraq, on July 9, 2017.

Pentagon Asks for More Cash to Cut Down Civilian Deaths

Under fire from human rights groups, the Pentagon is asking lawmakers for funding to improve its ability to track civilian casualties in the ongoing fight against the Islamic State and other terrorist groups, Foreign Policy has learned. 

Police block drivers in Cambodia during the coronavirus pandemic

Hun Sen’s Coronavirus Crackdown

The Cambodian prime minister is using the pandemic as cover to silence his remaining critics.

Newly elected Prime Minister Albin Kurti reviews Kosovo's honor guard during the handover ceremony in Pristina on Feb. 4.

‘In the Balkans, if You Neglect History, It Will Backfire’

The acting prime minister of Kosovo says the United States helped bring down his government.

Muslims buy food before breaking their Ramadan fast in Quetta, Pakistan, on May 12, 2019.

To Fast or Not to Fast—That Is the Coronavirus Question for Ramadan

With Ramadan services sharply curtailed due to the pandemic, many Muslims are wondering if the required fasting might also pose a health risk.

Children welcome a convoy of settlers to the Israeli settlement of Mehola in the Jordan Valley, in the occupied West Bank, on Feb. 3.

Biden Must Speak Out Against Israeli Annexation Plans Before It’s Too Late

With Trump’s blessing, Israel is getting ready to annex large parts of the occupied West Bank as soon as July. Biden shouldn’t go along.

Qatari charity workers prepare food parcels for migrant laborers

Middle East Autocrats Target South Asian Workers

Hundreds of Nepalis and others have been deported under cover of the pandemic.

A trader at the Dubai Stock Exchange in the United Arab Emirates.

The Coronavirus Oil Shock Is Just Getting Started

The pandemic is causing crisis for energy-producing governments around the world—and could change the global economy forever.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu points at a map of the Jordan Valley.

Netanyahu’s Annexation Plan Is a Threat to Israel’s National Security

Annexing the West Bank would threaten Israel’s peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan, anger allies in the Gulf, undermine the Palestinian Authority, and endanger Israel as a Jewish democracy.

A food delivery courier cycles as municipal vehicles clean and disinfect the area, with a building decorated with a mural depicting Soviet WWII commander Marshal Georgy Zhukov in the background, in downtown Moscow on April 14.

The Pandemic Could Tighten China’s Grip on Eurasia

Despite border closures, Russia and others may be pushed even closer to Beijing.

saudi-arabia-trump-mbs-oil-history-roosevelt-2-042120

How the Bottom Fell Out of the U.S.-Saudi Alliance

A rocky marriage of convenience that has lasted since World War II could derail as oil markets crash and mutual mistrust reaches new heights.

Two helicopters fly over the landing command ship during the Vostok-2018 military drills at Klerka training ground on the Sea of Japan coast on Sept. 15, 2018.

Russia and North Korea Are Fighting—Over Fish

Moscow’s broader ambitions for the Far East are stopping it from cracking down on North Korean poachers in Russian waters.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel looks on during exercises of a NATO tank unit in Münster, Germany, on May 20, 2019.

NATO Has a New Weak Link for Russia to Exploit

North Macedonia just became NATO’s newest and weakest member. That makes it a ripe target for interference.

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during the coronavirus daily briefing at the White House on April 21.

China and the United States Are Both Losing the Blame Game

Pointing fingers over the coronavirus is a dangerous distraction from the crisis.

Muslim women walk in front of paramilitary personnel during a government-imposed nationwide lockdown as a preventive measure against the coronavirus in Ahmedabad, India, on April 12.

India Is Scapegoating Muslims for the Spread of the Coronavirus

The pandemic has provided fresh opportunity for Hindu nationalists to beat down an already disadvantaged minority group.

A fisherman floats on the Mekong River in Thailand

Science Shows Chinese Dams Are Devastating the Mekong

New data demonstrates a devastating effect on downstream water supplies that feed millions of people.

An Orthodox believer with a protective mask attends a religious service at an Orthodox church in Skopje, North Macedonia, on April 16.

