A waiter serves customers at a private restaurant in Havana, Jan. 31, 2018 (AP photo by Ramon Espinosa).

In April 2021, Cuba experienced a watershed moment when Miguel Diaz-Canel became the leader of the Cuban Communist Party, completing a political transition that began three years earlier when Diaz-Canel was inaugurated as president. Now, for the first time since the 1959 revolution, a Castro leads neither the country nor the party, making way for a new generation of leaders to chart the island nation’s path forward.

U.S. President Joe Biden speaks to members of the 82nd Airborne Division at the G2A Arena, March 25, 2022, in Jasionka, Poland (AP photo by Evan Vucci).

Ukraine wasn’t supposed to stand much of a chance in a military conflict with Russia. It was outgunned and outmanned. In the first months of 2022, as the threat of an invasion loomed, the Russian military was expected to quickly and decisively defeat its much weaker neighbor with ease. Many experts were asking not if Russia could win the coming war, but how far its ambitions stretched within and beyond Ukraine. But as the war grinds on for a fourth month, Ukraine has defied expectations. With external assistance, its military has been able to force Russia’s troops to pull back […]

U.S. President Joe Biden speaks as South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol listens during a news conference in Seoul, South Korea, May 21, 2022 (AP photo by Evan Vucci).

U.S. President Joe Biden arrived in South Korea yesterday, where he will spend the weekend meeting with the country’s new president, Yoon Suk Yeo, and visiting U.S troops based there. Biden then heads to Japan on Sunday for a three-day stop that will culminate in the second in-person leaders’ summit of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, or Quad, comprising the U.S., Japan, Australia and India. As a candidate, Biden had expressed his intention of shoring up ties with U.S. allies in Europe and Asia, which suffered during Donald Trump’s presidency, should he be elected. Upon taking office, he followed through almost […]

A man waving a Cuban flag in a rally outside the White House in Washington, July 13, 2021 (AP photo by Susan Walsh).

President Joe Biden has finally learned the lesson that each of his 11 predecessors had to grudgingly accept when it comes to Cuba: Some U.S. interests can only be advanced by engaging with Havana. After a policy review that lasted 15 months, during which former President Donald Trump’s draconian economic sanctions remained in place, the State Department recently announced it will relax the measures that have had the greatest direct impact on the Cuban people. The change comes at a moment when irregular migration from Cuba is aggravating the crisis on the U.S. southern border and Latin American heads of […]

U.S. President Joe Biden meets with business leaders in the White House to discuss the Bipartisan Innovation Act and its provisions for increasing U.S. semiconductor manufacturing, Washington, March 9, 2022 (SIPA photo by Yuri Gripas).

Semiconductors, the tiny chips that power everything from Apple iPhones to F-35 fighter jets, are a true product of globalization. Their technological sophistication is matched only by the logistical complexity of their supply chains, which stretch across the planet. It should be no surprise, then, that these chips are feeling the impact of accelerating deglobalization. Over the past several years, manufacturers of everything from shoes to home appliances have moved to reshore production, encouraged by protectionist governments erecting trade barriers to protect domestic economies from geopolitical forces. Gradually, the “just-in-time” supply chains of the globalized world, which outsourced aspects of […]

Forces loyal to Libya’s U.N.-appointed interim Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibah arrive from Misrata to Tripoli in a show of support, Feb. 12, 2022 (AP photo by Yousef Murad).

By any definition, Libya is a so-called fragile state and a high-priority challenge for international security. Since 2011, it has been wracked by repeated cycles of internal division and proxy warfare. It is a key node of arms smuggling and human trafficking, and a feeder of violence, conflict and human suffering across North Africa and down to the Sahel and the broader West Africa region. In recognition of these challenges, the U.S. recently named it one of the priority countries for the Global Fragility Act, or GFA, a 2019 law designed to change the way the U.S. government approaches conflict-prevention and peacebuilding […]

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang speaks at a virtual “1+6” Round Table Dialogue with the heads of the World Bank, IMF, WTO, International Labor Organization, OECD and Financial Stability Board, in Beijing, Dec. 6, 2021 (AP photo by Andy Wong).

As China leveraged its state capitalist model to become a global superpower, it increasingly challenged the market-oriented basis of the liberal economic order founded by the United States and its allies 75 years ago. When this competition between the Chinese and Western economic systems gained steam in the 2010s, the main battlefield of international relations also began to shift from the classical realm of security to the normally “civilian” fields of trade, investment, technology and finance—in other words, from geopolitics to geoeconomics. With Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, military force is front and center once again, even before the United States […]

President Joe Biden meets virtually with Chinese President Xi Jinping from the Roosevelt Room of the White House, Washington, Nov. 15, 2021 (AP photo by Susan Walsh).

It has not even been three months since Russia invaded Ukraine, and it remains far from clear as to when and how this conflict will end. Nevertheless, a robust discussion is already underway over the potential impact of Moscow’s aggression on U.S. foreign policy toward China as well as on Washington’s broader strategic outlook. In the short term, it seems likely that the war will undercut U.S. efforts to rebalance its focus to the Asia-Pacific and strategic competition with China—ironically, because Ukrainian forces have performed far better than expected. Given the vast imbalance between Russia’s conventional military capabilities and those […]

The foreign ministers of Bahrain, Egypt and Israel listen as U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks during a news conference, Sde Boker, Israel, March 28, 2022 (AP photo by Jacquelyn Martin).

The U.S. hasn’t “quit” the Middle East, notwithstanding the frequent complaints of its regional partners. But Washington has clearly scaled back its engagement in the region, especially in military terms, from its peak during the first decade after 9/11. This shift in the U.S. role has generated rancorous debate. Washington’s partners in the region complain about feeling abandoned, while its rivals crow about driving the U.S. out of the Middle East. Back in the U.S., many hawks clamor for more military confrontation, particularly with Iran, while those who argue for restraint are willing to tolerate chaos and armed conflict so long as […]