Latest in Foreign Policy Essay

Foreign Policy Essay

The ‘India Question’ in Afghanistan

Editor’s Note: Pakistan and the United States are not the only important outside actors in Afghanistan. India has long courted the government in Kabul, and Islamabad views this potential relationship with alarm. Avinash Paliwal of SOAS explains India’s policies regarding Afghanistan and discusses how this might shift in the years to come.

Daniel Byman

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Foreign Policy Essay

The Dangers of a Loyalist Director of National Intelligence

Editor’s Note: The acting director of national intelligence, Joseph Maguire, distanced himself from the Trump administration’s rhetoric during congressional testimony this past week as he defended the actions of the whistleblower who filed a complaint regarding President Donald Trump’s communications with the Ukrainian government. His predecessor, former Senator Dan Coats, also proved to be professional and unbiased director of national intelligence.

Foreign Policy Essay

Succession Politics and the Renewed Threat of Ethnic Violence in Kenya

Editor’s Note: Kenya’s politics often appear peaceful, but they are punctuated by dangerous periods of intense violence, particularly during election season. For now, Kenya’s main groups are at peace, but Narrelle Gilchrist of the University of Chicago argues that Kenya’s stability may be short lived. A refusal to compromise among key groups is escalating tension that, if not defused, could lead to a return to past violence in the lead-up to the 2022 election.

Daniel Byman

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Foreign Policy Essay

Jordanians See More to Worry About in Their Economy Than Syrian Refugees

Editor’s Note: Even as the Syrian war winds down, the millions of refugees it spawned show little sign of returning. Experts have long feared that these refugees will spread instability and, in poorer countries like Jordan, foster economic resentment. MIT’s Elizabeth Parker-Magyar finds that in Jordan such resentment is limited at best. The refugees remain welcome, and any economic resentment is directed at the government.

Daniel Byman

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Foreign Policy Essay

Al-Qaeda’s Continuing Challenge to the United States

Editor’s Note: To the surprise of many observers, the al-Qaeda core under Ayman al-Zawahiri has not launched a major terrorist attack in the West for years, and the rise of the Islamic State seemed to signal the group’s further decline. Asfandyar Mir of Stanford argues that this lack of focus is a mistake. He contends that al-Qaeda remains resilient and that the group continues to pose a major terrorism threat.

Daniel Byman

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Foreign Policy Essay

Counterproductive Counterinsurgency: Is Mozambique Creating the Next Boko Haram?

Editor’s Note: Mozambique has a small terrorism problem, but the government’s response threatens to make it a big one. Hilary Matfess of Yale University and Alexander Noyes of RAND Corp. contend that Mozambique is overreacting to the danger with a heavy-handed crackdown that is inflaming tension while doing little to disrupt the most radical elements there. Indeed, they argue that Mozambique risks following the path of Nigeria, where a ham-fisted government response to a radical sect led to a surge in support for the group that became Boko Haram.

Foreign Policy Essay

How Would Brexit Affect Counterterrorism?

Editor’s Note: As Brexit looms, predictions of chaos dominate the headlines. Brexit’s critics have expressed fears of financial disaster, the collapse of key services and risks to the security of the United Kingdom. Richard English of Queen’s University assesses how Brexit might affect U.K. and European counterterrorism. He argues that counterterrorism cooperation is likely to continue and that, on this issue at least, the danger of Brexit to the United Kingdom is minimal.

Daniel Byman

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Foreign Policy Essay

Lessons From the UAE War in Yemen

Editor’s Note: Yemen's civil war has dragged on for years, and the destruction and suffering there intensified after the Saudi and UAE intervention in 2015. Although Riyadh's role gets far more attention than Abu Dhabi's, it was UAE forces that often had the biggest impact on the ground. Earlier this year, however, the UAE announced it was suddenly ending its intervention. Michael Knights of the Washington Institute spent considerable time with UAE forces in Yemen, and he assesses the lessons that the UAE is learning, and should learn, from its intervention.

Foreign Policy Essay

A New Source of U.S. Influence in Iraq

Editor’s Note: U.S. influence in Iraq, uneven in the best of times, often suffers from a lack of leverage. As a result, the United States has found it harder to counter Iran’s influence, fight terrorism, improve governance or achieve other goals. Douglas Ollivant of New America finds a new bright spot in the U.S. effort. By using the Magnitsky Act, designed to counter corruption and human rights abuses, the United States is discrediting some of the country’s worst actors and thus indirectly empowering local U.S. allies.

Daniel Byman

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