A suspected Russian intelligence operation on the soil of NATO ally Albania may have been the first direct confrontation between NATO and Russia since Putin’s forces invaded Ukraine six months ago. If so, it could force the United States to act in some manner, given its past promises to respond to a threat on NATO soil.
Critics call the Afghanistan withdrawal one of the biggest failures of President Joe Biden’s administration. Afghanistan was indeed a failure of U.S. foreign policy. But the failure was not in how the U.S. left Afghanistan in August 2021. Rather it was in the fact that U.S. forces were still in Afghanistan in August 2021.
The latest conflict in the Gaza Strip has put the international spotlight on the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, or PIJ, the second-largest militant group in Gaza after Hamas. Despite the group’s losses in the fighting, the PIJ may have emerged politically strengthened and with its credibility as a resistance movement enhanced.
A debate is raging across Europe over whether all Russians should be banned from entering the EU. Politicians are debating whether that would unfairly hold the Russian people collectively responsible for the war in Ukraine, and conversely whether it is fair to let them in while Europeans cannot safely travel to Russia.
The human suffering and risks of escalation caused by the war in Ukraine are leading many observers to call for the U.S. and NATO to take any steps necessary to strike a deal with Russia for an immediate cease-fire. It is understandable to want to end the war. But calls for the West to do so in Ukraine’s stead are misplaced.
The first ship exporting grain from Ukraine since February left Odessa’s port this week thanks to a deal brokered by Turkey and the U.N. The agreement aims to ease the global food crisis triggered by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, but there are doubts as to whether it will hold for long enough to make a difference.
One year after the Taliban seized power in Kabul, the situation in Afghanistan is—in a word—worse. Now, the killing of al-Qaida’s leader Ayman al-Zawahiri in a U.S. drone attack has raised renewed concerns that the Taliban are providing sanctuary to the terrorist group, which could have grave implications for the country’s future.
The political impasse in Iraq has reached an ominous phase that underscores the danger of litigating politics through displays of force. And in Lebanon, the many twists and turns in its deadlocked politics demonstrate that negotiation through violence can give way to a sustainable—if bloody—alternative to civic democracy.
When U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres first released “Our Common Agenda,” his 2021 report on the future of multilateralism, many diplomats were skeptical of how it would apply to peace and security. But parts of the report actually look more, rather than less, relevant after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Since Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022, Kyiv has barred adult men aged 18-60 from leaving the country and fleeing the war with their families—regardless of their training or fitness for military service. But is this policy strictly necessary, or could the war effort be helped by allowing men to leave the country?