Will 2022 Reboot Latin American Regionalism?
Increased cooperation could spur policy shifts from migration to medical manufacturing.
What in the World?
A lot happened in 2021. Test your foreign-policy knowledge with our year-end news quiz.
The Biden Team Knows Its Iran Policy Is Failing
Tehran’s march toward the bomb has been enabled by the administration’s refusal to impose consequences.
The Two-State Solution Is Dead—and Liberal Zionists Can’t Save It
The book “Haifa Republic” is a noble effort to salvage a worldview that no longer has anything to offer.
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of Biden’s First Year
Biden wants a new normal, but Trump’s shadow looms large.
How to Stop Darfur’s Descent Into Darkness
The military authorities need to be pushed to protect their own citizens from a staggering rise in violence.
“The Situation is Extremely Dangerous”
Antonov: “No one should doubt our determination to defend our security.”
India’s Religious Minorities Are Under Attack
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s silence on a recent spate of hate speech and violence is deafening.
Elections to Watch in 2022
Next year’s contests are set to bring populist reckonings, parliamentary headaches, and a possible democratic crisis or two.
The Problem With Sanctions
From the White House to Turtle Bay, sanctions have never been more popular. But why are they so hard to make work?
Biden Set for Putin Call to Ease Ukraine Standoff
The United States is demanding that Russia roll back more than 100,000 troops on Ukraine’s border.
Cutting Off Lebanon Won’t Stem the Captagon Trade
Instead of pushing Beirut to the economic brink, Saudi Arabia should address its own amphetamine addiction.
Will Honduras’s Hernández Face Justice in New York?
Extraditing the outgoing president won’t be easy, but it’s what many citizens want.
Biden Doesn’t Know What He Thinks About Sanctions
The United States has committed to combatting corruption—but is hesitating to take on Russia.
U.S.-China Relations Hit a Nadir in 2021
Relations between the world’s two largest economic powers are at historic lows.
Next Year’s Midterms Could Shake Up Biden’s Foreign Policy
Republicans are looking to capitalize on the White House’s perceived missteps in Afghanistan and Ukraine.
10 Conflicts to Watch in 2022
Battle deaths may be down, but regional wars continue to rage as great-power confrontations loom, from Ukraine to Taiwan, amid declining U.S. influence.
What’s in Store for Africa in 2022
Ethiopia’s war and other conflicts in the Horn of Africa region will shape the coming year.
A Last-Ditch Effort to Save the Iran Deal
The eighth round of nuclear talks kicks off this week in Vienna, with U.S. officials saying Iran has only weeks to play ball.
China Reckons With Omicron’s Specter
The biggest country to maintain “zero COVID” faces its greatest challenge yet.
Fibs About Funding Aren’t Espionage, Even When China Is Involved
The U.S. Justice Department’s China Initiative has become dangerously broad.
Five Major Diplomatic Disputes That Could Spell More Trouble in 2022
From the AUKUS fracas to China’s bullying tactics in Europe, here are some of the top diplomatic spats from the past year that could haunt us in the next.
The Chinese Communist Party’s Big Year
China’s government wants the country to have one story, and Xi Jinping is at the center of it.
What 2021 Meant for the Fight Against Climate Change
Time to avoid climate change’s worse impacts is running out. What did 2021 change?
Why Can’t We Be Friends?
Biden pledged to restore the United States’ alliances. It’s been a bigger headache than he anticipated.
To End Ethiopia’s War, Biden Needs to Correct Course
A one-sided U.S. approach provided political cover to the TPLF insurgency. Washington now has an opportunity to create the conditions for peace.
Biden’s 2022 Foreign-Policy To-Do List
A preview of the challenges the U.S. president should prepare for in the year ahead.
Without Tutu and Mandela, Is South African Moral Exceptionalism Dead?
The country could still achieve genuine racial justice after its moral giants have left the stage—but don’t count on the ANC government to lead the way.
How Ethiopia’s Conflict Deepened in 2021
After more than a year of fighting, is peace on the horizon—or does wider war loom?
5 Reasons to Be Optimistic About 2022
Start the new year on a bright note: Here are five things to be excited about.
The Inevitably Awkward Tokyo Olympics
Athletes rebuked competitive norms as COVID-19 became the most normal part of the Tokyo Games.
In 2021, Lebanon Suffered While the World Looked On
Skyrocketing inflation, government corruption, and international apathy defined a country in economic free fall.
