North Korean leader Kim Jong Un walks in front of the USS Pueblo

A Half-Century Later, Pueblo’s Crew Gets Their Day in Court

A U.S. judge awards $2.3 billion to the crew of the spy ship seized by North Korea and their families.

Abdolnaser Hemmati (C), Governor of the Central Bank of Iran, listens to a speech in parliament in Tehran on Oct. 7, 2018.

U.S.-Iran Talks Will Falter Unless Abdolnaser Hemmati Is at the Table

Unwinding sanctions will be central to reviving the nuclear deal. If the Biden administration wants a lasting solution, it must involve Iran’s central bank governor.

U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin visits National Guard troops deployed at the Capitol on Jan. 29.

The New ‘Forever War’: Pentagon Takes on Extremism

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has given the U.S. military instructions to deal with white supremacy as extremists target new recruits in the ranks.

Mufaddal Hamaddeh (center) works with a Syrian American Medical Society neonatal intensive care nurse and medical field officer at Ibn Sina Hospital in Idlib, Syria, on Feb. 9.

‘Crimes Against Humanity Were Committed Every Day in Syria’

A Syrian American doctor describes the devastation in Idlib, Syria.

A doctor receives a dose of the Chinese-made Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination center in Quetta, Pakistan, on Feb. 3.

Doctors Struggle to Convince Pakistanis to Get Their Vaccine Shot

The country has too few shots, a stubborn public, and little experience—but the program may still work.

A close-up view of Dubai Knowledge Park’s Huawei building in Jumeirah, Dubai, on Feb. 22.

Influence Without Entanglement in the Middle East

How China is outflanking the United States—and staying under the radar.

An MQ-9 Reaper remotely piloted aircraft flies by during a training mission at Creech Air Force Base on November 17, 2015 in Indian Springs, Nevada.

Biden Must Base Arms Sales on U.S. Interests—Not U.S. Jobs

Exporting advanced weapons systems to the Middle East will create very few jobs at home. Washington must base its decisions on national security strategy rather than domestic politics.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel welcomes Russia's President Vladimir Putin as he arrives to attend the G20 summit in Hamburg, northern Germany, on July 7, 2017.

Germany Will Never Back Down on Its Russian Pipeline

If it looks like Berlin is colluding with Moscow, that’s because it is.

Joe Biden—then Vice President—attends a bilateral meeting in the Oval Office between President Barack Obama and King Salman of Saudi Arabia at the White House September 4, 2015 in Washington, D.C.

Khashoggi Report To Test U.S.-Saudi Ties

Although the details of the report are an open secret, its publication further signals a break with Riyadh.

An Indian Air Force fighter jet near the Chinese-Indian border.

China Admits Casualties in Border Skirmish With India

Months after the clash in the Galwan River Valley, Chinese officials have confirmed that four troops died. State media has already made them martyrs.

CIA Director-designate William Burns testifies during his Senate Select Intelligence Committee confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington on Feb. 24.

Biden’s Pick for CIA Director Singles Out China as ‘Biggest Geopolitical Test’

Bill Burns, a veteran diplomat, will helm the spy agency in an era of renewed great-power competition.

In the Magazine

In the Magazine

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America and the World: How to Build Back Better

Looking back on 50 years of U.S. foreign policy and the lessons they hold for Washington today.

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A New Pivot to Asia

The fuzzy goodwill between Biden and America’s Asian allies will soon be tested by China’s growing power.

Foreign Policy Begins at Home

The best way for Biden to build better partnerships abroad is to get America’s own house in order—that starts with human rights.

Joe Biden, the Democratic presidential candidate, delivers a foreign-policy statement on Iran at Chelsea Piers in New York, on Jan. 7, 2020.

Did Biden Wait Too Long to Engage Iran?

Held back by infighting and hard-liners on the Hill, the administration may have squandered precious time to save the Iran nuclear deal, critics say.

Britain’s main opposition Labour Party leader, Keir Starmer, delivers a virtual speech on his party’s vision for the country’s economic future at Labour headquarters in central London on Feb. 18.

Labour’s Dangerous Drift to the Right

Trying to rebound after painful losses, the British party appears to be courting conservative and white voters—and losing its core principles in the process.

An Indian Army convoy drives toward Leh, a town in northern India, on a highway bordering China on Sept. 2, 2020.

Did India Just Win at the Line of Actual Control?

Beijing and New Delhi may be disengaging in the Pangong Tso lake region, but their divisions are more fraught than ever.

Photographers, including Jawad Jalali, take shelter as a new explosion is heard while photographing an attack in Kabul in this archival photo.

