A sortable index of the best online analyses and inquiries on foreign policy.
"When one of the 21's leaders, Barack Obama, fails to show up for their annual summit, it is taken as an important symbol of his administration's failure to live up to the promise implied in its much-touted "pivot" or "rebalancing" to Asia. It certainly is such a symbol; and the damage it has done to America's standing and credibility in the region may last rather longer than the memory of any concrete agreement that comes out of the summit itself."
See more in Asia and Pacific; Regional Security
"2013 is most significant for marking a return of Japan to the region. Although in the foreign policy context, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has been most notable for his historical comments, military ambitions and dispute with China over the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands, his reassertion of Japanese influence in ASEAN will perhaps have the longest-lasting consequences of all."
See more in Asia and Pacific; Regional Security
"Southeast Asia needs America. Call it an insurance policy or balancing or hedging, or what you will, ASEAN does not want to be left alone with China. And no combination of other outside players is as reassuring as the United States' presence."
See more in China; Politics and Strategy
"Militia-controlled mines in eastern Congo have been feeding raw materials into the world's biggest electronics and jewelry companies and at the same time feeding chaos. Turns out your laptop—or camera or gaming system or gold necklace—may have a smidgen of Congo's pain somewhere in it."
See more in Congo, Democratic Republic of; Minerals and Rare Earth Elements
"Global internet freedom has been in decline for the three consecutive years tracked by this project, and the threats are becoming more widespread."
See more in Global; Peace, Conflict, and Human Rights
"In the contemporary security environment, strategic success requires an ability to understand, influence, or control the human domain…Thisrepresents an effort within the U.S. military to better integrate the psychological dimension of conflict into military thinking and planning, and to institutionalize lessons about the human domain learned at great cost in Iraq and Afghanistan and now playing out on new battlegrounds in Yemen, Libya, and elsewhere."
See more in United States; Defense and Security
"Iran's rulers, like all men of revolutions, live in the long shadow of the revolution that made them. To them, the revolution is both home and prison. As home, it is a source of identity; as prison, it locks them in ideological boxes, and spawns holier-than-thou tests of will between purists and pragmatists."
See more in Iran; Politics and Strategy
"Funding for scientific development has been one of the notable victims of sequestration, with universities and other research institutions across the country feeling the pinch. Apart from [Los Alamos National Lab], the National Institutes of Health, which drives US medical research, has suffered $1.5bn in cuts this year. Scientists and economists have warned that slashing billions from basic research will hurt US competitiveness over the long term."
See more in United States; Economics
"Suleimani took command of the Quds Force fifteen years ago, and has sought to reshape the Middle East in Iran's favor: assassinating rivals, arming allies, and directing a network of militant groups that killed hundreds of Americans in Iraq. And yet he has remained mostly invisible to the outside world. 'Suleimani is the single most powerful operative in the Middle East today,' a former C.I.A. officer in Iraq, told me, 'and no one's ever heard of him.'"
See more in Syria; Military Leadership
"So far, the grand bargain between the core and the periphery has held up: the periphery continues austerity and reform while the core remains patient and provides financing. But the eurozone's political strains may soon reach a breaking point, with populist anti-austerity parties in the periphery and populist anti-euro and anti-bailout parties in the core possibly gaining the upper hand in next year's European Parliament elections."
See more in EU; Financial Crises
"[Putin's] worldview is that the world is in such a chaotic, incomprehensible state, that all attempts to influence it with direct action are counterproductive and only bring the opposite of the intended result,' says Fyodor Lukyanov, the editor of Russia in Global Affairs, who is seen as a good decoder of the Kremlin's thinking. Furthermore, the trope of U.S. obligation to do this or enforce that is more than galling to Putin, Lukyanov says. It is incomprehensible."
See more in Russian Federation; Politics and Strategy
"A century after the British adventurer-cum-diplomat Sir Mark Sykes and the French envoy François Georges-Picot carved up the region, nationalism is rooted in varying degrees in countries initially defined by imperial tastes and trade rather than logic. The question now is whether nationalism is stronger than older sources of identity during conflict or tough transitions."
See more in Middle East and North Africa; Peace, Conflict, and Human Rights
"China's approval process for inbound foreign direct investment drives many of the headline economic issues currently being discussed between China and its trading partners, as well as internally within China."
See more in China; Economics
"Life has not been the same in Eastleigh since the Kenyan Defense Forces (KDF) invaded war-torn Somalia to hunt down the al-Shabab terror group in 2011. Since then, explosions halt, at times violently, the buying and selling in this market town."
See more in Kenya; Terrorism
"Honestly, the ambassadors showed widespread interest in improved relations with Iran, which I hope will be managed with the best diplomacy. Of course, we must not expect too much."
See more in Iran; Global Governance
"Public anger at gender inequality in India must be seen as an important—and long-overdue—social development, and it can certainly help in remedying the persistent inequalities from which Indian women suffer."
See more in India; Human Rights
"In the summer of last year, an al‑Qaeda affiliate known as AQIM, for "al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb," took over Gao and made it the capital of the rump state the group created after forcing the Malian army out of the north."
See more in Mali; Terrorism
"These days the revolutionary party of the proletariat is probably best described as the world's largest chamber of commerce and membership is the best way for businesspeople to network and clinch lucrative contracts."
See more in China; Global Governance
"As the main economic engine of Europe, can -- and should -- Germany remain aloof from worldwide power politics in the coming years?"
See more in Europe; Presidents and Chiefs of State
"Kenya ranks among the top U.S. foreign aid recipients in the world, receiving significant development, humanitarian, and security assistance in recent years. The country, which is a top recipient of police and military counterterrorism assistance on the continent, hosts the largest U.S. diplomatic mission in Africa. Nairobi is home to one of four major United Nations offices worldwide."
See more in Kenya; Development
No Exit from Pakistan
The story of the tragic and often tormented relationship between the United States and Pakistan, and a call to prepare for the worst, aim for the best, and avoid past mistakes. More
Pathways to Freedom
An authoritative and accessible look at what countries must do to build durable and prosperous democracies—and what the United States and others can do to help. More
The Power Surge
A groundbreaking analysis of what the changes in American energy mean for the economy, national security, and the environment. More
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