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 […]

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro during a press conference at Miraflores presidential palace in Caracas, Venezuela, Jan. 25, 2019 (AP photo by Ariana Cubillos).

If Donald Trump ends up being the catalyst that leads to the fall of the Chavista regime in Venezuela, it would be further proof that history has a sense of humor, if a dark one. Over the past week, the Trump administration has ratcheted up the pressure on Nicolas Maduro’s government, recognizing the opposition leader Juan Guaido as the country’s legitimate president, imposing sanctions on Venezuela’s state oil company and its assets, and turning over control of the country’s U.S. bank accounts to Guaido. Through it all, the administration has refused to rule out a military intervention, repeating its refrain […]

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 […]

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 […]

The U.S. guided-missile destroyer USS McCampbell sails past the Opera House in Sydney, Australia, July 4, 2011 (AP photo by Rob Griffith).

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 and the United Kingdom conducted joint naval exercises in the South China Sea last week, their first such drills in the area since 2010. The operations were intended to push back on China’s assertive behavior in the region, including its militarization of nearby artificial islands, but analysts are skeptical that they will have much of an impact. The U.S. Navy guided missile destroyer USS McCampbell and the Royal Navy frigate HMS Argyll practiced division tactics and […]

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 […]

A man looks out at the U.S. border where workers are replacing parts of the U.S. border wall for a higher one, Tijuana, Mexico, Dec. 19, 2018 (AP photo by Moises Castillo).

American politics today is consumed by a debate over the security of the nation’s long southern border with Mexico, driven by President Donald Trump’s determination to build a barrier wall along its full length. While Trump has hammered on about this idea since announcing his presidential campaign in 2015, he did not push Congress on it during the first two years of his administration, when his Republican Party controlled both chambers of Congress. Only last month, with control of the House of Representatives about to shift to the Democrats, did Trump decide that funding a border wall was imperative—so much […]

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 […]

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 […]

Pro-choice demonstrators wear signs that say “Death by abortion” to show support for the legalization of abortion in Argentina, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Aug. 8, 2018 (AP photo by Silvia Izquierdo).

In this week’s Trend Lines podcast, WPR’s editor-in-chief, Judah Grunstein, and managing editor, Frederick Deknatel, discuss the standoff in Washington over President Donald Trump’s border wall and the crisis in Central America it overshadows. For the Report, Anna-Catherine Brigida talks with WPR’s senior editor, Robbie Corey-Boulet, about recent progress made by abortion rights activists in Latin America and the challenges they continue to face in liberalizing the region’s strict abortion laws. 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 […]

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 […]

A participant speaking at a conference on cybersecurity at the Hasso Plattner Institute in Potsdam, Germany, May 4, 2017 (Photo by Ralf Hirschberger for dpa via AP Images).

Criminals on the dark web are compelling law enforcement agencies in the United States and Europe to alter the way they conduct investigations on the internet, opening up new possibilities for international police collaboration against cybercrime but also, critics warn, expanding the long arm of the law without a clear understanding of the impact. Since 2013, the proliferation of decentralized cryptocurrencies and online black markets has created countless new avenues for easy criminality. From the confines of a living room in China, a drug dealer using an anonymous browser can sell opioids to a user in the United States that […]

A man holds on to the barrier at the U.S.-Mexico border, Tijuana, Mexico, Jan. 8, 2019 (AP photo by Gregory Bull).

U.S. President Donald Trump took his case for building a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border directly to the American people in a brief televised address on Jan. 8. Trump characterized the situation at the border as a humanitarian crisis that required urgent action and defended his refusal to sign compromise legislation that would end a partial federal government shutdown that began in late December. Trump made immigration a central component of his 2016 presidential campaign, with his promise to build a wall and get Mexico to pay for it becoming a signature catchphrase. Throughout the campaign, he demonized Mexican and […]

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