North Macedonia’s Orthodox Church Could Become a Coronavirus Super-Spreader

Despite an otherwise strict nationwide lockdown, the government’s politically motivated decision to allow Orthodox Christians to take communion from shared spoons could unleash a major COVID-19 outbreak.

Chief Executive Carrie Lam speaks during a press conference at the government headquarters in Hong Kong on April 22.

The Pandemic Is Cover for a Crackdown in Hong Kong

The gap between the mainland and the city is closing fast.

A woman wearing a face mask sits at a bus stop in Paris on April 21.

How Capital Markets Can Contain the Coronavirus

As governments and central banks run out of fiscal stimulus options, COVID-19 social bonds could be critical in softening the economic blow.

A picture taken during a guided tour organized by the Lebanese Shiite movement Hezbollah shows volunteers sorting food aid that will be distributed during the coronavirus pandemic in Beirut's southern suburbs on March 31. A poster on the wall shows the current leader of the movement, Hassan Nasrallah.

After the Coronavirus, Terrorism Won’t Be the Same

As big-government initiatives expand and leaders deflect blame, anti-establishment groups, angry Luddites, and China-haters could turn to violence.

Capt. Brett Crozier, then the commanding officer of the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt, addresses the crew in the Eastern Pacific Ocean on Dec. 15, 2019.

Congress Asks for New Social Distancing Rules on U.S. Warships

A top Democrat wants the CDC to draw up fresh rules to stop the spread of the coronavirus after an outbreak sidelined an aircraft carrier in Guam.

Russian President Vladimir Putin chairs a videoconference meeting at the Novo-Ogaryovo state residence outside Moscow on April 20.

Democracies Can’t Blame Putin for Their Disinformation Problem

The focus on foreign subversion ignores the damage being done at home.

A box and tablets on a blister pack of hydroxychloroquine are displayed.

The World Needs to Change How It Trades Drugs

Trump’s pressure led India to reverse an export ban on an unproven treatment for COVID-19. The incident reveals flaws in how medical provisions are traded.

A police officer gestures at the railway station in Stockholm on Sept. 12, 2015.

The Hidden Flaw in Sweden’s Anti-Lockdown Strategy

The government expects citizens to freely follow its advice—but not all ethnic groups have equal access to expertise.

Migrant workers wearing protective face masks walk past a factory-converted dormitory.

Singapore’s Coronavirus Success Story Hits a Snag

Though the curve has flattened, new cases have exploded among migrant workers who live in the country’s far-flung dormitories. Human rights watchers say these developments should be no surprise.

French President Emmanuel Macron walks with Libyan Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj and General Khalifa Haftar, commander of the Libyan National Army, after talks aimed at easing tensions in Libya.

Russia Isn’t the Only One Getting Its Hands Dirty in Libya

The United Arab Emirates, backed by France, is helping to fuel continued bloodshed in the North African country.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un waits before meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump in the Joint Security Area of the Demilitarized Zone separating North and South Korea on June 30, 2019.

The Curious Case of the Maybe Dead Dictator

A story with a single source sent Twitter into a frenzy: Is Kim Jong Un brain-dead, or is he resting after a successful operation? Once again, no one really knows what’s happening in the elusive country of North Korea.

An Israeli woman wearing a face mask with "crime minister" written on it

How the Coronavirus Saved Netanyahu’s Political Career

For an Israeli leader who stokes fear to fuel his power, the pandemic came as opportunity.

Former President Bill Clinton, former first lady and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, former Vice President Joe Biden, and former President Barack Obama arrive at the funeral service for Rep. Elijah Cummings in Baltimore on Oct. 25, 2019.

There’s No Such Thing as Good Liberal Hegemony

It’s not just that the United States has made mistakes—the very idea of U.S. global leadership is broken from the ground up.

An aerial view shows an oil pumpjack at the Huntington Beach oil fields in California on April 20.

Oil Price Nosedive Continues as Trump’s Deal Fails to Deliver

The impact of the coronavirus sends markets into an unprecedented slump, with no end in sight.

