Q&A

U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis arrives for a speech at the Johns Hopkins University campus in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 19, 2018.

‘Allies and Partners Will Think Twice Before Taking America at Its Word’

In an interview, James Mattis’s onetime speechwriter criticizes Trump’s treatment of long-standing U.S. partners like the Syrian Kurds.

Ilham Ahmad, the president of the executive committee of the Syrian Democratic Council, attends a press conference at the European Parliament in Brussels on Oct. 10.

Trump Wants U.S. Troops to Guard Syria’s Oil. The Kurds May Not Welcome Them.

After capitulating to U.S. demands for years, Syrian Kurdish leader Ilham Ahmed has some conditions of her own.

Iranian youth march with portraits of the country’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei during a ceremony celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution in Tehran on Feb. 11. Rouzbeh Fouladi/NurPhoto via Getty Images

How Iran’s Supreme Leader Is Outmatching Trump

The United States appears to be backing down in a test of wills that Iran expert Reuel Marc Gerecht calls the most “important moment since the invasion of Kuwait by Saddam Hussein.”

Israeli Prime Minster Benjamin Netanyahu speaks in Ramat Gan, Israel, on Sept. 10.

Israeli Election Deadlock Could Mean No New Government for Months

Netanyahu vows to fight on after failing to secure a majority.

Vice Adm. John Miller, the commander of the U.S. 5th Fleet, answers questions from sailors in the hangar bay of the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson on Jan. 26, 2015.

Former 5th Fleet Commander: Iran Attacks on Saudi Oil a ‘Significant Escalation’

Retired Vice Adm. John Miller says the United States and Saudi Arabia should ratchet up the war in Yemen to hit back at Iran.

U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad attends the Intra-Afghan Dialogue talks in Doha, Qatar, on July 8.

Trump’s Approach to Afghanistan ‘Confusing His Own Negotiators’

Veteran diplomat Ryan Crocker talks about the “catastrophic” plans for a Taliban summit and scant hopes for any enduring peace deal.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin watches an air show in Zhukovsky, outside Moscow, on Aug. 17, 2011.

There’s a New Player Leading the Kremlin’s Moves Abroad: the Russian Army

Investigative journalist Andrei Soldatov talks about why the Kremlin’s brazen actions on foreign soil are about what’s going on back in Russia.

Rep. Mark Green at a House oversight committee hearing on Jan. 29.

Congress to China: ‘Stop Stealing Our Stuff’

Republican Rep. Mark Green talks about forthcoming bipartisan legislation that would protect U.S. technology from Chinese espionage.

Venezuelan opposition leader and self-proclaimed interim president Juan Guaidó speaks at the National Assembly after a meeting with the European Union special advisor for Venezuela, Enrique Iglesias, in Caracas on July 9.

‘We Are Going to Continue to Fight’

Venezuela’s would-be president, Juan Guaidó, says he’s confident ahead of a new round of talks with the Maduro government.

Rep. Chrissy Houlahan speaks during a news conference in Washington on Jan. 29.

America Has Been ‘Asleep at the Wheel’ on China’s Rare-Earth Threat

Rep. Chrissy Houlahan talks about new legislation that would require the Pentagon to ensure access to critical defense minerals.

A man reads the Reporter, an Ethiopian newspaper, depicting the portraits of Ambachew Mekonnen, the president of the country’s Ahmara region, and of Gen. Seare Mekonnen, the chief of staff of the Ethiopian National Defense Force, in Addis Ababa on June 24.

Ethiopia Is at a ‘Very Critical Juncture’

After high-level assassinations, the country may still be in danger, says Human Rights Watch expert Felix Horne.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un arrives at the railway station in Vladivostok, Russia, on April 24.

Kim Jong Un Wants It All

Anna Fifield on how the North Korean leader uses class divisions to stay in power.

Political cartoonist Badiucao reveals his face in a self-portrait in April.

China’s Rebel Cartoonist Unmasks

Badiucao's work has brought him praise from critics — and threats from Beijing.

Shipping containers sit stacked at Qingdao Port in China on May 28.

‘Most People Don’t Know What a Tariff Is’

The University of Chicago trade expert Robert Gulotty says the global trading system will likely survive, though it has never before had to fend off the country that built it.

Turkmen service members take part in a military parade in central Ashgabat on Sept. 27, 2018, on the 27th anniversary of Turkmenistan’s independence.

The World’s Worst Country for Journalists

Turkmenistan is so repressive it is even worse than in Soviet times, says editor Ruslan Myatiev.

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