Must Reads

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

WSJ: How a Giant Kazakh Oil Project Went Awry

Authors: Selina Williams, Geraldine Amiel, and Justin Scheck

"To replace what they pump, oil companies need to collaborate with state-owned companies that control 90% of the globe's remaining oil reserves, by a World Bank estimate. But governments often give foreign oil companies access only to the hardest-to-develop acreage. Kashagan's large-scale stumble shows how collaborations in these difficult fields can go sour for both sides."

See more in Kazakhstan; Oil

NYT: The Wolf Hunters of Wall Street

Author: Michael Lewis

"Katsuyama and his team did measure how much more cheaply they bought stock when they removed the ability of some other unknown trader to front-run them. For instance, they bought 10 million shares of Citigroup, then trading at roughly $4 per share, and saved $29,000 — or less than 0.1 percent of the total price… It sounded small until you realized that the average daily volume in the U.S. stock market was $225 billion. The same tax rate applied to that sum came to nearly $160 million a day."

See more in North America; Banks and Banking

Economist: Holding Back Half the Nation

"By 2020 Mr Abe wants women to occupy 30% of all "leadership" positions—which would include members of parliament, heads of local government and corporate executives. His most practical step has been to try to shorten waiting lists for child care by allowing more private companies into a previously state-dominated sector."

See more in Japan; Development

Think Progress: U.S. Stepping Up Campaign Against Joseph Kony, Highlighting Complex Relationship With Uganda

Author: Hayes Brown

"Five months into his first term in office, President Barack Obama laid out his vision for how American values would guide his thinking in crafting foreign policy. 'We uphold our most cherished values not only because doing so is right, but because it strengthens our country and it keeps us safe,' he said at the time…. The next five years have shown the difficulty that comes when some of those values clash with each other, jostling for dominance."

See more in Uganda; Politics and Strategy

Financial Times: Saudi Arabia: A Kingdom on Guard

Author: Roula Khalaf

"Two camps are emerging: one led by Saudi Arabia and the UAE, which maintains that political Islam is a perilous force that should be confronted; and the other led by Qatar and Turkey's ruling party, which believes in political Islam's ability to transform the region. 'This confrontation has not reached its peak yet,' [Tarek Osman] says. Saudi Arabia's policies might be pursued in the name of stability. But they could well achieve the opposite."

See more in Saudi Arabia; Politics and Strategy

Foreign Policy: Russia's Invasion of Ukraine Has Big Implications for Asia's Energy Future

Author: Keith Johnson

"In a nutshell, Asia's biggest economies think they are becoming even more of a buyer's market for Russian energy, and hope to use Moscow's current turmoil to buy more gas for lower prices. If they're right, countries like China and South Korea would gain a longer-term, cheaper source of energy, while Moscow would be able to keep tapping its mineral wealth for decades to come."

See more in Ukraine; Energy Policy

Belfer Center: Advancing Nuclear Security: Evaluating Progress and Setting New Goals

Authors: Matthew Bunn, Martin B. Malin, Nickolas Roth, and William H. Tobey

"The threat of nuclear and radiological terrorism has not disappeared, though the world has made important progress in reducing these risks. Urgent new steps are needed to build effective and lasting nuclear security worldwide. The nuclear security effort must now shift from short-term improvements toward a focus on a continued search for excellence, lasting as long as terrorist groups bent on mass destruction and the nuclear and radiological materials they might use both continue to exist."

See more in Global; Politics and Strategy

New York Times Magazine: What Pakistan Knew About Bin Laden

Author: Carlotta Gall

"America's failure to fully understand and actively confront Pakistan on its support and export of terrorism is one of the primary reasons President Karzai has become so disillusioned with the United States. As American and NATO troops prepare to withdraw from Afghanistan by the end of this year, the Pakistani military and its Taliban proxy forces lie in wait, as much a threat as any that existed in 2001."

See more in Pakistan; Terrorism

Diplomat: First Lady Diplomacy: The Message to China

Author: Wei Zongyou

"The dilemma of Obama's rebalance to Asia is that it must reassure allies and friends of U.S. commitment, without causing serious concerns or suspicions from China. In that context, Michelle Obama's weeklong trip to China may serve as a rebalance to her husband's rebalance."

See more in China; Politics and Strategy

Financial Times: Prise Ukraine From Putin’s Claws

Author: Martin Wolf

"The west is not going to war with a nuclear-armed Russia. But outright annexation of a part of a smaller country strikes at the roots of the post-second world war European settlement. Angela Merkel, Germany's chancellor, was right to say that Russia had resorted to the "law of the jungle". This annexation cannot go unanswered. It is too dangerous a precedent."

See more in Ukraine; Territorial Disputes

Los Angeles Times: In Ukraine, the Jobless and Aimless Replace the Revolutionaries

Author: Carol J. Williams

"Russia's moves on Crimea, where its Black Sea fleet is based on territory leased from Ukraine, has diverted the international spotlight from Maidan. And the shift of battle lines from Kiev to Simferopol, Crimea's regional capital, has raised further questions about why and whether the revolutionary stragglers at Maidan are serving any useful purpose."

See more in Ukraine; Defense and Security