Valley of the Dolls

Japan's Disappearing Villages

Fritz Schumann
One of the dolls Tsukimi Ayano created to fill the mountain village of Nagoro on Shikoku Island in southern Japan, February 24, 2015.
One of the dolls Tsukimi Ayano created to fill the mountain village of Nagoro on Shikoku Island in southern Japan, February 24, 2015. (Thomas Peter / Reuters)
Urban migration has been particularly unkind to the small town of Nagoro, population 35. One woman fights the emptiness by creating life-sized dolls for every inhabitant who dies or moves away.

Houthi and the Blowback

Bilal Y. Saab
With the intervention in Yemen, Saudi Arabia’s military is trying to kill several birds with one stone: safeguard the country from an immediate military threat, assert its leadership of the Arab world, and redress what it sees as a geopolitical imbalance in the Middle East between itself and Iran.

Iraq Isn't the Right Front

Hassan Hassan
The air campaign against ISIS in Iraq has reached its limits; more strikes won’t help the war and will only further destabilize the sectarian balance in the country. It is time to take the battle further north to Syria.

Iran's "Dignity" Dialogue

Mohammad Ali Shabani
In a recent YouTube address, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif dropped Tehran’s usual mantra about Iran’s right to enrich and spoke instead of negotiating with dignity. The video went viral in Iran, and the sentiment behind it seems to be paying off in Geneva.
Daniel Kurtzer

The ultimate victory in Israeli elections belongs not to Netanyahu but to the country's right wing. The results showed that this force has become a permanent majority—a strength that comes regardless of who leads it.

Sumit Ganguly

Despite Modi’s best efforts, domestic developments in India threaten to jeopardize his foreign policy initiatives. He courts foreign leaders with grace, projecting professional cosmopolitanism, but his government has encouraged a dangerous, parochial social agenda at home.

David Gordon and Thomas Wright

Greece's new leaders have effectively united Europe against them. To repair the damage and keep the country's economy afloat, they need to rethink their message and adjust their demands.

A combination of images shows various takes of Osama bin Laden from videos released by the Pentagon, May 7, 2011.
Jennifer R. Williams

Climate change, intellectual property rights, and how to deal with spoiled teenagers. These are some of the more bizarre things that vexed al Qaeda in Osama bin Laden’s final months.

Houthi fighters ride a patrol truck in Sana'a March 25, 2015.
Asher Orkaby

The Houthis are one of the most effective military forces combating the expansion of al Qaeda and ISIS in the Arabian Peninsula. If the West turns its back on the Houthi leadership because of antagonistic slogans, opportunistic relations with Iran, or Hadi’s protestations, it might end up forsaking a serious partner.

Marlene Laruelle

Washington's latest sanctions have missed the mark. Targeting an ideologue such as Alexander Dugin will do little to punish Russia for its crimes against Ukraine.