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March 13, 2018

U.S. State Department
U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson boards his plane to depart at the end of a five-country swing through Africa from Abuja, Nigeria, March 12, 2018. Tillerson, Pompeo, and the State of State

Mike Pompeo inherits a marginalized State Department, undermined by several grievous mistakes from Rex Tillerson. 

March 15, 2018

Sub-Saharan Africa
Nigeria-Aliko-Dangote-Forbes-Billionaires Sub-Saharan Africa's Billionaires

Sub-Saharan Africa Has Fourteen Billionaires, eight of whom are in South Africa and seven of whom are white.

December 6, 2017

United States
Tax Reform and the Trade Balance Tax Reform and the Trade Balance

Warning: long, wonky, and not for the fainthearted. I try to assess how the international reforms will impact where firms book profits and thus the measured trade and income balance, not just the …

November 14, 2017

Digital Policy
Robot Teaching Morality to Machines

Before giving machines a sense of morality, humans have to first define morality in a way computers can process. A difficult but not impossible task.

October 11, 2017

Diplomacy and International Institutions
Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, World Bank President Jim Yong Kim, U.S. President Donald J. Trump, Ivanka Trump, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during the G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany on July 8, 2017. Trump, the World Bank, and the IMF: Explaining the Dog that Didn’t Bark (Yet)

A big surprise of Donald Trump’s “America First” presidency has been the moderate tone he has adopted toward the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF), which hold their annual meetings in …

September 15, 2017

United Nations
McMaster and Haley Why Trump Has Made “Sovereignty and Accountability” the Focus of UN Reform

In a preview of President Trump’s message to the United Nations (UN) General Assembly next week, National Security Advisor H. R. McMaster on Friday repeatedly uttered two words: “sovereignty and acco…

November 4, 2016

Sub-Saharan Africa
stephen-ellis-book A Review of Stephen Ellis’ "This Present Darkness"

This is a guest post by Tyler Lycan. Tyler is an intern for the Council on Foreign Relations Africa Studies program, he recently obtained his Masters in International Security Studies from the Univer…

July 6, 2017

Donald Trump
Trump in Poland Trump in Warsaw: Introducing “Nationalist Internationalism”

In his major speech in Poland today, President Donald J. Trump pledged that the United States will work with its allies to defend “Western civilization” from “dire threats to our security and way of …

March 1, 2017

RTS10SVI Trump's 2017 Trade Agenda: Signs of a Sensible Direction

Since the Trade Act of 1974, Congress has required the administration each year to submit an annual “trade policy agenda” outlining its goals for the coming year. It has long been a welcome exercise …

March 23, 2017

Politics and Government
BP03232017 The Deep State Mirage in Turkey

This article was originally published in the Cipher Brief on Wednesday, March 22, 2017.