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Falling Oil Prices, the Saudis, and the Soviets

Author: Stephen Sestanovich
Wall Street Journal

With oil prices collapsing, Saudi Arabia is facing similar problems that the Soviet Union faced decades ago. Saudi policymakers’ economic reform strategies also echo those of  Mikhail Gorbachev. However, different from Gorbachev’s Soviet Union, Saud Arabia’s foreign policy is both confrontational and interventionist. Saudi seeks change, but hopes to keep it in bounds, and may want the world to remain a dangerous place.

See more in Saudi Arabia; Oil; Russian Federation

Op-Ed

Why China Hacks the World

Author: Adam Segal
The Christian Science Monitor

In this excerpt from his new book, The Hacked World Order: How Nations Fight, Trade, Maneuver, and Manipulate in the Digital Age, Adam Segal explains the rise of Chinese hacking, its rationale, and what China hopes to gain by it.

See more in Asia and Pacific; Defense and Security

Primary Sources

Press Conference with U.S. Secretary of State Kerry, Canadian Foreign Minister Dion, and Mexican Foreign Secretary Massieu

On January 29, 2016, Canadian Foreign Minister Stephane Dion hosted U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Mexican Foreign Secretary Claudia Ruiz Massieua. The ministers discussed how the three countries can cooperate in the areas of energy and environment, combatting violent extremism, and reducing organized crime and human and drug trafficking. They also discussed the North American Leaders’ Summit scheduled for spring 2016.

See more in North America; Regional Security

Video

China Policy and the U.S. Presidential Election

The president of the United States will have to deal with a rising and more assertive China on a wide range of issues, including Asia-Pacific security, trade, and cybersecurity. U.S.-China relations will likely continue to be a mix of competition and cooperation. The central question for bilateral relations is: Can the world’s two largest economies avoid increased competition and even conflict?

See more in China; Politics and Strategy

Event

Censorship and Free Expression in Modern Russia

Speaker: Ilya Danishevsky
Speaker: Anna Nemzer
Speaker: Maria Stepanova
Speaker: Ludmila Ulitskaya
Presider: Kimberly Marten

Four Russian literary figures share their experience as creative intellectuals in modern Russia and provide their perspective on the Russian government’s use of media, literature, and other forms of creative expression to regulate the narrative of the past and the present.

See more in Russian Federation; Culture and Foreign Policy

Primary Sources

Remarks by Secretary Kerry at the World Economic Forum

Secretary of State John Kerry spoke at the World Economic Forum in Davos on January 22, 2016, discussing the United States' global commitments in trade, economic development, foreign relations, and conflict resolution. He specifically mentioned the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action with Iran, the Paris climate agreement, and the Trans Pacific Partnership.

See more in United States; Global; Diplomacy and Statecraft; Economic Development