President Donald Trump stands outside the West Wing to welcome visiting Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi to the White House in Washington, April 9, 2019 (AP photo by Manuel Balce Ceneta).

For critics of U.S. President Donald Trump’s approach to foreign policy, there is little more to do at this point than wait and hope: wait for the 2020 election, and hope that U.S. voters opt to replace him as president. But even in a best-case scenario in which America rejects Trump’s counterproductive “America First” agenda in 2020, the next president will face the daunting task of digging out from the ruins Trump will leave behind—and that’s assuming he does no further damage in the intervening two years. That will not mean returning to the status quo ante, nor necessarily should […]

Tens of thousands of North Koreans gather for a rally at Kim Il Sung Square meant to demonstrate their rejection of U.N. sanctions, Pyongyang, Aug. 9, 2017 (AP photo by Jon Chol Jin).

Find out more about Kim Jong Un, his rise to power and his rule in North Korea when you subscribe to World Politics Review For nearly a quarter-century, since the fall of the Berlin Wall, the North Korean regime’s continued survival has baffled observers. When North Korea’s founding leader Kim Il Sung died, North Korea entered a period of famine that lasted three years and killed hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of North Korean citizens. Yet the regime carried on under his son, Kim Jong Il, and his grandson, Kim Jong Un, currently leads the country, making it the […]

Thomas F. Borgen, the CEO of Danske Bank, at a press conference in which he resigned following revelations of money laundering via its Estonian branch, Copenhagen, Sept. 19, 2018 (Photo by Liselotte Sabroe for Ritzau Scanpix via AP Images).

When the European Commission recently attempted to blacklist 23 countries that it accuses of maintaining deficient systems to restrict money laundering and terrorism financing, a technocratic spat quickly escalated into a diplomatic dispute. Though only one element of sweeping reforms intended to strengthen the European Union’s own anti-money laundering regime, the list not only had the predictable effect of enraging countries included on it—such as Saudi Arabia and three U.S. territories—but also provoked insurmountable criticism from within the EU itself. The list was ultimately rejected by 27 of 28 member states after a fierce lobbying campaign, forcing the European Commission […]

President Donald Trump holds up examples of foreign tariffs in the Cabinet Room of the White House, Washington, Jan. 24, 2019 (AP photo by Jacquelyn Martin).

President Donald Trump likes to claim that the tariffs he has imposed on steel, aluminum, washing machines, solar panels and a variety of other imports are forcing foreigners to pay for the privilege of selling their goods in the American market. But what does the data say? Are American firms and consumers in fact paying the price? Two new empirical studies shed light on the answer, and, unfortunately for the president, neither one supports his position. The authors of these studies have carefully parsed the data and analyzed the distribution of the tariffs’ costs—internationally and among various groups and regions […]

Women take part in an International Women’s Day march in Santiago, Chile, March 8, 2019 (AP photo by Esteban Felix).

The annual session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women was held over the course of two weeks last month in New York. Established in 1946, the commission is the largest global forum on gender equality and women’s rights. It provides an opportunity for representatives from U.N. member states, international organizations and civil society groups to take stock of recent progress and assess unfinished business in advancing gender equality around the world. This year’s commission meeting, which included a record number of attendees, was focused on social protection systems, access to public services and sustainable infrastructure to […]

A U.S. Marine fighter jet aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt aircraft carrier, Sept. 10, 2015 (AP photo by Marko Drobnjakovic).

The Powell Doctrine lays out criteria for using U.S. military force in international conflicts—but in recent years, the wisdom of the Powell Doctrine has been all but forgotten. Discover how an updated version of the Powell Doctrine could benefit the U.S. military—as well as the international community at large—when you subscribe to World Politics Review. Chastened by the failure of U.S. military might to achieve strategic success in Iraq and Afghanistan, U.S. observers began to re-examine the wisdom of the Powell Doctrine, a set of criteria for the use of U.S. military force abroad that sets a high and prohibitive […]

Honduran migrants en route to Mexico gather in a park in Tecun Uman, Guatemala, Jan. 17, 2019 (AP photo by Moises Castillo).

President Donald Trump announced late last month that he is cutting off $450 million in U.S. aid to Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, delivering on a previous threat amid news that another migrant caravan was forming in Central America. The move has drawn significant criticism, even from within Trump’s administration. The aid is largely used for social, economic and governance development programs that many consider to be an effective, long-term solution to underlying issues—such as violence, poverty and corruption—that are driving people out of their home countries and toward the United States. Perhaps not unexpectedly, Trump’s attempt to reconcile these […]

U.S. President Donald Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at the G-7 summit, Charlevoix, June 8, 2018 (AP photo by Evan Vucci).

