A woman with a baby entering a temporary refugee camp in Kara Tepe, on the island of Lesbos, Greece, Sept. 18, 2020 (AP photo by Panagiotis Balaskas).

When British Prime Minister Boris Johnson left the hospital in April 2020 after having been treated for COVID-19, he released a widely viewed video address in which he thanked the nurses that had cared for him. In singling out two for special mention—Jenny from New Zealand and Luis from Portugal—he shone a spotlight on the critical role that migrants have played during the pandemic. Throughout the world, migrants work essential jobs. Migrant women in particular play significant roles in the health care and domestic support industries, caring for patients and the elderly. Women make up nearly half of international migrants, […]

A health worker pauses in the ICU unit for COVID-19 patients at the Hospital das Clinicas in Porto Alegre, Brazil, March 19, 2021 (AP Photo by Jefferson Bernardes).

As COVID-19 starts to loosen its grip on the world, it makes sense to ask what we’ve learned from this punishing experience, so that we can be better prepared when the next pandemic strikes—which it will. Although it will take years to absorb the plague’s many lessons, here are four insights from the past year that should inform multilateral pandemic preparedness in the months and years ahead. The planet is out of balance, endangering human health. This pandemic has been severe, but it should not have come as a surprise. The past half-century has seen a surge in zoonoses, or […]

U.S. soldiers patrol on the outskirts of Spin Boldak, near the border with Pakistan, about 63 miles southeast of Kandahar, Afghanistan, Aug. 9, 2009 (AP photo by Emilio Morenatti).

Have know-nothing civilian bureaucrats, lily-livered humanitarian do-gooders and misguided academics tied the military’s hands with increasingly restrictive norms that don’t correspond to the laws of war, let alone the rigors of battle and requirements of victory? That’s the premise of a new article in Military Review by Army Lt. Gen. Charles Pede and Col. Peter Hayden. Pede and Hayden write derisively of the three-decades-old shift in U.S. military doctrine toward enhanced civilian protection, exemplified by the population-centric counterinsurgency approach to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. This is a danger, they argue, since troops trained in restraint and respect for […]

A displaced mother and her children prepare for the night inside a church in Pemba city, Cabo Delgado province, Mozambique, April 19, 2019 (AP photo by Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi).

Last year was a turning point for the shadowy, Islamic State-linked jihadist group that is operating in the Cabo Delgado province of northern Mozambique. First, the operational tempo of Ahlu-Sunnah Wa-Jama, or ASWJ—locally known as al-Shabab, though it has no known connection with the Somalia-based extremist group—took off dramatically. According to data from the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project, or ACLED, the group launched 437 attacks in 2020, compared to 256 between 2017 and 2019. Second, ASWJ managed to assert control over major transportation routes. Its presence has impeded safe travel on the primary north-south road connecting the […]

Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele in San Salvador, El Salvador, Feb. 17, 2021 (AP photo by Salvador Melendez).

One of the areas where U.S. foreign and domestic policies intersect most tangibly, as we saw over the past four years during Donald Trump’s administration, is on immigration and refugees. President Joe Biden campaigned on a promise to launch a sharply different strategy to deal with migrants and refugees, especially at the border with Mexico, but now his plans are facing new headwinds. In a legislative election last weekend in El Salvador, President Nayib Bukele’s party, New Ideas, along with his ally the Grand Alliance for National Unity, won a landslide victory. Early results suggest that Bukele’s bloc will enjoy […]

A shipment of COVID-19 vaccines distributed by the COVAX Facility arrives in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, Feb. 25, 2021 (AP photo by Diomande Ble Blonde).

Sometime this month, the U.S. Congress will likely approve the Biden administration’s $1.9 trillion COVID relief bill, and with that will come the first real test of the new president’s favorite slogan: “America is back.” The return of the United States that Joe Biden has so frequently promised has always contained a strong whiff of nostalgia. It is a message that has mostly been directed outwardly to the world, saying that after a period of relative decline, of withdrawal and of drift through much of this century, the U.S. is eager to reassume its long-accustomed mantle as undisputed leader of […]

A worker makes crude oil into diesel and other products at a primitive refinery in Rmeilan, Hassakeh province, Syria, April 6, 2018 (AP photo by Hussein Malla).

After nearly a decade of conflict, the extensive damage inflicted on Syria’s environment is emerging as another devastating, if less visible, tragedy of its civil war. Polluted soil and contaminated water are exacerbating the already severe suffering of Syrian civilians, undermining their ability to meet their basic needs and jeopardizing the country’s postwar future. Listen to this article: [soundcloud]998013493[/soundcloud] While the war in Syria is far from over, the steep environmental toll will pose significant challenges to the country’s recovery when the fighting does eventually stop. Syrian and international experts are warning that the environmental impacts of war must be […]