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October 7, 2020

Robots and Artificial Intelligence
With "Burn-In," Cole and Singer Show Us the Robotic Future We Need to Avoid

Burn-In: A Novel of the Real Robotic Revolution gives us the worst-case scenario of how increased automation can affect the U.S. economy and society.

French robot Pepper, detecting whether people are wearing face masks and if not, instructs them to wear them.

September 25, 2020

Election 2020
Campaign Foreign Policy Roundup: What to Do About Iran?

Each Friday, I look at what the presidential contenders are saying about foreign policy. This week: how Donald Trump and Joe Biden say the United States should deal with Iran.

The Iranian flag being removed from a stage during the Iran nuclear deal negotiations in Vienna, Austria, on July 14, 2015.

April 10, 2020

Nigeria
Case Not Quite Closed on the Assassination of Nigerian Salafi Scholar Shaikh Jaafar Adam

While at prayer on April 13, 2007, the prominent Salafi scholar, Shaikh Jaafar Mahmud Adam, was assassinated at his mosque in Kano. At the time, the murder made a deep impression on mainstream Muslims, many of whom revered Adam. The murder took place in the final days before the 2007 presidential elections, and many observers, including those at the U.S. embassy, thought that the murder was somehow related. But it now seems more likely that Adam was assassinated by a vengeful former member of the Nigerian Taliban. His murder was an early manifestation of the deadly battles among Boko Haram’s competing factions that continue up to the present.

A man cycles past the Al Ansar mosque in Maiduguri. Four red and white minarets are visible around a green dome topped with gold. Person-sized arches line the one-story building around the dome and minarets.

December 31, 2019

Global
Ten World Figures Who Died in 2019

I wrote yesterday about ten Americans who died in 2019 who shaped U.S. foreign policy during their lifetimes. But Americans are not the only ones who influence world affairs. Below are ten world figu…

SO

December 12, 2019

United States
Ten Anniversaries to Note in 2020

Anniversaries mark the passage of time, recall our triumphs, and honor our losses. Two thousand nineteen witnessed many significant anniversaries: the centennial of the signing of the Treaty of Versa…

Iwo Jima

November 12, 2019

Election 2020
The President's Inbox: Should the United States Maintain Maximum Pressure on Iran?

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

A line of Iranian flags wave in a square in Tehran.

October 17, 2019

Nigeria
Buhari Orders Land Borders Closed in Long-Running Effort to Boost Rice Production

In August, President Muhammadu Buhari ordered closed Nigeria’s land border with Benin, preventing the import of goods. The move significantly affected trade in foodstuffs. It is part of an effort to tackle smuggling and associated corruption, but also, apparently, to spur the domestic agricultural industry. On October 14, Nigeria ordered closed all of Nigeria’s borders with Benin, as well as those with all other countries, for the same reasons.

A farmer works with rice sprouts on a farm

June 7, 2019

China
Is OPEC China's Problem?

The decision by the United States to wind down waivers on U.S. sanctions against Iranian oil exports has laid bare some new realities about oil geopolitics that were previously not well understood. O…

A crude oil tanker is seen at Qingdao Port, Shandong province, China, April 21, 2019. Picture taken April 21, 2019.

February 25, 2019

Iran
The U.S. Message on Iran is Reminiscent of 2002

The march to war against Iran is echoing the drumbeats of America's last major Middle Eastern invasion.

Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army Mark Milley, President Donald Trump, Sgt. Maj. of the Army Daniel Dailey and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo salute as a military honor guard carries the casket of Scott Wirtz, a civilian employee of the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency killed along with three members of the U.S. military during a recent attack in Syria, past them during a dignified transfer ceremony at Dover Air Force Base, in Dover, Delaware, U.S., January 19, 2019.

January 7, 2019

Togo
Pressure Mounting Against Dynasties in Togo and Gabon

The past few months have not been comforting for advocates of dynastic succession in Africa. In Togo and Gabon, favorite sons have become focal points for popular frustration.

CoupAttempt