Report

Sailors watch the sunset atop an F/A-18E Super Hornet on the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt in the 5th Fleet area of operations on March 23, 2018.

Iran-Saudi Crisis Resurrects an Old Question: Does the U.S. Need to Be There at All?

Trump’s reluctance to retaliate against Iran may reflect his belief that an “energy independent” United States no longer needs to protect the region.

U.S. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper and Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff Joseph Dunford hold a media briefing at the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, on Aug. 28.

In Muted Response to Iran Strikes, U.S. to Send Reinforcements to Saudi Arabia

Deployment will include missile defense capabilities and a “moderate” increase in troops.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington on June 27, 2018.

Pompeo Skirts Protocol to Appoint New Protocol Chief

Democrats say that the U.S. secretary of state is bypassing the Senate’s traditional oversight measures with the appointment.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington on June 27, 2018.

Pompeo Skirts Protocol to Appoint New Protocol Chief

Democrats say that the U.S. secretary of state is bypassing the Senate’s traditional oversight measures with the appointment.

People walk near heavily damaged buildings in the rebel-held city of Idlib in northwestern Syria on Sept. 16.

Idlib Faces a Fearsome Future: Islamist Rule or Mass Murder

Despite this week’s meeting of Putin, Erdogan, and Rouhani, there is no good news in the last redoubt of the Syrian revolt.

Newly released child soldiers stand with rifles during their release ceremony in Yambio, South Sudan, on Feb. 7, 2018.

Foreign Investors Fueled Violence and Corruption in South Sudan, Report Finds

Numerous banks and multinationals have hands in shady deals with the new nation’s elites and warlords.

Newly released child soldiers stand with rifles during their release ceremony in Yambio, South Sudan, on Feb. 7, 2018.

Foreign Investors Fueled Violence and Corruption in South Sudan, Report Finds

Numerous banks and multinationals have hands in shady deals with the new nation’s elites and warlords.

Paul Whelan, a former U.S. Marine accused of spying and arrested in Russia, arrives to attend his hearing at a court in Moscow on Aug. 23.

Paul Whelan’s Freedom Is a Family Affair

Siblings of former U.S. Marine detained in Moscow work around the clock to procure his release.

Iranian women walk in the capital, Tehran, on Aug. 27. Iran’s economy has struggled with U.S. sanctions and could face even more after last weekend’s attack on Saudi oil facilities.

Trump Sanctions Iran Again, Inching Toward Economic Blockade

But some experts say the move is a weak response to alleged Iranian attacks on Saudi oil.

Robert O'Brien, the special envoy sent by U.S. President Donald Trump, arrives at the courthouse during the third day of the A$AP Rocky assault trial at the Stockholm city courthouse on Aug. 2.

Trump Picks Low-Key Operative as National Security Advisor 

The choice of Robert O’Brien to replace John Bolton reinforces Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s power in the Trump administration. 

A Filipina health worker speaks to pregnant women on family planning in Navotas City, suburban Manila, on March 3, 2011.

Trump Administration Steps Up War on Reproductive Rights

U.S. diplomats team up with a “rogues’ gallery” of conservative states to roll back global reproductive health gains of the past quarter-century.

A Filipina health worker speaks to pregnant women on family planning in Navotas City, suburban Manila, on March 3, 2011.

Trump Administration Steps Up War on Reproductive Rights

U.S. diplomats team up with a “rogues’ gallery” of conservative states to roll back global reproductive health gains of the past quarter-century.

U.S. President Donald Trump meets Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in the Oval Office at the White House on March 20, 2018.

Trump Team Debates Response to Strikes on Saudi Oil

Pentagon is cautious as Riyadh requests additional U.S. forces.

Now-departed U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton in the Oval Office with President Donald Trump at the White House on Aug. 20,

Bolton Is Gone, but Tensions With Iran Remain High

The departure of Trump’s hawkish national security advisor raised hopes in Washington, but a sudden thaw with Tehran is unlikely.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin brief reporters in the James Brady briefing room at the White House on Sept. 10.

Who’s on the Shortlist to Replace Bolton

A number of names have emerged as top contenders for the job, but at the end of the day, Trump will remain the decider-in-chief.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin brief reporters in the James Brady briefing room at the White House on Sept. 10.

Who’s on the Shortlist to Replace Bolton

A number of names have emerged as top contenders for the job, but at the end of the day, Trump will remain the decider-in-chief.

Guy Snodgrass, a former Navy F/A-18 pilot, sued the Pentagon for dragging out a review of his upcoming book.

Former Mattis Aide at Center of Dispute Over Pentagon Transparency

Some contend that the department’s delay in approving his memoir was due to longstanding protocol, not ill will.

U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton listens to President Donald Trump in the Oval Office at the White House on Aug. 20.

Trump Axes Bolton via Twitter

Another national security advisor departs the White House after losing a series of policy battles.

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.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and National Security Advisor John Bolton listen to U.S. President Donald Trump speak at the White House in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 11, 2018.

