Josh Rogin

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A Ukrainian serviceman takes cover in a trench near Bakhmut in March. (Aris Messinis/AFP/Getty Images)

For the second winter in a row, Russian President Vladimir Putin is taking advantage of the West’s fatigue to escalate his attacks on Ukrainian cities, trying to freeze Ukrainians into submission. But this year, he is getting an assist from those in Washington who are arguing for pressuring Ukraine into negotiations rather than focusing on helping it win the war.

The front lines in the Russia-Ukraine war seem stuck. Congress is dragging its feet on passing the military, economic and humanitarian aid Ukrainians urgently need. The American people are growing tired of the effort. No wonder a chorus in Washington is calling for President Biden to lean on Kyiv to sue for peace.…  Seguir leyendo »

Protesters hold Taiwanese flags as they confront supporters of Chinese President Xi Jinping outside the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in San Francisco on Nov. 15. (Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images)

Many in Washington are pointing to last week’s meeting between President Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping as a sign that the two great powers are growing closer. But on the most important issue in the relationship — Taiwan — Washington and Beijing are moving further apart. Xi’s rhetoric indicates he’s getting impatient with the status quo — and his actions are even more worrisome.

During the two leaders’ private meeting in the San Francisco Bay Area, Xi struck some ominous notes on Taiwan. Regarding Beijing’s long-standing desire to bring the island under its control, Xi said his “preference was for peaceful reunification”, a senior U.S.…  Seguir leyendo »

A Saudi custom officer opens imported pomegranates after officials foiled an attempt to smuggle over 5 million pills of Captagon at Jeddah Islamic Port, Saudi Arabia, in 2021. (Saudi Press Agency via AP) (AP)

After the Oct. 7 terrorist attack in Israel, several Hamas militants were reportedly found to be high on the illegal drug Captagon, which surely fueled their murderous rampage. But the drug’s threat is greater than just the boost it gives terrorists. The Captagon trade has become a key tool of influence for the Syrian regime and a massive source of income for the Iranian-backed militias now attacking U.S. troops.

The highly addictive methlike drug Captagon typically comes in small white pills exported by the millions across the Middle East and beyond. Its manufacturing is directly linked to the Syrian armed forces and the family of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad.…  Seguir leyendo »

Students in a physical education class at the Shangri-La Key Boarding School during a media-organized tour in Sichuan province, China, in September. (Andy Wong/AP)

“Genocide” is a powerful charge, often leveled at repressive regimes and warring states when they are openly mass murdering civilians. But some genocides take place slowly and methodically, without large-scale killing and outside the public’s view.

Tibetans are making a strong case that the Chinese government is attempting to wipe out their national identity — which can qualify as a type of genocide. China’s strategy depends on the world ignoring what it is doing. And, tragically, it seems to be working.

Since China invaded Tibet in 1950 (and later annexed it), Tibetan refugees have worked to defend human rights and national culture in their homeland.…  Seguir leyendo »

Trucks of a humanitarian aid convoy are parked at the border gate between Egypt and Gaza on Thursday. (Khaled Elfiqi/EPA-EFE-Shutterstock)

If there’s one thing people on all sides of the Israel-Gaza crisis should agree on, it is that Palestinians must not starve. There are mountains of food and other critical humanitarian supplies sitting idle on the Egyptian side of the border, as the situation inside Gaza deteriorates fast. Israel, Egypt, Hamas and the United States all must help to get this aid into Gaza immediately.

“We have supplies at the border with Gaza and are ready to move them in, but we need the access to do so”, World Food Program Executive Director Cindy McCain told me. She is headed to the region today.…  Seguir leyendo »

Ismail Haniyeh, the leader of the Hamas's political wing, is seen leaving the Russian Foreign Ministry headquarters in Moscow on March 2, 2020. (Maxim Shipenkov/EPA-EFA/Shutterstock)

When Russian President Vladimir Putin finally called Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday, he said Russia was trying “to help normalize the situation” in the Gaza Strip, according to the Kremlin. But Moscow has little interest in helping Israel. Russia is on the side of Hamas and its patron, Iran — in part to undermine the United States and its allies.

The timing of the attack could not have been better for Putin, who coincidentally was celebrating his birthday on Oct. 7, when hundreds of Hamas terrorists entered Israel and slaughtered more the 1,300 civilians. Russia’s main foreign policy goal right now is to distract the world from its ongoing invasion and atrocities in Ukraine.…  Seguir leyendo »

Secretary of State Antony Blinken, left, greets Moldovan President Maia Sandu in Chisinau, Moldova, on March 6. (Sergei Grits/AP)

Those who want to pull U.S. aid from Ukraine fail to understand the devastating impact that such a move would have on many other countries — and especially those in Vladimir Putin’s sights. For the small Eastern European nation of Moldova, international support for its neighbor Ukraine is the linchpin of its own security. Pulling it now would doom the region and set a terrible precedent around the world.

