Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Russian President Vladimir Putin after talks in the Konstantin palace outside St. Petersburg, Aug. 9, 2016 (AP photo by Alexander Zemlianichenko).

Turkey and Russia are patching up their troubled relationship. In early August, Russian President Vladimir Putin met with his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in St. Petersburg, in the first face-to-face meeting between the two leaders in 10 bitter months since Turkey shot down a Russian jet that was briefly in its airspace last November. But after some symbolic handshakes and photo-ops, what can be expected in concrete terms moving forward between Ankara and Moscow? Let’s start with the low-hanging fruit. It’s a safe bet that state-controlled media in Russia will no longer portray Erdogan and his close entourage with […]

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan during a rally of his supporters after the country’s abortive July 15 coup, Istanbul, Aug. 7, 2016 (Presidential Press Service photo by Kayhan Ozer via AP).

Editor’s note: This article is part of an ongoing WPR series inviting authors to identify the biggest priority—whether a threat, risk, opportunity or challenge—facing the international order and U.S. foreign policy today. Just 25 years after winning the Cold War, with the collapse of the Soviet Union and the communist regimes of Eastern Europe, the United States is facing a very different world than the one many had expected. Instead of a world of relative peace, with no proxy wars in developing countries and no major global geostrategic opponents, there is violence and terrorism around the globe, much of it […]

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon greets Hillary Clinton at a U.N. Women event, U.N. headquarters, March 7, 2014 (U.N. photo by JC McIlwaine).

If Hillary Clinton is elected president of the United States in November, fixing the failings of United Nations peacekeeping operations is unlikely to be one of her foreign policy priorities. Putting Russia in its place and balancing China in the Pacific will loom much larger on her to-do list. But the next administration is likely to find that crises involving blue helmets have a habit of creeping up its agenda. Clinton is presumably painfully aware of this. Her husband’s presidency was punctuated by peacekeeping failures from Somalia to Srebrenica, and the failure to give U.N. personnel effective back-up during the […]

Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump during a speech on national security, Youngstown, Ohio, Aug. 15, 2016 (AP photo by Gerald Herbert).

After several disastrous weeks of gaffes and tumbling poll numbers, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump decided this week to turn his attention to what he considers a key selling point of his campaign: national security, particularly the threat from violent Islamic extremists. He used a speech in Youngstown, Ohio, to lay out his ideas on this issue. It offered an important window into Trump’s thinking and the mindset of his supporters. Unfortunately the picture that emerged was one of incoherence and complete disregard for the time-tested logic of strategy. Like most Trump speeches, this one was full of hyperbole, bluster […]

Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and then-Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton during an interview by PBS' Charlie Rose, at the State Department, Washington April 20, 2011 (AP photo by Alex Brandon).

Editor’s note: This will be Michael Cohen’s final “Reality Check” column at World Politics Review. We’d like to take this opportunity to thank Michael for the thought-provoking and iconoclastic analysis he has offered WPR readers each week for the past year, and wish him continued success. Let me make one thing clear at the outset of this piece: I consider Henry Kissinger to be, morally speaking, a monstrous figure. His backing of the Nixon administration’s illegal bombing campaign in Cambodia and the invasion of the country in 1970, along with his support for right-wing coups in Latin America and anti-Communist […]

A Belgian soldier patrols on a main boulevard in Brussels, Nov. 22, 2015 (AP photo by Geert Vanden Wijngaert).

Editor’s note: This article is part of an ongoing WPR series inviting authors to identify the biggest priority—whether a threat, risk, opportunity or challenge—facing the international order and U.S. foreign policy today. For the prosperous and stable nations of Europe and North America, the cost of terrorism is usually dwarfed by the cost of reactions to it. Avoiding such overreaction is the most pressing challenge in security policy today. The number of Westerners killed by terrorists has grown of late, thanks largely to attacks in Brussels, Paris, Istanbul and Nice related to the self-described Islamic State. Still, the threat remains […]

U.S. President Barack Obama shakes hands with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan after a bilateral meeting, Paris, France, Dec. 1, 2015 (AP photo by Yasin Bulbul).

When the next U.S. president takes office in 2017, he or she will move into the White House with a long national security to-do list. One of the most pressing items will be to assess America’s security partnerships, particularly the problematic ones, to decide which can be repaired, which must be tolerated as is, and which should be abandoned. Four partnerships will top the reassessment list: Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Turkey. Each has a longstanding relationship with the United States harkening back to the Cold War. All four became even more important after the Sept. 11 attacks on the […]

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, and Russian President Vladimir Putin at their economic summit, Baku, Aug. 8, 2016 (AP photo by Alexander Zemlianichenko).

Geo-economics dominated the agenda of two critical meetings this week: a trilateral economic summit in Baku between Russia’s Vladimir Putin, Azerbaijan’s Ilham Aliyev and Iran’s Hassan Rouhani, followed by a bilateral summit in St. Petersburg between Putin and his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan. While matters of war and peace were also on the agenda—the stalemated conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh and the ongoing fighting in Syria—both summits’ main focus was on ensuring connectivity to the global economy. Let’s start with Iran. In the year since Iran acceded to the terms of the nuclear agreement it signed with the group of world […]

Erik Lopez, dressed as "Captain Mexico," stands in front of police officers while protesting Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, Burlingame, California, April 29, 2016 (AP photo by Eric Risberg).

