U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis during a Senate hearing on the budget, Washington, May 9, 2018 (AP photo by Jacquelyn Martin).

The United States obsesses about its global strategy more than any nation on earth. This fixation is reflected in the fact that Congress requires the executive branch to produce regular reports on its security strategy. A year ago, the Trump administration published its inaugural National Security Strategy. A few months later, the Pentagon released its National Defense Strategy to explain how U.S. military power would be used to implement the National Security Strategy. As it has in the past, Congress then created a bipartisan National Defense Strategy Commission to assess the Pentagon’s strategy. This included an august team of top […]

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman at the Future Investment Initiative, the so-called Davos in the Desert, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Oct. 23, 2018 (AP photo by Amr Nabil).

As international pressure builds on Saudi Arabia over the brutal murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in its consulate in Istanbul early last month, the costs for Riyadh continue to rise. The damage to the country’s image and reputation will haunt its political elite for years, especially now that the CIA has blamed Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for having authorized the operation. The backlash was already visible in late October, when many Western political and business leaders at the last minute canceled their trips to Riyadh for the big-ticket Future Investment Initiative, the so-called Davos in the Desert. While […]

Central Americans riding atop a freight train in Ixtepec, Mexico, in 2012. Since a Mexican government crackdown, scenes like this are rare (Photo by Joseph Sorrentino).

MEXICO CITY—Geovanni Martinez Hernandez fled Honduras after being threatened by one of the most vicious gangs in the Americas: Mara Salvatrucha, also known as MS-13. “It was because of my sexual orientation,” said Martinez Hernandez, who is gay. “I just want a place where I can live without being abused, where I can walk without discrimination or fear.” He had hoped to find that in Mexico. But, while traveling alone in late May through Tapachula, a city in far southwestern Mexico bordering Guatemala that is one of the first stops for Central American migrants and asylum-seekers making the trek north […]

Ecuador’s president, Lenin Moreno, attends a military ceremony marking Independence Day, Quito, Aug. 10, 2017 (AP photo by Dolores Ochoa).

The so-called Pink Tide ushered in leftist governments in Latin America, but something went wrong. Find out more when you subscribe to World Politics Review (WPR). It wasn’t very long ago that Latin American voters, in country after country, began electing leftist presidents. The new crop of leaders that rose to power over the past few decades occupied a wide range of positions along the ideological spectrum, advocating leftist policies that varied mightily—from mild income redistribution projects to aggressive nationalization programs. But the trend toward leftist governments in Latin America was unmistakable. Some dubbed it the “pink tide.” That tide […]

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, right, at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, Sept. 2, 2018 (Pool photo by Nicolas Asfouri via AP Images).

Earlier this month, on Nov. 7, the State Department announced what appeared to be a significant step forward in relations between the United States and Sudan. A spokesperson said the U.S. would consider removing Sudan from its State Sponsors of Terrorism list if it helps Washington advance some of its foreign policy priorities in Africa and beyond—including cooperating on counterterrorism, ending Sudan’s internal conflicts and isolating North Korea. The statement also called on Sudan to improve its human rights record, respect religious freedoms and meet legal claims related to its previous support of terrorist attacks against American citizens. Removal of […]

President Donald Trump with first lady Melania Trump, gives “Peas,” one of the National Thanksgiving Turkeys, an absolute pardon during a ceremony in the Rose Garden of the White House, in Washington, Nov. 20, 2018 (AP photo by Manuel Balce Ceneta).

In this week’s special Thanksgiving edition of the Trend Lines podcast, WPR’s editor-in-chief, Judah Grunstein, and managing editor, Frederick Deknatel, discuss two stories from the past year they were thankful for: a congressional check on U.S. President Donald Trump’s executive powers and, counterintuitively, the tensions that Trump has introduced into the trans-Atlantic alliance. If you like what you hear on Trend Lines and what you’ve read on WPR, you can sign up for our free newsletter to get our uncompromising analysis delivered straight to your inbox. The newsletter offers a free preview article every day of the week, plus three […]

President Donald Trump meets with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the G-20 Summit, July 8, 2017, Hamburg, Germany (AP photo by Evan Vucci).

In a private milestone so quiet that even I missed it, last month marked my 10th anniversary overseeing WPR’s editorial content. A lot has changed since I first took the helm here. WPR’s team has grown, and our coverage of politics around the world has expanded and sharpened. Other things have remained the same, like our commitment to engaging with topics and trends, whether front-page news or off-the-radar developments, that are driving outcomes in countries big and small, powerful and less consequential. The world, too, has similarly changed in significant ways, but remained the same in others. Some of the […]

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, left, and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, present details of the new sanctions on Iran, at the Foreign Press Center in Washington, Nov. 5, 2018 (AP photo by 	J. Scott Applewhite).

President Donald Trump is again sending mixed signals on an important policy. Earlier this month, his administration followed through on reimposing oil sanctions against Iran, though the immediate effect is on third parties doing business with Tehran. He then immediately waived the sanctions for six months for eight countries that are Iran’s major oil and gas customers, explaining the waivers by saying he did not want to roil oil markets. The administration did not, however, issue a waiver for the European Union, which played a key role in the United Nations sanctions that forced Iran to come to the negotiating […]

U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis waits for Chinese Minister of Defense Gen. Wei Fenghe before an arrival ceremony at the Pentagon, Nov. 9, 2018 (AP photo by Pablo Martinez Monsivais).

