"A Peace Process That is Going Nowhere"
"The only way this bleak prognosis could change is if Mr Netanyahu himself were to 'do a Sharon'—that is, to defy his own Likud party, forge a new outfit, reshape his coalition, and—in an expression that often comes up in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv—'cross the Rubicon' on the way to two states."
"The Road to Chaos"
By Ned Parker
New York Review of Books
"Though less popular than in 2010, Maliki believes he will benefit from the fear and chaos, presenting himself as the only one capable of guarding his community and saving Iraq. The sectarian conflict becomes another way of waging politics and outlasting competitors."
"Brazil's Star, Petrobras, Is Hobbled by Scandal and Stagnation"
By Simon Romero and Landon Thomas Jr.
The New York Times
"The ills that plague Petrobras — too much debt and spending for too little return — reflect a larger concern that the golden age for Brazil, China, Russia and Turkey, once the vanguard of the emerging-market boom, is coming to an end."
"Ukraine Military Dispositions"
By Igor Sutyagin and Michael Clarke
Royal United Services Institute
"The month of May will be a critical time. Until Ukraine's elections take place in May, the government in Kiev lacks legitimacy, and that fact continues to support Russia's patterns of behaviour in arguing that it is protecting Russian speakers in Crimea from violence. If the elections go well in May, then Putin's claims to be acting for humanitarian motives will be severely diminished."
By Matt Waldman
New American Foundation
"Empathy can provide insights into how other actors are likely to perceive and react to what the United States does, and expose false assumptions that sometimes underpin strategic mistakes.This kind of information is critical as the United States weighs options for action–coercive or otherwise–in Syria, Ukraine and beyond. The case of Afghanistan shows that the human, financial and geopolitical costs are too high for empathy to be ignored."
"Xi Jinping's Africa Policy: The First Year"
By Yun Sun
"During the first year of the Xi administration, China's policy toward Africa has shown several new trends that illustrate Beijing's evolving priorities and strategies in the continent. These new trends foreseeably will have significant implications for the future of Africa and Sino-Africa relations."
"Trends in World Military Expenditure, 2013"
By Sam Perlo-Freeman and Carina Solmirano
"A pattern has been established in recent years whereby military spending has fallen in the West—that is, in North America, Western and Central Europe, and Oceania—while it has increased in other regions. This tendency was even more pronounced in 2013, with military spending increasing in every region and subregion outside the West. In fact, the total for the world excluding just one country—the United States—increased by 1.8 per cent in 2013, despite falls in Europe and elsewhere."
"Australia's Abbott Seeks to Balance Japan, South Korea and China on Asian Trip"
By Roxana Horton
World Politics Review
"Japan and Australia share an important ally in the United States, and lest the U.S. pivot to Asia be forgotten, Japan and Australia reaffirmed the importance of strong U.S. engagement in the Asia-Pacific region and expressed strong support for what the U.S. now calls the rebalance. But how can Australia pull this off without antagonizing Beijing?"
Must Reads sample analyses, reporting, and inquiries on foreign policy from around the web selected each week by CFR Editors. See more Must Reads here.