U.S. President Donald Trump attends a state dinner hosted by China's President Xi Jinping

The Coronavirus Could Upend Trump’s China Trade Deal

Bleak data on China’s economic outlook counters claims by Trump officials that the U.S. economy can get quickly back on track when the lockdown lifts.

Climate activists protest in New York City on Oct. 22, 2019.

Earth Day at 50 Reveals What’s Missing in Climate Change Fight

The Earth Day jubilee is reason to celebrate the dramatic progress in cleaning up the environment—and draw the right lessons for the fight against climate change.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (center) presides over a target strike exercise conducted by the special operation forces of the Korean People's Army at an undisclosed location in an undated photo.

North Korea Continues to Flout Trump, Advance Nuclear Ambitions

A U.N. panel concludes that the U.S. president’s outreach to Kim Jong Un has changed little in his behavior. 

U.S. President Donald Trump

The United States Can’t Ditch China Yet

Fraying ties need not spell the end of the U.S.-China relationship.

Protesters man a barricade in support of the Wet'suwet'en hereditary chiefs and the Tyendinaga Mohawks

The Pandemic Is Slicing Away Indigenous Sovereignty in Canada

The Wet’suwet’en ended pipeline protests for safety’s sake, but the police aren’t following the rules.

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis removes his face mask after attending the departure of unaccompanied minors who were living in migrant camps on the Greek islands to travel on a special flight to Germany at Athens International Airport on April 18.

In Europe, the Lives of Refugees Are on Hold

The pandemic proves a mixed blessing: Deportations are suspended but so is health care.

A French firefighter displays a test tube as he works to detect the presence of the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, in Marseille on April 3.

The Next Pandemic Might Not Be Natural

Conspiracy theories and pseudoscience have left the United States fatally unprepared for real biological warfare.

The new French self-attested movement document is displayed on a smartphone on April 6—the 21st day of a strict lockdown in France to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Privacy and the Pandemic: Time for a Digital Bill of Rights

Democratic governments need digital tools and personal data to combat the crisis, but too much sharing can be dangerous to individuals. How can they strike the right balance?

A man wearing a face mask holds a welcome sign at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja, on April 8, as a team of Chinese medics sponsored by China Railway Construction Corp. arrived in Nigeria to help fight the coronavirus pandemic.

Beijing’s Propaganda Is Finding Few Takers

As the Chinese Communist Party embarks on a presumptive goodwill campaign, few in the developing world are falling for it.

A Syrian man shows marks of torture on his back, after he was released from regime forces, in the Bustan Pasha neighbourhood of Syria's northern city of Aleppo on Aug. 23, 2012.

If a Torturer Switches Sides, Does He Deserve Mercy?

A Syrian official goes on trial this week for war crimes. His defense centers on the rebels who helped him defect—and now want nothing to do with him.

An aerial view of  an emergency makeshift field hospital at Pacaembu Stadium for coronavirus patients with a capacity of 200 beds in São Paulo on March 27.

Brazil’s Health System Isn’t Ready for the Coronavirus

The country’s public hospital capacity is already strained, and Jair Bolsonaro’s reckless policies will hit the poor the hardest.

President Jair Bolsonaro speaks with supporters in Brasília on April 19.

Why Jair Bolsonaro’s Coronavirus Denialism Won’t Hurt Him

The Brazilian president is banking on popular outrage at lockdowns if the economy falls apart—and elite fears of his vice president.

Fighters from the UAE-trained Security Belt Force, which seeks independence for South Yemen.

Our Top Weekend Reads

No global cease-fire, big government is here to stay, and the misuse of accurate disaster predictions.

Employees of the Gabonese pharmaceutical factory Sogafam

The Remaking of Big Pharma in a Post-Pandemic World

COVID-19 has bucked conventional wisdom on how the industry must operate.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan

Brother Tayyip’s Soup Kitchen

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s battle with opposition local governments over who provides coronavirus relief is endangering the public.

A man wearing a face mask leaves a shop in Vienna's city center following an easing of restrictions during the coronavirus crisis on April 15.

