Regions

Africa

Snapshot,
John Lee

Tiny Djibouti in the Horn of Africa is a key strategic outpost for U.S. armed forces. But with China getting in on the act, Washington would do well to pay more attention to the country—or risk losing its foothold there.

Snapshot,
Catherine Thomas and Johannes Haushofer

Mental health is not just a First World problem. In the developing world, depression is often a cause, not a result, of poverty.

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.

Americas

Snapshot,
Benjamin Brake

In the wake of the Snowden revelations, it has become more difficult for governments to conduct surveillance operations. As a result, black and gray markets for anti-encryption software have boomed.

Letter From,
Michael J. Bustamante

Average Cubans on depressed state salaries are already hurrying to grab the last of this year’s delayed crop of potatoes. Across town,Sara’s Bar draws patrons from the island’s foreign-currency-holding elite with a conspicuous imitation of South Beach chic. And ten minutes away, the red flag of the Soviet Union proudly advertises a new private Russian restaurant, complete with Lenin-era propaganda posters to lend the décor the right amount of nostalgic kitsch.

Essay, 2015
Jess Lowenberg-DeBoer

"Precision agriculture" is revolutionizing farming as we know it. Taking advantage of information technology, farmers can now collect precise data about their fields and customize how they cultivate each square foot, boosting yields and reducing waste. Big data is the key to the future of the green revolution.

Asia

Response,
Sue Mi Terry and Max Boot

The case of North Korea clearly exposes the dangers of the United States seeking a nuclear agreement with a state that has no intention of abiding by one. The United States’ experience with North Korea should make it wary of similar nuclear negotiations, especially with Iran.

Comment, 2015
Gideon Rose

In recent decades, China has surged from totalitarian poverty to middle-income authoritarianism. This transformation has been one of the great events in human history. But Beijing has already picked most of the low-hanging fruit of modernization and is now bumping up against the classic challenges of the middle phases of development. Our deep dive into China's condition looks at what's happening today—and what might happen tomorrow.

Snapshot,
Jacob Stokes

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.

Europe

Snapshot,
Matthew Johnson

The United Kingdom is set to go to the polls to select among a wider variety of parties than ever before. At stake in this election is more than control of Westmister. Indeed, it is the concept of British identity as a whole.

Snapshot,
Steven A. Cook

For Gallipoli’s Turkish defenders, the battle there was an important victory in defense of the Ottoman Empire. Paradoxically, it also became a touchstone of the nationalism that was so important to the establishment of the Republic of Turkey less than a decade later. Likewise, celebrations planned for the battle’s centenary reflect the tension between the valorization of the Ottoman era and the hallowed memory of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk.

Snapshot,
Timothy H. Edgar

Since 2013, when Edward Snowden revealed that the NSA had been spying on private communications on a mass scale, U.S. President Barack Obama has faced pressure to tighten privacy laws. The administration has made more progress than many think.

Middle East

Letter From,
David Schenker

In the course of two hours, Rudaynah al Otti, a Jordanian parliamentarian, saw almost 20 of her constituents. The brief meetings were evenly punctuated—nearly every three minutes—by a stream of calls on her mobile phone. She was courteous (she always started by asking about her constituent’s family) but then got straight to business. This is politics in Jordan.

Snapshot,
Denise Natali

Within Iraq and Syria, the U.S.-led campaign against ISIS relies heavily on Kurdish Peshmerga. But the Peshmerga haven’t been a total success story; Peshmerga forces are using coalition air strikes to engineer territorial and demographic changes that are antagonizing Sunni Arabs—the very communities the United States needs on its side to degrade ISIS.

Snapshot,
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.

Russia & FSU

Snapshot,
Jacob Stokes

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,
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.

Snapshot,
Ilan Berman

Mixed martial arts has become a way for the increasingly isolated Russia to interact with the rest of the world. The message is clear: despite Western sanctions, Russia is still very much a global contender.

Global Commons

Snapshot,
Timothy H. Edgar

Since 2013, when Edward Snowden revealed that the NSA had been spying on private communications on a mass scale, U.S. President Barack Obama has faced pressure to tighten privacy laws. The administration has made more progress than many think.

Snapshot,
Bhaskar Chakravorti, Christopher Tunnard, and Ravi Shankar Chaturvedi

Estonia is the gold standard when it comes to digital innovation. The question is: How does the rest of the world catch up?

Snapshot,
Amrita Narlikar

Developed and developing countries use poverty as a bargaining tool. Here's how.