‘This is the Darkest Moment’: Afghans Flee a Crumbling Country

The educated middle classes that were meant to be the foundation of a new Afghanistan are tired of terror, insecurity, and the return of the Taliban.

International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women protesters in France

France Is in Denial About Domestic Violence

The country’s culture of seduction has enabled an epidemic of misogynist crime.

Pope Francis exchanges gifts with Iraq’s President Barham Salih and his wife, Sarbagh Salih, during a private audience at the Vatican on Nov. 24, 2018.

The Pope Is on a Mission to Heal Post-Genocide Iraq

The Roman pontiff is traveling with a message of peace to a country where the Christian population has been decimated.

Indian Air Force Tejas fighter jets perform at the Aero India air show at Yelahanka Air Force Station in Bangaluru, on Feb. 3.

How Did India Manage to Build an Advanced Fighter Jet Like the Tejas?

When it comes to sensitive industries like defense, democracy and the rule of law do matter.

Then-U.S. President Donald Trump speaks on the Islamic State terror group.

State Department Floats Plans to Reshuffle Counter-Islamic State Envoy Office

The proposed move has sparked internal debates over the future of U.S. counterterrorism efforts.

Voices

A cutout of an Israeli soldier is seen behind signs pointing out distances to different cities at an army post in Mount Bental in the Israeli-annexed Golan Heights, on November 28, 2020.

The Axis of Resistance to Israel Is Breaking Up

Syria has turned against Hamas, and Iran’s efforts to mediate aren't working.

U.S. President Joe Biden delivers remarks at a virtual event hosted by the Munich Security Conference in the East Room of the White House in Washington on Feb. 19.

Biden Was Right: America Is Back

The country’s reputation won’t be fixed anytime soon, but the fact that it’s trying is a sign of exceptionalism—and a return to the United States’ finest tradition.

Afghan National Army Brig. Gen. Amlaqullah Patyani, the commander of the Kabul Military Training Center, introduces then-U.S. Vice President Joe Biden to Afghan recruits during a break in training on military operations in urban terrain during a two-day surprise visit to Kabul on Jan. 11, 2011.

How Not to Leave Afghanistan

Congress has issued a report on the longest war in U.S. history. Here’s hoping Biden ignores it.

U.S. President Joe Biden delivers remarks at a virtual event hosted by the Munich Security Conference in the White House in Washington, on Feb. 19.

Biden Wants to Compete With China. Here’s How.

Washington’s battle with Beijing is not one of investment or innovation but one of values.

A FOCUS ON RACE AND FOREIGN POLICY

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Why Is Mainstream International Relations Blind to Racism?

Ignoring the central role of race and colonialism in world affairs precludes an accurate understanding of the modern state system.

Black Lives Matter Protest London

When Did Racism Become Solely a Domestic Issue?

International relations theorists once explored racism. What has the field lost by giving that up?

Nelson Mandela visits Hlengiwe School in Johannesburg on May 1, 1993.

Put Racial Justice at Center of the Biden-Harris Transition Plan

The new administration can learn from South Africa’s experience with transitional justice.

Economic Freedom Fighters supporters gather in front of the U.S. Embassy in Pretoria, on June 8 in solidarity with the global Black Lives Matter movement.

The Legacy of American Racism

Domestic racism has long impacted U.S. foreign policy. It’s time to open up about it.

Special insights on the post-pandemic world

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The World After the Coronavirus

Twelve leading thinkers on geopolitics after the pandemic.

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The Future of Travel

Seven predictions for how tourism will change.

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Will Schools and Universities Ever Return to Normal?

Nine experts on the future of education after the pandemic.

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The Future of the State

Ten leading global thinkers on government after the pandemic.

visual stories

Children play in the Umm Jurn camp for the displaced, near the village of Kafr Uruq, in Syria’s northern rebel-held Idlib province on Jan. 17. DULAZIZ KETAZ/AFP via Getty Images

The Month in World Photos

January brought an insurrection, impeachment, and inauguration in the United States—plus a deadly plane crash in Indonesia, the rescue of gold miners in China, and mass COVID-19 vaccinations around the globe.

A protester embraces a member of the Belarusian Interior Ministry troops who was standing guard during a demonstration against police violence and rejecting the presidential election results in Minsk, Belarus, on Aug. 14. Vasily Fedosenko/REUTERS

Rising Up in Protest: A Year in Photos

Fists raised and voices lifted, people around the world took to the streets in 2020—to stand up against police brutality, demand democracy, and confront other injustices. A look at some of the photos that captured the year’s most defining movements.