Trump’s National Security Team Splinters Over Taliban Meeting

Bolton’s pushback and Pentagon concerns over a potential deal with the Afghan insurgents helped convince the U.S. president to cancel the contentious summit.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and National Security Advisor John Bolton listen to U.S. President Donald Trump speak at the White House in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 11, 2018.

Trump’s National Security Team Splinters Over Taliban Meeting

Bolton’s pushback and Pentagon concerns over a potential deal with the Afghan insurgents helped convince the U.S. president to cancel the contentious summit.

U.S. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper speaks to members of the press during his first joint press conference at the Pentagon Briefing Room on Aug. 28.

In Defending Trump’s Border Wall, Esper Faces First Political Test

The new U.S. defense secretary must strike a balance between placating angry lawmakers and satisfying the White House.

Russian President Vladimir Putin leaves the stage after speaking during the opening ceremony of the Belt and Road Forum at the China National Convention Center in Beijing on May 14, 2017.

Russians Begin to Consider Life Without Putin

After a summer of discontent, a series of elections in Russia opens up a new chapter in its political history.

The Space Shuttle Discovery is the backdrop as U.S. Vice President Mike Pence speaks during a meeting of the National Space Council at the National Air and Space Museum's, Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, in Chantilly, Virginia, on Aug. 20.

One Small Step for Trump’s Space Force

The United States officially resurrects U.S. Space Command, but the fight for a Space Force is not yet done.

Zalmay Khalilzad, the U.S. special representative for Afghanistan reconciliation, speaks with Asila Wardak, a human rights activist, during intra-Afghan dialogue talks in Doha, Qatar, on July 8.

Khalilzad Edges Closer to Pact With Taliban

The U.S. envoy is expected to travel to Afghanistan within days to seek approval from President Ashraf Ghani.

Zalmay Khalilzad, the U.S. special representative for Afghanistan reconciliation, speaks with Asila Wardak, a human rights activist, during intra-Afghan dialogue talks in Doha, Qatar, on July 8.

Khalilzad Edges Closer to Pact With Taliban

The U.S. envoy is expected to travel to Afghanistan within days to seek approval from President Ashraf Ghani.

Mick Mulvaney, the director of the Office of Management and Budget,  speaks at the White House in Washington on March 22, 2018.

Trump’s Plan to Slash Foreign Aid Puts Humanitarian Programs in Jeopardy

Administration hopes to bypass Congress by running down the budget clock.

The State Department headquarters in Washington on Sept. 12, 2012.

State Department Watchdog Censures Two Trump Appointees for Harassing Career Staffers

Report says the two appointees targeted career officials they perceived as politically disloyal.

U.S. President Donald Trump attends a meeting of the Ministers of the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS at the U.S. State Department on Feb. 6.

Diplomats Losing Out to Trump Picks for Top Spots

Current and former U.S. officials say the deluge of political appointees at the State Department is hurting American diplomacy.

A woman and a girl chat next to a television news screen showing an image of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un looking at the test-fire of a new multiple rocket launcher, at a railway station in Seoul on Aug. 1.

North Korean Missile Dismissed as ‘Standard’ by Trump Threatens U.S. Military

Defense experts fear Pyongyang has developed a new rocket that can penetrate U.S. defenses.

A strong wind blows embers around a resident hosing his burning property during the Creek Fire in Sunland, California, on Dec. 5, 2017.

Trump’s Shadow War on Climate Science

The resignation of a State Department official is the latest instance of a systematic suppression of evidence, former officials and whistleblowers say.

Russian President Vladimir Putin casts his ballot at a polling station during parliamentary elections in Moscow on Sept. 18, 2016.

Scope of Russian Election Hacking Remains Unclear 

Volume one of a long-awaited Senate report on Kremlin targeting of election systems finds all 50 states may have been targeted. 

U.S. Sen. James Risch, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, attends a hearing on Capitol Hill on June 19.

Senators Break Ranks Over Saudi Arabia

The Foreign Relations Committee, in a rare breach of decorum, engages in a bitter dispute over how to pressure Riyadh.

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to the media during a meeting with Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington on July 22.

Trump Does an About-Face on Pakistan—and Blunders Into the Kashmir Dispute

The U.S. president is desperate to salvage peace talks with the Taliban, even if it means cozying up to Pakistan at the expense of America’s newest partner in the Indo-Pacific.

White House National Security Advisor John Bolton listens to U.S. President Donald Trump as he and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte talk to reporters in the Oval Office at the White House on July 18.

Iran Overtures Are the Latest Setback for Bolton 

Trump’s hawkish national security advisor may be losing credibility fast as the president pushes diplomacy, observers say.

U.S. President Donald Trump sits in the driver's seat of a semi-truck as he welcomes truckers and CEOs to the White House to discuss health care on March 23, 2017.

All the President’s Trolls

Donald Trump is gathering his favorite meme-makers and trolls for a White House summit.

British Ambassador Kim Darroch speaks to guests at the ambassador's residence in Washington, D.C., on April 28, 2017.

Diplomats Fear Chilling Effect of British Ambassador’s Resignation

Worries over leaks could curtail the flow of frank information from foreign embassies in Washington.

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