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September 17, 2021

Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)
Trade Versus Subs: The Risky U.S. Tradeoff in the Asia-Pacific

Which will matter more, a dozen more nuclear subs on the U.S. side of the ledger or a trade pact that could draw many of the world's largest economies ever-closer toward China?  

U.S Secretary of State Blinken and U.S Defense Secretary Austin, host Australian counterparts at US State Department

September 3, 2021

Global
Eight More Foreign-Policy Movies Worth Watching

Every summer Friday, we suggest foreign-policy-themed movies worth watching. This week: non-English language films from around the world. 

Three movie posters in black frames: Das Boot (man in naval cap behind a submarine); Osama (child in front of veiled women); The French Minister (man sitting on his desk in an office)

August 6, 2021

China
Is China Gaming the System or Playing the Game?

For many, a quick glance at the Olympics medals table reinforces the idea of China as a threat—a country pursuing victory at any cost.

Tokyo 2020 Olympics - Beach Volleyball - Women - Pool B - USA (April/Alix) v China (Xue/Wang X X) - Shiokaze Park, Tokyo, Japan - July 25, 2021. Alix Klineman of the United States with Xue Chen of China in action.

March 18, 2021

Cybersecurity
Unexpectedly, All UN Countries Agreed on a Cybersecurity Report. So What?

A consensus report at the United Nations further solidifies past progress and could enable a greater degree of accountability for malicious state behavior in cyberspace.

A gavel and a block is pictured.

October 31, 2019

Elections and Voting
Southern Africa’s Tale of Two Elections: Mozambique and Botswana

Southern Africa recently wrapped up two dramatically different elections. In Mozambique, presidential, parliamentary, and regional elections were characterized by irregularities and even violence, but not by suspense. The ruling FRELIMO party had ensured its victory in the pre-election period, in part through the presence of “ghost voters” on the voters’ roll, and through a campaign of intimidation aimed at challengers to its power.

A woman casts her ballot at Moshupa village, in the Southern District of Botswana, October 23, 2019

November 20, 2020

Transition 2021
Transition 2021: Should Lame-Duck Presidents Make Major Foreign Policy Decisions?

Each Friday, I look at what is happening in President-Elect Joe Biden’s transition to the White House. This week: Donald Trump is using all the powers of his presidency and creating a host of problem…

President Donald Trump stands looking up in front of a U.S. flag.

April 5, 2018

Botswana
Bucking Authoritarian Trend, Botswana Welcomes Its Fifth New President

Botswana inaugurated its fifth president, Mokgweetsi Masisi, on April 1 after President Ian Khama stepped down the day before.

Botswana-President-Mokgweetsi-Masisi

September 6, 2019

Zimbabwe
Good Riddance to Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe

During his thirty-seven years in power in Zimbabwe, he committed virtually every human rights violation there is. His hands were awash in the blood of Zimbabweans. Fanning and exploiting racial and class differences, he destroyed the country’s economy, once on the cusp of being one of Africa’s most developed, driving out commercial white farmers. By the time he died, Zimbabwe was an international pariah, an economic basket case, and many or most of the country’s most educated and productive citizens had left the country.

Robert Mugabe stands in front of a blurred out, saluting soldier.

July 27, 2020

Southeast Asia
Elections Have Consequences in Singapore Too

Meredith Weiss is professor and chair of political science in the Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy of the University at Albany, SUNY. As anticipated, the incumbent People’s Action …

Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong waves as he arrives at a People's Action Party branch office, as ballots are being counted during the general election, in Singapore on July 11, 2020.

June 20, 2019

Botswana
Personal Rivalries Overshadow Botswana's Democracy

The feud between current President Mokgweetsi Masisi and his predecessor and former boss, Ian Khama, sometimes reads like highlights of an overwrought soap opera. The latest dramatic turn saw Khama renouncing his membership in the party his revered father helped found, complaining that his legacy was being dismantled, and encouraging others to throw away their BDP membership cards.

Former Botswana President Ian Khama at the Botswana-South Africa Bi-National Commission (BNC) in Pretoria, South Africa, November 11, 2016.