1

During his visit to Washington last week, Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio suggested the U.S. may be feeling “self-doubt” when it comes to its global leadership role. His remarks point to an underappreciated aspect of global politics: In addition to being willing and able to act, a hegemon must also believe it can get the job done.

Demonstrators wave Georgian and EU flags in Tbilisi.

Georgia’s ruling party recently revived a controversial “foreign agents” bill that the opposition has disparagingly labeled the “Russia Law,” reigniting a pitched battle between the majority of Georgians, who want to join the EU, and Georgia Dream, which has drawn closer to Moscow, even as it pretends it supports EU accession.

The USS Lake Champlain.

For more than a century, the ability to project naval strength on a massive scale has been the crucial lynchpin of U.S. global hegemony. Yet a structural crisis that is now overwhelming the U.S. Navy presents as much of a threat to Washington’s geopolitical position as the isolationist populism fueled by the rise of Donald Trump.

U.S. President Joe Biden meets with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

A common understanding of why U.S.-China relations have cratered since the 2016 election of former President Donald Trump is that the world’s two largest economies had gone from being complementary to being increasingly competitive and zero-sum. But even in this economic relationship, there are still ways to find common ground.

1

Recent setbacks for two major Chinese projects in Latin America are likely music to U.S. policymakers’ ears and could point to the quiet diplomacy of the administration of U.S. President Joe Biden paying off in key areas of concern. How Beijing reacts to these setbacks will shape its future relations with Latin America.

U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Linda Thomas-Greenfield.

Cynicism about the value of international law is understandable, given its failure to change state behavior. But it is a mistake to look at recent developments and conclude that the rules that underpin the rules-based order do not matter. Understanding why requires thinking more carefully about the purpose of international law.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and French President Emmanuel Macron.

The out-in-the-open friction between German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and French President Emmanuel Macron offers an unsettling glimpse into the complicated political landscape faced by Kyiv and the Ukrainian people as Russia’s assault, now in its third year, makes steady gains ahead of a potentially decisive summer offensive.

Palestinian residents return to Khan Yunis in Gaza.

Around the world, militaries have begun to embrace AI as the latest technological silver bullet. This trend, and its pitfalls, has been on prominent display in Gaza, where the Israeli military’s use of AI-driven models for targeting decisions has had a devastating impact on civilians in exchange for limited strategic results.

A sign reading “No nuclear weapons never again!”

Last week, at the ISA’s annual conference, a roundtable discussion examined how much the nuclear taboo had been weakened by the war in Ukraine and Russia’s nuclear brinksmanship. While the answer was varied, the scholars agreed on one thing: Putin’s threats themselves are not a great barometer of any change in the nuclear taboo.

Ecuadorian police break into the Mexican Embassy.

Latin America should have a regional conversation about how its corrupt politicians abuse the asylum system by seeking refuge in foreign embassies to avoid accountability for their crimes. But that conversation can’t be held against the backdrop of raids against those embassies, which are legally inviolable under international law.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

Yesterday marked 75 years since NATO’s founding, notable not only as a mark of longevity but also because, unlike most of the years of NATO’s existence, the alliance is immersed in war. That makes NATO as relevant as ever. But does “relevant” necessarily mean “valuable”? Put simply, is NATO still worth it?

Former U.S. President Donald Trump.

With every passing day, 2024 looks more like a hinge year in history. Every year is crucial, and unexpected events can reroute the course of history at any moment. And yet, there are good reasons to believe that this is, in fact, a more important than average year in the trajectory of global events.

Russian Central Military District’s Tank Division on an ATV.

Russian assaults in Chinese-made all terrain vehicles, or ATVs, are now a daily occurrence along the frontlines of the Ukraine war. They indicate how Moscow is adapting its battlefield tactics, and this evolution could change how the Russian state approaches war on a strategic level.

Yangshan deep water port in Shanghai.

The consequences of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s intention to double down on China’s manufacturing prowess to boost growth has attracted a lot of discourse. But it’s important to understand that excess capacity has a political logic within the Chinese system that is fundamental to the country’s governance model.

Argentine President Javier Milei.

The past few weeks have seen the insults fly among Latin American leaders, with Venezuela’s foreign minister labeling Argentina’s ruling party “neo-nazis,” and Argentina’s president calling Colombia’s president a “murdering terrorist.” Unfortunately for the region, there are significant real-world consequences of this petty name-calling.