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China’s recent tests of a novel nuclear-weapon delivery system may not actually be a new threat to the United States. But they should jump-start a new diplomatic strategy to prevent a dangerous arms race.
JAMES M. ACTON
  RUSSIA
 
The mirage of a Mideast superpower. Russia has repeatedly played the spoiler in the Middle East, especially with its interventions in Syria and Libya, but Moscow’s regional influence is heavily constrained. How should the United States respond to the Kremlin’s adventurism in the region?
FREDERIC WEHREY AND ANDREW S. WEISS
  ASIA
 
Digital repression, legalized. In South and Southeast Asia, the pandemic has amplified some governments’ abilities to leverage digital technologies to stifle online dissent and surveil their critics. Will these laws establish new ways for states to control their citizens through their data?
JANJIRA SOMBATPOONSIRI AND SANGEETA MAHAPATRA
  U.S. DIPLOMACY
 
The U.S. drawdown in Iraq. As the end-of-year deadline for the latest U.S. withdrawal from Iraq approaches, how will this exit affect Iraq’s political and security environment? Learning the lessons of its past failures, the United States should focus on its relationships with local actors.
MORGAN L. KAPLAN
  EUROPE
 
Moscow’s falling out with NATO. While splashy, Russia’s decision to pull its mission to NATO reflects the Russian view that if you want to talk to someone, talk to the boss. The Kremlin’s interactions with the West will center on Washington for the foreseeable future.
DMITRI TRENIN
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