In this week’s Trend Lines podcast, WPR’s editor-in-chief, Judah Grunstein, and host Peter Dörrie discuss Thailand’s new anti-democratic constitution, Zambia’s tense presidential election campaign, and Guatemala’s fight against corruption six months into Jimmy Morales’ presidency. In the Report, Carin Zissis looks at Mexico’s image problem—and its implications for U.S. ties—in the context of Donald Trump’s bellicose campaign rhetoric. Listen: Download: MP3Subscribe: iTunes | RSS Relevant Articles on WPR: Thailand’s Junta Cements Control as Voters Approve New Constitution Zambia Goes to the Polls Amid Government Crackdown and Fears of Fraud Guatemala’s Anti-Corruption Fight Goes On, Despite Morales’ Flaws The Trump Effect: […]

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump during a campaign rally, Aug. 9, 2016, Fayetteville, N.C. (AP photo by Evan Vucci).

On Monday, 50 Republicans signed a letter denouncing the party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, as a “risk” to America’s “national security and well-being.” These aren’t any ordinary Republicans. They are some of the party’s leading national security and foreign policy voices, people like Michael Chertoff and Tom Ridge, who both served as secretary of homeland security under former President George W. Bush; Michael Hayden, who previously headed both the CIA and National Security Agency; Eric Edelman, who worked for former Vice President Dick Cheney; and Richard Fontaine, who was a foreign policy adviser to Sen. John McCain. They were merciless […]

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump at the U.S.-Mexico border, Laredo, Texas, July 23, 2015 (AP photo by LM Otero).

During a June 30 campaign stop in New Hampshire, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump pointed to a plane flying overhead and quipped that it could be a Mexican aircraft “getting ready to attack.” It’s not a small thing for the potential future U.S. president to casually suggest that neighboring Mexico is planning to launch an assault, given the close historical, security and commercial ties between the two countries. A third of U.S. territory used to belong to Mexico. Americans travel to Mexico more than any other foreign destination, and over twice as much as they do to Canada. Bilateral trade […]

A fighter loyal to the Libyan armed forces preparing for clashes with ISIS militants west of Benghazi, March 7, 2016 (AP photo by Mohammed el-Shaiky).

Last week, the United States significantly expanded airstrikes in Libya against the self-proclaimed Islamic State, upping its military involvement in a country mired in civil war since a NATO-led intervention helped topple dictator Moammar Gadhafi in 2011. Libya’s United Nations-backed government in Tripoli, known as the Government of National Accord, or GNA, requested the airstrikes. They have centered on the coastal city of Sirte, where Libyan forces aligned with the unity government have been engaged in fierce street battles with the Islamic State. The strikes have reportedly come from jets launched from a U.S. amphibious assault ship in the Mediterranean […]

President Barack Obama during a news conference following the G-20 Summit, Antalya, Turkey, Nov. 16, 2015 (AP photo by Susan Walsh).

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has punctuated his campaign with foolish and frankly dangerous comments on foreign affairs. He has made recurrent gaffes about nuclear weapons and U.S. alliances. But just occasionally he says something almost sensible. Last month, a journalist asked Trump how he would persuade Turkey to focus on fighting the so-called Islamic State rather than armed Kurdish groups in the country’s southeastern region. “Meetings,” he replied. “If I ever have the opportunity to do it, meaning if we win, we will have meetings, we will have meetings very early on.” Foreign policy experts wrote this off as […]

Delegates supporting Bernie Sanders wave anti-TPP signs at the Democratic National Convention, Philadelphia, July 25, 2016 (CQ Roll Call photo by Bill Clark via AP).

U.S. President Barack Obama has promised to continue his push for Congress to approve the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), despite firm opposition to the free trade agreement from both of the major candidates for president, including his former secretary of state, Hillary Clinton. “Right now, I’m the president and I think I’ve got the better argument,” he told reporters following a meeting Tuesday with Singapore’s prime minister, Lee Hsien Loong. But what are the actual arguments about the TPP? For all the heated debate over the deal, which would free up trade among the United States, Japan and 10 other Pacific […]

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump at a campaign town hall, Daytona Beach, Fla., Aug. 3, 2016 (AP photo by Evan Vucci).

T.X. Hammes, of the National Defense University in Washington, is one of America’s most visionary strategic thinkers. Anything he writes deserves a careful reading, but a recent essay of his for War on the Rocks is particularly noteworthy. In it Hammes argues that globalization, which has profoundly shaped world events for the past few decades and laid the foundation for America’s grand strategy, seems to be reversing. If so, he argues, “the increasing regionalization of economies and differences in rates of growth will create instability and challenge international security arrangements.” Hammes believes that just as technology fueled the rise of […]

A vigil for the victims of a mass shooting at the Pulse nightclub, Orlando, Fla., June 13, 2016 (AP photo by David Goldman).

A bloody summer, with attacks from Orlando to Nice to Bangladesh, has left many wondering what compels an individual, whether a low-level criminal with a history of domestic violence or a student at an elite private school, to massacre civilians in the name of the so-called Islamic State or another extremist group. Even more confounding is how to stop them. That question isn’t new, or unique to the rise of the Islamic State. For years, governments, analysts and observers have worked to understand the drivers of radicalization and how best to block the road to extremism, particularly among youth. In […]

U.S. National Security Advisor Susan Rice and Chinese President Xi Jinping, Beijing, China, July 25, 2016. (AP photo by How Hwee Young).

U.S. National Security Adviser Susan Rice visited China last month, where she held talks with Chinese officials about the threat of terrorism and prospects for improving counterterrorism cooperation. In an email interview, Jeffrey Payne, the Manager of Academic Affairs at the Near East South Asia Center for Strategic Studies, discusses the state of counterterrorism cooperation between the U.S. and China. (The views expressed in this article are his alone and do not represent the official policy or position of the National Defense University, the Department of Defense or the U.S. government.) WPR: How extensive is counterterrorism cooperation between the U.S. […]