Why Russia Tested Its Anti-Satellite Weapon
If regulation of space weapons is coming, Putin wants to be ahead of the pack.
Why Israel Hates Gaza
Israel’s leaders have always shown contempt for Palestinians in the Gaza Strip because their past—and ongoing presence—pose a direct challenge to Israel’s founding myth.
The Best of 2021, to Read and to Watch
From a semi-fictionalized account of the Netanyahus to a meditation on ancient Rome’s stabbiness, here are the best book and film reviews Foreign Policy published this year.
The Year Germany Said Auf Wiedersehen to Angela Merkel
Germany said goodbye to a generational leader—and hello to an entirely new era.
Myanmar’s Tumultuous Year
A stunning military coup in early 2021 kicked off a year of unprecedented change.
Russia’s Last Political Freedoms Are on the Way Out
The trial to liquidate Russia’s best-known human rights organization is about much more.
Gabriel Boric Bookends a Year of Demands for a New Social Contract
This year, voters from Chile to Honduras to Peru elected leftist leaders who promised to ease endemic inequality.
The Geopolitics of Video Games
China has taken an increasing interest in the fast-growing market. That’s bad news for gamers.
How Narendra Modi Nearly Lost His Way in 2021
India’s farmers’ protests and COVID-19 catastrophe may have slowed the prime minister’s rise.
The Iran Nuclear Deal’s Long Year of Negotiations and Uncertainty
2021 saw a change in Iran’s government and on-again, off-again nuclear talks.
Putin Remains Defiant, Threatens Ukraine in Annual Presser
Russia’s year-end telethon ends with the usual bombast about Ukraine, NATO, and Father Frost.
Ukraine’s Military Has Come a Long Way Since 2014
But so have Russia’s armed forces—making any conflict more of a toss-up than a walkover.
Obama’s Democracy Forum Was Better Than Biden’s
If democratic survival is the great issue of our time, Biden’s team has to be more demanding and more ambitious.
The Year of Living Dangerously (for Russians and Their Neighbors)
2021 was a year of crackdowns, COVID-19, and saber-rattling.
Our Most Read Stories of 2021
China’s rise, the post-Trump world, and the fall of Kabul were of particular interest to FP readers.
Use Climate and Trade Policy to Counter Putin’s Playbook
Joint U.S.-EU carbon border fees could be much more damaging to Russia than sanctions.
Washington’s Secrecy Bubble Needs to Be Popped
Too much classification undermines the rule of law. Here’s how to fix a broken system.
Renegotiation Isn’t Disaster in Northern Ireland
A new deal can be worked out that keeps peace and trade intact.
Afghanistan’s Aid Infrastructure Is Unraveling
Famine and destitution loom, yet more aid could strengthen the Taliban.
Our Favorite Profiles of the Year
From Belarus’s leader-in-exile to Japan’s newest prime minister, these articles show how personality and policymaking intertwine.
How the Energy Crisis Made 2021 Feel Like the ’70s
High power prices. Rolling blackouts. Dwindling supplies. And a cascade of economic and political turmoil felt around the world.
The Year Vaccines Changed (Most) of the World
In 2021, the biggest vaccination drive in global history affected everything from public health to diplomacy.
Turkey Deepens Its Footprint in Africa
Expanding security cooperation and friendly rhetoric are strengthening Ankara’s influence on the continent.
Congressional Probe Over Afghan Withdrawal Turns Partisan
Is Biden stonewalling Congress? It depends whom you ask.
A Decade of the Kim Jong Un Doctrine
The North Korean dictator is just as brutal as his predecessors—but has instrumentalized that brutality to new ends.
How Leftist Theory Stopped Making Sense
Progressive thinkers tried to explain ever more of the world—and found themselves explaining nothing at all.
Iran Can’t Afford to Delay a Deal
There should be little doubt in Tehran about the urgent necessity of restoring the nuclear agreement.
America Drops the Ball on White Supremacist Terrorist Groups
Other countries are taking the lead in cracking down on U.S.-based groups.
Saudi Arabia Is the Middle East’s Drug Capital
Despite draconian laws, the region’s biggest economy is hooked on amphetamines.
Hungary’s Opposition Struggles to Take the Fight to Fidesz
What looked like the first and best chance to unseat Orban is bogged down by infighting and inertia.
Biden Taps Billionaire Campaign Donors for Ambassador Posts
Progressive Democrats lambasted Trump over the practice.
After a Dramatic Year, What’s Next for Israelis and Palestinians?
