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All World Affairs Content

10 Feb 2016

Turning from the West: South Africa’s Ominous Pivot

Operating somewhat under the international radar, South Africa’s ruling ANC has shifted away from Nelson Mandela’s western orientation in favor of Beijing and Moscow.
17 Aug 2016

Dear President of Angola: Your Soldiers Are Starving

Soldiers in Angola’s military are in a deteriorating state, deprived of a living wage and struggling to afford food and other basic essentials—a stark contrast to luxuries displayed by the generals.
30 Jun 2016

Unholy Alliance: Kleptocratic Authoritarians and their Western Enablers

The kleptocratic authoritarians who steal from their citizens, thwart freedom, and endanger world order mustn't be welcomed by Western banks.
31 May 2016

Western Paralysis and Retreat Threatens Democratic Progress

Democratic reversals of recent years have been somewhat offset by gains in Argentina, Burma, Nigeria, and Tunisia, but continued gains will require leadership from a dispirited West.
2 May 2016

Islam and Democracy After the Arab Spring

The Arab Winter convinced many that the Middle East is destined to be a hopelessly repressive region. But peel away the layers and it's clear there's both hope and opportunity.
5 Jan 2015

North Africa: Beyond Jihadist Radicalization

In the two years after the Arab Spring, Tunisia’s security situation disintegrated disastrously. Problems persist, but in the field and at the polls Tunisia has made significant progress against jihadists.
21 Mar 2016

Is Democracy in Retreat?

After the fall of communism in Europe, democracy appeared unstoppable. Today, NED president Carl Gershman says that we are learning that democracy is neither inevitable nor irreversible.
10 Feb 2016

The New Fight: Cuba and the Movement for Democracy

The Castro regime has lost whatever raison d’être it may once have had, is deeply corrupt, and now appears ideologically bankrupt to both the people of Cuba and the rest of the world. What’s next?
1 Jul 2010

State of Play: How South Africa Became South Africa

Matthew Kaminski explores the misunderstood miracle that is South Africa after apartheid.
29 Dec 2015

Democracy's Retreats and Tentative Advances in 2015

2015 saw important, yet fragile, democratic gains around the world. But, as the West is now preoccupied with domestic challenges, the future of democratic reform will be determined by those on the frontlines.
30 Dec 2015

The Pas de Deux in Burma

Both the process leading to Burma's recent elections and the actual results give reason to be hopeful that Aung San Suu Kyi and Thein Sein can advance reforms further.
18 Nov 2015

Dissidents, Scholars, Human Rights Activists Call for Obama to Urge Rights Reform During Hanoi Visit

On the eve of Obama's trip to Hanoi, leading intellectuals, dissidents, and human rights activists request Obama use the Asia summits to call for the government of Vietnam to respect human rights.
28 Feb 2013

What North Africa Wants to Hear from John Kerry

Western countries can help North Africa's long term democratic and economic prospects by trusting that region's citizens will hold their elected leaders accountable in future elections, and not play favorites in the near term.
5 Oct 2015

Facing the Past: In Defense of Ukraine’s New Laws

Critics of Ukraine’s de-Communization laws are wrong to say they will impede those trying to unearth the truth about the country’s past. To the contrary, they will finally make it possible.

Sea Power: The Rise of the Aircraft Carrier in the Asia-Pacific

With China’s maritime aggression provoking a regional arms buildup, countries from India to Japan and South Korea to Australia are rushing to buy and build aircraft carriers.
1 May 2010

(Almost) Out of Africa: The White Tribes

It's never been easy being white in Africa. In recent years, it's gotten even harder.
1 Jun 2009

Freedom Train: A Tour of 1989

Congressman David Dreier reflects on the twentieth anniversary of 1989, a tumultuous and decisive year.
4 Jun 2015

Chinese Dreams: The Fight for Democratic Pluralism

Pro-democracy activists of all stripes must continue to build common cause in the face of Communist repression and instability—and Western powers should help.
30 Apr 2015

The New Containment: Undermining Democracy

As the West once used containment to halt the spread of communism, the world’s authoritarians now use it to curtail democracy in the hope of guarding their power and spoils.
13 May 2015

Why Ukraine's Success Is Pivotal

Putin wants Ukraine to fail. But Putin will fail if Ukraine succeeds. The democratic West needs to live up to its values to ensure Ukraine's success.
30 Apr 2015

Imperial Ambitions: Russia’s Military Buildup

Russian defense spending has increased significantly in the last decade—and shows no sign of slowing. The security of Europe requires more than sanctions and goodwill.

Too Many Parties? Governing Britain after the Election

Separatist parties in the UK have so diminished the major ones that mild political chaos, the likes of which British politicians used to mock in places like Italy, could follow next week’s vote.
17 Mar 2015

Squaring Cuba's Terror Designation in the Circle of the Law

President Obama won’t be able to mend ties with Cuba until it’s removed from the State Department’s list of terrorism sponsors—a designation that has considerable evidence in its favor.
30 Apr 2015

The Saudi Connection: Wahhabism and Global Jihad

Ties between the House of Saud and Wahhabism have been around longer than the US itself, and Riyadh has a history of promoting extremism even as Saudi leaders denounce it.
5 Jan 2015

Energy Remapped: Yesterday’s Winners, Tomorrow’s Losers?

