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January 22, 2021

Somalia
Somali Stability Depends on More Than Just Counterterrorism

Among the many eleventh hour decisions taken in the final weeks of the Trump administration that will require quick review by President Biden’s team was the choice to withdraw nearly all U.S. military personnel from Somalia.

Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo attends his inauguration ceremony in Somalia's capital Mogadishu, February 22, 2017.

January 22, 2021

Venezuela
Venezuela: The Rise and Fall of a Petrostate

Venezuela’s descent into economic and political chaos in recent years is a cautionary tale of the dangerous influence that resource wealth can have on developing countries.

A silhouetted person stands in the foreground with industrial structures, including a tower with smoke and fire coming out of it, in the background. The photo appears to have been taken at either dusk or dawn.

January 20, 2021

Tanzania
Parting of Ways: Secretary Pompeo Announces Sanctions on Tanzania

On January 19, U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo—on his last full day in the position—announced visa restrictions on “Tanzanian officials responsible for or complicit in undermining” the general elections held in late October last year.

Tanzanian President John Magufuli and his predecessor, Jakaya Kikwete, can be seen speaking to one another ahead of a speech for the ruling party, the Chama cha Mapinduzi. Kikwete is holding a microphone while Magufuli leans back laughing.

January 20, 2021

Southeast Asia
COVID-19 Batters Asia’s Already-Struggling Democracies

This article was first published in the Japan Times.  Over the past 15 years, democracy across Asia has regressed. Although the region still has strong democracies like South Korea, Japan and Taiw…

A police officer checks a passenger's body temperature at a quarantine checkpoint amid the reimposed strict lockdown to curb COVID-19 infections, in Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines, on August 5, 2020.

January 14, 2021

Conflict Prevention
What to Worry About in 2021

With attention focused on a slew of pressing domestic crises the new Biden Administration will have to contend with, U.S. policymakers should not ignore the risks of serious international conflicts e…

South Korean Marines patrol on Yeonpyeong Island, on June 17, 2020.

January 13, 2021

Southeast Asia
COVID-19 Batters Asia’s Already-Struggling Democracies

Over the past fifteen years, democracy across Asia has regressed. Although the region still has strong democracies like South Korea, Japan and Taiwan, many other leading Asian democracies and countri…

A police officer checks a passenger's body temperature at a quarantine checkpoint amid the reimposed strict lockdown to curb COVID-19 infections, in Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines, on August 5, 2020.

January 12, 2021

Censorship and Freedom of Expression
Authoritarianism, Social Media, the United States, and Africa

Twitter and other social media platforms have suspended or restricted President Donald J. Trump's access, mostly because of his and his followers’ use of them to incite violence, though their stated, precise reasons vary from one to another.

A photo illustration shows the suspended Twitter account of U.S. President Donald Trump on a smartphone at the White House briefing room in Washington, D.C. on January 8, 2021.

December 18, 2020

Transition 2021
Transition 2021: How Much Foreign Policy Leverage Is Trump Leaving Biden?

Each Friday, I look at what is happening in President-Elect Joe Biden’s transition to the White House. This week: The Biden administration may have less leverage to strike winning deals than he, and …

President-Elect Joe Biden stands behind a podium labelled "Office of the President Elect."

December 15, 2020

United States
The Challenge of Hurricane Response Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic

In 2020, U.S. struggles to manage a record-breaking hurricane season were exacerbated by the COVID-19 crisis. Intensifying storms reveal faults in infrastructure and disaster response that experts sa…