Snapshots

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Snapshot,
Martin Welz and Angela Meyer

The history of the Central African Republic over the past 20 years is linked to a dizzying number of peacekeeping acronyms. The latest mission, to be led by the UN, seems fated to repeat mistakes of its predecessors.

Snapshot,
Mitchell A. Orenstein

Out to earn a dollar on the Russian natural resource trade, European nations such as the Netherlands have long kept smiling as the Kremlin has continued to humiliate them. But now the airline disaster, combined with Moscow’s attempts to cover up its role in the tragedy, will likely force Europe to get real about its eastern neighbor.

Snapshot,
Ariel Ilan Roth

Israel's tactical achievements against Hamas can't be minimized. But they do not equal a strategic victory. War, as Clausewitz famously taught, is the continuation of politics by other means. Wars are fought to realign politics in a way that benefits the victor and is detrimental to the loser. But the Israelis have lost sight of this distinction.

Snapshot,
Sulmaan Khan

On the grasslands of the Tibetan plateau, one sometimes hears a strange chattering -- an excited buzz that seems to emanate from the earth itself. Anyone who stops to look for the source will quickly realize that the ground is marked by a series of holes, from which small, shy creatures are likely to be watching. The labyrinthine burrows made by these mammals, called pikas, provide them security. But they also ensure China's water supply. Here's what their plight says about Chinese conservation efforts.

Snapshot,
Alexander J. Motyl

This week saw a major escalation of Russian military involvement in Ukraine, which, until yesterday, had gone relatively unremarked in Western media. But now, no matter who fired the missile that brought down Malaysia Airlines flight 17, things are set to change. And that is bad news for Putin.

Snapshot,
Jonah Blank

Preliminary tallies suggest that Jokowi won Indonesia's July 9 presidential election, but his competitor, Prabowo, is not guaranteed to go quietly. The stakes could hardly be higher: Since the fall of Suharto in 1998, Indonesia has been a showpiece of democracy in Asia. The final count will either solidify this narrative, or toss it right out the window.

Snapshot,
Hussein Ibish

Netanyahu's entire career has been defined by careful calculation, caution, and a steadfast commitment to the status quo. But since the onset of Israel's ongoing war with Hamas, he has found himself in a situation well outside of his comfort zone.

Snapshot,
Jan-Werner Müller

The Europe of today is a creation of Christian Democrats. Yet both as a set of ideas and as a political movement, Christian democracy is growing less influential and less coherent. As the larger project of European integration faces new risks, then, its most important backer may soon prove incapable of defending it. 

Snapshot,
Johannes Haushofer

Poverty has psychological consequences, including stress, sadness, and anger, which may create a trap that keeps people mired in destitution. To make aid more effective, then, donors and policymakers should start considering whether their programs address mental as well as physical well-being.

Snapshot,
Bassel F. Salloukh

The stunning recent military successes by ISIS have triggered a wave of gloomy prognoses about the demise of the Sykes-Picot regional order in the Levant. However, the stakes are higher than the disintegration of what have always been permeable borders and the collapse of a long bygone Anglo-French agreement. Indeed, this year could mark the birth of a new regional order.

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