Warfare has always been both physical and psychological. As combatants attempt to injure, incapacitate or kill enemy fighters, they also try to weaken the will of their adversaries and anyone who might support them. Throughout history, warriors relied on ferociousness for that, intimidating their enemies by the way they looked or the horrible actions they took. In the modern era, militaries turned to communication technology and psychology. Soldiers were trained to craft and transmit messages and propaganda, while psychological operations became a particular military specialization. Over time, the U.S. military got quite good at this. Psychological operators dealt with adversaries […]

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, left, and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison at a joint press conference, Darwin, Australia, Nov. 16, 2018 (Kyodo photo via AP Images).

World leaders gathered in Singapore this week for the 13th annual East Asia Summit, the premier meeting for regional heads of state to discuss political and security issues. It comes amid rising tensions between Asia’s two largest powerbrokers, the United States and China. Their standoff has left Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in a position to take the lead as the advocate for maintaining and even expanding a multilateral order in the region. His full-court press, at a time of trade wars and rising nationalism, is a litmus test for international rules and free markets. The Abe administration continues to […]

French President Emmanuel Macron delivers a speech during a ceremony at the Arc de Triomphe in Paris as part of the commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I, Nov. 11, 2018 (AP photo by Ludovic Marin).

PARIS—In many ways, Emmanuel Macron is an unconventional French president. Young, independent and a political novice, he entered the Elysee Palace as a disrupter rather than a defender of the status quo. But if there is one thing that puts him in the mainstream of French presidents, it is his defense of the European Union anchored in a liberal multilateral order. And if there is one thing that puts him squarely in the grand tradition of French diplomacy more broadly, it is his love and talent for political theater. Both were on display this weekend, when Macron took advantage of […]

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, fifth from left, poses for a group photo with ASEAN leaders prior to the start of the ASEAN Plus China Summit in the ongoing 33rd ASEAN Summit and Related Summits, Singapore, Nov. 14, 2018 (AP photo by Bullit Marquez).

Editor’s Note: Every Wednesday, WPR Newsletter and Engagement Editor Benjamin Wilhelm curates the week’s top news and expert analysis on China. Leaders from across the Asia-Pacific region are in Singapore this week to kick off a series of summit meetings. In the absence of any major breakthroughs on trade or security, the focus is on the competition for influence between the United States and China—a narrative driven by dueling op-eds from U.S. Vice President Mike Pence and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang. “Our nation’s security and prosperity depend on this vital region, and the United States will continue to ensure that […]

Central American migrants, part of the caravan hoping to reach the U.S. border, leave a temporary shelter early in the morning in Queretaro, Mexico, Nov. 11, 2018 (AP photo by Rodrigo Abd).)

Late last week, the Trump administration declared in a proclamation that it would deny asylum applications to anyone who entered the country through illegal ports of entry, even though it has been clear for months that asylum-seekers are being denied access at official ports of entry. It was the latest attempt by the administration to discourage migrants, primarily from Central America, from coming to the United States. In the recent pre-election fervor, President Donald Trump likened the caravan of Central Americans, which is slowly making its way north from Honduras and into southern Mexico, to an invasion. Yet the latest […]

A city employee carries a bag of seized cocaine to be destroyed at a police base, Lima, Peru, June 7, 2018 (AP photo by Martin Mejia).

The U.S. government is alarmed at the rates of cocaine production in the two countries. While it is working with the Peruvian government to tackle the problem, the issue has only further divided the United States and Bolivia. The international fight against drug trafficking continues to go poorly in South America’s Andean region, and signs suggest it won’t be improving anytime soon. New figures released this month by the United States show that Peru and Bolivia have stalled, if not taken steps backward, in their attempts to eradicate prolific cocaine production within their borders. Last year, Peru’s production of pure […]

A member of the 53rd Infantry Group undergoes mission readiness training in Ireland in preparation for the unit’s deployment to the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon, April 19, 2016 (Sipa USA photo by Artur Widak via AP Images).

After 9/11, the United States was thrown into a type of conflict that the U.S. military, intelligence community and Department of State all did not expect: large-scale counterinsurgency. The United States, particularly the military, had always been reluctant to take this on. Counterinsurgency is a politically and psychologically complex struggle that doesn’t play to America’s strength: morally unambiguous warfare where victory comes from creating the biggest and most powerful military, then winning battles until the enemy is crushed. Counterinsurgency often takes place in cultures and locations—remote villages, dense city streets—that Americans have a difficult time understanding. Despite the desire to […]

London Mayor Sadiq Khan, Labour Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn attend a roundtable meeting to discuss gun and knife crimes, London, April 10, 2018 (Photo by Stefan Rousseau for Press Association via AP Images).

In this week’s Trend Lines podcast, WPR’s editor-in-chief, Judah Grunstein, and managing editor, Frederick Deknatel, discuss the foreign policy implications of the U.S. midterm congressional elections. For the Report, Dan Hancox talks with WPR’s senior editor, Robbie Corey-Boulet, about the stark social realities behind London’s drill music scene and why the music’s violent lyrical themes aren’t solely to blame for the city’s recent rash of knife attacks and violent crime. If you like what you hear on Trend Lines and what you’ve read on WPR, you can sign up for our free newsletter to get our uncompromising analysis delivered straight […]

Chinese President Xi Jinping speaks at the opening ceremony for the China International Import Expo in Shanghai, Nov. 5, 2018 (AP photo by Aly Song).

Editor’s Note: Every Wednesday, WPR’s newsletter and engagement editor, Benjamin Wilhelm, curates the top news and analysis from China written by the experts who follow it. President Xi Jinping’s opening speech to the first-ever China International Import Expo in Shanghai on Monday was loaded with promises and reassurances. Seeking to convince the world of China’s openness to foreign goods and services, Xi portrayed himself as a staunch advocate for globalization. The address was delivered to an audience that included political and business leaders from 172 countries, but it was just as notable for who was missing in Shanghai and what […]

Showing 1 - 17 of 221 2 Last