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January 13, 2020

Middle East and North Africa
Don’t Hold Your Breath for Democratic Change in the Middle East

The region is accustomed to cycles of protest and political upheaval, so it’s better not to bank on successful revolutions.

Demonstrators carry a national flag during an anti-government rally in Algiers, Algeria January 3, 2020.

January 10, 2020

Election 2020
Campaign Foreign Policy Roundup: Elizabeth Warren Endorses the USMCA

Each Friday, I look at what the presidential challengers are saying about foreign policy. This week: Elizabeth Warren says she will vote for NAFTA’s replacement, the candidates tout Congress’s war po…

Senator Elizabeth Warren speaks to a crowd in Davenport, Iowa, on January 5. Daniel Acker/Reuters

January 10, 2020

Somalia
Al-Shabab

Al-Shabab remains capable of carrying out massive attacks in Somalia and surrounding countries despite a long-running African Union offensive against the Islamist group. 

Al-Shabab in Somalia

January 10, 2020

Ethiopia
Abiy’s Agenda and the Future of Ethiopia

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s ambitious reform plans for Ethiopia will be tested in the year ahead. Since taking the helm of government in April 2018, Abiy has been a whirlwind of activity, opening up …

A vendor sells a newspaper with a picture of Ethiopia’s Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed on it's cover in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, December 10, 2019.

January 9, 2020

West Africa
Jihadi Violence and Terror Surging in West Africa

In a follow up to his remarks in December, Mohamed Iban, Chambas, the UN special representative sand head of the UN Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS) sounded the alarm on growing militant and jihadi violence. In his January 8 briefing to the UN Security Council, he said the “devastating surge” in terrorism has “shaken public confidence.” He focused on Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger, where casualties from terrorism have increased fivefold since 2016, with 4,000 deaths in 2019 compared to 770 in 2016.

Mohammed Ibn Chambas, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel, briefs the Security Council on West Africa, on January 10, 2019, in New York.

January 8, 2020

United States
Jill Lepore's “These Truths: A History of the United States” Wins 2019 CFR Arthur Ross Book Award

January 8, 2020—Jill Lepore has won the eighteenth annual Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) Arthur Ross Book Award for These Truths: A History of the United States (W.W. Norton & Company), a one-vol…

January 9, 2020

Taiwan
China-Taiwan Relations

Differences over Taiwan’s status fuel tensions between the island and mainland, yet cross-strait economic ties continue to deepen. 

Military honor guards lower the Taiwanese flag, at Liberty Square, in Taipei, Taiwan.

January 8, 2020

Southeast Asia
Thailand’s Press Warms to Chinese State Media

In a country ruled for much of the 2010s by a repressive military junta, and where information about powerful actors can be dangerous to dig up, Khao Sod has built a reputation as one of the most res…

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi (L) shakes hands with Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha (R) at Government House in Bangkok, Thailand on July 24, 2017.

January 8, 2020

International Law
What Is Extradition?

The extradition process enables governments to bring fugitives abroad to justice, but it can be fraught with political tension, even when a treaty is in place.

Former Nissan Chairman Carlos Ghosn leaves a Tokyo detention facility in April 2019.

January 8, 2020

Election 2020
The President's Inbox: The Killing of Qasem Soleimani

Each week between now and the Iowa caucuses, I’m talking with experts with differing views on how the United States should handle a foreign policy challenge it faces. These special episodes are part …

Debris burns outside Baghdad International Airport where a U.S. drone strike killed Iranian commander Qasem Soleimani and seven others on January 3. Iraqi Security Media Cell via Reuters