After Flattening the Curve, Austria Takes a Gamble

Under political and public pressure, Austria has begun to reopen the economy. Will that backfire?

Members of the California National Guard help pack boxes on March 24 in San Jose, California.

Pentagon Considers Extending Enlistments During Pandemic

Senior defense official expects to see more impacts to war readiness as the coronavirus outbreak hampers recruiting and halts travel.

U.S. President Donald Trump with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg at a NATO meeting in London.

NATO Chief Rebukes China Over Coronavirus Disinformation

Stoltenberg says state-backed disinformation campaigns are making the health crisis worse.

Demonstrators set up a mock customs checkpoint to protest against potential trade restrictions due to Brexit in Killeen, Northern Ireland, on Feb. 18, 2017.

Globalization Will Look Very Different After the Coronavirus Pandemic

New barriers are going up at breathtaking speed. The pandemic will accelerate not the demise of globalization but its transformation.

A man arrives with his luggage at a nearly deserted United Airlines check-in counter at Los Angeles International Airport on March 18.

Safer Abroad

While some Americans scramble to get home, others watch the growing number of infections in the United States and say they are better staying put.

Turkish-backed Syrian fighters during a cease-fire

How Trump and Putin Weakened U.N. Bid for a Global Cease-Fire

U.S. officials worry that counterterrorism operations will be constrained.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin listens to a question as U.S. President Donald Trump meets with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington on Jan. 31, 2019.

A Global Pandemic Bailout Was Coming—Until America Stopped It

The IMF was getting ready to respond to an unprecedented international crisis. Why did the Trump administration refuse to play along?

A man wears a face mask as he walks past a mural depicting Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega in Managua on April 9.

Nicaragua Is Stumbling Into Coronavirus Disaster

An aging autocrat and an already wrecked health care system are a dangerous combination.

Thai locals download music at an internet cafe in downtown Bangkok on Feb. 3, 2006.

Thais Show How to Beat China’s Online Army

A pop culture battle turned into a nationalist frenzy and a propaganda problem.

Police officers punish restriction-violators during the coronavirus pandemic in India

Fake News, Real Arrests

Rampant misinformation has led to dozens of arrests in India, but leaders aren’t doing much to address the root of the problem.

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a daily briefing of the White House Coronavirus Task Force in the White House Rose Garden on April 15.

Will Trump’s Decision to Cut WHO Funding Accomplish Anything?

The coronavirus pandemic is threatening international institutions, the European Union, and military readiness while shattering economic policy orthodoxies.

Men wearing face masks walk past a wall painted with images of U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad and Taliban co-founder Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar in Kabul on April 5.

In Afghanistan, the Coronavirus Could Be Deadlier Than War

The pandemic has hit the war-ravaged country at the worst possible time—just as peace appeared possible and as foreign military aid disappears.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in discusses a coronavirus response with global leaders and shares South Korea's strategy during a virtual summit in Seoul on March 26.

South Korea Is a Liberal Country Now

Moon Jae-in’s crushing victories have permanently reshaped his nation’s politics.

Bavarian Premier Markus Söder

Germany Found a Strongman for Its Coronavirus Crisis

The Bavarian governor’s law-and-order paternalism has been extraordinarily popular—and could shape the country’s post-Merkel future.

Medical personnel work at Razi hospital, which has been allocated to treat COVID-19 patients in Ghaenshar, Iran, on April 9.

Iran’s Nurses Are Martyrs to Trump’s Maximum Pressure

The Trump administration’s sanctions have made it impossible for Iranian medical personnel to keep themselves safe amid the pandemic.

A drawing by Augustus Tholey depicting leaders of the Continental Congress in 1775 (from left): John Adams, Robert Morris, Alexander Hamilton, and Thomas Jefferson.

Europe Needs an Alexander Hamilton, Not More Budget Hawks

Without mutual debt in the form of Eurobonds, the continent’s economic crisis will get worse, Euroskepticism will increase, and the EU could fall apart.

