The aftermath of a suicide car bombing that killed and wounded several Afghan troops, in Kabul, Afghanistan, Nov. 13, 2020 (AP photo by Ahmad Seir Nassiri).

If American policy in Afghanistan was a Hollywood thriller, acting Pentagon chief Christopher Miller’s announcement Tuesday that President Donald Trump plans to reduce the number of American troops in the country from 4,500 to 2,500 by the time he leaves office in January might have made for a riveting plot twist. The trouble for White House script writers is that we’ve all seen this movie before, and it never seems to end with a better outcome for the Afghan people. The one hidden benefit of Trump’s drawdown announcement is that it could free up Joe Biden to write an alternative […]

French Prime Minister Jean Castex and Education Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer attend a memorial service for slain teacher Samuel Paty at a school in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, near Paris, Nov. 2, 2020 (Pool photo by Thomas Coex via AP).

Editor’s note: The following article is one of 30 that we’ve selected from our archives to celebrate World Politics Review’s 15th anniversary. You can find the full collection here. When Rachid Zerrouki, a teacher in Marseille, headed back to his classroom last Monday, he braced himself for the worst. He hadn’t seen his students since the brutal killing of Samuel Paty, a 47-year-old middle school teacher in the Paris suburb of Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, who was beheaded by a young Chechen refugee days after he showed his class cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad during a lesson about freedom of expression. With school back […]

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses ruling party lawmakers at the parliament, in Ankara, Turkey, Oct. 28, 2020 (AP photo).

As a terrorist attack was unfolding late Monday night in Vienna, where four people were killed and 22 others injured in a shooting rampage on crowded bars, speculation about the culprit, unsurprisingly, was rife on social media. Many of those offering theories were quick to accuse Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of stoking the rage of militant Islamists. There is no indication that the attacker—a young extremist who it turned out had previously been convicted in Austria for trying to join the Islamic State—was motivated by Erdogan, as Austrian authorities have pointed to his ISIS sympathies and the Islamic State’s […]