War in Gaza, intercommunal violence, and a new government have not led to any breakthroughs when it comes to peace.
The FP Stories That Changed Things in 2021
From the U.N.’s diversity problem to the pipeline that turned into a lightning rod, here are our most impactful reads.
The United States Can’t Afford Another Vague National Security Strategy
Americans need the government to level with them about the need to stand up to rivals like Russia and China—and the costs of failure.
What Ukraine Can Learn From Finland
In December 1939, a small country with a small military held off the vastly superior Soviet Red Army and avoided occupation by its larger neighbor.
‘Don’t Look Up’ Peddles Climate Catastrophism as a Morality Tale
Adam McKay’s allegory of climate change revels in a misguided understanding of science.
Why People Reject Vaccination—and How to Change Their Minds
Anti-vaccination beliefs are highly dependent on cultural and social context. Here’s what worked in two United States-based studies.
Army Killings in India’s Nagaland Reignite Debate Over Controversial Law
Civilian killings by the Indian Army in Nagaland state have revived debate about the controversial Armed Forces Special Powers Act.
The Quad Should Speak Out Against Russia’s Aggression Toward Ukraine
It’s time for the Indo-Pacific democracies to address the crisis.
In Chile’s Presidential Race, Kast and Boric Are Not Equally Dangerous Extremes
Far-right candidate José Antonio Kast threatens to politicize the country’s constitutional rewrite.
Why Ukraine’s Fight Against Corruption Scares Russia
The country’s democratization and ongoing efforts to fight entrenched graft and cronyism are a threat to Putin’s model of governance.
Meet the Indigenous Leaders Reshaping Ecuador’s Politics
They have slowly but steadily attained political power. What will they do with it?
Biden’s Climate Diplomacy Is a Gift to China
The administration is paying for vain hopes with dangerous concessions.
Iranian Ransomware Is Coming for the United States
After a year of attacks on Israel, Iran’s hackers have another target.
Congress Takes on Crypto
Key Takeaways from the House Financial Services and Senate Banking Committees’ Cryptocurrency Hearings
Afghanistan’s U.N. Envoy Heads for the Exit
“He thought there [was] no government in Afghanistan for him to represent at the U.N.,” one Afghan diplomat said.
Biden Needs a Southeast Asia Policy to Counter China’s Pull
Despite a welcome flurry of diplomacy, Washington still has no clear strategy for the region.
Water-for-Energy Is Better Than Land-for-Peace
A new deal between Israel and Jordan represents a big step forward from the Abraham Accords.
Bashar al-Assad’s Unlikely Comeback
Regional governments that once shunned Damascus are mending fences with a murderous regime—showing human rights abusers everywhere how to commit atrocities with impunity.
Pentagon Worries About Chinese Buildup Near India
China’s new airports and highways near the border have put officials on edge.
China’s Fake Twitter Accounts Are Tweeting Into the Void
China’s state-linked influence operations get very little engagement on Twitter.
Europe Accidentally Built an ‘Amnesty International With Guns’
The EU’s border and coast guard agency is expanding fast—but member states find it too soft to rely on.
Violence Spreads in the Sahel
Burkina Faso’s government resigns amid protests and the military’s failure to counter Islamists.
Biden Takes Aim at Kleptocrats
The United States is finally taking big steps to close the loopholes that make America a money laundering haven.
Biden’s Democracy Summit Success Now Depends on Allies
In Asia, the door is wide open to new partnerships bolstering democratic norms.
Pakistan Wanted Gwadar to Be the Next Singapore. China’s Role Didn’t Help.
Protests at the port city should be a wake-up call for Islamabad.
From ‘Partygate’ to a Possible Leadership Challenge for Boris Johnson
The British prime minister’s shining political star seems to be dimming—and with it, perhaps, Conservative prospects.
Malawi Is No Longer Safe for Refugees
The government’s plan to relocate thousands of refugees to a congested camp could have catastrophic consequences.
Did Angela Merkel Matter for Women?
The ambiguous feminist legacy of the world’s most powerful woman.
Why One Man Can Ruin Turkey’s Economy
Did Erdogan break Turkish politics by empowering the presidency—or was it broken already?
The West Must Deter Russia or Accept Defeat
Putin hasn’t set his sights on just Ukraine. Further destabilization of Georgia is next on his agenda.
In Asia, China’s Long Game Beats America’s Short Game
Beijing’s focus on economic ties will outlast Washington’s on military alliances.
