Kathy Gilsinan
Kathy Gilsinan
Kathy Gilsinan is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where she oversees the Global section. More +
  • Issei Kato / Reuters

    What Does It Mean for North Korea to Fly a Missile Over Japan?

    This latest strike may be Pyongyang’s most provocative test this year.

  • Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP

    Emirati Ambassador: Qatar Is a Destructive Force in the Region

    Yousef al-Otaiba on the Gulf crisis and the future of the Middle East

  • Reuters via KCNA

    What Happens When No One Believes American Threats?

    The United States can avoid war with North Korea, but the “fire and fury” episode will still do long-term damage.

  • KCNA / Reuters

    North Korea Answers Trump's Vague Threats With Specific Ones

    The unusual detail of the Kim regime’s latest statement on Guam

  • Damir Sagolj / Reuters

    North Korea and the Risks of Miscalculation

    As tensions rise in East Asia, they highlight the dangers of Trump’s unpredictability.

  • Lee Jin-man / Reuters

    North Korean Nukes and the Grand International-Relations Experiment in Asia

    The scholar Robert Jervis discusses his theory of the security dilemma, and how Trump is testing it.

  • Maxim Shemetov / Reuters

    What Does It Mean to Have 'Repeated Contacts' With Russian Intelligence?

    A Russian investigative journalist parses a murky concept.

  • Andrew Harnik / AP

    Former Intel Chief: Community Caught Between 'Scylla and Charybdis' on Trump Dossier

    A conversation on intelligence and well-meant incompetence

  • Gary Cameron / Reuters

    Did Putin Direct Russian Hacking? And Other Big Questions

    Did Moscow influence the U.S. election? Who else has been hacked? Could the CIA be wrong?

  • Andrew Harnik / AP

    Donald Trump’s Asymmetric War on the Establishment

    The logic of policy by tweet

  • Michael Sohn / AP

    Making Sense of ISIS's Berlin Claim

    In the absence of other evidence, a social-media post could mean any number of things.

  • Umit Bektas / Reuters

    What Are Turkey and Russia Doing in Syria?

    Some background on the assassination of the Russian ambassador in Ankara

  • Abdalrhman Ismail / Reuters

    Aleppo Is Falling

    How Assad and Russia achieved a major victory at a devastating cost

  • Darren Ornitz / Reuters

    Is It Too Late to Save the Two-State Solution?

    Secretary of State John Kerry thinks there’s still time—but the process is moving in the wrong direction.

  • Lawrence Jackson / White House / Handout via ...

    Five Years in a Cuban Prison

    Alan Gross reflects on Fidel Castro’s legacy.

  • Reuters

    How Did Fidel Castro Hold On to Cuba for So Long?

    The combination of geography, charisma, and authoritarianism that helped the revolutionary outlast 10 American presidents

  • The Myth of the 'Female' Foreign Policy, Cont'd

    Sweden's foreign minister, Margot Wallstrom Claudio Bresciani / Reuters

    The Atlantic recently did a special project on women in leadership, for which I contributed a modest reflection on women in foreign policy. There aren’t a lot of female leaders on the global stage, but they’re increasing in number, and I wanted to know how, or whether, they do things differently than the men we’re used to having run things. In researching this question, I was struck especially by the approach of Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom, who on taking office two years ago articulated a “feminist foreign policy.” (Note that this is not exactly the same as a “woman’s foreign policy”—a man could very well have a feminist foreign policy, and a woman could very well not.) I wrote that beyond promoting gender equality, the implications of such an approach are “not entirely clear.” But the Swedish Foreign Ministry disagrees; here’s a response from Wallstrom:

    Sweden’s feminist foreign policy has gained significant international attention, most recently in the renowned publication The Atlantic. For us this proves that Sweden contributes to shaping world politics with smart power and diplomacy. Sadly, it also proves that the simple statement that women’s rights are human rights remains controversial.

    Kathy Gilsinan writes that a feminist foreign policy raises questions about female leadership and whether female leaders behave differently. Gilsinan’s framing is problematic, since it suggests leaders should be chosen based on suitability by gendered characteristics assumed to be held by all members of the same sex, not on voter preferences. Men have been in charge of politics for hundreds of years. There have been good leaders and bad leaders. Yet, when women are demanding power, their instrumental value as agents of peace or prosperity, rather than their rights to representation, is put in focus. At a time in history when women are gaining political power, such a discourse is troubling. Political representation is about rights. Not about gendered characteristics or suitability, but about exercising your democratic right to participate in decision-making that affects you and your society. Democracy cannot truly deliver for all of its citizens if half of the population remains underrepresented in the political arena and society denies the full enjoyment of their human rights.

  • Arne Niklas Jansson / Wikimedia

    Big in Europe: The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster

    Though Pastafarianism was founded to critique organized religion, it’s now an organized movement.

  • Reflections on What 9/11 Meant in Afghanistan

    Men look outside through a broken window at the site of a suicide attack in Kabul, Afghanistan on October 5, 2016. Mohammad Ismail / Reuters

    Mohammad Sayed Madadi is currently getting a master’s degree at Stanford. But he spent part of his childhood under the Taliban, and he remembers the American intervention after the 9/11 attacks—which started 15 years ago today and ultimately toppled that government—as seeming to herald a new era for him. It did, but not exactly in the way he hoped. Sayed got an education that would never have been possible under the Taliban, and saw his sisters do the same. He has also witnessed continuing bloodshed in his country, and was himself injured in an ISIS bombing in Kabul this summer that killed some 80 people. “Afghanistan is a much better country than it was in 2001,” he writes. “Is that enough?”

    When the Taliban were overthrown, it was as if the city I lived in was newer, brighter, more crowded; as if those American bombs that fell after September 11 really brought voice and light to a place that had been quiet and dark.

  • Watching 9/11 From Around the World

    An elderly Bulgarian man in Sofia on September 12, 2001, looks at the local newspapers. Reuters

    One reader, Teresa Poppelwell, was working with the UN in Herat, in western Afghanistan, on September 11, 2001, specifically “in a meeting with the Taliban discussing how the UN could assist drought-affected IDPs [internally displaced persons] from Ghor province.” And then:

    We returned to our guest house and watched CNN coverage of the plane that had flown into the first tower just minutes before. There were approximately 10 of us in the room. No one spoke. The sun was setting over the garden walls when the second plane hit. Shortly thereafter we were escorted to our UN offices to grab essential items like hard drives from our computers. We spent the night with Taliban guarding our guesthouse (sitting in the roof with AK47s) who then escorted us to the airport around 10 am the next morning. We waited for the UN plane to arrive.

    We grieved with the poor souls in New York. We worried for the Afghans we were leaving behind. We knew things would never be the same.

    Another reader was a student in Lebanon at the time of the attacks, dreaming of escaping to the West from a region that felt like “a big prison”:

    I, like thousands of Western-educated young people, had no other choice but to leave in order to live. 9/11 crashed our plans and hopes and future.