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July 27, 2021

Middle East and North Africa
Miscalculating Tunisia

If Westerners are shocked at political developments in Tunisia, it’s because they described it as a straightforward success for too long. 

Amid fellow protesters, a Tunisian girl holds a sign reading "game over." Two soldiers stand facing the crowd.

July 21, 2021

Nigeria
Jihadis Claim to be Uniting in Northeast Nigeria

Boko Haram, the jihadi insurrection associated with some 350,000 deaths since 2009 in northeast Nigeria, was characterized by factions—conflict among which was bloody—though at times they appear to have cooperated tactically. Now, the faction associated with the self-proclaimed Islamic State, the Islamic State in West Africa (ISWA), is claiming to have incorporated the followers of the rival faction led by Abubakar Shekau. (Weeks ago, Shekau died, apparently after committing suicide in a standoff with ISWA.)

A wall that has "Hate Evil" and "Boko Haram is Evil" scrawled on it.

July 23, 2021

Oceans and Seas
Five Movies Worth Watching About Conflict at Sea

Every summer Friday, we suggest foreign-policy-themed movies worth watching. This week: films about stormy relationships and battles at sea.

Three movie posters in black frames. From left: Run Silent, Run Deep (two men in khaki uniforms above a sinking ship); Mister Roberts (four men in khaki uniforms look off the edge of a ship); Dunkirk (a young man looks out into a chaotic ocean).

July 20, 2021

Western Sahara
Five Questions on the Western Sahara Peace Process

The following interview is with Fatma El Mehdi, one of eight negotiators in the Western Sahara peace process and a leader in the Sahrawi community.

Sahrawi People

July 20, 2021

Public Health Threats and Pandemics
The U.S. Opioid Epidemic

Opioid addiction in the United States has become a prolonged epidemic, threatening not only public health but economic output and national security.

A man uses heroin under a bridge where he lives with other addicts in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

July 13, 2021

Nigeria
T.B. Joshua: A Preacher Who Held Outsized Influence in Nigeria and Africa

Policy makers, diplomats, and commentators in the secular West often fail to take into account the profound influence of religious leaders in sub-Saharan Africa, whether among Christians, Muslims, or adherents of traditional religions. Heaven, hell, and what secularists regard as magic are literal realities, more immediate than government policy or the pronouncements of political leaders. What the preacher says is more credible than the utterances of politicians.

T.B. Joshua, a now-deceased Nigerian pastor, holds his hand on a woman's face. The woman holds her hands raised with her palms upward.

July 14, 2021

Americas
The Assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moise: What to Know

The murder of Haiti’s embattled president stands to deepen the country’s political, economic, and humanitarian crisis.

July 13, 2021

Cuba
U.S.-Cuba Relations

Communist Cuba has long been a major foreign policy challenge for the United States. The bilateral relationship thawed considerably under President Obama, but many restrictions were reimposed by the …

A man shows U.S. and Cuban flags at his house in Havana.

July 8, 2021

Food and Water Security
Water Scarcity

Fresh water is more than just a resource, it is the source of all life. But in many arid regions of the world, water supplies are under pressure from climate change, and outdated rules and infrastruc…

Podcast A drop of water drips from a pipe in a field

June 30, 2021

Pharmaceuticals and Vaccines
A Guide to Global COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

Only a year after the new coronavirus emerged, distribution of the first vaccines to protect against it began. But production challenges, vaccine nationalism, and new virus strains are all presenting…

Physician Alister Martin receives one of the first doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S., December 16, 2020.Craig F. Walker