Military soldiers follow social distancing guidelines as they meet while setting up a field hospital at CenturyLink Event Center on March 31, in Seattle, Washington.

Pentagon Worries Social Distancing Could Impede America’s Deterrent

The U.S. military confronts a trade-off between maintaining readiness for war and the health of its service members.

Foreign Policy illustration

No, the Coronavirus Will Not Change the Global Order

We should be skeptical toward claims that the pandemic changes everything. China won’t benefit, and the United States will remain preeminent.

An ambulance sits parked near the U.S. Capitol building.

Key Nominees Sit in Limbo as Trump Grapples with Senate

U.S. scrambling to fill major posts addressing the coronavirus pandemic and economic aid.

Rep. Mac Thornberry

Congress Seeks to Confront China With $6 Billion in New Defense Spending

If Beijing is the problem, let’s “put our money where our mouth is,” says a senior Republican.

Kosovo President Hashim Thaci reviews members of the Kosovo Security Force during a ceremony in Pristina on March 5.

Trump Is Stirring Chaos in Kosovo at the Worst Possible Time

A political crisis encouraged by the United States threatens to worsen the coronavirus outbreak.

An officer takes the temperature of a commuter passing through a police checkpoint in Quezon City, the Philippines

Duterte’s Response to the Coronavirus: ‘Shoot Them Dead’

The Philippines president’s order to kill quarantine violators amid coronavirus chaos tests democracy yet again in his country.

Li Shufu, the chairman of China's Zhejiang Geely Holding Group, poses for photographs in front of Volvo cars in Tiananmen Square during the opening session of the National People's Congress in Beijing on March 5, 2011.

China Is Bargain Hunting—and Western Security Is at Risk

Beijing could use the coronavirus-induced economic crisis to go on a buying spree. The U.S. and European governments must restrict the purchasing of distressed companies in sensitive sectors.

U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres shakes hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing on Sept. 2, 2018.

U.N. Backs Down on Partnership With Chinese Firm for 75th Anniversary

The decision comes after U.S. officials and human rights advocates complained that Tencent aids Beijing in surveillance.

U.S. President Donald Trump takes questions as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo looks on

America First? The Coronavirus Couldn’t Care Less

The only way Washington can truly defeat the pandemic is by resetting its diplomatic agenda.

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari shakes hands with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang before their meeting in Beijing on April 13, 2016.

China’s Racism Is Wrecking Its Success in Africa

The expulsion of Africans from their homes in southern China is causing a diplomatic storm.

Residents wearing face masks practice social distancing as they wait in line for free rice in Hanoi on April 11.

The Coronavirus Loosens Lips in Hanoi

Vietnam’s repressive politics have opened up to handle the crisis. Will it last?

Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

The Secret to Coronavirus Success Is Trust

Destructive partisan divides and mistrust of government will hamper U.S. efforts.

French President Emmanuel Macron (left) and U.S. President Donald Trump embrace at the completion of a joint press conference in the East Room of the White House in Washington on April 24, 2018.

After the Coronavirus, the Era of Small Government Will Be Over

The pandemic has put the state at the center of political life around the world. The aftermath will keep it there.

Commuters look at their cell phones in a subway station in Beijing on April 11 amid the coronavirus pandemic.

As the Coronavirus Spreads, Conspiracy Theories Are Going Viral Too

Dubious and unfounded claims on the internet intended for domestic consumption are reaching far beyond their target audiences, allowing governments to spread disinformation cheaply and easily.

A paramilitary police officer stands guard in front of a portrait of Mao Zedong at the Tiananmen Gate in Beijing on Jan. 28.

In the Post-Coronavirus World, Chinese Power Is Overrated

A global resurgence in national self-reliance might actually be a good thing for America’s place in the world.

coronavirus-most-vulnerable-1500x1000 copy

The Coronavirus Threatens Some More Than Others

Refugees, migrant laborers, and the global poor are especially susceptible to the pandemic. There’s little time to bridge the gap between haves and have-nots.

Protesters at a vigil for murdered social leaders in Bogotá, Colombia, on July 6, 2018.

