THE BEST OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS
FROM AROUND THE WEB
September 19, 2014
The Climate Change Opportunity
An article for The Nation adapted from Naomi Klein's new book on climate change: "As part of the project of getting our emissions down... we have the chance to advance policies that dramatically improve lives, close the gap between rich and poor, create huge numbers of good jobs, and reinvigorate democracy."
September 18, 2014
In the Dust of This City
"Timbuktu, city of gold, ancient centre of learning, is slowly turning to dust," writes Alex Duval Smith for the Guardian. That dust is both literal and figurative: "Under-development and corruption are the co-conspirators of desertification. The city is not only garrisoned physically, it is mentally sanded in."
September 17, 2014
As China Goes, So Goes the World
"Climate change is a global issue," writes Jeff Goodell for Rolling Stone. "Nothing any single nation does is going to matter much when it comes to solving the problem. Except, that is, for China." If China can curb their carbon emissions, the world has a chance to stabilize the climate. And China knows it.
September 16, 2014
The Life Savers
Matthieu Aikins spends seven days with Syria’s first responders – the people who care for the civilians caught on the front lines of the war in Aleppo: "What they were best known for – what they had become famous for in Syria and abroad – were the dramatic rescues, the lives they pulled from under the rubble." Published by Matter.
September 15, 2014
Same Mistakes, Different War
If ISIS demonstrates the ultimate failure of the Iraq War to build a stable Iraq, what is in store for Afghanistan? Bing West writes about that "forgotten war" for Politico Magazine, where he sees the same broken strategy that played out in Iraq happening all over again.
September 12, 2014
The Girl-Boy Switch
Afghan families often dress their girls like boys because they need another income and girls aren't allowed to work, because the road the school can be more dangerous for girls, or simply because Afghan society "undervalues daughters and demands sons at almost any cost." Jenny Nordberg reports for the Atlantic.
September 11, 2014
Can architecture and urban planning be used to help solve political conflicts? Nate Berg explores the potential in a piece for Foreign Policy: "The urban settings of conflicts are more than just dots on a map, and any effort to help them recover will need to consider the complex relationship between human culture and space."
September 10, 2014
Humanitarianism for a Networked Age
Humanitarian NGOs are increasingly being used like Lego bricks – interchangeable not just with each other, but also with government, military or private-sector actors, writes Paul Currion for Aeon. We need a post-industrial, post-imperial model that mobilizes resources through global networks.
September 9, 2014
Stories about Afghanistan – what it was, what it has become, what it still might be – told through six different perspectives: the diplomat's wife turned historian and activist, the wounded U.S. soldier, the young entrepreneur, the music scholar, the Afghan commando, and the television personality. The multimedia package was produced by NATO.
September 8, 2014
How We Got to Gaza
"In Israel, endless controversy over Gaza has overlooked one question: How did we get here in the first place?" writes Assaf Sharon for the New York Review of Books. For Sharon, it started with Netanyahu's attempt to undermine the reconciliation between Hamas and Fatah, a mistake compounded by false assumptions and miscalculations.
September 5, 2014
The Mystery of Russia’s Population Decline
"Why are Russians dying in numbers, and at ages, and of causes never seen in any other country that is not, by any standard definition, at war?" asks Masha Gessen in a piece for the New York Review of Books. Is the end of communism to blame? Disease? Alcohol? Or is it something less quantifiable?
September 4, 2014
Keith Gessen visits the "Donetsk People’s Republic" in Eastern Ukraine: "In Donetsk I had expected to find a totalitarian proto-state, and I did... What I didn’t expect to find were so many people who believed in all of it with such certainty, and with such hope." From the London Review of Books.
September 3, 2014
What to Do About Russia
Edward Lucas's testimony to the U.K. House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee regarding Russia: "Give up any hope of a return to business as usual; Boost the defence of the Baltic states and Poland; Expose Russian corruption in the West; Impose sweeping visa sanctions on the Russian elite; Help Ukraine; and Reboot the Atlantic Alliance."
September 2, 2014
Kinshasa: Party Town
The Democratic Republic of the Congo is one of the least developed, most corrupt countries in the world. And yet the people of Kinshasa have built a rich cultural life to "fend off the chaos and aggression of the state with discipline and passion," writes Katrina Manson for Financial Times.
August 29, 2014
"ISIS has grown from being a small offshoot of al-Qaeda in Iraq into the wealthiest terror group in the world," writes Sheera Frenkel for Buzzfeed. The group is making millions selling oil and artifacts on the black market and running racketeering and kidnapping schemes. And since that wealth is produced locally, it isn't as vulnerable to outside sanctions.