Women walk beneath an election banner for the ruling Frelimo party in Maputo, Mozambique, Oct. 11, 2019 (AP photo by Ferhat Momade).

The stakes were high when Mozambique voted in general elections on Oct. 15, its sixth poll since 1994, when the country’s first multiparty elections began what has been a shaky transition from 16 years of civil war. But rather than ease tensions, this month’s vote has inflamed new ones amid charges of voter fraud and electoral violence. When fighting between the government and Renamo, the former rebel group and now main opposition party, flared up in 2013, there were fears of a slide back into open warfare. Although a cease-fire allowed general elections to go forward in 2014, this month’s […]

Dian Novi, center, flanked by her husband, Nur Solihin, during a trial against them for
planning a suicide bombing, Jakarta, Indonesia, Aug. 23, 2017 (AP photo by Achmad Ibrahmin).

JAKARTA, Indonesia—An online magazine catering to supporters of the Islamic State in Southeast Asia is not the first place you might expect to find a spread featuring an illustration of a pink flower. But there it was amid articles about beheadings and bombings in an issue last year of Al-Fatihin, or The Conquerors. At first glance, the image could be mistaken for a misplaced advertisement. But the title above it left no doubt about the article’s intended audience: Jihad Wanita, or “Women’s Jihad.” The following six paragraphs outlined the different forms of jihad a woman can carry out, such as […]

Cover photo: A Syrian national flag with the picture of the President Bashar al-Assad hangs at an army checkpoint in the town of Douma in the eastern Ghouta region outside Damascus, July 15, 2018 (AP photo by Hassan Ammar).

After more than seven years of civil war that gutted Syria, the endgame is here. But there are more questions than ever. Download your FREE copy of What Is the Endgame in Syria? to learn more today. What does victory on President Bashar al-Assad’s brutal terms look like? How has the rise and fall of the Islamic State changed Syria’s political map? How will U.S. President Trump’s decision to withdraw U.S. troops from northeastern Syria and the subsequent Turkish invasion of the area change the situation?And what about reconstruction, let alone reconciliation? This WPR report provides a comprehensive look at […]

Vice President Mike Pence and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the Presidential Palace for talks on the Kurds and Syria, in Ankara, Turkey, Oct. 17, 2019 (AP photo by Jacquelyn Martin).

After eight years of chaos, it is hard to know which moment in the history of Syria’s brutal civil war-turned-proxy-conflict will ultimately stand out as the most egregious. There can be little doubt, though, that President Donald Trump’s sudden decision last week to pull U.S. troops out of Syria and abandon America’s Kurdish allies in the militia known as the Syrian Democratic Forces—their most reliable partners on the ground in the campaign against the Islamic State—will rank as one of the most spectacular failures in the history of American foreign policy. The White House’s turnabout by tweet in Syria has […]

Armenian soldiers after shooting practice at the Mataghis army base in Armenian-controlled Karabakh, May 11, 2018 (AP photo by Thanassis Stavrakis).

The honeymoon is over for Armenia’s popular prime minister, Nikol Pashinyan. In addition to a series of problems at home, he has no choice but to deal with a perennial headache: the three-decades-old conflict with Azerbaijan over the disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh, which dates back to the last years of the Soviet Union in 1988. Pashinyan came to office suddenly and unexpectedly in April 2018 on a wave of popular protests that swept away the previous government, which had monopolized power and was tainted by corruption. That peaceful revolution transformed Armenia overnight, briefly put it on the world’s television screens […]

President Trump walks away after speaking about Turkey at Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base in Fort Worth, Texas, Oct. 17, 2019 (AP photo by Andrew Harnik).

In this week’s editors’ discussion on Trend Lines, WPR’s Judah Grunstein, Frederick Deknatel and Laura Weiss talk about whether the Syria withdrawal represents U.S. President Donald Trump’s “Hurricane Katrina moment,” when the disconnect between Trump’s messaging and the reality on the ground becomes unsustainable. They also discuss the damage Trump’s presidency has done to U.S. diplomacy and interests, and whether it is reparable. 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 […]

President Donald Trump arrives to speak at a campaign rally in Lake Charles, Louisiana, Oct. 11, 2019 (AP photo by Evan Vucci).

