Must Reads

A sortable index of the best online analyses and inquiries on foreign policy.

Vox: 40 Maps that Explain the Middle East

Author: Max Fisher

"Maps can be a powerful tool for understanding the world, particularly the Middle East, a place in many ways shaped by changing political borders and demographics. Here are 40 maps crucial for understanding the Middle East — its history, its present, and some of the most important stories in the region today."

See more in Middle East and North Africa; Society and Culture

Washington Post: Big Budgets, Little Oversight in War Zones

Authors: Scott Higham, Jessica Schulberg, and Steven Rich

"The story of [nonprofit corporation International Relief and Development] reflects the course of America's ambitions in Iraq and Afghanistan, which started with great enthusiasm and consumed tremendous resources, only to see many hopes go awry. Nation-building projects aimed at supplanting insurgents and securing the peace that looked promising on paper in Washington proved to be difficult to execute in dangerous and unpredictable war zones."

See more in Middle East and North Africa; Peace, Conflict, and Human Rights

New Yorker: The Hunt For El Chapo

Author: Patrick Radden Keefe

"[Joaquin] Guzman has been characterized by the U.S. Treasury Department as "the world's most powerful drug trafficker," and after the killing of Osama bin Laden, three years ago, he became perhaps the most wanted fugitive on the planet. Mexican politicians promised to bring him to justice, and the U.S. offered a five-million-dollar reward for information leading to his capture. But part of Guzmán's fame stemmed from the perception that he was uncatchable, and he continued to thrive, consolidating control of key smuggling routes and extending his operation into new markets in Europe, Asia, and Australia. According to one study, the Sinaloa cartel is now active in more than fifty countries."

See more in Mexico; Politics and Strategy

Wall Street Journal: Turkey's Erdogan: One of the World's Most Determined Internet Censors

Authors: Joe Parkinson, Sam Schechner, and Emre Peker

"Mr. Erdogan's shake-up, a rapid-fire response to a power struggle with political enemies, has left Internet companies and government officials from Washington to Brussels worried that Turkey could become a template for other countries where leaders want to rein in the Internet without cracking down with as much force as China or Iran."

See more in Turkey; Politics and Strategy

World Politics Review: To Save the Pivot, Obama Must Disown It

Author: Nikolas Gvosdev

"We've already seen that the U.S. cannot pursue the pivot—undertaking the painstaking steps needed to resolve disputes, build up cooperation and lay the foundations of new regional organizations—while key personnel in the national security establishment remain distracted by crises and events in other parts of the world. By the time a crisis in Asia puts it at the top of the agenda, it will already be too late to play catch-up; the goal has to be to have understandings and mechanisms already in place."

See more in Asia and Pacific; Politics and Strategy