We Can Make the Post-Coronavirus World a Much Less Violent Place

The pandemic has decreased some kinds of crime and increased others. But the world is much safer than it used to be, and we know how to make it even safer.

Farm workers harvest zucchini during the coronavirus pandemic

How to Stop a Looming Food Crisis

Trade restrictions are breaking supply chains, and coronavirus lockdowns are preventing laborers from working on farms. Countries need to step back and stop panicking.

Alexander Gauland (foreground), the parliamentary group co-leader of Germany's far-right Alternative for Germany, and members of his party's parliamentary group attend a session at the Bundestag, Germany's lower house of parliament, in Berlin on March 25.

The Coronavirus Has Paralyzed Europe’s Far-Right

The continent’s borders are closed, as extreme nationalists always wanted—but they’re one of the pandemic's victims anyway.

A sign says the U.S.-Canadian border is closed

In Canada, Patience Wearing Thin Over Trump’s Antics

A threat to militarize the border and attempts to hold up lifesaving medical supplies have roiled the calmest of countries.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban (center) votes with other representatives in the Hungarian parliament in Budapest on March 30.

Viktor Orban Can’t Eradicate the Coronavirus by Decree

Hungary’s authoritarian leader has granted himself dictatorial powers, but his neglect of the country’s health system and his powerlessness in the face of a depreciating currency will come back to haunt him.

USAID Administrator Mark Green speaks in Ecuador.

Outgoing USAID Chief Says Pandemic Underscores Importance of Foreign Aid

In an interview, Mark Green says this is no time to be slashing assistance to the developing world or global health.

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during the daily briefing of the White House Coronavirus Task Force.

Don’t Let Leaders Use the Coronavirus as an Excuse to Violate Civil Liberties

Today’s emergency measures could become tomorrow’s trampling of free speech.

Supporters of South Korea's ruling Democratic Party listen to a speech during the recent election campaign as citizens take measures to protect themselves against the spread of the coronavirus in Seoul on April 10.

South Korea Holds World’s First National Coronavirus Election

The opposition appears to be coming up short by criticizing the shortcomings of the government’s COVID-19 response.

French President Emmanuel Macron is seen on a tablet screen in Montpellier, southern France, as he speaks from the Élysée Palace in Paris during a televised address to the nation on April 13.

Why Politicians Ignore Disaster Predictions

Experts see catastrophe on the horizon, but nobody wants to pay the costs beforehand.

R. Clarke Cooper in Washington

U.S. Official: Beware of Chinese Leaders Bearing Coronavirus Gifts

Senior State arms official says China’s outreach could put at risk sovereign U.S. allies and American weapons systems.

People maintain social distance as Indian paramilitary personnel distribute food for those in need during the government-imposed nationwide lockdown in Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir, on April 9.

Slow Internet Is Speeding the Spread of the Coronavirus in Kashmir

The region is accustomed to lockdowns, but New Delhi’s ban on high-speed internet is undermining the medical community’s ability to fight the pandemic.

U.S. President Donald Trump

The United States Is Getting Infected With Dictatorship

The coronavirus pandemic has provided an opening for Donald Trump to attack transparency, voting rights, and accountability.

Chen Chin-fang, the plant manager of Taiwan's Universal Incorporation, one of the country's biggest mask-makers, inspects mask materials at a factory in Tainan on March 6.

‘Mask Diplomacy’ a Boost for Taiwan

With U.S.-China relations showing scant improvement, Taiwan may bolster its global standing.

A tourist wearing a protective mask tours outside the Colosseum.

Our Top Weekend Reads

History lesson in pandemics, Iraqi militias becoming more aggressive, and the danger facing India’s sanitation workers.

A scene from Edgar Wright's 2004 zombie comedy “Shaun of the Dead.”

What I Learned About the Coronavirus World From Watching Zombie Flicks

There are terrible parallels between the pandemic and the zombie apocalypse. But don’t despair—there is hope for humanity yet.