There are any number of defensible arguments in support of President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw U.S. troops from northeastern Syria. It is safe to assume that Trump didn’t consider any of them. Instead, Trump seems to have acted as ever on impulse, out of a misguided sense that his instinct is a better guide than strategic planning and historical literacy. His decision reveals not an infallible instinct but a failure to understand three core elements of American power: assurance, deterrence and leverage. To begin with the theoretical arguments in support of withdrawing from northeastern Syria, first and foremost, the […]

U.S. ambassador to the U.N. Kelly Craft addresses the Security Council at U.N. headquarters, New York, Sept. 19, 2019 (AP photo by Bebeto Matthews).

Editor’s Note: Guest columnist Richard Gowan is filling in for Candace Rondeaux this week. How is Kelly Knight Craft doing as U.S. permanent representative to the United Nations? It is almost exactly one month since Craft presented her credentials to Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Sept. 12. It has been an eventful period, including the annual General Assembly jamboree and Security Council crisis talks on North Korea and Syria. To top it off, Guterres warned this week that the U.N. is about to run out of operating funds because over 60 members have not paid their annual dues. The U.S. has […]

Opposition leader Riek Machar, left, greets South Sudan’s president, Salva Kiir, in Juba, South Sudan, Sept. 9, 2019 (AP photo by Sam Mednick).

Editor’s Note: Every Friday, Andrew Green curates the top news and analysis from and about the African continent. South Sudan’s peace deal showed signs of faltering this week ahead of a November implementation deadline. With key provisions unmet, including an agreement on the boundaries of the country’s states, opposition leader Riek Machar is now threatening to boycott the unity government that is the centerpiece of the deal. Rights groups are also faulting the signatories for failing to set up a tribunal to consider wartime atrocities. The agreement, signed in September 2018, lays out a set of requirements, including the formation […]

People watch smoke billowing from targets inside Syria during bombardment by Turkish forces, in Akcakale, southeastern Turkey, at the border with Syria, Oct. 10, 2019 (AP photo by Lefteris Pitarakis).

In this week’s editors’ discussion on Trend Lines, WPR’s Judah Grunstein, Elliot Waldman and Laura Weiss talk about U.S. sanctions targeting Chinese government entities and businesses involved in human rights abuses against the Uighur minority in Xinjiang. They also discuss what is driving protests in Ecuador, and why U.S. President Donald Trump’s greenlighting of a Turkish incursion into Syria could end up being a catastrophic error. 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 […]

President Trump meets with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky at the InterContinental Barclay New York hotel during the United Nations General Assembly, Sept. 25, 2019 (AP photo by Evan Vucci).

With every day, a new thread seems to emerge in the ongoing impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump, which centers on Trump’s efforts to pressure the government of Ukraine to dig up dirt on Joe Biden, the former vice president and now Democratic presidential candidate. According to multiple whistleblowers and a released rough transcript of a July 25 phone call, Trump urged his Ukrainian counterpart, Volodymyr Zelensky, to investigate Biden. The request put Zelensky in a tough position, caught between his need for American support to fight a war in eastern Ukraine against Russia-backed separatists, and his desire to avoid […]

An Israeli drone that crashed in southern Beirut in August on display at the Lebanese Defense Ministry, in Yarzeh, Lebanon, Sept. 19, 2019 (AP photo by Bilal Hussein).

The attack on oil facilities in Saudi Arabia last month cut the country’s oil production in half, leading to a 20 percent spike in the price of oil and exposing the surprising vulnerability of the Saudi oil industry, which is vital to the global energy supply. It was all apparently the work of a handful of drones and cruise missiles. It was just the latest incident, but certainly the most high-stakes geopolitically, of what is usually referred to as “suspected drone activity.” Interruptions to commercial aircraft have become increasingly frequent, when planes must be diverted to another location because a […]