THE BEST OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS
FROM AROUND THE WEB
August 19, 2014
A miners’ massacre in South Africa, two years on
The development of platinum mining was considering one of South Africa's recent "good stories" but the killing of 34 mineworkers two years ago exposed an ongoing struggle for justice. The Guardian's Jack Shenker looks at the battle for power and change in its wake.
August 18, 2014
China’s own ‘war on terror’
Violence in China's Western region of Xinjiang has raised questions whether the state is fighting terrorism or trying to repress the Uighur minority, as Nathan VanderKlippe reports in the Globe and Mail: "Are nations prepared to overlook China’s chokehold on religious groups?"
August 15, 2014
Inside the Islamic State
Vice News embedded itself in the Islamic State – "the world's newest declared state" – travelling from the group's power base in the Syrian city of Raqqa, where it continues to fight with the forces of Bashar al-Assad, to what used to be the Syrian-Iraq border, which they are in the process of erasing from the map.
August 14, 2014
Selling Libya By the Pound
The plundering of Libya's oil wealth began long before militias started collecting billions in cash payouts from the central state authority, writes David Samuels for Bloomberg Businessweek. Western banks lost billions that Qaddafi had invested with them while collecting sky-high fees.
August 13, 2014
At the Epicentre of the Ebola Outbreak
"This is the reality of fighting this Ebola outbreak. Too many patients, too many bodies, and not nearly enough money, people, chlorine or even ambulances to stop the dying." Jennifer Yang reports from a Médecins Sans Frontières Ebola treatment centre in Sierra Leone for the Toronto Star.
August 12, 2014
Clinton’s Foreign Policy Doctrine
Jeffrey Goldberg interviews the former secretary of state for The Atlantic about her take on American foreign policy, including Israel and Palestine, Iran, Iraq, and Syria : “Great nations need organizing principles, and ‘Don’t do stupid stuff’ is not an organizing principle.”
August 11, 2014
Unmasking China’s man in Africa
He goes by at least seven names and has clinched deals across five continents worth tens of billions of dollars. Tom Burgis investigates the man known as Sam Pa for the Financial Times Magazine, exposing a different side of China’s dealings in Africa: "one that heralds not a new dawn but the risk of perpetuating past misrule."
August 8, 2014
The Louvre and the Guggenheim are building outposts in Abu Dhabi using low-paid migrant labourers. Molly Crabapple reports on their struggle for better conditions for Vice: "While workers may be lied to and forced to live and work in brutal conditions, they also—improbably—are fighting back."
August 7, 2014
ISIS's new Caliphate now covers an area larger than Great Britain and is inhabited by at least six million people, writes Patrick Cockburn for the London Review of Books. So why do we think of them as "a Bedouin raiding party that appears dramatically from the desert, wins spectacular victories and then retreats to its strongholds leaving the status quo little changed."
August 6, 2014
The China Model
Is China’s tale over the last 25 years a success story? That is the question Joseph O'Mahoney and Zheng Wang seek to answer in this essay for the Wilson Quarterly. Certainly China's economy has grown at an astounding rate – it's 24 times larger than it was in 1989. But pollution and inequality have also grown.
August 5, 2014
Witness to Putin
Michael McFaul was an optimistic supporter of Russian democracy, writes David Remnick in a profile of the former U.S. Ambassador to Russia for the New Yorker. Then came a new, harsher, anti-American, conspiratorial strain of Putinism and the "reset" became a distant memory.
August 1, 2014
How Likely is World War III?
As we commemorate the centennial of the First World War, Graham Allison asks just how likely another world war is today, in a piece for the Atlantic. Allison breaks down the the similarities (thick interdependence, rising nationalism...) and the differences (shared geography, military balance...) between 1914 and now.
July 31, 2014
China’s Refrigeration Boom
"An artificial winter has begun to stretch across the country," writes Nicola Twilley for the New York Times Magazine. The Chinese refrigeration boom is only just beginning, but at what cost to the planet? Cooling sucks up 15% of energy consumption worldwide and leaks of chemical refrigerants are a major source of greenhouse-gas pollution.
July 30, 2014
"With a walrus moustache, a fiery temper and a reputation for brutality, Igor Bezler is the most feared of all the rebel leaders in eastern Ukraine," writes Shaun Walker for The Guardian. And he may have been responsible for shooting down Flight MH17. Walker's interview with Bezler ended when Bezler threatened to have the journalist shot.
July 29, 2014
The Battle for Afghanistan’s Economy
In the 13 years since the ousting of the Taliban, Afghanistan has seen the return of an entrepreneurial class, writes Michael Peel for Financial Times. But with the flow of foreign money slowing and the possibility of increased violence in the future, the entrepreneurs might flee once again.