US policy toward Africa continues to be outdated, despite efforts to reset economic relations

U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen completed a three-country trip across Africa this week that saw stops in the continent’s west and south. The visit sought to expand economic ties between the United States and Africa, in line with Washington’s much-touted desire to “reset” relations with the continent.

Ursula von der Leyen on the EU's response to the US inflation reduction act, which has angered many European officials

European Commission officials are crafting a response to the U.S. Inflation Reduction Act, as it becomes more apparent that Washington is unlikely to adopt changes to assuage European concerns. This week in Davos, Commission President Ursula von der Leyen laid out some of the steps the union will take to keep Europe’s industry competitive.

A statue of a colonial general covered in blood, symbolizing the movement for reparations and the dark legacy of colonialism by countries in Europe, Britain, and the US

In recent years, formerly colonized countries have been advancing a confident and militant movement for reparatory justice, and it has seen results. But the breakthroughs made have been met with a stubborn resistance by the countries responsible for colonization and slavery to avoid framing the issue as reparations.

Humanitarian aid to Ukraine refugees amid the war there

What drives the disproportionate amount of aid going to Ukraine compared to crises outside Europe? One answer often given is racial bias, because many Ukrainians are white Europeans. But geographical proximity and Western publics’ perception of the nature of this particular crisis could also be playing a role.

Kevin McCarthy struggled to get the votes to become speaker of the US House, a bad sign for United States' democracy and US aid to Ukraine

The process leading to Kevin McCarthy’s election as speaker of the House lent itself to jokes, but it could have serious negative consequences. The debacle placed U.S. national security in jeopardy in the short term. It is also a bad omen for the functioning of the U.S. government, and for the world, over the next two years.

France's President amid the country's plan to send tanks to Ukraine, something NATO allies had resisted

The war in Ukraine took a significant turn this week with the announcement that France is sending tanks to Ukraine, something that NATO members, including the U.S. and U.K., had long resisted. The move comes amid concerns that a Republican-controlled Congress in the U.S. may significantly cut aid to Ukraine.

Supporters of Bolsonaro attack Brazil's democracy in a similar fashion to the January 6 insurrection in Washington

When supporters of Brazil’s former President Jair Bolsonaro stormed the capital’s seat of government on Sunday, everyone’s mind flashed back to the events of Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington. The two assaults on democracy were driven by many of the same forces, with similar ideologies, similar playbooks—and some of the same players.

China's President, Xi Jinping, amid a US vs China trade war and the threat of an indo-pacific alliance

As the West ramps up its efforts to help Ukraine survive Russia’s ongoing invasion, European and U.S. policymakers are already examining their failure to deter Russian President Vladimir Putin for lessons that might help develop a more effective strategy to respond to Beijing’s increasingly assertive foreign policy posture.

Marvel Studios' actors on the red carpet in Russia, an international market that had previously been good for the box office for the MCU

In response to growing criticism for its lack of diversity, Marvel Studios has featured an increasing number of women and people of color as heroes over the past five years. But despite the course-correction, its creations remain stubbornly American in terms of perspective. That may not work out well for the studio.

President Xi Jinping amid a US vs China trade war and shaky relationship

One of the dangers of a U.S. foreign policy consensus is that once it’s formed, there are enormous market incentives for analysts in Washington to formulate smart-sounding ways to operationalize it, rather than to question it. We see all of these dynamics on display now when it comes to U.S. policy on China.

Amid a propaganda war between Putin in Russia and Zelensky in Ukraine

Sometimes, the most significant news is something that is widely expected to happen, but doesn’t. That is the case with one aspect of the war in Ukraine since Russia invaded in February 2022: that it has so far failed to become a bitter partisan wedge issue in the polarized politics of Western democracies.

President Xi Jinping of China and President Putin of Russia amid a global battle between democracy and autocracy

For many, predictions are simply a fun exercise. But for pundits, they are more than that, as they offer a stress test for how well we truly understand our world. In order to predict, we must first understand. In that spirit, then, here’s my own stab at predicting what 2023 will have in store: a true “end of history” moment.

US-trained Afghan commandos, who are now being recruited by Russia to fight in the war in Ukraine, before the Taliban takeover

Afghan commandos who fled to Iran to escape the Taliban are now being recruited to fight alongside the Russian military in Ukraine. Tempted by high salaries and lacking stable incomes or other means of support for their families, many of these U.S.-trained fighters see joining the war effort in Ukraine as the least bad option.