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September 1, 2009

Sub-Saharan Africa
The African Union

The African Union succeeded the old Organization for African Unity (OAU) in 2002. Since then, the new institution has struggled to reform governing bodies inherited from the OAU while shouldering cha…

August 4, 2021

Infrastructure
The State of U.S. Infrastructure

Amid an economic crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic, debate continues over how to improve the nation’s infrastructure, as analysts say U.S. transportation, water, and other systems face major …

Phase II construction on Metro’s Silver Line at Dulles International Airport continues.

August 3, 2021

Afghanistan
The Taliban in Afghanistan

Since its ouster in 2001, the Taliban has maintained its insurgency against the U.S.-led mission in Afghanistan and the Afghan government. As U.S. troops have withdrawn in 2021, the group has rapidly…

Taliban fighters attend a gathering to celebrate the U.S.-Taliban deal in March 2020.

July 22, 2021

Diplomacy and International Institutions
Olympics Kick Off in Tokyo, Biden and Iraq’s Al-Kadhimi Meet, and More

The Tokyo Olympic Games kick off in COVID-19’s shadow, Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi visits U.S. President Joe Biden at the White House, and South Africans deal with the fallout from days o…

Podcast Tokyo 2020 Olympics - Tennis Training - Ariake Tennis Park, Tokyo, Japan.

July 23, 2021

Oceans and Seas
Five Movies Worth Watching About Conflict at Sea

Every summer Friday, we suggest foreign-policy-themed movies worth watching. This week: films about stormy relationships and battles at sea.

Three movie posters in black frames. From left: Run Silent, Run Deep (two men in khaki uniforms above a sinking ship); Mister Roberts (four men in khaki uniforms look off the edge of a ship); Dunkirk (a young man looks out into a chaotic ocean).

July 20, 2021

Western Sahara
Five Questions on the Western Sahara Peace Process

The following interview is with Fatma El Mehdi, one of eight negotiators in the Western Sahara peace process and a leader in the Sahrawi community.

Sahrawi People

July 13, 2021

Nigeria
T.B. Joshua: A Preacher Who Held Outsized Influence in Nigeria and Africa

Policy makers, diplomats, and commentators in the secular West often fail to take into account the profound influence of religious leaders in sub-Saharan Africa, whether among Christians, Muslims, or adherents of traditional religions. Heaven, hell, and what secularists regard as magic are literal realities, more immediate than government policy or the pronouncements of political leaders. What the preacher says is more credible than the utterances of politicians.

T.B. Joshua, a now-deceased Nigerian pastor, holds his hand on a woman's face. The woman holds her hands raised with her palms upward.

July 15, 2021

Human Trafficking
The Case for Perpetrator Accountability to Combat Human Trafficking

Corporations have a responsibility to purge slavery from their supply chains, but only governments have the power to prosecute. Keeping criminals accountable is necessary to eliminate slavery and hum…

Cambodian police in front of Phnom Penh Municipal Courthouse

July 13, 2021

Cuba
U.S.-Cuba Relations

Communist Cuba has long been a major foreign policy challenge for the United States. The bilateral relationship thawed considerably under President Obama, but many restrictions were reimposed by the …

A man shows U.S. and Cuban flags at his house in Havana.

July 10, 2021

Middle East and North Africa
Generation X’s Short Arc of History

Ben Rhodes’s new book about global politics reveals the limits of the Obama administration’s worldview.

U.S. Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes speaks about Obama's upcoming visit to Cuba at the White House in Washington February 18, 2016. U.S. President Barack Obama on Thursday announced a historic visit to Cuba next month, speeding up the thaw in relations between the two Cold War former foes but igniting opposition from Republicans at home.