Soldiers line up before leaving to patrol the streets in Bogotá, Colombia, Saturday, Nov. 23, 2019. 

Use the force: Part II

Critical State

Critical State, a foreign policy newsletter by Inkstick Media, takes a deep dive this week into what happened when Colombia’s military took on police work in Cali, the country’s third-largest city.

In this June 19, 2017, file photo, a person types on a laptop keyboard in North Andover, Massachusetts. 

‘Ransomware Diaries:’ Going undercover with the leader of LockBit

China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi, center, is escorted from his plane on his arrival in Honiara, Solomon Islands

China’s foreign minister starts Pacific tour in the Solomons

Global Politics
Riot police detain a man during clashes in the northern city of Thessaloniki, Greece, March 11, 2021.

Greek police roll out new ‘smart’ devices that recognize faces and fingerprints

Hands fold a sheet of paper

Researchers ‘virtually unlock’ a sealed 17th-century letter

Pentagon officials speak at a hearing

Russian bounty allegations shine spotlight on what Trump admin knew and when

Global Politics

According to reports, senior White House officials were aware as early as the beginning of 2019 of classified intelligence indicating that Russia was secretly offering bounties to the Taliban for killing US troops. The World spoke with Mark Galeotti, a senior associate fellow at the British-based Royal United Services Institute, to get his take. 

A poster depicting the former government adviser and political analyst Husham al-Hashimi, who was killed by gunmen, is seen in Tahrir Square in Baghdad, July 8, 2020.

Iraqi security expert’s assassination in Baghdad has left many in shock

Global Politics

So far, no group has officially claimed responsibility for Husham al-Hashimi’s death. But shortly after the news broke, a journalist who knew Hashimi said he had received WhatsApp messages from him, saying he had been threatened by a member of Kataib Hezbollah, an Iran-backed, Shiite militia.

A close-up photo of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban wearing headphones

Illiberalism isn’t just rising — it’s spreading (Part I)

Critical State

Why does there seem to be a global rise in illiberal laws that restrict nongovernmental organizations and civic life? Critical State’s Sam Ratner looks at research on how policies that restrict civic life spread.

People stand in voting booth casting ballots

As 2020 US presidential election nears, voter systems are still vulnerable

Security experts say election infrastructure in the US could be vulnerable to the types of hacking operations that took place in the lead-up to the 2016 election.

workers install US steel beams against sunlight in construction of building

Don’t ignore serious nonmilitary threats to US national security


If the United States is to remain a leading world power into the future, it must be economically productive and competitive on the world stage in ways that go beyond military firepower.