The Channel Is Now a Charnel House
When at least 27 migrants, mostly Kurds, drowned last month, it was the culmination of a century-long Anglo-French tragedy.
Great Protocol Politics
The 21st century doesn’t belong to China, the United States, or Silicon Valley. It belongs to the internet.
What Biden Can Learn From Hillary Clinton’s Landmark LGBT Speech
When tackling big, global problems, expect pushback—but keep going.
How Biden Can Aid Maria Ressa’s Fight for Justice
The Nobel Peace Prize winner’s cause is about more than just press freedom.
The European Union Owes Poland a Thank You
Brussels likes to ostracize the Polish government, but Warsaw has just done the entire continent a favor.
Why China Is Freaking Out Over Biden’s Democracy Summit
Beijing’s overreaction to the virtual summit is telling.
Kicking Russia Off of SWIFT Might Not Be the Nuclear Option
But additional economic sanctions under study could be more devastating to Moscow than the last ones were.
U.N., World Bank Under Pressure to Offer Aid to Afghanistan
The existing sanctions regime on Taliban leaders makes it hard for the world to help the Afghan people.
Honduras-U.S. Relations Get a Reset
If incoming President Xiomara Castro lives up to her promises, there’s a chance to address the root causes of forced migration.
State Department Launches Review of Afghan Withdrawal
U.S. ambassador Daniel Smith is tapped to lead a review to understand the lessons of U.S. involvement.
Does India Want to Solve Its Pollution Problem?
The country has the most polluted cities in the world—but so far is doing very little in response.
Latin America Could Profit From U.S.-China Competition
“Active nonalignment” is on display in a busy week of summits with both Beijing and Washington.
Stop Treating Vaccine Hesitancy Like an Afterthought
Although current headlines are focused on South Africa, this is very much a challenge facing the global north.
Biden Must Choose Between Appeasement and Deterrence in Ukraine
Russia’s threat on the Ukrainian border is not a bluff, but forceful U.S. financial sanctions could stop Putin from another land grab.
Ukraine Ready to Fight to ‘Last Drop’
But Biden’s talk of accommodating Russia has Congress worried.
How Islamist Fundamentalists Get Away With Murder in Pakistan
If Imran Khan cares about foreign investment and economic growth, he must abolish the country’s blasphemy law.
Democracy Renewal Begins With Accountability
To show the world the United States is back as a democratic leader, Biden should hold the U.S. military and its allies accountable in warfare.
The ICC Doesn’t Look So Interventionist After All
Serious domestic efforts at justice in Colombia have led the court to suspend its longest-running examination to date.
Climate Threats Are Multiplying in the Horn of Africa
In a long overdue step, the U.N. Security Council may finally address climate security.
France’s New Far-Right Firebrand
Professional provocateur Éric Zemmour makes Marine Le Pen look like a moderate.
Biden’s Democracy Summit Could Backfire
There are dangers to hosting diplomatic meetings without a clear purpose.
What Is China’s Future in Africa?
Beijing is scaling back its investments across the continent, but it still has greater economic influence than the United States.
When Promoting Democracy, Less Is More
Biden’s Summit for Democracy requires a humbler approach to succeed.
Why Congress Should Regulate Cryptocurrency Now
The United States has a chance to become a standard-bearer as digital currencies expand.
Nigeria’s eNaira Is Not an Economic Panacea
After trying to ban cryptocurrencies, the country’s Central Bank has launched its own digital currency—but it won’t end the country’s foreign exchange volatility or shore up its reserves.
For Europe’s Far-Right, Vaccine Skepticism Is a Trap
Playing to the anti-vaccine base hasn’t led to electoral gains—yet.
Modi’s Delicate Balancing Act
Modi’s twin diplomatic meetings this week underscore how Russia remains a source of discord between the United States and India.
How Cheap Chicken Stopped Protests in Cuba
Food is power in a country where only a small portion of people are allowed to enter supermarkets.
Why the Taliban Still Love Suicide Bombing
The group is normalizing death and despair in the Islamic Emirate.
How Bob Dole Saved Bosnia on Capitol Hill
Dole’s Bosnia advocacy throughout the 1992-1995 war made him the most consequential Bosnia hawk in Congress.
Will a Billion-Dollar Indigenous Climate Pledge Pay Off?
The money is unprecedented, but Indigenous communities are bracing for disappointment.
Lebanon’s Reformers Trade the Street for the Ballot Box
After 40 years of stasis, some new faces sense a glimmer of hope to change Lebanon’s poisoned politics.