Explore how the practice of diplomatic relations by the U.S. and the rest of the world is evolving—when you subscribe to World Politics Review In recent years, many American officials have regarded withholding diplomatic relations as a way to punish countries for actions ranging from human rights abuses, to failure to abide by international law, to specific treaty violations and acts of war. But withholding diplomatic relations usually doesn’t work, and can seriously handicap America’s ability to achieve major foreign policy and national security goals. What’s more, re-establishing diplomatic relations with a country after they have been severed is no […]

President Donald Trump holds up a chart documenting land lost by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria as he delivers remarks in Lima, Ohio, March 20, 2019 (AP photo by Evan Vucci).

Foreign policy rarely plays a major role in U.S. presidential elections. The United States has always been an insular nation. Particularly for people in the American heartland, the world’s troubles seem far away. The connectivity of the modern world and the globalization of terrorism have challenged that insularity, but even so, national elections seldom pivot on international affairs. 2020 could be different: Debates over American foreign policy and national security could sway enough undecided voters to tip the scales, and the political battle lines are already forming. As Alex Ward pointed out in Vox, President Donald Trump is likely to […]

Former Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika after taking the oath for his fourth term in office, Algiers, April 28, 2014 (AP photo by Sidali Djarboub).

In this week’s editors’ discussion episode of the Trend Lines podcast, WPR’s editor-in-chief Judah Grunstein, managing editor Frederick Deknatel and associate editor Elliot Waldman discuss the resignation of Algeria’s aging president, Abdelaziz Bouteflika. The move follows massive demonstrations that have brought hundreds of thousands of Algerians into the streets to demand Bouteflika’s removal, but also broader political reforms. Amid questions about the shape of Algeria’s future, WPR’s editors discuss the prospects for political renewal there and elsewhere in the region, and the implications for U.S. policy toward the Middle East. If you like what you hear on Trend Lines and […]

U.S. President Donald Trump and Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro during a news conference in the Rose Garden of the White House, Washington, March 19, 2019 (AP photo by Evan Vucci).

In a sign of the high value he places on forging closer ties with Washington, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro made the United States his first bilateral trip overseas as president last month. At a meeting with President Donald Trump at the White House, the two liked-minded leaders agreed to deepen cooperation on a wide range of issues, and Trump announced his administration would designate Brazil as a major non-NATO ally. In an interview with WPR, Guilherme Casarões, a professor of comparative politics at the Getulio Vargas Foundation in Sao Paulo, explains the ideological origins of Bolsonaro’s charm offensive and why […]

National Security Adviser John Bolton, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and President Donald Trump in the Oval Office of the White House, Washington, Feb. 7, 2019 (AP photo by Andrew Harnik).

Loyal followers of U.S. President Donald Trump might enthusiastically proclaim that his “America First” foreign policy has been a success. His apologists more modestly argue that, if you ignore Twitter and focus on Trump’s actions, what little has changed in U.S. foreign policy is for the better. Whether enabled by ideological blinders or driven by partisan hackery, both claims are quite simply wrong. After more than two years of Trump’s amateurish bluster, no amount of posturing and self-declared victories can obscure the damage he has done to America’s interests. His failures are now on prominent display in Iran, North Korea […]

President Donald Trump signs a memorandum on the Iran nuclear deal from the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House, Washington, May 8, 2018 (AP photo by Evan Vucci).

Economic sanctions are not a panacea for national security and other foreign policy challenges, though American policymakers often treat them as such. Just in the past year, the Trump administration has imposed new sanctions against Iran, North Korea, Russia and Venezuela, many of them building on sanctions previously imposed by the Obama administration. The overall results are mixed, although in some of these cases, sanctions have contributed to changes in foreign behavior that the United States finds discomfiting or dangerous. Tough United Nations sanctions against Iran, under President Barack Obama, and North Korea, under President Donald Trump, forced both Tehran […]

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Belgian PM Charles Michel, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, U.S. President Donald Trump and U.K. PM Theresa May at the NATO summit, Brussels, July 11, 2018 (Sipa photo via AP Images).

The mood will be somber rather than celebratory when NATO foreign ministers gather Thursday in Washington to commemorate the organization’s 70th birthday. History’s most successful multilateral alliance has had quite a run. A tranquil retirement, however, is not in the cards. NATO’s 29 members confront a daunting agenda. The alliance is grappling with how to deter Russian aggression against its eastern flank; combat Kremlin-inspired and Kremlin-sponsored cyberattacks and political subversion; address the retreat of democracy in several member states; reinforce a still-fragile peace in the Balkans; manage an orderly withdrawal from Afghanistan; improve burden-sharing; adapt capabilities in light of technological […]

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