Maria Corina Machado holds the Venezuelan flag

Last week’s news of a deal between the government of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, the country’s political opposition and—unofficially—the United States guaranteeing a competitive election in 2024 was a temporary win for nearly everyone involved. But we won’t know who the long-term winners are for many months to come.

A lithium mine on the Salinas Grandes salt flats in Argentina.

Flaws in last year’s groundbreaking Inflation Reduction Act, designed to speed the U.S. energy transition, could end up slowing the adoption of electric vehicles. The IRA’s tax incentives for EVs exclude major potential suppliers of critical minerals, including Argentina, where the lithium sector is growing explosively.

Iran’s Abu Mahdi naval cruise missiles are displayed

Iran’s long-range ballistic missiles long have been the focus of international attention. Over the past two decades, though, Iran has also developed and deployed an increasingly diverse array of shorter-range strike systems. Now, the war between Israel and Hamas has raised the urgency of understanding these other strike capabilities.

People walk through mounds of rubble that used to be high-rise apartment buildings in Aleppo, Syria.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s recent visit to China signaled the diplomatic revival he has long hoped for. But Assad walked away from the trip empty-handed when it comes to financial commitments toward reconstruction of Syria’s still-devastated infrastructure. Worse still for Assad, China isn’t alone in its reticence toward Syria.

Attendees watch a presentation by automaker Geely at the Beijing International Automotive Exhibition

Attempts to decouple science and technology cooperation between the U.S. and China have intensified over the past five years, occurring across education, government and industry. But even as competition intensifies, the U.S. should think strategically about cooperation with China and not react impulsively to limit contact.

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, U.S. President Joe Biden and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi

Under the leadership of President Xi Jinping, China has begun to challenge America’s role as the key economic and political actor in Asia. Increasingly repressive at home, Xi has not shied away from asserting China’s regional authority. But while China’s rise often makes headlines, it is not the only trend shaping events in Asia.

A pro-democracy protest against Tunisian President Kais Saied.

Two constants mark Tunisia under President Kais Saied: Dissidents and opposition politicians continue to be put behind bars, and the economy continues to worsen. And if the government is silencing more and more opposition voices, it is in part because it lacks palatable solutions or a long-term plan for the economic crisis.

Despite the challenges that technological innovations like artificial intelligence and autonomous drones pose to governance and society, they will continue to emerge. In the absence of any global agreement, there is still an opportunity for governments to seize on the benefits these advances might bring, while encouraging their ethical and democratic use.

US hegemony and foreign policy may be threatened by political paralysis in Congress.

The threat of a U.S. government shutdown because of legislative gridlock in Washington no longer has the power to shock U.S. allies and adversaries. But the likelihood of further political paralysis in Washington has forced many governments to ponder what a potential future without the U.S. as a coherent global actor might look like.

Relations between China and Russia are at odds in regions like Africa and the Middle East.

The effusive rhetoric on display in recent high-level meetings between Russian and Chinese officials masks a significant vulnerability in their strategic partnership: Although both sides champion the creation of a multipolar world order, their actual cooperation on the ground lags far behind, particularly in the Middle East and Africa.

China's Belt and Road Initiative has been rebranded as the GDI.

Despite recent economic troubles, Chinese President Xi Jinping still has ambitions to present China as an alternative model of development for the rest of the world through its Global Development Initiative. Though the GDI’s focus is scaled down from the BRI’s emphasis on huge infrastructure projects, its conceptual aims are broader.