Foreign Policy Blogs

The FPA’s Must Reads (May 8-15)

Relief efforts continue in Nepal. Photo Credit: Rajan Shrestha via Wikimedia Commons

Relief efforts continue in Nepal. Photo Credit: Rajan Shrestha via Wikimedia Commons

The Crusades: A Complete History
By Jonathan Phillips
History Today

The crusades may not be recent history, but the number of times they’ve been appropriated by politicians in the past few years you’d think they might be. Phillips provides a fairly comprehensive history of these wars and the logic behind them.

Nepal’s Aid System is Broken. So These Lifesavers Hacked It.
By Abe Streep

As governments and international NGOs struggled to provide aid in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake in Nepal, a number of ad hoc, unregistered and unlicensed efforts have sprung up to fill the void these larger organizations have left. Wired looks at one of them, which was borne out of an bed-and-breakfast called the Yellow House.

How PTSD Became a Problem Far Beyond the Battlefield
By Sebastian Junger
Vanity Fair

Junger, who has experience with PTSD on a personal level as well, explores the history of the disorder, its effects and why it’s so prevalent in Western societies. Ultimately, he notes, it boils down to making society feel more inclusive for soldiers who have left the perils of war to return home.

The Killing of Osama bin Laden
By Seymour M. Hersh
The London Review of Books

Love it or leave it, Hersh’s “alternative narrative” of the killing of Osama bin Laden at his compound in Abbottabad has sparked conversations the world over. Hersh’s account posits that bin Laden had been held by Pakistani officials for a number of years and tries to poke holes in the official narrative presented by the Obama administration. Agree with him or not, it’s worth a read to see what all the fuss is about.

Theorizing the Drone
By Grégoire Chamayou

What does the rise of the drone mean for modern warfare? How does it, if it does at all, change the moral calculations in war? What even counts as a drone? These are just a few of the questions French philosopher Grégoire Chamayou tries to answer in these four chapters republished by Longreads from his book Theorizing the Drone.


Climate Change: A Generational Challenge by Elly Rostoum
Turkmenistan and Europe’s pipe dreams by Mark Varga
International Security: We’re Doing It Wrong by Oliver Barrett
Turkey Cracks Down on NGOs by Gary Sands
Countering the Sunni-Shia Divide by Ali G. Scotten

Over at

Great Decisions 2015 Spring Updates by Eugene Steinberg, Paul Mutter, Daniel R. Donovan, Hannah Gais, and Jordan Stutts