Regions

Africa

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,
Paul Hidalgo

The political upheaval and conflict in Kenya could not be better for the Islamist militant group al Shabaab. Its continued attacks have successfully pitted the country’s two top politicians against each other in a game of political brinkmanship that could plunge Kenya into a toxic ethnic conflict -- exactly the kind of environment in which a group like al Shabaab can thrive.

Comment, 2014
Stephen R. Weissman

Newly available evidence shows that the CIA engaged in pervasive political meddling and paramilitary action in Congo during the 1960s -- and that the local CIA station chief directly influenced the events that led to the death of Patrice Lumumba, the country's first democratically elected prime minister.

Americas

Postscript,
Ananda Rose

Crossing the border between the United States and Mexico is more dangerous than ever. Here's what happens to those who make it -- and those who don't.

Snapshot,
Tom Keatinge
In recent years, U.S. and European officials have aggressively targeted terrorist financing networks. Those efforts have come at a high cost, restricting access to the financial system and pushing more cash into the shadows.

Snapshot,
Felix Salmon

There aren’t many institutions that are powerful enough to bring a sovereign nation to its knees. Most of the ones that are wield their power with great care; the rest are dangerous fundamentalists. Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court, suggested to the world that it -- and the rest of the U.S. federal judicial system -- lives squarely in the latter camp.

Asia

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,
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,
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.

Europe

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,
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,
Soner Cagaptay

From Turkey’s perspective, Kurdish autonomy is starting to look like a good thing. The portions of northern Iraq and Syria that are under Kurdish control are stable and peaceful -- a perfect bulwark against threats such as the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS). And that is why Turkey has been on good behavior with the Iraqi Kurds, is working on its relations with the Syrian Kurds, and might finally be breaking the impasse with the Kurds in its own territory.

Middle East

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,
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,
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.

Russia & FSU

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,
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,
Michael J. Mazarr

Recent events in Ukraine and Iraq portend a new era for international security. Today, the world’s major security risks stem from the wrath of societies or groups that feel alienated or left behind by the emerging liberal order.

Global Commons

Snapshot,
Joseph Chinyong Liow

The economic potential of the Arctic is undoubtedly considerable, and that has heightened Asian interest in the region. Because these are perilous times for the Arctic environment, though, the exploration (and exploitation) of the area needs to be done sustainably.

Essay, 2014
Erik Brynjolfsson, Andrew McAfee, and Michael Spence

Machines are substituting for more types of human labor than ever before. This means that the real winners of the future will be neither the providers of cheap labor nor the owners of ordinary capital, but rather those who can innovate and create new products, services, and business models.

Essay, 2014
Benn Steil

In today’s dollar-dominated financial system, changes in U.S. monetary policy can have immediate and significant global effects, wrecking economies and toppling regimes. As a result, for many countries monetary sovereignty is nothing but a dream.