Palestinians protest against aid cuts by U.S. President Donald Trump for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East in Gaza City, Gaza, Jan. 29, 2018 (Photo by Wissam Nassar for dpa via AP Images).

Editor’s Note: This article is part of an ongoing series on food security around the world. Last year, the United States curtailed its humanitarian aid to the Palestinian territories by cutting hundreds of millions of dollars in direct development assistance and funding to the United Nations. That has exacerbated a humanitarian crisis, with aid organizations on the ground reporting that they are no longer able to provide critical food aid to vulnerable households in Gaza and the West Bank. Lana Abu-Hijleh is the local director for one such aid group, Global Communities, based in the West Bank. In an interview […]

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, right, accompanied by Trump administration officials, meets with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, left, and other Chinese officials in Washington, Jan. 30, 2019 (AP photo by Andrew Harnik).

Editor’s Note: Every Wednesday, WPR Newsletter and Engagement Editor Benjamin Wilhelm curates the week’s top news and expert analysis on China. The United States Department of Justice announced criminal charges against Chinese telecommunications firm Huawei Technologies and one of its top executives on Monday, escalating tensions between the two countries as they begin a new round of high-level trade negotiations. A 13-count indictment was unsealed in New York City, targeting Huawei, two of its affiliates and Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou. The allegations include bank and wire fraud, violating U.S. sanctions on Iran and conspiring to obstruct justice related to […]

Italian Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini, right, and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban during a news conference following a meeting in Milan, Italy, Aug. 28, 2018 (AP photo by Luca Bruno).

European leaders gathered twice last year to try and develop an EU-wide approach to the still-divisive issues of migration and the integration of refugees, and both times they failed to reach any consensus, yet again. Building on public anxieties around migration, far-right populist parties succeeded in sowing more discord across the continent, with many centrist and liberal politicians having difficulty formulating a response. The effectiveness of these anti-migrant and even nativist campaigns was evident with the controversy over the adoption of the United Nations’ Global Compact on Migration last month in Morocco. The compact initially enjoyed support from all U.N. […]

An Iraqi soldier watches smoke rise after an airstrike by U.S.-led coalition warplanes against ISIS, on the border between Syria and Iraq in Qaim, Anbar province, Iraq, Nov. 13, 2018 (AP photo by Hadi Mizban).

During the 2016 U.S. presidential race, then-candidate Donald Trump didn’t talk much about the specifics of foreign and national security policy, with one exception: a pledge to defeat the Islamic State. Once elected, Trump ramped up the anti-ISIS military campaign that President Barack Obama had begun and increased support to local militias in Syria, including many Syrian Kurds, and security forces in Iraq. Eventually, this paid off. Through a grueling campaign led by the militias and the Iraqis, the Islamic State lost most of the territory it controlled in both Iraq and Syria. A month ago, Trump declared victory. “We […]

Supporters of Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, an Indian political party, burn portraits of  Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa during a protest, New Delhi, India,  May 26, 2014 (AP photo by Tsering Topgyal).

In this week’s Trend Lines podcast, WPR’s editor-in-chief, Judah Grunstein, and managing editor, Frederick Deknatel, discuss the sudden escalation of Venezuela’s political crisis and the U.S. response to it. For the Report, Jonathan Gorvett talks with WPR’s senior editor, Robbie Corey-Boulet, about the roots of Sri Lanka’s recent constitutional crisis and why its resolution is likely to remain fragile and tenuous for the foreseeable future. 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 […]

Iran’s vice president and head of its Atomic Energy Organization, Ali Akbar Salehi, at the European Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, Nov. 26, 2018 (AP photo by Francisco Seco).

Relations between Iran and the European Union seemed to enjoy something of a honeymoon just after President Donald Trump announced he was pulling the United States out of the 2015 agreement limiting Tehran’s nuclear program. But it is becoming increasingly evident that any warm feelings engendered by a joint commitment to preserve the Iran deal and stand against Trump have cooled significantly. Europe and Iran are now growing farther apart amid accusations that the Islamic Republic is engaging in behavior that Europe cannot countenance. The nuclear deal itself could ultimately collapse in the acrimony. Last May, when Trump announced the […]

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel shake hands while exchanging documents after their talks in the Kremlin, Moscow, Russia, Nov. 2, 2018 (AP photo by Alexander Zemlianichenko).

Cuba faces a much tougher international environment today than it did just a few years ago. Relations with Latin America have cooled as relations with Washington have regressed to a level of animosity reminiscent of the Cold War. In response, Havana is looking to old ideological comrades in Moscow and Beijing to compensate for the deterioration of ties in its own backyard. These setbacks abroad come at a time when the Cuban economy is vulnerable. Export earnings have been falling, foreign reserves are low, and the debt service burden is heavy, as Cuba tries to retire old debts that it […]

A man sits in front of a restaurant billboard stating that American customers will be charged 25 percent extra due to ongoing China-U.S. trade tensions, Guangzhou, China, Aug. 13, 2018 (Chinatopix photo via AP Images).

Since the establishment of the World Trade Organization in 1995, every American president has struggled to some extent with the compromises embedded in the bargaining over the rules of international trade. But that mild discomfort has boiled over with President Donald Trump, who is deeply skeptical of multilateral institutions and has focused much of his ire on the WTO. This is now leading to a situation where the WTO’s system for settling trade disputes could grind to a halt this year. How has that happened, and what would it mean for U.S. interests? A key American goal during the Uruguay […]

Kenyan security forces aim their weapons as they run through a hotel complex in Nairobi, Kenya, Jan. 15, 2019 (AP photo by Ben Curtis).