Congress Must Halt Biden’s Arms Sales to Saudi Arabia
The U.S. president is reneging on his campaign promises in an effort to appease Riyadh. A bipartisan team of lawmakers can stop him.
Modi’s Farm Bills and Their Repeal Will Do Nothing for This Group
Bonded laborers, many of whom belong to the Dalit community, are owned by their landlords and work for little or no pay.
Foggy Bottom Bristles at Proliferation of Special Envoys
The State Department’s Africa chief addresses concerns that special envoys shut out other diplomats from policymaking.
Bitcoin Failed in El Salvador. The President Says the Answer Is More Bitcoin.
Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele is spinning new projects as fast as he can.
Biden Is Running Out of Time to Help Ukraine Fend Off Russia
Kyiv’s pleas for more U.S. guns to hold off Moscow have prompted a political knife fight in Washington.
The U.S.-China Relationship Has Entered a New Phase
Diplomacy post-Biden-Xi summit is a test of intentions.
Leaving Gender Out of Genocide Obscures Its Horror
As the 1948 Genocide Convention makes clear, killing isn’t the only crime.
Lockdowns Produced a New Generation of Child Soldiers
In Colombia, armed groups have treated the pandemic as a recruitment opportunity.
Why the Climate Panic About Africa Is Wrong
Once again, the rich world sees Africans as a threat to the planet.
Germany’s First Genocide Looked a Lot Like China’s
The killing of the Herero has disturbing parallels with the treatment of Uyghurs.
The U.S. Triumphs When Leaders Find a Path Between Isolation and Hubris
Standing up for U.S. values doesn't mean abandoning caution.
Zimbabwe’s Chance to Shine
Its ascent to a leadership role in international diamond accreditation is an opportunity for the industry to clean up its act.
The Battle for Khartoum Exposes Waning U.S. Influence
If any outside power could help Sudan chart a path to democracy, it should have been the United States.
Beijing’s Strategic Blueprint Is Changing as Tensions Grow
China is trying to free itself from dependence on imported technology.
How to End Israel’s Digital Occupation
Silicon Valley executives should recognize Palestinian statehood in line with U.N. norms.
What in the World?
This week in FP’s international news quiz: A new COVID-19 variant spreads, women take power, and farmers notch a big win.
Iran’s New Asia-Focused Foreign Policy Is a Fantasy
The country lacks both the wherewithal and resources to recalibrate its standing in Asia.
The World Is Starting to Doubt Biden’s Promise That ‘America Is Back’
From omicron restrictions to the Iran deal and the democracy summit, Washington is making questionable calls that don’t inspire confidence in U.S. leadership.
Rushed Elections in Libya Won’t Bring Peace
The U.N.’s obsession with process is making conflict and instability more likely.
Barbados Steps Out From Under the Queen’s Umbrella
From Rihanna to climate finance, the small island nation has big foreign-policy goals.
Fossil Fuel’s Downfall Could Be America’s Too
How U.S. polluters might drag the country’s economy down with them.
Cameroon’s Forgotten Civil War Is Getting Worse
Infighting among Anglophone separatists and denial by the Cameroonian government are escalating the ongoing conflict.
It’s Time to Engage With the Taliban. Afghan Lives Depend on It.
The West is wasting time Afghans do not have.
Myanmar’s Military Must Be Shown It Can’t Win
Negotiations are far off, but they are the only way out of a catastrophic conflict.
The Case for Defending the Little Guy
Sticking up for smaller powers and Westphalian principles is worth it.
Russians Believe Ukrainians Want to Be ‘Liberated’
Delusions about Moscow’s “little brother” are common and dangerous.
How HIV and COVID-19 Variants Are Connected
It’s a matter of time until an even more dangerous coronavirus variant emerges if we fail to vaccinate the world’s most vulnerable populations.
Assad’s Family Reunion Could Be a Final Victory
By reconciling with an estranged uncle, Syria’s dictator may have definitively reestablished his power.
Russia Blocks Brit From U.N. Libya Envoy Role
Diplomatic spats could undermine U.N. position ahead of key national elections.
Poland’s Twin Crises
Warsaw is challenging Brussels on the rule of law but using an immigration crisis to soften any pushback.
America Should Bet on Bangladesh
Bangladesh has major geopolitical value on its own merits, separate from India or any other country.
Hungary’s Strongman Is Running Scared
A unified democratic alliance finally has the chance to beat Viktor Orban and his Fidesz party in elections early next year.