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February 7, 2012

South Africa
Lessons Learned: Nelson Mandela’s Release from Prison

  A new installment of “Lessons Learned” is now out. This week I discuss Nelson Mandela’s release from prison on February 11, 1990, and examine what lessons it has for understanding international …

October 27, 2012

United States
TWE Remembers: Black Saturday—Near Calamities Abound as JFK Offers Khrushchev a Deal (Cuban Missile Crisis, Day Twelve)

Murphy’s Law holds that if anything can go wrong, it will. On Saturday October 27, 1962, the twelfth day of the Cuban missile crisis, President John F. Kennedy might have been thinking about that fam…

A U-2 plane used during the Cuban Missile Crisis (Dino A. Brugioni Collection, The National Security Archive, Washington, DC).

April 17, 2012

Sub-Saharan Africa
Syria Captures International Attention at the Expense of the Sahel

UN High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres said last week "The truth is that there is very little attention to the crisis in the Sahel. Most of the focus of the international committee has be…


August 2, 2012

Sub-Saharan Africa
Guest Post: Making the Cut: HIV/AIDS and Male Circumcision in South Africa

Laura Dimon is the Africa Studies intern at the Council on Foreign Relations.  Previously, she worked for the Clinton Health Access Initiative in Pretoria, South Africa.  She has entered the Columbia…

Fathers surround a boy as a doctor performs surgery during an Islamic group's circumcision session for boys in Khartoum April 7, 2012.

December 26, 2012

Politics and Government
Ten Foreign Policy Voices That Will Be Missed

Year’s end is a time for taking stock, counting successes and assessing failures. It is also a time for remembering those who are no longer with us. Here are ten people who died in 2012 who made sign…

A boatman arranges wishing spheres released onto the Singapore River as part of New Year Day celebrations. (Edgar Su/Courtesy Reuters)

October 25, 2012

Sub-Saharan Africa
Archbishop John Onaiyekan Appointed as Cardinal

Yesterday, Pope Benedict XVI announced the appointment of Abuja Archbishop John Onaiyekan and five others as cardinals. Archbishop Onaiyekan is known for his peace and reconciliation work across the …

Worshippers gather for evening mass at the Church of the Holy Trinity in Onitsha, Nigeria. 14/04/2005

May 16, 2013

International Organizations
There’s a Fly in My Soup! Can Insects Satisfy World Food Needs?

What world traveler hasn’t declined at least one local “delicacy”? A decade ago in Oaxaca, Mexico, I turned up my nose at chapulines, a steaming plate of toasted grasshoppers. “Tastes like chicken,” …

Locusts and worms are seen on a spoon after being cooked with olive oil for a discovery lunch in Brussels

December 30, 2013

Diplomacy and International Institutions
Remembering Ten World Figures Who Died in 2013

Last Thursday, I wrote about ten Americans who died in 2013 who helped shape U.S. foreign policy through their vision, service, intellect, or courage. Below are ten world figures who died in 2013. Ea…

The sun sets over Clifton Beach in Cape Town, South Africa. (Mike Hutchings/Courtesy Reuters)

December 6, 2013

You Might Have Missed: Snowden, Homeland Security, and Drone Strikes

Karen Parrish, “Hagel Arrives in Bahrain for Speech at Dialogue,” American Forces Press Service, December 5, 2013. Hagel noted during a press conference yesterday that even as it focuses more attent…

Ipsos Reuters Poll

October 25, 2013

Talks With Thai Insurgents Stall

The Thai government recently announced that its peace talks with several representatives of the southern Thai insurgents have been postponed indefinitely. As Anthony Davis notes in an excellent piece…

Thick smoke rises from a burning police truck as rubber farmers clash with riot police in Nakhon Si Thammarat province, south of Bangkok on September 16, 2013. (Stringer/Courtesy Reuters)