That was the main message of Moldovan Foreign Minister Nicu Popescu, whom I interviewed in New York last week on the sidelines of U.N. General Assembly meetings. “What happens in Ukraine does not stay in Ukraine”, Popescu told me.…  Seguir leyendo »

Pakistani Prime Minister Anwaar ul-Haq Kakar at the U.N. General Assembly last week in New York. (Bryan R. Smith/AFP/Getty Images)

The war in Ukraine and rising tensions with China are reshaping many U.S. relationships, and Pakistan is no exception. Pakistan’s caretaker prime minister told me that his country is focusing on its own interests and does not want to choose sides in the great power competition. But the lack of real attention to the U.S.-Pakistan relationship threatens to drive Pakistan further into China’s orbit.

Anwar ul-Haq Kakar became temporary leader of the government in Islamabad in August. His main mission is to help ensure that Pakistan holds new elections, which have been tentatively scheduled for January. (This being Pakistan, the military is always suspected to have the final say.)…  Seguir leyendo »

Rep. Michael Waltz (R-Fla.), right, speaks with Rep. John Garamendi (D-Calif.) during a House Armed Services Committee meeting on Feb. 2. (Ricky Carioti/The Washington Post)

As Washington turns its focus toward the 2024 presidential campaign, U.S. aid to Ukraine is becoming increasingly vulnerable to partisan politics and the culture wars. When the next tranche comes up for a vote in Congress, the number of Republicans voting no will be high. If the Biden administration wants to preserve the flow of support to Kyiv, it will need to mount a more robust, more honest case about the expected costs and length of the war effort to lawmakers and the American people.

Since the full-scale Russian invasion began in February 2022, the United States has committed $113 billion to military, economic and humanitarian aid for Ukraine and other countries impacted by the war.…  Seguir leyendo »

Members of the Wagner Group stand on the balcony of the circus building in the Russian city of Rostov-on-Don on Saturday. (Roman Romokhov/AFP/Getty Images)

On Wednesday, a plane believed to be carrying Yevgeniy Prigozhin, the leader of the mercenary Wagner Group, crashed in Russia. According to Russia’s Ministry of Emergency, all 10 people on board were killed.

Prigozhin made global headlines in June, when he took over a regional capital in Russia and sent a column of soldiers to Moscow. He called off the apparent coup in the making on the same day, sending his forces back to their barracks. He had seemingly struck a deal with Russian President Vladimir Putin — but, as many commentators pointed out, that did not mean he was safe from reprisal by Russia or efforts to bring him to justice internationally.…  Seguir leyendo »

Taiwanese Vice President William Lai in Taoyuan, Taiwan, on Friday. (Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters)

According to Beijing authorities (and some Taipei opposition figures), the potential election of current Taiwanese Vice President Lai Ching-te as president in January could spark the biggest crisis yet in cross-strait relations — and potentially lead to war. But Lai’s recent visit to the United States showed that these warnings are overblown. China is attacking Lai because he is reasonable, not because he’s a hothead. That makes him much harder for Beijing to undermine.

China’s foreign ministry complained loudly before Lai, who is also referred to as William Lai, visited New York City and San Francisco this month — visits referred to by the Americans and the Taiwanese as “transit” stops on his way to and from Peru.…  Seguir leyendo »

People walk near the Central Business District during evening rush hour in Beijing on Aug. 14. (Andy Wong/AP)

The latest news from China is ominous. A range of indicators suggests that Beijing is facing economic headwinds. Growth has failed to meet expectations. Foreign investment is sagging. The ever-crucial housing market is soft. Companies and government institutions are struggling under mounds of debt. On Thursday, the giant property developer China Evergrande filed for bankruptcy. On top of all this comes news that the economy has entered deflation — raising fears of a downward spiral of the type that crippled mighty Japan in the 1990s.

What does it all mean? We asked our columnists to weigh in.

Sebastian Mallaby: Demographics are destiny

The deep cause of China’s economic slowdown — and the strongest reason to believe it will be lasting — is its demographic collapse.…  Seguir leyendo »

Chinese foreign minister Qin Gang speaks during the forum titled "Chinese Modernization and the World" at the Grand Halls in Shanghai on April 21. (Ng Han Guan/AP)

In most countries, it would be unthinkable for a top government official to vanish for 26 days with no explanation. But that’s exactly what has happened in China, where Foreign Minister Qin Gang’s disappearance highlights just how secretive Xi Jinping’s regime has become. This is a problem not only for China itself but also for all who engage with the government in Beijing.

