China's Road Rules

Beijing Looks West Toward Eurasian Integration

Jacob Stokes
A vessel is seen under construction at the Waigaoqiao shipyard in Shanghai November 5, 2013.
A vessel is seen under construction at the Waigaoqiao shipyard in Shanghai November 5, 2013. (Carlos Barria / Reuters)
While the world focuses on China’s aggression in the seas to its east, China’s leaders are looking west with their "One Belt, One Road" strategy. If successful, the ambitious program would make China a principal economic and diplomatic force in Eurasian integration.
Snapshot

In Cahoots With the Houthis

Charles Schmitz
Many suspect former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh of using the Houthis, his old enemies, to try to regain power. But in the end, he may end up as the conflict's biggest loser.
Snapshot

Iran's Game in Yemen

Mohsen Milani
Saudi Arabia is grossly exaggerating Iran’s power in Yemen to justify its own expansionist ambitions. Iran is not the cause of the civil war, nor are the Houthis its proxy. Chaos, not Iran, controls the Arab world's poorest nation.
Capsule Review

Today's Book: Understanding Shiite Leadership

John Waterbury

Mishal and Goldberg coin a set of terms to describe political leadership in the Islamic Republic of Iran and within Hezbollah. In the authors’ view, “the middle ground” is where Shiite leadership is most comfortable.

Jewish settlers stand behind an orange Star of David at entrance of Jewish settlement of Shirat Hayam, August 8, 2005.
Snapshot
Elliott Abrams and Uri Sadot

The United States and Europe frequently criticized Netanyahu's settlement policy as expanding Israeli presence in the West Bank. Meanwhile, right-wing constituencies in Israel lashed out at Netanyahu for doing the exact opposite. In fact, he was doing both—a balancing act that is about to get a lot harder.

Snapshot
Geoff D. Porter

From conflict in Mali to Libya's dangerous morass, Algeria has never faced such serious threats directly on its own borders. For the moment, the country appears determined to follow its usual strategy of pushing for political solutions to the external crises while beefing up its internal security as a safeguard if these solutions fail. The problem with this strategy is that asks too much from ordinary Algerians, who can only hope that it’s the best way to protect the normalcy that they hold so dear.

A Kashmiri woman Ishrat Ghani cries while narrating the story of her mother's death during a day-long token hunger strike organi
Letter From
Vasundhara Sirnate

Although they both want the same things—protection from counterterrorism gone awry and development—Jammu’s Hindu population and Muslim Kashmiris have different answers about how to get them. Modi's election laid these divisions bare.

An Orthodox monk prays next to armed servicemen near Russian army vehicles outside a Ukrainian border guard post.
Snapshot
Thomas J. Reese and Daniel I. Mark

Moscow is applying its restrictive laws in Crimea. As a result, Muslims, Jews, and even some Orthodox Christian groups are facing increasing discrimination.

A boy, who is a follower of the Houthi movement, carries his weapon during a protest against the Saudi-led air strikes in Sanaa,
Snapshot
Philippe Bolopion and Belkis Wille

The Saudi Arabia-led bombing campaign in Yemen is off to a dreadful start, at least when it comes to the civilian toll. And now that the United States has offered its support, it will be associated with the bloodshed.

A wall painted with the black flag commonly used by Islamic State militants in al-Alamm, March 10, 2015.
Snapshot
Andrew F. March and Mara Revkin

Debating whether ISIS is really "Islamic" or is better understood as an exotic apocalyptic death cult does not bring the world closer to understanding how the group governs. Indeed, whatever it believes about the apocalypse, it sees itself as creating a distinctive legal order for the here and now, one that is based on a literal (if selective) reading of early Islamic materials and a long-standing theory of statecraft and legal authority.

Discussion