People in need stand in queue as volunteers distribute free food packets in Guwahati, India, during a government-imposed nationwide lockdown against the spread of the coronavirus.

Modi’s India Isn’t Prepared for the Coronavirus

New Delhi’s lockdown has stalled the spread of the pandemic but a lack of planning has led to hunger, uncertainty, and panic.

A pharmacy in the Turkmen capital of Ashgabat on April 8. Isolated Turkmenistan is one of only a handful of countries to have reported no coronavirus cases, but experts are highly skeptical.

Turkmenistan’s Secretive Strongman Remains in Denial About the Pandemic

Berdimuhamedov and other tyrants are jeopardizing efforts to defeat the coronavirus, activists say.

An oil well in the northeastern Syrian town of Malikiyah

OPEC and Russia Parry Mexico to Ink Historic Deal to Slash Oil Output

But even the unprecedented agreement ultimately reached Sunday shows there is no easy way to halt the rapid collapse in global oil demand due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Two men greet each other by touching elbows.

Poor Countries Need to Think Twice About Social Distancing

Policies imposed in rich countries to fight the coronavirus could have adverse effects in low-income nations—potentially endangering more lives than they save.

A selection of mobile apps relating to the coronavirus pandemic are seen on a tablet screen in London on March 26.

Only Surveillance Can Save Us From Coronavirus

Big data offers tools to stop the pandemic right now—if we change our definition of privacy.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban delivers his annual state of the nation speech in front of Fidesz party members.

Nationalists Claim They Want to Redefine Conservatism, but They’re Not Sure What It Is

A February gathering in Rome outlined a muddled vision for the future, claiming the mantle of Ronald Reagan and St. John Paul II while indulging the far-right.

Covid-19-yemen-risk_report_update-hp

Yemen: The Perfect Target for COVID-19 

A new report says the Middle East’s poorest country is uniquely vulnerable, as it records its first case of the coronavirus.

Workers line up to have their temperature taken in front of a factory in Kenya during the coronavirus pandemic

Kenya’s Labor Market Wasn’t Made for a Pandemic

Informal workers propped up the country’s economy—until they were suddenly struggling to survive.

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe wearing a face mask attends a press conference at the prime minister's official residence on April 7 in Tokyo.

Japan Is Testing the Limits of Pandemic Economics

Can the world’s most indebted country afford a $1 trillion stimulus?

Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders on a debate stage in Charleston, South Carolina.

Biden Likely to Embrace Some of Sanders’s Foreign-Policy Ideas, Especially After the Pandemic

The former vice president’s team is already in touch with the Sanders camp about a unified platform, operatives say.

A Yemeni volunteer sprays disinfectant on the hands of kids in one of Sanaa's impoverished neighborhoods, on March 30, amid concerns of a coronavirus outbreak.

The Coronavirus Pandemic Could Be the Key to Peace in Yemen

After years of failed attempts at talks and cease-fires, COVID-19 may be enough to push the Saudis, Houthis, and Yemeni government to the negotiating table.

Russian President Vladimir Putin (left) looks over at Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman as they line up for the family photo during the opening day of the G-20 Leaders' Summit at Costa Salguero in Buenos Aires on Nov. 30, 2018.

Russia Is Losing the Oil War—and the Middle East

Moscow spent years building influence in the region—and lost it all playing hardball with Riyadh.

Sanitation workers in Secunderabad, India

No Masks, No Gloves

With India on lockdown, hundreds of thousands of people are cleaning up trash, medical waste, and even sewage without any protective equipment.

Democratic presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden speaks in Des Moines, Iowa, on Aug. 10, 2019.

Let the Referendum on Trump and Trumpism Begin

The November election isn’t just the most important political event of 2020 in the United States. It’s the most important political event in the world.

Former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders at the Democratic presidential debate in Miami on June 27, 2019. Drew Angerer/Getty Images

How Republicans View a Biden-Trump Race

Our contributors weigh in on Bernie Sanders’s departure from the U.S. presidential race—and what it means for an election campaign overshadowed by the coronavirus.

Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen (center) is seen wearing a face mask  alongside officials and military personnel during a visit to a military base in Tainan, southern Taiwan, on April 9.

Taiwan Is Exporting Its Coronavirus Successes to the World

Despite being shut out of WHO, Taiwan has largely succeeded in containing the coronavirus. Even as it faces a second wave of infections, it is helping other countries—and bolstering its soft power in the process.

A man on a rooftop looks at approaching flames as a wildfire continues to grow near Camarillo, California, on May 3, 2013.

The Normal Economy Is Never Coming Back

The latest U.S. data proves the world is in its steepest freefall ever—and the old economic and political playbooks don’t apply.

British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab (center) and other cabinet ministers listen as Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks during his first cabinet meeting after the general election, in London on Dec. 17, 2019.

Keep Calm, the British Government Will Carry On

Boris Johnson’s hospitalization has sparked fears of instability, but the U.K. government has functioned smoothly in the absence of prime ministers in the past and continues to do so today.

The empty chamber of the U.N. headquarters

Can the United Nations Survive the Coronavirus?

In the absence of U.S. leadership, the U.N. is struggling to carve out a role in the face of what may be the greatest threat since its founding.

Leaders including Russian President Vladimir Putin, U.S. President Donald Trump, and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman meet at the G-20 summit in Buenos Aires on Nov. 30, 2018.

5 Reasons Why a Global Agreement to Prop Up Oil Prices Won’t Work

Even if the United States, Saudi Arabia, and Russia make a historic show of cooperation, any respite for the oil industry will be short-lived.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (from left), U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer spread out to practice social distancing measures against the spread of the coronavirus at a meeting in the Hart Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill in Washington on March 20.

Pandemic Stymies Congressional Check on Trump’s Foreign Policy

Public hearings and classified briefings are another political casualty in the age of contagion.

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic and Chinese President Xi Jinping attend a meeting.

China Has Its Eyes on Serbia

Beijing is using the coronavirus pandemic to expand its influence into the EU’s backyard.

U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders arrives at the U.S. Capitol in Washington on March.

How the World Got Berned

Bernie Sanders left the stage just as much of the U.S. government—and the world—was turning to his socialist ideas in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.

Posters against the International Monetary Fund in Buenos Aires

Argentina’s Friendships Could Jeopardize Its Debt Relief

Facing a coronavirus-aggravated economic downturn, Argentine President Alberto Fernández is walking a foreign-policy tightrope between Bolivia, Venezuela, and the United States.

Spanish soldiers patrol the streets of Valencia to enforce the national lockdown due to the coronavirus on April 7.

European Hopes for Coronavirus Relief Rise—and Then Fall Again

The curve appeared to be flattening at last, but the latest numbers augur a longer crisis.

Hezbollah medical workers

Yesterday’s Terrorists Are Today’s Public Health Providers

Insurgents around the world are using the pandemic to win new converts and weaken their enemies.

Foreign laborers working on a construction site for one of Qatar's 2022 World Cup stadiums

Migrant Workers Can’t Afford a Lockdown

As Qatar races to complete construction projects ahead of the 2022 World Cup, a small army of workers from South Asia are on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (right) vies for the ball with Berat Albayrak—now his finance minister and son-in-law—during an exhibition match in Istanbul on July, 26, 2014.

The Coronavirus Will Destroy Turkey’s Economy

Ankara’s finances were weak before the pandemic—but the combination of external debt, a public health crisis, and a president who chooses to protect his reputation rather than his people could spell disaster.

Pope Francis prays in front of a crucifix that in 1552 was carried in a procession around Rome to stop the Great Plague, at the San Marcello al Corso church in Rome on March 15.

Thou Shalt Practice Social Distancing

The world’s major faiths face a test, and some religious leaders are failing by endangering human lives in the name of adhering to tradition—and ushering in a new age of secularism in the process.

A World War II-era postcard.

America Needs a National Service Draft Now to Fight the Coronavirus

Nations have always mobilized young people when facing existential crises like war. The case for national service has never been clearer.

Load 10 More Articles