Qin, a close confidant of Xi who rose swiftly through the diplomatic ranks, hasn’t been seen in public since June 25. After he missed several high-level diplomatic meetings, China’s foreign ministry said in a July 11 news conference that Qin was suffering from “a physical condition”.…  Seguir leyendo »

In an image taken from video, Wagner Group leader Yevgeniy Prigozhin is interviewed from an unspecified location on June 23. (Prigozhin Press Service/AP)

Wagner Group founder and failed coup plotter Yevgeniy Prigozhin has taken up exile in Belarus — but he must know he is not safe. Russian President Vladimir Putin has no reservations about trying to kill his enemies on foreign territory — a time-honored practice for Russian leaders. But fear of Putin is not the only thing likely keeping Prigozhin up at night.

As the decade-longleader of the Wagner private military company, he also faces accountability and punishment for the wide array of international crimes his mercenaries committed on his watch. The international justice system often works slowly, but if Prigozhin thinks he is immune from prosecution, he is wrong.…  Seguir leyendo »

The destroyed Azovstal industrial complex in Mariupol, Ukraine, on March 10. (For The Washington Post)

Those who argue that Russian President Vladimir Putin should be allowed to keep parts of Ukraine should meet the survivors of his atrocities. They know firsthand the horror of life under Russian occupation. Their stories remind us of what Ukraine is fighting for — and what the free world is standing against.

Anna Zaitseva was a 24-year-old schoolteacher in Mariupol when Russian forces attacked her city in the first days of the invasion in February 2022. She and her 3-month-old son took refuge in the Azovstal Iron and Steel Works plant, where her husband, Kirilo, worked. A former soldier, Kirilo left his family bunkered there and joined the local defense forces, known as the Azov Regiment.…  Seguir leyendo »

China's flag flies in front of Pudong's Lujiazui Financial District in Shanghai. (Qilai Shen/Bloomberg News)

China has tested and deployed a new longer-range hypersonic missile that is probably able to evade U.S. defenses, according to an overlooked top-secret document among those recently leaked. Now, the public can see what the American intelligence community already knew: China is quickly improving its capacity to strike thousands of miles from its shores and prevent the United States from intervening.

The Justice and Defense departments are investigating the leak of hundreds of U.S. intelligence documents, which include chilling revelations about the Ukrainian equipment shortfalls, backdoor Egyptian-Russian arms deals, Israeli spy agencies allegedly working against the country’s elected leaders, and internal South Korean security deliberations.…  Seguir leyendo »

Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) comments on a report about the origins of the coronavirus at the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Americans were surprised to learn this week that the U.S. Energy Department has changed its initial assessment on the origins of the virus that sparked the covid pandemic. The department’s analysts now believe that a lab-related accident was most likely, albeit with “low confidence”. Immediately, those who favor a lab-accident hypothesis claimed vindication, while those who favor a natural-origin theory poo-pooed the report.

Both camps are missing the point. The significance of the Energy Department’s disclosure — along with the FBI’s subsequent revelation that it too believes that the coronavirus emerged because of a Wuhan lab leak — is that the government’s investigations are continuing and still turning up new information.…  Seguir leyendo »

Ukrainian soldiers fire artillery at Russian positions in the Donetsk region of Ukraine on Nov. 20. (AP)

Ukrainians have been fighting heroically — but they’re still outnumbered and outgunned. Russia has mobilized hundreds of thousands of troops and still enjoys substantial superiority in materiel and equipment. Ukrainians know perfectly well that time is not on their side. A fresh Russian offensive could come at any moment.

The United States and its European partners have provided Ukraine with billions of dollars worth of weapons, but are still denying Kyiv’s requests for planes and long-range missiles. Even if President Biden signed off on the planes today, it would take several months to get them into the fight. Western tanks are on the way, but only a few dozen will reach the battlefield in time.…  Seguir leyendo »

A journalist walks amid the destruction after a Russian attack in Byshiv, Ukraine, on March 27. (Rodrigo Abd/AP)

As the Ukraine war enters its second year, the Biden administration is pledging to support Kyiv for “as long as it takes”. That language is calculated to send a message of resolve to Russian President Vladimir Putin, but it’s not what Ukrainians want to hear. Though they’re fighting valiantly, Ukrainians are also suffering greatly — and they are begging the West to help them speed up the war, not settle in for an endless slog.

Just a few days before the anniversary of Putin’s unprovoked invasion last year, Biden visited Kyiv and made a rousing speech in Poland promising that the West “will never waver” in the fight for freedom and democracy.…  Seguir leyendo »

Members of Japan's Self-Defense Forces and soldiers of the British army take part in a joint field exercise on Nov. 26, 2022, in Shinto Village, Japan. (Tomohiro Ohsumi/Getty Images)

As fears of war grow in East Asia, the United States’ chief Pacific ally, Japan, is moving away from decades of self-imposed restraint and launching its largest military buildup since World War II. As regional tensions increase, Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida is urging the United States to grasp the urgency and gravity of this historic but dangerous moment.

“The global security environment is going through a major change”, Kishida told me in a long interview in his official residence just before departing for a five-country tour that will end with him meeting President Biden at the White House on Friday.…  Seguir leyendo »