One out of every four refugees in the world is from Afghanistan. Many make their escape via the Tora Larah, the Black Way, a long and dangerous underground railroad that winds through Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, Turkey, and Greece. Those that travel this path might escape their home country, but they often end up bringing its violence along with them. Here is one migrant's story.
Ayatollah Khamenei has developed a four-part strategy to avoid a repeat of the 2009 presidential elections, which led to massive demonstrations and the discrediting of the regime. But the eleventh-hour declarations of candidacy by Hashemi Rafsanjani and Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei have made his task more difficult.
The debate about what to do in Syria has been sidetracked by discussions of credibility and reputation. But both logic and evidence prove that reputations are mostly imaginary. Obama should not let fears that others might think him irresolute drive him to disaster. Instead, he should refocus on what U.S. interests really are in Syria, and how he can best obtain them.
Elections in Malaysia earlier this month resulted in the National Front (BN) coalition maintaining its nearly six-decade hold on power. But the race was closer than any before. Now, Prime Minister Najib Razak, the head of the biggest party within the BN, will struggle to maintain his position in his party and in the government.
Critics of Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa bemoan his despotic tendencies. But with 50 percent of Ecuadorian's reporting that they are happy with their country's trajectory, he will likely enjoy popular support for a long time to come.
In its rush to fete Myanmar's president, Thein Sein, and capitalize on the country's tentative opening, the international community has turned a blind eye toward the ongoing repression of minorities and the continued political dominance of the military. In doing so, it has given up much of its leverage over Sein at the very time when it should be pushing for clearer commitments to reconciliation and democracy.
After months of negotiations, Kosovo and Serbia have finally agreed to normalize relations. The deal pushes some questions aside and requires both parties to accept certain fictions. Nevertheless, it could as a template for melting the region's other frozen conflicts.
With predictions about climate change growing direr every week, geoengineering (which includes everything from fertilizing the oceans in an attempt to cajole great blooms of carbon-sucking phytoplankton to spraying particles into the upper atmosphere to make the earth more reflective) is starting to look more attractive. But the science still lags behind the ambitions. To understand how such schemes would work in practice -- and what their consequences would be -- it is time to start small-scale field tests.
Last month, Israel's intelligence agency once again quietly indicated that it had downgraded its assessments of Iran's ability to build a nuclear bomb. It is time for Israel and the West to cut down on their alarmism. Crying wolf too early and too often can destroy a government's credibility and leave it vulnerable.
An annotated Foreign Affairs syllabus on the Caucasus.
An annotated Foreign Affairs syllabus on Peruvian politics.
The world may expect great things from India, but as extensive reporting reveals, Indians themselves turn out to be deeply skeptical about their country’s potential. That attitude, plus New Delhi’s dysfunctional foreign-policy bureaucracy, prevent long-term planning of the sort China has mastered -- and are holding India back.
Much of the outrage over economic inequality in the United States has centered on the high compensation and lack of accountability that corporate executives supposedly enjoy -- allegedly the result of boards at public companies. The truth, however, is that American CEOs now earn less and get fired more than in the recent past.
Conventional wisdom holds that the U.S. Army will bear the brunt of forthcoming defense cuts. But that need not be the case, provided it shifts its focus away from traditional ground forces toward more relevant weapons: land-base missile systems.
Looming budgetary constraints and the U.S. Army's ongoing downsizing have enhanced the appeal of forces that are lighter, smaller, and cheaper than tanks and other protected vehicles. But not only have armored forces proved critical in yesterday's wars; they will also be needed to win tomorrow's.
Pope Benedict XVI made reaching out to other faiths and promoting Christian unity hallmarks of his tenure. Pope Francis will continue this work, not only because he has a history of facilitating religious dialogue, but also because global Catholicism requires it.
Given that there are few appealing policy options for Syria, it might be tempting to downplay Assad's alleged use of chemical weapons and brush aside earlier rhetoric about red lines. But that would be a mistake: chemical weapons can kill thousands in a single day, their use becomes a national trauma, and their debilitating effects linger for decades.
For the U.S. economy to reach its full potential, argues Edward Conard, Washington should decrease federal spending and ease government regulation. Fareed Zakaria demurs, contending that structural reform and government investment are what the U.S. economy needs most.
Jonathan Caverly and Ethan Kapstein maintained that the United States’ domination of the global arms market is disappearing and that as a consequence, Washington is squandering an array of economic and political benefits. Critics dispute the point; Caverley and Kapstein respond.