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September 13, 2018

Sub-Saharan Africa
The Risks of Reducing U.S. Special Operations in Africa

The Pentagon plans to withdraw its special operations forces in Africa, but major cutbacks could threaten recent efforts to counter terrorism threats across the region.

Chadian soldiers take a break during Operation Flintlock, U.S.-led military exercises, in Diffa, Niger.

August 15, 2018

Libya
Can Libya’s Divisions Be Healed?

The Islamic State has been nearly defeated and migrant crossings to Europe have declined, so why is Libya’s state failure so troubling?

Libya

June 27, 2018

Mexico
Is Political Change Coming to Mexico?

Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador will likely become Mexico’s next president at a time of mounting concern over corruption and violence, but his reform plans are hazy.

Alan Ortega/Reuters

June 19, 2018

Taiwan
Is Washington Boosting Ties With Taiwan?

The opening of a new U.S. diplomatic compound in Taipei doesn’t mark a major change in ties, but the Trump administration has taken new approaches to dealing with China over Taiwan.

Representatives of Taiwan and the United States place items in a time capsule at the dedication ceremony of the new American Institute in Taiwan complex in Taipei.

May 30, 2018

North Korea
What Would Denuclearization Look Like in North Korea?

Successful denuclearization will hinge on rigorous on-the-ground inspections and closing the gap between North Korea and the United States on what areas any agreement should cover.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un observes progress at a nuclear weapons facility.

April 15, 2018

Syria
Legal Questions Loom Over Syria Strikes

In striking Syria without an international law justification, the United States leaves itself open to criticism and may invite similar behavior by other countries.

U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley and UK Ambassador Karen Pierce vote against a Russian resolution condemning “aggression” against Syria during an emergency UN Security Council meeting.

April 13, 2018

Syrian Civil War
What Are U.S. Military Options in Syria?

Military threats to deter chemical attacks have so far failed to restrain the Syrian regime, and they risk escalating the horrific conflict even further.

A girl evacuated from the Damascus suburb of Douma arrives in northern Syria.

March 23, 2018

Russia
Russia’s Poisonous Message to the World

The circumstances surrounding the attack on a former Russian spy in England leave little doubt that Russia was the culprit and cast a lengthening shadow over the global regime to stop chemical weapon…

Henry Nicholls/Reuters

March 15, 2018

Russia
Are Cold War Spy-Craft Norms Fading?

The poisoning of former double agent Sergei V. Skripal in the UK indicates that Russia may have abandoned some unspoken rules of espionage. CIA veteran Jack Devine examines the history and current state of spy-craft.

UK Skripal Poisoning Crime Scene

February 6, 2018

Olympics
The Mixed Record of Sports Diplomacy

While sports may temporarily transcend divisions in society, events like the Olympics rarely serve to advance countries’ diplomatic aims.

East Germany was a perennial powerhouse at winter games, including the 1988 Calgary games where it won gold and bronze in the women’s 1000 meters Speedskating event.