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February 18, 2021

United States
Can the State Department Bring More Diversity to the U.S. Diplomatic Corps?

President Biden has vowed to diversify the top ranks of government agencies. The small and shrinking number of senior Black diplomats, in particular, could undermine U.S. foreign policy goals.

February 17, 2021

International Organizations
Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala: A Well-Qualified New Leader for the WTO

Organization (WTO), the trade body’s top leadership position, former Nigerian Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala quickly became the universal favorite to land the top job—except for among members of the Trump administration.

A picture of Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the incoming head of the WTO. She is wearing traditional dress of the Igbo ethnic group from present-day Nigeria.

February 10, 2021

United States
TWE Celebrates Presidents’ Day

Today is Presidents’ Day. It is a TWE tradition to recognize the forty-five men—and they have all been men—who have been president on Presidents’ Day with the following essay. If you are lucky enough…

White House

February 25, 2021

Middle East and North Africa
How Saudi Arabia Gets Away With Murder

Investors flocking to Riyadh’s “Davos in the Desert” prove that nobody knows what accountability for Mohammed bin Salman would even mean.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is pictured with two other Saudi officials seated behind him

February 9, 2021

Myanmar
Myanmar’s Troubled History: Coups, Military Rule, and Ethnic Conflict

The military’s recent coup and ongoing violent campaign against the Rohingya minority group have dashed hopes for democratic progress in Myanmar.

A person in a crowd of protesters holds up an image of Myanmar General Min Aung Hliang with a red x drawn over the general's face.

February 9, 2021

Digital Policy
Social Media and Online Speech: How Should Countries Regulate Tech Giants?

Social media has been blamed for spreading disinformation and contributing to violence around the world. What are companies and governments doing about it?

February 9, 2021

Afghanistan
U.S. Troop Withdrawal From Afghanistan: What Are Biden’s Options?

U.S. troops are supposed to leave by May 1, according to a U.S.-Taliban agreement. But a complete withdrawal could be disastrous.

February 8, 2021

Economics
Farewell

I am stepping down from my position at the Council of Foreign Relations to take a new job. That, among other things, means that I will not be blogging here for the foreseeable future. I am enormou…

February 5, 2021

Nigeria
Ethnic and Religious Violence Worsen in Kaduna

Kaduna is increasingly the epicenter of violence in Nigeria, rivaling Borno state, the home turf of Boko Haram. In rural areas, conflicts over water and land use are escalating, and Ansaru, a less prominent Islamist group, is active.

A picture of the Sultan Bello mosque, also known as the Kaduna Central mosque, in Kaduna, Nigeria.

February 4, 2021

Southeast Asia
Myanmar’s Coup Emblematic of Regional Democracy Failures

Myanmar’s coup is a disaster for Myanmar, but it also is a signifier of the continuing regression of democracy region-wide in Southeast Asia. The region, which once had made significant progress towa…

Police stand guard as they wait for protests against coup in Yangon, Myanmar, on February 4, 2021.