Foreign Policy

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Today’s autocrats prefer manipulating their citizens to outright repression and ​​liberal democracies keep making mistakes, writes Jan-Werner Müller in a review of three new books on 21st century authoritarianism.
World War II helped cement the status of Picasso and modern art in the United States. Art, artists, and dealers needed a safe haven.
From Shiite sectarian militia leader to pro-democracy reformist and Iraqi nationalist—how Muqtada al-Sadr cultivated his political rhetoric to seize Iraq’s political mood:
What Americans share with Germans and Russians is a conflation of guilt and responsibility—a failure to disentangle one from the other, writes @marci_shore.
A sculptor commemorates dissidents under Myanmar’s military junta. A Chinese cartoonist draws threats from Beijing. Plus more, from FP’s latest Flash Points.
Morning Brief: Kenya's elections, Blinken visits the Democratic Republic of Congo, and a new Iran deal inches closer.
Muqtada al-Sadr’s relationship with Iran is complex and multifaceted—and the West needs to understand this, argues @ShayanTalabany.
Whether you were for or against U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s trip to Asia, you can’t overstate its importance, writes S. Nathan Park.
Michael Mandelbaum’s latest book traces the arc of U.S. history in an insightful way. Yet, it tends to shy away from some of the more controversial aspects of U.S. statecraft such as the impact of racism and anti-immigrant sentiment on U.S. policy.
Artists around the world make political statements through their work—oftentimes evading censors, inviting criticism, and drawing threats to do so.
There’s been lots of talk about danger around Taiwan. But one industry doesn’t agree, writes FP's @elisabethbraw.
Autocrats are learning how to modernize their strong arms for the 21st century—such as exploiting the West’s tendency to put profit above principles.
Mandelbaum has written a masterful interpretation of the twists and turns of U.S. foreign policy, writes Charles A. Kupchan in his review of ‘The Four Ages of American Foreign Policy’
After completing her historic visit to Taiwan, Pelosi’s flight landed in Osan, South Korea—where no Korean official came to greet her. Just miles away, the Korean President was on a staycation in Seoul.
Art history is told primarily from the perspective of famous artists. Their dealers, collectors, and curators in charge of featuring their work are often relegated to the margins. Author Hugh Earkin wants to change that.
The complexities of Syria made Russian narratives discrediting specific groups easier to sell, and limited Western attention on Syria allowed them to flourish. Is the same happening with Ukraine?
Artists, intentionally or not, make political statements through their work—providing snapshots into their country’s politics.
Today’s China’s job crisis has less in common with the booming, optimistic 1990s and more with Mao Zedong’s Great Leap Forward, the last time China’s economy was in dire straits.
“Sadr stands up rhetorically against Iran because that matches the popular mood,” argues @ShayanTalabany. “But in reality, Sadr is as close as anyone to it.”
Crises directly pitting the United States against China or Russia are terrifying, but they can also be clarifying, @HalBrands writes.
U.S. officials may hope to capitalize on a moment of Taliban weakness and push harder to secure the rrelease of Mark Frerichs, the only known remaining U.S. hostage in Afghanistan.
Iraq has too many political actors who will not accept being subjugated by a single leader.
So, @delinagoxho and I wrote a slightly provocative piece on Europe's policy in the #Sahel, which we hope will spark some discussion. Read, share, engage! | Militarizing the Sahel Won’t Make Europe More Secure…
Retweeted by Foreign Policy
"Army chief Gen Bajwa’s intervention should illuminate the extent of #Pakistan’s problems. While the economy crumbles, security is threatened by separatist and terrorist conflicts in different parts of the country."…
Retweeted by Foreign Policy
With around 80% of its natural gas and 65% of oil coming from Russia, Hungary does have genuine supply concerns—but Prime Minister Viktor Orban has been deliberately increasing his dependency on Russian energy for years despite promising otherwise.
For weeks, Mediterranean nations have been gripped by a brutal medley of heat and drought that has disrupted agricultural production and devastated communities.
Congress moves to counter Chinese investment and geopolitical clout in the Western Balkans. This, and more, in our latest Situation Report.
Is Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi a man of the people like the regime-controlled media depicts him to be? Or, is he Ayatollah Khamenei’s fall guy for policy failures that are effectively outside his control?
China Brief: A heavy volume of comments on Pelosi’s Taiwan trip causes Weibo to crash, China’s main social media platform, to partially crash. PLUS: A strange wave of anti-Japanese sentiment takes over the country.
Much more than access to the government gravy train is at play in Iraq, writes FP’s @AlOraibi. It is also a fight between Iraq’s main Islamist Shiite leaders about who will emerge as the country’s ultimate power broker.
As plenty of Taiwanese voices have pointed out, there is major cognitive dissonance between the reactions of people in Taiwan and watchers across the world.
Morning Brief: A weekend of violence in Gaza, Blinken in South Africa, and the world this week.
“China risks falling off the employment cliff,” writes @CraigMSingleton. “And China’s leaders know it—even if their proposed policy prescriptions, such as sending urban students to work in the countryside, harken back to a bygone era.”
Russia made fewer calls to Asian ports between March and July compared to the same period last year. But the exception was India—who saw an almost four-fold increase in traffic from Russian-flagged vessels.
Ukraine’s success in the coming weeks will be vital to ensuring Ukraine regains real access to the Black Sea for commercial shipping, without which the country’s economy could be crippled indefinitely, @DougKlain writes.
The current leaders of Russia and Serbia share not just historical affinity but a vision of statehood that promotes strong nationalistic tendencies.
At least seven Russian vessels, sanctioned by the United States for their connections to shipping companies with a history of transporting weapons on behalf of the Russian government, have docked in India over the course of the past month.
If the Taliban remain in power in Afghanistan and stay closely tethered to al Qaeda, as many observers expect, the prospect of a high-profile attack in the West could once again become a reality, @ColinPClarke writes.
What implications will Pelosi’s Taiwan trip have on tensions in the strait and an already dire U.S.-China relationship? This, and more, in our latest China Brief.
China’s decision to drastically curb diplomacy with the United States in the wake of the top U.S. lawmaker’s visit to Taiwan is an increasing sign that the relationship is set to hit a new low.
Companies are trying to move production to friendly countries where they don’t need to worry about geopolitics, writes FP’s @elisabethbraw. Friendshoring has arrived.
For decades, Beijing has worried about security in Afghanistan. With the West gone, China has undeniably stepped into a more prominent role—one it has been studiously avoiding.
Amid China’s worsening economic crisis, nearly one-fifth of those between the ages of 16 and 24 are now unemployed. Will yesteryear’s policies do the trick or will they push China off the employment cliff?
Whether Ukraine can safely export its grain has significant consequences for global food markets, write FP’s @RobbieGramer and @christinafei.
In Tunisia, activists and politicians are coming to terms with President Kais Saied’s new constitution and a new vision of the future—one where their relationship with power has been fundamentally altered.
The United States has been reluctant in recent years to sanction the country’s energy sector because of the hardships it would place on average Myanmar citizens, FP’s @RobbieGramer and @MaryRanYang write.
While visibility around gender violence has been growing in recent years, the fight to reform Cuba’s legal system has been much slower.
Michael Mandelbaum has written a masterful interpretation of U.S. foreign policy, Charles A. Kupchan writes in his book review.
A French novel offers a fascinating, fictionalized look at Vladislav Surkov, nicknamed Putin’s Rasputin, and Russia’s turn to dictatorship.
Although the “authorientalism” aesthetic seeks to be critical of China, it does so in counterproductive ways, Selina Lee and Ramona Li write.
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