Editor’s Note: Every Friday, WPR Senior Editor Robbie Corey-Boulet curates the top news and analysis from and about the African continent. On Monday, a court in Kenya ruled that three men must stand trial over their alleged role in the 2013 assault on the Westgate Mall in Nairobi by the Somali extremist group al-Shabab. That attack, which left more than 60 people dead, underscored the risk of blowback in Kenya over its military operations against al-Shabab in neighboring Somalia. The very next day, assailants detonated explosives in the parking lot of a Nairobi hotel and shopping complex before going inside […]

President Donald Trump delivers remarks about American missile defense doctrine at the Pentagon, Jan. 17, 2019 (AP photo by Evan Vucci).

In this week’s Trend Lines podcast, WPR’s editor-in-chief, Judah Grunstein, and managing editor, Frederick Deknatel, discuss Prime Minister Theresa May’s latest Brexit defeat and the broader implications for the U.K. and European Union as the deadline for Brexit approaches. For the Report, Stewart Patrick talks with WPR’s senior editor, Robbie Corey-Boulet, about President Donald Trump’s foreign policy record after two years in office and the impact of his presidency on the liberal world order. 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 […]

Juan Guaido, the Venezuelan opposition leader, takes part in a demonstration against President Nicolas Maduro, Caracas, Jan. 16, 2019 (dpa photo by Rayner Pena via AP Images).

Last Sunday, masked men intercepted a white van carrying Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido to a political meeting outside Caracas. They shoved Guaido into an SUV and sped away, taking into custody the man spearheading a bold and risky new strategy to try and reverse the country’s calamitous decline under President Nicolas Maduro. Authorities freed Guaido after a short detention, perhaps because the incident was only meant to intimidate him, or maybe because the government is still unsure about how to deal with Guaido, who is raising the stakes in a way Maduro has not seen until now. A week […]

British Prime Minister Theresa May listens to U.S. President Donald Trump during the G-20 summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Nov. 30, 2018 (AP photo by Natacha Pisarenko).

Today would seem to offer a generous news cycle for a weekly columnist in search of a topic to write about. The New York Times and The Washington Post are back to trading bombshells about Donald Trump, with recent reports that the FBI opened a counterintelligence investigation against Trump in the early months of his presidency because top officials feared he might be compromised or controlled by the Kremlin, and that Trump has gone to great lengths to hide the details of his meetings with Russian President Vladimir Putin from his own administration. Those were soon followed by revelations that […]

Migrants line up at a food counter in Tijuana, Mexico, Nov. 28, 2018 (Photo by Omar Martinez for dpa via AP Images).

The U.S. government is still shut down over President Donald Trump’s demand for money to build a wall on the southern border. Children, mainly from Central America, are dying in a desperate effort to cross that border and escape violence in their home countries. So how in the world did somebody in the Trump administration decide it might be a good idea to cut trade ties with some of those countries? Though trade officials would not confirm it, an unnamed official told McClatchy last week that the administration is considering kicking the Dominican Republic, El Salvador and Nicaragua out of […]

U.S. President Donald Trump attends the G-7 Gender Equality Advisory Council breakfast, Charlevoix, Quebec, Canada, June 9, 2018 (Yomiuri Shimbun photo via AP Images).

In January 2017, as Donald Trump prepared to enter the White House, predictions of what his foreign policy might look like ran the gamut from a retreat into neo-isolationism to a reassertion of bare-knuckled power politics. As the incoming administration scrambled to name the team that would be responsible for translating the president-elect’s rhetoric into policy, I speculated about what might replace the liberal world order he had inveighed against during the campaign. Two years later, in light of his actual policies, the time is ripe to consider whether these scenarios were prescient or unfounded. Candidate Trump had made his […]

U.S. President Donald Trump attends the multilateral meeting of the North Atlantic Council in Brussels, Belgium, July 11, 2018 (AP photo by Pablo Martinez Monsivais).

Last week, I argued that America’s longstanding grand strategy, based on U.S. global leadership and a network of alliances and partnerships, is on its last legs as the world changes and the domestic consensus needed to sustain public support for it erodes. 2019 may be the year that the strategy, which goes back to the early days of the Cold War, finally unravels. What might that look like in the Middle East, the Pacific and Europe, the three most important regions for U.S. foreign policy? America’s interests in the Middle East were initially driven by the need to keep hostile […]

Gen. Robert Abrams, the top U.S. commander in Korea, right, and outgoing commander Gen. Vincent Brooks, second from right, during a change-of-command ceremony at Camp Humphreys in Pyeongtaek, South Korea, Nov. 8, 2018 (AP photo by Lee Jin-man).

Amid the ongoing U.S. government shutdown, soon to be the longest in American history, another recent lapse in funding has received far less attention but could be just as consequential. On Jan. 1, an important cost-sharing defense agreement, dictating how much money the South Korean government pays to support the U.S. military presence in the country, expired. No replacement text has been agreed to and negotiations are reportedly deadlocked due to President Donald Trump’s demands that Seoul shoulder a much larger portion of the stationing costs. The situation casts uncertainty on the future of the 28,500 U.S. troops in South […]

President Donald Trump pauses while speaking on the South Lawn of the White House, Jan. 6, 2019 (AP photo by Alex Brandon).

Back in the early months of Donald Trump’s presidency, I took a playful stab at imagining a retrospective “view from 2019” of his first two years in office. Given that it’s now 2019, it’s only fair that I compare my predictions with how things have actually turned out. Unsurprisingly, I was off on many of the details. On the broader themes, I was closer to the mark—with one major exception, where I was flat-out wrong. To begin with the details my fictional narrative missed, I wrongly assumed that the so-called adults in the room, who were ascendant within the administration […]

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