Argument

Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping (C) kicks a Gaelic football  as he visits at Croke Park in Dublin, Ireland on February 19, 2012. (PETER MUHLY/AFP/Getty Images)

Xi Jinping Is the World’s Most Powerful Soccer Coach

China's team is a national embarrassment — but the party chairman has big plans for the game.

Swiss winger Xherdan Shaqiri celebrates after scoring the winning goal in the 2018 FIFA World Cup match between Serbia and Switzerland at Kaliningrad Stadium on June 22. (Clive Rose/Getty Images)

For Serbs, Switzerland Isn’t Neutral

Serbia’s nationalist soccer fans hoped to restore their national pride by beating a Swiss team led by Kosovar stars. Instead, the Kosovo-born Xherdan Shaqiri handed them a humiliating defeat.

Brazilian congressman and presidential candidate, Jair Bolsonaro, waves to the crowd during a military event in Sao Paulo, Brazil on May 3, 2018.

Latin America’s Center Cannot Hold If It Doesn’t Exist

Mainstream establishment parties across the continent have been replaced by populists offering easy and empty answers.

The Egyptian national team's star striker Mohamed Salah, left, and Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov pose in Grozny, the capital of Chechnya, on June 10, ahead of the 2018 World Cup in Russia. (Karim Jaafar/AFP/Getty Images)

Russia’s Muslim Strongman Is Winning the World Cup

Ramzan Kadyrov is using sports diplomacy to bolster his image.

A Libyan fireman stands in front of smoke and flames rising from a storage tank at an oil facility in northern Libya's Ras Lanuf region on January 23, 2016, after it was set ablaze earlier in the week following attacks launched by Islamic State jihadists to seize key port terminals.

The West Is Letting Libya Tear Itself Apart

Calling for elections in the absence of stable institutions while competing for diplomatic and economic influence won’t rebuild the country — it will destroy it.

Indian farmers, traders and vendors negotiate prices of vegetables at a wholesale vegetable market in Hyderabad on February 1, 2018.
(NOAH SEELAM/AFP/Getty Images)

India Is the Latest Front in Trump’s Endless Trade War

Modi’s soft approach is getting nowhere with a hard-line Washington.

An election poster showing the portrait of Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on June 19 in Istanbul, Turkey. (Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

Erdogan Will Win by Any Means Necessary

Turkey's president has plenty of experience stealing elections — and Sunday's vote is one he can't afford to lose.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un (L) shakes hands with U.S. President Donald Trump during their historic U.S.-DPRK summit at the Capella Hotel on Sentosa island on June 12, 2018 in Singapore.(Kevin Lim/THE STRAITS TIMES/Handout/Getty Images)

Kim Jong Un Gets to Sit at the Cool Table Now

Trump’s handshake gave North Korea the status boost marginal states crave.

Football fans from Uzbekistan celebrate near Red Square on June 15, 2018 in Moscow, Russia.  (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

Uzbekistan’s New Era Might Just Be Real

Long-needed reforms are changing what was once a grim autocracy. Washington can help.

Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad (C) is welcomed upon his arrival at the international conference "The Future of Asia" in Tokyo on June 11, 2018. (KAZUHIRO NOGI/AFP/Getty Images)

Malaysia’s Diplomacy Is Trapped in Mahathir’s Shadow

The newly energized democracy is missing the chance to make its diplomatic mark in the region.

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan walks down the stairs in between soldiers, wearing traditional army uniforms from the Ottoman Empire, as he arrives for a welcoming ceremony for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas at the presidential palace in Ankara, January 12, 2015.

Don’t Turn The Turkish Army Into A Political Tool

Turkey has a history of coups. Whoever wins the election must prevent politicization of the military.

Russian security officers stand guard at the Fan Fest zone in Nizhny Novgorod, one of the host cities of the Russia 2018 World Cup football tournament, on June 19, 2018. (DIMITAR DILKOFF/AFP/Getty Images)

Russia’s World Cup Isn’t as Safe as It Looks

The Kremlin has prepared for the soccer tournament by cracking down on terror threats — the wrong kind.

A child at the U.S.-Mexico fence in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, on April 4. (Herika Martinez/AFP/Getty Images)

Trump Is Playing Chicken With Children’s Lives

The U.S. child welfare system is strained to its limits. Family separation could push it over the edge.

Fans cheer for Mexico during an international friendly soccer match against Croatia at AT&T Stadium on March 27, 2018 in Arlington, Texas.

If Trump Tears Up NAFTA, Sports Will Keep North America Together

The joint 2026 World Cup is yet another sign that Canada, Mexico, and the United States are becoming increasingly culturally and economically interdependent.

Left: A Japanese-American woman holds her sleeping daughter as they prepare to leave their home for an internment camp in 1942. 
Right: Japanese-Americans interned at the Santa Anita Assembly Center at the Santa Anita racetrack near Los Angeles in 1942. (Library of Congress/Corbis/VCG via Getty Images/Foreign Policy illustration)

‘At Least During the Internment …’ Are Words I Thought I’d Never Utter

I was sent to a camp at just 5 years old — but even then, they didn't separate children from families.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (R) and Chief of Staff General Hulusi Akar (L) attend the funeral of a soldier killed in a helicopter crash at Ahmet Hamdi Akseki Mosque in Ankara, on June 1, 2017.

Turkey’s Wag-the-Dog Election

Erdogan is fighting a military battle to win a political one.

Chang An-lo, also known as "White Wolf," leader of the China Unification Promotion Party, speaks to the media on May 20, 2016. (Isaac Lawrence/AFP/Getty Images)

Nice Democracy You’ve Got There. Be a Shame If Something Happened to It.

China's Communist Party is using thuggish proxies to disrupt Taiwan and Hong Kong.

Iraqis celebrate with a picture of the Shiite cleric, Muqtada al-Sadr, after the general election in Baghdad on May 14, 2018.

I Fought Against Muqtada al-Sadr. Now He’s Iraq’s Best Hope.

The former militia leader who once terrorized U.S. forces has reinvented himself as an Iraqi nationalist and a pragmatist.

Kashmiri Muslims carry the coffin of slain journalist Shujaat Bukhari during a funeral procession at Kreeri, India on June 15, (TAUSEEF MUSTAFA/AFP/Getty Images)

Nobody’s Protecting India’s Bravest Journalists

I had the resources to survive a campaign of online hate — but other reporters have been far less fortunate.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau looks on before speaking to members of the media during a visit to AppDirect on February 8, 2018 in San Francisco, California. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

No More Mr. Nice Canada

Canada's reputation for friendly politeness, especially when dealing with the United States, is long overdue for revision.

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