THE BEST OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS
FROM AROUND THE WEB
November 21, 2014
The Middle East Tangle
Confused about who are friends, who are enemies, and who are somewhere in between in the Middle East? Patrick Martin has you covered with this interactive guide for the Globe and Mail that "cuts through the tangled web of alliances and enmities in the region."
November 20, 2014
The day I was nearly abducted
Gregory D. Johnsen, writing for Buzzfeed, reflects on his failed kidnapping in Yemen: "The other man had circled around behind me. Grabbing my arm, he started pulling me toward the street. My eyes followed my body and I saw the yellow-and-white taxi: driver inside, back door open. And then I knew."
November 19, 2014
The front lines of a asymmetrical war
The Korengal Valley saw some of the bloodiest fighting during the Afghanistan War. Now, it offers "a glimpse of where the country is heading," write Matt Trevithick and Daniel Seckman for The Daily Beast. "With the...fight increasingly Afghan against Afghan, time will tell if anything comes of his balancing act."
November 18, 2014
Drones over Pakistan
"Between mid-2008 and mid-2013, C.I.A.-operated drones waged what amounted to an undeclared, remotely controlled air war over North and South Waziristan," writes Steve Coll for the New Yorker. For the U.S., the campaign was a major success. For the Pakistani military, it symbolized American arrogance. For a great many civilians, it proved deadly.
November 17, 2014
Turning a blind eye in Rwanda
Two Canadian priests were killed in post-Genocide Rwanda, possibly by security forces of President Paul Kagame. The Canadian government never properly investigated the murders but has continued to support the Kagame government for two decades. Geoffrey York and Judi Rever report for the Globe and Mail.
November 14, 2014
Negotiating With Terrorists
Is it better to refuse to negotiate with terrorist organizations to secure the release of hostages and then watch your citizens get beheaded, or to agree in principle not to negotiate but do it anyways and then deny the fact publicly? Simon Critchley makes the case for paying the ransoms in a piece for the New York Review of Books.
November 13, 2014
The Communists vs. the Christians
There are now more Christians in China than members of the Communist party. If current trends continue, the country could be home to the world’s largest Christian population within 15 years. And the Chinese government doesn't like it. By Jamil Anderlini for Financial Times.
November 12, 2014
What to expect in 2015
The World Economic Forum looks ahead to 2015 in the fourth edition of the Outlook on the Global Agenda. Trends to look out for: more inequality, continued joblessness, more competition, more pollution, Intensifying nationalism, more severe weather, and less leadership. But you can't solve problems you refuse to recognize, right? (pdf)
November 11, 2014
A just war
The jihadist group calling itself Islamic State is unambiguously evil, writes Michael Petrou for Maclean's. But the war against them will not be simple or straightforward, victory will not be easily defined, and whatever the American-led coalition ultimately manages to do, the question of Bashar al-Assad remains.
November 10, 2014
The divisions in Israel are not just between Jews and Arabs. Israelis themselves are deeply divided with segments of the population becoming increasingly jingoistic, racist, and anti-democratic, writes David Remnick for the New Yorker. In this "curdled atmosphere", both sides see merit in a one-state solution.
November 7, 2014
Making a Foreign Fighter
What makes a young man leave the West to join ISIS and risk probable death? Shiraz Maher spoke to dozens of foreign fighters in Syria to find out for the New Statesman. Social media plays a role, both as a means of recruitment and normalizing the experience. So does profound detachment from their home country and communities.
November 6, 2014
Paying for a Caliphate
Creating a new Islamic caliphate doesn't come cheap, write Janine di Giovanni, Leah McGrath Goodman, and Damien Sharkov for Newsweek. How does ISIS fund its conquests? A mix of smuggling seized energy assets, funding from wealthy donors in the Gulf, fake humanitarian aid, selling ancient artifacts, and kidnapping ransoms.
November 5, 2014
Civilians in Arms
Since Boko Haram began its insurgency in 2009, the Nigerian military’s response "has been both slow and inadequate," writes Alexis Okeowo for the New York Times Magazine. In its absence, the job has fallen to a thousands-strong vigilante battalion called the Civilian Joint Task Force.
November 4, 2014
"Just a few years ago, the idea of the West working together with the Partiya Karkeren Kurdistan would have been preposterous," write Ralf Hoppe, Maximilian Popp, Christoph Reuter and Jonathan Stock for Spiegel Online. But now "these former outlaws have become solitary heroes in the fight to save the Middle East from IS."
November 3, 2014
The Changing Face of Peacekeeping
"Today, Canadian troops... have been replaced by chequebook peacekeeping," writes Michelle Shephard for the Toronto Star. "Developed countries have steadily abandoned UN missions during the past two decades, often leaving the work to ill-equipped, inexperienced soldiers of poorer countries eager for UN wages."