The unprecedented and unpredicted shifts taking place in the world’s energy market will have geopolitical consequences unimaginable a decade ago.
5 Mar 2015

The Kim Regime's Atrocities, and the Road Ahead

A powerful UN report gives an authentic accounting of North Korea's systematic abuse of its citizens—and a realistic roadmap on how to stop it.
31 Dec 2014

Democracy: Four Reasons to Be Optimistic in 2015

2014 was a bleak year for the development of democracy around the world, but history has shown we are often blind to the democratic possibilities unfolding amidst the turmoil.
1 Mar 2015

Let Iraq Die: A Case for Partition

The violence set off by the Islamic State has once again dispelled the myth of a unified Iraq. For those living there, and the outside powers hoping stability will prevail, division is the best option.
8 Jan 2015

More than Killing Charlie Hebdo

Two Muslim extremists have not only committed grisly murders in Paris but also poisoned the public debate about Islam in France, including among millions of fellow Muslims.
27 Aug 2014

As the World Turns: Will the West Prevail?

After the Cold War, some thought peace and new technology would turn the world into a global village. In reality, it’s full of failed states and emerging powers hostile to the West.
5 Jan 2015

Barbarians at the Gates: A Postcard from Erbil

The people of Erbil, in Iraqi Kurdistan, find themselves precariously perched at the crossroads of history once again, wary of local enemies and foreign friends alike.
31 Oct 2014

Barbarism 2014: On Religious Cleansing by Islamists

Christians and others are being savaged by a gruesome campaign of beheadings, kidnappings, torture, and forced marriages across the Islamic world.

Editor’s Introduction

The dark uncertainty that characterizes international affairs was (strange as it might seem) captured in a recent remark by Vice President Joe Biden, who observed that the world order we’ve known for nearly seventy years seems now to be “literally fraying at the seams.” We here at World Affairs feel that literal fraying, too. Yet we also believe that its continuation is not predetermined, which is why we’ve published an excerpt from Michael Zantovsky’s forthcoming Havel: A Life. Zantovsky (currently the Czech Republic’s ambassador to the Court of St. James’s) was a friend and comrade-in-arms of Vaclav Havel’s during the days when Charter 77 helped cause a different kind of fraying—of the loathsome fabric of the Soviet Union.
21 Nov 2014

Senator Calls For Strategy to Confront Putin

“Events in Ukraine are a direct challenge to the entire U.S.-led international order,” says US Senator Portman in a speech delivered to the Senate. The Ohio senator has called for significant military aid to Ukraine, stressing the importance of ongoing US support.
29 Jul 2014

Terror and Politics in Tunisia

Tunisians are coming to terms with the homegrown terrorists who threaten their fragile democracy. Will this recognition prompt a much-needed national reconciliation process?
16 Apr 2014

Hollande the Hawk? An Unlikely Ally Emerges

Despite his domestic troubles, President Hollande of France has built upon the robust foreign policy of his predecessor and even been a more committed global leader than Washington at times.

The Once and Future Threat: Al-Qaeda Is Hardly Dead

The Obama administration has made much of the demise of al-Qaeda in recent years, but Osama bin Laden’s network is remarkably resilient—and remains a deadly threat.
2 Apr 2014

Tunisia at the Crossroads

Tunisia could be an engine for democracy and economic growth south of the Mediterranean, but it needs help from the US to tamp down corrosive instability and radicalization.
27 Aug 2014

Jihad in the Balkans: The Next Generation

Militant Islamists have long had a presence in the Balkans, and many have now traveled to fight in Syria. What happens when they return, battle-hardened, with their European passports?
3 Jun 2014

Hezbollah Threatened by Iran’s Financial Woes

Between its nuclear program and its support for the Assad regime in Syria, Iran is paying a high price for rogue behavior. And Hezbollah—its most dangerous proxy—is feeling the pinch.
27 Aug 2014

Yes, Russia Matters: Putin’s Guerrilla Strategy

Russia today is not as strong as the Soviet Union once was, but Vladimir Putin has used energy and financial leverage, along with propaganda, to snatch power from the jaws of weakness.
17 Jun 2014

Peter and Caesar: Is Pope Francis Shifting the Vatican’s Worldview?

As the first pope from outside of Europe in many years, Francis is less burdened by Vatican tradition—including the foreign policy legacy developed by his predecessors during the Cold War era.

Year Four: The Arab Spring Proved Everyone Wrong

Tunisia surprised the pessimists, just as Egypt devastated the optimists. Syria is on its way to becoming another Afghanistan, while Morocco holds some hope for slow reform.
18 Apr 2014

Brazil’s Troubles: World Cup Runneth Over

When Brazil landed this summer’s World Cup seven years ago, its fortunes were on the up and its leaders intended to showcase their country’s growing importance. Things have not gone as planned.
27 Oct 2013

The Next Revolution: A Call for Reconciliation in the Arab World

Toxic divides will deny North Africa’s post-revolutionary states of political, social, and economic progress until national reconciliation unburdens the people of their victimhood and vindictiveness.
17 Jun 2014

Why ‘Reset’ Failed: Diplomacy with Rogues Rarely Works

The example of US-Russian relations today is a reminder that the history of diplomacy is littered with cases of the wishful and gullible being outwitted by the cunning and dishonest.
30 Aug 2013

Getting Congo Right: Can the West Fix Past Failures?

After two decades of incoherent policies, millions have died in the war-torn Democratic Republic of Congo. Can a new Western-organized counterinsurgency force really bring resolution?
28 Oct 2013

The UN and Israel: A History of Discrimination

Some 120 non-aligned nations have used their UN clout to stigmatize and isolate Israel since the 1970s. Their hostility continues to threaten both the UN process and the Jewish state.
3 Apr 2014

Withering Democracy in France

The National Front has once again stirred up alarm in French elections, but the real villain is an ailing political culture too mistrustful of markets to take on much-needed reforms.
31 Jan 2014

New Hope for Central African Republic?

The new interim president of the Central African Republic is said to favor reconciliation. Could her election, coupled with assistance from abroad, help to end a year of deeply divisive warfare?

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