A sortable index of the best online analyses and inquiries on foreign policy.
"'How do you transform into a nation without also transforming the traditional, monarchical, patriarchal system?' [historian Allen Fromherz] asks. As the small but natural-gas-rich country emerges onto the world's stage, this and other questions are unavoidable: Are the American universities actors in the country's future or merely props? Can they teach students to think critically about the contradictions and changes in Qatar while under the patronage of its ruling family?"
See more in Qatar; Education
"Independent reports by human rights groups back Karzai's contention that there are too many civilian deaths in Afghanistan. But if they have become his rallying cry, it is also because they bring to mind the broader issue of Afghan sovereignty — the feeling Afghans have that they have become colonized subjects."
See more in Afghanistan; Elections
"With Iran's nuclear program back at the center of world debate, it's helpful to understand with more clarity the attempts to digitally sabotage that program…What I've found is that the full picture, which includes the first and lesser-known Stuxnet variant, invites a re-evaluation of the attack. It turns out that it was far more dangerous than the cyberweapon that is now lodged in the public's imagination."
See more in Iran; Nuclear Energy
"Today, the story is at once more accessible and more dangerous. To cover China is to chronicle the world's second-largest economy, a rising superpower, and one-fifth of the world's population. China is so central to our economic lives that journalists have had no choice but to engage China with greater technical analysis and precision."
See more in China; Media and Foreign Policy
"Ancient Russian tanks – rebel and loyalist – were lobbing shells at each other across a pistachio grove like street children throwing stones in an alleyway. The explosions sent orange columns of dust into the haze of the setting sun. Near the outpost, a government tank was smouldering, and a young girl lay dead, hit by shrapnel. A group of rebels crawled through the fields for a mile until they reached the edge of the outpost."
See more in Syria; Wars and Warfare
"In a noticeable and important shift in global migratory patterns, millions of migrant workers are no longer relying on the U.S. as heavily as they did for better-paying jobs that allowed them to send money home to families in Latin America, the Caribbean and Asia. Instead, they have moved more to developing economies, creating a shift in money transfers out of countries like Chile, Brazil and Malaysia."
See more in Latin America and the Caribbean; Immigration
"Analysts pointed out that the renewed fear of a Soviet-style nightmare in China might reflect the leadership's anxiety over slowing economic growth, rising social tensions and growing calls for political reform following the leadership transition last November."
See more in China; Nation Building
"At the DFAS offices that handle accounting for the Army, Navy, Air Force and other defense agencies, fudging the accounts with false entries is standard operating procedure, Reuters has found. And plugging isn't confined to DFAS (pronounced DEE-fass). Former military service officials say record-keeping at the operational level throughout the services is rife with made-up numbers to cover lost or missing information."
See more in United States; Defense Budget
"New research suggests that space rocks as large as the one that fell over Chelyabinsk -- about 19 meters (62 feet) across -- are three to five times more numerous than scientists had realized. The study, led by Peter Brown at the University of Western Ontario, also found that larger and more dangerous ones are unexpectedly abundant. In other words, alien projectiles pose a serious threat. Is it a manageable one?"
See more in Global; Disasters
"Is it better to use the bully pulpit to increase pressure on a government to treat its people humanely, or is it better to nudge the government quietly behind the scenes? For decades, U.N. relief workers have preferred to keep their concerns off the headlines and reveal little about the perpetrators of violence against civilians, thereby preserving their role as neutral healers and helpers. But a spate of internal reviews of U.N. responses to mass killings from Bosnia to Rwanda and Sri Lanka have challenged that view."
See more in Syria; International Organizations and Alliances
What the editors of CFR.org are reading for the week of November 11 - November 15, 2013.
See more in Global; Politics and Strategy
"Arctic shipping will remain of limited importance to China, as it will for the rest of the world. Future shipping in the Polar region will mostly consist of seasonal destinational transport, delivering supplies into the Arctic for its increasing economic activity and transporting the region's natural resources to markets in East Asia."
See more in Arctic; Trade
"The typhoon, described as the most devastating natural calamity to hit the Philippines in recent history, is emerging as a showcase for the soft-power contest in Asia. The geopolitical tensions have been stoked by China's territorial claims in the South China Sea, and heightened by American efforts to reassert its influence in the region."
See more in Asia and Pacific; Politics and Strategy
"Why does Pakistan's political and military élite celebrate the very people it is fighting? The logic—or its absence—goes like this: Hakimullah Mehsud was our enemy. But the United States is also our enemy. So how dare the Americans kill him?"
See more in Pakistan; Politics and Strategy
This three-part series from Reuters examines how Setad, a little-known organization controlled by Iran's Supreme Leader, grew into one of the most powerful property and corporate empires in Iran.
See more in Iran; Economics
"Xi has indicated very clearly from the time that he became General Secretary of the Party that he was obsessed, as maybe other Chinese leaders are also, with the Gorbachev syndrome. Xi Jinping realizes, like Li Keqiang, that there is a need for deep economic reforms—really very important and very difficult economic reforms. But what I think they worry about is that they don't know which reforms could be the ones which unleash a Gorbachev-type situation, where one thing follows another and before you know it the whole country and the whole party system has collapsed."
See more in China; Economic Development
"Moderate voices have been drowned out in the Egyptian media which largely glorifies the army and its chief, General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. An absence of established political parties to encourage dynamic pluralist politics has also pushed moderate politicians into the background while the public, weary of instability, mostly backs the army in its 'war against terrorism.'"
See more in Egypt; Politics and Strategy
"Much attention has been lavished on the speculators who reaped huge paydays betting against the subprime mortgages that stoked the financial crisis. Doomsayers like the hedge fund manager John Paulson and the cast of characters in "The Big Short," the Michael Lewis book, saw calamity coming, and their contrarian bets delivered when the housing market collapsed.
But what about the big long? During the dark days of late 2008, while other investors dumped their holdings or sat paralyzed on the sidelines, who decided that it was time to put money on the line? Who bought low and then sold high?"
See more in United States; Financial Crises
"On November 11, it is worth remembering that the investments involved in preserving peace in Europe are peanuts compared to the price of war. In terms of value for money, the EU is a bargain. So too is NATO. Even the largely dysfunctional UN is, on balance, a cheap asset. Today's anniversary can still offer quite a few political lessons. Unfortunately, they are all about hard work."
See more in Global; Wars and Warfare
"Greece's reform job is not even half finished. The government hasn't done enough to root out the vested interests that strangle the economy. Nor has it cracked down fully on tax evasion or pushed hard enough to privatise state-owned properties."
See more in Greece; Economic Development